Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?

Absolutely.  And not only do I believe it exists, but I believe the universe is teeming with it.  I would even go so far as to say that life is not only a by-product of the universe, but even moreso a requirement of it.  Do I believe we’ve been visited by extraterrestrials?  As much as I’d like to say yes, now I have to say probably not.

I love a good UFO/alien abduction tale as much as the next guy, but while it’s not impossible, considering the distances involved and the technology required for interstellar flight it’s all very, very unlikely. And on top of that, after spending the last 50 or so years observing humanity on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that if extraterrestrials are anything like us, as soon as they start taking their first tentative steps out of the nest, 99.9% of them either self-destruct over cultural differences and god-myths, or are wiped out by natural forces beyond their control.  The threat posed by rogue asteroids, comets, gamma ray bursts, catastrophic climatic change, super volcanoes and tectonic shifts certainly are not unique to the Earth, but ultimately I believe the risk of them wreaking planet-wide destruction is miniscule compared to the amount of havoc that can be unleashed by a civilization upon itself, either intentionally or through blind stupidity.

And what of the 0.1% of technological civilizations that do survive and achieve interstellar spaceflight?  I think they would be so different from us as to be virtually unrecognizable, and totally uninterested in Homo sapiens in any capacity, having seen the path we’re heading down play itself out thousands of times before.

Quote of the Day

I don’t care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time—and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones—I think it’s fine if they want to get married. I don’t know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don’t worry about other people so much.” ~ Bette White, in an interview with Parade Magazine.

So, Um…Yeah

I have a little—and let me stress a little—new Mac envy right now.  Like many other people, the new MacBook Air has captured my imagination.

I went over to the local Apple Store today and played with the 13-inch model (the 11-inch is just too friggin’ small as far as I’m concerned).  My initial list of the two things that need to change before I would buy one remain: more storage and a backlit keyboard, but damn…it is still one sexy beast.  And despite its older processor, it’s fast! Applications opened almost instantaneously—or at least notably faster than on my MBP.

I’ve only had my MBP for a year and still love it to death, so I’m obviously not in the market for a new laptop right now, but when it comes time to retire The Precious (and assuming the two items on my Airbook wish list have been put into production) I’ll definitely be looking at the Air line when the time comes.

While I was there, I had the opportunity to check out Office 2011 as well.  I was not impressed; at least not impressed enough to want to upgrade.  One of the biggest hurdles I had to get over when switching from Windows to Mac was the loss of Outlook, and while I was glad to hear that Microsoft was bringing it back in this release, I don’t even need it any more, having happily moved on to Postbox.