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Sensory Deprivation and UFOs


quelling chaos since 2352BC
OK let me start by saying I feel really stupid writing this.

So I've always wanted to try a float in one of those hippy sensory deprivation tanks. Just a thing I've wanted to try. So the wife gets me an appointment at one in town as a gift, and off I go.

I'm sitting there in the dark, spinning slowly in circles. I couldn't make myself stop spinning so I gave up. It gets so quiet and still in that salt water that I could feel my heart beat cause ripples in the water. There is, literally, no sensory stimulus at all unless you reach out and touch the side of the tank. You feel like you're moving quickly and still at the same time.

Anyway, given that I have the attention span of a ferret on amphetamines, I got bored and started to ask myself questions. One of them was 'what is the reality behind UFOs.'

And, I got an answer.

I do not expect anyone to believe me, and I don't believe myself that it was necessarily any external stimulus that provided it - just the ravings of my bored subconscious.

But, damn, the answer just had some weight behind it.

The answer I got is that we've entirely missed the point of the experience.

It's now almost inevitable that we will progress technologically to the point where we are capable of spreading out into the universe - unless we kill ourselves off. It's a given. So all the junk that nuts and bolts guys like me try to get at about propulsion systems and stuff is pointless to ask because we'll get our own answer on our own anyway. It would be like Pascal asking us how hydraulics works, we'd just say "you're about to figure it out anyway, go do that."

Here's the rub, though. It won't be us spreading out into the universe. It will be what is to become of us. Basically, our machines. Our biology may be viewed by them as our larval phase. Which would explain a lot.

Butterflies don't seem to give a damn about caterpillars. We don't try to have conversations with unborn fetuses. We may check them out to make sure they're healthy, but not engage them in debate about relativism. An ultrasound here, a DNA test there. A peek and a poke and if all seems well to go on our way.

So why would we see UFOs at all then?

The answer I got to that was that we ourselves will not go out into the universe, but what we create will. Whether it's our minds uploaded or our intelligences that we manufacture, it will be a reflection of who we are as a species.

And that I very much got the sense that we're on the razor's edge about. Too much introversion as a species, and when we go post-biological, we'll just sit here amusing ourselves. Too much extraversion as a species, and we'll spread through the universe like a plague, or get squashed by others before we do. That we need to be in the goldilocks zone of 'just right.'

And that's why they're here. They come when we're too introverted to make us wonder what's out there. And then we get sci-fi and we get Apollo missions and we get radio telescopes trying to say hi to the universe. Because all those things happen because individuals make small changes to the culture as a whole. And that's what we see - individuals getting a poke and a prod and no answers. No landings on the white house lawn.

And when we get too extraverted, they go away so we're left with nothing but the bland economics of space travel - mostly boring, hard, dangerous, and very expensive. So the brakes come on and people say "why aren't we feeding the starving people we have" and all that. And the scientists say "there's nothing there and people aren't even seeing them any more."

And when we're balanced right on the edge between those things, we get just enough experiences to keep us wondering, but not enough to refocus the whole species on looking outward. The razor's edge, where the gamble is the outcome of what we are to become.

And that's the end of it.

Again, I don't think this is a message from the beings of light and love from Dimension 9 in Pleiades. I think this is all me, and maybe not even that interesting.

But it has an internal logic to it.


piscator ψ
The part that resonates with me is the vested interest part:

although you say 'Butterflies don't seem to give a damn about caterpillars'
I would argue that they very much do, and invest great energy into first producing the egg, getting it fertilized and then carefully selecting a suitable location to lay it.
I also think butterflies are a bad example (if you will forgive me for saying so) because they are not a particularly social animal like us. I think an ant would be a better example as we have many things in common with them.

"Here's the rub, though. It won't be us spreading out into the universe. It will be what is to become of us. Basically, our machines. Our biology may be viewed by them as our larval phase. Which would explain a lot"

no larvae no Butterfly.

anyway I have heard a lot of people say that 'aliens' seem to have a vested interest in the future of our planet, especially when it comes to nukes.

I think that maybe some UFOs are us from the future, and not nearly as 'alien' as people make out.

I mean who wouldn't fix stuff from the past if they could?
And obviously there would also be those that would use that ability for no good.
And maybe even some with a sense of humour, like the Iphone in the Charlie Chaplin film (which is actually a handkerchief in my view).

This is all very interesting and though provoking.