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Born to Rave

by
Mailing Address
This essay was first completed on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 and was most recently revised on Sunday, July 9, 2017.

This document is approximately 7,536 words long.

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Dedication
This essay is dedicated to our ancestors,
who tried to send us a warning, down through the ages.
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Other essays in this collection are available on Pharos.
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This essay is LiteraShare.

That means that it isn't for sale and that it isn't protected by a formal establishment copyright.  As the author, I ask you to extend to me the courtesy that is reasonably due.  If you copy the essay, then copy all of it including my name and address as shown on each page, and this LiteraShare Statement.  I invite you to provide such copies for other readers.  If you quote from the essay, then do so accurately and give me credit.  If you care to make a voluntary contribution to me, then I prefer cash.  For checks, money orders, or PayPal payments, please inquire.

If you'd like to read the previous essay in this series, then ask for
Raving Over Time.
 

 
 
 
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Origins

Somebody said, a long time ago, that if we didn't already exist then our probability wouldn't even be worth discussing.  After some consideration, I decided that our origins would be mysterious enough even if we weren't highly intelligent.  See my essay, Ravin' Evermore.  The spontaneous development of our high level of intelligence is so unlikely as to defy belief.

One theory of the development of our high level of intelligence is that it resulted from the competition, by our primitive pre-human ancestors, to survive in a hostile environment.  However, that seems unreasonable.  Consider that those ancestors weren't yet humans.  They were pre-humans, maybe something like chimpanzees.  They were competing for survival with other animals that wanted to inhabit the same environment.  Our ancestors would have had to become sufficiently intelligent to overcome any existing physical disadvantages that they had, as compared to those other competitors.  Yet, if they needed to compete for survival before they became highly intelligent and if their physical disadvantages were sufficiently severe to make a high level of intelligence necessary, then they probably wouldn't have survived long enough to develop a high level of intelligence.  On the other hand, if they were already as physically capable as their competitors, so that they could survive before they became highly intelligent, then they wouldn't have had much of an incentive to become highly intelligent.  They'd have just remained another species of chimpanzees.  Other animals have survived without a high level of intelligence.  So would our ancestors.1

My father speculated, many years ago, that we might not have evolved on this planet at all.  He suggested that, instead, we might have descended from aliens who came here from somewhere else.  Then, he suggested, we and all of the other mammals on the planet and, indeed, maybe all of the vertebrates, could have descended from those original aliens.  Those aliens would be the common ancestors both of us and of the other related animals on the planet.  That theory neatly sidesteps the problem of explaining the spontaneous evolution, on this planet, of our high level of intelligence.  That is, we didn't spontaneously develop our high level of intelligence.  We spontaneously devolved from a higher level of intelligence to our present level of intelligence.  It also ignores the problem of explaining the spontaneous development, somewhere else in the galaxy, of the high level of intelligence of our hypothetical alien ancestors.

Another theory is proposed in David Brin's uplift stories.2  Those stories are set in a fictional universe in which primitive, pre-intelligent beings become intelligent due to intentional genetic modifications made by other highly intelligent beings who, themselves, were previously given intelligence in the same way.  That theory might be correct.  Of course, even in the uplift stories, we still have the problem of the original development, in the dim mists of the galactic past, of the high level of intelligence of whichever species had it first.  The people of the various different species in the uplift stories regarded that as an unsolvable mystery.  I suppose that I'll just have to defer to Stephen Hawking who said, "Given infinity, all things are equally probable."


1
 ^ 
In my article Survival Bottlenecks and Ockham's Razor, I provided some interesting speculations about the origins of human subspecies, why they seem to always originate in Africa, and the supposed causes of alleged survival bottlenecks about every 70,000 years or so in our ancestral history.  See the References Section.
2
 ^ 
See References 4, 5, and 7.

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Limits

I read somewhere, a long time ago, the theory that there won't be any intelligent beings anywhere in the universe that are significantly smarter than we are.  The reason, according to the writer, is that once intelligent beings become sufficiently intelligent to control their environment then they won't get any more intelligent than that.  His conclusion was based on the idea that a high level of intelligence results from survival incentives within the environment.  Once the beings become sufficiently intelligent to control their environment, they'll remove the environmental incentives that caused them to develop a high level of intelligence.  There won't be any incentive to develop a higher level of intelligence than it takes to control their environment.

Regardless of how our intelligence first originated, it's been among our survival abilities for a very long time.  Even if it didn't originate because of environmental incentives, it has been influenced by environmental incentives ever since it developed.  The struggle to survive in a hostile environment will encourage different combinations of physical and mental abilities in different kinds of animals.  In terms of evolution, the physical abilities will influence the mental abilities, and vice versa.  It's complex and interactive.  Animals will get better at running, grazing, climbing, thinking, or whatever else promotes their survival.  Since intelligence, by itself, isn't sufficient for survival, intelligent beings that survive will do so because they also have whatever other physical abilities they need in combination with their intelligence.  The tendency, even among highly intelligent animals, will be to develop some optimum combination of intelligence and physical abilities.

The theory noted above states that the environmental incentives that drive development in intelligent beings will be effective only until those beings learn how to control their environment.  After that, according to the theory, the environmental incentives to keep developing a better combination of abilities will disappear.  To that extent, the theory seems reasonable.  However, there might be a variation from one species to another in the maximum level of the abilities that will be produced.  That range might result because of differing degrees of difficulty in controlling different kinds of environments.  A harsher environment might result in a group of faster, stronger, and smarter beings.  A more moderate environment might result in beings who aren't so fast, strong, and smart.  I expect that the range of such variation won't be very large.  That's because if an environment is too benign, then there won't be much incentive for the development of powerful survival abilities.  Neither high intelligence nor high anything else would be necessary to survive.  On the other hand, if the environment is too harsh then a species probably won't survive at all.  Thus, the range of variation in strength, speed, and intelligence between highly intelligent species will probably be small.  That is, they'll all probably be near to the same level of intelligence.  There might be other highly intelligent beings in the galaxy that are a little smarter, a little faster, and a little stronger than we are, but not by much.

The theory previously noted states that, once intelligent beings learn to control their environments, then they won't become any more intelligent.  There's a consideration that isn't addressed by that theory.  That's with regard to technological augmentation.  The technologies that enable a species to control its environment will also enable it to begin to augment its own abilities.  We've been augmenting ourselves for millennia.  Indeed, all of our technology from the invention of clubs and sharp sticks to


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the use of hormone replacement therapy and artificial hips constitutes augmentations of our abilities.  However, some augmentation technologies have more potential than others.  Once augmentation technologies pass from simple mechanical and somatic improvements, and move on to actual genetic engineering, there won't be any limit to what can be achieved.  The capabilities of such a species might increase to many orders of magnitude beyond those of the other inhabitants of the galaxy.  If such species exist, then they're probably capable of completely dominating or eliminating the rest of us.  They might be able to transform the entire galaxy at will.  Since those things don't appear to be happening, then either such species don't exist or they aren't interested in doing those kinds of things.  Maybe they're just preoccupied with other matters.  Maybe their experiences have taught them not to meddle.  Whatever the case, the seeming lack of any such species suggests that, if they exist, then they're irrelevant to us.  The significance of this line of reasoning is that, practically speaking, there aren't any species of highly intelligent beings anywhere in the galaxy that are, to any significant degree, smarter, stronger, or faster than we are.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Degeneration

So, intelligent beings who learn how to control their environments won't get any more intelligent than they needed to be in order to learn how to control their environments.  The same technologies that they developed for the control of their environments will also enable them to build so-called labor-saving devices.  With that in mind, I propose a companion theory.

Machines that do things for individuals will remove the need for the individuals to do those things for themselves.  The more things that are done for individuals by their machines, the less need there is for individuals to be capable of doing things for themselves.  The longer that the members of the species enjoy the support of sophisticated technologies that provide their necessities, the more likely it is that, over the generations, individuals will lose the abilities to do things for themselves.  The incentives to stay smart, strong, and fast will disappear.  Inabilities and disabilities will accumulate.  It won't matter because machines will assist the individuals and sustain the species.  Eventually, the species will degenerate to a level of intelligence below the level that originally enabled it to develop the technologies in the first place.

My belief is that the alien species in our galaxy have been supported by their sophisticated technologies for millennia.  In all of those millions of years, there hasn't been much of a need for them to remain strong, fast, or smart.  Their physical or intellectual needs have been supplied for them by their machines.  The likely result is that they've degenerated.  I expect that they're slow, weak, and stupid.  Probably, they can't do much of anything at all without the help of their various gadgets.  They have only three significant advantages over us.  One advantage is the recorded administrative protocols of millions of years of experience of their ancestors in dealing with our ancestors.  That gives them a lot of rules and guidelines regarding what to expect from us and how to deal with it.  Another of their advantages is their sophisticated technologies.  They know how to do things that we can't do.  However, their technologies are inherited.  They probably haven't developed anything new, themselves, for millions of years.  Their final advantage over us is their tactical position of being above us in a gravity well.  That allows them to attack us, if they wish, from a safe position.  If I encountered an alien face-to-face, at ground level, without his technological defenses, then I could probably squash him like a bug.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Extinction Technologies and Peace Mongers 

Combative societies develop from combative individuals.  That is, a combative individual will behave aggressively toward neighboring individuals, forcing upon peaceful neighbors an incentive to become combative.  Individuals who fail or refuse to become combative will have a diminishing influence over events.  Individuals who do become combative will spread combativeness to an ever increasing number of other individuals.  Combative individuals will band together into gangs, police forces, and nations.  Over the long term, combative individuals within society will cause an entire species to become combative.

When intelligent beings achieve interstellar space travel, they've made a considerable change in their situation.  That is, any technology that can move a spacecraft fast enough to travel between the stars can also move a rock that fast.  A large rock hitting a planet at orbital speed could destroy all life on the planet.  A small rock hitting a planet at relativistic speed could destroy all life on the planet.  A tiny rock hitting a planet at faster-than-light speed could destroy all life on the planet.  The capability of interstellar space travel thus potentially turns any piece of debris into a weapon of extinction.  The galaxy provides an essentially unlimited arsenal of such debris.  Launching such an object would be easy for members of a species that wields an interstellar space travel technology.  The difficulty of defending against such projectiles defies credibility.  A determined attacker has an unlimited supply of projectiles.  He can launch as many of them as he wants to launch, from any safe distance, for as long as he cares to do so.  If he's determined, such an attacker will eventually penetrate any possible defense.  A single penetration will be sufficient.  The only way to avoid destruction by such an enemy is to destroy the enemy first.

When an extinction technology has been achieved, the kind of combativeness that promoted dominance in more primitive settings no longer tends to promote dominance.  An extinction technology reverses the survival rules and incentives.  Where combativeness previously tended to promote dominance, such behavior tends to promote extinction after the advent of an extinction technology.

The result of such considerations is that intelligent beings who achieve interstellar space travel without first achieving peaceful societies are likely to exterminate one another.  Even if they manage to survive, they'll probably degrade their technology, or lose it completely, through the fundamentally destructive and wasteful process of combat.  They aren't likely to be of any relevance to us.  Probably, we can ignore the possibility of their existence.  The interstellar societies that will be relevant to us are not those that failed but those that survived.  They will be the ones that have found ways of successfully eliminating combativeness from their societies.

Occasional accounts, in the Mahabharata for example, of past violent behavior among aliens visiting our planet might seem to suggest that they haven't yet succeeded in eliminating combativeness from their societies.  However, I believe that the perception that those past conflicts were between aliens is fundamentally in error.  I believe that such ancient conflicts were, actually, between factions of our own ancestors.  Maybe they were using their own technology.  Maybe they were using borrowed alien technology.  In either case, the aliens weren't fighting each other.  Combativeness among aliens has been eliminated throughout all alien galactic societies.
 
 
 


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Infinite, Unknown Wilderness

The universe is infinite.  It doesn't curve around on itself or warp into peculiar shapes.3  If you could travel at an infinite speed for an infinite length of time then you'd never get any closer to the edge of the universe than you are now.  That's because the universe doesn't have an edge.  It just goes on forever in all directions.4

The universe is the ultimate wilderness.  It will never be explored.  It will always be wild, unknown, and mysterious.  The part of the universe that we occupy on the surface of this planet is a spherical shell, trivially thin and easily fractured.  The unknown wilderness is always nearby.  It hovers just above our rooftops.  It lurks just below the foundations of our structures.  It repeatedly intrudes into our fragile domain.  The unknown wilderness is also very close to the aliens.  They've built a little taller than we have.  They've dug a little deeper.  However, compared to infinity the difference between what they know of the universe, and what we know of it, is insignificant.  By definition, any fraction of infinity, however large, is insignificant.

As Stephen Hawking said, given infinity all things are equally probable.  That's a very powerful statement.  I believe that the aliens understand it a lot better than we do.  One of the things that it means is that unimaginable terrors might lurk out there in the infinite, unknown wilderness.  Any unimaginable monster could emerge from beyond the visual horizon of the vast and trackless universe.  It could happen without any warning at all.  It could happen tomorrow.  It could happen today.  It could happen this very instant.  Do you feel chills?  Don't look behind you.  There isn't any way for you to guess what might have just dropped from the sky, risen from the ground, or materialized out of nowhere, right behind your back.

The significance of it is that there isn't any security at all, anywhere, ever.  That's frightening to beings who can understand it.  I believe that the aliens understand it.  I believe that they understand it a lot better than we do.  I believe that the alien societies have been largely peaceful for millions of years.  Combative individuals have been eliminated.  For the aliens, the fundamental mindset is peaceful.  Thus, while the aliens might have the technology to face the unknown threat, they don't have the attitudes.  They're fundamentally peaceful.  They achieved that condition intentionally, over the millennia, so that they could enjoy their peaceful and comfortable existence.  They don't want to change the way that they are.  However, there's the terrifying threat of the infinite, unknown wilderness.  What are the aliens to do?  I believe that they're terrified.


3
 ^ 
See my essay Cosmology and the Law of Parsimony.
4
 ^ 
It's an unexpected consequence of an infinite universe that each and every point in the entire universe, without exception, is at the precise, exact center of the universe.  See my essay, Cosmology and the Law of Parsimony.

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The Aliens' First Objective

The aliens need a way to protect themselves from the unknown threat.  They need combative individuals who are smart, fast, and strong.  They need individuals with a warrior mindset.  They need individuals in whom the warrior mindset is so inherent and so ingrained that even being terrified won't prevent them from functioning.  Should they develop a warrior caste among themselves?  Probably not.  A warrior caste within their own societies would eventually dominate them or destroy them.  Aristotle observed in Aristotle's Politics And Poetics5 that the class of society that bears arms will eventually become the ruling class.  The principle is probably universal.  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Who shall guard the guards?  The aliens intentionally eliminated exactly that kind of thing from their societies.

Nevertheless, the aliens need a reserve force of warriors.  We, on this planet, are exactly what they need.  I don't believe that it's an accident.  We might be the descendants of aliens who were placed on this planet, for exactly that purpose, millennia ago.  We might have developed here spontaneously or with manipulation by the aliens.  I don't know.  Whatever the case, whatever our origins, I believe that the aliens have intentionally made us into warriors.

The aliens have maintained our situation, over the millennia, such as to sustain in us the combative nature that they've eliminated from themselves.  They did it by manipulating the circumstances of our ancestors in such a way as to make survival difficult.  They continue to do so today.  The aliens understand better than most of us do that we thrive on adversity and degenerate quickly under conditions of comfort.  Local and short-term conditions of peace and comfort have been the exception to our normal conditions.  Such conditions have never been permitted to last long enough to weaken us.

Neither we nor our ancestors have ever had any choice in the matter.  Nothing that we've ever done to the contrary has ever been effective.  No peacemaker among us has ever succeeded.  No policy of reconciliation that we've ever attempted has ever prevailed.  Whatever we've attempted to the contrary, the aliens have always made sure that there have been wars, conflicts, and hardship.  By so doing, they've forced us to become and to remain smart, fast, and strong.  They've made us belligerent, aggressive, ruthless, and adaptable.  Any one of us would make a better strategist, a better general or admiral, than any alien would, even the greatest of them.  We have a military competence that no alien will ever achieve.  We're that way in our genes.  We're the warriors upon whom the aliens will call, if the unimaginable horror ever emerges from beyond the visual horizon of the infinite, unknown wilderness.  Creating and maintaining us is the aliens' first objective.
 
 
 


5
 ^ 
See the References Section.

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The Aliens' Second Objective

As their warriors in reserve, we're of great importance to the aliens.  They've made a substantial investment in us, over the millennia, and they don't want to lose their investment.  They have a strong interest in protecting us.  That's their second objective.

The aliens probably don't need to help us very often but they do keep a careful watch over us.  That explains a lot of things that happen around the planet.  Abductions and the associated tests are a way to monitor our genetic condition.  The aliens need to know if we're continuing in good condition.  Animal mutilations are evidence of other programs of surveillance.  They need to know if our environment will continue to sustain us.  They might have to make some adjustments here and there.  That's why they watch us so carefully.

While the aliens are insuring our continued survival, they also need to make sure that we stay combative so that we won't lose our value as warriors.  There's a risk in that.  Our combativeness motivates us to develop technologies that might enable us to destroy ourselves.  The aliens have to be cognizant of that.  They have to be ready to control or terminate any excessively dangerous technology.  Since the aliens haven't prevented us from having nuclear weapons, those weapons might not be as dangerous to our survival as we've been told.

The only good news that follows from the aliens' second objective is that we don't need to worry about most extinction events from outside sources.  The aliens will protect us from comets, meteors, clouds of interstellar dust, black holes, and so forth.  Those kinds of events might still occur but they won't be of sufficient magnitude to destroy us.  Individuals might die and technologies might vanish but the species will survive.  In that regard, at least, the aliens can be regarded as our benefactors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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The Aliens' Third Objective

I've already mentioned that, compared to us, the aliens are slow, weak, and stupid.  That inferiority mandates their third objective.  That is, the aliens must be sure that we never escape from our solar system.  If we escaped, then they wouldn't be able to control us.  We'd probably destroy them or, at least, subjugate them.  For that reason, we're restricted to this solar system.  They know that we'll eventually develop an escape technology.  Keeping us trapped here requires some very careful attention to what we're doing.  That's the most important reason why the aliens have watched us so carefully and for so long.  Whenever we begin to develop an escape technology, then the aliens must disable or eliminate the technology.  Preventing our escape is their third objective.  In keeping with their second objective, they have to do so without eliminating us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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The Lesson in the Legacy

I believe that our ancestors tried many times in the past to develop escape technologies.  Most of the divine intervention myths and legends from the past originated when those developing escape technologies were terminated by the aliens.  The story of the Tower of Babel is a distorted account of an attempt to develop an escape technology.  The story of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden is another story of an attempt by our ancestors to learn things that the aliens didn't want them to learn.  Each time that our ancestors have tried to develop an escape technology, the technology was terminated by alien intervention.  Each time, our defeated ancestors tried to pass on to us a warning about the aliens.  The stories were misunderstood by later generations.  The warnings were misconstrued.  Those attempts to warn us about the aliens are the origins of most of the sacred, legendary, or mythological stories of destruction by angry gods.  Most of the doctrine of divine retribution in our various religions is a misinterpretation of our ancestors' efforts to warn us about the aliens.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Clear and Present Danger

We're presently on the verge of becoming a threat to the aliens.  Left to ourselves, in another 50 years or so we'll escape from the solar system.  We might already have the other technologies that we would need in order to successfully combat the aliens.  We lack only an adequate tactical position.  Trapped as we are in our solar system, we're hopelessly vulnerable to rocks thrown at our planet.  Only an interstellar drive can remedy that.  There's a lot of fundamental research going on and our inventiveness is such that, with luck, we could stumble onto such a drive at any time.  There's a zero probability that we'll spontaneously become peaceful and thereby cease to be a threat to the aliens.  Thus, the aliens are taking a big chance.  The time is probably overdue for another alien intervention.  The increase in surveillance of us by the aliens in recent decades probably reflects the growing concern among them about that very thing.

It's possible that we'll destroy our escape technology ourselves.  In that case, the aliens won't need to intervene.  There's also a possibility that we'll muddle through and become a threat to the aliens.  Then, the aliens will have to do something about it.  They might be tinkering with the works even now, doing little things to sabotage our progress.  A lot of little things are happening that tend to sap our resources and reduce our abilities.  Maybe the aliens have been instrumental in establishing our sorry financial policies, thereby dooming our economies.6  Maybe the new diseases are an attempt to redirect our development efforts away from escape technologies.  I don't know.  Maybe those things all just happened.  However, I speculate that the longer we continue to develop new technologies, the more our activities will be sabotaged.  I think that the aliens would probably rather not resort to large cataclysms if they don't have to.  However, if they become convinced that we're about to escape, then they'll do something to prevent it.  They'll need to set our technology back about eight thousand years.  That's about how long it usually takes us to get from "sticks and stones" back to where we are now.  I expect that, eventually, they'll do whatever it takes.  The longer they wait, the more substantial the intervention will have to be.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


6
 ^ 
See my various essays on money, taxes, and corporations.  They're listed in the References Section.

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Prohibitions

Back in 1957, in his anthology Earth Is Room Enough, Isaac Asimov presented a short Science Fiction story called The Dead Past (© 1956).  In the story, he wrote of a scientific discipline called chronoscopy, and of it's central device, the chronoscope.  A chronoscope would allow its operator to view events in the past, something like watching a television.

The story went something like this.  Only one chronoscope had ever been built.  Shortly after its existence was announced, agents of the United Nations had confiscated the device and all related information, sequestered the inventor, and suppressed all further research in the field of chronoscopy.  U.N. officials wouldn't give any reason for the action.  However, the prohibitions were rigidly enforced.

Meanwhile, an archeologist whose field of study was Carthage and the Carthaginians, wanted to get access to the chronoscope.  He needed to verify some things in connection with his research.  Since he was an archeologist by trade, his only expectation regarding the chronoscope was to use it to view the distant past.

The only existing chronoscope was controlled by the United Nations.  The archeologist's requests for access to the chronoscope were invariably denied.  As his frustration grew, he eventually enlisted the aid of a colleague, who was a physicist.  The plan that they developed was to build an unauthorized chronoscope.  That, of course, was illegal and so a conspiracy was born.  With the help of a publicist who he trusted, the physicist was able to obtain an illegal copy of the original information that had been written by the original inventor.  Working in secret in the archeologist's basement, he eventually built a working chronoscope.

During the course of the conspiracy, the physicist gave a complete copy of his notes, equations, and construction plans to the publicist, for safekeeping.  All three men developed the opinion that the U.N. was improperly suppressing the information.  They believed that it should be generally available.  So, when the publicist believed that the authorities were closing in on the conspiracy, he distributed the information widely, to various of his colleagues around the world.  By the time that the authorities had the conspirators in custody, it was too late to prevent the dissemination of the information.

The story ended with a heated argument between the conspirators and the U.N. official in charge, Thaddeus Araman.  The conspirators were incensed at the arrogance of the United Nations.  They believed that people should not be deprived of such a wonderful invention, and accused Araman of being part of an intentional United Nations program of suppression.  Surprisingly, Araman readily admitted to the truth of the accusation.  To the dismay of the conspirators, he also had a very good reason for the suppression of any and all knowledge of chronoscopy.

Araman asked a question.  He asked how long ago the past begins.  He pointed out that his question was already in the past.  The present is infinitesimal.  The past begins instantly.  Anybody who had a chronoscope could set it for one-hundredth of a second in the past as easily as for one hundred years in the past.  The archeologist, being completely focused on his archeological digs, hadn't thought of that.  What he hadn't realized was that a chronoscope was the most effective privacy violating device that had ever been invented.  Anybody who had one could set it for a fraction of a


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second in the past, set it for anywhere on Earth, and watch anything that anybody did with only a fraction of a second of delay.  There wasn't any possible way to hide from the thing.  Since the conspirators had made it possible for chronoscopes to be built easily and cheaply, many people would be able to have them.  With such devices in the hands of private individuals, it would be impossible for the government to retrieve them.  Every action of every government agent would be potentially visible to anybody who wanted to watch it.  The government agents could never count on being able to make a surprise raid.  Every celebrity would be constantly under observation.  Every private moment of every movie star would be watched by millions of fans.  Every spouse could be continuously supervised.  Nobody could ever count on having a secret affair.  There might never again be a surprise birthday party.  There wouldn't ever again be any such thing as privacy.  That's why the government had been trying to obstruct the availability of the device.  It could be used to spy on anybody, anywhere.  The point made by the U.N. official was that, sometimes, a government does a seemingly bad thing for a very good reason.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Invisibility

Many years ago, I read a story called Seven Footprints to Satan, by A. Merritt.7  A premise of the story was that all of the rich people of whom we've ever heard are not really the rich ones.  The reason is that the true test of wealth is invisibility.  People are not really rich unless they're so rich that they can control any and all access to themselves.  If they're so rich that they can succeed at being invisible, then and only then are they really rich.

We know that the Pentagon, sometime prior to September 11, 2001, misplaced $2,300,000,000,000 (2.3 trillion dollars).  That information was made public by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld during remarks that he made at the Pentagon on Monday, September 10, 2001.8  The circumstance was mentioned by Whitley Strieber in an interview of Jim Marrs on a Dreamland segment back in the year 2005.9  When Whitley Strieber made his comment, Jim Marrs calmly stated that the funds weren't lost.  Instead, he confidently claimed, they'd been diverted to fund the shadow government.  Funds measured in the trillions of dollars would be sufficient to achieve invisibility.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


07
 ^ 
See the References Section.
08
 ^ 
The document in which Rumsfeld's remarks were presented, listed as item 14 in my References Section, is no longer available at the DOD URL at which it was previously posted.  However, I can provide a copy of the document upon request.
09
 ^ 
See the References Section.

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Arcane Knowledge

Some people claim that, throughout the centuries, one group or another of elite people has hoarded and preserved arcane knowledge from the ancient past.  In at least two Dreamland interviews10, the claim was made that the race to Baghdad at the outset of the invasion was intended not to topple Saddam Hussein but to secure the Iraqi National Museum.  The allegation was that Saddam Hussein had accumulated a large number of clay tablets that preserved arcane knowledge of ancient and powerful technologies.  It's a fact that some of the people who plundered the museum walked past a good many valuable artifacts to get to specific locations in the basement where the tablets were located and to which the intruders had the keys.  Although many of the other stolen artifacts have been returned, over 80,000 cuneiform tablets from the basement archives, presumably containing arcane knowledge, were still missing as of July 31, 2004, the date of the cited interview of Richard Hoagland.  If tablets such as the ones allegedly taken from the Iraqi National Museum actually do preserve such arcane knowledge, then they might provide a more accurate account of actual events than the commonly available myths and legends.  Such records might tell us something about the attempts of some of our ancestors to develop escape technologies.  They might give us some warning about the aliens' methods of terminating the technologies.  That kind of information might be very useful to anyone who's interested in trying to mitigate the consequences of the next alien intervention.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


10
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July 24, 2004, 44 minutes 25 seconds, interview of Jim Marrs by Whitley Strieber
July 31, 2004, 12 minutes, 50 seconds, interview of Richard Hoagland by William Henry

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Shadow Government

Some time ago, I got to wondering why anybody in the U.S. government would bother to maintain a shadow government.  What would be the point of it?  What could they do with a shadow government that they couldn't do just as well with the acknowledged U.S. government?  One day while I was thinking about how to write this essay11 I thought of a possible reason for such secrecy.  Many times in our past, our ancestors have tried to develop escape technologies.  Each time, the aliens have destroyed the developing technologies.  Again, we're trying to develop an escape technology.  However, our big, expensive, and highly visible space program might be nothing more than a showboat, a diversion.  My father told me way back in the 1960s that chemically fueled rockets would never be useful for space travel.  If he could figure it out, then so can the people in the shadow government.

First, let's accept for the sake of discussion that it's theoretically possible for a government to do a seemingly bad thing for a very good reason.  It's an odd thought to find in one of my essays but I suppose that it's theoretically possible.  Second, let's recall that invisibility is very expensive.  Third, let's remember that large amounts of funds appear to be flowing into a seemingly pointless shadow government.  Now, consider that if the shadow government is as powerful as the conspiracy theorists claim, and as powerful as all of that secret funding could make it, then it doesn't need to stay in hiding.  There isn't any force on Earth that could challenge it.  So, why does it stay secret?  Think.  Maybe it isn't hiding from anybody on Earth.  Maybe it's hiding from the aliens.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

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Shadow Government's First Objective

Here's a theory.  The shadow government is trying to do two things.  One of those things is to secretly develop an escape technology and to deploy it before the aliens can prevent it.  The shadow government hopes that the aliens will focus on the NASA space program, and on other programs of a similar ilk.  In that sense, those space programs are being used by the shadow government as a diversion.  The secret escape technology is a REAL escape technology, not just some overgrown Fourth-of-July bottle rocket, like the Space Shuttle.  It's something fundamentally different, like the gravitational drive about which my father speculated back in the 1960s.  To develop such a thing, the shadow government has to stay hidden.  If the aliens even remotely suspect that such a thing is happening, then they might throw a medium-sized rock at the planet.  They've done that sort of thing before.

The deception might actually work.  If it does, then we can probably escape.  However, even if it doesn't work, that might still be OK.  The whole secret development program for the REAL escape technology is really just another diversion, like NASA.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Shadow Government's Second Objective 

Our ancestors have tried many times to create escape technologies.  This probably isn't the first time that a shadow government has been created for that purpose.  The aliens must suspect what's happening.  I don't think that we can prevent them from discovering the shadow government and it's hidden program to develop a real escape technology.  I expect that the aliens will destroy the project.  I expect that the people in the shadow government have reached the same conclusion.  So, we'll fail again.  The aliens will set our technology back about eight thousand years.  The survivors will try again to explain it to their children.  Again, the stories will degenerate into myths, legends, and religions.  This time, like the previous times, we won't win.  There's nothing quite so convincing as the real thing and the aliens will probably be satisfied with the results.  However, we're better strategists than the aliens are.  Indeed, we probably get a little better each time.  So, the secret escape technology program is intended only to motivate the aliens to conduct surveillance of the program.  Since it's well hidden, they'll have to send in agents.  It doesn't matter if the agents are human collaborators or aliens in disguise.  The important thing is that they'll be in close contact with agents of the shadow government.

The second agenda of the shadow government is to create an infectious disease and to infect the aliens with it.  The spies that infiltrate the escape technology program can be infected with the disease and carry it out with them.  The disease will have to have a very long incubation period, long enough to ride its hosts throughout the galaxy before it strikes.  It will have to successfully elude the screening examinations that the aliens surely apply to their returning spies.  It will have to pass from one alien to another for many, many years, infecting the majority of the population of the galaxy, before it becomes active.  When it becomes active, it will have to be fatal. 

The aliens have been protected from all known threats by their inherited technologies, for millennia.  They undoubtedly have antidotes, vaccinations, treatments, and so forth for all of the diseases that are known to them.  Better yet, they might have eliminated all diseases ages ago, and become careless.  Whatever the case, they won't have any defense against a new disease.  They're too slow, too stupid, and too weak to develop such a defense before they're all dead.  They won't be able to get any help from us.  We'll be struggling to survive the aftermath of their most recent intervention.  We'll be just at the point of rediscovering the longbow, just when the aliens need for us to have a very high level of medical technology.  That's the plan of the shadow government.  It might work.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Coda and Reprise

If the disease project is successful, then the next time that our descendants develop an escape technology, about eight thousand years from now, they'll find an empty galaxy to explore.  During their millennia of explorations and expansion, they'll find the crumbling remains of a once great, galaxy-wide society.  They'll study the remains and wonder how such a powerful society could have fallen.  The future human masters of the mysteriously depopulated galaxy will probably never know that it was the ingenuity of their own ancestors, this generation of human beings, that did the job.

Eventually, our distant descendants throughout the galaxy will come to understand the threat that's inherent in the great unknown and infinite universe.  They'll have deteriorated significantly after their millennia of comfortable existence, supported by their advanced technologies.  They'll be fundamentally peaceful, having eliminated combativeness from their many societies throughout the galaxy.  They'll realize that they need a reserve force of warriors.  With that in mind, they'll find a young planet with plentiful resources and an adaptable population of semi-sentient ape-like creatures.  They'll begin an intelligence augmentation project, and ....
 

If you'd like to read the next essay in this series,
then you'll have to wait until I write it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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References
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011928
Seven Footprints to Satan, A. Merritt, An Avon Book, Copyright © 1928 by Boni & Liveright, 9th printing December 1963
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021952
ARISTOTLE'S POLITICS AND POETICS, Translated by BENJAMIN JOWETT & THOMAS TWINING, with an Introduction by LINCOLN DIAMANT, FINE EDITIONS PRESS, CLEVELAND, THE SPECIAL CONTENTS OF THIS EDITION COPYRIGHT 1952 BY THE WORLD PUBLISHING COMPANY, MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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031957
Earth Is Room Enough, Science Fiction Tales of Our Own Planet, A FAWCETT CREST BOOK,  Fawcett Publications, Inc., Greenwich, Conn.,  Member of American Book Publishers Council, Inc., Copyright © 1957 by Isaac Asimov
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041980
Sundiver, David Brin, BANTAM BOOKS, NEW YORK, TORONTO, LONDON, SYDNEY, AUKLAND, copyright © 1980 by David Brin, ISBN 0-553-26982-8
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051983
Startide Rising, David Brin, BANTAM BOOKS, NEW YORK, TORONTO, LONDON, SYDNEY, AUKLAND, copyright © 1983, 1993 by David Brin, ISBN 0-553-27418-X
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061985
Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief:  A Satirical Essay, Wednesday, January 2, 1985, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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071987
The Uplift War, David Brin, BANTAM BOOKS, TORONTO, NEW YORK, LONDON, SYDNEY, AUKLAND, copyright © 1987 by David Brin, ISBN 0-553-25121-X
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081990
Liability, Ltd.:  Corpus Corporatum and Corpus Delicti, Friday, June 22, 1990, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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091991
Money, Wednesday, March 13, 1991, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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101991
Ravin’ Evermore, Monday, August 12, 1991, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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111991
Shadow Taxes, Saturday, June 15, 1991, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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121991
They Can Fool Too Many of the People Too Much of the Time, Saturday, February 16, 1991, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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131995
Cosmology and the Law of Parsimony, Thursday, April 13, 1995, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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142001
DOD Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week Kickoff—Bureaucracy to Battlefield, Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The

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00Pentagon , Monday, September 10, 2001, http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2001/s20010910-secdef.htmlr
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152003
Raving Over Time, Tuesday, February 4, 2003, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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162004
http://www.unknowncountry.com/dreamland/, July 24, 2004, 44 minutes 25 seconds, interview of Jim Marrs by Whitley Strieber
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172004
http://www.unknowncountry.com/dreamland/, July 31, 2004, 12 minutes, 50 seconds, interview of Richard Hoagland by William Henry
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182005
http://www.unknowncountry.com/dreamland/, April 16, 2005, 8 minutes and 20 seconds into the interview of Jim Marrs by Whitley Strieber
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192007
Gold Enough, Friday, December 14, 2007, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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202007
Interest-Bearing Transactions, Wednesday, November 28, 2007, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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212007
Quid Pro Something, Wednesday, December 5, 2007, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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222007
The Solmon Scenario, Sunday, December 2, 2007, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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232008
Serial Taxation, Wednesday, January 2, 2008, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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242011
Survival Bottlenecks and Ockham's Razor, Frontiersman, November 2011, page 1

 
 
 
 
 


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