What is the chance we are being visited by space aliens?

That is the driving question behind my latest Bloomberg column, perhaps some of you can be talked up to one in a thousand.  Here is the opening bit:

For the last several years, the U.S. military has observed an increase in what it calls “unexplained aerial phenomena.” The rest of us may know them by their more common name — unidentified flying objects — and we should all strive, as the Navy is doing, to take these reports more seriously.

Sometimes, according to the Washington Post, well-trained military pilots “claimed to observe small spherical objects flying in formation. Others say they’ve seen white, Tic Tac-shaped vehicles. Aside from drones, all engines rely on burning fuel to generate power, but these vehicles all had no air intake, no wind and no exhaust.” They also appear to exceed all known aircraft in speed and have been described by a former deputy assistant secretary of defense as embodying a “truly radical technology.”

Meanwhile, Avi Loeb, chair of the Harvard astronomy department, recently suggested that a passing object in space, named Oumuamua, might be a lightsail from an advanced alien civilization, as evidenced by its apparently strange movements.

And this:

Also keep in mind the history of the New World before the European arrival and conquest. There were legends of fair-skinned visitors from abroad, perhaps stemming from the Vikings and their explorations, but one day this “alien contact” turned out to be very real indeed — through Columbus, Cortés and others. To be oblivious of another civilization for a long time, and then suddenly encounter it, is a common theme in human history. Perhaps this has not happened for the last time.

There is much more at the link.


I didn't click, obviously, but since you are bringing up Professors in a lame appeal to authority.... did you mention the Oxford Prof who claims that aliens are already mating with humans to "solve" climate change?

How tall does Trump have to build his wall to keep out these alien invaders?

We are going to build that bubble and make the aliens (haha) pay for it.

From 2009 to 2017, we had two slumming in the White House.

Does your wife take the bbc too?

She does actually. How did you know?

Needles and pins,
Needles and pins,
When a man marries,
His trouble begins.

Speaking of illegal aliens invading our homeland, do a story on this Chinese girl that got into Stanford by paying Singer $6.5 million. Our system is now a hollow corrupt shell of what it once stood for. She brags about all the "hard work" she did. This is the "meritocracy" lie that elites tell the masses to justify their ill gotten gains. The veneer masking how our system works is coming off quick and fast.


With a hat trip to the short story involving a cigar shaped 'rock' that trnd out to be an alien craft by Sri Lankan sci-fi Arthur C. Clark, why would an alien power disguise a spaceship to look like a long asteroid, like Oumuamua? So not to frighten the humans, which they know are watching?

Bonus trivia: Arthur C. Clark liked boys, in the carnal way. Can you imagine if he lived in the USA? 50 years of imprisonment, minimum, and throw away the key. Statutory rape is strictly enforced, as consent is not possible. Even between a 15 year old and a 17 year old (exceptions in Texas).

We can trust Ray as the expert.

The idea is not that Oummuamua is an alien spacecraft but the remains of a fairly large part of a lightsail propulsion system from one.

Like the 'fading star' that was in the news before this, sure, it *might* be aliens. But its not aliens. Its just a bit of idle speculation in the science community that has been blown up by attention seekers in that community and journalists looking for clicks.

The gist is that it behaves weird, has made some accelerations that can't be accounted for based on what's been seen while observing it, and it seems to be super-low mass for its size. Hence - wadded up lightsail. The weird motions may be from solar pressure.

Its a possibility that can't be discounted out-of-hand, but like House says, it never Lupus.

Speaking of fondling, why is it that when aliens do make close encounters of a third kind they usually pick women, take them for a ride during which there is lots of fondling, and then return them to earth not any worse for the wear.

To titillate--no pun intended--the human audience watching the movie? (assuming directors are aliens)

Barney Hill ("Incident at Exeter") was fondled and probed, if he is to be believed (I don't really). He is a male.

That's your imagination, ray.

That's not my imagination Jeff R, it's the pedophile Arthur C. Clarke's imagination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendezvous_with_Rama (mild spoiler of this excellent story: were the beings inside the cigar-rock spacecraft sentient beings or robots? Not clear)

1):There are no actual close up images of the "object", so its a bit of a stretch to say it was disguised to look like an asteroid.

2) In fairness to Arther C Clark, nothing ever came of the media pedophile allegation and no one has ever come forward;


Those pictures you saw were artist guesses as to what it looked like. It was too small and too far to image in any detail. All we have is a very rough idea of its dimensions.

+1, there were no real images of Oummuamua

Isn't classified military tech more likely than aliens?

I wonder sometimes if there's a confluence of stress, stressors, sleep deprivation, and low-level medical experimentation on military pilots, that increases the possibilities for fleeting hallucinations and enhanced optical illusions

Good point. Not to mention the G-forces military pilots are exposed to.

Yes it is.

And that its a combination of poor lighting, fatigue, and disorientation (you're in an environment where there are very few visual cues for distances) is even more likely.

Its why they're classified as 'UFO's'. The emphasis on *unidentified*. 'Aliens' isn't impossible and its the sexy answer - its also the least likely answer to be correct out of all the possible answers.

Occam's razor would indicate that's more likely, as well as my personal experience.

However, one thing people never consider is that the 'aliens' aren't alien at all. What if they were actually time travelling humans from the very distant future visiting a critical and important time in the history of our species?

I saw a white floating cylindrical thing last year during the 4th of July. It didn’t move like the clouds or firework smoke did, and just hung there. It was pretty large and high up. Didn’t get enough parallax to tell how high or how large though. The people with me saw it too. We promptly forgot about it and haven’t discussed it since, and we barely cared at the time.

What if it WAS a UFO? Hundreds of people saw it...and no reaction. Hiding in plain sight seems plausible to me. Humans just aren’t that curious.

It *was* a UFO - an unidentified (you don't know what it was) flying (it was flying) object (probably).

If UFOS happen for real why only Americans claim to see that kinds of phenomena? I never meet anybody outside of US who claimed to see that kind of stuff and I think I will never will.



I saw a white floating cylindrical thing last year during the 4th of July. It didn’t move like the clouds or firework smoke did, and just hung there. It was pretty large and high up. Didn’t get enough parallax to tell how high or how large though. The people with me saw it too. We promptly forgot about it and haven’t discussed it since, and we barely cared at the time.

What if it WAS an alien spacecraft? Hundreds of people saw it...and no reaction. Hiding in plain sight seems plausible to me. Humans just aren’t that curious.

Hot air balloon?

Are there any commercial pilots or air traffickers or fighter controllers who might care to comment. I was and temain a UFO skeptic, but on a tour of a UK civil air traffic control station once, Swanwick, a while ago, I was very surprised to hear several senior air traffic controllers say that there are many weird, unexplained objects that seem to visit UK and European airspace, not all of which are US skunkworks aircraft. And no, it was not a wind-up by the folks at Swanwick.

Some UFO observers have been pretty reliable people. Kelly Johnson, head of Lockheed's Skunk Works, observed a UFO in the early 1950s. Some of his pilots saw it too, so they reported it to the Air Force.

The UFO that Jimmy Carter saw has probably been identified as a rocket launch:


I liked Cowen's concluding remark: we are (descendants of) aliens. Need proof? Well, God didn't create us, not unless He has a warped sense of humor.

It's generally conceded that carbon for life came from outer space, in the form of meteorites, and that life evolved first in the Archean Eon, 3.4 to 2.5B years ago, so indeed life came from "outer space".

"Meteor dust" + "solar wind" = building blocks for DNA, see: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meteorite-chemicals-may-have-started-life-on-earth-and-space/

"It's generally conceded that carbon for life came from outer space,"

No its not. Like, not at all. Its a possibility that some *amino acids* came from space-sources and formed the basis for the earliest lifeforms, but its not 'widely accepted'.

@Agammamon - for a pedant you have a terrible confusion between its and it's (twice now). And it's spelled "Agamemnon".

Bonus trivia: the purported gold "Mask of Agamemnon" may in fact be the creation of the supposed discoverer, SchLIEmann (emphasis added), a known storyteller, see more here: https://archive.archaeology.org/9907/etc/calder.html

I get some flak, mainly from English Hellenophiles, when I mention this inconvenient truth.

1. You don't know what 'pedant' means.

2. Sure. You got me there.

3. Don't tell me how to spell my own name. Its not Agememnon, its Agammamon. Because its not Agememnon.

How mature. Carbon did "come from outer space". What's the alternative? (Hint: the Earth "came from outer space"; all of it. It's only a question of when.) OTOH Good evidence exists that life existed on Earth over 4 billion years ago - not 3.4bya. Until/unless we find/meet the E.T`s that inoculated Earth, the process by which life first arose here will never be "settled science". I don't think there is *any* way to show that any of the possible pathways for abiogenesis (once we have any) were THE pathway. Inoculation by a random spore from outside the Solar System is virtually impossible to disprove (and that isn't, by definition, abiotic).

At this point there's no need to visit -- assuming they are advanced enough to tap into our internet they can learn more than they'd ever want to know about us, while wisely keeping their distance.

They're probably studying facebook, zillow and google streetview right now while tuned in to a 30-minute classic rock block on K-95

Tyler is pulling our leg. He knows this is a well known space alien hangout. We like to pull your leg too though, with ideas like the colors or the gods matter.

With the conventional propulsive systems we've devised so far, we still need entire decades just to get payloads not even halfway across the heliosphere.

(If the Dipole Repeller is helping to shove us all down the throats of a Great Attractor or a Shapley Concentration, perhaps our darling physicists need to invent vacuum propulsion systems sooner rather than later.)

Meanwhile, expecting far-flung aliens to disembark on terra firma from "spaceships" might pose excellent prospects for missing their arrival altogether.

Frankly, I expect alien visitors from no locale within the vast realm of baryonic matter: alternatively, aliens with no baryonic constituency whatsoever (or, without any baryonic constitution we can understand) could well be "here" at this very moment [what a surprise were we to learn that they arrived long before we showed up!]--just as we might learn someday whether our intrusions into the realms of dark matter and dark energy are being or have been deemed grossly impertinent.

"Only man is a narcissistic enough species to think that a highly evolved alien life force would travel across billions and billions of light-years- a group of aliens so intelligent, so insouciant, so utterly above it all, they feel no need whatsoever to equip their spacecraft with windows so that they can gaze out on all that celestial beauty-but then immediately upon landing, their first impulse is to get in some hick's ass with a flashlight." - Dennis Miler

There are many extraterrestrial technologies that I am eager to partake of. However, one important one is the ability to do anal probes (colonoscopies) without the obnoxious bowel prep.


Yes the prep is involving and the procedure is a bit unflattering, but you don't do those for fun. Unlike the aliens...

According to experta, there is good reason to believe the first contact between hunans and alines happen in Brazil in 1957, a few days after Sputink entered in orbit. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antônio_Vilas_Boas
The first time man broke the chains of gravity and traveled through outer space.

Makes sense - if aliens are advanced enough to reach Earth, they would head straight to Brazil and not waste their time on inferior countries.

Exactly. Brazilian TV has broadcast a few years ago what supposedly was an alien-Brazilian contact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jae4JMKT5GY&t=12s

They meant to drop rocks on Buenos Aries but missed.

Tyler's timing is off. This would be a great column to run in August when the world is on vacation and nothing happens.

But then he wouldn't seem prescient if we made alien contact between now and August.

The excuse for the relative paucity of photos of alien spacecraft was that it's rare to have a camera at the ready when you have an encounter. Today, almost everyone carries a camera with them everywhere they go, and it can be brought to bear almost instantly. We should have orders of magnitudes more photos of alien spacecraft. But as far as I can tell, we have even fewer than we used to.

This is also true for the Loch Ness Monster, Ghosts, Fairies, and Sasquatch. Photographic evidence seems to have declined as the number of cameras has exploded.

That should tell you something. As should the fact that some people still believe Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster even though the original photographs that kicked off the craze turned out to be admitted hoaxes.

Specifically to flying saucers, a telling fact is that the description of these craft change based on cultural changes. For example, Aliens began to look like 'Grays' in abduction accounts after a famous book cover depicted them that way. Alien spaceships were described as wheels, cylinders and other shapes until hollywood depicted them as 'saucers'. Then the eyewitness accounts began to describe saucer-like vehicles.

All this can be explained through a combination of fraud, pareidolia, suggestion, and wishful thinking coupled with a strong imagination.

It's not impossible that aliens have visited us. It is, however, so far down the list of probable explanations for sightings that it's barely worth talking about. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - not a fuzzy photo of some vaguely circular thing in the distance or the testimony of a crazy person who thinks aliens are willing to spend huge amounts of energy and time to come here so they can probe human anuses.

"This is also true for the Loch Ness Monster, Ghosts, Fairies, and Sasquatch."

Actually, they meet a couple of times a year to strategize on how best to mess with human beings.

I've observed three objects flying in a tight formation while flying over Afghanistan, and have seen similar on drone footage multiple times. This is not unusual. I am not asserting alien contact on the slightest, I am agnostic to the whole aliens shtick - but see it I did, and don't have a satisfying explanation at all.

Didn't you know that one of the newly discovered defense mechanisms of the sasquatch is that it will make every high def video or photo into a grainy mess? This ability not to be clearly recorded is the reason they are still around.

Good point. We have satellites circling and photographing the globe continuously. It should be easy to use satellite images to verify sightings.


Next we will need to build an

Alien Space Invaders


They are probably rapist and drug dealers, too, although there might be some good ones too.

Not many.

We'll make Mars pay for that Wall.

You see Trump in your sleep, don't you?

In sleep I do see

Fat and orange President

My pants, hard and wet

This response under my name to Anonymous was not the same person as the original poster. Request Tyler to correct the misuse of the name and false posting.

You don't think he's gonna start cleaning that up for you, do you?

Your comment speaks enough about you.

It was a well-deserved riposte to your inane comment.

Isn't it about time to change shifts in St. Petersburg? Anyone supporting this type of activity deserves to be compared to disinformation specialists.

Dark Forest. Our current technology does not permit an effective wall. What we need to do is hide from them.

To answer the question posed in the title, we can't know. The Drake Equation is the best we've got to determine the answer, and that's less a way to calculate the answer than it is a framework for determining how to calculate it. Further, we don't know how to identify aliens yet--the methods SETI uses would ignore Earth for more than half its lifespan, and SETI assumes aliens are very similar to us, an assumption with no empirical foundation.

Evidence within our own solar system suggests alien life could be very similar to our own (stromatolite fossils [a type of trace fossil] on Mars) or very, very different (hydrogen dip in the atmosphere of one of Jupiter's moons). Until we know WHAT we're looking for, evaluating the probability of us having found it is pretty much a fool's errand.

As for flying saucers and the like, I'm inclined towards misidentification of terrestrial phenomena, and experimental hardware. Small, spherical objects flying in formation sounds an awful lot like balloons (weather, high-altitude, and the like). Such craft have no propulsion system, and the wind can push them in weird ways. And you have to remember, humans have virtually no sense of scale when viewing unknown objects in the sky. On the other hand, the military hardware we know about is late Cold War stuff; more recent hardware is still classified, and may be hard for even trained folks to identify.

No, we geneally lock our doors when we pass by your planet.

And hope they don't have blasters.

Is there a Fermi paradox for the systems of 100 billion neurons with 100 trillion synapses inside the Navy pilots' heads? What are the odds of them not having hallucinations in their un-natural environments?

Tyler is just preparing the battle space for his big reveal. I've always believed that his big brain was not of human origin. Just one example: how could his reading list of a dozen books turn over every week, especially since his schedule doesn't allow any time for reading?

Tyler-ed in the alien mode.

"is it not possible to come away with an estimate of at least a one-in-a-thousand chance that alien visitations are a real thing? "

I don't see how it's possible to come up with any estimate at all, except that it's greater than zero and less than one. This is the very essence of an "unknown unknown"; it's like calculating the probability of rolling snake eyes when you don't know the probability that the dice are honest and, if they're not, you don't know how they're biased. Except that if you had the dice you could determine the odds empirically, which is not possible here.

Fermi's Paradox is at best an amusing conjecture; there's no way to know if it's about right or (for whatever reason) very wrong. With no data on which to calculate a quantitative answer, how could you possibly say anything about the probability (other than (0 < p < 1)?

This is the latest: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1806.02404.pdf

It's pretty interesting.

This has more pictures:


Short version: They're too far away, and they might not exist at all (but if they do, they're still too far away).

This is still based on guesses of the underlying factors though. Basically they are taking a range around the current set of guesses and then using those to come up with a probability distribution. But if the current guesses are out by an order of magnitude (as they could easily be either in a positive or negative direction) then the range they calculate could easily be far too optimistic or pessimistic.

My view - we are simply in a branch of the multiverse where for whatever reasons we are the first life in our galaxy. Because if we were not, we wouldn't be here, not because we would be conquered but because we would never have evolved due to the aliens already being here.
Another possibility is that any advanced civilisation ends up with AI long before they end up with intersteller starships. Afterall it is pretty hard to have space faring craft with no computers. And if you have computers you have Moore's law, which means you have AI before too long. Once you have AI and you realise other civilisations exist you had better go dark, to avoid the risk of other AI's destroying you.

The distances between systems is so immense and the likelihood of FTL travel a la Star Wars or Star Trek so remote that I strongly suspect no one is visiting anyone, or is a threat to anyone.

At least as entertaining as the Fermi Paradox--the Fermi Panic:


We are not alone! Klatu Verada Nictoe


I was more a fan of The Brain from Planet Arous and Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers.

A connoisseur!

I am not so much worried about Mars; I am worried about Russia or China having leapfrogged the US on military technology.

But even if it is aliens. Why are they here and what are they doing? Maybe their goal is to destroy us by undermining faith in our political institutions.

What model do we use? "Close Encounters"? Or "Alien" or "War of the Worlds"? I know which one Darwin would use.

We humans are so vain we think we are the main thing aliens would be interested in on this planet. Maybe the aliens think insects are the most interesting things and we are irrelevant. That could be true if the aliens were insectoid themselves. They have a guidebook, "How To Serve Man."

"I am worried about Russia or China having leapfrogged the US on military technology."

That is nearly impossible, although I have been kept awake at wondering if those sneaky French have passed us.

Let's follow the "Independence Day" model, at least for the time being: that way, we can continue to pull for the aliens instead of the glib human beings.

The most striking thing about insects is that they have radically different life stages. Maggots become flies, caterpillars become butterflies. They are so different, they might as well be different species.

Perhaps life as a whole follows a similar pattern: a crawling earthbound stage is replaced by a radically different form that takes wing and flies far. The larva is an organic planetary biosphere while the imago is cybernetic AI panspermia.

In this light, bioethicists fussing over how to control AI and ensure that it remains aligned with human objectives is almost comically beside the point. As is the notion of organic forms totally unsuited to the rigors of space traveling to other planets and terraforming them. No. Our inheritors will be xenoforms.

"Aside from drones, all engines rely on burning fuel to generate power . . ."

Except, of course, for the drones that have combustion engines in them. Or the non-drones that don't.


". . . but these vehicles all had no air intake, no wind and no exhaust."

And how would these people know this? From a light blob an unknown distance away? Sounds more like you've been paying attention to the 'details' provided by UFO-nuts rather than the bare-bones *factual* reports by military pilots.

1. No air intake - no, you mean the reporter didn't notice one.

2. No 'wind' - how in the world would someone in another aircraft ever be able to tell that.

3. No exhaust - again, not one that the reporter noticed.

This is not a science website so I will use simple words.

Imagine that the pilots reported accurately what they saw, and that they were not under the influence of some performance enhancing drug which leads to inaccurate perception (50-50 chance)

then imagine, if you can (again, 50-50), how well trained they were in distinguishing normal physics but nevertheless misleading light effects from actual observations (For example, imagine you are a physicist who understands atomic structure, imagine you are shining a flashlight against a wall, imagine you move the flashlight to give the impression that the illumination is moving, and imagine you are the one out of ten thousand people on this earth who have any idea, within 5 or so orders of magnitude, about how many atoms were involved in that illusion ....)

Maybe one in ten pilots could have processed such information.

So now we are at 50-50 and one in ten. (for you econ majors, that is one in twenty).

then imagine you know what I am talking about.
then imagine the likelihood of the phenomenon being
(a) non-USA tech
(b) USA tech
(c) extraterrestrial in origin.

Working though the variables, I get one in sixty that the observations in question are substantial evidence of extraterrestrials.

But like I said this is an econ blog and I don't expect you to be able to follow my reasoning.

Have a nice day and be kind to someone, regardless of whether you think these are the ancient years or the primeval years or whatever. God loves us all. If there are extraterrestrials God loves them too.

I expect this comment to be deleted and I am fine with that, I always feel a little sad when I write long comments, and I have no problem with them being deleted.
If you are reading it, well, then, lucky you, trust me, I know what I am talking about.

One in 60.
God loves us all.
Ask Neumann in his last days and you will get the same answer.

in mathematics you don't understand things you just get used to them

same thing in real life

if you are among the one or two or three or so people out of the several billion people currently living in this world who happened to read the foregoing comments, and understood them, you are welcome.

for free, I explained this to you at something better than a Caltech or JPL level, and I don't care if nobody says to me thank you.

God loves you and one or two or more of you will get it.
I like everybody.
I even like numbers, and yes I am one of those people who think each number has its own personality.

For example ---- Shady but likeable 141, forthright 143, and then 147, infatuated - sadly, because the poor creature was not born for special love, just born for normal happiness - with the concept of love, and then 149, the bravest of his kind.

I remember.

One out of 60. Trust me.

Or don't trust me, and tell yourself:

this guy who just explained lots of things about 141 and 143 and 147 (God bless his heart) and 149 ----- does not know what he is talking about.

(Don't worry about 147 I fixed the poor creature up with the love of his life---- it was easier than you would have thought)

for the record I know what I am talking about

and when you can say you fixed up 147 with the love of his life then you can tell me I do not know what I am talking about

Trust me, GOD loves us all, numbers, humans ----- and I am not going to go into this here, but God loves every little Godforsaken animal you have ever seen or slightly noticed or imagined on the face of this earth ---- not just the NOBLE MOOSE AND REINDEER, not just the best and bravest of dogs and cats, not just the elegant fish -----


even simple numbers

and yes, every year at Christmas 147 and his wife send me a Christmas card, and they always write a few lines at the end, generally saying

we love you and are so happy you helped us out in our hour of need

you too can do that for a creature who never had a friend in this world

trust me

(if this is deleted that is fine, I hand write all my comments on paper and give them to a friend in Manhattan who in turn gives them to a pal of his or hers who owns a "studio" and sells



God loves us all, please don't forget it.

'Cuz he'll burn you in hell for eternity after he kills you.

But he'll do it lovingly.

Art is almost nothing.

And Love is nothing unless it is growing every day.

Trust me.

This is a beautiful world.

why do I bother

nobody reads what I write

Today for the first time in my life I felt deep sorrow at the fact that poor old Yogi Bear got excited so often at the prospect of obtaining a picnic basket

For God's sake what kind of world did I live i where poor Yogi Bear did not get a picnic basket even just once in a while???????

And then I thought ......

there have been literally trillions of words and comments on the inter webs and I am the first person to say, with justice in his heart and a desire for justice in his heart:::

Please let this world be better one day, and please let Yogi Bear enjoy, frequently enough to be happy in life, a picnic basket, every once in a while.

Either you care about other people or you don't.

if you delete this you are deleting comments from the guy who fixed up 147 with the love of his life

no big deal but that is what it is

God it was a beautiful wedding I wish you could have been there

Please let this world be better one day, and please let Yogi Bear enjoy, frequently enough to be happy in life, a picnic basket, every once in a while.

Proverbs 8 .

One out of 60.

seriously you will not get a better estimate than that

I always feel sad when I write long comment on the internet.

Not my bandwidth.

In real life, people love to hear me talk, and are sad when I have to leave:
I have love in my heart and want to hear them talk about those they love, and want to show them that I care.

On the internet I get deleted when I try to help people understand the world, if I use too many words in my good-hearted attempts to help people understand the world,

One in 60, for the record,

And yes, you should actually memorize Proverbs 8, whether or not what I say is deleted by an intern or by anyone else.

Trust me I do not do this for selfish reasons, trust me.

God loves us all,

God loves us all? If by all you mean cholera and tumour cells I guess that might make sense. But if you mean humans in particular then he is either a weak god -- which is fine, I can't cure cholera with a thought myself -- or a bit of a dick if she is almighty.

God does not like me much but God will show you, if you ask, infinite countries where the evil of these days has been banished.

And I know that because I have been a friend to nasty people.

To be completely honest, when I was a little child my parents bullied me and my older siblings bullied me and NOBODY LOVED ME and I though what the fuck is this?

and maybe I am one in a million but one day I wanted to see the world the way it should be and some loser angel, not one of the good angels but a mediocrity among angels, felt pity for me and told me this:

God loves everybody. Sure God might not love you all that much - you are going to live a life without anyone taking care of you, all the dreams of happiness you have will never happen, and on top of that you are going to suffer from physical pain EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY from 1980 when YOU ARE ONLY 20 to the end of your life.

And I remember saying, that does not sound good.

But in the years after I spoke with the angel, I have seen dozens of creatures - including my dogs and my cats, but most importantly including the not very kind people who I shared the earth with - I have seen them recognize this:

we can help God in the great project of loving other people.

Like I said, I have not had a pain free hour since 1980 but there are dozens of animals, and maybe thousands of insects, and maybe hundreds of people or more, who are glad they met me.

So I say fuck it my live sucked but I made someone happy.

God loves us all and yes I survived worse than cholera.
Maybe you have too, I know what it is like to be on the brink of death for hour after hour, surrounded by second-rate doctors and third-rate nurses.

God bless them all, I survived anyway.

Death by cholera, in a week or two, would have been heaven compared to what I went through.

But I get what you are saying, and I am not sure that you do not understand the world better than I do.

I have seen the saints in heaven but I also have seen parents who have lost their children to sickness, and I cannot criticize anyone whose faith is weak.

Yes God loves us all.
But also God loves you more than me, I never claimed otherwise.

Seriously, death by cholera would have been heaven compared to what I went through.

Well, that was a long time ago.

Try and have more faith.

Seriously, God loves you more than God loves me.

This world is just part of the real world, which includes heaven.

A place I may never see, but at least I can say that anyone in heaven who died from cholera in a week or two probably had an easier life than me.

And one more time, God loves you more than God loves me.

maybe i can say no i am not a poet, not a real one, i know that
and maybe i can say i do not mind when my thousands of words are deleted when I post words on someone else's website,
I really don't care,

(for the record my website would be Beulah Land, would be the Garden of Eden on the internet, if I were the poet so many people think I am ....)
so you mentioned cholera, and tumor cells,, and God bless you for noticing that such things happen.
Look, God does not like me much.

And I do not mind when my comments are deleted, even if they are actually

real poetry.

That is all insignificant.

Here is what is important.

I have a few hundred friends who are angels and who have been at the site of the death of a few thousand human beings.
They like me because God does not like me much and even angels like to be amused, and it amuses them to be kind and generous to someone, like me, who has not had a pain free hour in the last 40 years, and who on top of all that knows that God really would have preferred ...

well let's just say that me and God are frenemies, at best, right now, even after 40 years when I was in pain every moment and God, bless his divine heart, was free from pain.

Well God is my friend, and there are hundreds of angels who, if not exactly my friends, are angels who like to do good things for those of us in this world who suffer the way I have suffered.

Every single one of those angels, tonight, will hasten to help anyone you want them to help. It has always been that way: for angels, time is not important.

Seriously, God loves you more than God loves me.

1980 was a long time ago, and I have not had a pain free hour since 1980.
And I don't know why I have had to suffer so much.

I realize that nobody cares.
Even God loves me less than He loves the saints and the good people who contemplate divine truth. I am no saint and while I am good at talking I am not someone who is gifted at contemplating divine truth. Sad!


I will ask the hundreds of saints who know no more than I know about why I have not had a pain free hour since 1980 to do their best to comfort anyone you know who is weak in the faith.

You are welcome.

We're not talking here about mild headaches or annoying pain in the knees, seriously I have not had a pain-free hour since the summer of 1980 and the pain was often vicious, the kind of pain that hurts where you least want to be hurt, and that goes right to the heart.

And yes the angels will help you because I asked. Angels are funny that way, they answer the requests of people who have suffered, off and on, agonizing pain for several decades. God bless them!

If I can be happy, knowing that this world is just an apanage of Heaven, you can be happy that way too, I hope.

I have a few hundred friends who are angels and who like nothing more than to comfort people who think I am a stupid moron whose comments should be deleted.

It is, for me, a win win situation.

The night is quiet and the stars are bright, and God has promised me thousands of descendants, and I said, in response to that promise ....

only if they are kind to

creatures who never had a friend on this earth.

and if it is not enough for you that I will ask hundreds of angels to comfort you out of the goodness of their heart and because they are a friend to a creature, like me, who never had a friend in this world, well then I will ask each of those angels to bring along several angel friends

You have no idea of how beautiful the world can seem when angels pray for you to understand, in their hundreds and in their thousands

to understand what God wants you to understand

I realize that nobody cares.

1980 was a long time ago.

The night is quiet and the stars are bright, and God has promised me thousand of descendants, and I said, in response to that promise .....

only if they are kind to

creatures who never had a friend on this earth.

I remember.

and yes God loves you more than me.

Trust me, I know what I am talking about.

For the record God is not proud of that, but it is what it is.

Me and God are pals and he forgives me everything.

Feel free to save this comment, which was deleted last night ...

(God knows why, I was a friend of a friend of a friend of Nabokov's, and several other celebrated artists of the 20th century listened to me with respect and in some cases actually used a few of the things I said, or used the way I said such things, as patterns in their own art works ..... trust me .... and on top of that I was an accomplished officer, whose accomplishments were appreciated by valiant warriors whose names will go down in history ..... and I only write these things on the internet to be helpful to those who wish to understand the world - but hey I get it if a comment is too long or too whatever, and gets deleted, I am easy-going about that sort of thing)

here is what I wrote yesterday, and which was deleted, even though I understand literature better than most comparative literature professors at the best universities, and even though I am, to tell the truth, a real poet:

(the following was in response to a post about whether Truth is actually Truth or not .... look it up)

and I quote:\\\

"Dostoevsky correctly states that you cannot slap an innocent child in the face to save the world"

(of course you can't - May 2, 2019)

not . the . brightest . bulb . in. that . fading . set . of . lightbulbs . we . still . call . the . "great writers" . but . Dostoevsky . was . at . least . right . about . this


it is no small thing to be kind to a creature who never had a friend in this world ............... And you really do not want to be anything close to evil, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, to a creature who is innocent.

(here begins small literary commentary....) there are lots of nabokov fanboys who think poor Dostoevsky was not that good of a writer, but let me tell you this, God bless those fanboys, they know that the poor little guy really did have hatred in his heart.
please read on

anyway the question, as generally posed (the question is stupid, the question is whether it would be worth it to be unkind to an innocent person if by doing so one could save the world)

the question as generally posed is stupid. of course you can't do that.

God rewards those who follow his commandments.
including the commandment to "love one another".
Isn't that just like love.

don't worry about these conundrums, anything you do right, God will make more right (trust me on that I am an artist and I know exactly what i am saying)

and anything you do wrong, GOD will give you the chance to make it more right,

and please make it right.

you can do it.

Don't think for a second God will allow you to prosper if you are UNKIND even A LITTLE BIT to one of the small creatures who are so loved by God and me

who are so important to him - your justification for unkindness WILL BE WRONG, trust me.

To go back to the beginning, poor Dostoevsky must have been a loser on the spectrum to think there was any contested issue therein (NO YOU CANNOT BE UNKIND TO THE INNOCENT)


now I am going to talk heart to heart.
Back in the day my next door neighbor, a friend of mine, was a meth-head, and I was writing a couple plays a year and he would say the stupidest stuff, almost always not worth repeating, but once, just once, in one of my plays ....
(this gets a little more intense, stop reading if you do not like intense heart to heart prose)....

in one of my plays I introduced a character who was like one of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (if you do not know what parrafin is, parrafin is something that smells like the Horseman of Death, on a good day, just saying....)

and just out of kindness (remember, I am not one of the losers in life, as much as I would like to be the same as those I love, but I am an artist who can make the very angels laugh)

just out of kindness I put into one of those plays something my poor unshaved methhead neighbor had said,

God loves us all the way we are but loves all but the best of us too much to let us stay that way

(here is some real life language if you care ----

"Meth-head boy next door said"

and I said


(I understood that he had a long road in front of him)
(but that is how I feel about almost everybody, almost all of us have long roads in front of us)
(God loves us all)
(Trust me)
(remember this it is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world)
(but that is how I feel about everybody trust me in the right context I will never say anything that would make you think for a second that I don't really know this ---- God loves you all.)

and when you can say that you fixed up "147" with the love of his life and had a great time at his wedding, or can tell me something like that, feel free to tell me I don't know what I am talking about.

Thanks for reading.

and if you read it before it is deleted, well, that is nice.

For the record, I am an actual poet, and poetry is something worth reading, when it is humble and full of love for that which is good.

Sorry if you think I was taking up someone else's bandwidth. I was just trying to add a few minutes worth of reading to the comment section of the blog of someone who is a fairly decent guy.

And yes, one in 60 is the current best guess.

and for the record yes I do remember what good times we had at 147's wedding

And one in 60 is the right answer

Bayes understood statistics less well than I do

anyway, thanks for reading --- seriously, God does not like me much, but He feels guilty about it, and feels passionately supportive of anyone who likes me.

Such is friendship among the losers in life.
You have no idea.
(I hope, for your sake).

Tell me again I am not a poet.

Be humble and brave and strong, and love that which is good,

and tell me one more time

I am not a poet!!!!!

As always, thanks for reading, I hope we understand each other.

and if you are able to delete everything I said, and decide to delete everything I said, please know that I don't mind.

This is your website, not mine.

But for the record ---- I hope we understand each other.
It has been a rough road for me since 1980 and I am not kidding when I say it is easy for me to call on hundreds of angels to comfort everyone and anyone who thinks I am a "troll".

Much easier than you would think.

Thousands, actually.

Delete that if you want, I don't care, it is true.

1980 was a long time ago.
Seriously, God loves us all (and also seriously, God loves you more than God loves me).

Somebody deleted a 15 or 20 word snarky comment of mine (that should have been deleted) but nobody deletes your endless posts? Hmmm...

If we have not encountered aliens by now, then the simplest explanation is that the simulation we're living in has not been designed to simulate alien visitors.

> Perhaps the earth has life because it came from other solar systems, seeded by alien probes, and indeed that is what I would do if I were a very wealthy alien philanthropist.

Usually those who plant seeds are farmers, not philanthropists.

And eventually they harvest.

Harvest is the plot of the execrable Jupiter Ascending.

With the decreasing cost of CGI causing a shift towards fantasy movies I'm expecting increased dragon sightings.

When did TC become the guest host of Coast to Coast?

Maybe I, oops I mean HE always was?

Why would beings from let’s say eleven parsecs away come here? There is no commodity that is worth shipping that far. It can be knowledge; they must have greater knowledge than us to make the trip. It must be entertainment. We are the only beings who evolved rock’n’roll. Those stars who we think died young did not die. They were transported to the home planet of the aliens where they perform in an extraterrestrial version of Las Vegas.
Somewhere out in space, Chris Cornell is performing “Black Hole Sun” to the applause of a huge crowd of tentacled fans. At least I hope he is.

"It can be knowledge; they must have greater knowledge than us to make the trip. "

England had far greater knowledge than the Galapagos Islands and yet Charles Darwin took a long journey to get there.

I won't speak for one in sixty but the characterization around alien life appears to be held in high esteem. Then again, I haven't any Chinese friends. AMOR OMNIA VINCIT. Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Op. 20, Act IV No. 27, Danses des petits cygnes is a thing and it follows and steps forward, miraculously! Inside somewhere far but still, into the darkness, not a lesson as much but such as, a proverbial advert canteen.

The nice thing about swans is this:

they are miraculous

Perhaps the circumstances giving rise to complex life on Earth were so fine tuned that they have probably not been replicated on other planets. It is easy to imagine a Universe teaming with life; but it is equally easy to imagine ourselves as the only sentient beings in the cosmos. In the coming years, I suspect that we will learn more about these possibilities from the biologists than the astronomers.

As for the UFO sightings, it’s worth noting that the Air Force and Navy have been flying jets for decades, but still don’t fully understand pilot biology at high speeds, and high altitudes (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/12/27/magazine/air-force-hypoxia-pilots-navy.amp.html). Perhaps there’s a neurological explanation for the sightings that has yet to be discovered.

Bottom line, it is fun and interesting to think about aliens, but we don’t have much to go on in terms of assigning probabilities to their existence.

"Bottom line, it is fun and interesting to think about aliens, but we don’t have much to go on in terms of assigning probabilities to their existence."

Right, other than that they are visiting us via rock is zero.


This is stupid. There are no Aliens. And the aliens that definitely don't exist are certainly not secretly watching you. Tyler should return to his Human Economics and not speculate like this again, as it could alarm people and change their behaviour in a way which would be hurtful to human membership of a control groups for the aliens that don't exist,

Cowen's essay is an allegory (Straussian to use the popular term here). What do I mean? Aliens come in many shapes and sizes. Here is a recent article about the influence of aliens in Silicon Valley: https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/1/18511540/silicon-valley-foreign-money-china-saudi-arabia-cfius-firrma-geopolitics-venture-capital Here is a recent op-ed about aliens in Sri Lanka: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/opinion/sri-lanka-bombing.html The op-ed is interesting because it describes ordinary and moderate Sunni Muslims in Sri Lanka who work in other middle east countries (such as Saudi Arabia) and return to Sri Lanka as aliens.

I don't understand why these clowns feel the need to fit these "indistinguishable from magic" sightings into a technical (sci-fi) frame. Why not just claim that there are wizards among us? What's the difference? Why would that be LESS plausible and/or less likely than "aliens"? We know eye witness testimony is not reliable. We know it. And yet, here we are, again. I guess that simply confirms how poorly our individual 3 pounds of brain functions.

Pilots for years occasionally reported seeing jellyfish in the air. But reports skyrocketed after someone took a picture of one:


The most likely explanation is some weird natural phenomenon.

Last fall there were stories circulating that said that recordings of UFOs had decreased, basically as more folks gained the ability to record them on their phones.

How to reconcile?

Humans often try to see patterns even when no such patterns exist. Still keeping a record of such events will be a minor waste of the military budget but will get folks in San Francisco to support the expense. Somebody in the Pentagon is shrewd.

Satellite cameras are blanketing the earth. We should be able to doublecheck many of the pilot UFO sightings. Furthermore, if there, are aliens passing through, they should show up in satellite images on a regular basis.

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