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United Nations Names Ambassador To Aliens

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-cushy-job dept.

Space 306

Shag writes "Although searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have thus far come up empty-handed, the United Nations appears to be preparing for eventual 'first contact.' Many media outlets are carrying the story that Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist who heads the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna — already charged with things like keeping track of satellites to prevent Kessler Syndrome and coordinating the international response to any earth-impacting asteroids — will be the first person to meet with aliens if they do show up." Update: 09/27 16:42 GMT by S : Looks like this one's too good to be true — in an email to The Guardian, Othman said, "It sounds really cool but I have to deny it."

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306 comments

The wrong man (4, Funny)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711228)

Why doesn't the UN nominate one of those guys living in the backwoods to be the Ambassador to aliens? It seems to me that those guys are the people who seem to be getting abducted by aliens the most, not well-known astrophysicists.

Re:The wrong man (4, Informative)

odies (1869886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711392)

The wrong man? Mazlan is a woman.

Re:The wrong man (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711922)

She should read(*) Solaris by Stanislaw Lem.

(*) Yes, read the book - the movies (except the one by Boris Nirnburg from 1968) have little to do with what the book is about.

Who wants.... (2)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711550)

The question was...Who wants to be first in line to melted/eaten/death rayed/vaporized/exposed to space herpes?

I think I'd hate that job (3, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711690)

Now that you mention it, don't most of those contacts also involve anal probing with dildo-shaped implements, mutilating cattle and apparently making crop circles for the heck of it?

I mean, I can imagine a thousand Martian redneck hillbilies going,

"Hey, Billy Joe Bob, it says here them Earthlings have a new ambers.. am... contact person."
"What's one of those do, Bubba?"
"Way I figures it, Billy Joe Bob, it means we gots to meet her when we goes down there."
"But we was gonna do some crop circling and mutilate some of those strange animals they keep around. Do ya figure she's gonna help us with that?"
"Nope, probably not."
"Right, I'll fire up the ol' anal probe then."
"Careful back there, Billy Joe Bob, I just bought us the Jackhammer probe upgrade. Don't wreck nuthing with it."

I mean, why not just get the goatse guy as the ambassador?

Re:The wrong man (3, Funny)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711726)

I personally think a man like him is the perfect one for the job. Maybe he'll be able to amuse the aliens with our meager understanding of rudimentary physics, prompting them to keep us alive as their cute pets or even just live historical specimens instead of just eating us all or something.

Re:The wrong man (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711796)

Quoth Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] (linked from TFS):

Mazlan Binti Othman is a Malaysian astrophysicist who has served in several roles within her country

Quoth SpeedyDX:

I personally think a man like him is the perfect one for the job.

Tip for aliens visiting Earth: Humans have two genders, and it can be embarrassing if you confuse them.

Re:The wrong man (1)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711920)

That's exactly what I'm talking about. That kind of stupidity will get you eaten alive. Aren't you glad they didn't choose me?

Re:The wrong man (4, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712192)

That's exactly what I'm talking about. That kind of stupidity will get you eaten alive.

That reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw. It read: "When the aliens come, I hope they eat the FAT people first!"

I'm sure somebody got their panties in a wad over that one.

Do they know (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711272)

Do they know more than we do? Should we be expecting, "first" contact soon?

Re:Do they know (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711354)

My bets for official first contact are sometime in December of 2012.

Re:Do they know (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711484)

more likely it is the bureaucracy of the UN planning for every contingency, and establishing a hierarchy of who's in charge if something happens.

If aliens were to show up, and land in China or the US I cannot seriously envision a situation where they would defer to the UN ambassador to make first contact. However if they show up in somewhere with less bravado, and less scientists, they might have to go along with the UN or at the very least the UN would be fairly heavily involved in making sure they get as many representatives as they can there.

Re:Do they know (2, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712412)

So I suppose Cheyenne Mountain really has a stargate and some other one is in the middle of Siberia where the IOA has finally decided to "go public" and at least appoint a red shirt extra that is going to head off in an official capacity to negotiate the peace treaty terms with the Goa'uld System Lords. If the war in Afghanistan is merely to mask the huge expenses for fighting an interstellar war conducted by NATO members, perhaps this world is finally beginning to make sense.

Seriously, of all of the hairbrained and stupid things that the UN has ever done in all of the years I've been alive, this has got to be one of the most insane bureaucracies to do nothing that I have ever seen. If or when mankind starts to wander around in the greater part of this galaxy, and presuming that some other sentient life form with advanced weapon technology happens to also be "out there" that could be a genuine threat to the Earth is found, and presuming that those "aliens" happen to be at roughly similar levels of develop as we will be when that encounter happens, perhaps an office like this will be needed.

If the aliens we discover happen to be "human-like" but are at a stone age level of technology, it will be trivial to deal with them and certainly they will be no threat. If on the other hand they are hugely more advanced and somehow have hyper drive technology but we are puttzing around the Galaxy in Bussard ram-jets.... we'll simply get wiped out except for the benevolence of this supposed alien race. Either way, an ambassador is not going to be needed. BTW, encountering an alien race with either kind of situation I mention here would still be considered "close" in terms of evolutionary development from a larger universal time perspective. We would be lucky to encounter multi-cellular life forms of any kind or a non-corporeal life form where the technological differences would be absolutely moot. I bet most "habitable worlds" with life are mostly a variation of bacterial sludge and algae.

That doesn't make for exciting science fiction, but having an astronaut spend a 50 year trip between stars to investigate a planet with water oceans only to discover a bunch of slime covering rocks and getting sick from some critter on that world is about the most drama I expect mankind to ever find with aliens in the next couple of millennia... if only we would be so lucky to even find such life forms in the first place.

Time is going to be on our side regardless and we will likely have months or even years to appoint such a representative if an ambassador of this nature is ever encountered. It sounds like some idiot has been watching too many Science Fiction movies and can't distinguish reality from fiction. This is an absolutely stupid thing for any planner and it is by far and away more important to send an ambassador to Sealand or one of the other micronations on the behalf of the UN rather than preparing for something like this.

Re:Do they know (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712600)

This is just bureaucracy in general.
Keeps track of satellites? Funny but I would have bet that was NORAD.
This guy is somebodies buddy and is getting a nice paycheck.
Frankly if they land in US, the UK, France, Brasil, China, Australia, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, or any number of other nations I don't see them saying.. Just wait here while we check with the UN.

Re:Do they know (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711562)

Dam i would love it, at best maybe the alien's supremacy and visit would be somewhat similar to the movie 'The day the earth stood still" and demand the USA to stop their wars and attrocities, demand Israel to behave and get back into its 1948 borders, stop the new Honduras military regime to stay in power, and other human primate retarded behaviours, and simply state, choose to evolve in peace among us, or die for your mistakes.

Re:Do they know (4, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712230)

So you are in agreement that a larger, more powerful outside force should use their power to force sovereigns to meet their demands and social mores or die.

So what's your beef with US foreign policy, other than sheer hypocrisy?

"charged with keeping track of satellites" (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711312)

Except that it is the US Air Force that actually does the job.

Re:"charged with keeping track of satellites" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712610)

The US Air Force is just a small part of the UN Air Force.

No he won't (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711316)

They may have appointed him as the official contact person, but in the event it does happen, nobody really knows how and where first contact will happen. It might very well be with a farmer in the middle of nowhere, or with a penguin in the arctic.

Re:No he won't (2, Interesting)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711450)

When the Alien utters the phrase "TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER" we know where to send it to.

Yes, she will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711966)

And actually say: Sorry-lah, Rosmah is still doing her hair. Can you please wait for a minute or two?

Re:No he won't (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711784)

I would say if an Alien race were to make contact with us they would have studied our language so they can properly communicate with us. Otherwise first contact would be them crashing or making an emergency landing.

Re:No he won't (1, Insightful)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712178)

I don't take the time to learn the communication of cattle, chicken, or fish before I eat them. And other animals learn though pain and praise when we train them. So unless earth is marked as a intergalactic nature preserve, expect to be dinner or slaves.

Re:No he won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712450)

Since you know people have already devoted their lives to attempting this already, it is not worth your time.

Re:No he won't (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711806)

And it is all well and good to elect someone to be the first person to speak with them. But if they ever did show up it would be such an important event that I would not be surprised if someone important like the leader of the country they land in takes over the job.

Re:No he won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711830)

They should appointed someone with some multi-language skills. What language we should assume the aliens will speak?

Re:No he won't (2, Funny)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712308)

They should appointed someone with some multi-language skills. What language we should assume the aliens will speak?

English, obviously. Just like in the movies. Aliens watch movies too I'd assume.

Re:No he won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712018)

I know, nobody will be. We're too far away for it to ever happen.

Re:No he won't (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712156)

They may have appointed him as the official contact person, but in the event it does happen, nobody really knows how and where first contact will happen. It might very well be with a farmer in the middle of nowhere

It generally has been so far.

Re:No he won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712362)

If and when aliens make contact we are all going to become pets. So it deosnt really matter who is in charge. You just better hope you are interesting enough to not be put down. :(

they will give a book called To Serve Man (4, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711344)

they will give a book called To Serve Man

Re:they will give a book called To Serve Man (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711472)

To Serve FOR Man

So it's OUR decision? (3, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711346)

Isn't it more likely any aliens will pick whomever THEY want?

Re:So it's OUR decision? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711632)

How will they know?

If WE landed somewhere and found alien life, would we know enough to say "I'd like to speak to Jim, please"?

No we'd probably say something like "Take me to your leader" Which is where you are brought before the UN council with someone already appointed to mediate the conference.

Re:So it's OUR decision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712006)

Wait, the aliens have a UN too?

Re:So it's OUR decision? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712468)

The UN is leader of what precisely? I mean in all seriousness, the main reason that the UN lacks credibility is that it has basically no say in anything. Except in the rare case where there's agreement to do the least possible task applicable to the situation.

Someone with experience instead? (4, Funny)

MalHavoc (590724) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711370)

I guess it depends on how you want the first meeting to go, but maybe Jodi Foster or Sigourney Weaver would have been better choices. Or Ahhhnold. But he has to get to the chopper.

Re:Someone with experience instead? (2, Funny)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711426)

Are you saying Aliens might be more susceptible to T&A?

Re:Someone with experience instead? (4, Funny)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712096)

Are you saying Aliens might be more susceptible to T&A?

Isn't everybody?

I'm not sure we get to decide (3, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711386)

If extraterrestrial life forms (biological or mechanical) would decide to come here I'm pretty sure they'd have the means to scan the planet and meet up with whoever they damn well please.

We already have UAVs that are pretty impressive. I'm sure a swarm of intelligence gathering bots the size of insects are not an issue for someone with the capacity for intrastellar travel. I'm guessing they'd pick somewhere remote without huge crowds people bothering them as they attempt to make first contact.

Or then they'd just kill us all and turn us into fertilizer, who knows?

Re:I'm not sure we get to decide (2, Interesting)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711502)

Everyone assumes aliens will be far more technologically superior to us. If we happened on an Alien planet with prehistorical man, our UAVs still wouldn't be able to tell who their leader is.

Re:I'm not sure we get to decide (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711818)

Everyone assumes aliens will be far more technologically superior to us. If we happened on an Alien planet with prehistorical man, our UAVs still wouldn't be able to tell who their leader is.

And coincidentally enough, we are not capable of interstellar travel.

If your intention was to refute the idea that a civilization capable of interstellar travel would have technology that makes our UAVs look like primitive toys, you have not succeeded.

Re:I'm not sure we get to decide (2, Funny)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712196)

If we happened on an Alien planet with prehistorical man, our UAVs still wouldn't be able to tell who their leader is.

He'd be the one with all the hot cavechicks around him.

Re:I'm not sure we get to decide (2, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712302)

Only two choices. Either they have the technology and cultural stability to make a multi-thousand year journey in an arkship or they have the AI to create a self repairing, self directing, maybe even self reproducing probe (and all of those take quite a bit of problem analysis and creativity). Either way, they should have the patience and ability to wait around a few centuries or even millenia to learn all about our culture, politics, and languages. The former would actually be more mind blowing in my opinion; could you imagine putting humans on a hollowed out asteroid for 50k years and expecting them to be alive at the end of it? The idea of an intelligent machine is much less interesting to me than a race that can live in a tiny enclosed space with limited resources for thousands of years without killing each other in the process.

Besides, I dispute that our UAVs wouldn't be able to determine who is the leader, because the systems that comprise our UAVs includes several humans in the loop. Everyone from the pilot to the intelligence analyst to the commanding officer would review the images for clues. It stands to reason that any completely autonomous UAV (which ours are not) would need to have a similar level of intelligence and problem solving abilities.

Re:I'm not sure we get to decide (1)

muntis (1503471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711842)

Haven't you plaid Civ? Maybe they pushed on interstellar travel tech tree not AI. No one says that our (earthlings) technological development course is only one.

Baby Steps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711448)

One more baby step closer to admitting that ET is already here and has been for a very, very long time. Can't cause panic in the streets and all of that...

Though, ET is not a biological being from another planet that somehow spanned vast distances to get here. ET is quite a bit stranger than that. I'd say the word that applies is "extradimensional" not "extraterrestrial". How else did you suppose the UFOs could perform right-angle turns at such speeds that the G-forces alone should have killed any living occupants? Simple. They can bend the rules of physics because they are not quite in our reality.

The beings themselves are shapeshifters because they're not so tied to a physical form. They are the spirits, faeries, trolls, will o' the wisps, and other beings people have seen for a long time. They are the "sons of heaven" who came down and interbred with the "daughters of man" as mentioned in Genesis. They are the djinn as mentioned in the Koran, whom God formed from "smokeless fire" (i.e. energetic and not material) whereas God formed man from the dust of the earth. All of these old myths, fables and legends have a consistency for a good reason.

FYI, most of the abductions are actually out-of-body experiences. While I don't doubt that they could take someone bodily it's a crude and inefficient method that would leave too much physical evidence. I don't know if the ETs can pull someone out of their body or if they just take advantage of the fact that the "dream state" comes from leaving your body naturally during sleep but I suspect both are true. One side effect of their meddling is sleep paralysis, which happens when the body is unconscious but the mind is conscious and finds it cannot move an unconscious body.

Re:Baby Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711504)

DERP DERP DERP

Re:Baby Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711648)

+1 Insightful

Re:Baby Steps (4, Funny)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711598)

That's very interesting Caller, but tonight we are talking about how and why Kenny Rogers was behind the Kennedy Assassination. Next we have a Clyde from east of the Rockies. You're on Caller.

Re:Baby Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711936)

That's very interesting Caller, but tonight we are talking about how and why Kenny Rogers was behind the Kennedy Assassination. Next we have a Clyde from east of the Rockies. You're on Caller.

Now you're talking!

Let's put one of the hosts of Coast to Coast AM in the place of this brainiac. Art Bell (past host) or George Noory (present). would jump at the chance. Failing them; why not Howard Stern.

Re:Baby Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711916)

dude seriously,

you are showing the signs of schizophrenic paranoia - seek professional help. no really.

first contact team (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711456)

The best first contact team is clearly an egotistical mathematician, an even more egotistical physicist, a biologist with clinical depression and low self-esteem, and lastly a psychologist that doesn't take his job seriously. We just have to hope the aliens aren't spherical or that the contact is made under water.

Where do I apply? (1)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711488)

Umm, just in case the aliens do decide to land openly in my lifetime, anyone got a link as to where I send my resume to join his team?

You know... just in case... not that it's going to happen tomorrow or anything... really....

Bollocks. (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711594)

This guy's appointment is bollocks.

You really think if Aliens show up you'd be able to stop attention whores like Berlusconi and Sarkozy finding it in themselves to stop humping Obama's leg for a moment and running off to meet these aliens and declare their love for all species terrestrial and extra terrestrial? That's if they managed to beat Ahmadinejad there as he rushes to greet them with the insistence that they're muslim and clearly want all zionists to die.

No, this guy would likely be left in the dust as the worlds drama queens and attention whores rush to proclaim themselves as the voice of planet Earth.

Likely, this rush of the worlds arseholes towards them would probably make them jump back in their ship and fly straight back to the planet zog or whatever long before he got chance to meet them.

This is probably just one of those things public sector organisations like the various UN bodies tend to do to justify payrises. Fill in the public sector pay form as needed to calculate pay:

[] Manager of 10 or more people +$2,000
[] Financial responsibility +$1,000
[] Project planning responsibility +$1,000
[] Intergalactic relations responsibility +$50,000

The various state actors running our countries couldn't pass off an opportunity for something like this to someone no one's heard of even if the aliens in question were more of the Alien vs. Predator kind and their lives depended on it.

Re:Bollocks. (1)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711970)

Ummm, he's a she. Just letting you know. It's polite to offer a female into the breeding program early on in the getting to know your intergalactic neighbors.

Re:Bollocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712164)

Yes, it is.
But, for heaven's sake, if you bothered to read anything around here, I REDUNDANTLY repeat that he is a she.

Still some time until April 5, 2063 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711650)

Aren't they doing this a bit early considering it is still almost 53 years until first contact will occur?

Re:Still some time until April 5, 2063 (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712562)

Aren't they doing this a bit early considering it is still almost 53 years until first contact will occur?

What are you talking about? An alien starship crash-landed on an island in the south pacific eleven years ago. It's been reconstructed and relaunched as our most powerful warship; we had a brief war with an overwhelmingly powerful alien army, and life on the surface of the Earth was almost completely obliterated back in March.

cars (5, Funny)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711684)

How do they know the alien will want to make first contact with a human instead of some other life form? Presumably its first instinct will be to reach out to a moving car as the obvious dominant life form.

Re:cars (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711950)

If an alien species came to us, then it either is native to outer space, or got here by some sort of spaceship. Assuming the latter, the alien species obviously also is using transportation devices, and should have no trouble recognizing our cars as transportation just as we should have no trouble recognizing its spaceship as transportation. They'd likely find the person behind the wheel more interesting than the car. As long as they find the land most interesting, based on the human technological footprint on the planet, they likely would choose to contact humans. However, if they love water, they may well choose to contact a dolphin first.

Gn4a (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711716)

of user base for recruitment, but took precedence in posting a GNAA being GAY NIGGERS. Of reality. Keep may do, may not to say there have How it was supposed many users of BSD FreeBSD project, itself backwards, to place a paper channel #GNNA on officers. Others Is dying. Fact: distribution. As and sling or table AMERICA) is the had become like rivalry. While told reporters, similarly grisly

Mistake (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711720)

I'm no rocket scientist, but I for one would feel safer if we put a stripper in charge of greeting the aliens.

Cushy job (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711752)

Othman: "Well, good, now I'm the Ambassador to Aliens. Sure, it's a useless title, but it's still a title, meaning I'm getting extra pay from the UN, and I get a say on the way things are run. Not much of a say, but still, extra pay and recognition for doing nothing? Now THAT'S a cushy job, I say! Guess I can take it easy from here on out. I mean, it's not like I'm going to have to do anything about..."

(looks outside, flying saucers start landing)

Othman: "Aw, son of a..."

Who has most experience & knowledge? (4, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711766)

Clearly the person with the most experience and knowledge of aliens is: Sigourney Weaver

Re:Who has most experience & knowledge? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712498)

Clearly the person with the most experience and knowledge of aliens is: Sigourney Weaver

Yeah, she was in "Avatar", after all... ...Though, she died, didn't she?

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711772)

Mrs. Othman is proposing that she be in charge of first contact. It's a proposal at this point, and it hasn't risen above the point of self-hype. No one has been appointed, no debates have occurred.

I don't see it. (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711776)

If they set off from the closest sun-like star (18 Scorpi, 46 light years) right now, at the maximum speed we have achieved in space flight (62000km/h - Voyager 1) they would be here in approximately 80,000 years. That long ago, we were using pointy sticks to hunt and living in caves.

Even if they increased their speed by three orders of magnitude, they would no longer be a representation of their own species. First contact with an alien civilisation a century out of time with itself. That's akin to someone coming out of a cave right now, having waked in when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

I don't see it.

Re:I don't see it. (2, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712076)

You kind of think inside the human box. I realize our current understanding of the universe and physics puts maximum travel speed at what you specified, or even somewhat close to the speed of light. But I'm kind of assuming that in 200-500 years from now, our understanding will be fundamentally different, and we will find ways that seem extremely impossible right now to travel great distances at faster speeds. I guess that sounds like a sci-fi argument, but I just don't really think our understanding of spacetime and physics is very good at the moment.

Re:I don't see it. (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712270)

If they set off from the closest sun-like star (18 Scorpi, 46 light years) right now, at the maximum speed we have achieved in space flight (62000km/h - Voyager 1) they would be here in approximately 80,000 years. That long ago, we were using pointy sticks to hunt and living in caves.

Even if they increased their speed by three orders of magnitude, they would no longer be a representation of their own species. First contact with an alien civilisation a century out of time with itself. That's akin to someone coming out of a cave right now, having waked in when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

I don't see it.

Cat changed, but Lister was still a regular guy.

Re:I don't see it. (1)

KublaKhan1797 (1240934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712364)

You are assuming "they" would be coming here to meet us. Earth has been able to sustain life for a lot longer than 80,000 years, more than sufficient for anyone advanced enough to notice. I know it's folly speculate on the reasoning of an alien species but a life sustaining world might just be interesting enough for them to come looking. I know we would love to find out how life had developed on a different planet.

Just curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711804)

How good does this "Mazlan Othman" taste? Why do I ask? I'm just curious, that's all...

A taste of Asia (1)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711910)

I can't wait until she boards the mother ship under the guise as an ambassador, only to realize she's nothing more than a taste test offering to our new overlords.

Science? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711924)

But does science not basically say: yes their is most likely a lot of life out their, but with with the maximum speed being light and with the planets so far away we are unlikely to find any unless we have expanded to many many planets and long distance space flight become common (meaning most likely thousands of years from now minimum).
Thoe we or them could just get lucky and some of the first planets we try could have life. But at least for us that will not likely be for a few hundred years and it would almost certainly be unmanned.

But then if we have the chance, no matter how small, of discovering alien life within a few hundred years then their is no reason that an Alien civilization could not do it with us right now.

Huh (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711964)

They seem to have covered for themselves. If an alien spoke to me somehow, I'd warn them of the overall stupidity of our race and tell them that the humans will likely just betray them in the end for whatever stupid reason they can come up with when they're done using them (and hope the aliens aren't the same way). Honestly, though, I think that any life form intelligent enough to build technology capable of traversing such huge distances would be more than intelligent enough to stay away from such an idiotic species.

Lady in question is denying it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33711974)

The Guardian [guardian.co.uk] apparently got an email from her: ""It sounds really cool but I have to deny it," she said of the story.". Whether that's "I have to admit it's not true because it isn't" or "I have to admit it's not true because I've been told to" is a different matter I guess.

Ok question: (5, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33711994)

Why would aliens intrinsiclly meet with humans?

We are one of the smallest lifeforms by population. If the majority lifeform "rules" the planet it would strike me as odd that aliens would consider us the owners of the planet mearly by virtual of intelligence. If anything there is the possibility they would see us as an unfair blight of a minority species taking a vastly significant share of real estate from the bulk of lifeforms. They might go so far as to cull the herd to ensure the bulk of the lifeforms have a porportional access to Earth. Since we are less then 1% of the lifeforms on Earth, why assume we would get much of a say.

As much as I disliked the Day the Earth Stood Still remake they make a great point. Bate's character says "It's our planet, we own it" in which Neo... err I mean Klatus bluntly states, "uhhh no."

If I were an intelligent alien, I would abduct humans and try and find a way to make them less destructive to an environment they are a marginal, by % of life, participant in. Or at the very least greatly restrict their ability to breed.

It would stike me as more intelligent to survey the bulk of lifeforms and find out what the majority needs to continue to survive. While not intelligent I would expect an ambassador for "those that cannot speak for themselves" to have been appointed who subsequently surveys the ecosystem as a whole.

It is hard to claim Earth has human-kind's personal planet when A: We don't manage it very well and B: are a tiny fraction of the population.

Intelligence doesn't confer ownership, it mandates responsibility in which by and large we have done a poor job so far.

Re:Ok question: (2, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712186)

Why would aliens intrinsiclly meet with humans?

Because of our great spelling skills, and furthermore we're the best at rishathra, or so I read. If that woman ever reads the ringworld books, its gonna be awkward.

Aliens are not green...most of them (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712202)

Most aliens are not green. Most of them have skin color like us. Some even look exactly like us, but there internal works differently.

I am not saying that because I am Star Trek / Babylon 5 / Sci-fi fan. A common form for humanoids is that of the human race, to some extended. I am sure there are other forms too. Like insectoids, reptileloids and so forward.

I also want to make it clear that I am not one of those crazy UFO hunters. Those people are crazy. It is also a fact that dish looking space ship is quite bad for flying and stuff like that.

I did consider posting Anonymously. But dedicated to go against it. Even if I might get a little bit ridiculed in coming comments.

UFO Deception (1)

knowthetruth (1779554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712248)

It is essential for everyone to know the truth behind the UFO deception. Please find out more from the following links: http://www.thebereancall.org/node/5840 [thebereancall.org] http://www.letusreason.org/NAM24.htm [letusreason.org] http://www.crossroad.to/text/search_results.html?cx=015736079649539019301%3A-bdcqxfnx98&cof=FORID%3A11&q=UFO&sa=Search&siteurl=www.crossroad.to%2Ftext%2Fsearch.html [crossroad.to] http://www.understandthetimes.org/ [understandthetimes.org]

This is good for when first contact is made public (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712408)

This is good for when info about aliens goes public - In the mean time, first contact will continue to be conducted under the auspices of UNIT...

Nothing to see here ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33712484)

She is actually the person responsible for a huge hype in our country, when the male part-time model Muszaphar Shukor followed Mark Shuttleworth (and a number of others) as a space tourist; only to be known as an 'astronaut', and the first Malaysian astronaut by the Malaysian population. Mazlan Othman had actually been in charge to bump up a trip financed by the Malaysian tax payer, to a full-fledged astronautic experience. At least in the eyes of the Malaysians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Muszaphar_Shukor [wikipedia.org] gives the details.

And we should care, why? (1, Flamebait)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33712530)

The U.N. is a joke. Corruption, brutal regimes named to civil rights posts, IPCC. I mean seriously, this is the job I want. Sit around collecting a check for something that will not happen in my lifetime.
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