Obama Says He May Or May Not Let the NSA Exploit the Next Heartbleed
The information content of a sentence whose structure is, "I may x or I may not x" is 0.
Civil Rights For Aliens?
I've noticed a couple of major assumptions in this post and in many of the replies to it, which while providing some super-interesting food for thought, do seem pretty unrealistic ones to make.
One is that our opinion of what should happen will really count for anything.
In this little "what if" appears the implicit notion that THEY HAVE ARRIVED HERE FIRST.
Flash to the history of even our own small little ball Investigate almost any of the episodes where a civilisation crossed a great distance and "discovered" another one who hadn't figured out how to do that yet. (aside -- perhaps they just didn't care to try to figure it out)
It seems a fair conclusion that our opinion of what rights to grant/deny THEM will be pretty much moot. To think otherwise is romantic maybe, arrogant definitely.
I'm not pitching a xenophobic attitude here. Not the hollywood pre-enactment we keep seeing ("Oh no, the aliens have arrived and they are bent on Universal domination! They eat mice too!") They don't necessarily have to demonstrate our notions of evil in order to wipe us out. They'd just have to follow and be subject to a set of apparenty universal tendencies we've labelled "survival of the fittest".
All of this is without even mentioning the fact that we're prejudicing ourselves as to the kind of scale we're talking about. Who says it's gonna be civilisation-to-civilization contact?
Ask your neighbourhood chimpanzee how well his/her "basic chimp rights" have been observed so far by the bigger, "smarter" lifeforms who showed up and just sort of... well, took over everything.
-- What's that you say, there isn't one in your neighbourhood? Come now, that neighbourhood's huge! Why, thousands of people live there! Surely at least ONE of those families must own a chimp or two...
Further scale divergence possibilities: What about slug rights? amoeba rights? "Human rights" could seem just as unfeasable to them as those two do to us.
A fellow slug,