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TroutnutFebruary 9th, 2011, 10:38 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2727
Kurt, as an avid amateur astronomer, I must confess to not believing in aliens.


I haven't really followed this whole thread... nymphing, into aliens, into Hitler? I'm not sure I want to know how this evolved. So I might be misinterpreting you when I analyze this quote out of context.

However, as a former avid amateur astronomer who almost became a professional one, I have to say it's hard not to believe in aliens! It's nearly impossible that they've visited us on Earth, but it's hard to read the Drake Equation in a way that suggests there's nobody out there at all.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shawnny3February 9th, 2011, 10:55 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I saw a recent interview with Stephen Hawking in which he shared the sobering thought that if an alien race ever does come here, the very facts that they could both get here and want to get here don't bode well for us, because they would probably be far more advanced than us and want our planet for themselves. I thought that a funny and very logical assessment of alien interactions.

If life does exist elsewhere, odds are it is either quite primitive or incredibly advanced, with the primitive being way more likely - the ideas that we might have cordial conversations with aliens or fend them off with good ol' American ingenuity and weaponry are both a little far-fetched. Then again, the odds of ever encountering them are much, much lower. There are probably bigger problems to worry about. But it is very cool to think about.

Interesting thread.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
EntomanFebruary 9th, 2011, 11:10 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Jason -
I haven't really followed this whole thread... nymphing, into aliens, into Hitler? I'm not sure I want to know how this evolved. So I might be misinterpreting you when I analyze this quote out of context.


Short answer? Yes, you are. Jonathon was making a funny. Good one actually... Read the half dozen or so posts before it, starting with his story about the Bluegill/Bass hook swap and it will make sense (I think).

Teasing about the veracity of fishing stories led to an alien abduction just after Hitler invaded France and.... Ah, heck! Read the thread.

Kurt

P.S. The REAL reason Jonathon denies their existance is because that's how he avoids the deep psychological trauma of his abduction. Those fish on Planet X were just waaay too selective!
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
EntomanFebruary 9th, 2011, 11:21 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
BTW Jason - Both you and Jonathon went from galaxies to bugs? I'm sensing a pattern here... What's the matter, the big guys to tough for ya so you decided to pick on the little guys? :)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
TroutnutFebruary 9th, 2011, 12:33 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2727
I saw a recent interview with Stephen Hawking in which he shared the sobering thought that if an alien race ever does come here, the very facts that they could both get here and want to get here don't bode well for us, because they would probably be far more advanced than us and want our planet for themselves.


I'm not so sure about this. The Kepler space telescope has recently shown that planets are way more common than we thought even a few years ago... maybe even when Hawking gave that interview. From the standpoint of raw materials, the Earth probably offers nothing special that can't be had just as easily on thousands of lifeless planets or asteroids. What's special about the Earth is our biosphere, but that's only really dandy for life that evolved here. Life forms from another planet would probably have to change it rather drastically, their own version of "terraforming" -- but they could probably do that just as well on a planet that didn't start out with life of its own.

I also think it would be a little bit surprising for an extremely aggressive alien civilization to get off its own planet in the first place. Look how close we've come to blowing our whole civilization to pieces in the past. With the inevitable political conflicts that will arise from the food and space shortages caused by global warming and rising seas in 50-100, we'll need even more luck to survive to become an interstellar space-faring civilization. Yet even we would have the sense not to demolish another living planet if we found one. What are the odds that a race even more aggressive than us would ever make it off their own rock? I think we'd be more likely to encounter an alien race with a detached, anthropological view of humanity. There's no guarantee, but I wouldn't assume doom & gloom either.

My personal far-fetched fantasy is that there's a benevolent alien civilization watching our development and waiting to welcome us to the galactic community once they've concluded that we are "intelligent life," which will happen as soon as Sarah Palin's approval rating drops below 1%. I can dream...

If life does exist elsewhere, odds are it is either quite primitive or incredibly advanced, with the primitive being way more likely - the ideas that we might have cordial conversations with aliens or fend them off with good ol' American ingenuity and weaponry are both a little far-fetched. Then again, the odds of ever encountering them are much, much lower.


Very true. Although I do have to wonder if there isn't some limit to technological advancement. Maybe a society gradually figures out every really important thing the laws of physics allow us to do. For sure we're not anywhere close to that level yet, but perhaps we're close enough that a fully developed civilization wouldn't look like incomprehensible magic to us.

Our odds of an encounter might not be hopelessly small. It's hilariously unlikely that we'd see a visit, but a sufficiently advanced civilization might be transmitting signals we can pick up. The SETI project is a worthwhile attempt to look for any such signals. I don't know if they'll be successful in 1 year, in 100, or if they could search for a million years and find nothing. But if they have success it will be the biggest day in the history of humankind.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
TroutnutFebruary 9th, 2011, 12:38 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2727
BTW Jason - Both you and Jonathon went from galaxies to bugs? I'm sensing a pattern here... What's the matter, the big guys to tough for ya so you decided to pick on the little guys? :)


I left astronomy in part because most of the really cool stuff takes a really long time, and is done by enormous teams. I needed a bit more instant gratification than that, which ecology provides. I can spend a few days on the stream and learn something interesting about the fish I'm studying. In astronomy, I would likely have been one of a thousand people working on a billion-dollar project that won't begin to see results for 15 years or something, and could have the rug pulled out from under it by politicians at any moment. People put years of their lives into things that can blow up if one of a million screws is loose in some rocket. I'm still fascinated by the results they get and the amazing technology they use to do it, but I'm more satisfied now as a spectator than as a participant.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123February 9th, 2011, 1:06 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2547
Kurt & Jason, I'm STILL an avid amateur astronomer! Emphasis here on the word AMATEUR, as in I'm also an amateur fly fisherman. I have no pretenses of making a living at either pursuit, they're just hobbies for my own enjoyment.

I don't know if I would like fly fishing quite as much if I had to guide clients every day. I generally go fishing alone, as I am free to determine my own limits as far as time, energy level, hunger, tolerance to mosquitos, etc. I welcome fishing companions but they are typically not as often available to go fishing spontaneously as I am.

As far as astronomy is concerned, I have been intersted in it since I was about six years old and never outgrew it, nor have I ever outgrown the vast majority of my childhood fascinations, and have even managed to make a career out of two of them, botany and entomology - if one could call three-plus years of unemployment a career...Anyway, I have had it suggested that I go into astronomy as a career, but if you are a professional astronomer in our modern world, you don't really get to spend time looking through an eyepiece but rather analyzing mounds of spectrophotometric data on a computer...NOT exactly my cup of tea! I just like looking at the beauty of nature through a nice telescope (or microscope, for that matter, and I CAN make a living off the latter...). I currently own an Orion XT-10, a 10" Dobsonian reflector for looking at those galaxies (and star clusters and nebulae and planets and etc.), and last October I attended the Great Lakes Star Gaze (between Clare and Gladwin, MI) where I saw a moon shadow on Jupiter, the planet Uranus for the first time through my own scope, and many other beautiful objects - but no aliens! More on the alien thing later...Also been to the Texas Star Party three times and a few random others.

You see, boys, I'm what you call a nerd - which is, after all, what a dumb kid calls a smart kid...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EntomanFebruary 9th, 2011, 1:07 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Don't forget time travel and parallel universes as visitation possibilities.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
GutcutterFebruary 9th, 2011, 5:32 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Anybody know where I can find a spare 1.21 gigawatts of power?
Spence - did I leave my flux capacitor somewhere in your fishing vest?
I'm washing and then waxing the DeLorean for a little ride... Kurt - where do you want to go?
I'm thinking maybe the Madison about 1850? Are you coming with me?
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
OldredbarnFebruary 9th, 2011, 7:56 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
My personal far-fetched fantasy is that there's a benevolent alien civilization watching our development and waiting to welcome us to the galactic community once they've concluded that we are "intelligent life," which will happen as soon as Sarah Palin's approval rating drops below 1%. I can dream...


Yes you can! :)

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnFebruary 9th, 2011, 7:59 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
I'm thinking maybe the Madison about 1850? Are you coming with me?


Tony. Sign me on man! I hope this trip isn't dependant upon my finding anything in that crowded vest of mine...That may take a moment or two...:)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
FalsiflyFebruary 9th, 2011, 9:04 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Nymphing, abducted by aliens, Super Bowl, Big cheese, catching aquarium specimens, German scientists, Johnny Carson, Hitler, UFOís, Arms Race, Parkinson's Disease, global warming, Sarah Palin, SETI, tolerance to mosquitos, loose screws, rockets, a nerd, time travel and parallel universes.

My God, what have I created?
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
EntomanFebruary 10th, 2011
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Tony - I'm there buddy! You ,me, and Spence on the Madison in 1850? Wow!! Of course there won't be any Browns or Rainbows so we'll just have to settle for dumb Cutts as long as your arm... Can we bring Sarah too? I know the car is only a two seater, so we'll just strap her in on Spence's lap with a bunch of bananas next to that fuel port in the back... She can throw the peals in so we don't run out of gas. She'll also come in handy to protect us from Griz, Cheyenne warriors and such...

Allan - What tangled webs we weave!
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
OldredbarnFebruary 10th, 2011, 7:06 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
My God, what have I created?


Allan,

You did start this mess...Way back in the middle of December! I guess this winter has messed with our heads a bit...I just can't shovel one more ounce of snow!

Well. The sun is shining here near Detroit this morning though the temp gauge on the Snob-Car read all of 3 degrees...I watched some Cardinals chase a female around a neighbors tree while I waited for the wife to make it to the car for our trip to work...Hints of spring are out there and maybe the hope of opening day will settle us down a tad...I just hope that everyone was doing some tying this winter and not just typing on TroutNut! I'm not giving away any flies on the river buck-o's!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnFebruary 10th, 2011, 7:19 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
Can we bring Sarah too? I know the car is only a two seater, so we'll just strap her in on Spence's lap


Anyone remember "Scent of a Woman"? "Whoo-ahhh!" Sarah on my lap. Now there's a picture. I actually stayed in Girdwood Alaska back in 1973 and I hear she has a ski lodge up that way...1973-2011 light years apart I'm afraid but if it will get us back to the Madison, I don't care what year really, then I'll give it a go...Can Spence the Prince (the old-school classical marxist) tame Sassy Sarah (the princess of the tea-party)? I don't doubt that she's a bundle of fun in a sleeping bag..."You betcha!"

Spence

I was going to make an off-color remark about Sassy Sarah and the "Caught or Naught" title of this thread but I thought better of it...Something along the lines of how we would know if Spence had "foul-hooked" her or not...;)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123February 10th, 2011, 8:05 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2547
In the words of the late Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy's Restaurant chain, after viewing a rather pyschedelic commercial for his burgers:

"Man, is this ever WIERD!!"

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PaulRobertsFebruary 10th, 2011, 11:21 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
It's February. Cabin fever has set in. And I couldn't think of a better internet bunch to spend it with. Try one of the other hook-n-bullet sites; lucky there's lotsa cyberspace between em.

But I have news! Spring is here! We have hit (at our shared latitudes) about 3min/day rate change -the sun is coming back! Fast!! I heard the first bird song (not call note) yesterday -albeit a chickadee. It's not much longer now. Midges this month. Baetis next! Then...sht, which do I choose??

In the meantime, thanks for the amusing reading.
FalsiflyFebruary 10th, 2011, 12:26 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Itís February. Cabin fever has set in


With the middle of winterís incessancy upon us it seems the last cast to the beloved trout is nothing more than a distant memory. The trout season has been closed since October first, and my days are now consumed comfortably lounging in the recliner, with Jack and the rocks ever tingling against the tumbler walls, quenching the parched throat of winterís dryness. Submissively self imprisoned in my modest confinement, and boring of the unremitting snow, my only exorcise has been to maintain a relatively straight line between the liquor cabinet, the ice box, and my chair. The only deviation is to peek out the window and confirm that the thermometer is indeed stuck within a range of single digits, and often on the minus side. My casting elbow, however, remains in tip top shape, I have duplicated the weight of my, tumbler, ice, and Jack, to match that of my, rod, reel, and line. And so it is that my days are spent casting. As far as fish being caught, well thatís one of the benefits of Jack, he allows the imagination to run free, and I have tied into some big ones.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
EntomanFebruary 10th, 2011, 12:26 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hey Spence - Don't know about off color remarks, But I don't think the crack about sleeping bags is gonna make Todd too happy! Hear the shrill whine of a Snowmobile coming closer? Not sure imitating Pacino's blind act will help much, so you better think of something...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123February 10th, 2011, 5:07 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2547
I'm passing the winter with occasional bouts of cross-country skiing and contemplating snowshoeing it to the lower Au Sable during the next thaw (apparently coming soon, like next week) to fling some flies at steelhead with my 8-weight...Also need to get a membership at the nearest shooting range to fire my new .45 and a few rifles...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
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