1. Nalix
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    Nalix Member

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    Revisiting Alien Invasions

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Nalix, Jul 16, 2010.

    Considering that this is a popular theme, at least in science fiction and occasionally in fantasy as well, what would be a realistic reaction from the general pubic in the event of contact with an alien civilization? I'm just fishing for ideas here.

    I recognize that there are a lot of ways that such an event could occur that would make a huge difference. How hostile are the aliens? How much more advanced? How different are they? But beside all these things there are likely quite a few trends that such events would have in common. That is what I would like to focus on. Regardless the nature of the invasion, what common reactions would be expected (especially those that might be overlooked at first but still have a big impact)?

    Even in a best case scenario (friendly aliens that are easy to relate to) if the contact event is public knowledge there will likely be certain universal reactions.

    It may be hard to say how people would act in an event that hasn't actually happened, but we can look to history and see events where one nation discovered another (usually with the more advanced nation doing the discovering, and rarely was the event good news for the people being discovered). In the highly globalized world we live in today, the Earth as a whole could be considered a nation in the sense that there is communication connecting nearly everyone.

    So how would people react? How wouldn't people react? What overall results could be expected?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Many authors have written about this theme. How do you think people would react? Why not write it?
     
  3. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm with Cogito. Why not write it and find out? Because the only way to find out how we react is for it to happen. But also the reaction might be completely different because of those in charge of the world and what the people are like. It could also largely depend on how the Aliens react. Whether they are more hostile or accepting.

    It could happen in a number of ways. If you want to write this sort of story you have to ask yourself. What do you think will happen? There is no right or wrong way to do this.

    But I would hope that the World doesn't completely freak out and we can find a way to communicate and share knowledge with each other. Find a way to live peacefully and such.
     
  4. Nalix
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    Nalix Member

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    I have already done so. I'm fairly confident that I did a reasonable job of it too, but the real problem I encountered - and thus my reason for posting this question - is that there is so much to consider in the situation. Stock market or economic reactions, military reactions, intelligence reactions, religious reactions... and how those and more can compound and react with each other. We haven't seen the fall of a major civilization since global communication set in (or have we and I just missed it? Do we count the USSR?).

    I already have an idea for how people would react in the setting I'm writing in. I'm just fishing for ideas on how else people might react, openly acknowledging that people would think to do things that would never, ever, occur to me. And something such as aliens appearing in the sky may make just about anything "seem like a good idea at the time". Perhaps I should think of some more specific questions...

    Assuming for the moment that the aliens are neither particularly hostile or friendly - but that may change - what reactions could we expect from:
    -the religious perspective - how might religious leaders and followers react?
    -the military perspective - what might military leaders and associates want or try to do?
    -the scientific perspective - what might scientists try to do, or convince others to do?
    -the economic perspective - what might businesses and corporations try to do?

    And finally, what reactions might be expected between these groups. I like to think that I've already covered the possibilities in my head, but even I don't have enough of an ego to think that I've thought of everything, or even everything particularly important. Perhaps another perspective is missing from the above list that would be critically important? I'm just testing the water for ideas that go off the beaten path, just to see if anyone has anything that comes to mind. The problem, again, in this case is that I'm not really sure what the beaten path is.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just do your best job based on your research. You can draw some parallels with more conventional invasions. Look at the effects of the British invasion of India, or occupation of European countries during WWII. Read novels by other authors about invasions, like Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, or John Christopher's Tripods trilogy, or H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Each will treat the subject differently, but each will be a wellspring of ideas.
     

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