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Some "what-if"s I've been thinking about

ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
What if the earth landmass was shaped as Pangea when humanity evolved?

To make thing simple and in order to put focus on what effect this would have on us we can assume that most land-life and other factors integral to our development into civilization remains the same. I could see that it might have quite an effect on our seafaring development as humans quickly would realize that there is no land but the one they're at.

What if metals and/or fossil fuels were too rare for metal production to occur?


Well, for one I doubt we'd ever get the industrial revolution going without metals to build factories with. I think a lot of scientific and technological progress would take it's sweet time, or perhaps we'd make alternative discoveries instead such as advanced steam powered wooden cars or transistors using water pipes.

Anyway, you should get the purpose of this thread based on the couple of examples I made.

Shanadeus on

Posts

  • YranYran Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It sounds like you might like the Riverworld series by Phillip Jose Farmer.

    In it, all of humanity throughout all of history up until year 2000 or so is resurrected along an endless riverbank. The sudden culture clash is shocking and it's interesting to see how civilization re-evolves.

    There are almost no ores or useful minerals to be found on the planet, so when a meteorite containing a good amount of metals crashes to earth, the region becomes highly contentious as weapons (and a steamboat) are quickly crafted with which to conquer land up- and downriver.

    Yran on
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  • NoughtNought Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Nought on
    On fire
    .
    Island. Being on fire.
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    electricitylikesme on
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    what about life that evolves in a universe where the physical laws are completely different from the laws in our universe?

    CasedOut on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    what about life that evolves in a universe where the physical laws are completely different from the laws in our universe?

    We're not even sure how abiogenesis happened in our universe, though we have some decent ideas. But changing fundamental constants would screw up absolutely everything about molecular interactions, so it's too hard to think about really.

    It's kind of the point of fantasy settings where some things "just are" - you avoid messy complexities like that.

    electricitylikesme on
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    what about life that evolves in a universe where the physical laws are completely different from the laws in our universe?

    We're not even sure how abiogenesis happened in our universe, though we have some decent ideas. But changing fundamental constants would screw up absolutely everything about molecular interactions, so it's too hard to think about really.

    It's kind of the point of fantasy settings where some things "just are" - you avoid messy complexities like that.

    I was just taking it to the next logical extreme for fun. Also, I don't think it would be too hard to think about. Just say what properties you want molecules to have, define how they interact, then work from there. It'd be like rediscovering physics all over again.

    CasedOut on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CasedOut wrote: »
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    what about life that evolves in a universe where the physical laws are completely different from the laws in our universe?

    We're not even sure how abiogenesis happened in our universe, though we have some decent ideas. But changing fundamental constants would screw up absolutely everything about molecular interactions, so it's too hard to think about really.

    It's kind of the point of fantasy settings where some things "just are" - you avoid messy complexities like that.

    I was just taking it to the next logical extreme for fun. Also, I don't think it would be too hard to think about. Just say what properties you want molecules to have, define how they interact, then work from there. It'd be like rediscovering physics all over again.

    Right but life is still emergent from a hugely complex set of rules. You could set stories with life that we presume works in those rules, and write about interesting applications of the universe's physics, but I don't think it'd be very much fun to try and figure out what day-to-day things would be different.

    electricitylikesme on
  • ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Let's say that the metal is just very rare and too hard to extract. Or that some aliens came here and ate it all up before humans evolved. It's the effects it'd have on our development that I think is interesting to hypothesize about.

    Those Riverworld books seem pretty alright.

    Shanadeus on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Shanadeus wrote: »
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Let's say that the metal is just very rare and too hard to extract. Or that some aliens came here and ate it all up before humans evolved. It's the effects it'd have on our development that I think is interesting to hypothesize about.

    I like the alien one. What if aliens mined the fuck out of earth, but used it on earth? They built a single massive mega-city somewhere using most mineral resources on Earth, with a space elevator connected to an orbital space station and some satellites and a city on the moon with an automated shuttle service to the space elevator station. Then they vanished.

    So metals and fuels are rare and insanely valuable around the world, and humanity is stuck in a pre-industrial age where having even a single metal sword and armour means you're the toughest guy around. Then someone discovers the city with all the minerals and this fully-functional space-age technology that's unlike anything they ever saw before. Cue wars to conquer the city and journeys of exploration as pre-industrial knights in wooden armour go to the moon.

    Richy on
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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    Instead of gas giant, how about a neutron star?
    Dragon's Egg is a hard science fiction novel written by Robert Forward and published in 1980. In the story, Dragon's Egg is a neutron star with a surface gravity 67*billion times that of Earth, and inhabited by cheela, intelligent creatures that have the volume of sesame seeds and live a million times faster than humans. Most of the novel, from May to June 2050, chronicles the cheela civilization beginning with its discovery of agriculture to its first face-to-face contact with humans, who are observing the star from orbit.

    Love that book.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What if there is time travel. And time travelers actually already traveled from the future... To make it so world war 2 takes place (Including Hitler), because that was the greater good! Without a big destructive war and concentration camps to make humanity more inclined to diplomacy and averse to eugenics, imperialism would still be rampant and when the genome was discovered purifying the gene pool of undesirables would be considered a super awesome idea by nations everywhere. Not to mention the atomic bomb would be first made by someone else, who was far more inclined to use it, leaving only one winner and the rest of the planet a waste land!

    Siska on
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Shanadeus wrote: »
    What if the earth landmass was shaped as Pangea when humanity evolved?

    To make thing simple and in order to put focus on what effect this would have on us we can assume that most land-life and other factors integral to our development into civilization remains the same. I could see that it might have quite an effect on our seafaring development as humans quickly would realize that there is no land but the one they're at.

    The implications in military history would be the most interesting thing about this for me. It's minor in the larger picture, but the civilization that first became akin to Mongols or any other steppe people would probably have far greater chance of conquering the world. The geostrategic picture would be completely different. With one massive ocean, would navies be more or less important then now? Air travel, trains, cars, etc. would most likely develop faster too.

    DarkCrawler on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Shanadeus wrote: »
    What if the earth landmass was shaped as Pangea when humanity evolved?

    To make thing simple and in order to put focus on what effect this would have on us we can assume that most land-life and other factors integral to our development into civilization remains the same. I could see that it might have quite an effect on our seafaring development as humans quickly would realize that there is no land but the one they're at.

    The implications in military history would be the most interesting thing about this for me. It's minor in the larger picture, but the civilization that first became akin to Mongols or any other steppe people would probably have far greater chance of conquering the world. The geostrategic picture would be completely different. With one massive ocean, would navies be more or less important then now? Air travel, trains, cars, etc. would most likely develop faster too.
    I don't see why. Pangea is basically the assumption that people were working under until Columbus. The Romans, Mongols, Chinese, Arabs, they all thought there was only the Euro-Asian-African continent surrounded by a massive ocean and scattered small islands. I don't think there would be any difference whatsoever in human history if it really were the case, up until 1492 when Columbus' expedition starves to death in the middle of the ocean and is forgotten by history (or maybe they become legendary à la Flying Dutchman).

    Richy on
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  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    I don't see why. Pangea is basically the assumption that people were working under until Columbus. The Romans, Mongols, Chinese, Arabs, they all thought there was only the Euro-Asian-African continent surrounded by a massive ocean and scattered small islands. I don't think there would be any difference whatsoever in human history if it really were the case, up until 1492 when Columbus' expedition starves to death in the middle of the ocean and is forgotten by history (or maybe they become legendary à la Flying Dutchman).

    You don't think the lack of Mediterranean would affect Romans?

    Lack of the Channel affect the British Isles?

    Lack of the Baltic change the dynamics around everything surrounding it?

    Lack of waters around the Greece affect it in relation to Persian Empire?

    Those names are really useless though, because none of them would exist. Alternate history scenarios are launched from far smaller little occurrences. We wouldn't recognize any of the nations and peoples with an unified supercontinent. Not to mention the pre-historic effects on animals, the human species etc. if there was only one continent. Pangaea was 250 million years ago in real life. I would imagine that human exploration and spread would be very different.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pangaea_continents.svg

    India and Australia a walking distance away from the place humanity evolved in for example...

    DarkCrawler on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    I don't see why. Pangea is basically the assumption that people were working under until Columbus. The Romans, Mongols, Chinese, Arabs, they all thought there was only the Euro-Asian-African continent surrounded by a massive ocean and scattered small islands. I don't think there would be any difference whatsoever in human history if it really were the case, up until 1492 when Columbus' expedition starves to death in the middle of the ocean and is forgotten by history (or maybe they become legendary à la Flying Dutchman).

    You don't think the lack of Mediterranean would affect Romans?

    Lack of the Channel affect the British Isles?

    Lack of the Baltic change the dynamics around everything surrounding it?

    Lack of waters around the Greece affect it in relation to Persian Empire?

    Those names are really useless though, because none of them would exist. Alternate history scenarios are launched from far smaller little occurrences. We wouldn't recognize any of the nations and peoples with an unified supercontinent.

    A supercontinent can have internal seas and rivers. It could potentially be identical to either one of the supercontinents we have on Earth right now. In which case the continent's history would be unchanged up to Columbus.

    If Earth's geography was different, then yes of course history would be different, in the sense that we'd have different nations and different empires with different relationships to each other. That's obvious. What's less obvious is why that would make any difference in our technological pace, or why it would make world conquest any more or less difficult or desirable a goal. Navies would be less useful in the case you seem to be assuming where there are no significant internal bodies of water, but land travel would be just as important and would evolve at the same pace. Air travel was not exactly hindered by the fact we used ships before we figured it out.

    As for world conquering empires, while it's true that they were often stopped by geography, they were not stopped purely by the presence of water. They were stopped by mountains, different climates, the presence of richer empires in their way or poorer regions that were simply not worth conquering, or often by lack of communication technology that made it impossible for a central government to expand past a certain point or by a weak king that couldn't keep the empire's power-hungry governors and generals in check. All these things would happen just the same in your Pangaea.

    Richy on
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  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    one What If I've been kicking around:

    What if the Aliens arrive, but they pick China?

    I mean, seriously here. All that space. In China. Their rapid advancement over the last fifty years. Their manufacturing power that the rest of the planet is tied to. And that strong governmental control on the general population. Sounds hella good on a resume to me, if I was from another planet looking to established a trade partner with tangible stability and lots and lots workers to get things done, no matter the scale.

    That would...kind of drive the rest of the world a little crazy, wouldn't it?

    Linespider5 on
  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Does your Pangaea operate under some assumption that all of the tectonic plates on Earth interlock perfectly leaving no room for bodies of water to form? Or that there would be no inland river basins (like the Aral Sea)?

    Because actual Pangaea had an abundance of islands and peninsulas and all sorts of geograpic features we have today.

    Pangaea may have arguably had a large arid deadzone in the middle of the southern portion (like a huge Sahara), which would impede travel like a big ocean. If you want some information on climate projections here you go. It's very difficult to gauge daily conditions and precipitation patterns - especially without very accurate maps. And if you're talking about Pangaea as in Pangaea from 250 million years ago...well then you get to contend with a more volcanically active planet with different atomospheric composition.

    President Rex on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2011
    What if the sky was green instead of blue? How would we ever know where to stop mowing?

    ElJeffe on
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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Or that there would be no inland river basins (like the Aral Sea)?

    I just read the Wikipedia article about this. Holy shit.

    Richy on
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  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    Or that there would be no inland river basins (like the Aral Sea)?

    I just read the Wikipedia article about this. Holy shit.

    Alright, so it's not the best example because USSR-style water management is terrible and implies human civilization in the middle of Pangaea living off an in-land lake would kill themselves off by ruining their own livelihood. But it was the first in-land basin I could think of.

    President Rex on
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    one What If I've been kicking around:

    What if the Aliens arrive, but they pick China?

    I mean, seriously here. All that space. In China. Their rapid advancement over the last fifty years. Their manufacturing power that the rest of the planet is tied to. And that strong governmental control on the general population. Sounds hella good on a resume to me, if I was from another planet looking to established a trade partner with tangible stability and lots and lots workers to get things done, no matter the scale.

    That would...kind of drive the rest of the world a little crazy, wouldn't it?

    You realize the US manufactures significantly more than China?

    But going with your hypothetical situation, what exactly do you imagine the aliens want to "trade" with China for? Presumably they have advanced technology to offer us (they could have arrived in a shockingly primitive generation ship but let's assume the USS Enterprise) but we'd be able to give them exotic plants/animals, valuable resources and/or interesting creative works.

    So if the alien version of Picard is here to set up a trade agreement and it turns out they want Bollywood musicals, Idaho potatoes and copper then no one will really care if their trading base is physically in China.

    Lanlaorn on
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    one What If I've been kicking around:

    What if the Aliens arrive, but they pick China?

    I mean, seriously here. All that space. In China. Their rapid advancement over the last fifty years. Their manufacturing power that the rest of the planet is tied to. And that strong governmental control on the general population. Sounds hella good on a resume to me, if I was from another planet looking to established a trade partner with tangible stability and lots and lots workers to get things done, no matter the scale.

    That would...kind of drive the rest of the world a little crazy, wouldn't it?

    You realize the US manufactures significantly more than China?

    But going with your hypothetical situation, what exactly do you imagine the aliens want to "trade" with China for? Presumably they have advanced technology to offer us (they could have arrived in a shockingly primitive generation ship but let's assume the USS Enterprise) but we'd be able to give them exotic plants/animals, valuable resources and/or interesting creative works.

    So if the alien version of Picard is here to set up a trade agreement and it turns out they want Bollywood musicals, Idaho potatoes and copper then no one will really care if their trading base is physically in China.

    I suppose this does need a little work.

    Maybe the aliens want raw materials? Ore, that sort of stuff? Or just raw power? Is it a commonly held belief that aliens use electricity? I'm just guessing. Maybe they just really, really like coal?

    Let's just imagine a ship the size of the big island in Hawaii comes down and wants stuff and arbitrarily sticks with China. Like,

    China: Um, you're in our airspace

    Aliens: We like your stuff, and as you see, our stuff is cool. How about it?

    China: ...okay. (To the rest of the world) Our new friends have the right to remain in our airspace as long as they abide by our mutual terms for trade and goodwill. Later, suckers.

    And China gets flying cars and the best medical technology on the planet.

    Linespider5 on
  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I alway wondered what it would be like if Earth had Saturn like rings.

    Maybe things wouldn't be much different or perhaps they would have changed religion by being worshipped by ancient people.

    It would look neat anyway.

    mere_immortal on
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  • adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nought wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time seeing why there would be no metal.

    If you want to think about something that unusual, then why not a world that is inside out, where you can see everything with powerful telescopes. And the sun turns off and on like a light bulb in the middle.

    Or just a civilization that evolves on the inside of a Dyson sphere.

    As for a no metal world: what about life which evolves inside the atmosphere of a gas giant?

    Instead of gas giant, how about a neutron star?
    Dragon's Egg is a hard science fiction novel written by Robert Forward and published in 1980. In the story, Dragon's Egg is a neutron star with a surface gravity 67*billion times that of Earth, and inhabited by cheela, intelligent creatures that have the volume of sesame seeds and live a million times faster than humans. Most of the novel, from May to June 2050, chronicles the cheela civilization beginning with its discovery of agriculture to its first face-to-face contact with humans, who are observing the star from orbit.

    Love that book.

    I'm glad somebody else has read those books

    :^:

    adytum on
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    one What If I've been kicking around:

    What if the Aliens arrive, but they pick China?

    I mean, seriously here. All that space. In China. Their rapid advancement over the last fifty years. Their manufacturing power that the rest of the planet is tied to. And that strong governmental control on the general population. Sounds hella good on a resume to me, if I was from another planet looking to established a trade partner with tangible stability and lots and lots workers to get things done, no matter the scale.

    That would...kind of drive the rest of the world a little crazy, wouldn't it?

    You realize the US manufactures significantly more than China?

    But going with your hypothetical situation, what exactly do you imagine the aliens want to "trade" with China for? Presumably they have advanced technology to offer us (they could have arrived in a shockingly primitive generation ship but let's assume the USS Enterprise) but we'd be able to give them exotic plants/animals, valuable resources and/or interesting creative works.

    So if the alien version of Picard is here to set up a trade agreement and it turns out they want Bollywood musicals, Idaho potatoes and copper then no one will really care if their trading base is physically in China.

    I suppose this does need a little work.

    Maybe the aliens want raw materials? Ore, that sort of stuff? Or just raw power? Is it a commonly held belief that aliens use electricity? I'm just guessing. Maybe they just really, really like coal?

    Let's just imagine a ship the size of the big island in Hawaii comes down and wants stuff and arbitrarily sticks with China. Like,

    China: Um, you're in our airspace

    Aliens: We like your stuff, and as you see, our stuff is cool. How about it?

    China: ...okay. (To the rest of the world) Our new friends have the right to remain in our airspace as long as they abide by our mutual terms for trade and goodwill. Later, suckers.

    And China gets flying cars and the best medical technology on the planet.

    Well in that case we'd nuke China I guess. But if the aliens wanted coal the US would win so hard, we have huge amounts of the stuff.

    Lanlaorn on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    Well in that case we'd nuke China I guess. But if the aliens wanted coal the US would win so hard, we have huge amounts of the stuff.
    Or, you know, we could just trade with China. And use the UN to pressure China into sharing its spoils. And secretly figure out a way to contact the aliens and cajole them into dealing with us instead of China. And steal some of the alien technology from Chinese hands and reverse-engineer it.

    There are lots of things we could do before nuking China.

    Richy on
    sig.gif
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I dunno, when Linespider mentioned flying cars and "later suckers" it seemed to imply such a degree of technological gifting that the rest of the world would become suddenly irrelevant. Plus UN pressure is worthless even today.

    I mean my first reply to this topic explicitly said "who cares where they set up shop if the things they want come from your region, you're going to come out on top". So yes, trade with the aliens despite where they landed is option #1. But if he's outlining a scenario where the aliens irrationally like the people living on this particular patch of land to the exclusion of all others, then yea I think removing the people from that patch of land suddenly becomes in every other nation's best interest.

    Lanlaorn on
  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    one What If I've been kicking around:

    What if the Aliens arrive, but they pick China?

    I mean, seriously here. All that space. In China. Their rapid advancement over the last fifty years. Their manufacturing power that the rest of the planet is tied to. And that strong governmental control on the general population. Sounds hella good on a resume to me, if I was from another planet looking to established a trade partner with tangible stability and lots and lots workers to get things done, no matter the scale.

    That would...kind of drive the rest of the world a little crazy, wouldn't it?

    You realize the US manufactures significantly more than China?

    But going with your hypothetical situation, what exactly do you imagine the aliens want to "trade" with China for? Presumably they have advanced technology to offer us (they could have arrived in a shockingly primitive generation ship but let's assume the USS Enterprise) but we'd be able to give them exotic plants/animals, valuable resources and/or interesting creative works.

    So if the alien version of Picard is here to set up a trade agreement and it turns out they want Bollywood musicals, Idaho potatoes and copper then no one will really care if their trading base is physically in China.

    We don't know for sure they will be more advanced. Perhaps intergalactic travel is stupidly easy once you figure out how. We just haven't figured out how because of a human kind wide brain fart. Once the aliens land in their steam powered rusty space ships, we will all be blushing I tell you!

    Siska on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Don't you kinda run the risk of pissing off the aliens, and if you failed, which is likely if the aliens intervened in the genocide of their pet culture, wouldn't it kinda be economically ruinous? If aliens with the technology to cross the vastness between the stars, there probably isn't that much we could do to them or their chosen agents.

    We'd have to get very lucky with a first strike. If it succeeded, we'd have some pissed of aliens and we'd loose a wealth of technology it would probably take us centuries to gain on our own. If we failed, we'd end up fighting a horrifically asymmetrical war and the economic results would probably lead to massive starvation.

    Honestly, I think our best bet would be to convince the Chinese that a benevolent post-national global society is preferable to despotism and imperialism.


    All that only makes sense if the Aliens are strangely partial to some party. The aliens have crossed light years and are shipping everything up out of a gravity well. Unless they are using a railgun, or something, for that I don't see why they would care about where on our tiny little speck of sand resources are located or why they would want to give anyone exclusive trading rights. That means there would be no completion for their business and they could only obtain what china produced.

    redx on
    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
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