"My dad launched the quest to find alien intelligence. It changed astronomy."

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/23/my-dad-launched-the-quest-to.html


It has been MANY years, but Drake once spoke at a worldbuilding conference I used to attend.

Take-away: Good-humored, informative, modest.

I should have thought to have gotten an autograph!


The creator of the ever-useful Drake Equation, I assume. But hey, if Peter Backus could get engaged maybe there’s some hope there’s an evolved civilisation out there.


Obligatory SMBC:


I imagine if smoke signals and drum relays were the most advanced telecom available, cell phone traffic would sail right over our heads, metaphorically speaking.

Radio telescopes seem just as crude, considering how short a time we’ve had them, and how long a time the cosmos has had to evolve something better.

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I wonder if Frank has read Liu Cixin‘s the three body problem. The dark forest theory seems both logical and terrifying to me.


Ny be the number of years to Drake’s career
Nc be the number of world building conferences per year
Nd be the fraction of conferences attended by Drake
Np be the number of participants in each conference
Na be the fraction of participants who asked for an autograph


I just started it! Can’t wait to get to that part.

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It’s impressive that the Tatel telescope in the photo is still in operation as part of the Green Bank Interferometer. It must have been designed well.

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