Re: Burning Cosmic Commons (was: ... Fermi's Paradox?)

den Otter (
Tue, 9 Mar 1999 01:54:57 +0100

> From: David Blenkinsop <>
> What I really notice here is that the above comment from Billy Brown seems to
> suggest that an obstacle of something being "a few orders of magnitude more
> expensive" would necessarily be overcome eventually, maybe taking only a "few
> hundred years" at most before the cost barrier is reduced to something
> manageable. The trouble with cost barriers is that, if the cost of breaking
> through the barrier is too high, maybe no one will do it! As the old saying
> says, "you have to walk before you can run"; what if most would-be space
> travellers never learn to "walk"?

This would assume that the ETs in question would "never" invent (practical) nanotech, which is rather unlikely. Needless to say, with something like nanotech the "cost" of space travel would drop enormously. Besides, even with today's tech one could colonize the universe, it would only take somewhat longer. I really can't imagine that choosing to remain stuck on one dirtball would be the default choice for advanced races. The aggression and pioneering spirit that made them the dominant species on their homeworld would surely keep driving them onwards in search of new territory, (virtually) no matter what the costs. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes perfect sense.

So, where are they? Beats me...