Friday, October 31, 2008

What if.....??

A couple of days back I decided to just kick back a bit, switch off the brains and let the TV do some of the thinking for me. On the Discovery channel was a special about alien life. There are loads of such documentaries that try to give both sides of the story.

The believers will tell of their experiences -- seeing this, hearing that, getting abducted and poked around a bit.

Then there'll be the cynics and people who profess to be men and women of science. And these guys just can't wait to pooh-pooh all this claims as wild hallucinations of nutjobs.

"Forget your leader, take me to Krispy Kreme!"

I'm sitting there listening to each side's accounts...

"They had almond shaped, dark eyes..."
"The guy probably had too much to drink!"

"The saucer flew at such incredible speeds"
"Um.. it was a weather balloon, yeah, or an unmanned vehicle..."

"Thousands of reports came in, all claiming to see the same phenomenon!"
"Its not unusual to have cases of mass hysteria..."

"Those beings are evil, and they are systematically abducting humans for experiments"
"Ah, people will say anything just to go on TV!"

Must not have been too bright, since he got caught!

And so the argument continues. Some of these are supposed to be famous scientists.
So who would you believe, some small town person who may have had too much moonshine or sun or both?

Or a distinguished professor who has chewed through a million dry facts and figures?

I've always wondered what would happen to these very public debates, if one day, the real truth really came about? What would the many vocal skeptics say if really, some green-grey skinned visitor came down one day ... took a look, decided we weren't worth their time and left.... right in plain sight of a hundred TV cameras?

I for one would love to see that day.
And for the record, I do believe there is sentient life out there! Its inconceivable for me that of the bazillions stars in this infinite universe, we are unique.

Remember, just barely a couple of centuries ago, the brightest scientific minds of that time though the earth was flat... um, no, round but in the center of the universe, not that... but the sun rotated around the earth... strike that... the moon is made of cheese....

Flat Earth - circa. 1225 AD

Well, perhaps not that last one. But you've seen scientific and religious dogma being proven wrong with every leap of new discovery and knowledge. Makes you wonder what other 'facts' that we hold as irrefutably true today would turn out to be yet another of our misunderstanding of nature?

I leave you with these famous words, spoken eloquently by many of the world's brightest minds. Its not about aliens or anything funky... but you'll be surprised how people felt about things which we take for granted today.....

  • "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  • "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
  • "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
  • "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" -- H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
  • "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
  • "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
  • "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" -- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.
  • "You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training." -- Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.
  • "Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." -- Drillers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist in his project to drill for oil in 1859.
  • "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.
  • "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.
  • "Everything that can be invented has been invented." -- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.
  • "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon". -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.
  • "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris." -- Orville Wright.
  • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- T.Watson, chairman of the board, IBM, 1943
  • "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechnics, 1949
  • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olsoon, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1972

9 commented:

foongpc said...

Interesting to read what cynics said about inventions and new stuffs that turned out to be super successful. Guess we shall never take anyone's criticism or opinion as the last word : )

Center Parted said...

Hi Foong, guess that's what differentiates the innovators from the rest of the people. They had a vision and were brave enough to make their vision a reality, despite the cynicism that surrounds them.

Anonymous said...

the grey picture gave me goose bumps!

Center Parted said...

Angeline, supposedly that's from the Roswell experiments on real Aliens! Fact of fiction? No one will really know until all information about that is de-classified by the US government.

Anonymous said...

Interesting read! Liked the qoutes from the skeptics and naysayers...

Center Parted said...

Yeah, Jay. One never can tell how catastrophically wrong a seemingly innocent sounding statement can be.

Worse still now that we have got blogs that be easily searched and quoted.

A decade down the road someone may just pickup a line made by this moron called Center Parted making some silly prediction or proclamation!! :D

Anonymous said...

The problem with the human is that we think we already know all about any subject and we are so wrong, we have to explore the most part of the universe to be sure that there is not life in other planets, moons, etc.

Anonymous said...

Take the point about scientists being wrong much of the time and the fact that there is much we dont know however....

Your "Its inconceivable for me that of the bazillions stars in this infinite universe, we are unique" is correct but the volume of stars needed to make this likely makes it highly unlikey that little green men would ever be close enough to earth to come here (let alone hang around as abducting people on a large scale).. howver if travel > speed of light is possible or randomly intelligent life is close to earth then maybe..

If so I should keep doing the lottery on the same principle...

Center Parted said...

Dear Anon,

A few decades ago, it was declared that faster-than-sound travel was impossible. Since then, humans have hit mach 3 in planes and gone over 20-times faster than sound in rockets.

Today, Einsteins' theory says it is mathematically impossible to go faster than light. Who knows tomorrow a new theory is developed that sees things from whole new perspectives!

That's all speculation, of course.

But one thing's for sure. Our knowledge of the life, universe and everything else is very limited.

We are, after all, a very young people with no more than a five thousand year culture, in a universe that's about 14 billion years old!