Re: Fermi's paradox and observer selection effects?

From: Mike Dougherty (
Date: Tue Jan 10 2006 - 10:54:05 MST

It could also be argued that the mass(es) on which we live are the spent
fuel of some other race, and that they have no more interest in using our
planet (or contacting us at all) than we would have if we noticed that some
germs were multiplying in the ashes after our campfire burned out.

So we're a bunch of noisily flapping meatbots.. Does it matter if there is
no one out there to talk to us or if there is but they don't want to? As
long as we continue working to improve our situation by our own
measurements, then it doesn't matter if anyone else notices or cares.

On 1/10/06, Psy Kosh <> wrote:
> 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
> somesuch.
> 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? :)
> Psy-Kosh

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