'Generation Gap' is a monthly series where we talk to two Beijingers from two different generations about a random topic. This time we ask Wang, 18 and Ma, 76 their thoughts on the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
UFO sightings were reported around China in early June, throwing netizens on Weibo into a craze. What are your thoughts on the possibility of extraterrestrial life?
“First of all, I believe we cannot assume aliens have advanced technology like spaceships. They might be surviving somewhere out there but are unable to visit us with flying objects or the like. I think this widespread interest in the topic comes from books and movies about aliens, which are very popular in China right now. I personally asked myself questions about the presence of aliens as a child, when I watched cartoons set in space and saw movies about alien races and UFOs, but now I'm not really interested in that. But, who knows, maybe they're already among us!”
“Personally, I think these are all just rumors. The idea of aliens coming to visit us, though, is often the result of a primal fear rooted in something else – enemies coming from outside and bringing a threat. So, it’s very common and natural to think about aliens. People online are very much moved by the coverage of alien threats and by the popularity of stories on the theme in popular culture but ultimately, who has actually seen an alien? There is absolutely no basis to say they exist. I personally never thought about the possibility of alien life. It strikes me as such a wild thought. I have more than enough to think about in my everyday life.”
[Images via Edoardo Donati Fogliazza]