Billy Brown wrote:
> Unrealistic Technology Expectations [....]
> Short Time Horizons [....]
> Insufficent Appreciation of the Effects of Diversity [....]
> Exaggerated Respect for the Immensity of Space [....]
> Exaggerated Sense of Mortality[....]
Four possibile explanations for the Fermi Paradox:
(1) The Greener Pastures Exodus: This is more specific (and weaker) of the two explanations. The GPE theory states that as civilizations climb up the technology ladder they invariably identify some Goal or Objective to pursue. This Goal or Objective can be a host of goals, it might even vary from civilization to civilization, but invariably civilizations realize that the "settings" of our universe are not optimal. Assuming creating your own universe is more efficient than overhauling an existing one, the civilizations take the plunge. There are problems with this explanation, not the least of which is: (a) What about the members of the civilization that don't want to take the plunge but instead want to engage in megascale engineering projects? The only explanation would be that they too eventually succumb to the GPE theory before making any major (visible) progress. (2) The Redundant Universe: This theory postulates that the cost/benefit ratio of exploring the universe at length works against large scale exploration and/or colonization. Technically, if a civilization developed a working Theory of Everything, there would be no knowledge they could acquire in deep space that they couldn't ascertain through thought expirements, actual expirements, etc. In short, the protons on Earth are the same as the protons on Planet X. Robust uploading or virtual reality capabilities would allow the satisfaction of any aesthetic desire, making "star treks" poor planning. (3) The Singleton: I think Nick Bostrom coined this idea (I could be wrong) and I may butcher it beyond recognition in my explanation. Basically, the singleton hypothesis states that as an intelligent system increases its intelligence, it will invariably converge on an optimal intelligent state. Any civilization/entity questing for superintelligence will converge upon this optimal state and presumably have similar goals and objectives (I suppose GPE theory is a permutation of this concept). While we have no clue what such a SI would want to do with its time (other than continue to optimize), if it did not involve exploration (e.g., a combination with the Redundant Universe theory) then unless the SI developed in our cosmic backyard we might not ever get a chance to notice it. (4) The Republican House Theory: Or it could simply be that the civilization's conservative controlled House of Representantives cut its space exploration budget by 1.3 billion space bucks so they can not afford to explore space.
Have at it.