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Spooky's Mind: Life, the universe, Metal, and existence from a madman's pov.

Greetings and hello, my name is Spooky Zalost, or at least that's the handle I go by for anonymity reasons.

the information I am about to share will be very long, very detailed, and for those unaccustomed, very confusing, so please be advised, you have been warned.

moving on let's begin shall we?

so let's start with the main topic, What is ET exactly?

ET is short for Extra Terrestrial, it's a broad term encompassing anything and everything not of earth, terrestrial being derived from the latin word for earth, Terra.

this however isn't what most people associate it with, I'm sure many of you instantly thought of advanced aliens from another planet, and while this would be correct the term is too wide to be accurate, personally I prefer Sentient Non Terran Biology, that's anything that's sentient and not from earth, or related to anything from earth.

regardless, from this point forward in this article, let's have ET mean, any non Terran Biological, sentient or not.

with that out of the way, let's look at a local history of events as it's key to understanding at least one possible way things may develop elsewhere.

why one possibility, well life is a complex thing, to explain it simply, it's anything that can replicate, take in one thing and expel another, and can adapt/change based on external variables such as a changing environment, a local crisis, or various other things, the list is long and I won't go into it for the sake of staying on topic.

this is what life is, organic life is based on carbon, however this is not the only potential basis for life, it's just the easiest as far as our understanding goes, the second easiest is silicon however that would require something else as a solvent, much like how we need water it needs something else, there's also ammonia based, Hydrocarbon based, and Hydrogen Fluoride/Sulfide based as potentials, an example of a world that could house and has some evidence in that reguard say Hydrocarbon based life is in our own star system, Saturn's moon titan.

I'll cite the following article for those curious on reading more on that subject: NASA article on life on titan.

keeping that in mind, let's focus on what's most familiar, Organic life, that which is based on carbon as it's base and water/ammonia as it's solvent.

this is the basis for all Terran biochemistry, but the similarities can end there as the possibilities for any and all life stemming from this compound are numerous and unknowable as our understanding is now.

now, according to the fossil record, a random occurrence caused Carbon molecules to begin binding with other molecules to form Nucleic acid, the most common ones today are Ribo-Nucleic Acid (RNA), and Deoxyribo-nucleic acid, (DNA), however there was evidence that other forms of Nucleic acid existed in the past, though much of that is still not fully understood, still evolution clearly took place, whereby, the most fit survived while those unfit for the environment they were in and couldn't adapt... perished.

RNA was the first strand to evolve, DNA later, but RNA was the basis for the first single celled organisms typically called Prokaryotes, it's value and survival is so strong that it's still the backbone of most microbes and viruses today!

DNA mutated and was branched from RNA mainly by a change in the Neucleotides by a forced change in it's environment, possibly radiation based considering it's main structure is designed to ensure a backup should damage occur somewhere along the strand, and that said damage can be repaired, replaced, or overwritten.

regardless of the cause DNA is the backbone of almost all life on this planet, and it's evolution was crucial to complex multi-cellular life, like plants, animals, and yes even us.

now considering all this, and the possibilities, let's take a brief look at the different stages life had to go through to get here.

first, RNA formed, then it began creating single celled organisms which took in the atmosphere which at the time was mostly Carbon dioxide and methane, and expelled oxygen, at the time earth was still very young and water was impacting the planet in the form of asteroids, comets, and other non terrestrial objects which mostly came from the outer solar system.

as the oceans formed life began to increase as it's basis, Carbobon/H2O or Dihydrogenoxide (Water), allowed it to flourish and adapt in this environment, it's obvious given the solar system's contents however that it could have gone the other way with Methane as the base rather than H2O.

consider that Hydrogen, and carbon are some of the most abundant elements in the universe and you can see how important this is.

the expulsion of oxygen however reached a tipping point and the first of two global cataclysms occurred because life was present, we call these Snowball Earth Events, if you know chemistry, then you know that oxygen is terrible at keeping heat in, and a planet once warm that's flooded with oxygen where it's greenhouse gas is devoured and replaced with the opposite, would quickly freeze.

to make matters worse, Water Ice has an extremely high albedo and reflects heat and light back into space readily (albedo being the amount of light an object reflects into space, high albedo = high reflection such as white or grey, low albedo = low reflectivity, such as brown or black), this in turn kept the planet cold.

were it not for the tectonics this planet naturally had as part of it's evolution, as well as the pull on the surface the moon naturally exuded due to it's close distance at the time (only in fairly recent times has the moon been far enough to cause proper eclipses you know!) the planet would still be a frozen ice ball, even though it is in the habitable zone.

This occurred twice, and life was nearly wiped out by it twice, were it not for volcanoes pumping green house gases into the air and life evolving to correct said mistake.

between now and then a lot of things happened, but one thing is abundantly clear, several times life on this planet has been driven to the brink of extinction, and several times it's held on by a single thread grasping at straws and adapting to it's changing environment.

now, given all this evidence in our own planet's history, we know that life can exist given the right conditions and time for it to develop.

taking that into account, for life based on a similar biochemistry to ours, 2 things must be present, Liquid water (which can only exist at certain temperature ranges), and a planet large enough to have plate tectonics so as to prevent similar accidents, or at the very least, a moon large enough to heat it's core, even mars had the potential for life once, but that's a story for another day.

the first of these things however is the basis for what we call the habitable zone or Goldilocks zone, whereby it's not too close to it's star to end up a barren dry rock, and it's not too far away to end up a frozen ice ball.

that's only part of the basis for life on other worlds however, you also need stars that last long enough for it to develop, that immediately knocks out stars above a certain range due to their short life spans and high mass.

finally there's the issue of being too cold to harbor life, so you can take brown dwarfs and such off that list.

this creates a range of stars from lower to mid F, all the way down to high/mid M classifications (more info on that here!), of which the majority of stars are.

so, consider this then, of the stars that meet this criteria, there are over one billion in our galaxy alone, this isn't including mutlistar pairs, or unusual anomalies that just happen to harbor life, if you include that the numbers reach close to 50 billion or half of all stars in the galaxy.

now you can shave that off some by reducing them to only the star systems that have planets.

well that's a lot, we're still looking at that 1 billion estimate. or 1/100th of all stars in the galaxy (the jury is still out on this one but based on what we've found so far it seems about right), now reduce that by stars that could have earth sized planets, or planets between mars sized and around 4 times the size of earth. (too much bigger and you end up with gas planets and such), and that's between 10 million and 100 million.

there's also something called a galactic habbitable zone, this mostly comes into play based on dangers outside a star system, such as X ray sources, supernovas, black holes, etc.

the number drastically drops to around 1 million, still a lot, I know, but this is the number's we're looking at here.

ok, so now that a lot of that is out of the way, let's look at what evidence they've found so far.

between 1996 and 2015, they've discovered nearly 2000 planets in about 1200 planetary systems, 477 of which so far are multiplanet systems ranging from a couple planets up to as many as 6 to 8 planets like us.

most of which were found looking in one general direction, that seems to imply there are a lot out there, the real question is, how many fit within the categories I stated before? well as far as size goes about half, looks pretty promising eh? well that's not the whole story, the number of confirmed earth like candidates is only around 300 to 500 planets, or about 18% to 25%, still promising, if you include the total number out there that's a low end ballpark of around 180,000 planets, spread across an area that's 100,000 to 120,000 Light years in diameter, that's 180,000 planets that COULD hold earth like life, could being the key word here.

this is all mostly math based on what data has been gathered so far, and it's still far too early to tell honestly but it's promising.

let's take this a step further, let's say complex life, now I know what you're thinking "What? you weren't just talking about normal life like cat's and dogs and things?!" no, I wasn't, I was talking about life, as a thing, something that exists, about 90% of what's out there will most likely be single celled to multi celled microbes.

complex life evolved because it had to, it had to adapt, it had to change based on a rapidly changing environment, one that also remained just stable enough not to prevent it from adapting or wiping it out by chance.

you're looking at about 18000 possible candidates, again spread over an entire galaxy, and of that 18000 potential planets baring complex life (plants, animals, fish, etc), only maybe 10 to 20 will develop something that can make tools or other things, again this is only based on what happened here, it could be radically different for all anyone knows.

earth is one of those 10 to 20 planets in a system that just happens to be safe, stable, and has been around long enough for intelligent life to exist, and let's be optimistic, let's say around a third of those 10 to 20 planets develop intelligent life, say 6 or 7, earth included, that's 6 or 7 planets spread across an entire galaxy.

leaving us with what? a few needles in a massive hay stack of 100 billion plus stars to sift through, this is why we've never had any conclusive evidence, it's just too big.

this ladies and gentlemen is the basis for the fermi paradox, but there is one final bit I haven't gone into.

according to the fermi Paradox, almost all intelligent life will wipe it's self out before reaching that next crucial stage in it's evolution, the number is rather grim, about 2 to 0.5%

and that's life evolving beyond where we are now!

so consider all of this when you and your neighbor get into a spat over something that's actually rather trivial, we're probably not alone, but then again, we could be the only ones smart enough to move forward without destroying ourselves.

so tell me something, Do you feel lucky?

these numbers by the way are only including our galaxy, based on data that we've gathered in the last century total, the sum total of the majority of our scientific advances into biology, evolution, Astronomy, just to name a few things, we're still very young, much like a baby just opening it's eyes for the first time, so curious about the world.

but unlike with newborn infants, we don't have anyone to stop us from sticking something into that electrical socket across the room and ending our existence prematurely, it simply happens, and when it does, there's nobody to help us, we simply cease to be, another failed civilization in the grand scheme of things, barely noticed by anybody and anything at all, Sad isn't it?

this is the nature of life on this planet as it is now.

this is why I want to get people off this planet, to take that first step before we stick the ol shiney thing into the zappy hole, why? because I want humanity to survive and move on, even if it like all life before it on this planet, comes to the brink of extinction, because they have potential, they've come a long ways, but they have a long ways to go.

and honestly, if we can't even do that right? then to hell with it, was a fun ride but maybe I'll be born among that one or two races that did survive, there has to be one right?

if you have any questions, feel free to ask them, I'll try to write more of my thoughts on this subject as time goes on, so enjoy!

SpookyZalost, Signing off!
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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so I've been getting even more into heavy metal as of late, then I stumbled upon brutal legend, FOR LINUX!, yeah that's wicked to say the least.

the penguin which freed me has games galore under it's belt and I get to play them all!

to add to the fun, most of the game's soundtrack is old school heavy metal, my favorite!

you really can't beat it.

now I know what I'll be listening to when I've got my FTL drive working and decide to leave this rotten planet, ripping space and time apart as I proceed on into a new star system, which is kinda metal in of it's self.

Science can be very metal and brutal if you understand it well enough, more reason to like it in my opinion.

so, a few things I learned from this...

First: that linux is a viable gaming platform, no matter what the windows drones say.

Second: metal is still as awesome as I remember it to be, it only get's better with age... like a good alcoholic beverage.

third: Science is the most brutal and powerful thing in the universe, and my choice to follow it and try to understand how everything works only leads to more fun... and more madness.

so like what you want, I'll continue to be a metal loving, penguin powered, gaming, madman who's love for science has led him to having some dark choices and a few twisted ethics away from the norm.

before I go, here's a really neat song by a classic metal band

SpookyZalost, Signing off.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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Hmm... Wonder how you found BL...
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(02-24-2015, 09:59 PM)7499275 Wrote: Hmm... Wonder how you found BL...

yeah yeah, but y'know what? it's in linux! ^_^ and that is awesome lol.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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Test test, CLI input

alright it worked!

congrats! yay me!, I'm actually making this post from within the command line based web browser w3m, it's a powerful little tool with a lot of features, very cool! ^_^, anyway this is spookyZalost, Signing off!
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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So I never thought I'd be saying this but welcome back simmania!

yeah that happened!

good to see the ole madman blog thread again!

"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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So I have a hard decision to make.

I'm going to get my A+ certification soon and I'm a bit uncertain about where to go from there.

I frequently get job offers save for the fact that the travel distance means I'd actually be making less than I do now.

so I'm not sure if I should move closer to where those job offers are or if I should wait and see what happens.

on the one hand, I'd be living solo and could do what I want.

on the other, the area where these jobs are is in the major city here and there's a lot higher crime rates there...

just something that's on my mind right now.

- SpookyZ
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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thanks for your post

This does sound like a tough decision with both + and  - 's

Please keep us updated as this continues to evolve and unfold for you
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thanks brian, yeah there's a lot to consider given everything but I'm still a few weeks out from making up my mind, I want to see what happens with the certification exam first.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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Congratulations! Sounds like you are getting close. Big Grin
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