Before we can understand an alien civilization, it might be useful to understand our own.

To help in this task, anthropologist Kathryn Denning of York University in Toronto, Canada studies the very human way that scientists, engineers and members of the public think about space exploration and the search for alien life.

From Star Trek to SETI, our modern world is constantly imagining possible futures where we dart around the galaxy engaging with bizarre alien races. Denning points out that when people talk about these futures, they often invoke the past. But they frequently seem to have a poor understanding of history

Read more at Wired Magazine

Q&A: The Anthropology of Searching for Aliens
By Adam Mann April 4, 2012

One Response

  1. I am a liberal, but, I also didn’t dump my bnairs in the sink. Enough is enough There’s something about this whole illegal immigration debate that is absolutely insane. Why is it okay for someone who is NOT supposed to be here allowed to stay and to assume citizenship rights just because they ARE here??? That logic is soooo weak. And, oddly enough, it seems that most American citizens aren’t sufficiently outraged about it. It’s like someone, unbeknownst to you, living in your basement. Sure, they may take out your trash, but, does that justify them homesteading in your basement without your permission?If I decided to visit Japan and to melt into that community after my tourist visa expired and the Japanese government caught me, slammed my butt on a plane and sent me back to America, why should I argue? Of course, if I were crazy enough to do that, I would also attempt to get pregnant in Japan so that my off-spring would then be Japanese nationals and I could get a better foot in the door with the Japanese government.. Later, as my loitering continued in Japan, my sons and daughters could over-turn the Japanese government and set up a situation whereby scofflaws likemyself (who breed like rabbits) would benefit. This is exactly what these Hispanics are doing in America. I do not feel sorry for these people not in the least. If they want citizenship, they can apply for it legally and come in the right way like everyone else. This is not about what suits THEM. Why do they think they are so special that they can just stroll (or run) over here and start working at Taco Bell or digging ditches and everything should be cool? Meanwhile, prospective immigrants from around the world have taken the TOEFFL repeatedly and have participated in GreenCard raffles repeatedly over YEARS for a chance to come here. Many of them with Master’s degrees in math and science.And what about American corporations that bring illegals into this country (like poor, bamboozled children) for menial work by the truck loads?? I, for one, think that infantilizing the Hispanic people is demeaning and racist and I claim that if they are smart enough to get here by stealth, then they are smart enough to know that they are doing something WRONG. Some Hispanics may not be completely responsible for getting here (because of some capitalist scoundrel who wants to exploit them), but, they are, never-the-less, responsible for themselves leaving. Walmart was caught I got no more job. How do I go back to Mexico? Or I stay here? You stay here amiga you got the rights. You have babies si? Okay! How long I stay? Til they catch you! El Presidente Bush es bueno amigo Okay! I actually read an article about one illegal Hispanic construction worker who had positioned himself into a nice slice of the American Pie enjoying a nice income, a nice truck, a nice house in the burbs, and a nice business He was furious because the US Immigration and Naturalization Service got around to catching him and was in the process of deporting him. He issued this haughty line : This country is so ungrateful. What the hell The sheer nerve of this type of person is truly incredible. If I plant a nice garden in someone else’s backyard, is that MY garden?? Of course not. Illegals have no claims or rights to America, period. End of story. Some say that these illegals pay taxes and contribute greatly to the American GNP. I find this claim dubious, at best. If I am on the run , trying to fly under the INS radar ( not having been issued a proper social security card by the US government), I don’t think I would be waiving a red flag to the IRS stating, It is I, Maria! The illegal that crept into your country two years ago who now wants to pay taxes! Most likely, these illegals are accepting their income from under the table. And, instead of paying money into the American welfare system with their taxes, they are, in fact, the major strains upon it by unfairly accessing health services, schools, and other tax payer supported resources. Meanwhile, their misfit population booms (with mostly out-of-wedlock births). And don’t get me started with the gangs, the drugs, and the other nasties associated with illegals. And if I hear another illegal whine about how racist conscientious American citizens are being because someone complains that these illegals have fifteen adults shacked up in a two bedroom house, I will vomit. Whether they find themselves in North Dakota or Southern California, they need to get the hell out of this country and come back in the right way if they wish to earn the regard of law abiding citizens. This is not about racism or Hispanic bashing This is about the existing laws of the US government which were created by the consensus OF law-abiding American citizens. This country must stand by it’s Constitution or it will fall for absolutely anything!

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