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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • djberg96 wrote: "So frigging what if they have a communicator?! What are they going to do with it? It would take years to reverse engineer..."

    Note that much of the following is reconstructed from my rather poor memory of an article, so rather than add a disclaimer after every sentence, I'll add it now: everything I am writing is probably wrong.

    I was once reading an article that was talking about what we would do if a UFO ever did crash-land here. Since it's impossible to test, the author created a "thought experiment". He speculated about what would happen if a modern nuclear weapon landed in the US, unexploded, sometime around WWI. Would we then have acquired a super weapon decades before we were supposed to and then be able to take over the world?

    Well, no. What are they going to do with the damned thing? They didn't have the mettalurgical technology to analyze what the materials. They couldn't appreciate the plastics and the computer technology would be completely undecipherable. The author finally concluded the only thing that they would learn is how to make ultra-high resistance resistors. Not much use back then. Heck, they might not even know that it was a weapon.

    My thought is that a more appopriate thought experiment might be: what would happen if my car fell into the hands of 1st century Europeans? It would be absolutely useless to them. If aliens could easily travel between star systems, I doubt we'd learn much from their version of teens wrecking a car on cruise night.

    Of course, even the above takes into account the fact that such technology was created by human minds. They finders could read the letters and certain engineering techniques might be clear. When it comes to alien technologies, we have no idea of the physical environment under which the technology was generated, much less the mental environment.