Food chains

  • Thread starter dsaun777
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This is more towards the realm of science fiction but still I believe it would be interesting to address scientifically. If this should be put in science fiction thread then you can move it.

It is obvious in the natural world is that everything is either a food source and/or a consumer in this world. It begins at light, plants convert photons into chemical energy to sustain their existence. The plants themselves store energy and readily use, all the while they are consumed by more complex organisms, insects, mammalian herbivores to sustain their higher energy consumption needs. Then those creatures store even more energy more efficiently as to provide a suitable food source for even more complicated or higher energy consuming being i.e. predators with bigger brains and higher metabolisms. There is an obvious pattern that emerges, the more efficiently you store energy the more you attract a potential consumer.

For a great deal of these creatures that are "food" for a more complex being they virtually unaware of this fact. Humans consume vast amounts of chickens, cows, pigs, and whatever else is on this planet that he/she wishes. On the surface a chicken does not have the brain capacity to look at a human and think this creature is breeding us and slaughtering us for food. The chicken may have an innate fear or even repulsion of the presence of large animal stalking about but no where in his existence does he conceive of the millions of his species being consumed daily by man. Much the same way a plant is unaware of cows tearing into them for countless acres across farms.

My point is this, why should we assume that we are not being culled in the same way by a much more, not necessarily smarter, complicated beings that have an advantage over us and somehow feed off of us while evading our observation. A perfect consumer/predator would never let its prey even be aware of its presence and would be master manipulators.
This sounds a bit paranoid but I genuinely believe this is a perfectly logical and scientific question to consider.
 
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jim mcnamara

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This definitely belongs in Science Fiction.
As a side note: you do get that humans are essntially eaten up when they die? Think decomposers.
 
This definitely belongs in Science Fiction.
As a side note: you do get that humans are essntially eaten up when they die? Think decomposers.
T
This definitely belongs in Science Fiction.
As a side note: you do get that humans are essntially eaten up when they die? Think decomposers.
Yes everything does but that's not my point. I mean are we being used for food not in the sense of being openly slaughtered and barbecued but in the sense of being drained of life parasitically and not realize it.
 

jim mcnamara

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[speculation]
Oh. Probably not drained. You would need some proof of concept.

Example: I eat 2500kCal of food, but my metabolic costs + base respiration + movement + entropy would be 2000kCal. The other 500kCal went to some being somewhere, someplace, some dimension that we cannot know.
[/speculation]

The 'cannot know' part automatically kicks the whole thing out of science and into the world of foo. It is fun to think about I guess. Kind of like questioning your base assumptions on an almost absurd scale. With no known way to test your conclusions.

You need to define "drained" BTW. And what is being drained, while we are at it.
 
[speculation]
Oh. Probably not drained. You would need some proof of concept.

Example: I eat 2500kCal of food, but my metabolic costs + base respiration + movement + entropy would be 2000kCal. The other 500kCal went to some being somewhere, someplace, some dimension that we cannot know.
[/speculation]

The 'cannot know' part automatically kicks the whole thing out of science and into the world of foo. It is fun to think about I guess. Kind of like questioning your base assumptions on an almost absurd scale. With no known way to test your conclusions.

You need to define "drained" BTW. And what is being drained, while we are at it.
What is it that all life forms "eat?" It is potential energy. The potential energy of other beings that gets converted into work for the consumer at a cheaper cost than it would be going out and expending energy that food source already cultivated. Nature loves to be efficient, if you can conserve your energy and even gain potential energy while expending less kinetic energy isn't that the ultimate goal of feeding?
My definition of potential is a bit vague but I am having a hard time defining what it is that is being drained. In my core I feel like something is feeding off of mankind.

Possibly it is just men feeding off of other men in the form of cheap exploitative labor or something I'm not sure. I have definitely been around certain people that make you feel drained emotionally but that is not scientifically measurable, not yet anyway. There are also negative narcissistic people who are prone to schadenfreude and have nothing to add but complaints. Typical bullies who feed off the of other people's fear and anxiety and inflate their own self confidence.
Syphoning off of our emotions and consciousness like farmers tapping into a well.
 
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A perfect consumer/predator would never let its prey even be aware of its presence and would be master manipulators
Hmmm, maybe. Evolution does not seem to overly care about perfection, merely keeping the genes in the pool seems to be the aim, so can there ever be a 'perfect consumer/predator'? Certainly, our only example of life does not support perfection and while 'manipulation' is on the list of success traits, it seems to be a lower concern than outrunning your prey and slashing at it with sharp claws :woot:
 

symbolipoint

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Just briefly looking through this topic but not reading too carefully, the discussion reminds me of the motion picture, Soylent Green.
 
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Just briefly looking through this topic but not reading too carefully, the discussion reminds me of the motion picture, Soylent Green.
Ah yes, somewhat off topic but what a classic line, "Soylent Green is people!" Pretty scary 70's thriller, one of a slew of dystopian sci-fi movies reflecting the mood of the times.

There is an obvious pattern that emerges, the more efficiently you store energy the more you attract a potential consumer.
Given that this study contends jellyfish are more energy efficient than anything else in the sea, your premise/pattern may not hold.

In my core I feel like something is feeding off of mankind.
If this is causing you difficulties I'd suggest seeing a healthcare professional, because there is zero evidence for this on any level.
 
My definition of potential is a bit vague but I am having a hard time defining what it is that is being drained. In my core I feel like something is feeding off of mankind.
If you feel it, then it cannot be a being that "can evade our observation". But aside from story plot...what would it matter if it were true? A chicken does not live it's life worrying about being eaten by humans; If we are food and do not know it, why should we care? We live our lives in the reality we know. If you perceive that your reality is not right, then Occam's Razor suggest you should assume the possibility that it is your perceptions that are in error. Nobody (worth knowing) considers that needing to wear glasses or a prosthetic limb make a person less human; The same respect should be given to mental health.

As far as plot devices...there are better story ideas. Why not ponder if the Universe we know isn't just a 3-D simulation run on some cosmic child's laptop? Why not delve into Adams' plot of humanity being part of some biological computer design? Or we could exist as nothing more than the collective memory of a post Singularity humanity.
 
Ah yes, somewhat off topic but what a classic line, "Soylent Green is people!" Pretty scary 70's thriller, one of a slew of dystopian sci-fi movies reflecting the mood of the times.



Given that this study contends jellyfish are more energy efficient than anything else in the sea, your premise/pattern may not hold.



If this is causing you difficulties I'd suggest seeing a healthcare professional, because there is zero evidence for this on any level.
It is not causing me difficulties its just apart of my soul to suspect there is something more going on than what we see. I am not running around neighborhoods peeking in dark allies searching for higher dimensional people, though that sounds fun. I go with science when making decisions and beliefs in life but that will never stop my imagination and intuition, no matter how bizarre.
 
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I am not running around neighborhoods peeking in dark allies searching for higher dimensional people, though that sounds fun.
Fun in a Ghostbusters way absolutely 👍 And thanks for letting my know you are not suffering psychosis, @dsaun777. Mental health is often not discussed because of the stigma, and we are all poorer for that.

As for the 'people as food' question, I'd expect it would have to be some kind of energy drain because if it was physical - as in, our bodies are being eaten - then we'd have noticed that. But perhaps these alien predators feed on our emotions, so have engineered us to be aggressive and violent, inclined to murder and war so they can gorge on the outpouring of pain. That could be a good story plot, as an intrepid scientist uncovers this and fights to save humanity from a final cull being engineered via WWIII that is building up via the inept (mis)management of a superpower by their President. Initially he tries to gain support by posting on various forums, but the reaction is not overly positive, so he has to resort to other means, including a sequence where he is hunting through a blacked out city, searching for the higher dimensional beings with his specially designed detector!
 
If you feel it, then it cannot be a being that "can evade our observation". But aside from story plot...what would it matter if it were true? A chicken does not live it's life worrying about being eaten by humans; If we are food and do not know it, why should we care? We live our lives in the reality we know. If you perceive that your reality is not right, then Occam's Razor suggest you should assume the possibility that it is your perceptions that are in error. Nobody (worth knowing) considers that needing to wear glasses or a prosthetic limb make a person less human; The same respect should be given to mental health.

As far as plot devices...there are better story ideas. Why not ponder if the Universe we know isn't just a 3-D simulation run on some cosmic child's laptop? Why not delve into Adams' plot of humanity being part of some biological computer design? Or we could exist as nothing more than the collective memory of a post Singularity humanity.
Just because I suspect reality is not what we currently believe it to be does not make me in need of a mental health crutch. If I were to tell somebody a couple hundred years some of the things we all now consider to be everyday knowledge I would be deemed mentally ill i.e. relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology etc... Like I said these are my intuitive feelings not something I base my life around. I still use our current scientific knowledge to guide my decision making and rationale. People believe far stranger things when it comes to religion! If it is your diagnosis that I should receive mental health care then there are billions who should also be receiving mental health who believe Christianity, Judaism etc... Such faiths are based on less logic then I posit here.
 
Potential plots for this (mainly satirical):

Money is sentient, and is manipulating mankind to continually create more of itself, in the same way that a flower uses bees to pollinate.

TV is stealing your brainwaves, which is why people who sit in front of TV for long periods of time are more likely to continue sitting in front of a TV for prolonged periods of time. TV's are getting bigger because they work like solar panels, so larger surface area can "feed" off you more efficiently. Their favourite flavours are anger, indignation, and the feeling of superiority, which is why The Jeremy Kyle Show has somehow become so popular.

In reality, I don't think that anything is consciously feeding off of humans. I do think that we are being destroyed by our own creations, and that some humans are very successful at feeding off of other humans.

Think about what "feeding off of" something means when you remove the literal "Eating" part of this.

The boss of a company "feeds off" of his employees - because of their hard work, he doesn't have to do any, he eats good food whenever he likes, and should not want for anything, though he does because of the capitalist nature of the modern world (if you don't own it, you're failing!).
Similarly, a tapeworm in the stomach of that same worker; thanks to the workers hard work, the tapeworm eats whenever he wants, and does not want for anything.

Just saying ;)
 
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Money is sentient, and is manipulating mankind to continually create more of itself, in the same way that a flower uses bees to pollinate.
SPOILER ALERT

Don't read further if you like Alistair Reynolds novels and haven't read all of them...





Because he got there before you with "Shadow Captain" 😄
 

symbolipoint

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Tghu Verd
Your spoiiler alert is empty. Nothing opens.
 
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Your spoiiler alert is empty. Nothing opens.
Oops, it's not a link, but I can see why it looks like that. The spoiler is the text below :nb)

I can't see how to edit the post to make that clearer, but thanks for the heads up @symbolipoint at least.
 

symbolipoint

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Maybe I misunderstood you. For editing, look for YOUR post and look at bottom left of YOUR post and there should be an Edit link tool. Left click on that, and you should find your post now opened as ready for you to edit.
 
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For editing, look for YOUR post and look at bottom left of YOUR post and there should be an Edit link tool
Yeah, I've used that edit option for a just-submitted post before, but it is not showing up in my 'older' post. Not sure if that's me or the system?
 

symbolipoint

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Yeah, I've used that edit option for a just-submitted post before, but it is not showing up in my 'older' post. Not sure if that's me or the system?
Only way to know is, find any old post by any self and see if it shows an Edit tool link at the bottom. Maybe we have a time limit for editing self's post.

Viewing a four-week old post of mine, there is an Edit tool link. Try looking at yours again. It really should be there. It might appear very faded and difficult to see until the mouse pointer is near it.
 
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I know about the faded aspect, but it's not there, as the screen cap below shows. Do some member classes have superior edit rights? In any event, I do like the 'spoiler alert' feature you've added in that other thread, that's handy for situations like this.

244901
 

symbolipoint

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I have no idea why you are not being allowed to edit the post. Otherwise, you might want to write that section like this, here only for demonstration I am using parentheses instead of the square brackets:

---
Money is sentient, and is manipulating mankind to continually create more of itself, in the same way that a flower uses bees to pollinate.

(spoiler="SPOILER ALERT")
Don't read further if you like Alistair Reynolds novels and haven't read all of them...

Because he got there before you with "Shadow Captain"
(/spoiler)
---

I assume that you wanted all of that to be inside the spoiler tag. From "Don't,..." all the way to "Shadow Captain".
 

Orodruin

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I have no idea why you are not being allowed to edit the post.
Different time limits for different user groups. You are a gold member, a HH, and SA. He is not. I do not remember which is the relevant part here.
 

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