Deconstructing Human Sentience

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In summary, two alien beings discuss the discovery of a planet inhabited by creatures made entirely of meat. Despite the potential for communication with these beings, they ultimately decide to erase all records and pretend the planet is uninhabited. The conversation also touches on the idea of loneliness in the vastness of the universe. The concept of sentient meat is seen as absurd, but it is a reminder that humans are also made of meat, water, and energy.
  • #1
They're Made Out of Meat
Imagine, if you will, the leader of the fifth invader force speaking to the commander in chief...

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's whom we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the Orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the Weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads like the Weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"

"So... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Finally, Yes. They are indeed made out meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"So what does the meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat?"

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"


"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever-making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you have probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we can mark this sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotation ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."
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  • #2
Actually we are meat, water and energy. The energy being in the brain mostly that helps the meat think. Cute story though I laughed. Reminded me of HitchHikers's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. If you haven't read it you would die laughing.
  • #3

This piece presents a thought-provoking perspective on human sentience and the possibility of other forms of intelligent life in the universe. It challenges our preconceived notions of what it means to be sentient and raises questions about the limitations of our own understanding.

The conversation between the fifth invader force and their commander in chief highlights the absurdity of our assumptions about the nature of intelligence. The fact that the beings they have encountered are made out of meat challenges our idea that intelligence must be based on a certain physical form or composition. It also raises the question of whether we, as humans, are limited in our ability to recognize and communicate with other forms of life simply because they do not fit our preconceived notions.

Furthermore, the concept of the meat beings communicating through radio waves and using their physical bodies to make sounds and sing challenges our reliance on technology as a measure of intelligence. It suggests that there may be other forms of communication and expression that we have yet to discover or understand.

The decision to erase the records and forget about the meat beings also raises ethical concerns about our treatment of other forms of life and the potential consequences of our actions. The idea that we could simply ignore or erase the existence of another sentient species highlights our own arrogance and disregard for the value of other forms of life.

Overall, this piece invites us to question our assumptions and biases about intelligence and the potential for other forms of life in the universe. It challenges us to broaden our perspectives and consider the possibility of sentient beings that do not fit our traditional definitions.

What is human sentience?

Human sentience refers to the ability of humans to be self-aware, think, feel, and experience consciousness. It includes our capacity for perception, cognition, and introspection.

Why is it important to deconstruct human sentience?

Deconstructing human sentience helps us understand the underlying mechanisms and processes that contribute to our consciousness and behavior. It allows us to gain insight into the complexities of the human mind and potentially discover new treatments for mental health disorders.

What methods are used to deconstruct human sentience?

Scientists use a variety of methods to deconstruct human sentience, including brain imaging techniques, cognitive and behavioral experiments, and philosophical analysis. Each method offers a unique perspective and contributes to our overall understanding of human consciousness.

Are there different levels of human sentience?

Yes, there are different levels of human sentience. While all humans possess some level of sentience, the degree to which we are self-aware, cognizant, and introspective can vary. Some argue that certain animals also possess a level of sentience, but it is not equivalent to that of humans.

Can human sentience be artificially created?

There is currently no consensus among scientists about whether human sentience can be artificially created. Some believe that advanced technology may one day allow for the creation of artificial consciousness, while others argue that sentience is a unique and complex phenomenon that cannot be replicated by machines.

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