As of 2018 does humanity have any claim to the Sol system (other than Earth)? If another species started mining and disassembling parts of the solar system today without contacting us –
1) What would your personal response be?
2) Do you think the newcomers are in the wrong?
*taking notes for my story*
There is a part of my story where my character is in a conference at a local library where people are debating about the arrival of Von Neuman Probes that have started extensive mining operations in the outer solar system. It got me thinking that I should probably ask people what they’d think or feel if such a thing actually happened
yes, humans have a legit claim on all the solar system, but it does not mean they can do anything about the situation in next 10-20 years. And a lot of stuff depends on the strategy of the swarm and its intent/purpose.
Clash and cleaning attempt is quite real, and it not necessarily a bad thing.
I would say that a good strategy may be attacking them. It is up to author which idea he wishes to describe or convey – so it is in hands of the author, but there is an interesting, as for me, possible reasoning for that.
As an example if we assume the good intentions of those who did send those probes(more peacefully approach), and they do not have a goal to clean the universe from the life, then one of the common characteristics we might expect from life which evolves is the ability to protect themselves and ability to learn and to adapt.
in terms of learning – if a probe has some weak points, (which we can call detectors of life) then in a random environment like situation, we might expect a certain steady rate of losses of those probes(it may be different for different systems, different planets etc, but generally a random distribution). With a life involved in the equation, the live9even quite primitive one, not spacefaring) can learn what weak points are and be able to increase success rates of disabling the probes. So if a system sees such increase, it can assume there is a life in the place it is. And do that without some sophisticated means of detection of life. After detecting it can act accordingly to the situation.
Presence of such behavior and weak points also beneficial from viewpoint of a civilization which did launch them, as it ensures them from different mishaps which may be possible if they do not implement the feature, so being more peaceful may have a better payoff in the future for those who did launch the system, so it is not necessarily done out of pure love to any life form.
so I would say 2 out of 3 – a better strategy would be to attack and find out those weaknesses.
As to get the feel if they are those 2 out of 3 cases or that one of 3 cases – a meaningful strategy which guys in 2 of 3 cases probably will adopt is that they won’t consume system at full speed. In the first place, it is not that necessary, as sending probes to next systems can be done using very low percentage of resources of the star system (there are 50 of systems in the distance of 16ly(5 parcec) there are 55 stars, so one needs about 55 probes to send from the system to continue expansion, safety factor and you may need few hundreds, it does not require a lot of resources.
after that those probes can keep their existence and low activity for thousands of years, detecting life activity in different places of the system.
maybe with a slow increase in activity over time with a plan in 100 thousand of year to reach the k2 level in the system.
in that regard, if we ould notice the swarm and its activity in our system, we definitely have good chances to get things done faster and suppress it.