Sunday, April 18, 2010

I hate Fermi's paradox

So I was discussing extraterrestrial life with a friend the other day, and she brought up Fermi's paradox.

For those unaware: Fermi's paradox says there are no aliens, because where ARE they?

God I hate this dumb shit.

So, I said we should have ham for dinner, and I opened the door and we waited all night. No ham appeared. So, there must be no ham anywhere on earth right? Pigs are extinct?

Fermi's paradox takes no account of what the aliens want. It assumes they are just DYING to meet us.

I mean, why wouldn't they. We've achieved soooo much. And our standards of civilization and the habitability of our world *must* be universally appealing, right?

8 comments:

Larry Clapp said...

The Fermi Paradox questions why we've no evidence of alien life anywhere in the universe, not so much why they haven't visited us here. The universe is large and old. If life is commonplace, why don't we see signs of other young civilizations like our own? Eg alien reruns of I Love Lucy.

Since we don't see anything like that, we have to question our assumption that intelligent life is common.

RPGObjects_chuck said...

Right, because CLEARLY any advanced civilization must poison its local space with crappy signals right?

I understand what Fermi was saying, its just one of the purest expressions of human arrogance ever.

RPGObjects_chuck said...

It's a tacit assumption that the way we developed is the norm in every way, or that we are capable of understanding aliens when we see them, or that they want to meet alien cultures, cause we do.

I half expect our first sign of alien life to be a space marker that says "these guys are homicidal maniacs who kill their own, keep away".

Darth ObiWan said...

There's an underlying arrogance to the Fermi Paradox that you've nailed perfectly.

Frankly, to any civilization capable of traveling among the stars, early 21st Century Earth (and even more the Earth of Fermi's time), is going to be the equivalent of our discovery of a hitherto unknown tribe of pygmies. Maybe interesting enough for an article in National Geographic or an even more obscure scientific journal (but maybe not), but certainly not worth spending any time studying, contacting, or dealing with.

Anonymous said...

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec28.html
They Exist But Have Not Yet Communicated

They Have Not Had Time To Reach Us
Speed of light slows communication levels, relativity makes space travel long. ET's message may not have reached us yet. Problem: Galaxy has been around for billions of years, even if one ET civilization formed a few million years before us, the Galaxy would be filled with Bracewell-von Neumann probes.
They Are Signaling, But We Do Not Know How To Listen
EM radiation, gravity waves, exotic particles are all examples of methods to signal. Problem: they may use methods we have not learned yet, but if there are many civilizations someone would use EM methods.
Berserkers
The Galaxy is filled with killer robots looking for signals. ET is keeping low. Problem: where are the berserkers coming after us?
They Have No Desire To Communicate
ET has no interest in conversing with lesser beings. Problem: with millions of possible civilizations, someone would have some curiosity.
They Develop Different Mathematics
Mathematics is the universal language. But humankind may have a unique system of mathematics that ET cannot understand. Problem: then where are their incomprehensible signals?
Catastrophes
Civilizations only have a limited lifetime, They are all dead.
Overpopulation
Nanobots -> Gray Goo Problem
Dangerous Particle Physics

Anonymous said...

sorry bad format
"They Have No Desire To Communicate
"
ET has no interest in conversing with lesser beings.
Problem: with millions of possible civilizations, someone would have some curiosity.

Anonymous said...

They Develop Different Mathematics

Mathematics is the universal language. But humankind may have a unique system of mathematics that ET cannot understand.

Problem: then where are their incomprehensible signals?


http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec28.html

Anonymous said...

the Prime directive

Zoo/Interdict Scenario

The aliens are here, and they are keeping us in a well designed zoo (cut off from all contact) or there is an interdiction treaty to prevent contact with young races (us).

Problem: scenario lacks the ability to be tested. Takes only one ET to break embargo.

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