Why not take a moment to ponder the Fermi Paradox?

Originally published at: Why not take a moment to ponder the Fermi Paradox? | Boing Boing


@BakaNeko is one of them, trying to communicate with us, but speaking in a language we don’t yet understand!
Please try again @BakaNeko ! We are listening and want to believe!


Another possibility: The first civilisation to appear will expand and colonize the galaxy. Since this hasn’t happened, we must be the first.


I feel like the traditional presentation of the Fermi paradox (and this one, it seems, though I did not RTFA) leaves out the most likely possibility:

Space is big and resources are scarce. Even if there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe it might not be feasible, in simple resource economics terms, to colonize other stars, send signals powerfully or omnidirectionally enough to be intercepted by other life forms, or reliably collect and discriminate distant signals from background radiation.


The distances are vast and time (in terms of how long civilizations exist) is finite. Whether they are out there or not, I am afraid that we are likely destined to be alone.

It would be cool if extraterrestrials came to earth and demanded most favored nation status and extraterritoriality, though. Being posted to earth would be seen as a kind of demotion, and they would mostly just use it as a communications post between other, "better "destinations. Kind of like what the west did when they first opened up Japan to trade in the 1850s after the country had been isolated for over two centuries.

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I have a word of wisdom for you earthlings!

Please read the post carefully before posting anything on the BBS. I sent a link to an article about something that was already discussed in the original post! If by any chance you did something like this, delete it immediately before anyone sees it!

An otherworldly sloppiness!


Seems like a cover-up. I saw the original BabaNeko post out of the corner of my eye, and I think it was something about him being an alien, and it being time to reveal the deep truths, but then the moderators were probably ordered by the feds, and their overlords in the galactic command, to shut that down… and the post disappeared!


Its Happening Area 51 GIF by MOODMAN


Is it really a paradox1) at all?

Space ist just really, really big - so big that we do not even know how big. It has been getting bigger and bigger ever since humankind has realized that there is space. And by this I don’t mean it has gotten bigger because it is expanding - what is observable to us is has been expanded considerable over the last decades.
In 1929, the universe “was” 2 billion years old and “had” a size of 280 Million light years.
In 1955, the universe “was” 6 billion years old and “had” a size of 4 billion light years.
Today, the universe appears to be 13.7 Billion years2) old and a volume of 94 billion light years across can be observed.
When Fermi asked3) where everybody is the universe was a lot smaller, so to speak.

1) Which we might just as well call the Tsiolkovsky paradox; he was thinking along similar lines some 20 years before Fermi.
2) Pretty solid figure by now.
3) At that time the Big Bang theory wasn’t even unversally accepted yet, quite a few
boffins still thought the steady-state model was where it’s at.


Introduction: Space is big. Really big. You just won


And that’s just what we can observe. Beyond that, there’s stuff whose light will never reach us.


Yes, this.
If you consider that one light year is a distance of

9,460,800,000,000 km

the mind is properly boggled, and any hope for contact starts looking forlorn indeed.
Who ordered all that space? I say.


#9 has always made the most sense to me. Any civilization that has arisen some place other than earth is by the very definition going to be “alien” and it’s always felt like writers and thinkers on this planet never seem to fully grasp what that word alien means. I mean they could legit be giant, invisible penguin shaped beings or 2 inch tall talking mushrooms capable of piloting skyscraper sized ships. Literally anything is possible and they could have been here for millennia, they could be sitting right next to you as you read this. Really need to move beyond the sci-fi concept of creatures slightly similar to us piloting ships that will land on the WH lawn.




And we’re talking volume, not just distance. It’s just… really big.

Who’s gonna pay for all this? Who orderd all this?


Why not take a moment to ponder the Fermi Paradox?

Sounds like something an alien would say. :wink:



Eric Idle updated the song several times to keep up with developments in cosmology (no idea whether he still does this).