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Neill Blomkamp's TED talk

Neill Blomkamp, director of DISTRICT 9, gave an interesting talk at TED where he articulately provides a lucid overview on the possibility of extraterrestrial life that had my inner geek utterly swooning. Sparked by an interviewer’s question about whether he believed the aliens in his film accurately represented what he believed aliens looked like, he responded absolutely not. He explains that the film was an allegory for identity and racism, and not about science fiction. However, he is fascinated by the search for extraterrestrials and the science behind it. His talk reminds me of my own late night peregrinations on Wikipedia where one page can lead me down the geek rabbit hole, such as the rare earth hypothesis versus the principle of mediocrity theory, Type 1 and Type 2 civilizations (Earthlings are a type 0), Dyson spheres, the technological singularity, and why we haven’t seen evidence of other civilizations. Watch the talk and prepare for your mind to be blown.

In related news, the Internet freaked out over Stephen Hawkings’s recent advice that we should stop trying to seek out aliens:

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach. [Contacting aliens would be] a little too risky … If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”