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LughSpear
2017-03-31, 07:12 PM
So, I'm tired of seeing how human are portrayed as weak, boring and stupid in most sci-fi movies.

So I'm trying to elaborate a list of why they should be feared and respected.

-They have devoted almost their entire technological advances to war; if you give a piece of technology to a human they will somehow turn it into a weapon, no matter how harmless it used to be.
-They are obsessed with their copulation method, many of the specialists in the human mind conclude that their entire
psyche is based on their copulation method, no matter if your body is gaseous or gelatinous they will find a way to stick their pointy organs in your body.
-They have devolved a cybernetic collective mind that rages form information about the universe to repulsive and unspeakable pictures.
-Like many races in the universes their forms of energy are efficient but self-destructive, causing the slow death of their own planet. Unlike their other races their leaders and even the population at large was aware of it, they just didn't care.
-They are barbaric fighting and killing members of the same race for slight differences.
-Even their scientists are most of the time cold, cruel and without spirituality.
-Their fauna and flora is rich in toxic substances.
-They have many ways to use fluids in battle, every single orifice seems to be able to expel liquids rage from acids to toxins.

Any other ideas?

falcon1
2017-03-31, 07:19 PM
We force metal bits into our mouths to adjust our teeth, and regularly poison ourselves for fun.

sktarq
2017-03-31, 07:33 PM
We are longsighted enough to develop and build massive engineering systems. But too shortsighted to run them for long term good.

We never have enough. More stuff is better. And we try to take it with us. So we are always eager to expand.

We are intensely tribal. For as bad as we treat each other a single incident of antihuman violence can mobilize stress and violence within the human community for years or generations.

DataNinja
2017-03-31, 07:43 PM
They inhale and metabolize a toxic gas that, given time, will destroy unprotected metals.

LordCdrMilitant
2017-03-31, 07:43 PM
We are the most dangerous species in the universe citizen, and the mere suggestion that we might not be is bordering on heresy!

4* reasons why mankind has always**, and will always, rule the stars:
1: We have faith! The God-Emperor of Man smiles upon us, loyal citizen, and under His guidance we shall prevail against all foes! The aliens have to dress up the finest warriors in colors and jewelry so they can pretend to have a divine patron! And what do the heretics have? Not even that***!
2: We are naturally superior! The divine human form is the epitome of evolution, in both practicality and beauty; all aliens are just twisted attempts at imitating our perfection! We are tougher, faster, stronger, and smarter than all other alien lifeforms in the galaxy, even the most feeble of our newborns can**** put the greatest of the xenos warriors to shame!
3: We have numbers! Not only are our bodies superior, we have more of us! The second most numerous race in the universe, the Tyranids, have barely enough forces to threaten a few hundred worlds, and even then with our forces dispersed across the galaxy and their concentrated we've outnumbered them in almost every major battle fought*****!
4: We have the firepower! Our tanks and our artillery and the fastest firing, largest, and most destructive weapons in the universe! Our ships can pound to rubble any xenos vessel. Even our small arms, your humble lasgun, are superior, with a near infinite ammunition capacity, unerring accuracy and the ability to strike down any living enemy with a single shot******!

So there you have it. A few highlights of the long list******* of reasons humanity will always win!

*List not exhaustive.
**There have been rumors of life before mankind in the galaxy. As records do not exist from that time, said rumors cannot be confirmed, and are most assuredly false.
***Heretics may speak of so called "dark gods". These are entirely myth, and figments of the madmen's imagination.
****Testing indicates a human infant will defeat a Tau Fire Warrior in .005% of close-quarters scenarios.
*****Every recorded major battle fought.
******Single-shot kill not guaranteed. We recommend firing many shots to ensure target is dead.
*******The Adeptus Ministorum has processed 1934765876 unique reasons for our superiority at this time, and continues to identify more with every day.

ImperatorV
2017-03-31, 07:44 PM
Humans have been known keep fighting for hours after being shot.

Removing a limb will not fatally incapacitate humans. Always destroy the head.

Humans drink poisons that cause brain damage. For fun.

The human mouth has over thirty bony outcroppings and powerful jaw muscles. Human bites can be fatally infectious even to other humans.

Humans have been known to go to war for dozens of solar cycles because they didn't agree on how to worship the same God.

Humans have many stories of their world being destroyed and their entire race wiped out. These are considered entertainment.

CharonsHelper
2017-03-31, 08:48 PM
I'm actually creating a sci-fi game - Space Dogs - where humans are the badasses of the galaxy. Humans were actually recruited by the most technologically advanced species to be their military. (They suck at fighting. They're slow both physically and thinking. Super smart - but slow.) The setting is set up so that the PCs are human privateers - or Space Dogs.

Humans are the badasses because of fast reflexes, toughness, and versatility. In addition, we're the only species which has anything like a military. Some other species have warriors, but none have a military.

Humans are the only omnivores among the sentient species. (Others call them 'garbage eaters' because of it.) The vast majority are herbivores with a few carnivores.

Humans heal much faster than other species and have far higher stamina. (ever heard of pursuit predators?)

Slipperychicken
2017-03-31, 09:33 PM
We get a free bonus feat and extra skillpoints just for being alive.

We've got the best planet this side of the milky way.

And we can be pretty determined when we want to be.

InvisibleBison
2017-03-31, 09:53 PM
Humans are the most dangerous race in the universe because...

... they're the oldest race in the universe. They've got a head start of hundreds or thousands or millions of years on technological development and territorial expansion. No other race can hope to compete with them.

... they're the biggest race in the universe. Size gives a lot of advantages, after all. They're easier to hit, true, but they're much faster in a footrace, they're incredibly deadly in melee range (and their high speed means they will be in melee range if they want to), and they're enormously tougher than littler races. A weapon designed to kill a three-inch tall creature is a fleabite to a human, and a weapon designed to kill a human will atomize a three-inch tall creature.

... they think faster than any other race. In absolute terms, they aren't the smartest, but they can devote so much more effort to any problem in a given length of time that they often come ahead anyway. And when a fight breaks out, there's no contests - from a human perspective, everyone else is moving in slow motion.

... they're the longest-lived race. In a high-technology world, it takes a long time to simply learn everything that everyone already knows. Thinking up new things takes even longer. Most non-humans simply don't live long enough to come up with new ideas.

Celestia
2017-03-31, 09:58 PM
Comparing humans to other animals, we are actually some of the toughest bastards on the planet.

Our endurance is completely unmatched. We can physically exert ourselves for hours at a time and can go for days without rest if need be. This lead us to develop an entirely new form of hunting unique within the animal kingdom: pursuit predation. We don't run down our prey, we simply follow them. We walk after them until we find them. They may run away, but we follow. We find them again, and they run. We keep doing this until either we finally get our shot or they drop dead from exhaustion.

We are also supremely durable and can survive Injuries that would be lethal to other creatures. Break one of our limbs, and we'll keep going. It'll hurt, sure, but we'll be fine. Other animals will likely go into shock and die. This has allowed us to develop a bizarre form of healing that other intelligent species likely find horrifying: we cut ourselves open and mess around with our organs. Of course unless those species have some sort of pseudo-magical healing ray or something, it's likely that our healthcare is considerably more effective than theirs. Injuries and illnesses that often prove fatal to other species are fixed with routine surgeries by humans. Also, in this world, I imagine body piercings becoming far more popular. What better way is there to prove your toughness than by stabbing yourself? Other species are likely terrified by humans with piercings.

Our bodies are filled with poisons and diseases of all sorts. These are especially prevalent in our highly toxic mouths. Most animals don't have this. A dog's saliva is antiseptic. Ours could potentially kill even each other. This could be easily played up by having other species be even more vulnerable to infection. Perhaps human saliva could even be considered an actual biological weapon. Naturally, other species would be sickened and horrified by us kissing each other.

Finally, our species as a whole is highly aggressive, combative, and self-destructive. We do things we know are bad simply because we don't care about the future. We destroy each other and the world because it's marginally more convenient at the present. The fact that we've even survived this long is a testament to our stubborn tenacity. We are absolute monsters, and we will not be put down easily.

druid91
2017-03-31, 10:14 PM
!!Warning TVtropes Link!! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheJenkinsverse)

But the Jenkinsverse has some good ideas. Like lower gravity on other worlds lead to aliens being larger, but also less dense than humans. So the average handgun from space tickles when you shoot a human in the face.

solidork
2017-03-31, 10:56 PM
The idea that humans are particularly weird or that Earth is "space Australia" is wildly popular on Tumblr and possibly imported from elsewhere. My personal favorite originally comes from some 4chan like website: http://imgur.com/gallery/u2gUQ

Crisis21
2017-03-31, 10:59 PM
They ingest toxic plants full of substances that inflict chemical burns on top of the toxicity which alone are fatal to other lifeforms and then seek ways to make them even more potent for later consumption (capsaicin, the chemical in chili peppers).

They enjoy endangering their lives, and seem more inclined to make these activities even more dangerous than they are in developing safety precautions (extreme sports).

They can remain physically active for hours at a time and retain reasonable cognitive function despite extended lack of rest (we have 8 hour work days, forty hour work weeks, and it takes roughly 72 hours without sleep before our judgement is impaired enough for us to be legally insane).

They have historical archives dedicated to the devices they have used to inflict pain and gruesome demise on each other (I've been to a few).

They can move together like a tide when angered and are just as implacable when they do (riots, mob mentality).

They consider fear to be entertainment (horror movies, ghost stories).

Just when you think you have humans figured out, they change the rules on you.

Pex
2017-04-01, 12:54 AM
Humans can do anything that's possible. Sure, other races may be better than humans in one particular thing. It's their specialty, but because of that specialty they lack experience, knowledge, and/or talent in some other thing another race specializes in. When an alien race is out of its element it falters. Humans, because of their lack of specialty, either already know or can quickly learn how to do anything they need to get done. If they physically can't do it they'll make a machine that can.

ImperatorV
2017-04-01, 01:40 AM
*biological stuff*

Basically, humans are the 40k ork equivalents of our planet. Except we're also the most intelligent species around. This can get horrifying fast.

Crisis21
2017-04-01, 01:45 AM
Basically, humans are the 40k ork equivalents of our planet. Except we're also the most intelligent species around. This can get horrifying fast.

You want real horror? The stuff Celestia said about our endurance and our resistance to injury is pretty much what we ourselves fear about zombies. They are slow and shambling, sure, but they never tire, they never stop, and they take much more punishment than we ourselves can.

Essentially, the classic zombie is all of humanity's most terrifyingly unique (physical) adaptations taken up to eleventeen.

That's what the animal kingdom likely thinks of us.

ImperatorV
2017-04-01, 01:58 AM
You want real horror? The stuff Celestia said about our endurance and our resistance to injury is pretty much what we ourselves fear about zombies. They are slow and shambling, sure, but they never tire, they never stop, and they take much more punishment than we ourselves can.

Essentially, the classic zombie is all of humanity's most terrifyingly unique (physical) adaptations taken up to eleventeen.

That's what the animal kingdom likely thinks of us.

"You don't win against humans. You either get away, or you don't. Maybe, maybe, you manage to clear out one infestation, but there are always more - in fact, they seem to come in force to any place where the natives successfully remove them. If you ever find humans in your backyard, drop everything else, and just run.

It probably won't be enough."

Yora
2017-04-01, 02:12 AM
Because of some quirk of planetary formation, the chemical conditions required for life turn out to be found almost only on planets with up to 70% of Earth's mass. Which makes Earth a high gravity world by galactic standards and humans exceptionaly big and strong.

Inevitability
2017-04-01, 07:24 AM
Human technology levels improve much faster than any other species'. Most species spent about a million years between its first permanent settlements (usually through invention of agriculture) and interplanetary travel: humans did it in 15000.

We were discovered and categorized as 'just another developing species' tens of thousands of years ago, with the aliens in question not really paying attention to us afterwards. After all, it was going to take thousands of centuries before anything resembling advanced technology would emerge on this planet, right? Turned out it wasn't.

The thing is: in the hundreds of thousands of years most aliens develop into spacefaring races, they lose a large part of their primal instincts as these become useless (or even detrimental) in civilized society. Human civilization, however, was by far not long enough for this (especially not when combined with the above-average natural lifespans we have), and as a result today's humans aren't that different from their primitive ancestors.

Most aliens, having long evolved past 'fight or flight' responses, are (rightly) highly disturbed by the idea of a creature smart enough to master nuclear fission yet primitive enough to make decisions solely based on era-old gut feelings. There's even a growing movement that seeks to destroy humanity before their technology grows even further.

hymer
2017-04-01, 07:54 AM
Humans experience hormonal surges that allow them to endure and fight with such abandon that their physiology breaks down under the strain. They will destroy themselves to destroy you.

Humans make slaves of anyone and anything they do not sufficiently empathize with, sometimes just for aesthetical reasons. They are known to eat these slaves, though they can easily subsist on a vegetable diet.
Those they do empathize with they consider both competitors and partners, making them capricious in the extreme in any diplomatic situation or relationship. They are also known to eat beings they ostensibly respect.

Human lifespans are limited by their bodies' inability to effectively repair themselves. Over time, the damage accumulates until the human can no longer function, because quick healing is preferred over long term survival. This is obviously a species evolved to survive and win extinction-style warfare, with little regard for the individual even among themselves.

A healthy female can easily give birth to twelve offspring over her lifetime, explaining why humans not only destroyed their own planet with overpopulation, but why they must eventually do so to the entire galaxy unless stopped. Humans are always working on new technology to enhance their fertility.

Human intelligence tends to vastly overrate itself; most humans consider themselves to have more than average intelligence for their species. By a quirk of fate or evolution, humans who are not very bright are at the same time not bright enough to realize this. This means humans cannot be depended on to do the smart or informed thing, and any attempt to educate or reason with them is likely to fail. This leaves only intimidation, which sparks conflict, because...

Vengeance is a driving factor in human psychology. They are willing to take risks, suffer setbacks, and expend resurces for no other purpose than harming someone.
Even before their drive to overpopulate an area becomes decisive and causes mass extinction, humans will often purposefully target individuals or species for extermination, and proceed to act on it with patience lasting generations and steadily and coldly refined methods.

redwizard007
2017-04-01, 09:55 AM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Damned_Trilogy

Beleriphon
2017-04-01, 11:21 AM
Our bodies are filled with poisons and diseases of all sorts. These are especially prevalent in our highly toxic mouths. Most animals don't have this. A dog's saliva is antiseptic. Ours could potentially kill even each other. This could be easily played up by having other species be even more vulnerable to infection. Perhaps human saliva could even be considered an actual biological weapon. Naturally, other species would be sickened and horrified by us kissing each other.

Yeah, we're kind of like the komodo dragons of mammals in that way.

darkrose50
2017-04-01, 11:41 AM
I have a supernatural and superhero setting where humanity controls the earth.
- They keep the old gods at bay.
- They use a few old gods asleep and they are used as magical batteries.
- They organize users of magic.
- They have amassed great stores of magical knowledge.
- They teach new adepts in a highly efficient method via academies.
- Humanity possesses and may create a variety of magical artifacts.
- Other races acknowledge humanities power.
- Most other races fear humanity as a whole.

Lo'Tek
2017-04-01, 12:25 PM
When humanity was first discovered it wasn't able to reach significantly into space.
A reasearch post was established and the conclusion of the long survey was horrifying:
It seems that for humanity there are exactly two options on how to interact with other life
- Enslavement
- Extermination
This theory was challenged again and again but today the general consensus is "you are just unable to imagine the horror"
Some examples to make it easier to grasp: (please read the glossary to understand earth-centric terms like "plant" and "animal" as well as other terms that may be unknown to your world, like "waste" or "weapon")

- They are using biochemical weapons against plants competing with their slave-plants.
- These weapons are so strong their slave-plants only survive because they were genetically altered to do so.
- They like to consume a chemical that is produced as part of the reproduction cycle by one gender of a plant. To optimise mass production they researched how to use genetic alteration to exterminate the other gender.
- For hundreds of human generations animals having higher strength and speed were enslaved. About ten generations after the development of constructs stronger and faster, these species are almost extinct.
- Some animals are used for a beneficial effect on the human psyche. Strangely they find it discomforting to consume these animals and instead prefer to keep the population limited by either mutilating sexual organs or poisoning the offspring and burning the corpses.
- In general a slave species is considered as such by humanity for only a few of its traits and will be "optimised" for these traits by selective breeding, genetic engeneering, and alteration of environment in complete disregard of the effects this will have on other traits or the ecosystem.
- Humans use confined areas for "mass production" of a slave-species. As is expected this creates an unstable ecosystem where mono-cellular species reproduce to the point of collapsing this ecosystem.
- The human answer to this is biochemical warfare.
- Humanity has a tendency to select parts of its own species, by physical or cultural traits, and consider it as a separate species.
- This has lead to an arms race between different parts resulting in weapons of unreasonable destructive power.
- As a side effect of testing weapons based on nuclear fission they irradiated their home planet.
- They consider the effect of this neglectible, because the death rate introduced by it is far smaller than their population growth.
- As they can not live in the oceans, they see it as a place to dump waste.
- This however is not the primary reason why the different animal species categorized by them as "fish" are currently facing extinction. They simply eat so many of them, the population is unable to recover. However this is not seen as problem, as the new ecosystem of the oceans is ok for an animal species called "jelly-fish" (possible translation error) and a plant species "algea" which are also edible.
- Effort is made to mass produce some species of fish, with an optimisation of the trait "tastes good".


Given of what we know about Humanity contact should be avoided at all cost.
With a vote of 98% the high council has decided it to be too dangerous to try and stop humanity.
However there is no need to despair: current long term projection suggest that humanity will completly destroy itself.


TL:DR Humanity might be feared because from the view of conservative space hippies we look chaotic evil

darkrose50
2017-04-01, 01:01 PM
We can (seriously these are evolutionary advantages):
- Get rid of extra gas via burping
- Get rid of extra gas via farting
- Get rid of unwanted edibles via diarrhea
- Get rid of unwanted edibles via vomiting

The above means we can eat lots of stuff, and try lots of stuff.

Picture other races like space pandas. Their food sources would be limiting. Blow up the bamboo farm ship, and they are in trouble.


Humans drink poisons that cause brain damage. For fun.

Some think that drinking booze is an evolutionary advantage gained from eating old fruit laying about. Being able to also eat old fruit laying about is an evolutionary advantage.

Booze also lets us store energy in liquid form for an extended period of time. We can take a great harvest and save the calories for an extended period of time. Boiling the water also kills germs.

Bohandas
2017-04-01, 01:20 PM
So, I'm tired of seeing how human are portrayed as weak, boring and stupid in most sci-fi movies.

They do play the role of the evil alien invaders in Avatar, the Jetsons movie, Warhammer 40k, and at least one episode each of both Futurama and The Twilight Zone

gooddragon1
2017-04-01, 01:27 PM
+Bits and pieces of humans can seek out other matter (human or not, organic or not) to eventually form a new human. Any portion of a human larger than 1 millimeter cube can do this.
+Humans can make new humans by touching and "digesting" matter in this fashion.
+Enough humans in an area generate a hive mind through which they can communicate with each other and other hive minds.
+Large enough hive minds can accomplish psionic effects.
+A hive mind continually improves both its own and other hive minds psionic power and efficiency
+All memories and thoughts are shared between hive minds allowing them to reconstitute even fallen humans through the digestion process
+One of these psionic effects allows humans to sustain all the members of a hive mind without food, water, or oxygen.

...And now the humans are taking after the Tyranids/the Many (System Shock Series).

Mister Loorg
2017-04-01, 01:35 PM
Don't forget that humans can also make passive aggressive complaints about their own society.

darkrose50
2017-04-01, 01:44 PM
I am working on a setting where advanced mathematical magic and technological know-how is required to instantly traverse great interstellar distances.

One society of aliens was visited by a group of frighteningly powerful mages in the past. The society has come to the conclusion that the human mages awesome powers come from them being human. When they see the human player characters they will treat them as if we were to see a dragon walking down the street.

Millstone85
2017-04-01, 01:44 PM
Most species are either so kind they would not wish harm on another sapient or so cruel they would never have enough cohesion to invade another world, but humans are known as "The Greys".

Crisis21
2017-04-01, 01:44 PM
Humanity is a problem-solving engine. Anything they perceive as a barrier; whether it's to their survival, their expansion, their understanding, or even just their ability to be content; gets an inordinate amount of resources dedicated to finding a way to destroy or circumvent.

Inevitability
2017-04-01, 02:10 PM
By the way, this (http://www.baen.com/Chapters/0743471741/0743471741___1.htm) may be a relevant read.

BayardSPSR
2017-04-01, 02:30 PM
Lest we forget, humans also routinely use lethal bladed weapons and potentially catastrophically lethal flammable gasses to prepare even basic meals. Other species might see a large human kitchen as a cross between an armory and a torture chamber.

Never mind the fact that humans developed spaceflight in the first place as a pissing contest between heavily armed states on the brink of mutual annihilation.

The Glyphstone
2017-04-01, 02:42 PM
do a Google search for "Humanity F Yeah". There's a Subreddit, a 1d4chan page, and a Tumblr collection all of stories where Humans are terrifying monsters.

Arbane
2017-04-01, 03:01 PM
Also, humans are capable of improvising complex contrafactual scenarios, a process referred to as 'creativity' or 'lying'. Do not rely on any data gathered from contact with humans without independent testing.

Youtube: Humans are scary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg_nJwGXAk0)
Imgur: The Human Federation of "Hold my beer, I got this" (http://imgur.com/gallery/wpZ4w)
Danger: Humans (http://sploid.gizmodo.com/what-if-the-rest-of-the-alien-universe-was-terrified-of-1498217767) (Alien safety video)

Trekkin
2017-04-01, 04:37 PM
You want to know why humans are terrifying?

Because they're so violently, egregiously stupid.

With minor exceptions, most humans are staggeringly ignorant of almost every facet of the universe about which a predictively useful approximation of reality can be fabricated. Ah, you say, but this is true of most species -- and perhaps it is, but those species have the good sense to shut up when they don't know anything. Humans have literally evolved to be surer of themselves, and more vociferously so, the less they know; in some ways, this has shaped their entire civilization. They stigmatize curiosity even as they mythologize the prioritization of anecdotes over systematically gathered and statistically evaluated evidence; what more sensible species call "the science keeping us all alive", humans will laugh off as "fancy-pants ivory-tower book learnin'" and die rather than appreciate.

When combined with their engrained reverence for sociopathy, you may assume, albeit not with total accuracy, that any sufficiently large group of humans is an ultracrepidarian kleptocracy controlled by the kleptocrats' ability to elicit negative emotions in their underlings. The same xenophobia that led them to build doomsday devices to target their only biosphere is more than capable of demonizing anyone else they may encounter in service to said fear- and anger-based control. Say nothing, and they will assume hostility. Say anything, and they will presume deceit. If this sounds like violent combat is inevitable, it is; human bloodlust is both insatiable and core to their culture. Most species tell stories of their great peacemakers, their diplomats, their scientists. Humans idolize their murderers so much they spend insane amounts of economic activity -- many times their expenditure on research -- inventing and popularizing fake wars because they have not got enough real ones.

Individual humans can be very nice; indeed, some small groups of them will try to befriend nearly anything that looks like it even might be sapient and repurpose anything that doesn't into more of their charmingly anachronistic technology. Those humans will invariably be shouted down and enslaved, in any sufficiently populous group (and goodness, how they proliferate), by the loudest, dumbest, least empathic, least rational members of their species. They will throw people and machines at you while cursing your name simply for existing, and when you kill them all, they will raise statues of their dead and kill in their memories, until either you or they lie dead.

They will not listen to reason; cite facts, and they will cling to baseless accusations of "bias."
They will not care for appeals to empathy or decency; try, and they will make disparaging remarks about your puissance and call your compassion weakness.
They will see any concessions you make as tributes to ward off their wrath and any requests you have as transparent attempts to take advantage of them, and in their unshakeable pride they will never stop scheming to subvert your arrangements and subsequently destroy you for daring to assume maturity on their part.

In short, humans are violent, psychopathic children addicted to the rule of vicious idiot kings, neurologically predisposed to remain so even as they accrue ever more powerful means of destroying themselves and others. Any sensible species could conquer them effortlessly -- but there would be nothing remaining of human space but slag, soot, and sanctimonious poesy about "going down fighting."

Donnadogsoth
2017-04-01, 04:47 PM
So, I'm tired of seeing how human are portrayed as weak, boring and stupid in most sci-fi movies.

So I'm trying to elaborate a list of why they should be feared and respected.


1.They're smarter.
2.They've got the Bomb.
3.They've got the American can-do spirit.
4.They've got a logistical capability that boggles the mind and can turn all you primitive screwheads into cargo cultists.
5.They've got the Bomb.
6.The Deity is on their side.
7.You've really ticked them off.
8.They've thawed out John Wayne and he's really ticked off.
9.They've got the Bomb.

Checkmate, aliens!

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-01, 06:16 PM
It's "funny" how any time this subject comes up, at least half the posts are exaggerated caricatures, driven by either humor or cynicism.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-01, 06:31 PM
Humans heal much faster than other species and have far higher stamina. (ever heard of pursuit predators?)




Comparing humans to other animals, we are actually some of the toughest bastards on the planet.

Our endurance is completely unmatched. We can physically exert ourselves for hours at a time and can go for days without rest if need be. This lead us to develop an entirely new form of hunting unique within the animal kingdom: pursuit predation. We don't run down our prey, we simply follow them. We walk after them until we find them. They may run away, but we follow. We find them again, and they run. We keep doing this until either we finally get our shot or they drop dead from exhaustion.


There are other species that rely on endurance and cooperation to hunt -- social canines, such as wolves and African wild dogs.

It's not complete coincidence that probably the first animals to end up as part of "team humans" were the wolves that became (over time) domestic dogs.

oudeis
2017-04-01, 06:37 PM
It's "funny" how any time this subject comes up, at least half the posts are exaggerated caricatures, driven by either humor or cynicism.Just because we can't comment on politics here doesn't mean we are unaware or unaffected by them.

Bohandas
2017-04-01, 07:20 PM
Also, humans are capable of improvising complex contrafactual scenarios, a process referred to as 'creativity' or 'lying'. Do not rely on any data gathered from contact with humans without independent testing.

Youtube: Humans are scary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg_nJwGXAk0)
Imgur: The Human Federation of "Hold my beer, I got this" (http://imgur.com/gallery/wpZ4w)
Danger: Humans (http://sploid.gizmodo.com/what-if-the-rest-of-the-alien-universe-was-terrified-of-1498217767) (Alien safety video)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumansAreCthulhu

EDIT:
And it's worth npting that the "Humans Are Cthulhu" trope ironically has a place in the canon Cthulhu mythos. In Throught the Gates of the Silver Key by H.P.Lovecraft the second act involves an alien becoming posessed by the human sorcerer Randolph Carter.

Tiktik Ironclaw
2017-04-01, 08:43 PM
Let us not forget that these bestial primates are so sure of their own superiority that some of them believe that they are the only intelligent life existing in the universe, even some of their (self-proclaimed) "scientists"! Oddly, some instances of these beings for some reason insist on there being rogue aliens sodomizing them for no reason. Which is it, alien lifeforms don't exist or are rapists?

You may laugh, but actual humans think this. Which is why we are inside the protection dome.

Doorhandle
2017-04-01, 10:25 PM
I'd personally prefer to take the technically-advanced route, at least in a fantasy setting. The reasons human rule the world and dragons don't is that we have thumbs, and things than need thumbs to use. The reasons humans rule the world and orcs don't is because we bother to write things down for future generations, rather than relying on sheer numbers and re-learning everything from scratch each time.

There's even a few real-life theories that our ability to communicate and spread information to each-other is what allowed our technical aptitude to snowball to our current positions as rulers/destroyers of earth.

There's also the jenkinsverse, (https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/wiki/ref/universes/jenkinsverse) which takes the opinion that "humans are heavy-worlders from a toxic atmosphere that had to out-think predators to survive," and hence are stronger than basically every sapient species. May be to the OP's interest.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-02, 12:03 AM
I'd personally prefer to take the technically-advanced route, at least in a fantasy setting. The reasons human rule the world and dragons don't is that we have thumbs, and things than need thumbs to use. The reasons humans rule the world and orcs don't is because we bother to write things down for future generations, rather than relying on sheer numbers and re-learning everything from scratch each time.

There's even a few real-life theories that our ability to communicate and spread information to each-other is what allowed our technical aptitude to snowball to our current positions as rulers/destroyers of earth.

There's also the jenkinsverse, (https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/wiki/ref/universes/jenkinsverse) which takes the opinion that "humans are heavy-worlders from a toxic atmosphere that had to out-think predators to survive," and hence are stronger than basically every sapient species. May be to the OP's interest.

Love it...


Class 12: These planets possess ALL of the factors that make class 10 planets dangerous, usually meaning that there is nowhere on the planet that cannot kill even the most shrewd and experienced alien survivalist. Class 12 planets are high-gravity worlds, seething disease pits, menageries of death where even small and apparently benign creatures can do considerable harm, and worse. As such they are given a wide birth by all intelligent beings. Earth is a Class 12 temperate planet.

Inevitability
2017-04-02, 01:00 AM
I like to imagine aliens being really surprised by us throwing things (which is a really complex act we just don't think about much). Remember, we are the only species that is actually good at throwing stuff, which is one of the only ways earth life can even attack you from afar.

Note that human danger does not decrease with distance. Humans are capable of assessing the potential to cause harm of nearby objects, collecting the objects judged to be the most dangerous, and propelling them at high speed towards perceived threats within seconds. The objects will in most cases have enough force to severely damage their victim upon impact.

Humans have displayed a preference to weaken prey or enemies with this technique, moving in for the kill once the projectiles have disabled the target.

Young humans, as part of their bonding rituals, engage in a similar practice where they propel spheres of frozen water at each other, sometimes deliberately compressed and hardened. This is considered to be battle training: another proof

As their technology advanced, humans developed a number of advanced throwing tools. These range from sharp, throwable blades, to projectiles that return should they miss their target, to throwable explosives.

Never approach a human carrying any of those within fifty meters (remember: while their bodies may seem unbalanced, humans are surprisingly fast and can accelerate quickly).

Fri
2017-04-02, 03:10 AM
I like this one where humanity's "hat" is that we pet everything, disregarding of our personal danger.

That intelligent deadly social pack hunter with sharp fang and sharper sense of smell? So cuddly wuddly. Let's pet them and let them join our tribe.

That loner silent ambush predator? What the heck, they're cute. Let's cuddle them and name them Mrs Butterworsth.

That ten foot tall scaly-skinned reptile with razor-sharp claws as long as daggers? I WANNA RIDE IT.

Cluedrew
2017-04-02, 07:24 AM
It's "funny" how any time this subject comes up, at least half the posts are exaggerated caricatures, driven by either humor or cynicism.Because it is funny! Also, on a more serious note, you need at least 2 points of data to do a compare and contrast. We have only one. So there really is no scientific way of driving would be the human race's identifying features on an interstellar scale.

Scientifically (although perhaps optimistically), there are probably a LOT of sentient alien races out there, but we will never meet them due to relativity and the scale of the universe. But if we did encounter aliens, the our identifying features would just be in contrast to that. Heck, maybe we are the goblins of the universe: "We had to take their weapons away from them, they were about to kill each other over territory control."

Also an earlier time this topic came up: What makes us human (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?431841-What-makes-up-human-As-opposed-to).

Mister Loorg
2017-04-02, 01:39 PM
It's "funny" how any time this subject comes up, at least half the posts are exaggerated caricatures, driven by either humor or cynicism.

Thank you.

BayardSPSR
2017-04-02, 02:56 PM
It's "funny" how any time this subject comes up, at least half the posts are exaggerated caricatures, driven by either humor or cynicism.

I wonder if it's the fact that we find our own potential for violence so funny that makes us dangerous.

LughSpear
2017-04-02, 05:06 PM
do a Google search for "Humanity F Yeah". There's a Subreddit, a 1d4chan page, and a Tumblr collection all of stories where Humans are terrifying monsters.

And here I thought I was being original *sigh* :smallfrown:

BeerMug Paladin
2017-04-02, 05:34 PM
Here's one.

"The surface of human worlds are characterized by boiling rampant activity, destruction and chaos. The life form is inherently extremely chaotic, both in function and projected signal noise produced. As far as a space parasite goes, the prospect for death of a planet upon which they've been discovered is unrelenting and nearly total. As the infection spreads, curiously, the species does manage to construct and maintain a number of consistent, centralized structures in the seething madness. It is uncertain how these nodes develop, but it appears that what we would call "technology" is grown at these locations.

The prime beacons have now been linked to human worlds so conclusively, that we can now be sure they are related. Once thought to be a distress signal from a previous victim's remnants, there have been a few worlds thought to have been previously uninhabited which still serve as a source for the prime beacons. If produced by the humans, the evolutionary purpose of the signal is unknown. It is possible that the signal is some kind of signature beacon used for navigation, but it could also just be some secondary side-effect of the parasite's highly complex behavior.

According to CER1007-D, there is rudimentary evidence that the parasite has a mind, or a mind of sorts. CER1007-D's theory is that each of the tiny individual parasites has its own mind, instead of any kind of real mind. This theory proposes to explain why the life form produces so much noise and the prime beacons undergo their cycles at such a blindingly fast speed. A single planet with millions or billions of minds would produce very fractured, chaotic results on a planetary scale. This theory demands further evidence and consideration.

Hypothetically, if each of these individual tiny parasites had a mind, each mind's full development and exposure to information would be necessarily limited to their miniscule life span. What looks like repetitive, inherently useless noise could, to such a being, genuinely seem like new information on that kind of time scale. Further, all endeavors sought out by a single creature would need to occur at a highly accelerated rate. So activity on the worlds would need to occur at a blindingly fast speed which would appear as entropic chaos to a normal observer.

If this theory holds, it could be further true that the recent appearance of this parasite is not actually linked to a covert biological operation from Andromeda, but is rather just a highly unusual native life form. If each individual had its own mind, the creation of new ideas, behavior and technology could potentially occur at a rate much faster than our own. A sizable fraction of a galaxy's worth of potential minds to create new ideas all on a single world. Their technological development could have been so blindingly rapid that the species' recent appearance on the galactic scale is simply due to a native world not being watched while the native life form evolved.

However, considering there is no intelligence known so far in the universe operating on such a small scale, the natural evolutionary hypothesis is considered unlikely. Andromeda's native intelligences likely engineered this parasite and its associated supporting biological structures from whole cloth, whether the human parasite itself is sapient or not. Although if we could discover the original source of the parasite within our galaxy, observation of that planet's native life forms should prove the question one way or the other.

Obviously, further research on this question is paramount to understanding the parasite. If sapient, contact with the species is of paramount importance, and could lead to an alternative method of dealing with an infection, if more traditional means of research and combating disease should fail us."

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-02, 05:50 PM
And here I thought I was being original *sigh* :smallfrown:


If you'd never heard of these other things, then you kinda were. You just noticed the same pattern that some of them were responding to.

Shackel
2017-04-02, 06:58 PM
One I don't see pop up that often is just the idea that humans are dreadfully long-lived, able to be a century old. If other races had, say, the lifespan of dogs and cats that might be seen as frightening, especially when combined with nations' tendencies to hold a grudge. Aliens attack, are beaten back, and then generations later for them, here comes humanity to exterminate their entire way of life and they just can't understand why: that war was fifty years ago!

Other races may have a slower, more consistent rate of technological growth: humans, meanwhile, are going exponential with their computers and other systems. The technological singularity isn't a universal theory: it's a human theory. This could easily make humans an apocalyptic threat if they reach the stars, for other aliens fear that a point where come where they could exterminate all life when their technology "inevitably" slips out of their grip and becomes gray goo/hostile AI/something simply... beyond the galaxy.

Humans may have a long development cycle but learn at a ridiculous rate during it compared to other aliens. A ten year old human may know just as much as an alien teenager or even adult. Aliens may take 10, even twenty years to close the gaps with humans.

Most alien races have long-since established a singular ruler of the world, becoming homogenized and through it relatively peaceful due to self-preservation. As such, they're far more peaceful and are caught by complete surprise by humanity's violence. On the flipside, humanity's constant exposure to people of opposing views and differences might end up catching other, more homogenized alien races by surprise, not for violence... but for their ability to be diplomats. They're used to compromise and vast differences from everyday life to international politics.

Simple endurance: other species sleep longer, can't act for as long, only recently or with technology can heal as effectively as humans or even Earth life.

neonchameleon
2017-04-02, 07:47 PM
Also, humans are capable of improvising complex contrafactual scenarios, a process referred to as 'creativity' or 'lying'. Do not rely on any data gathered from contact with humans without independent testing.

Youtube: Humans are scary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg_nJwGXAk0)
Imgur: The Human Federation of "Hold my beer, I got this" (http://imgur.com/gallery/wpZ4w)
Danger: Humans (http://sploid.gizmodo.com/what-if-the-rest-of-the-alien-universe-was-terrified-of-1498217767) (Alien safety video)
Also:
http://i.imgur.com/XpThccW.jpg?1

Lo'Tek
2017-04-02, 08:18 PM
any time this subject comes up, at least half the posts are exaggerated caricatures
The question "Why should humans be feared?" invites fearmongering.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-02, 08:21 PM
I wonder how aliens would see some of the human traits we view as positive.

For all the destruction we can visit on other species, many of us also care a great deal about the survival of other species simply for the sake of it. Humans will try to rescue beached whales and dolphins, take in birds of prey and nurse them back to health, etc, and can form a family-like bond with almost anything that's not actively trying to eat or kill us.

Even those of us who aren't trained to deal with it will sometimes (often?) risk our lives running TOWARD danger to save others; we're a species of unlikely heroes. It's not unusual for us to run into danger to save total strangers, our pets, wild animals, etc.

We'll crush our enemies in war, and then sometimes we'll help them rebuild when it's over.

CharonsHelper
2017-04-02, 08:29 PM
Even those of us who aren't trained to deal with it will sometimes (often?) risk our lives running TOWARD danger to save others; we're a species of unlikely heroes. It's not unusual for us to run into danger to save total strangers, our pets, wild animals, etc.

We'll crush our enemies in war, and then sometimes we'll help them rebuild when it's over.

I have wondered whether it would be the morale advantage which would give us the edge. Most animals will run surprisingly quickly from a fight.

Rynjin
2017-04-02, 08:40 PM
I like to imagine aliens being really surprised by us throwing things (which is a really complex act we just don't think about much). Remember, we are the only species that is actually good at throwing stuff, which is one of the only ways earth life can even attack you from afar.

This is another thing that is popularly brough up on the "Humanity, **** Yeah!" subReddit people keep linking to. It shows up a lot in the Jenkinsverse stories how a lot of aliens lack the biology to properly utilize thrown weapons. Their joints just don't move the same way, and their musculature isn't developed enough to launch thrown objects with significant force.

So early on humans were seen as unstoppable melee juggernauts, but at least they could be taken down with a few shots by their equivalent of anti-vehicle rounds with relatively little danger, so they thought.

Then the guy throws a rock hard enough to insta-gib an enemy combatant.

Crisis21
2017-04-02, 09:19 PM
This is another thing that is popularly brough up on the "Humanity, **** Yeah!" subReddit people keep linking to. It shows up a lot in the Jenkinsverse stories how a lot of aliens lack the biology to properly utilize thrown weapons. Their joints just don't move the same way, and their musculature isn't developed enough to launch thrown objects with significant force.

So early on humans were seen as unstoppable melee juggernauts, but at least they could be taken down with a few shots by their equivalent of anti-vehicle rounds with relatively little danger, so they thought.

Then the guy throws a rock hard enough to insta-gib an enemy combatant.

Well, also consider what the original purpose of those amazing throwing muscles was. No, it wasn't throwing things. It was climbing trees. Granted, not many of us keep in good enough shape to do it easily, but our arm muscles are pretty much designed to be able to pull our entire body weight upwards onto whatever we can grab hold of.

That this muscle configuration is perfect for throwing things far, fast, and accurately is somewhat incidental.

Think of how terrifying that would be when aliens realize that in addition to covering ground pretty well, we can also go up at a pretty good pace too. The walls will not save you.

Then there's falling. You don't evolve to climb trees without being able to take a decent tumble. Our legs, which are the longest of all terran apes when compared to overall body size, are designed to bend in a way to cushion impact and leave us not only relatively uninjured but ready to bolt in whatever direction we care to.

Arbane
2017-04-02, 10:39 PM
Another one from one of these lists:

"Humans do not have castes. When threatened, farmers or factory workers will pick up weapons and kill you. When stranded, soldier humans will turn to farming and manufacturing to survive. Killing the commander of a human social unit often does not result in its disbanding."

Newtonsolo313
2017-04-02, 10:43 PM
Well, also consider what the original purpose of those amazing throwing muscles was. No, it wasn't throwing things. It was climbing trees. Granted, not many of us keep in good enough shape to do it easily, but our arm muscles are pretty much designed to be able to pull our entire body weight upwards onto whatever we can grab hold of.

That this muscle configuration is perfect for throwing things far, fast, and accurately is somewhat incidental.

Think of how terrifying that would be when aliens realize that in addition to covering ground pretty well, we can also go up at a pretty good pace too. The walls will not save you.

Then there's falling. You don't evolve to climb trees without being able to take a decent tumble. Our legs, which are the longest of all terran apes when compared to overall body size, are designed to bend in a way to cushion impact and leave us not only relatively uninjured but ready to bolt in whatever direction we care to.
Gonna have to say, a lot of aliens probably have some climbing capacity or have animals on there homeworld able to climb so it's not gonna be that scary. Plus we aren't as good at it as our ancestors were.

Crisis21
2017-04-03, 12:07 AM
Gonna have to say, a lot of aliens probably have some climbing capacity or have animals on there homeworld able to climb so it's not gonna be that scary. Plus we aren't as good at it as our ancestors were.
Well then, maybe its our versatility that spooks the aliens.

The trifecta of survival mobility (you know, for non-fliers) is running, swimming, and climbing. Humans may not be the best at any one of these on our planet, but it's a very short list that can beat us at all three.

Fri
2017-04-03, 12:42 AM
There's a cool and silly story idea I read somewhere about what if the concept of "Sight" as we know is exclusive to humanity among spacefaring races. So other races might have telepathy, echolocation, communicate with pheromone, whatever, but humanity is the only race whose "main" sense is utilizing this specific electromagnetic wavelength. So "sight" is considered as exotic weird sense that's limited to seemingly random limitation, like how we have stories about psychic alien with seemingly random limitation.

Also for added silliness, how we consider eyecolor as important aesthetic, aesthetic that only we human can see! It's like telepathic aliens who admire each others "blorkdurg organ" which they use to communicate telephatically, but only them can even conceptualize what's a blorkdurg organ!

Samzat
2017-04-03, 02:05 AM
"One of the most terrifying things we have discovered about the "hue manes" is their ability to create hive like formations without the use of any apparent chemical pheremones. These groups can work almost single mindedly towards the accomplishment of a task, and can draw further drones without any apparent instruction. They can work so well together that even their vocal ability (which is quite exceptional) can be amplified by collaboration. They call this "harmony". Occasionally documented during our short war on eglesus-5 were human warriors shouting in unison so loudly that heavy equipment shook and our local allies were incapacitated by the volume. They have also been known to amplify and modify their vocal capabilities by filtering the moving air through pipes and striking of flexible objects, such as wires and hollow containers. Such volumes can reach measurements beyond 125 decibels (a newly adopted measurement after the war). We were wise to make a peace with them, as they are formidable foes"

DataNinja
2017-04-03, 02:19 AM
There's a cool and silly story idea I read somewhere about what if the concept of "Sight" as we know is exclusive to humanity among spacefaring races. So other races might have telepathy, echolocation, communicate with pheromone, whatever, but humanity is the only race whose "main" sense is utilizing this specific electromagnetic wavelength. So "sight" is considered as exotic weird sense that's limited to seemingly random limitation, like how we have stories about psychic alien with seemingly random limitation.

That reminds me of one I read where 'sentience' was classified as 'beings with telepathy'. And humans were unique in that they met all the achievements of the telepathic races, without telepathy. So the aliens, after much deliberation, created a unique classification, marking humans as 'pseudo-telepathic', as that was their only classification for 'sentience'.

Celestia
2017-04-03, 02:33 AM
There's a cool and silly story idea I read somewhere about what if the concept of "Sight" as we know is exclusive to humanity among spacefaring races. So other races might have telepathy, echolocation, communicate with pheromone, whatever, but humanity is the only race whose "main" sense is utilizing this specific electromagnetic wavelength. So "sight" is considered as exotic weird sense that's limited to seemingly random limitation, like how we have stories about psychic alien with seemingly random limitation.

Also for added silliness, how we consider eyecolor as important aesthetic, aesthetic that only we human can see! It's like telepathic aliens who admire each others "blorkdurg organ" which they use to communicate telephatically, but only them can even conceptualize what's a blorkdurg organ!
That would be interesting in a sci-fi story, but it is unlikely in reality. Eyes independently evolved three times on this planet, alone, and even certain single cell organisms have light sensitive patches. It's pretty clear that being able to sense electromagnetism is a distinct advantage, and it's likely that most aliens probably have it, as well. Now, chances are good that they could see on different wavelengths than us, especially if they have a different category of star. So, that could still separate us.

TeChameleon
2017-04-03, 03:35 AM
I have an old short story kicking around where the dominant race in the universe (at story start, anyhow) is a species of ~4 ft. beetle-analogues who are among the only known sapient predators; they actually started to carve out their empire entirely by accident. When they arrived on an alien world for the first time, they performed what for them was a largely meaningless greeting ritual- they hunted down and slaughtered the largest and most troublesome local predator, then served it up as a meal. Given that every sophont known until that point was a small prey species, this was more-or-less interpreted as the fearsome intervention of angry deities and led to instant surrender. This worked out quite nicely for them for centuries, allowing them to claim thousands of worlds as their territory.

... then they encountered humans.

To the beetle-people's utter confusion, the human reaction to their 'invasion' was amusement and talk show invitations. After their retreat in befuddled horror, cue humans wandering out into the larger universe, cheerfully oblivious to the havoc they were wreaking everywhere they went simply by existing.

As far as speaking more generally goes, humanity's approach to science would likely horrify a lot of races- it really boils down to 'poke the universe with a stick and see what happens. Repeat as needed'. I mean, there was at least some expectation that the first nuclear test would light the entire atmosphere on fire!

That, more than anything else, might account for humanity's rapid technological advancement; if we get an idea, we don't work out the equations and map everything out until we're assured of success to the 99th percentile; we bash things together until we think the result might do what we want, and then set the whole mess into motion to see what happens.

Thaneus
2017-04-03, 04:14 AM
Why Humans are Scary and domineering:
A lot of stuff has already mentioned but it really boils down, for other species, which might be horrifying and threatening.

Humans have endurance, adaption and an eagerness to survive which is 2nd to none.
We can survive environment with -40C and up to +80C and have the means and wills to change everything to match a "desirable" environment.
We are able to sacrifice eagerly millions of our own for a cause which is just a minor philosophical question.
Our science of "trail and error" is very often performed without a seconds thought of long term issues for environment and our own.
Our children are mentally trained to excessive consume of fear inducing lectures of slaughter and destruction called movies.
We imagine scenarios where we are actually weak and totally under-powered but develop tactics or mentality to still confront it and not give up.
We will always individually try to dominate given the chances.

Our highest "worth" is the proclamation that all are free which basically means "Dominate, Devastate and Consume everything when you have the means to do it, if you see resistance, just crush it. If you failed the better had won"

Our view to evil is so much out of order and unimaginable to other spices they can not fathom and humans are still able to act this way.

Left alone even our "untainted" children will start to strive for domination and survival.

Pauly
2017-04-03, 05:39 AM
Our model civilzation is the Roman Empire.
If other warriors are better skilled, or better equipped it doesn't matter. We persist, ww adapt, we never step back. If we are beaten we re-organize, appoint new generals, design new weapons, develop new tactics. We might lose battles but we never lose wars.

dramatic flare
2017-04-03, 05:54 AM
The Star Trek Federation of, "hold my beer, I got this." (http://imgur.com/gallery/wpZ4w)
We're just that damned tenaciously insane, and somehow continuously successful at it.

Hopeless
2017-04-03, 08:10 AM
And here I thought to point out when you mention half elves and half orcs it usually means one parent was human...😉

I believe Dr Who described this best when Christopher Eccleston described Britain as the mouse that roared!😇

Thirty years ago a certain country invaded an island thinking the nation it answered to far across the ocean couldn't stop them... it's now 2017 and the EU have learned this island nation is still prepared to stand up and resoundly say, NO YOU MOVE!😉

Drascin
2017-04-03, 08:36 AM
Why Humans are Scary and domineering:
A lot of stuff has already mentioned but it really boils down, for other species, which might be horrifying and threatening.

Humans have endurance, adaption and an eagerness to survive which is 2nd to none.
We can survive environment with -40C and up to +80C and have the means and wills to change everything to match a "desirable" environment.
We are able to sacrifice eagerly millions of our own for a cause which is just a minor philosophical question.
Our science of "trail and error" is very often performed without a seconds thought of long term issues for environment and our own.
Our children are mentally trained to excessive consume of fear inducing lectures of slaughter and destruction called movies.
We imagine scenarios where we are actually weak and totally under-powered but develop tactics or mentality to still confront it and not give up.
We will always individually try to dominate given the chances.

Our highest "worth" is the proclamation that all are free which basically means "Dominate, Devastate and Consume everything when you have the means to do it, if you see resistance, just crush it. If you failed the better had won"

Our view to evil is so much out of order and unimaginable to other spices they can not fathom and humans are still able to act this way.

Left alone even our "untainted" children will start to strive for domination and survival.

You seem to be making an argument mostly for why the aliens should nuke us from orbit before we can notice they're there and it would be an entirely reasonable, morally understandable reaction :smalltongue:.

Thaneus
2017-04-03, 08:38 AM
You seem to be making an argument mostly for why the aliens should nuke us from orbit before we can notice they're there and it would be an entirely reasonable, morally understandable reaction :smalltongue:.

We might nuke back!
Also we have little baby puppys/kitten as hostages! :smallbiggrin:

Drascin
2017-04-03, 09:04 AM
We might nuke back!
Also we have little baby puppys/kitten as hostages! :smallbiggrin:

At this point, those are acceptable casualties :smalltongue:.

But basically, I'm pointing out that, by and large the "Humanity **** Yeah" stuff only succeeds in making humanity sound like a horrible creature that should be destroyed for the good of the universe, even as its proponents pat each other in the back about "so cool and bad***". The fact that so many on the internet seem to consider that the "cooler" alternative to "humans are boring" is "humans are 40K Orks but without the funny" gets every bit as tiresome as the "boring" thing that, to be honest, is by now a much deader trope.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-03, 09:17 AM
But basically, I'm pointing out that, by and large the "Humanity **** Yeah" stuff only succeeds in making humanity sound like a horrible creature that should be destroyed for the good of the universe, even as its proponents pat each other in the back about "so cool and bad***". The fact that so many on the internet seem to consider that the "cooler" alternative to "humans are boring" is "humans are 40K Orks but without the funny" gets every bit as tiresome as the "boring" thing that, to be honest, is by now a much deader trope.


The scariest thing about humans is that in general they don't do moderation and nuance well.

There's a good deal of overreaction to the "humans are weak and boring and at best average" cliche, in the HFY stuff.

But you're also overreacting to the HFY stuff. There's a good deal of variation in it, and some very interesting ideas and concepts.

Segev
2017-04-03, 09:25 AM
A good number of HFY tales also focus on the generosity and magnanimity of humans in victory. It is not just that man is too scary to anger, but that man is one of the best allies around.

Thaneus
2017-04-03, 09:48 AM
The scariest thing about humans is that in general they don't do moderation and nuance well.

There's a good deal of overreaction to the "humans are weak and boring and at best average" cliche, in the HFY stuff.

But you're also overreacting to the HFY stuff. There's a good deal of variation in it, and some very interesting ideas and concepts.


At this point, those are acceptable casualties :smalltongue:.

But basically, I'm pointing out that, by and large the "Humanity **** Yeah" stuff only succeeds in making humanity sound like a horrible creature that should be destroyed for the good of the universe, even as its proponents pat each other in the back about "so cool and bad***". The fact that so many on the internet seem to consider that the "cooler" alternative to "humans are boring" is "humans are 40K Orks but without the funny" gets every bit as tiresome as the "boring" thing that, to be honest, is by now a much deader trope.

The issue at hand is, we can only imagine "Dangerous" from our point of view as humans. Since we will not know what other sapient races see as danger (because a sense of danger should heavily be influenced by the evolutionary ecosystem) we only have our fantasy which is still heavily influenced.
So basically the easiest way to respond to the request of the TO is to state what makes humans dangerous. That we can do because humans slaughters human on daily basis, either active or passive. For us danger = harm to our lives (expand our as far as you as an individual seem fit).

Elfs, Orcs, Dwarfs, Demons, Angels and so one are constructs from our minds (or planetary evolution for those who believe such stuff existed at some point, which I don't) and are part of us, show some of humanity own aspects.
Some fears are coded in our collective mind and that is why story's exist about stuff like bogyman or the devouring darkness.
I am speaking from general not individual basis since there are a lot of phobias.

So Drascin we don't need to say we are like the 40k Orcs, no we are more like all of the 40k species.
Humans state of mind can be like necron, like orc, like eldar, like tau, like sauron, like a dragon... because it happened, it will happen and will ever be. All dark aspects and fear are present in a part of us.
The greatest dread for humans is human.

*edit*
I just realized I started ranting about humanities darkes again, but there is also positives, but for thouse there should be a threat like "Making Humans the most Diplomatic and Generous Race in the Universe" :smallbiggrin:

Crisis21
2017-04-03, 09:54 AM
There's a cool and silly story idea I read somewhere about what if the concept of "Sight" as we know is exclusive to humanity among spacefaring races. So other races might have telepathy, echolocation, communicate with pheromone, whatever, but humanity is the only race whose "main" sense is utilizing this specific electromagnetic wavelength. So "sight" is considered as exotic weird sense that's limited to seemingly random limitation, like how we have stories about psychic alien with seemingly random limitation.

Also for added silliness, how we consider eyecolor as important aesthetic, aesthetic that only we human can see! It's like telepathic aliens who admire each others "blorkdurg organ" which they use to communicate telephatically, but only them can even conceptualize what's a blorkdurg organ!


That reminds me of one I read where 'sentience' was classified as 'beings with telepathy'. And humans were unique in that they met all the achievements of the telepathic races, without telepathy. So the aliens, after much deliberation, created a unique classification, marking humans as 'pseudo-telepathic', as that was their only classification for 'sentience'.

I have an old short story kicking around where the dominant race in the universe (at story start, anyhow) is a species of ~4 ft. beetle-analogues who are among the only known sapient predators; they actually started to carve out their empire entirely by accident. When they arrived on an alien world for the first time, they performed what for them was a largely meaningless greeting ritual- they hunted down and slaughtered the largest and most troublesome local predator, then served it up as a meal. Given that every sophont known until that point was a small prey species, this was more-or-less interpreted as the fearsome intervention of angry deities and led to instant surrender. This worked out quite nicely for them for centuries, allowing them to claim thousands of worlds as their territory.

... then they encountered humans.

To the beetle-people's utter confusion, the human reaction to their 'invasion' was amusement and talk show invitations. After their retreat in befuddled horror, cue humans wandering out into the larger universe, cheerfully oblivious to the havoc they were wreaking everywhere they went simply by existing.


I would very much like to read these. Any chance you could provide a link, title, and/or author?

Bucky
2017-04-03, 11:04 AM
The middle story is similar to "The Margarets" by Sheri Tepper, where races are either empathetic and virtuous or totally amoral. Humans are uniquely dangerous because they understand morality but often choose not to follow it.

David Brin's Upliftverse has galactic society where every sentient species is raised from primitive semi-sentience by an older patron race... except for humans who teched all the way to basic FTL before the galactic megacivilization noticed them. Humans are generally looked down on for their primitive ways, but also have piles of middletech that nobody else has seen before and are the only true innovators around.

Bohandas
2017-04-03, 11:20 AM
That would be interesting in a sci-fi story, but it is unlikely in reality. Eyes independently evolved three times on this planet, alone

Does that tally include pit organs in vipers? If not that tally may have to be increased.

Anyway, yeah, eyes are pretty ubiquitous due to the fact that even a halfway devsloped eye can be useful. Which brings up a possibility to save this ides: What if the aliens could see light but not images, or inages but not color (or even color but not images)?

Pex
2017-04-03, 11:31 AM
The middle story is similar to "The Margarets" by Sheri Tepper, where races are either empathetic and virtuous or totally amoral. Humans are uniquely dangerous because they understand morality but often choose not to follow it.

David Brin's Upliftverse has galactic society where every sentient species is raised from primitive semi-sentience by an older patron race... except for humans who teched all the way to basic FTL before the galactic megacivilization noticed them. Humans are generally looked down on for their primitive ways, but also have piles of middletech that nobody else has seen before and are the only true innovators around.

If I recall correctly, Humans had already on their own Uplifted chimpanzees and dolphins when the galaxy discovered them which granted Humanity immediate freedom status instead of 100,000 years of subservience other races had to endure while being Uplifted. Not all races were happy about that, especially some among those who were subservient. Humans are in the process of Uplifting dogs and something Went Wrong when Uplifting gorillas that's been hushed.

DataNinja
2017-04-03, 11:49 AM
I would very much like to read these. Any chance you could provide a link, title, and/or author?

Sorry, it was quite some time ago, and I've read many sci-fi stories. Most generally from libraries, so I can't even flip through my own collection.

Bucky
2017-04-03, 11:51 AM
As for my own answer, humans-as-crazy-cyborgs.

If you see a human with an unknown war device, and aren't an expert in human war devices, it could present any number of dangers. It might just be a cutting device or a digging tool. But it's also likely to be a device for throwing small hypersonic projectiles. That type of projectile launcher can be further specialized - some of them are effective at ranges approaching 1/3 of the way to the horizon, and others launch dozens of projectiles in short bursts.

And then there's the explosives. Humans are pretty much the only warriors crazy enough to carry large quantities of explosives into battle. The small explosives, they throw at you. The larger ones are mounted on small rockets. Or they use small explosions inside a device they're holding to hurl larger explosives in your general direction. I repeat - they're holding onto a device that is exploding in hopes that you'll get exploded harder. And if you thought that's crazy, they have what they call demolitions for destroying fortifications - they run up to their target with large amounts of explosives, arrange them against the target and set them off manually.

That's not to mention the exotic weapons - they can also pry loose armor plates, spray you with burning liquid or poison or deliver electric shocks through a wire-launcher. Or their war vehicles, which are easier to identify.

But the most dangerous devices aren't the weaponry but the communications tools. Most humans on the battlefield have some sort of portable network connection. If one of them spots you, ten seconds later fifty of them know where you are, and you can expect a rain of projectiles and explosives shortly after that.

Fri
2017-04-03, 12:25 PM
There's a short story titled "The Easy Way Out" about an alien race who consider the most ferocious creature is always the most dominant intelligence in a planet or something in that line. Their scout for invasion of earth then met a grizzly bear and get mauled by it. They do have tech to beat grizzly bears (which they considered the dominant of the planet), but they decide to watch the situation a bit.

...then they watch the grizzly bear got its ass kicked by a wolverine.

...then they found the wolverine is dominated (is a pet) of two small humans.

...then they realize those two small humans are the juvenile of the species.

They decide "**** this planet, it's not worth it."

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-03, 12:33 PM
Some posts in this thread also seem to be based on assumption that the aliens are going to be perfectly rational actors, instead of considering that they will likely have cultural biases and blinders of their own -- so that humans have to be "irrational" and/or "crazy" in comparison in order to be viewed as deadly threats.

Fri
2017-04-03, 12:38 PM
Some posts in this thread also seem to be based on assumption that the aliens are going to be perfectly rational actors, instead of considering that they will likely have cultural biases and blinders of their own -- so that humans have to be "irrational" and/or "crazy" in comparison in order to be viewed as deadly threats.

Well what other races consider "Crazy" does depend on their culture.

In Larry Niven's ringworld setting, the most dominant spacefaring race is a pacifistic "cowardly" race evolved from herbivorous herd animal (but pacifist doesn't mean not dangerous, they're famously manipulative from behind the screen). The member of the species other races had met (their diplomats, interstellar traders, etc), are actually the "insane" members of their race.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-03, 01:00 PM
Well what other races consider "Crazy" does depend on their culture.

In Larry Niven's ringworld setting, the most dominant spacefaring race is a pacifistic "cowardly" race evolved from herbivorous herd animal (but pacifist doesn't mean not dangerous, they're famously manipulative from behind the screen). The member of the species other races had met (their diplomats, interstellar traders, etc), are actually the "insane" members of their race.

Pierson's Puppeteers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierson%27s_Puppeteers).

Niven's Known Space setting also presents us with Earth (and other worlds) ruled by a government and culture that treat even small deviations from "the norm" as dangerous psychological pathology... and consider the ability to even imagine violence an aberration, to the point that most people can't even imagine trying to inflict deliberate harm on another person.

And then have to desperately resort to employing "professional paranoids" to do strategic planning against alien threats once they realize that the aliens aren't all "super enlightened space hippies" who've "overcome their base natures".


But what I meant was that some posts treat the aliens as "perfectly rational" by human standards, and humans as "inherently insane" by human standards. Then again, some published SF authors take this tack, which I think says more about the authors than about the aliens.

Bucky
2017-04-03, 01:07 PM
Fear - a drive to avoid one's own destruction - should be fairly universal among alien intelligences.

We are describing things humans do that are dangerous - that the aliens are afraid of.

The aliens have advanced technology; they should be able to replicate most human inventions. So why are humans more dangerous? Having the aliens be afraid of doing the things that the humans do is one of the easy answers to that.

What do you call someone that willingly does things you are afraid to do, and is dangerous as a result? Either brave or insane.

Amaril
2017-04-03, 01:19 PM
Humans are unique because we're the only known sapient species with the ability to form what some researchers have termed "non-conditional objectives".

When most sapients analyze their circumstances and decide on a course of action, that course of action is always qualified with some kind of limiting "unless" or "until" clause. "I will walk until I feel to exhausted to walk anymore", for example. In the most desperate, extreme cases, this limitation will be death--"I will walk until I drop dead".

What's special about humans is that they can formulate courses of action with no conscious acknowledgment of these limitations. When a human says "I will walk", they mean "I will walk", period. No ifs, ands, or buts. The incomprehensible thing, to most outside observers, is that humans are well aware of their own mortality, and how it limits all their actions; yet, under enough stress, they're capable of completely suppressing this awareness, ignoring the ultimate limitation of "until I die".

Doing this doesn't make them immortal, of course. But it does give them a resilience and determination that no other known species can hope to match. When confronted with a hostile sapient, one can normally expect that inflicting enough harm on the enemy will convince them to abandon their goal; if you break their legs, they'll understand that they can no longer walk and stop trying. With humans, there's no such guarantee. When a human has their mind truly set on something, nothing short of complete destruction of their consciousness can stop them. You can break their body beyond any hope of continued function, and as long as their brain is intact enough to think, they'll still keep trying to fight, simply because they refuse to accept failure.

GungHo
2017-04-03, 01:40 PM
You seem to be making an argument mostly for why the aliens should nuke us from orbit before we can notice they're there and it would be an entirely reasonable, morally understandable reaction :smalltongue:.

We would nuke ourselves from the ground just to keep them from getting one over on us.

Blu
2017-04-03, 01:53 PM
Humans created weapons capable of sending whole cities into oblivion. Then they improved and mass produced them.

Humans consider hunting other species sport.

oudeis
2017-04-03, 01:53 PM
Eyes independently evolved three times on this planet I've never heard of this before. Details? Not doubting, just curious.


It's pretty clear that being able to sense electromagnetism is a distinct advantage, and it's likely that most aliens probably have it, as well. Now, chances are good that they could see on different wavelengths than us, especially if they have a different category of star. So, that could still separate us.Yeah, I just can't accept that the ability to sense and process EM stimuli would be anything but the norm.

Segev
2017-04-03, 02:36 PM
By the way, this (http://www.baen.com/Chapters/0743471741/0743471741___1.htm) may be a relevant read.

One thing I'm not sure of from this one:...what is it they're suggesting happened with the "ultimate defense" system? That one of their oen turned it back off again rather than kill, or that the human was somehow immune to it?

If the latter, I'm not sure why that should be. It wasn't built up that I saw, so I might have missed something. Could the cause of it be explained, please?

SilverLeaf167
2017-04-03, 02:57 PM
One thing I'm not sure of from this one:...what is it they're suggesting happened with the "ultimate defense" system? That one of their oen turned it back off again rather than kill, or that the human was somehow immune to it?

If the latter, I'm not sure why that should be. It wasn't built up that I saw, so I might have missed something. Could the cause of it be explained, please?

I was wondering the same thing, though I also came up with another alternative: that Eldridge didn't make it through the defense system and made his escape with the full understanding that it could/would kill him, either because he wanted to die on his own terms, or because he had to try anyway.

Didn't feel like either alternative quite "clicked" and definitely contradicted some other parts, but I personally prefer the latter, and it's the most satisfying answer I could think of. It kind of suits the whole point about humans "defying impossibility".

EDIT: Alternatively, Eldridge came up with some way to pass through the system unharmed that the aliens still can't comprehend.

Inevitability
2017-04-03, 02:59 PM
Another thing: a sizable portion of humans voluntarily enters spaces heated sixty to a hundred degrees celsius, laden with moisture that would make a rainforest blush, only to rapidly move to below-freezing environments (with going for a swim in some frigid water optional). Multiple times in a row. For our personal amusement.


One thing I'm not sure of from this one:...what is it they're suggesting happened with the "ultimate defense" system? That one of their oen turned it back off again rather than kill, or that the human was somehow immune to it?

If the latter, I'm not sure why that should be. It wasn't built up that I saw, so I might have missed something. Could the cause of it be explained, please?

There's a bunch of possible explanations.

Perhaps during one of their earlier conquests humans genetically altered themselves to be resistant to those weapons in the future, or perhaps we're just tough enough to resist them. Maybe the human somehow got over the wall. Maybe there's something special about humankind apart from their inability to give up.

I agree that part could've been explained better.

SilverLeaf167
2017-04-03, 03:03 PM
Another thing: a sizable portion of humans voluntarily enters spaces heated sixty to a hundred degrees celsius, laden with moisture that would make a rainforest blush, only to rapidly move to below-freezing environments (with going for a swim in some frigid water optional). Multiple times in a row. For our personal amusement.

"Sixty to a hundred"? No tree branches to hit each other with? You disappoint me. :smallamused:

TeChameleon
2017-04-03, 07:58 PM
I would very much like to read these. Any chance you could provide a link, title, and/or author?

Uhm... well, the one I mentioned is a short story I wrote myself. So it doesn't exist anywhere other than in my hard drive and backups (unless one of the magazines I tried sending it to held on to a copy, which isn't likely, as they didn't publish it). I suppose I could try posting it up someplace, although I'm not sure where... if I figure anything out, I'll put it up here.

EDIT: Wellp, for whatever it's worth, here it is; Feast of Fools (https://storywrite.com/story/13225018-Feast-of-Fools-by-Bugz-Toon).

Crisis21
2017-04-03, 10:20 PM
Uhm... well, the one I mentioned is a short story I wrote myself. So it doesn't exist anywhere other than in my hard drive and backups (unless one of the magazines I tried sending it to held on to a copy, which isn't likely, as they didn't publish it). I suppose I could try posting it up someplace, although I'm not sure where... if I figure anything out, I'll put it up here.

EDIT: Wellp, for whatever it's worth, here it is; Feast of Fools (https://storywrite.com/story/13225018-Feast-of-Fools-by-Bugz-Toon).

I rather liked it. A touch heavy on the exposition (which was understandable), but very nice punchline. I could almost hear the poor alien's brain snapping.

Segev
2017-04-03, 11:39 PM
Uhm... well, the one I mentioned is a short story I wrote myself. So it doesn't exist anywhere other than in my hard drive and backups (unless one of the magazines I tried sending it to held on to a copy, which isn't likely, as they didn't publish it). I suppose I could try posting it up someplace, although I'm not sure where... if I figure anything out, I'll put it up here.

EDIT: Wellp, for whatever it's worth, here it is; Feast of Fools (https://storywrite.com/story/13225018-Feast-of-Fools-by-Bugz-Toon).


I rather liked it. A touch heavy on the exposition (which was understandable), but very nice punchline. I could almost hear the poor alien's brain snapping.

I like it, too. Well put-together. If I were to suggest anything for development of the concept, I'd say you should work a bit more on the "xenopsych reports." Something to hint at what they got wrong, or missed. Additionally, some flashbacks to how the talk show circuits got started; what form did the announcement that Earth had been conquered take, and why was it met quite the way it was, rather than with rejection and denial and...well, hostility?

The obvious conclusion from the human perspective is that humans ARE the apex predator of our world. While it may have been novel to consider another species of sophont to be such, the titug should at least had been able to consider the notion. They seem to be the apex predator of their sphere, after all.

Something in the xenopsych reports could hint at the clues being there that humans are the apex predator of Earth, but the idea being so alien that the reports GET garbled by the inability to even conceive of the notion. Meanwhile, the titug need to be made clearly NOT apex predators, themselves. There's potential hint to that in the Pieces of the Peace, but it's not fleshed out enough to be more than a bit of fridge logic. I'd mention how titug deal with apex predators when not engaged in that rite, perhaps. Since that rite is out of the norm enough to be a sign of peaceful and helpful intent, and not merely poaching.

In all, a cool concept.

Psykenthrope
2017-04-04, 12:08 AM
Uhm... well, the one I mentioned is a short story I wrote myself. So it doesn't exist anywhere other than in my hard drive and backups (unless one of the magazines I tried sending it to held on to a copy, which isn't likely, as they didn't publish it). I suppose I could try posting it up someplace, although I'm not sure where... if I figure anything out, I'll put it up here.

EDIT: Wellp, for whatever it's worth, here it is; Feast of Fools (https://storywrite.com/story/13225018-Feast-of-Fools-by-Bugz-Toon).

Oh man, that was a good read. I especially liked the ending and that bars are ubiquitous regardless of species. Reminded me a little bit of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon.

Chijinda
2017-04-04, 02:02 AM
OP might be interested in checking out the Animorphs series. While humans are largely the victims in the series, any alien race that actually studies them is promptly horrified by what they find and many consider Earth to be a ticking time bomb. Some examples:

-Humans may be about a thousand years behind most space faring races technologically, but this is terrifying because most spacefaring races had a several MILLION year head start. That humanity is basically making scientific leaps in decades what took most other races generations to figure out is rightfully terrifying to them.

-there's tons of us and we reproduce insanely quickly. Where most sentient races in the Galaxy are measured in millions at their most numerous, humans are measured in BILLIONS. In an all out war humanity's primitive technology is more than compensated for by sheer numbers.

-We don't give up. Humans are the determinators of the universe. When all seems lost, most other races will surrender or flee for their lives. Not humans. We will fight to the last man and take as many of the enemy with us as we possibly can before the end and that makes us dangerous as hell.

-individuality. Humans are unpredictable as all hell, due to the vast number of circumstances they are raised in. We all have different goals, objectives and beliefs, and that makes us very hard to predict.

-We are so violent that we will war even with ourselves.

-We're willing to change and adapt. We look for ways to break barriers. There's a wonderful scene in one of the books where an Andalite is puzzled by the idea of winter coats. Most species in the galaxy, when they find an inhospitable environment, leave it be. Humans figure out how we can survive in it.

-An amusing one: Humans have such an amazing sense of balance that they can freely move around without the need of tails or more than two legs, and we are extremely well rounded in our physical abilities. We might not be as fast or strong as some races, or possess as potent natural weapons, but we're a lot more agile than the strong races, stronger than the quick ones, and much more creative and intelligent than many with natural weapons.

-We're omnivorous and hardy, and can survive extremely long timeframes in almost any environment

Rynjin
2017-04-04, 02:35 AM
At this point, those are acceptable casualties :smalltongue:.

But basically, I'm pointing out that, by and large the "Humanity **** Yeah" stuff only succeeds in making humanity sound like a horrible creature that should be destroyed for the good of the universe, even as its proponents pat each other in the back about "so cool and bad***". The fact that so many on the internet seem to consider that the "cooler" alternative to "humans are boring" is "humans are 40K Orks but without the funny" gets every bit as tiresome as the "boring" thing that, to be honest, is by now a much deader trope.

And this is why the Jenkinsverse had the aliens surround our solar system with a forcefield. =)

Hopeless
2017-04-04, 05:21 AM
And here I was thinking what if we didn't evolve here and that Earth was terraformed to function as a vacation world until an ancient war that rendered Mars uninhabitable forced the survivors to colonise the Earth?

So we have a very small band of survivors who know the truth that humanities ancestors were a vast and deadly warrior race that effectively wiped themselves out and the first alien to detect the survivors of that race discover they're not interested in leaving the planet but dedicated to doing what they can to protect everybody else from their unaware brethren...

CharonsHelper
2017-04-04, 06:42 AM
And this is why the Jenkinsverse had the aliens surround our solar system with a forcefield. =)

Didn't they do that in a South Park episode too?

TeChameleon
2017-04-04, 03:41 PM
Thanks for the kind words, those that read my bit of drabble- and I have to admit that Spider Robinson's work did cross my mind once or twice when writing it, although he was hardly my only influence (there are fragments of Harry Harrison, Jim Butcher, Keith Laumer... probably rather larger fragments in his case, honestly... Terry Pratchett, Alan Dean Foster, Robert Asprin, and more than a few others banging about in the rather cramped confines of that little story. No claims on actually being a good imitation of any of them, of course, but their influence was definitely felt, at least on my end).

Segev, I'll answer your stuff in a PM so as not to utterly derail this thread, at least not any further than I already have >.>

Beleriphon
2017-04-04, 04:07 PM
There's a bunch of possible explanations.

Perhaps during one of their earlier conquests humans genetically altered themselves to be resistant to those weapons in the future, or perhaps we're just tough enough to resist them. Maybe the human somehow got over the wall. Maybe there's something special about humankind apart from their inability to give up.

I agree that part could've been explained better.

I think the implication is the three did it by making Eldridge functionally immortal. They according to themselves have directly caused the doom of the galaxy.

Kane0
2017-04-04, 05:25 PM
I must say, i'm really enjoying this thread.

I'm also kind of surprised that our unique ability to imagine hasn't had more focus. Most physical traits and characteristics wouldnt really be surprising or unable to be replicated by spacefaring aliens, it would likely be our psycology that would be the most dangerous thing about us. Imagine if we were the only race that could imagine.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-04, 05:38 PM
I must say, i'm really enjoying this thread.

I'm also kind of surprised that our unique ability to imagine hasn't had more focus. Most physical traits and characteristics wouldnt really be surprising or unable to be replicated by spacefaring aliens, it would likely be our psycology that would be the most dangerous thing about us. Imagine if we were the only race that could imagine.


That might make us the only technological species in the galaxy as well. Hard to invent when you can't picture how a thing might be different than it is, or how pieces might be brought together, or how a tool will interact with the thing you're using it on.

But being the only technological species in the galaxy would make humans really scary.


( Also, can people stop misusing "race"? )

Crisis21
2017-04-04, 06:58 PM
That might make us the only technological species in the galaxy as well. Hard to invent when you can't picture how a thing might be different than it is, or how pieces might be brought together, or how a tool will interact with the thing you're using it on.

But being the only technological species in the galaxy would make humans really scary.


( Also, can people stop misusing "race"? )


Either that or it would serve to explain our rapid advancement. Such as other races can imagine, but only in regards to things that they consider rational. Such as cause and effect, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Other races thus take several times longer to come up with the same advances we do, and aren't prone to inventing 'frivolous' devices.

Grim Portent
2017-04-04, 08:23 PM
I'm going to take this in a very different direction and say that one of the most potent traits humans possess is our very advanced empathy. We can read the emotions and mood of other humans easily, and other animals after attaining a little familiarity.

Assuming this isn't a common trait, and that most aliens find it very hard to empaphise and understand outside their own species would make humans naturally suited to being diplomats, power brokers and translators, better able to understand the feelings of those they speak to and how to evoke the emotions they want.

A lot of aliens in fiction shouldn't actually be all that good at the whole diplomacy deal, usually being portrayed as having either a society or a biology that should make it unecessary or impractical.

An alien society with humans in it would not be at any real risk of our bombs, or our breeding rate, or our science, but our ability to turn allies upon one another, foment civil unrest, to rise to power despite having no qualities that justify it and to bend the truth until lies seem to be reality.

Fri
2017-04-04, 11:06 PM
There's that smbc comic where because of some weird kafkaesque galactic bueraucracy mess up, any ship who has at least one human crew got a tax break. There's nothing special about human, other than we're needed for tax purpose :smallbiggrin:

Jay R
2017-04-05, 12:16 AM
So, I'm tired of seeing how human are portrayed as weak, boring and stupid in most sci-fi movies.

Nonetheeless, this is what is most likely to happen. The reason is pretty straightforward.

When I write an SF story, humans are a given. I already know what they are like. When I invent new races, they can either be stronger, wiser and/or more interesting than humans, or weaker, stupider and/or more boring than humans.

Which one of those would be more fun to write?
Which one of those would be more interesting to read?
Which one of those would be more likely to sell?

mikeejimbo
2017-04-05, 01:51 AM
David Brin's Upliftverse has galactic society where every sentient species is raised from primitive semi-sentience by an older patron race... except for humans who teched all the way to basic FTL before the galactic megacivilization noticed them. Humans are generally looked down on for their primitive ways, but also have piles of middletech that nobody else has seen before and are the only true innovators around.

The really scary part for the other Uplift species, of course, is that not only did humans develop FTL without a Patron - they uplifted other terrestrial species. This made humanity a Patron race in and of themselves. Without their own Patron. Something that supposedly only the Progenitors ever did before.

Doorhandle
2017-04-05, 02:09 AM
Nonetheeless, this is what is most likely to happen. The reason is pretty straightforward.

When I write an SF story, humans are a given. I already know what they are like. When I invent new races, they can either be stronger, wiser and/or more interesting than humans, or weaker, stupider and/or more boring than humans.

Which one of those would be more fun to write?
Which one of those would be more interesting to read?
Which one of those would be more likely to sell?

Good point... but I think it would be more interesting to have a mix of traits, even if things are mostly in the alien's favor. Far from just being a way to nerf Superman's overpowering glory, Kryptonite and the manipulation of Kryptonite is the basis for many plot and subplots over DC comic's run. Likewise, part of the fun of vampires is their various weaknesses and how they're balanced.

You don't even have to be that dramatic: for example a race with compound eyes would be a great at combat and tasks involving motion, but their sciences would suffer as a result of the reduced focus on detail.

In addition, weak, stupid aliens are not necessarily less fun or interesting to read about: Comedy in particular gets a lot of mileage out of weakness and foolishness, and even tragedy gets some mileage out of the latter. Similarly, "Wiser" aliens as opposed to just "smarter" aliens can come across as preachy. Look at elves in a lot of fantasy fiction for why that can be bad.

Plus in a "humans are STRONK" universe, such as the Jenkinsverse, humans basically take over as the "stronger, wiser, more interesting" aliens.



I'm going to take this in a very different direction and say that one of the most potent traits humans possess is our very advanced empathy. We can read the emotions and mood of other humans easily, and other animals after attaining a little familiarity.

Assuming this isn't a common trait, and that most aliens find it very hard to empathise and understand outside their own species would make humans naturally suited to being diplomats, power brokers and translators, better able to understand the feelings of those they speak to and how to evoke the emotions they want.

A lot of aliens in fiction shouldn't actually be all that good at the whole diplomacy deal, usually being portrayed as having either a society or a biology that should make it unnecessary or impractical.

An alien society with humans in it would not be at any real risk of our bombs, or our breeding rate, or our science, but our ability to turn allies upon one another, foment civil unrest, to rise to power despite having no qualities that justify it and to bend the truth until lies seem to be reality.

Well, it would explain the "Slowly beginning to think like a human" plotline in a lot of scifi.

Fri
2017-04-05, 02:21 AM
In John Ringo's Legacy of Aldenata military sci-fi series, humankind IS the warrior race of the galaxy. The galactic federation is under attack of a destructive locust-like destroyers, and they turn to mankind, promising us technologies and position in the federation if mankind be their soldiers, since they have almost no ability to wage war, which it turned out that it's because genetic engineering by progenitor species (for example one major species of the federation turn into coma-like trance if they feel rage).

CharonsHelper
2017-04-05, 07:36 AM
Nonetheeless, this is what is most likely to happen. The reason is pretty straightforward.

When I write an SF story, humans are a given. I already know what they are like. When I invent new races, they can either be stronger, wiser and/or more interesting than humans, or weaker, stupider and/or more boring than humans.

Which one of those would be more fun to write?
Which one of those would be more interesting to read?
Which one of those would be more likely to sell?

It depends upon the type of story you're writing.

For traditional sci-fi which is focused upon exploration & discovery - I agree with you.

But for sci-fi which is about empowerment (common in games) I disagree.

Heck - I'm surprised no one has brought up Star Wars yet. Humans aren't the most badass species (wookies?), but they're not weak, and they're definitely dominant. (On Naboo they're certainly the smart ones. >.<)

Who is the most badass bounty hunter in the galaxy? A human.

From a practical perspective it's probably because of all of the extra make-up etc., but the non-humans in Star Wars generally seem a bit clumsy.

Jay R
2017-04-05, 08:17 AM
For races that are both better and worse than humans, I strongly recommend the Lensman series by Doc Smith.

His alien races are all stronger than humans in one aspect and less than humans in another.

When First Lensman Samms tries to recruit a Rigellian, he telepathically scans him with his Lens, and says, I can tell youre the sort of being who will make a good Lensman. But he isn't.

It takes a couple of minutes to determine that Samms always checks for honesty and trustworthiness, which is the extremely rare trait in humans that Lensmen need. But all Rigellians are that extremely honest. They dont have the kind of drive and force of will that most humans have, so he has to seek out the extremely rare Rigellians with that level of drive.

Later, he meets a cold-blooded race with no virtues at all, just cold pragmatism. In that race, he needs to find the rare individuals who can use cold, hard logic to conclude that working for the common good is the most effective approach for their own personal gain.

Cluedrew
2017-04-05, 09:10 AM
You know one issue that I have with some of these is quite simply "wouldn't any species who has reached interstellar travel have traits on par with these".

Plus another thought, all of these things seem to assume that humanity is constant. It really isn't, and I don't mean diversity as a strength. Pretend for a moment humanity develops a method of FTL travel in the year 3000CE. What will humanity look like then?

Perhaps it will be a lot like modern times. Or one of the bygone eras with better tech. But maybe not.

For a moment (to cut across the commentary on our faults for a moment) say we crush the -isms and achieve some sort of utopian one-class state. Actually we might not even need that, just have the aliens be really dimorphic. On a galactic scale specialized species (trading versatility for efficiency) might do really well because there are so many chances across the planets to get it right.

What would then be scary about humans? Any human can play any role. Maybe not very well (and probably terribly compared to the specialized aliens) but they can. So wipe out the warrior class and their farmers start fighting. Discredit their leadership and new rulers pop up from the administration. Invention can come from any section of humanity engaged in any sector of their industry.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-05, 09:20 AM
You know one issue that I have with some of these is quite simply "wouldn't any species who has reached interstellar travel have traits on par with these".

Plus another thought, all of these things seem to assume that humanity is constant. It really isn't, and I don't mean diversity as a strength. Pretend for a moment humanity develops a method of FTL travel in the year 3000CE. What will humanity look like then?

Perhaps it will be a lot like modern times. Or one of the bygone eras with better tech. But maybe not.

For a moment (to cut across the commentary on our faults for a moment) say we crush the -isms and achieve some sort of utopian one-class state. Actually we might not even need that, just have the aliens be really dimorphic. On a galactic scale specialized species (trading versatility for efficiency) might do really well because there are so many chances across the planets to get it right.

What would then be scary about humans? Any human can play any role. Maybe not very well (and probably terribly compared to the specialized aliens) but they can. So wipe out the warrior class and their farmers start fighting. Discredit their leadership and new rulers pop up from the administration. Invention can come from any section of humanity engaged in any sector of their industry.

"That human will never figure out what we're really up to, it's just a mid-level logistics drone."

Bored human inventory manager figures out scheme based on shipping records, engages in hijinks, and exposes it to authorities.

Bucky
2017-04-05, 10:19 AM
I have a sketch for a story somewhere. It takes place in a universe where there was this one species agreed to be the most dangerous. They launch coordinated surprise attacks on entire civilizations out of nowhere with weapons nobody else understands, seemingly without provocation. They appear to be unstoppably sweeping their territory clean of all other life, except for one very reclusive sun-hugging race that literally nobody bothers interacting with.

Then word gets out that one other species, humans, is expanding into their territory.

Further investigation shows that humans encountered this species and domesticated it.

Jay R
2017-04-05, 01:45 PM
A story example in which the deadliest species is humans?

"Man is in the forest."

kyoryu
2017-04-05, 02:12 PM
Humans are the only species to exist both as collectives and individuals. While they do not have a permanent group status in a hive mind, they appear capable of forming hive-mind-like organizations of necessary size and complexity for a given task at hand. This gives them both the advantages of an individualistic species as well as the advantages of collective species.

Unlike other collective species, which have a sane and rational level of colony size depending on the species, the level of organization they appear to be capable of appears to depend on the need required. And while individuals or groups may squabble, those same smaller organizational units seem to be able to put aside their issues when faced with a larger, external, threat.

One trembles to think of the response humans would have to an existential threat to humanity itself. The only possible outcome would appear to be a single hive consisting of all of humanity.



But the Jenkinsverse has some good ideas. Like lower gravity on other worlds lead to aliens being larger, but also less dense than humans. So the average handgun from space tickles when you shoot a human in the face.

Stolen from John Carter :)

Segev
2017-04-05, 02:50 PM
That might make us the only technological species in the galaxy as well. Hard to invent when you can't picture how a thing might be different than it is, or how pieces might be brought together, or how a tool will interact with the thing you're using it on.

But being the only technological species in the galaxy would make humans really scary. It's a hard one to write believably because tool-use and sapience are so closely linked, conceptually. Certainly if one is going to see expansion and growth into a space-faring people.

I think the way I'd try to approach something like this would require, if not technology and tool-use, at least species capable of domesticating others. And then natural space-whales that can host travelers, or something, that are ridden out into space.



( Also, can people stop misusing "race"? )

As a tongue-in-cheek response: who says they're misusing it? Maybe those hot alien space-babes can bear half-human children. :smalltongue: (And vice-versa.)

CharonsHelper
2017-04-05, 03:08 PM
As a tongue-in-cheek response: who says they're misusing it? Maybe those hot alien space-babes can bear half-human children. :smalltongue: (And vice-versa.)

True in Star Trek.

Segev
2017-04-05, 03:47 PM
True in Star Trek.

And subverted as well. Worf has a half-human son simply from having had sex with a human woman with whom he once had a relationship. But Spock... it took the Federation's best medical science to make it possible for Sarek and Amanda to have Spock be their genetic child.

Max_Killjoy
2017-04-05, 05:00 PM
And subverted as well. Worf has a half-human son simply from having had sex with a human woman with whom he once had a relationship. But Spock... it took the Federation's best medical science to make it possible for Sarek and Amanda to have Spock be their genetic child.

I'm trying to remember that bit with Worf... I think it was the woman who was a Klingon/human hybrid, and their son was "1/4 human". I seem to recall her parents having gone through some deal of trouble to have her as their genetic child, but I could just be mixing up different stories.

CharonsHelper
2017-04-05, 05:21 PM
I'm trying to remember that bit with Worf... I think it was the woman who was a Klingon/human hybrid, and their son was "1/4 human".

+1. She was 1/2 klingon & 1/2 human, making Worf's son 1/4 human. (though I don't know about her parents having issues)

Though Worf was actually raised by human parents after being orphaned very young (hence his joining Starfleet) so the whole thing gets kinda confusing.

I will say though - one Star Trek Next Gen episode kinda explained why all of the species are so similar. Apparently there was a progenitor species millions of years ago which was the only sentient species of the galaxy, and they added their own genetic make-up to bunches of different planets which were early in their own evolution, so all sentients in Star Trek are sort of related through them. It kind of explains the 1/2 children being possible (in a very vague technobabble sort of way).

mikeejimbo
2017-04-05, 06:13 PM
Humans are the only species to exist both as collectives and individuals. While they do not have a permanent group status in a hive mind, they appear capable of forming hive-mind-like organizations of necessary size and complexity for a given task at hand. This gives them both the advantages of an individualistic species as well as the advantages of collective species.

Unlike other collective species, which have a sane and rational level of colony size depending on the species, the level of organization they appear to be capable of appears to depend on the need required. And while individuals or groups may squabble, those same smaller organizational units seem to be able to put aside their issues when faced with a larger, external, threat.

One trembles to think of the response humans would have to an existential threat to humanity itself. The only possible outcome would appear to be a single hive consisting of all of humanity.

This is also an interesting point and one that I had been struggling to put into words, so thank you for that. Humans are not the only species that will alternate between competition and cooperation with conspecifics, of course (to a certain extent, all creatures with sexual reproduction must "cooperate" at least once, and yes, I am well aware that copulation in the animal kingdom is often not what we would call cooperation, but I am speaking at the species level. To reproduce successfully you must let at least some of your offspring live. On the other side, every individual is in implicit competition with every other to reproduce the "best", though theories on what that constitutes do vary, for example most ants do not have direct offspring, but the haploid/diploid sex determinism in ants makes an individual's sisters - and no one need worry much about males, they are basically just walking germ cells - just as related to her as a hypothetical offspring would be, potential parthenogenisis notwithstanding, which is actually counterproductive as a long-term strategy anyway. Possibly - I did read a study about a species of goats, I believe it was, that was thriving despite low genetic diversity, but there really isn't enough data to draw any conclusions. Nevertheless we can agree that long term, sexual reproduction does lead to greater ability to adapt) but our ability to switch is certainly an advantage. Even conspecific competition drives adaptation and change, and eventually, innovation.

keybounce
2017-04-06, 04:03 PM
My turn to chime in.

I remember at one point Schlock asking Taigon about those super human alien powers, when he was asked about his alien super powers.

Every species will see different species as being able to do things that they cannot.

Now, lets look at what we are learning about likely earth-like exoplanets:

1. Most are higher gravity / bigger. We apparently had a massive "sweep the solar system" traverse of two big gas giants that cleaned much of the mass out before it could combine into a big rocky planet.

This means that most aliens will likely be heavy worlders.

We are likely to be taller, faster, more flexible, and weaker, than the others out there.

We are used to being outclassed and dependent on our brain. Suddenly we will have both brain and some physical abilities (faster/flexible).

2. Our brains seem to have been driven by same-species competition. We were not trying to out-think chimps; we were trying to outthink other humans.

We got good at second guessing others, and playing two moves ahead.

I am reminded of the original X-Com game. When we were attacked, our tech was less than theirs; we quickly learned their tech, and then combined both theirs and ours for the really big guns.

3. We adapt. We change. Maybe not all of us; but we only need a few willing to change. That's a big one for us.

Our super power? While no one of us will figure out what you are doing, someone will, and we have a bad but functional group mind for that knowledge to be shared and spread, especially if it will scare people into calling the politicians to do something.

In other words: Mess with one of us, and the whole world's production turns against you :-)

sengmeng
2017-04-06, 09:21 PM
Humans are the shortest lived sapient species. Shorter lived creatures, no matter how intelligent, never form social groups. Humanity as a whole fears death and cannot accept its own mortality. Reproductive success is seen as the main surrogate for immortality, and thus most humans are primarily concerned with proving their fitness at all times. Social esteem is the second most common surrogate.

Humans approach every day as a fight to the death, seeking to find a mate or dominate their social group, or both, as a means to stave off the reality of their inevitable demise.

Humans who find contentment and comfort in reasonable, modest goals have mostly been bred out of the population. Even the humans themselves readily admit that their most "successful" individuals are often megalomaniacs.

No other species is so competitive or destructive while still being capable of cooperation.

oudeis
2017-04-07, 01:03 PM
...

No other species is so competitive or destructive while still being capable of cooperation.

Or perhaps no other species that didn't rise high, destroy their own societies, and relapse into barbaric subsistence, condemned to look up at the stars and wonder if they'd ever get there (again?).

Kane0
2017-04-07, 04:22 PM
Or perhaps no other species that didn't rise high, destroy their own societies, and relapse into barbaric subsistence, condemned to look up at the stars and wonder if they'd ever get there (again?).

Hah, reminds me of battletech. Theres a game that shows off our humanness

Bohandas
2017-04-07, 07:58 PM
There's the first verse of the song "Mack the Knife" which deals with the ways the title character is more fearsome than a shark

"Oh the shark has deadly teeth dear, but he shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old Macheath babe, but he keeps it out of sight
And when that shark bites with it's teeth babe, scarlet billows start to spread
facny gloves though has old Macheath dear, so there's never never a trace of red..."