Sunday, 26 February 2017
The idiots guide to surviving an alien invasion!
This week, it was announced that astronomers have detected a solar system a mere 38 light years away with three planets in what is called the "goldilocks zone", capable of supporting life.
This reawakened a conundrum that has long troubled me. What would be the best strategy for surviving an alien invasion of Earth. Ever since my earliest days, hiding behind the sofa as Daleks menaced Doctor Who as they tried to invade Earth, I've whiled away many hours developing strategies for surviving a hostile invasion by little green men. As we now have Donald Trump in the White House as defacto leader of the world, it strikes me that there has never been a better time for the aliens to decide it is time to show their hand. Of course any strategy has to be tailored to deal with what sort of invasion we had to deal with. There are several options I've considered
1. A hostile invasion to simply plunder earth of its minerals, resources and even worse people for slavery or even food.
2. A benign invasion to get us to sort out our planet and resolve the dangerous envionmental issues facing us, such as global warming, pollution and inequality.
3. An invasion by an expansionist empire seeking living space, resources and workforce, but relatively benign towards a quiescent population.
4. A "secret invasion" a la Invasion of the bodysnatchers, where people suddenly are 'taken over' and aliens conquer us by stealth.
Each of these different types of invasion would require a different survival strategy, but is there a strategy that would get you through in all instances? The first problem is that for any alien invader to have a serious prospect of success, they would have to have first found a way around Einsteins theory of relativity. This would mean a hyperdrive capable of transporting millions of their race across light years of space. Clearly their technology would be well in advance of ours, which would make the prospects of us achieving a military victory over such a threat rather remote. In all cases (apart from possibly case 2), the first targets for annihalation (assuming this was the invaders preferred strategy) would be any force seriously capable of mounting a response. So that would probably mean that being a member of the armed forces of a powerful nation is not a good place to be. Having quiesced the military, it would be sensible for our alien chums to keep public order. Therefore they would probably maintain a civilian police force, presumably tightly controlled. So a career in the police, especially in somewhere like the Shetland Islands, which is fairly low down on their list of priorities (one assumes), would seem a reasonable shout for a good chance of getting by.
I have seen a few American sites over the years, where survivalists in desolate arears are arming themselves to the back teeth, building bunkers and stockpiling supplies for just such an eventuality. To me this is a highly dubious strategy. Firstly who wants to live in a bunker eating sardines? One would assume that the aliens would consider these sorts pretty useless in their scheme of things. If they can crack warp drives, zapping a few rednecks in bunkers really wouldn't seem to problematical. It would be far more sensible to make yourself useful to the invaders. Of course the experience of indiginous peoples in areas where more "developed" people turn up gives us a pretty bleak outlook if we want to maintain our customs and traditions. In nations such as Australia and the USA, people seeking to maintain there old customs and traditions, have had the choice of retreating to the ends of the earth, the least hospitable and desirable places to live. That or assimilate. So it may well be the armed rednecks are left to get on with it. Those wanting some sort of decent lifestyle would be faced with a very different set of choices.
We have to assume that the aliens would want food, shelter, power and transport systems to operate. Having come all this way, they clearly don't want to have to sleep in the open or in the cold. I mean what is the point conquering, if it isn't to acheive a good standard of living?
Now if the aliens in scenario 2 come, then it would seem that a good strategy would be simplyto be a sensible human being. But what about the other less pleasant options. Clearly the first targets for annihilation would be non useful people taking up living space. So having a job doing something useful to an alien administration would seem eminently sensible. I'd assume that they'd have less use for hairdressers than train drivers so a job doing something useful with specialist knowledge would seem a good way to go. Train drivers need a good bit of training. We have to assume that even aliens have to get from A to B. They clearly wouldn't want too much dissent, so bloggers and political activists would seem to be jobs to avoid. It would also seem likely that those people in the police who monitor us would be a great asset, as they would need to keep a lid on all dissent. Things like farming pose and interesting conundrum. If they liked steak and lamb, farmers would presumably be well placed, but if they were vegetarian, it would be a different matter. Likewise if they were partial to a tipple. If the alien nation loved scotch whisky, then that would be a good profession to be in. If they didn't and were an absteemious bunch, perhaps it would be a completely different matter.
So what job would be a the best bet? Well whoever were to invade, they'd presumably want a usable planet. Even the worst asset strippers, if they were going to bother to invade, would want a working planet. So there are some jobs that I think would give you a pretty good chance of ensuring an opportunity to survive any cull. Lets face it, if they just wanted to wipe us out, they'd simply blow the planet up, so all bets would be off. So an invasion suggests that they want a usable planet.
I'd say that the best job security would be to work in nuclear waste reprocessing. If I was a self respecting alien, this isn't a job I'd really fancy doing, but if it isn't done, then the planet you've expended so much effort to conquer would simply have large swathes transformed into irradiated, useless wastelands. It would make utmost sense to keep the people associated with these facilities reasonably happy and contented. So my advice is if you are an idiot and you want to survive an alien invasion, then a job in a nuclear waste reprocessing facility would be just the ticket. It is difficult an dcomplicated enough that they couldn't simply replace you. If they didn't retain someone to do it, someone who knew the gear, it could all go horribly wrong for the invader. Plants like Sellafield are pretty remote, so won't be too high on the radar for any mass exterminations that a more Dalek motivated invader may plan. I don't think that this could be deemed as being immoral or a collaborator, as if the job wasn't done, it would simply ruin the planet.
My assumption would be that any race that could master the technology of warp drives would have to be, at the very least, more intelligent than humanity. They would have to be not to warlike, as any race that was too warlike would not get past the stage of developing nuclear technology, without blowing themselves up. Of course if they see humanity as a lower species, as we see cattle, then they are not likely to care too much for our health and wellbeing. One would assume that they would spend a considerable amount of time monitoring us and planning before any putsch. The ideal scenario for any invader is to walk in and simply take the levers of power with little or no resistance and little damage to infrastructure. How would this be achieved and what would we be wise to look out for?
The obvious way would be to subert the human leadership of planet Earth. Install greedy, unprincipled people who care none for the citizens they are elected to serve. People who clearly are vain, avaricious and morally bankrupt, would be ideal proxies. Get such people in charge of the major powers, the countries that control the biggest nuclear arsenals. Persuade people that all manner of terrorist threats exist, so that they can monitor our every move. Ensure that the police are tooled up to deal with 'any situation'. Persuade people to buy into a "ready meal society", where people are malliable and unable to fend for themselves. Have huge databases of peoples every detail, so you can easily assess their worth, value and capabilities. Set up websites where people can share views and personal information, so you can know all of their actions and vulnerabilities. Have a society where people cannot function without checking data and finding out what we are supposed to think. It would also be necessary to break down traditional power bases and security agreements and systems, so people continually feel edgy and nervous.
Luckily for us, we have great statesmen such as VladimirPutin and Donald Trump. Paragons of honesty and deceny. This gives me great comfort and no reason to worry at all. I haven't looked at this at all ;) http://careers.sellafieldsite.co.uk/vacancies/
So you may wonder. Do I think we are likely to see an alien invasion in short order. No, I don't. I really can't see why a race that is more advanced than us and with better technology would bother. But then, what do I know.