Month: January 2020

To Find Intelligent Alien Life, Humans Need to Start Thinking Like an Extraterrestrial

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Article by Adam Mann                            January 22, 2020                               (livescience.com)

• Claire Webb is an anthropology student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 2017, Webb has worked with Breakthrough Listen to examine how SETI researchers think about aliens and place anthropocentric assumptions into their work. On January 8th at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu, Webb pointed out the potential flaw in SETI’s $100 million Breakthrough Listen Project, which scours the cosmos for intelligent alien signals, being that scientists tend to bring with them their human biases. Webb’s job is to get SETI researchers to be mindful of their human behavior in order imagine new ways to perform scientific studies.

• At the conference, Webb pointed out how Breakthrough Listen scientists use artificial intelligence (or ‘AI’) to sift through large data sets to uncover potential ‘technosignatures’ to indicate technology or tools use by alien beings. Researchers that employ AI “tend to disavow human handicraft in the machines they build,” said Webb. “I find that somewhat problematic.” AI is trained by human beings. In doing so, they predispose their algorithms to certain biases.”

• Most SETI research assumes that beings on different worlds will be able to communicate in the same way that we do, says Webb. It presumes a technological compatibility in using radio telescopes and understanding the universal language of science and math. “(But) if E.T. was looking at us, what would they see?” Webb asks.

• Biases also come from assuming that other species’ technological development would mirror our own, such as dealing with nuclear weapon proliferation and climate change. We can’t automatically assume that the history of another species will unfold in the same way, says Webb.

• Veteran SETI scientist Jill Tarter suggested that we may be looking for a better version of ourselves, hoping that a message from advanced beings will include blueprints for a free energy device that can alleviate poverty. This assumes that an advanced species will have an equal moral advancement. Says Tarter, “I think that’s something that can be contested.”

• “One thing Jill [Tarter] has said many times is, ‘We are doing what we think makes sense now, but we might one day be doing something totally different… We reserve the right to get smarter.'”

 

HONOLULU — Our hunt for aliens has a potentially fatal flaw — we’re the ones searching for them.

         Claire Webb

That’s a problem because we’re a unique species, and alien-seeking scientists are an even stranger and more specialized bunch. As a result, their all-too human assumptions may get in the way of their alien-listening endeavors. To get around this, the Breakthrough Listen project, a $100-million initiative scouring the cosmos for signals of otherworldly beings as part of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), is asking anthropologists to help unmask some of these biases.

“It’s kind of a joke at Breakthrough Listen,” Claire Webb, an anthropology and history of science student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said here on Jan. 8 at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Honolulu. “They tell me: ‘We’re studying aliens, and you’re studying us.'”

              Jill Tarter

Since 2017, Webb has worked with Breakthrough Listen to examine how SETI researchers think about aliens, produce knowledge, and perhaps inadvertently place anthropocentric assumptions into their work.

She sometimes describes her efforts as “making the familiar strange.”

For instance, your life might seem perfectly ordinary — maybe involving being hunched over at a desk and shuttling electrons around between computers — until examined through an anthropological lens, which points out that this is not exactly a universal state of affairs. At the conference, Webb presented a poster looking at how Breakthrough Listen scientists use artificial intelligence (AI) to sift through large data sets and try to uncover potential technosignatures, or indicators of technology or tool use by alien organisms.

“Researchers who use AI tend to disavow human handicraft in the machines they build,” Webb told Live Science. “They attribute a lot of agency to those machines. I find that somewhat problematic and at the worst untrue.”

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Space Force must create Pax Americana in Space or China will according to USAF General

On January 17, 2019, newly retired US Air Force Lieutenant General Steven Kwast wrote an article in Politico about the need for Space Force to quickly break free of USAF strategic doctrine to create a “Pax Americana” in space otherwise China will quickly step into that role and take the strategic high ground. He explains that China is building a space navy with the equivalent of destroyers and cruisers, and that America must do the same. Is Kwast unaware that the USAF has already built a secret space program or is he laying the foundations for its future disclosure to the public?

Kwast retired from the USAF in September 2019 and gave a lecture two months later at Hillsdale College where he first presented his thinking about Space Force. In his Politico article, Kwast elaborates on many of the ideas he presented in his Hillsdale lecture.

Kwast begins his article by focusing on the future economy of space:

Space is so powerful and so full of resources that it will change the way humanity consumes energy, information, goods and services. It will also transform the way we travel more profoundly than the invention of the automobile and airplane combined. The newly established Space Force is imperative if we want to avoid war and manage this journey into the future of a new trillion-dollar space economy with the power to peacefully protect our people and values.

He warns that the USAF does not appreciate the strategic importance of protecting the future “trillion-dollar space economy”, but China is:

The problem is that the Air Force is proposing a Space Force that will not protect the marketplace of space beyond earth’s orbit. But China is.

Kwast is very critical of the Air Force approach to space and asserts that it doesn’t have the right mindset for utilizing the full potential of space:

First, the Air Force is trapped in an industrial-age mindset. It is projecting power through air, space, and cyber yet does not properly consider the space geography beyond earth’s orbit… In short, the current Air Force plan for the Space Force will lose the race to dominant the strategic high ground.

Kwast goes on to warn about the danger posed by China which is building a “guardian force” to protect its interests in the future “marketplace of space”:

If America wants peace in space, it must supply some form of guardian force with the power to hold participants accountable to international law and American values. China is already building its guardian force. China is building a navy in space, with the equivalent of battleships and destroyers that can move fast and kill. America’s satellites will be helpless to win against the superior speed and firepower in China’s force.

He describes China’s ability to destroy America’s satellite communications system and the superior strategy it has developed for space:

China is winning the space race not because it builds better space equipment but because it has a superior strategy. For example, if China stays on its current path, it will deploy nuclear propulsion and solar power stations in space within 10 years. While China will claim that power stations in space can beam clean energy to anyone on Earth, the alarming fact is that the same capability can be used to turn off any portion of the American power grid, and has the ability to paralyze our military might anywhere on the planet.

Kwast concludes his article by asserting that Space Force needs to become independent of the Air Force thinking:

There is one simple action that can propel America to win. Congress must take steps to make the Space Force independent of the Air Force and give it the mission to defend the economy of space. If not it will evolve too slowly and lose this strategic high ground. There may not be time to recover.

Kwast’s proposal that the US Space Force takes on the role of establishing a Pax Americana in space where US interests in the future “trillion-dollar space economy” has much support within the Trump administration.

After the passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act establishing the creation of Space Force, its newly created Chief of Space Operations, General Jay Raymond, has transferred 16,000 USAF personnel into Space Force, is converting USAF bases to “space bases”, and approved a seal for the new service.

While Kwast lays out the need for a strategic doctrine of a Pax Americana in space involving the development of space cruisers and battleships, he does not appear aware that such a military force already exists. Is Kwast simply out of the loop about the antigravity vehicles of the USAF’s secret space program or is he laying the foundation for the Air Force to disclose its existence?

In the US Air Force Secret Space Program, I lay out the historical documents and insider testimonies showing how the Air Force began deploying spacecraft using exotic antigravity propulsion systems in the 1970s. Since that time, the USAF’s space arsenal has steadily grown into fleets of triangle, rectangle and saucer shaped space vehicles that dominate near-earth operations.

In short, the Pax Americana that Kwast forcefully argues needs to be established has existed for over four decades and China does not lead the way in establishing a “guardian force”, but is instead quickly catching up to what the USAF did decades earlier. In fact, China is so quickly bridging the technology gap thanks to its huge economy and industrial espionage, that its military strategists are planning for China to become the new global and space hegemon by 2030, thanks to the unrestricted embrace of Artificial Intelligence.

Coming Soon!!!

A case can be made that Kwast was simply out of the loop of the existence of a USAF secret space program since his career assignments did not involve positions where he had a “need to know” of such a highly classified program. His last assignment was Commander of Air Education and Training Command in San Antonio, Texas.

It’s also very possible that his justification of Space Force is designed to have the American public give uncritical support for the creation of a Pax Americana in space while covering up the fact that it was established decades ago, without the American public being informed. An inconvenient fact that is sure to make many angry over the decades-long delay in sharing the revolutionary advances in electromagnetic propulsion technologies, new energy systems and healing modalities that have been kept hidden from the general public.

© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice

Further Reading

Breathing New Life Into Colonizing the Moon? ESA to Produce Oxygen From Lunar Dust

 

January 20, 2020                       (rt.com)

• NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together towards “a sustained human presence on the Moon and maybe one day Mars.” Toward that end, the ESA has built a prototype oxygen plant in Noordwijk, Netherlands that extracts breathable oxygen from moon rocks, or “lunar regolith”. The space agency’s goal is to create a functional, portable version of the system, ready for testing by the mid-2020s, that could one day be flown to the Moon .

• “Being able to acquire oxygen from resources found on the Moon would obviously be hugely useful for future lunar settlers, both for breathing and in the local production of rocket fuel,” says Beth Lomax of the University of Glasgow, a researcher working on the prototype at the European Space Research and Technology Centre.

• It turns out that lunar regolith (moon rock) is made up of 40 to 45 percent oxygen by weight, making it the Moon’s single most abundant element. Lunar rocks are placed in a metal basket with calcium chloride salt and then heated to 950 degrees Celsius (or 1742 degrees Fahrenheit). Then, by passing an electric current through the heated rock it releases the oxygen contained within.

• With this process, the regolith becomes a usable metal alloy which may also have uses beneficial to a future colony on the Moon, such as raw material for lunar-based 3D printers to construct parts for lunar bases or even spacecraft.

 

        Beth Lomax

The European Space Agency (ESA) has fired up its prototype oxygen plant to begin producing the element out of

                a moon rock

simulated moondust, with a view to creating a sustainable breathable air production facility on the Moon.

“Being able to acquire oxygen from resources found on the Moon would obviously be hugely useful for future lunar settlers, both for breathing and in the local production of rocket fuel,” says Beth Lomax of the University of Glasgow, a researcher working on the prototype at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC).

The current prototype is set up in a lab in Noordwijk in the Netherlands, but the next step is to begin fine-tuning, reducing the operating temperature and streamlining the design to create a portable version of the system that could one day be flown to the Moon.

Based on samples brought back from the Moon over the years, it turns out that lunar regolith (moon rock) is made up of 40 to 45 percent oxygen by weight, making it the satellite’s single most abundant element, which is incredibly fortunate for future human colonization plans.

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