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Top 10 questions I’d ask an alien from the Galactic Federation

by Alien UFO Sightings
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Talking to E.T. would be the interview of a lifetime

Any science journalist would rejoice at the revelation of aliens on Earth. It would be the story of a lifetime. So it’s not surprising that a former Israeli space official’s claim that a Galactic Federation is known to the U.S. government has made a few headlines and trended on Twitter.

Of course, most science journalists have already been alerted to the presence of aliens by any number of readers who would like to testify about their personal E.T. encounters.

Yet despite how desperately some science journalists wish for alien visitation to be real, few among us ever believe any such reports. Proper policy is to decline to interview any would-be informant about their alien experience and instead insist on interviewing the aliens themselves.

And so I would be willing to come out of retirement and conduct such an interview if any Galactic Federation alien monitoring Science News would be willing to submit to some tough questions. Only condition would be the alien must wear a high-quality mask, covering its damn nose if it has one.

Now, it’s a pretty safe bet that such an interview isn’t going to happen. It’s more likely that the Washington Football Team wins the next Super Bowl. Or even the New York Jets. But just in case, it’s a good idea to start preparing the questions. Here are my Top 10, followed by my best guesses at the alien’s answers. 

The questions:

Q1. How do you spell your name?

Q2. Using Earth astronomical terminology, where are you from?

Q3. Have you not seen The War of the Worlds?

Q4. What is your favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics?

Q5. Are you in any way responsible for COVID-19 or any other serious disease-causing agent, and are you sorry?

Q6. When you looked at that dress, did it look black and blue or white and gold?

Q7. What particular scientific theoretical breakthrough enabled the technology you have exploited for interstellar travel?

Q8. Can you define P value correctly and explain its limitations for drawing scientific inferences?

Q9. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Q10. Why in the world haven’t you provided us with sufficiently sophisticated algorithmic artificial intelligence to neutralize the damage to our civilization perpetrated by social media?

And the possible answers:

Q1. How do you spell your name?

A1. “Spell? There is no spell. There is name or not name.”

Hard to argue with that.

Q2. Using Earth astronomical terminology, where are you from?

A2. “Teegarden b.”

Q3. Have you not seen The War of the Worlds?

A3. “Saw both versions. Tom Cruise is no Gene Barry. Galaxy Quest was a more realistic movie, though.”

Q4. What is your favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics?

A4. “Quantum mechanics needs no particular interpretation if it is formulated without the preexisting prejudice that nature should exhibit cause-and-effect determinism. It’s all about understanding the nature of time as a source of novelty rather than a continuous parameter dictating the evolution of a function. What you call randomness or indeterminism is what we call information creation. A few of your earthling scientists have begun to catch on a little bit to this idea. Check out arxiv.org/abs/2002.01653.”

Q5. Are you in any way responsible for COVID-19 or any other serious disease-causing agent, and are you sorry?

A5. “Possibly we brought in a disease or two, but on the other hand, you hooked us on tobacco.”

Q6. When you looked at that dress, did it look black and blue or white and gold?

A6. “Hah! We invented that dress to keep you guys distracted from some other stuff we had going on.”

Q7. What particular scientific theoretical breakthrough enabled the technology you have exploited for interstellar travel?

A7. “Well, that’s related to the quantum question. The key insight came from the Vulcans, who realized that continuum mathematics at the foundation of calculus was not the only possible logical mathematical system. You need what you call intuitionistic math — as I mentioned, read arxiv.org/abs/2002.01653. And also this paper. Once you get rid of that unwieldy infinity of real numbers lots of things are easier to solve, like quantum gravity. Technology takes off from there.”

Vulcans? Well, right, this is the Galactic Federation.

Q8. Can you define P value correctly and explain its limitations for drawing scientific inferences?

A8. “Oh, we’ve been trying for years to feed you guys clues about how worthless P values are. We don’t allow any new worlds into the federation until their scientists stop using P values. A P value is the probability of getting an observed result or a more extreme result if the hypothesis of getting a null result is true, given the mathematical model of the data and all other assumptions built into your experiment. Doesn’t tell you a damn thing about whether the null hypothesis is true or not. Just gives a hint about whether your result is surprising or not. It could be surprising and therefore wrong or could be surprising and right. Go read this paper.”

I did.

Q9. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

A9. “What do you mean?”

Only half credit for that — it’s not the whole answer.

Q10. Why in the world haven’t you provided us with sufficiently sophisticated algorithmic artificial intelligence to neutralize the damage to our civilization perpetrated by social media?

Alien runs off.

OMG, I just realized the answer to that one is that Zuckerberg is one of the aliens.

Source www.sciencenews.org

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1 comment

Clif November 8, 2021 - 7:48 pm

As to question 5, I would ask them if they had the technology to help us end the pandemic.

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