Vortices of the Utterly Useless
"Vortices of the Utterly Useless" is a chapbook written by Frank Ballast, in which an alien race had inhabited a planet for billions of years.
All the races on this planet, composed of different species, had managed to make peace with each other but still could not stop the environmental destruction of their planet.
In an attempt to find answers, they decided to use space-time to gather information from the nearest planet they could find that was inhabited by reasonably intelligent lifeforms. It turned out to be a place called Earth.
To collect data and specimens they needed machines with a nice slow spin to act as “portals” at the ends of their wormhole network. They decided to use laundry dryers. They were simple and numerous.
All they ever received on their end were damp socks. It was deduced that no intelligent lifeforms existed on Earth.
They concluded that technology itself was ultimately useless and decided to dismantle their own civilization. Eventually they returned to an animal state and let nature’s law maintain order since they couldn’t get the hang of it.