[ExI] taxonomy for fermi paradox fans: was RE: powers of ten

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Jan 27 02:34:20 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark


> there is just no way we are the only ones here.


>…I hope you're wrong, otherwise there is some catastrophe awaiting any civilization that gets a little more advanced than ours…John K Clark  


Ja.  This is why we need to stay focused on that question.


Of course there is the possibility that the advanced civilizations go to intentional hiding.  If they do that they can still listen for EM signals from afar but would not attract attention to themselves.


We are the regulars at the English pub, who have been together so long and told all our jokes so many times we could just number them.  The ET is hiding meme should have a number, as should the intelligent-species-always-nukes-itself meme.  Since Carl Sagan thought of that one a long time ago, perhaps that should get 1.  We could create a table, then see if we can list every known explanation for why the hell the heavens are silent:


1.       Intelligence nukes itself

2.       Intelligent species hide

3.       Intelligent species don’t hide but they don’t speak because

a.       They don’t care what we think

b.      They don’t want to tell us what they already know

c.       They don’t want to interfere with our evolution

d.      All intelligent species eventually turn in on themselves

e.      They operate on a different timescale and speed scale than we do

f.        It wastes too much energy

g.       The notion disagrees with the dominant religious meme

4.       Intelligent species don’t build visible structures because

a.       They don’t need to:

                                                               i.      They find plenty of energy without it

                                                             ii.      There is a good thermodynamic reason why it is impractical

                                                            iii.      There aren’t enough metals in general

                                                           iv.      The metals are best used for something else

                                                             v.      It disagrees with a dominant religious meme

b.      It attracts predator civilizations

c.       They convert all available matter into energy

d.      It is much harder than it looks

5.       Intelligent species do build mega-scale projects but we don’t see them because

a.       We don’t know how

b.      They are too far away (intelligent life is extremely rare)

c.       It exists outside our light cone

d.      They hide it (might be a subset of 2)

e.      The structures are almost all in the core of the galaxy because

                                                               i.      There are a lot more stars there

                                                             ii.      There is a lot more metal available

                                                            iii.      Structure-capable species soon move there, abandoning the galactic outskirts

6.       There isn’t any intelligent species out there because

a.       Evolution is far harder than it looks

b.      There hasn’t been enough time for much of it to evolve

c.       Our definition of intelligence is wrong

d.      Civilizations are short-lived always (a variation on 1)


As I do this exercise, it occurs to me that this whole exercise must be redundant.  The idea is so obvious that someone else has already thought of it a long time ago and created a protocol.  Anyone know where that is to be found and who invented it?  The Fermi Paradox should have its own taxonomy.  




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