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Monday, March 03, 2008

The Laughter in the Next Room

I think the answer to the Fermi Paradox is that we're not invited to the party because too many of us are boring jerks.

1 comment:

jfehlinger said...

Indeed, that's a good answer. Or, that we're just not grown
up enough yet for the grownups' table.

Popular sci-fi is full of this "answer" to the Fermi Paradox --
Star Trek's "Prime Directive" (suggesting that we too would
take such an approach if we were to visit other worlds);
the attitudes of various advanced races in various Star Trek
episodes -- the Metrons ("Arena"), the Organians ("Errand of Mercy"),
the Thasians ("Charlie X"), the Melkotians ("Spectre of the Gun");
the galactics in Carl Sagan's _Contact_ and the movie thereof
("Small steps, Ellie, small steps."), the caution of the Contact
section of Iain Banks' "Culture".

Why is it that the >Hist types take the "Paradox" so seriously? --
assuming that if "they" exist at all, they would **certainly**
have taken over all the real estate by now. Some sort of
Ayn Randian projection?

Of course, maybe there are galactic jihadists, and we've just
been luckily out of their way so far. I think I like David Brin's
ET's best of all -- nastily Realpolitik, from a contemporary
human point of view, and at the same time paying (more or less
hypocritical) lip service to a properly cosmic, enlightened
philosophy as espoused in the Galactic Institutes. Just steer
clear of those Tandu and Soro!