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100/1 Odds On 'First Contact' Within a Year

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the cross-your-fingers dept.

Space 309

astroengine writes "After all the kerfuffle of 'Ambassadorgate' — when the UK media went nuts over the rumored promotion of Mazlan Othman to become the UN's first choice as mankind's alien point of contact — it would appear that gamblers saw this as a tip that an alien landing was imminent."

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Let me be the first to say... (3, Insightful)

Mastadex (576985) | about 4 years ago | (#33734978)

Bullshit.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (4, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 4 years ago | (#33735006)

What a waste of an opportunity for a f1rst c0ntact post. Damn, and I even rushed over while the headline was still red!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735072)

mod this up. mod down first poster for the fail.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33735092)

And if it's realy true, then those must be some very knowledgeable, but very stupid aliens.

They have zero stealth. So if they came here to fight then we'll most certainly kick their ass (if they have ass, but hey...).

Re:Let me be the first to say... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735140)

oh they have an ass. a tasty h0t ass

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735222)

The ants in the ant pile see us coming; what shall we ever do? Certainly their massed forces will defeat us, mere puny humans with our ant killing poison!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33735366)

And what if tommorow we would find a trick for deep space travel. Would that make us suddenly uber awesome?

Why would you even think aliens were so extremely smart?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735512)

Because if they're not smart enough to develop interstellar travel (which we still haven't), then we'll never see them because they can't come to Earth anyway...

No matter what, they'll be technologically superior, simply because they'd have to be capable of traveling here in the first place.

Of course, I still agree with the first post. I call bullshit.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

toastar (573882) | about 4 years ago | (#33735762)

Because if they're not smart enough to develop interstellar travel (which we still haven't), then we'll never see them because they can't come to Earth anyway...

No matter what, they'll be technologically superior, simply because they'd have to be capable of traveling here in the first place.

Of course, I still agree with the first post. I call bullshit.

While I don't disagree with the First Post... I do disagree with your supposition that they will significantly superior technologically.

you probably haven't read Turtledove's Worldwar series?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

macson_g (1551397) | about 4 years ago | (#33735948)

Yeah, and birds (and reptiles) are technologically superior because they 'developed' controlled flight gazillion years before we did.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 4 years ago | (#33735670)

All I know is, watch out if they show up offering us a bunch of blankets. We know that trick.

-Steve

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

eln (21727) | about 4 years ago | (#33735356)

If they have vastly superior firepower, they won't need stealth. If first contact was established, for example, by way of some planet-destroying weapon that instantly blew us all to atoms, stealth probably wouldn't come into play.

Honestly, though, I find speculation about this sort of thing to be highly amusing but ultimately pointless. We know essentially nothing about what alien life might look or act like, so you could literally speculate almost anything and have just as much chance of being right as the next guy. For all we know a visiting alien race might not even view us as being sentient enough to bother with and would either completely ignore us or treat us like we treat chimps. Sure, we like to study them and see if we can teach them any cool tricks, but we're not likely to try to set up high-level diplomatic relations with them. Our own sense of superiority compels us to imagine aliens would at least be interested in talking with us, or at least trying to exterminate us. We never really consider the idea that aliens might not care about us enough to do either of those things.

Of course, that's all pointless speculation based on no real data as well, so who knows.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33735398)

If they have atom destroyers then you wouldn't even remotely care about nuclear weapons, now would they? :')

Yes it's pointless, but hey it's fun, like most things here on /.; utterly pointless but entertaining ;)

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735746)

UHhh, nuclear weapons ARE atom destroyers!!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33735878)

If they have spaceships and can enter or leave the planet without having a giant operation like NASA then they will utterly kick our ass even if they dont have weapons.

They can go and throw really big rocks at us and we cant do anything but play catch.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33735404)

What? or they just grab a large rock and hurl it at us at a very high velocity. If you can travel interstellar distance, then destroying life on a planet is pretty trivial.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#33735450)

That would be both extremely low tech and high tech at the same time and extremely brilliant, sir ;)

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 4 years ago | (#33735546)

My God, they've been reading E.E. Doc Smith Galactic Patrol Series. If they do this with inertia-less drives we are doomed.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33735144)

No, all "100 to one odds" means in this context is if you bet a dollar they'll be here in a year and they show up, you win $100. It has nothing to do with the real probabilities, which are as close to zero as you can get.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (3, Insightful)

SETIGuy (33768) | about 4 years ago | (#33735262)

It also depends upon the definition of "first contact". Physical contact with an intelligent alien species that has traveled to earth? Communications with an extraterrestrial species? Discovery of any form of extraterrestrial life? I'd need to know the specifics before I'd put money on either side of that bet...

Re:Let me be the first to say... (2, Informative)

hawkfish (8978) | about 4 years ago | (#33735778)

It also depends upon the definition of "first contact". Physical contact with an intelligent alien species that has traveled to earth? Communications with an extraterrestrial species? Discovery of any form of extraterrestrial life? I'd need to know the specifics before I'd put money on either side of that bet...

On of my high school teachers described me as a "close encounter of the fourth kind" which he said meant "contact with an alien to the point where it becomes annoying". ;-)

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

GooberToo (74388) | about 4 years ago | (#33735264)

Exactly!

Which means they are betting against aliens appearing any time soon - well, at least any time in the next year. This is not their projected odds of aliens making an appearance. Its their ratio of payment should they actually appear. And based on those odds, they absolutely are betting they will not appear.

Its called a sucker bet [wikipedia.org] . Their downside is large but the odds of them having to actually pay are statistically, incredibly small. As such, their upside looks like free cash.

summary is incorrect (5, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | about 4 years ago | (#33735394)

The summary is incorrect. The 100 to 1 odds aren't even for first contact, but merely that the US/UK will announce the existence of aliens. From TFA:

the gambling company is offering odds of 100/1 on either the US President or the serving British Prime Minister to announce the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrials within a year of the bet being placed.

Re:summary is incorrect (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33735726)

Do you think they'll take a bet of $150,000,000,000 (and be able to pay out the win)? Will they take a treasury note?

It's just an announcement, come on Obama have treasury place the bet and then make the announcement. Other than Fox news we'll all understand and choose to pretend you didn't say it.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735440)

closer than an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-controlling, wish-granting, will-revealing, creator-of-everything being of some kind existing?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33735598)

Anyone who bets obviously thinks the real probability is better than that strongly enough to put their money where there mouth is - why is your unexplained estimate of the probability any better than theirs?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33735944)

Unless they already have been here.

Honestly when have you seen the governments of this world do anything big without being prodded by events.

Announce a space alien ambassador..... Either they want to embarrass this guy or they already have met one and are preparing for a public announcement.

I'm thinking this is a big joke to make some rich guy look like a dweeb.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#33735216)

You'll eat your words, YOU'LL EAT YOUR WOOOOOOOORRRRDS!

--
*dude, don't spoil the bet for me here, I am betting 1000:1 against it.

Reminds me of another old joke:
Two beggars are sitting on opposite corners of a street. One has a sign: give to a poor Arab, and he has a few dozens of coins in a plate. Another has a sign: give to a poor Jew. He has 1 coin.
A passer by drops a coin into the Jew's plate and says: -You should probably change your sign, it's not working out.
Once the guy left, the Jew yells to the Arab: Hey, Isaiah, he is going to teach us to do business here!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33735496)

NO, I'l eat your braaaiiiins.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | about 4 years ago | (#33735448)

"... it would appear that gamblers saw this as a tip that an alien landing was imminent."

Where can I bet against these people?

ET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33734980)

Phone home !!

Only 100/1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33734984)

100/1 seems like a way too high probability.

Re:Only 100/1? (2, Interesting)

tompaulco (629533) | about 4 years ago | (#33735364)

Yeah, why not 10,000:1 or even 1,000,000:1. They would get a lot more takers and they still wouldn't have to pay out. I mean the lottery is in some cases over 60 million:1 and people will happily give out a dollar to that. Of course, the lottery is a lot more likely to fall in your favor then aliens landing any time soon.

Re:Only 100/1? (1)

adonoman (624929) | about 4 years ago | (#33735400)

The problem being is that they have to account for the fact that if an alien species makes contact, they have to pay out ALL the bets, not just a single winning ticket.

Re:Only 100/1? (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about 4 years ago | (#33735522)

The odds are worse in Arizona. They're doing everything possible to keep the aliens out.

Obligatory... (-1, Redundant)

limabone (174795) | about 4 years ago | (#33734990)

And I for one welcome our new insect overlords...

liberal odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33734998)

    Those are very liberal odds, unless the bookies have some information that the rest of us don't have. Or a few too many people have been listening to the clan of the tinfoil hat.

   

Game changer (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 4 years ago | (#33735018)

If aliens do visit massive fluctuations in currencies and wealth will render said bet meaningless. It only makes sense to vote against.

Re:Game changer (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 4 years ago | (#33735056)

You think? More than likely, even if it were to happen, it would just be a simple acknowledgment: "okay, they're out there."

Well, either that or we're about to be conquered, and in that case who cares.

Re:Game changer (5, Funny)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about 4 years ago | (#33735164)

I'd think it'd be more like "HOLY FUCKING SHIT ALIENS" in some places.

Re:Game changer (1)

KarrdeSW (996917) | about 4 years ago | (#33735224)

This

Plus every marketing manager is going to start looking for some way to make their current product lines appeal to our new alien overlords (customers.... customlords? overmers?) and every credit card company will be delivering them boxes filled with pre-approvals.

These people will all be disappointed though, the aliens just came to get themselves iPads.

Re:Game changer (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#33735966)

With the technology required to fly intersteller distances, how could they even be interested in a shiny piece of aluminum?

I know, it was probably sarcasm, but I would see the aliens being more interested in android :)

Re:Game changer (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | about 4 years ago | (#33735490)

Might be a good time to start up a book publishing company by then. All those religious and 'holy' books that have to be rewritten en distributed...

Re:Game changer (1)

mldi (1598123) | about 4 years ago | (#33735268)

You kidding me? There would be mass hysteria among many religious groups!

Re:Game changer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735472)

Why just religious groups?

If we were contacted by aliens, that would mean that they have conquered FTL travel. In other words, we'd be like insects to them.

Next to hoping they ignore us, the best case scenario of alien contact would be us ending up as their pets.

Maybe not so bad? (1)

bjk002 (757977) | about 4 years ago | (#33735738)

"the best case scenario of alien contact would be us ending up as their pets"

The two dogs and one cat who I cohabit with have their meals prepared and served on time, daily. They sleep as often as they want, and are completely sheltered from the evils of the world. I would say that so long as my new alien overload refrains from habitually beating me, I'm good.

Re:Maybe not so bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735904)

Or castrating you, as humans tend to do to their pets...

Re:Game changer (1)

KarrdeSW (996917) | about 4 years ago | (#33735864)

In other words, we'd be like insects to them.

Not necessarily. As a civilization, we have many branching arms of scientific research being explored, which does include some research into Faster-Than-Light travel. There are at least concepts being considered [nasa.gov] . Not much work is being done on them, but there is at least some.

Would any visiting aliens be more advanced than us? At least in the science of interstellar travel, they certainly would be, but probably not by much. Also, depending upon their priorities as a species, they may or may not have advanced as far as us in any number of other sciences. Also, there are many sciences which (as far as we know) are only relevant to life on earth, so there would certainly be plenty they could learn from us as well.

Re:Game changer (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33735560)

Why?

There wasn't hysteria when people where found on remote jungles, or the New world. They didn't stop believing when the stumbled upon other groups who didn't believe the same way.

Seriously, you really underestimate the level of there delusion.

Almost immediately it would be "Hey our god created others, isn't he great!"

Yeah, there would be some people who do rash things, but they would be in the far minority.

Re:Game changer (1)

spiritgreywolf (683532) | about 4 years ago | (#33735634)

Perhaps - for a short time I would think the fringe groups would freak out. However, I always felt that religions by-and-large are also smart enough to re-interpret their scriptures to allow for new information that is potentially damaging to their respective "flocks". Look at the Ezekiel passages in the bible. Some people theorize it describes us being visited by aliens but has been usually dismissed as being a really poor interpretation. I would think proof of external life would mean this would probably take on new life.

I for one would welcome at least the knowledge that we are not alone in all that massive space out there. Now whether they are going to dominate us, befriend us, or just basically dismiss us that is anyone's guess. I think more likely we'll discover some sort of "exoplanet" with Kepler that indicates "yeah, it can support life, and it looks like we see some stuff". That is probably as far as it would go since we wouldn't have the technology to reach out and touch them. Who knows - maybe at roughly the same time they'll see us - but both of us will be well "in the past" to each other by many years due to limitations of the speed of light - so even a conversation at any level is unlikely.

For me just knowing something IS out there? I think that would be awesome. It probably wouldn't affect my day to day dealings with other people, though - unless new industries were created and I had skills that would be needed.

Re:Game changer (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 years ago | (#33735296)

I think you're right. Many people believe that the simple discovery of aliens would usher in some new era of either panic or cooperation for all of mankind.

Based on what I've observed, I think it's most likely to be a simple case of few people caring. I'm sure some would claim it's a government conspiracy either way.

You won't find a whole lot of people even concerned until they start whining about illegal aliens within our borders and the aliens taking our jobs.

Re:Game changer (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 4 years ago | (#33735758)

In a similar vein, one thing I have always thought was funny about anime is that a very common character reaction to learning about aliens is just that. So many characters in anime don't freak out when they learn a character is an alien... they are just like "oh, ok," and go about their usual lives and treat the alien like everyone else. Another good example is Neuromancer. At the end Wintermute finds out there is alien life and the reaction is "No Shit?" and the subject is dropped.

Re:Game changer (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 years ago | (#33735194)

Wow, I just realized what a brilliant move this is on the part of the betting house. The fools who bet for it happening just aren't going to win, the fools who bet against it happening... well, take their stake, put it in a CD for 12 months, then give them their 1% winnings, while you keep the other 2% for yourself.

Re:Game changer (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#33735352)

Where are you getting a 12-month CD that earns 3% in this interest rate environment? I'm seeing rates more like 0.70% [bonddeskgroup.com] . Admittedly, this is in the US and not the UK (since I can't figure out where to get any quotes for CDs in the UK) but I'm not hopeful. Remember that you've got to pay taxes on it, and deal with the inflation [statistics.gov.uk] .

Re:Game changer (1)

Rolgar (556636) | about 4 years ago | (#33735804)

I have a checking account with a local Credit Union (Kansas) that pays 4% on the first 25000 in my checking account if I meet three conditions: Make 10 purchases with the account debit card, make a direct deposit, and take an electronic statement instead of having them mail me the paper copy. Check the Smart Checking section directly below the table. [educationalcu.org] A quick search found one in Michigan with a lower limit. [lmcu.org]

Re:Game changer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735854)

Annaly Capital Management, a real estate investment trust, is paying dividends at 14.8% per year:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=nly [yahoo.com]

Full disclosure: I own quite a bit of NLY. I am not your broker, and this is not investment advice.

I'm just saying that good returns are available if you look around.

Re:Game changer (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 years ago | (#33735464)

the would gte, MAYBE 1.65 %. And only if it's a pretty large sum of money all at once, not a little every day.

Still, having other peoples money to earn .65% interest isn't bad.

Re:Game changer (1)

Bravoc (771258) | about 4 years ago | (#33735484)

You're getting 3% on a 1 year CD!?!?!!

Re:Game changer (1)

DrScotsman (857078) | about 4 years ago | (#33735926)

I cannot believe there are so many comments with a lack of understanding of what 100/1 is. I cannot believe one of them has been modded +3 interesting.

100/1 means if you bet £1 and the bet wins, you get your £1 stake back and your winnings of £100. Their winnings aren't 1%, they are 100x i.e. 10000%. So if contact was made, the bookmaker would lose £100 on a £1 bet, and hence would have somehow had to turn that £1 into £101 beforehand in order to not make a loss. Forget the people talking about how 3% is impossible, there is NO savings account or bond that'll let you do that in a year.

Re:Game changer (1)

DrScotsman (857078) | about 4 years ago | (#33735974)

My bad, I've just reread your post. You actually do have an understanding of 100/1. Fail on my part :-/

Re:Game changer (1)

beaker8000 (1815376) | about 4 years ago | (#33735988)

Brilliant??? This is standard bookmaking; it has been around since the cave men. And it absolutely doesn't matter who wins the bet for the bookmaker (house). The odds are set such that you can find a person to take each side. Someone bets $1.01 on aliens with payoff of $100 if aliens occur, the other bets $99.01 on no aliens with payoff $100 if no aliens occur. You take $0.02 immediately for the transaction. Then at the end of the year someone wins, who cares who, you pay them the $100. And yes you can earn the whopping 0.251% interest (1 year treasury) on the $100 over the year.

Re:Game changer (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 4 years ago | (#33735620)

A safe investment would be in weapons mfg. Either personal firearms or gov contractors. Fear of the unknown would drive those through the roof.

1. Find aliens
2. Invest in weapons firms
3. ???
4. Profit!
There is no need for a 3rd step any longer.

Not really worth it even for a sure thing (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33735038)

I could be better than 1% interest by putting the money in a good bank for a year. A sure thing, indeed...but still not worth the bet.

Re:Not really worth it even for a sure thing (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33735158)

Oops, meant to say I could get better than 1% interest by putting the money in a good bank for a year.

Re:Not really worth it even for a sure thing (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 years ago | (#33735292)

I need a better bank, mine's only paying out chances of me not getting hit by lightning.

Re:Not really worth it even for a sure thing (1)

2names (531755) | about 4 years ago | (#33735906)

Perhaps your bank is really an insurance company in disguise...

Re:Not really worth it even for a sure thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735258)

If it's a sure thing then it's 10000% interest. Slightly better than 1%.

Re:Not really worth it even for a sure thing (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | about 4 years ago | (#33735386)

I think you've got it backwards. If it were a sure thing it would pay 9000% interest. (A 1 dollar bet pays 100 dollars if aliens land).

Re:Not really worth it even for a sure thing (1)

Rolgar (556636) | about 4 years ago | (#33735920)

GP was referring betting 100 against, and getting back the $1 betting against, assuming the bookmakers are playing both sides.

Oh noes. (1)

Carebears (1867786) | about 4 years ago | (#33735068)

Let the Probing begin...

First as first official contact and not the past c (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33735078)

First as first official contact and not the past covered up ones?

It's a good tip... (5, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33735102)

... that some bookies figured that by giving great odds on an impossible events, idiots would flock to give them money.

Like state sponsored lotteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735284)

"giving great odds on an impossible event"

Re:Like state sponsored lotteries (2, Informative)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33735446)

"giving great odds on an impossible event"

It's a tax on stupidity, and the money keeps rolling in!

100/1 (1)

alxkit (941262) | about 4 years ago | (#33735120)

What do you mean "First"? I thought we already covered that in `June or July 1947`.

We've got time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735162)

I have it on good authority that they won't be back until Dec, 2012.

Re:We've got time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735882)

Dec. 31, 2012 will come with as much hype and go with as little fanfare as Dec. 31, 1999. Sometime in late 2010, early 2011 I'll buy some stock in bottled water, granola bar, and electric generator companies, and realize a modest profit off of all you survivalist whackjobs.

No, no, no. (1)

wonkavader (605434) | about 4 years ago | (#33735200)

They're misreading it the situation.

If a landing were imminent, they would have appointed a complete incompetent as ambassador.

Re:No, no, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735300)

We'll if aliens did land, looking at the grand scale of things all humans would be considered incompetent. They must have figured they should choose the least incompetent, or one of the least, to represent an underdeveloped civilization such as ours to a highly advance spices that are probably just going to eat us anyway. It's all relative...

Yes but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735208)

In Soviet Russia, new alien overlords welcome YOU!

looks like William Hill won't lose in any case (1)

mapkinase (958129) | about 4 years ago | (#33735228)

"The fact that the U.N. actually has a alien ambassador has got alien punters buzzing and we have to hope they are wrong as we have seven figure liabilities," said a spokesman of William Hill, one of the worlds biggest bookmakers.

In response, the gambling company is offering odds of 100/1 on either the US President or the serving British Prime Minister to announce the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrials within a year of the bet being placed. Odds of 1/2 are on the USA making first contact followed by Russia (10/1), China (14/1), UK, France and India (all at 16/1).

If you bet against extraterrstrials you win %1 of you bet in year, which I am sure "worlds biggest bookmaker" will invest at a higher percent.

"The chances of anything coming from Mars... (2, Informative)

Pflipp (130638) | about 4 years ago | (#33735282)

...are a hundred to one, they say...

but still they come! [youtube.com]

Well... (1)

dotKuro (1762182) | about 4 years ago | (#33735384)

In the instance that this does happen, Clarke was only a year off. Stay away from Europa.

Uh-oh (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33735412)

Maybe they're here to build a hyperspace bypass...

Where the hell is my towel?!

Within a year? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#33735422)

I'm sorry but First Contact [imdb.com] happened in 1996.

First Contact (1)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | about 4 years ago | (#33735428)

Even if there is/was/will be a first contact, chances are, it would not be public knowledge. I thought this quote from Men In Black would be appropriate:

Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.
Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

Finally a way to end all our economic woes... (1)

SamuraiHoedown (1769404) | about 4 years ago | (#33735462)

All we have to do have the Treasury Department put everything on Aliens and then have Obama make announcement of exis announcement.

Re:Finally a way to end all our economic woes... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 4 years ago | (#33735596)

That is brilliant.

It's a Sign (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 4 years ago | (#33735506)

The U.N. is corrupt and they most likely wanted to give some individual a job where they didn't have to do anything.

Re:It's a Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735600)

I think you just described EVERY job at the UN.

100/1 odds of what? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#33735526)

that what we know about physics and speed limits is wrong? Because unless you have "easy" FTL odds for contacting an alien civilization are pretty low (far less than 1/100).Or they are talking about an alien-ated civilization? because we are going definately in that direction if that kind of bets becomes part of our culture.

In the other hand, odds are not so low that we are the one driving the "first contact" to an alien lifeform, just probably not intelligent ones, if life in any way is discovered i.e. in Mars [slashdot.org]

Re:100/1 odds of what? (1)

joeyblades (785896) | about 4 years ago | (#33735918)

You're assuming that points in space can only be traversed linearly. Theoretically, you don't have to go FTL if you have a worm hole handy.

Skrulls (1)

Agthorr (135998) | about 4 years ago | (#33735608)

Since earlier comments indicate that humans see this as a bad bet, I can only assume that 1 in 100 people on Earth are already, in fact, aliens.

Title error (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | about 4 years ago | (#33735652)

100/1=100. Should read 100:1.

Re:Title error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735716)

Should read 1:100.

"Extraterrestial Affairs Office" on Denver ballot (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 4 years ago | (#33735812)

Denver has this really persistent guy trying to increase UFO awareness in the area. He asks city council to create a program every year and is politely turned down. This year he managed to put it [denvergov.org] on the ballot. Denver has a relatively low threshhold for proposition petitions, something like 5000 signatures.

Boy Did I Lose This Bet (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 4 years ago | (#33735852)

I thought our First Contact staff would include Will Smith [wikipedia.org] .

Ya know, I've been thinking.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33735924)

... and please don't rush to the "tin foil hat" responses, but I've noticed a great increase in the number of movies, shows and books dealing with the human races' contact and collaboration with aliens.

Here's my wild speculation theory: The Governments of the world and media are working together to slowly get us used to the idea of aliens being on earth. Little by little we are getting more complacient with the idea and accepting of the reality that alien lifeforms could visit Earth and we could somehow lean to live with each other.

Is this just some grand plan being put forth over years / decades to get humans ready for some type of incredible revelation?

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