They're made out of meat....

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axel_knutt
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They're made out of meat....

Postby axel_knutt » 31 Jan 2007, 11:57am

"Meat?"

"Meat. They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"

"Both."

"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 31 Jan 2007, 12:49pm

Great reading! Thought provoking!

Is there a Part Two?

Mick F. Cornwall

Kentish Man

Postby Kentish Man » 31 Jan 2007, 7:24pm

axel-knut,
thanks for the huge grin I'm now wearing. First time I've enjoyed spam on the computer.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 31 Jan 2007, 7:43pm

a_k

I think it's an example of the social construction of reality, and quite a long one, but I missed the point

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Mrs Tortoise
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Postby Mrs Tortoise » 31 Jan 2007, 8:10pm

I've always understood that meat meant mainly muscle tissue; the brain is made primarily of fat and water: wouldn't some higher intelligence be describing us as fat heads? :wink:

Terry T

Postby Terry T » 31 Jan 2007, 9:17pm

Speak for yourself Mrs T :!: :wink:

axel_knutt
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Postby axel_knutt » 2 Feb 2007, 3:09pm

Naughty of me not to credit it really, it was written in 1991 by Terry Bisson, a science fiction author. Steven Pinker quotes the first half in his book "How the Mind Works" as a means lampooning those who think that a sufficiently complex machine could never think. It turns incredulity on it's head by imagining aliens who can't see how meat could think.

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Si
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Postby Si » 2 Feb 2007, 3:41pm

They talk by flapping their meat at each other.


Why did this remind me of Wolverhampton at 11pm on a Saturday night? :twisted:

-----------

It's strange that the aliens would have a concept of 'meat' unless they ate it. And if they ate it then it suggests that at least part of them must be made of meat to derive the maximum benefit from it ?

jb
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Postby jb » 2 Feb 2007, 4:00pm

Great story to finish off the week.

Puts me in the mood for a good steak!
Cheers
J Bro

axel_knutt
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Postby axel_knutt » 2 Feb 2007, 4:26pm

Si wrote:It's strange that the aliens would have a concept of 'meat' unless they ate it. And if they ate it then it suggests that at least part of them must be made of meat to derive the maximum benefit from it ?

To have a concept of meat but not sentient meat, they would have presumably had to encounter less sentient beings with brains (chimps? dogs? whatever.) This would then falsely presume that there is something fundamentally different in principle rather than degree between humans and chimps........

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 2 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

[quote="axel_knutt"]Naughty of me not to credit it really,

a-k

On the helmets thread I was tempted to write:

BTW, the convention of quoting your sources is to prevent plagiarism (and that has not occurred here i.e. on the helmets thread) and so that the reader can check to see that the source has not been incorrectly used. IMO, it is not so that you can keep urging the reader to read the source for themselves.... (I thought it sounded a bit rude so I didn't.)

At least you have fully redeemed yourself of the plagiarism by owning up. If one was available, I would insert a silly face with its tongue in cheek. There isn't so I will make do with my favourite :roll:

(BTW You still seem to have gone to a lot of typing to illustrate the social construction of reality.)

jb
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Postby jb » 3 Feb 2007, 10:34am

axel_knutt wrote:
Si wrote:It's strange that the aliens would have a concept of 'meat' unless they ate it. And if they ate it then it suggests that at least part of them must be made of meat to derive the maximum benefit from it ?

To have a concept of meat but not sentient meat, they would have presumably had to encounter less sentient beings with brains (chimps? dogs? whatever.) This would then falsely presume that there is something fundamentally different in principle rather than degree between humans and chimps........


To an advanced intelligence organic life would just appear as a sort of fungus that infected certain places. They would see very little difference between a dog and a human. In fact they would not see a big gap between a human and a mushroom.

Although they might credit the mushroom with more intelligence as to-date – the mushroom has not invented ‘big brother’
Cheers

J Bro

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Mrs Tortoise
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Postby Mrs Tortoise » 3 Feb 2007, 7:55pm

jb wrote:
axel_knutt wrote:
Si wrote:It's strange that the aliens would have a concept of 'meat' unless they ate it. And if they ate it then it suggests that at least part of them must be made of meat to derive the maximum benefit from it ?

To have a concept of meat but not sentient meat, they would have presumably had to encounter less sentient beings with brains (chimps? dogs? whatever.) This would then falsely presume that there is something fundamentally different in principle rather than degree between humans and chimps........


To an advanced intelligence organic life would just appear as a sort of fungus that infected certain places. They would see very little difference between a dog and a human. In fact they would not see a big gap between a human and a mushroom.

Although they might credit the mushroom with more intelligence as to-date – the mushroom has not invented ‘big brother’


While I won't disagree with your comments about mushrooms and Big Brother, can I ask how you are possibly able to know what anything else thinks unless it tells you? :?:

jb
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Postby jb » 3 Feb 2007, 8:36pm

We cannot tell what anything else thinks Mrs Tortoise but we can given certain intelligent presumptions surmise what something from an altogether different view might possibly think. And given that if they knew of us at all puts them so far ahead of us that they would possibly view us as we view mushrooms

Mushroom DNA is after all only about forty steps different from our DNA

. It helps to put us in our place so to speak, Rather than certain institutes thinking the whole caboodle was made for our benefit.
Cheers

J Bro

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 3 Feb 2007, 9:17pm

jb wrote:We cannot tell what anything else thinks Mrs Tortoise but we can given certain intelligent presumptions surmise what something from an altogether different view might possibly think. And given that if they knew of us at all puts them so far ahead of us that they would possibly view us as we view mushrooms

Mushroom DNA is after all only about forty steps different from our DNA

. It helps to put us in our place so to speak, Rather than certain institutes thinking the whole caboodle was made for our benefit.


If they were truly intelligent they would not view us as mushrooms but see us as we really are,unlike us who think ourselves as intelligent then treat mushrooms and just about anything else as we feel like it without giving it a second thought.
That is unless we are following a correct cosmic law of the top of the food chain wins and therefore has the right of power over all else.
That being the case lets hope they never land here, or we're tucked away in a nice quiet corner of the universe where they won't find us.
Of course there is the other way of looking at it.Namely that we are wrong and they may come and show us the error of our ways,then we treat them as God. Then when they leave we tell some nice stories about them to our children then go back to living as we are now.
Or we would heed they're teachings.
Either way I think they would understand or at least try and understand "meat"
Suffice to say that we are infants and as infants think we're intelligent,because all we know is what we know.
We are clever but not wise.