Sunday, August 27, 2006

A post that won't self-destruct

In case you are wondering about the S-themed party last night...

we went as skivers.

About an hour before we were due at the party, it turned out that Geekman wasn't looking forward to it, because he hates dressing up, and I wasn't looking forward to it, because there wasn't likely to be anyone I knew there. So we skived off to a café instead and spent the evening drinking coffee and talking about the possibility of life on other planets.

I think it's a good sign that after eight years together, we'd still rather spend the evening in each other's company than going out with other people.

15 Comments:

Vincenzo said...

That's lovely! I hate social events, so I would rather spend a quiet evening with Wife than out in a crowd.

Skive. I like it. I'm skiving right now...

StyleyGeek said...

It's a good thing I linked to that definition, I guess.

I wasn't sure if it was a common word elsewhere or if it was just a New Zealand thing.

Rebecca said...

It is lovely when couples feel that way, very much so.

So, what did you decide about life on other planets?

:)

shrinkykitten said...

I kept thinking "skivvies" which would mean you went nude. :)

shrinkykitten said...

ps. how do you pronounce that? It's an awesome word!

StyleyGeek said...

It rhymes with "hive".

And how does "skivvies" mean we went nude? In my version of the English language, skivvies are long-sleeved t-shirts!

StyleyGeek said...

We weren't discussing *whether* aliens, Rebecca, but *what sort of* aliens. I.e. if there is life on other planets, what might it be like? And would it be our friend?

That sort of thing.

A question we spent a while on is whether being curious about new things you come in contact with is such an essential quality that a species can't evolve intelligence and create technology without it. Because if that IS the case, then any aliens we run into are pretty much bound to want to get to know us.

turtlebella said...

Most wonderful. Just what would happen to us too, the sqvirrel hates dressing up and I can get very anti-social. Sounds like you had a most lovely night!

I know the word skive but I think only because best friend #3 is British. Excellent word that we Americans should use, though.

Carine said...

haha, what a great thing to do - also the *only* logical possibility of going to a party while not going there. Here is one advantage of having this 'S'-theme, at least you can choose 'skive' and use it as a legitimate excuse: 'I came as a skiver so I stayed away'. And is 'skiving' not a normal English word?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

The word "skive" is awesome. It's just redefined my whole state of being.

You evening with Geekman sounds like most evenings with Chris. We make plans to go out, and then stay in, make popcorn, and watch Battlestar Galactica. It's all the more delicious when you feel like you're skipping out on something.

Rebecca said...

I always try to look at the alien question from *our* point of view. How would we react to finding them? And, although I don't really read or watch science fiction, I have to say it makes me a little nervous to think about. Because, although I don't really believe that people have been abducted by spaceships, I know that our government would have no qualms whatsoever about bringing "specimens" back for further study in captivity.

Also, I don't feel like we are technologically advanced enough to be sure that we surpass everything else in the universe. But then I grew up watching the Jetsons and I'm really peeved that we're not there yet - even though it was set many years from now and even, I think, on another planet.:(

Along those same lines, I don't see how it can be possible that we are the only intelligent life in this entire universe. Isn't that kind of against the odds?

I have to admit, though, that I'm clueless about science. So there are maybe answers to these things and I just don't know them.:)

StyleyGeek said...

Along those same lines, I don't see how it can be possible that we are the only intelligent life in this entire universe. Isn't that kind of against the odds?

The problem is, you can't extrapolate from a sample of one. We know of one planet where life arose, so we can't tell how common it is.

What we can tell, though, is that for most of the time that life has been on earth, it has been single-celled life. Only recently did we develop more complex life; WAY more recently we evolved intelligence; and true culture, technology, language and so on took most of the sun's lifetime to evolve. If we'd been a little bit later, it would have been too late.

So maybe single-celled life is pretty common -- there is even evidence that it started to evolve (and was killed off) multiple times on earth. But ape/dolphin-style intelligence? And language/technology etc? There's no way to tell how unlikely it is.

I know that our government would have no qualms whatsoever about bringing "specimens" back for further study in captivity

We talked about that, too, and the main thing that prevents us from worrying too much is how unlikely it would be that the government of the USA are the first people the aliens make contact with (even though it ALWAYS happens that way in sci-fi).

Imagine a crash-landing scenario. Most of this planet's surface is water, so they'd probably hit the ocean. Even if they didn't, the land they hit probably wouldn't be the USA. And even if it was, chances are it would be somewhere where enough people would witness it that the govt couldn't hush it up. And as long as it was public knowledge, there is little the USA govt could do without breaking all sorts of conventions it has signed up to. (Did you know there are international treaties on what to do if aliens make contact? I didn't until Friday!)

Also, chances are a transmission would be intercepted by independent scientists rather than just by NASA or the US government. So I just don't think your govt could control the situation.

At worst, the rest of the world would get a chance to explain to the aliens before they retaliate for dissecting their friends that we aren't all like that :)

Miss M. said...

It gets even better - Cosmologists like to ponder about whether or not it is a requirement of a universe where life *could* exists that it someday evolve to ponder over its own existance. That one messed with my head for a while though, so perhaps "better" should be seen as a relative term...

StyleyGeek said...

I've heard that point of view, Miss M, but I've never seen any convincing argument for it. I think it was just something come up with by people who like to mess with our heads.

(Or maybe by aliens).

Magpie said...

I've always wondered what would happen if Aliens did find Earth, but turned up on New Years Eve, or Bonfire Night, or the fourth of July or something... can you imagine someone who didn't know anything about fireworks arriving on a foreign planet and seeing all that kicking off around them?