Fairly recently some of our better known big shot thinkers like Elon Musk have begun to give voice to the growing idea that we should STOP looking for aliens in space.
The underrepresented public segment in the space and sci-fi communities read this sort of commentary in the esoteric scientific and sci-fi (there is less and less difference nowadays?) media in order to have an intellectual sort of escapism reading to be cognitively relieved of the relentless deluge of Trump-related news and vitriol from all sides of our so-called body politic. Other social demographically classified persons read of this burning issue such as space geeks, diehard Star Trek fans and their contentious Star Wars upstarts, and not to forget NASA government types who battle for funds for those oversized space radio receivers we tend to place in areas needing beer joints and economic development such as God-forsaken spaces in New Mexico and Australia.
The organizing idea seems to be that something called the “Fermi Paradox” has taken over space and alien related discussion sites, is that there is an increasing likelihood that there is likely no life OUT THERE. Other than us. And I thought this Fermi Paradox was all about the A-Bomb development in the Manhattan Project, that it was thought in those days, atomic power was nice and socially helpful and lo and behold turned out to be just another Defense Department awesomely scary military weapon.
Putting aside all the statistical and other abstract bases for the theorizing that there is no alien life virtually anywhere, I found myself mulling over the socio-cultural repercussions of this not quite cataclysmic news. This may not be as trivial as one might at first surmise. After all, why could the declaration of the NON-existence of something that has never been manifest in our world be such a Big Deal? It is akin to saying that purple bears do not exist in the unexplored areas of the Amazon. Or that Stanley no longer needs to search for Livingston’s never born twin. I mean, saying that something that has not existed does not need any further searching is not earth-shattering news.
I found myself further considering that this whole seemingly waste of time and billions of dollars of research, was not a waste but a “good thing,” because what if the great classical discoverers of modern times had decided there was “no sich-a thang as ‘lectricity” and not tried to shock themselves with lightning bolts or ignored getting shocked after scooting across a wool rug. We would be still locked in the ages of campfires and polluting coal furnaces in every room and have no egad, computers or tv!! We would have been spared bad movies about listening to outer space and watching Jodie Foster try to make a bad flick entertaining…At least we won’t spend billions looking for purple Russian bears I suppose.
There are though definite quarters for whom this apparently issue now deemed without importance is important. For instance, just to name a few, all the NASA scientifist and alien searching agenices and their funding, tin foil hat types, Area 51 devotees (now reclassified in the category of ‘there is no there there;), alien genre movie scriptwriters and so on. Some of those sectors command huge budgets. Those folks may lose jobs. And they and their families might be destitute. I can see the new class of highway handout folks now, “Space Scientist Willing to Tutor New Math Homework to Your School Child.”
The cinematic industry will take a huge hit. A category that previously sucked in scare seeking teenagers wishing to sneak a hug in the dark protective anti-chaperone theaters will disappear. Summer alien mongering movie revenues will dip. Democratic political office seekers will have to reduce by a corresponding percentage the L.A. based PAC donations they count on every two years.
Back to Elon Musk for a moment. This public figure is drumming up support for funding from the government, meaning US, for his idea to Colonize Far Reaches of Space. His argument is that we are trashing the Earth so badly that we have to move to a new Cosmic Neighborhood that has better water and air.
But he has an inherent conflict of interest. He is plugging his Space X venture. He is generataing free publicity so that us Earth Bound Rubes will sign up for trips and generate revenue. Sir Richard Branson is doing much the same thing, though he does not rail so much about pollution and play upon our fears of survival. He is just a business man whereas Musk is a visionary! I concluded long ago that “visionaries” were all hucksters like P. T. Barnum and much more dangerous. I think that Musk would be better served if his publicity campaign for space travel and colonization went like this.
‘You Don’t Have to Worry About Aliens’ like the ones that nearly ate Sigourney Weaver in all those signature “Alien” movies. There are no more giant lizard like aliens out there with flesh eating heads inside of heads! The only tongue sucking beings you will have to worry about will be deep French kissing hotties. Without their bubble headed space helmets of course.
And the NRA will be able to save years of any new PR campaign inveighing against home invasion by aliens from space.
And homeowners can stop paying for sky directed anti-burglary nightlights to scare off aliens sneaking into their backyards from the sky.
And I can stop writing whimsical blog posts on rampaging aliens and get back to truly boring, mind numbing psychiatric articles…