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ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!



The Drake Equation suggests there should be billions of planets with life in our galaxy, with thousands or millions of them hosting intelligent life.

Enter the Fermi Paradox, which can be summed up as ďwhere the gently caress are all the aliens?Ē

One suggested answer is ďthe great filter,Ē an event or tendency that destroys civilizations before they reach the stars.

Should the great filter hypothesis be true, there are really only three results that apply to humans.

We could be first. As in, we are the first to achieve a level of technology that allows us to both announce our presence and seek for signs of others who do likewise. This is considered unlikely, as our solar system is relatively young.

We could be special. Maybe we passed the great filter already! Perhaps life is far more rare than we think, for example, and just by existing we win. This is, IMO, wishful thinking.

Or we could be truly and utterly hosed. The great filter is ahead of us, and our hopes of passing it are slim. Itís easy to imagine doomsday scenarios. Nuclear war. Climate change. Gamma bursts. Supernovae. Advanced aliens who consume all life they find, and here we are broadcasting our location at max volume. Whatever.

Of course, the great filter is just a hypothetical. It may not be real.

What do YOU think?

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ate shit on live tv
Feb 15, 2004



I think it's a question of time. Even if there are millions of life bearing planets, it's only been a relatively small amount of time, <100yrs, that we were able to detect, let alone announce our presence to anything that could be listening. If there is an ancient intelligent race that could both receive and respond to our transmissions, they'd have to be within 100ly of us to even have a chance of detection. With the Milky Way galaxy being 100,000 light years across, and us being in a relatively sparse arm of it, I think it's a very small chance that all of those conditions are true. Even if there was a bunch of intelligent life out there.

There is also only aroudn 34 or so "earth-like" planets within 50light years of us, and I'd bet there are 100times more within 500 lightyears of us. So maybe in 1000years time, to allow for two way communications, if we still haven't found any evidence of intelligent extraterrastrial life, then maybe we start considering the implications of Fermi. Until then, it's too early to say.

Anti-Citizen
Oct 24, 2007
As You're Playing Chess, I'm Playing Russian Roulette

The original drake equation seems a little optimistic.

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ab8225
This counting concludes that chemical life couldn't really exist before Gen 1 stars were around. There's just not enough heavy metals and gun that we use to do fun complex organic processes. I don't remember how early in Gen 1 our Sun is, but life seems to have popped up here as soon as it could which means we're looking at about the timeline for life as we know it being a thing, give or take a few million years which really cuts down on the amount of planets that can have life on them. In this study their lower bond is 36 with an upper limit of like 200 in our galaxy. This would go a long way to explain why the place isn't as noisy as the original Drake Equation implied.

Also, Microbe universe seems fairly likely, Macroscopic life could just be a fluke, who knows.

timp
Sep 18, 2007

Everything is in my control


Lipstick Apathy

OP the reason we havenít found aliens is because of Jesus

Pentecoastal Elites
Feb 27, 2007




one interesting idea I heard is that when you're a mature civilization that starts getting concerned about living into deep time, sooner or later you realize the entire stellar era is too short to be worth loving around in so you pack everything up and head towards the nearest supermassive black hole so you can get ready to build your ultra-low-energy computer to upload yourselves into after the main sequence stars burn out and computation is cheap and not as hot and stretch out into heat death (or find something else to do).

Which implies that if you want to meet aliens the quickest way is to head towards sag a* where you'll find everyone tailgating the stelliferous era

mcbexx
Jul 4, 2004

British dentistry is
not on trial here!




We are at a point where the space debris orbiting earth could soon prevent future space exploration for good.

The Kessler syndrome

Honky Dong Country
Feb 11, 2015



And spacex wants to put a shitload of satellites up there lmao

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!



timp posted:

OP the reason we havenít found aliens is because of Jesus

I guess he didn't die for their sins, the speciest fucker.

Anti-Citizen posted:

The original drake equation seems a little optimistic.

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ab8225
This counting concludes that chemical life couldn't really exist before Gen 1 stars were around. There's just not enough heavy metals and gun that we use to do fun complex organic processes. I don't remember how early in Gen 1 our Sun is, but life seems to have popped up here as soon as it could which means we're looking at about the timeline for life as we know it being a thing, give or take a few million years which really cuts down on the amount of planets that can have life on them. In this study their lower bond is 36 with an upper limit of like 200 in our galaxy. This would go a long way to explain why the place isn't as noisy as the original Drake Equation implied.

Also, Microbe universe seems fairly likely, Macroscopic life could just be a fluke, who knows.

I hadn't seen this research into refining the Drake Equation. That's really cool and I like it a lot. It makes the Great Filter seem far less likely, so I'm down for that.

And major developments in life are always a key supposition in the "We're special" resolution to the Great Filter. Is life itself rare to form? How about jumping from single-cell to multi-cellular? How about gaining intelliegence? Evolution isn't a forward push, after all. Side-grades or even downgrades in developmental stages are common. It's all about finding the most successful niche, not being "better".

ate shit on live tv
Feb 15, 2004



mcbexx posted:

We are at a point where the space debris orbiting earth could soon prevent future space exploration for good.

The Kessler syndrome

The main issue with worrying about that causing space exploration being impossible is this: "However, even a catastrophic Kessler scenario at LEO would pose minimal risk for launches continuing past LEO, or satellites travelling at medium Earth orbit (MEO) or geosynchronous orbit (GEO). The catastrophic scenarios predict an increase in the number of collisions per year, as opposed to a physically impassable barrier to space exploration that occurs in higher orbits."

Like we shouldn't be "polluting LEO" with poo poo, but it's also not an intractable problem. If we really needed to, it would absolutely be possible to cleanup the various orbits.

Ocean Acidification? Huge problem not easily fixed. Cleaning up a beach? Trivial compared to the former. The Kessler Syndrome is more like needing to clean up the beach and less like causing mass oceanic extinction.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



I mentioned this in the existential risk thread in D&D but I think it's likely that climate change is the great filter and insurmountable.

The evolutionary paradigm necessitates a balance between competition and cooperation. The competitiveness necessary to reach the point of space travel leads to pollution being treated as an externality. Getting ahead of the other tribe will take priority over preserving the environment. No species can master fire without choking itself to death.

Pentecoastal Elites
Feb 27, 2007




Harold Fjord posted:

I mentioned this in the existential risk thread in D&D but I think it's likely that climate change is the great filter and insurmountable.

The evolutionary paradigm necessitates a balance between competition and cooperation. The competitiveness necessary to reach the point of space travel leads to pollution being treated as an externality. Getting ahead of the other tribe will take priority over preserving the environment. No species can master fire without choking itself to death.

that's just capitalism, op

the same way we've figured out that we shouldn't poo poo into our potable water supply we also figured out that we shouldn't burn so much oil we're going to cook ourselves to death but we can't fix it because capitalism won and we are dominated by the profit motive. this could have been very different in our own history and even if we die in boiling seas there's no reason to think any other species might be as shortsighted and loving idiotic as ourselves

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



Pentecoastal Elites posted:

that's just capitalism, op

the same way we've figured out that we shouldn't poo poo into our potable water supply we also figured out that we shouldn't burn so much oil we're going to cook ourselves to death but we can't fix it because capitalism won and we are dominated by the profit motive. this could have been very different in our own history and even if we die in boiling seas there's no reason to think any other species might be as shortsighted and loving idiotic as ourselves

I get that, I don't think it's an avoidable problem for species who can get to the point where space travel is possible.

Pentecoastal Elites
Feb 27, 2007




That seems like a lot of huge leaps to make from a sample size of exactly 1 (and we are not actually extinct yet) and again, if our own history was even slightly different in a few minor ways we might have avoided climate catastrophe entirely.

I don't see why getting to space travel might require tribal conflict as per the evolutionary paradigm (???), or why it or "the balance between competition and cooperation" (???) would demand pollution be treated as an externality to the point where it would cause extinction.

Sounds like a bunch of psudeophilosophical doombrained nonsense to me, sorry bud

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



Bonobos don't have capitalism or space travel. I'm not pretending I can prove any of the rest of this.

Another point would be that we were fortunate enough to also have fossil fuel but it's not clear that's always going to be an option for intelligent species and without them I'm not sure industrialization even happens. So you don't get space travel but also don't doom yourselves.

Maybe a bonobo type civilization will make it to space the slow way, where they create dense fuel themselves from massive community owed solar farms. I hope so!

Harold Fjord fucked around with this message at 20:50 on Feb 24, 2021

Big Dick Cheney
Mar 30, 2007


FTL travel is impossible and no civilization thinks that floating through space for 20,000 years to get somewhere else is worth it

mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


Harold Fjord posted:

Bonobos don't have capitalism or space travel. I'm not pretending I can prove any of the rest of this.

Another point would be that we were fortunate enough to also have fossil fuel but it's not clear that's always going to be an option for intelligent species and without them I'm not sure industrialization even happens. So you don't get space travel but also don't doom yourselves.

Maybe a bonobo type civilization will make it to space the slow way, where they create dense fuel themselves from massive community owed solar farms. I hope so!

i've never bought the idea that industrialization requires fossil fuels and planets without fossil fuels could never go through the process. wood or a wood analogue. can do anything that fossil fuels can do if a population is either kept small or doesn't demand ridiculous hypercapitalist inflation.

Mooey Cow
Jan 27, 2018



Pillbug

Big Dick Cheney posted:

FTL travel is impossible and no civilization thinks that floating through space for 20,000 years to get somewhere else is worth it

With a constant 1 G acceleration you can get anywhere in the universe within a human lifespan.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!



Mooey Cow posted:

With a constant 1 G acceleration you can get anywhere in the universe within a human lifespan.

I'm not sure why you think that. The speed of light is still a hard barrier as we know it. The furthest star we can see with the naked eye is 16,000+ light years away. It would take 16k years at light speed to get there assuming we're stationary in relation to one another, although it's more probable the distance is growing.

With tech, we can see much, much further. EDIT: Hubble has seen something 9 billion light years away.

And I'm not even gonna touch the energy requirements to continually accelerate to light speed, as mass increases as you approach it. It takes more energy to maintain acceleration the faster you go.

EDIT 2: Unless this is one of those gotcha "oh well I'm technically correct because it's true if you somehow discount the lightspeed barrier"

ConfusedUs fucked around with this message at 21:58 on Feb 24, 2021

spacetoaster
Feb 10, 2014




There might be other civilizations out there, but I don't think the universe/galaxy is packed with them. I also think the absolutely VAST distances prevent any easy contact.

It's over 100,000 light years to the other side of our galaxy. Even if there's a civilization significantly more advanced that us it doesn't mean that they are able to do anything other than send out probes that take centuries to reach other places.

Mooey Cow
Jan 27, 2018



Pillbug

I'm correct because I know more about space. The faster you go the shorter the distance you're travelling becomes. Furthermore observatories have seen things over 13 billion lightyears away, but that is simply the time it took for light to get here and the actual distances to the objects are several times larger.

a few DRUNK BONERS
Mar 25, 2016



Big Dick Cheney posted:

FTL travel is impossible and no civilization thinks that floating through space for 20,000 years to get somewhere else is worth it

why should aliens exist on our time scale?

if there are space traveling aliens they would probably be extremely slow. our lives (and our entire civilization) would be utterly insignificant and pass by in an instant.

uftheory
May 30, 2003



ConfusedUs posted:

I'm not sure why you think that. The speed of light is still a hard barrier as we know it. The furthest star we can see with the naked eye is 16,000+ light years away. It would take 16k years at light speed to get there assuming we're stationary in relation to one another, although it's more probable the distance is growing.

With tech, we can see much, much further. EDIT: Hubble has seen something 9 billion light years away.

And I'm not even gonna touch the energy requirements to continually accelerate to light speed, as mass increases as you approach it. It takes more energy to maintain acceleration the faster you go.

EDIT 2: Unless this is one of those gotcha "oh well I'm technically correct because it's true if you somehow discount the lightspeed barrier"

He isn't wrong....when calculating the distance light takes to reach us from a star we are measuring from the (relatively) static planet we reside on and end up with very large amounts of time. The occupants of a space craft moving at very high speed however would experience severe time dilation resulting in their clocks running slower then those on earth. So while a starship with a constant 1g of acceleration could circumnavigate the known universe in a human lifetime according to its occupants, billions of years would have passed on earth.

Here is a wiki article with a neat graph showing how far you could travel using 1g of acceleration (which has the added benefit of feeling like earth gravity to the folks in the ship). This doesn't in anyway discount the lightspeed barrier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_travel_using_constant_acceleration

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!



uftheory posted:

He isn't wrong....when calculating the distance light takes to reach us from a star we are measuring from the (relatively) static planet we reside on and end up with very large amounts of time. The occupants of a space craft moving at very high speed however would experience severe time dilation resulting in their clocks running slower then those on earth. So while a starship with a constant 1g of acceleration could circumnavigate the known universe in a human lifetime according to its occupants, billions of years would have passed on earth.

Here is a wiki article with a neat graph showing how far you could travel using 1g of acceleration (which has the added benefit of feeling like earth gravity to the folks in the ship). This doesn't in anyway discount the lightspeed barrier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_travel_using_constant_acceleration

That's rad as gently caress

Phanatic
Mar 13, 2007

Please don't forget that I am an extremely racist idiot who also has terrible opinions about the Culture series.


mcbexx posted:

We are at a point where the space debris orbiting earth could soon prevent future space exploration for good.

The Kessler syndrome

Kessler syndrome is enormously overblown as a threat and it would absolutely not prevent future space exploration for good. Itís a problem that if we were serious about fixing, we could fix it. Solutions are current-day technically possible.

ConfusedUs posted:

With tech, we can see much, much further. EDIT: Hubble has seen something 9 billion light years away.

Hubble has observed objects that are over 30 billion light years away; the boundary of the observable universe is about 45 billion ly away.

The distance scales involved in expanding throughout the universe is enormous but they're compensated for by the time scales involved being enormous. If you can build self-replicating probes that can achieve even 10% of c, you can spread them across the entire galaxy in about a million years. Given an aggressively-expanding civilization, spreading across the universe could be done in several billion years. And all it takes is one, but there are apparently none. The answer can't just be "space is too big."

I like the answer Charlie Stross comes up with in Accelerando: matter is cheap but bandwidth is expensive, so post-Singularity entities just turn the mass of their solar systems into computronium and sit around simulating everything, there's no *point* in going anywhere.

Phanatic fucked around with this message at 23:42 on Feb 24, 2021

emf
Jul 31, 2002





ur fav arxiv Fermi Paradox / Drake Equation papers
A Statistical Estimation of the Occurrence of Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the Milky Way Galaxy
They're all dead, [ed: and so too will we be.]

emf fucked around with this message at 02:27 on Feb 25, 2021

wilfredmerriweathr
Jul 11, 2005


Tailgating the stelliferous area is a loving cool rear end phrase and mental image.

Salt Fish
Sep 11, 2003
WANTING A VACCINE DOES NOT MAKE SOMEONE AN ANTIVAXXER, DUMBASS

Cybernetic Crumb

Being able to travel the universe freely and realizing its the same everywhere and soooooo boring happen at the same point in a civilization.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!



Phanatic posted:


I like the answer Charlie Stross comes up with in Accelerando: matter is cheap but bandwidth is expensive, so post-Singularity entities just turn the mass of their solar systems into computronium and sit around simulating everything, there's no *point* in going anywhere.

Simulation theory seriously looks more and more plausible to me with every passing year, honestly. But that's neat.

Phanatic
Mar 13, 2007

Please don't forget that I am an extremely racist idiot who also has terrible opinions about the Culture series.


ConfusedUs posted:

Simulation theory seriously looks more and more plausible to me with every passing year, honestly. But that's neat.

Book's available under a free license as well, it's worth a read:

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/fiction/accelerando/accelerando-intro.html

Fiddler on the Reef
Apr 29, 2011




The galaxy is teeming with life. We just haven't detected it because the only way to communicate in space is point to point and omnidirectional signals degrade within a few lightyears. A filter doesn't make sense when it appears that it takes less than 1,000 years after hitting the Information Age to develop to the point where interstellar travel becomes both feasible and cheap enough.

Like step one of any sufficiently advanced society would be to decentralize and gtfo of your solar system by sending a few million generational ships in all directions. This must have happened already.

mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


Fiddler on the Reef posted:

The galaxy is teeming with life. We just haven't detected it because the only way to communicate in space is point to point and omnidirectional signals degrade within a few lightyears. A filter doesn't make sense when it appears that it takes less than 1,000 years after hitting the Information Age to develop to the point where interstellar travel becomes both feasible and cheap enough.

Like step one of any sufficiently advanced society would be to decentralize and gtfo of your solar system by sending a few million generational ships in all directions. This must have happened already.

i like thought experiments as much as anyone but there are a lot of assumptions here?

Fiddler on the Reef
Apr 29, 2011




lotta assumptions but reasonable.

big one is that itís a short time to cheap space tech. I think thatís reasonable given the pace of innovation over the past 100 yrs and the exponential nature of technological development (ray kurzweilís spiel).

given that I think the only filter that might be consistent enough to have affected all species to date is self destruction. on the way to developing cheap space tech a whole host of bad stuff also becomes cheap (verner vingeís spiel) and sometime before decentralization occurs some goon creates a designer virus that wipes out the species (a la 12 monkeys).

the main takeaway here is that I consume too much bad science fiction.

Fiddler on the Reef
Apr 29, 2011




genrational ships would be pretty rad and I think the technology to build it would require incredible control of organic life since organic life is the only thing that exists on this planet that can last for hundreds of thousands of years (via self replication). Like metal and semiconductors just arenít gonna cut it since they degrade and donít self replicate, nor will they ever self replicate imo since if we want self replicating technology weíll use what already exists to develop it: organic matter. if I was younger I would study bioengineering.

Fiddler on the Reef fucked around with this message at 21:38 on Feb 25, 2021

Pentecoastal Elites
Feb 27, 2007




No reason you couldn't build self-healing systems that operated over metal and semiconductor and cut your probe's working weight down by 99.999...% and have the chance to see if there anything actually interesting at your destination before cramming a bunch of people into a ship and lighting the fuse.
Or just store everything as data (or eggs and sperm, I guess) and have your machines cook up a batch of colonists planetside. ezpz.

There's a lot of reasons to not have bulky, boring, fallible generation ships. It's also a lot to ask of people!

Also too there might be psychological/social incentives against sending out a million generation ships in every which way. If your species grew up around, say, hydrothermal vents, the only thing you might ever be interested in is crowding around your home star because doing anything else has meant death for the last sixty million years.

wilderthanmild
Jun 21, 2010

Posting shit



Grimey Drawer

Fiddler on the Reef posted:

genrational ships would be pretty rad and I think the technology to build it would require incredible control of organic life since organic life is the only thing that exists on this planet that can last for hundreds of thousands of years (via self replication). Like metal and semiconductors just arenít gonna cut it since they degrade and donít self replicate, nor will they ever self replicate imo since if we want self replicating technology weíll use what already exists to develop it: organic matter. if I was younger I would study bioengineering.

You don't necessarily need anything to last hundreds of thousands of years. Nuclear pulse propulsion could theoretically reach nearby stars in a human lifetime.

Fiddler on the Reef
Apr 29, 2011




I guess but Iím having trouble envisioning a self healing metal that isnít just many many layers of redundancy. Though I donít know anything about it.

I think generational ships make sense: in order to guarantee survival of your species you donít want to be dependent on a planet or solar system to survive. You want to live in space. Itís way too easy for an enemy to send a few relativistic bullets your way and wipe out your species without them. Also if indeed the galaxy is teeming with life your probes are gonna have a hard time finding any suitable planets that arenít already occupied.

Fiddler on the Reef fucked around with this message at 21:57 on Feb 25, 2021

Fiddler on the Reef
Apr 29, 2011




wilderthanmild posted:

You don't necessarily need anything to last hundreds of thousands of years. Nuclear pulse propulsion could theoretically reach nearby stars in a human lifetime.

ya but wonít random space pebbles obliterate your ship?

spacetoaster
Feb 10, 2014




You can't really get any more self-healing/self-replicating/compact bang for your buck (energy) than biology.

Maybe a giant conch shell ship like the Tyranids.

Also, how many civilizations to they think have happened? Millions? Surely out of that big of a number thousands would have made it out into the universe. Or maybe......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppQWYU2B7x8

Fiddler on the Reef
Apr 29, 2011




Fiddler on the Reef posted:

Also if indeed the galaxy is teeming with life your probes are gonna have a hard time finding any suitable planets that arenít already occupied.

which makes me wonder why our planet hasnít already been occupied before we evolved. crap.

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Bloody
Mar 3, 2013



were the occupation

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