Friday, 22 December 2017

subtle allegory or indistinguishable from magic

This short synopsis of the premise of a science fiction premise really resonated with us: first serialised in 2006, Liu Cixin’s award winning (and recently adapted into film) The Three-Body Problem (三体) proposes that humans have encountered no alien races because extra-terrestrials conspire to contain one another, lest they advance and become a threat.
Introducing this dominant race dispenses neatly with the other reasons aliens are not visiting. Rather than actively disarming and disabling their machines and modes of exploration, the only thing aliens would need to do to humans or any other planet-bound denizen would be to bring in an element of woo and superstition and pseudoscience, maybe a peppering of miraculous events that defy logical explanation to really enforce and cement beliefs. Playing the long-game, the dominant races’ containment-policy ensures it has no competition by undermining trust in science. Given our violent regression to primitive charms and preserving appearances, however, I think that perhaps blaming a technologically superior alien race for keeping humanity relegated to the cosmic backwaters also violates the principal of Ockham’s Razor, lex parsimoniae. We certainly hope that this message is preserved in the theatrical release.