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Published by: Sha LaBare on Sep 30, 2012
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Critical Vocabulary



Mundane aliens When I say "alien" I mean the multiform other, an alien which is not even necessarily always extraterrestrial. I do not mean what Jodi Dean calls "mundane aliens": in her admirable Aliens in America: Conspiracy Cultures from Outerspace to Cyberspace (1998), Dean distances her work from science fiction as "primary site of speculation about... radical changes in the human condition": Science fiction is important. But I'm interested in the more mundane aliens that populate alternative science, that come to us from a branch called ufology. Popular practices of science such as ufology are fields of knowledge devoted to exploring and expanding, often quite beyond belief, the scope of the human experience of the real (6). The mundane aliens whose images decorate t-shirts, lighters, and blow-up dolls are not the aliens who interest me the most: they are, for me, more closely linked to the fantastique as genre and, as Dean suggests, to ufology as alternative science. Nor do I mean Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, Ewoks, Wookies, or any other "cosmetic" aliens. Funny ridges on the forehead do not an alien make – these aliens have more to do with panspermia and Scientology than they do with sf. Aliens When people ask me if I believe in aliens I say yeah, they're all around us. The trouble is contact. Here we are trapped in our anthropomorphism: we can hardly talk to a dog or a tree without getting all tied up. How do we contact these aliens? Future worlds are possible but alien places. They are inevitably unknown to us, beyond our ken, for they are surfing the changes of future chaos, indeterminate, undecided, unpredictable. This same randomness has brought us here: it separates us by tricky, alien turnings from our past as well. What judgment do we make on past times – and what judgment will they make on ours? Aliens all, we judge forward and backwards – and understand what we can. Strange beautiful Fluorescent green With your majestic silver seas Your mysterious mountains I wish to see closer May I land my kinky machine? I take this for a playful translation of what Sun Ra calls the "universal language of music". Or is it perhaps a translation instead the strange alien voices we hear throughout this song. When the all-powerful alien turns malevolent, he says: Although you world wondrously With your majestic and superior cackling hen Your pickle I do not understand So to you I shall put an end Then you'll... never hear surf music again

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronautical Society – concludes something much like the doomsday argument (no aliens because they self-destruct not long after getting powerful enough for space travel (rem: thing about intelligence)) against ACP and Fermi: Sagan. & Newman. Biblio Brin. G. 24:283-309. 1982. E. Reprinted in Regis. Soc. astr. C. Q. R. D. . W. her arguments are rather facile here. 1983. "The `Great Silence': The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life. 151-163.Critical Vocabulary Alien 2 Strange and beautiful. Extraterrestrials: Science and Alien Intelligence. "The Solipsist Approach to Extraterrestrial Intelligence". I. and do I agree? No. 1985. Jl.. Cambridge University Press. JR. the examples the alien draws on to characterize our Terran existence: while our majestic and superior cackling hen – a nonhuman Ben-Tov maintains that "science fiction denies the possibility of otherness" (Artificial Paradise 36) – what does she mean. Pp..

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