Discussion:
A meta question about the Alien Space Bats
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pyotr filipivich
2020-06-13 17:02:29 UTC
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Greetings all

I was talking with The Wife about an alt-history scenario
involving a sudden resource shortage, and hand waved the question of
how it started by saying "Alien Space Bats did it." Immediately, she
then went straight to the point: If the Space Bats did it, then
wouldn't we be pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?

Which was an interesting diversion from the subject, but thinking
about it, how do the ASB accomplish their tasks, and how much would
contemporary Humans notice? I keep coming back to the stock answer
"Depends upon The Needs of the Plot."
Aliens - Humanoids
Aliens - non-humanoid
Robots / doids
Artifacts (books, working models, copies of "lost" things,
"anachronistic" items placed where they will be found*)
Time Travelers
Time traveling Aliens
Time Traveling alien robots.
Time Traveling alien Robots with artifacts.

And of course you have the issue of whether a time traveler knows
how he did it, knows how to do it again, _can_ do it again ("And here
I am in 12th century Wales and all I need to get back is ... a wall
socket and house current..")

Same goes for the ASB. Do they know what they are doing, or is it
a side effect of something else they are doing?** Did they leave
something as a "seed / catalyst" element? Deliberately, or it just
got forgotten?

Now I have forgotten what exactly I had in mind, wait - there's
the door bell


tschus
pyotr




* I'm recalling a short story where the archeologist can't find his
Trowel, but when they move the stone slab from the floor they've
excavated down to, there it is. He's a bit upset, because it was his
favorite, and now it is An Artifact" and he can't use it anymore.
Another story had the protagonist give her plastic bracelet to
another contemporary girl, who dies and is buried with it, and when
the archeologist excavate the site, 11,000 years later, there is this
child's skeleton with a plastic bracelet. "Obviously, this is a crime
scene, not a thousand year old burial site."

**E.G. the Vogon constructor company. The "Chthuloid entity" in
Ringo's _Into the Looking Glass_: it doesn't notice the humans,
quantum mechanics makes sense to it, and it 'broadcasts' its thought
and humans have to "roll vs SAN." There was another story where the
protagonists gets hauled back to prehistoric Scandinavia in the vortex
cause by a slightly out of tune ("somewhere after the 19th decimal
place") Widget in a time machine. {He gets returned to the present,
safe and sound, by the same vortex as the researcher returns to xie's
time.}
--
Here are some objective realities. Aristotle was not Belgian!
The central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself!
And the London Underground is not a political movement!
Dimensional Traveler
2020-06-13 17:39:50 UTC
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Post by pyotr filipivich
Greetings all
I was talking with The Wife about an alt-history scenario
involving a sudden resource shortage, and hand waved the question of
how it started by saying "Alien Space Bats did it." Immediately, she
then went straight to the point: If the Space Bats did it, then
wouldn't we be pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
Which was an interesting diversion from the subject, but thinking
about it, how do the ASB accomplish their tasks, and how much would
contemporary Humans notice? I keep coming back to the stock answer
"Depends upon The Needs of the Plot."
Aliens - Humanoids
Aliens - non-humanoid
Robots / doids
Artifacts (books, working models, copies of "lost" things,
"anachronistic" items placed where they will be found*)
Time Travelers
Time traveling Aliens
Time Traveling alien robots.
Time Traveling alien Robots with artifacts.
And of course you have the issue of whether a time traveler knows
how he did it, knows how to do it again, _can_ do it again ("And here
I am in 12th century Wales and all I need to get back is ... a wall
socket and house current..")
Same goes for the ASB. Do they know what they are doing, or is it
a side effect of something else they are doing?** Did they leave
something as a "seed / catalyst" element? Deliberately, or it just
got forgotten?
The answer is "No one knows because Alien Space Bats did it."
--
<to be filled in at a later date>
Rich Rostrom
2020-06-13 20:38:09 UTC
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If the Space Bats did it, then wouldn't we be
pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
Their powers (and presumably their consciousness)
are so different and so much greater than ours that
there would be no point of contact. Also, they are
extremely dangerous. Even when they are not malevolent,
they cause immense disruption.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerd├ęs.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Chrysi Cat
2020-06-13 20:47:36 UTC
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Post by pyotr filipivich
Greetings all
I was talking with The Wife about an alt-history scenario
involving a sudden resource shortage, and hand waved the question of
how it started by saying "Alien Space Bats did it." Immediately, she
then went straight to the point: If the Space Bats did it, then
wouldn't we be pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
Which was an interesting diversion from the subject, but thinking
about it, how do the ASB accomplish their tasks, and how much would
contemporary Humans notice? I keep coming back to the stock answer
"Depends upon The Needs of the Plot."
Aliens - Humanoids
Aliens - non-humanoid
Robots / doids
Artifacts (books, working models, copies of "lost" things,
"anachronistic" items placed where they will be found*)
Time Travelers
Time traveling Aliens
Time Traveling alien robots.
Time Traveling alien Robots with artifacts.
And of course you have the issue of whether a time traveler knows
how he did it, knows how to do it again, _can_ do it again ("And here
I am in 12th century Wales and all I need to get back is ... a wall
socket and house current..")
Same goes for the ASB. Do they know what they are doing, or is it
a side effect of something else they are doing?** Did they leave
something as a "seed / catalyst" element? Deliberately, or it just
got forgotten?
Now I have forgotten what exactly I had in mind, wait - there's
the door bell
tschus
pyotr
* I'm recalling a short story where the archeologist can't find his
Trowel, but when they move the stone slab from the floor they've
excavated down to, there it is. He's a bit upset, because it was his
favorite, and now it is An Artifact" and he can't use it anymore.
Another story had the protagonist give her plastic bracelet to
another contemporary girl, who dies and is buried with it, and when
the archeologist excavate the site, 11,000 years later, there is this
child's skeleton with a plastic bracelet. "Obviously, this is a crime
scene, not a thousand year old burial site."
**E.G. the Vogon constructor company. The "Chthuloid entity" in
Ringo's _Into the Looking Glass_: it doesn't notice the humans,
quantum mechanics makes sense to it, and it 'broadcasts' its thought
and humans have to "roll vs SAN." There was another story where the
protagonists gets hauled back to prehistoric Scandinavia in the vortex
cause by a slightly out of tune ("somewhere after the 19th decimal
place") Widget in a time machine. {He gets returned to the present,
safe and sound, by the same vortex as the researcher returns to xie's
time.}
Honestly, you should prolly have also cross-posted this one to the
still-very-active r.a.sf.w.

But I'm not going to at this point, because there are all those replies
which _weren't_ themselves cross-posted to it.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
Rich Rostrom
2022-01-17 17:30:45 UTC
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If the Space Bats did it, then wouldn't we be
pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
This assumes we have any perception of the ASBs as agents.
More likely the Event just happens, and humans have no
idea how it happened.

Or humans see them Do It - but have no more idea of how
to communicate with the ASBs than ants would with humans.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerd├ęs.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2022-01-17 20:01:15 UTC
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2022 11:30:45 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
If the Space Bats did it, then wouldn't we be
pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
This assumes we have any perception of the ASBs as agents.
More likely the Event just happens, and humans have no
idea how it happened.
Or humans see them Do It - but have no more idea of how
to communicate with the ASBs than ants would with humans.
I've always considered "ASBs" to be a plot device to make something
implausible happen and not actually a physical creature.

Others have called this "handwaveium"
pyotr filipivich
2022-01-17 23:36:36 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Mon, 17 Jan 2022 11:30:45 -0600, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
If the Space Bats did it, then wouldn't we be
pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
This assumes we have any perception of the ASBs as agents.
More likely the Event just happens, and humans have no
idea how it happened.
Or humans see them Do It - but have no more idea of how
to communicate with the ASBs than ants would with humans.
I've always considered "ASBs" to be a plot device to make something
implausible happen and not actually a physical creature.
Others have called this "handwaveium"
In "Through the Looking Glass", following a lab accident (60kt TNT
equivalent "boom".), there is a boson generator which creates portals.
Near Baton Rouge there is a fifty mile zone where most people died,
and those on the peremptory just went insane, The Specialist say
"It's Chthulu!" to which the Uber science geek professor says "Hmm.
But you can't say that. For one, we don't know if that is what it
calls itself, Call it a 'chuthuloid entity' and continue."
--
pyotr filipivich
"History rarely repeats herself" is the cliche. In reality she just
lets fly with a frying pan yelling "Why weren't you listening the first time!?"
Louis Epstein
2022-01-20 02:35:34 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
If the Space Bats did it, then wouldn't we be
pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
This assumes we have any perception of the ASBs as agents.
More likely the Event just happens, and humans have no
idea how it happened.
Or humans see them Do It - but have no more idea of how
to communicate with the ASBs than ants would with humans.
So...no way to ally with their natural predators?

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Dimensional Traveler
2022-01-20 03:43:37 UTC
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Post by Louis Epstein
Post by Rich Rostrom
If the Space Bats did it, then wouldn't we be
pestering them for solutions to the problems they
provided/caused?
This assumes we have any perception of the ASBs as agents.
More likely the Event just happens, and humans have no
idea how it happened.
Or humans see them Do It - but have no more idea of how
to communicate with the ASBs than ants would with humans.
So...no way to ally with their natural predators?
The Alien Space Bats retconned their natural predators out of existence.
--
I've done good in this world. Now I'm tired and just want to be a cranky
dirty old man.
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