fermi paradox

An Exterminator-Free Galaxy

This post builds on my previous series about the Fermi Paradox. Quoting Nick Land, expat Brit philosopher in Shanghai, “The cosmic reality visible to us is characterized by an intense, efficient aversion to the existence of advanced civilizations.” He calls whatever it is that prevents the existence of advanced civilizations “The Great Filter.” Longtime science fiction

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Elon Musk, the Fermi Paradox, & religious motivations for space settlement

Long article about Elon Musk at Aeon. Musk, along with Peter Thiel, is one of the few modern capitalists who resembles the Heinlein hero D.D.Harriman (or one of Ayn Rand’s late-career male lead characters): an innovator who wants to remake the world of possibilities, expand the pie for everyone, and grab a big slice of

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The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation – The Longevity of High-Tech Civilizations (L)

After numerous posts, in our speculations about the Fermi paradox, we’ve now reached an analysis of the final term in the Drake equation, L, the average lifespan of high-tech civilizations. If you thought putting a value on f_c, the likelihood of an intelligent civilization developing a high enough technology to make its existence known across

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The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation – From Intelligence to High-Tech Civ (f_c)

So far in the series of speculations about the Fermi Paradox—why a galaxy that should be teeming with signs of intelligent life is silent—we’ve gotten a range for N, the number of detectable civilizations in the galaxy, to [5e-7 to 8e-6] * f_c * L. Today’s post will estimate the value of f_c, the fraction

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The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation – From the Cusp, to Intelligence (f_i, part 2)

In our last post, where speculations about the Fermi Paradox moved from astrophysics to the life sciences, we looked at some of the many ways life could be prevented from giving rise to a pre-intelligent species–say, an animal like Proconsul, the earliest known ape, living about 25 million years ago. In doing so, we knocked

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The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation – From the Origin of Life to the Cusp of Intelligence (f_i, part 1)

So far in our speculations about the Fermi Paradox, uncertainty in calculating the Drake Equation has led us to a broad range, with N = [0.84-16.03] * f_i * f_c * L. Despite the uncertainty, we concluded that relatively high values of f_i (the fraction of life-bearing worlds that give rise to intelligence), f_c (the

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The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation – Fraction of Planets Where Life Arises

This has been the toughest post in the Fermi Paradox series to write, because the question of how life arose is the most open. A look at the linked article will show a lot of different conjectures. Which one(s) explain how life actually arose on Earth and/or would arise on other planets are still unknown.

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