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Space Science

A New Take On the Fermi Paradox 388

TravisTR points out some new research that aims to update and supplement the Fermi paradox — the idea that if intelligent life was as common as we expect, we should have detected it by now. The academic paper (PDF) from scientists at the National Technical University of Ukraine is based on the idea that civilizations can't expand forever on their own. The authors make the assumption that an isolated civilization will eventually die out or go dark through some other means, which leads to some interesting models of intergalactic colonization. "In certain circumstances, however, when civilizations are close enough together in time and space, they can come into contact and when this happens the cross-fertilization of ideas and cultures allows them both to flourish in a way that increases their combined lifespan. ... Bezsudnov and Snarskii say that for certain values of these parameters, the universe undergoes a phase change from one in which civilizations tend not to meet and spread into one in which the entire universe tends to become civilized as different groups meet and spread. Bezsudnov and Snarskii even derive an inequality that a universe must satisfy to become civilized. This, they say, is analogous to the famous Drake equation which attempts to quantify the number of other contactable civilizations in the universe right now."
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A New Take On the Fermi Paradox

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  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @06:25PM (#33037592)
    Quoting The Guide []:

    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.

    Take *that* Fermi.

  • by schmidt349 ( 690948 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @06:46PM (#33037682)

    What do you mean, you've never been to Alpha Centauri? For heavens' sakes, mankind, it's only five light-years away. Look, I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local politics that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.

    Apathetic bloody planet... I've no sympathy at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 26, 2010 @06:51PM (#33037716)

    Why is it that human civilization always has to suck so much? Has anyone considered the fact that we're just TOTALLY AWESOME? Considering the small sample size (one), the margin of error in any assessment of humanity is 100%! Therefore, it's entirely possible that we're ABOVE the curve in all areas. Culture: Awesome. Intellect: Awesome. Peace, Love, altruism, and overall benevolence: Awesome.

    So quit assuming we're all a bunch of dangerous barbarians... come on over to my side where everything is awesome.

  • Re:My take (Score:4, Funny)

    by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @07:41PM (#33038292)

    In spite of all that, you still think "them that advertise get eaten"


    No no, he is saying we will send advertising executives to the alien overlords as sacrifices.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Monday July 26, 2010 @11:29PM (#33040162) Homepage Journal

    What do you see if you close your eyes and rub hard?

    I don't see anything, but my hand feels sticky.

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.