Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Loving The Alien

The Fermi Paradox:

Click to tweet: http://clicktotweet.com/9ovK1 .  There are sextillions of stars in the Universe, quadrillions of which are like the Sun and around many of these orbit Earth-like planets.  Given all that, where the heck are all the aliens?  This thought is called the Fermi Paradox, first voiced by the physicist Enrico Fermi over half a century ago.  A number of answers have been given:

1. There is something like Star Trek's "Prime Directive" in force (Star Trek and the Prime Directive are copyright Paramount - no infringement intended).  This is the idea of an ethic preventing interference with our civilisation.  This is a somewhat elaborate idea which follows from a lot more assumptions than the others.

2. There are no aliens and we are alone in the Universe, possibly because Earth-like planets are rare.  I was planning to say a lot more about this, so i'll probably do a separate video on this.  The idea is basically that the conditions which enabled a technological species to evolve here are very rare for carious reasons.  This is known as the Rare Earth Hypothesis.

3. They are here, but in disguise.  That is, it's possible that aliens visit this planet all the time but given that their technology is capable of travelling interstellar distances, it is also clearly going to be capable of making itself invisible, or alternatively, that there are simulacra of human beings among us.  In fact, it has occasionally been suggested that I am an alien.  Heaven forfend!  UFOs ("flying saucers") are problematic for this reason, and therefore i believe most of them are either misidentifications of well-known phenomena or secret military aircraft.  If they wanted to be seen, they would be.

4. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Each civilisation notices the suspicious silence of the skies and acts accordingly out of caution.

5 (Am i keeping in step with the video numbers here?).  Civilisations are short-lived because they do something to wipe themselves out, like steer an asteroid into orbit and accidentally crash it into their planet, build technological systems so complex that they can't control them, wage nuclear war, suffer from the Grey Goo Scenario and so on.  Therefore we don't have long to spot them and will very shortly go the way of the dinosaurs ourselves.

6. They don't care, either because they're not like us, they're enlightened spiritually and have no interest in such worldly things or they spend all their time on an extraterrestrial equivalent of Facebook in cyberspace.

7. We're in a nature reserve and are being observed by aliens.  This is a kind of combination of (1) and (2).

8. We've not been looking long enough or our technology is incompatible with their signals.

9. It's too expensive to travel to other star systems - maybe we could hitch-hike?

Ten.  Sorry, i can't remember.  Clearly i'm going to have to come back to this.

All images licenced under Creative Commons version 3.0, sources Celestia, Wikipedia, Wikimedia and own work.


I forgot to mention the most important thing here, but i'll include it later on another one.

OK, so yesterday's experiment seemed to show that nobody reads this blog.  This is of course my intention.  The question is, what do i do now?  Should i try to put things on it that people will read?  Should it just become an adjunct to my internal musings?  The thing is, it could be made useful, but the problem with it becoming useful is that if it's not going to be read, which was of course deliberate, nobody will read any of the useful stuff either.  I should probably look at analytics and work out what appeals.

OK.  For some reason, 'Eye In The Sky' had five dozen and ten views.  This is the fifth most popular blog entry on here.  I think it's got traffic from YouTube.  One thing i never do with this blog is link to it in the descriptions on YT.  Sometimes i think i should.  However, they tend to repeat the description and do little else, so i would feel a bit shamefaced about that.  Did i link from the video on that one?

I don't know.  Right now i feel i would like people to read this occasionally but why invest any emotion in it?

Should i just give up on this or try to add value to the videos with it?  Or maybe split it off from the videos entirely?

You know, it would really help me if occasionally someone commented.  Right now i'm just floating in a void with this place.  What would you like to see on it?