Tom Scott – Danger: Humans
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[Tom Scott – Danger: Humans]
[Tom Scott] Source: LYBIO.net
This is a notice from the Interstellar Safety Council.
Your starship will soon enter an area of space where humans have previously been found. We understand that there are rumours and myths about this species. It’s true that humans are extremely dangerous, but we believe that the best way to deal with them is to be aware of the facts.
The human world, unlike all other known planets, works on a principle they call ‘Survival of the Fittest’. For billions of years, from the time life first appeared, their world has changed not by co-operation, but by brutal, violent competition.
Humans are powered by three things.
First, humans grow, repair and fuel themselves by consuming and digesting other life forms, including macroscopic life and, in many cases, life forms capable of reaction and distress. Their intake point contains exoskeletal protrusions designed to crush, tear and rip almost any organic material. Humans will not generally consume other sentient life. Historically, though, they have not always been able to identify sentient life as such in time to avoid this.
A human once ate a flying machine.
Humans are symbiotic creatures. Around 2% of their mass is made of organisms that aid their digestion, but many of which could kill them if allowed to contact other parts of their internal structure. Humans, everything that they produce, and everything on their planet, is covered in uncountable numbers of these creatures, just one of which would be enough to catastrophically end life on many of our worlds. Unlike most species, human sensory organs are adapted for a wide variety of terrestrial environments. They can identify threats and prey by detecting disruptions in the atmosphere,
using some electromagnetic frequencies, and using chemical detection. Astonishingly, they are immune to all but the strongest magnetic fields and all known halting problem attacks. Humans have the ability to perform multiple tasks at once. Their many parts can operate automatically without their central mind being consciously aware of it. Most humans are able to concentrate on more than one complicated task at the same time. As a result, they do not need to pause to think between actions or to contemplate their next move in physical combat.
Human recreation includes physical violence, mental competition, deliberate disruption of their thought processes, and in some cases deliberately placing themselves into potentially lethal situations.
Humans do have weaknesses.
The second thing that powers them is oxygen. Not electricity, not light from their star. Oxygen. Highly flammable, highly corrosive, oxygen. Without it, they are incapacitated rapidly.
[Tom Scott] Source: LYBIO.net
They are, therefore, only capable of operating in a limited number of terrestrial environments. They are also extremely susceptible to ionising radiation, gravitational forces, and temperature changes. Their space travel thus requires extensive, complicated, fragile life support arrangements. This is their weak point, and the correct time to attack: once they land on an oxygen-bearing planet, it is theirs and they will win.
And they will win because their most startling capability is one of self-delusion. The third thing that powers them is hope. Humans are not a rational species. They do not have an intrinsic grasp of statistics or probabilities. If they did, their history would be very different. They would have followed more sensible approaches to space travel than putting their oxygenated bodies into pressurised metal boxes and throwing themselves off their planet’s surface.
Humans are irrational, messy, contradictory and sometimes self-defeating. They act against each others’ interests, and compete viciously and brutally for limited resources. Instead of acting as one, they form complicated tribes that fight between each other. But humans also possess a high capacity for aspiration, kinship, compassion, and a ridiculous tolerance of adversity. For this reason, they are extremely dangerous and likely to take over a significant part of the galaxy in a very short time.
Avoid if at all possible.
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