OT: A New Planet in our Solar System!!!

Submitted by FauxMo on January 20th, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Apparently, we have a new 9th planet to replace demoted Pluto, Planet X!




It is much further away from Earth than Pluto (and may take as many as 10,000 years to circle the Sun), but it is also much larger than Pluto. In my mind, this scientifically confirms what men have long feared....size matters....



January 20th, 2016 at 11:04 AM ^

1. The universe is a freaking huge place (i heard one estimate that there are likely more inhabitable planets in the universe than there are grains of sand on all of the beaches on Earth. Wrap your mind around that for a moment).


2. I am 99.9% certain, however, that we do NOT want to meet whatever else is out there, at least should they have the technology to come find us. I am in the Stephen Hawking camp. We need to shut up and lay reallllyyyyy low until we are much more technology advanced. At that point, however, we will probably have transcended biology and will be just artificial brains living in artificial nanotechnology shells. So, you know, whatevs!


January 20th, 2016 at 11:24 AM ^

Of course that may be right, and of course no one knows. But if you read some of the best new work coming out on the intersection of AI and possible alien life, it is really quite frightening. A substantially older civilization capable of visiting us will almost certainly have developed AI. If so, they will have also almost certain transcended biology, and their intelligence will be greater than the combined intelligence of every human that has ever lived on this planet. And given that super-intelligent non-biological entities are almost certain to have priorities and perspectives that we cannot even begin to understand, the "meeting" between us and them would be absolutely unpredictable, and could be devastating. Imagine: They arrive, do their best to communicate with us, but our primitiveness leads them to believe we aren't even sentient in a meaningful way (like us and ants), at which point they flatten our planet for their own purposes...


January 20th, 2016 at 11:54 AM ^

Why, I am glad you asked! If you want a primer on this stuff, and this is the best I have ever read (I am NOT an expert in this area, but love this stuff), read these three long blog posts in order:




At the bottom of the last blog post is a very good list of references. I have not read them all, but several of them.

Also, this article is directly addressing the "aliens as non-biological entities" topic, and is very good: http://schneiderwebsite.com/Susan_Schneiders_Website/Research_files/Sch…


January 20th, 2016 at 4:26 PM ^

(James Barrat) touches on some of this stuff too.  I don't buy his whole thesis, but I found it interesting enough to read twice. His discussion of Super AI (so AI that is self-improving) was fascinating and sobering.

I like waitbutwhy as well--will check out those posts.


January 20th, 2016 at 11:56 AM ^

If the hypothetical civilization has advanced to the point of just consciousness, shouldn't they be able to figure out that this 'human' civilization though primitive, is progressing along the path they themselves have progressed? I am assuming that once a civilization makes the leap from physical forms to consciousness, they are able to remember their history and have transcended from little kids stomping ants to a matured person having pets (better than being stomped on, I think). 


January 20th, 2016 at 1:40 PM ^

This has been my exact thoughts for decades.

We should not be searching for other life (I believe it naive to believe there IS NOT life out there, and lots of it!). Because much of the life that IS out there is technoligically well beyond us and they are to us as we are to ants.

No need to raise a flag and begin waiving it pointing out a resource rich planet.


January 20th, 2016 at 5:09 PM ^

it could be really rudimentary. Ever notice that whenever scientists search for signs of extraterrestrial life they look for single-cell lifeforms?

Still, I think it's not a bad idea to clean up our act / spacejunk, be a little more intentional on what kind of soundwaves / frequencies we're putting out there, and maybe not be waving a big towel-flag...  

On the whole, tho: no need to panic.