Fermi's paradox and observer selection effects?

From: Psy Kosh (psykosh@gmail.com)
Date: Tue Jan 10 2006 - 01:04:20 MST

Just a wee bit of wild speculation I had:

Let's consider universes in which some other intelligent species
developed slightly before us, sent out Non Newman replicators or

Well, if they had, then we'd expect to see such probes and perhaps
them all over... But wait, if they were, especially via the Von Newman
spamming of the galaxy, including our own personal favorite planet,
where would we evolve?

ie, I'm going to suggest the possibility that once at least one
species has spammed the galaxy with replicators or themselves or
something, then it'd be much less likely that human (or human like)
life could then develop, since the resources of the world would
already be in the process of being munched on by the replicators and
or the members of the species themselves. Any galaxy already taken
over would have less places and/or opportunity for something
"essentially like us" (leave it to you do decide what the proper
reference class is here) to develop.

So we may then be able to validly say that we have no right to be
supprised at the lack of signs of such, since the lack of such may be
a near prequesite for us existing.

Of course, we'd also expect as a prior "number of galaxies in all
possible universes with something showing up sufficiently before
humans to 'take over' before we show up" > "number of galaxies in
which we're among the first, sufficiently early at least that
nothing's 'taken over' yet."

So the exact relation of p(humans developing | someone else took over
first) * p(someone else took first) vs p(humans developing | noone
took over first) * p(no one took over first) is the question. My claim
is that the second conditional is significantly larger than the first,
and my wild eyed speculation is that the ratio is sufficiently large
compared to the ratio of the first prior to the second that we
shouldn't actually be supprised at, well, at the Fermi "paradox"

Or is this all just complete nonsense? :)


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