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I can't handle stupid people anymore

Asclepius

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Stupid people have always been in power like the land rapers, the huge banking systems that are corrupt to their core etc etc........
The people in power have never given a toss about 99% of the rest & that is the way it's been for many years.

As you asked above about if you should sit back & watch it burn I say yes, the time we are in is the final day sadly.
I used to think "God" was writing the last chapter, these days I think his writing the final word.
What if I told you 99perc of your peers feel the same as the 1% - most (not all) given the chance would sell you/me out, because their values are wrapped up in the values of the society they are so dependent on to feel validated; to feel like someone/thing. Many have not even throught about who they are - just 'lucky' by default. scary thought, scary reality. This 1% nonsense has led us to a common enemy and herded us politically to not question the very culture we inhabit - very powerful stuff because, we buy it. Us vs. them - the elite vs. the rich, left v.s right - handy tactics for political pensions. Blaming without action is complying -' I dont like how that makes me feel' but im powerless to do anything - I have NO power. Easy. Its an easy life to point fingers and be smug in your victimisation.
 
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JessFR

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^ The Fermi Paradox is a quite frequently misunderstood concept. It doesn't assume that there are no other intelligent species in the universe, nor is this implied by the assumptions on which the Fermi Paradox is based.

In fact one of the primary assumptions of the Fermi Paradox is that the conditions required to give rise to both life and indeed, intelligent, possibly spacefaring extraterrestrial civilisations should be quite common - speaking on cosmological scales, given the apparent size and age of the universe. This is why it's a paradox - if one were to assume that intelligent, technologically capable life is not common, then the fact that we have not seen any evidence of this is not surprising, so there is no paradox.

I don't think it makes sense to say that the Fermi Paradox is "stupid" or "lacks credibility" because it isn't an argument, or even a theory, and it doesn't pretend to be either. It's just a conceptual basis for discussion about how hard or easy it is for intelligence to evolve, develop technology, venture into space, and survive in the long term, all of which are by no means clear, and besides being fertile ground for interesting discussion, these are important questions with answers that are directly relevant to the future of our own species.

You might reasonably say that you think a given solution to the paradox is stupid - for example, that Earth is the only planet in the universe on which life evolved. There are of course several possible alternative solutions which you have mentioned, and these solutions generally do mean that some of the basic assumptions of the Fermi Paradox are incorrect. Personally I would generally agree with you that it seems likely that there are other intelligent species in the universe (whether "many" or not), but that advanced technology at the level required to establish lasting interstellar civilisations is likely quite rare - this is probably the solution widely considered the most credible at the moment.

But this doesn't mean that the assumptions on which the Fermi Paradox is based were or are stupid, even if you personally consider them to be overly optimistic. We just don't have enough knowledge of the universe, or of what is physically or technologically possible, to know either way.
Admitidly I might be unfairly critical of the concept because of poor ways I've seen it used and argued. Though I still dispute that it's a paradox at all or has much meaningful to say.

Even if there are a great many intelligent civilizations in the universe, and I believe there most likely are, that doesn't make it a paradox that we haven't had any contact. Because there's no requirement of the universe that contact be easy, or that interstellar or intergalactic travel be feasible, or that said life not be so spread out that while the total number of civilizations may be many, most might be nowhere near each other.
 

Vastness

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^ These things you propose are of course possible solutions :) - however the paradox, in essence, says:

IF intelligent life is common* enough in the universe that it has arisen before in our own galaxy more than once, and
IF the barriers to developing interstellar travel are not too* high, and most* species who can develop this technology, do develop it
IF the universe is so big and old...

Then even at a relatively slow pace of interstellar travel, a civilisation with a couple of million year head start on us could have colonised the galaxy by now, and there should have been many civilisations with this opportunity. Given that this evidently has not happened, where is everybody?

* Admittedly, there is some ambiguity in the first 2 IFs above because they both use vague quantifiers ("common", "too", "most") without any actual units or figures attached to them. However for what it's worth I believe that the Fermi Paradox as commonly understood is a sort of dumbed down version of the original idea, which was presented in an article published in an astrophysical journal, and included much more specific figures, upper and lower bounds for the various relevant "IFs" as well as probability estimates derived from this.


Obviously there is another possible solution, that in fact, one or multiple intelligent species have colonised the galaxy, but they are using some kind of technology that is outside our understanding of known physics, such that the markers we think we should be able to see for high tech (waste infrared heat, the occasional leaky data transmission, evidence of megascale engineering) is just not there, but this is, IMO, less interesting to discuss because if it is the case there's just no way we can tell with our current understanding of physics.

I don't mean to nitpick here, and I don't think we really disagree, just personally I do like the Fermi Paradox because it is quite easily palatable to those without much interest in delving into the science behind it - even if it is quite often misrepresented.

If you or anyone else is interested in plugging some numbers into their assumptions though, you can do so using the Drake Equation - http://www.astrodigital.org/astronomy/drake_equation.html - the default values used on that page actually end up with a result that any "broadcasting" civilisation further away than 21000 light years would not yet be detectable, which obviously is not that far on cosmological scales, and seems plausible to me.
 

F.U.B.A.R.

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What never seems to be considered is that perhaps Earth is the very first planet in this universe to harbour intelligent life. In a Universe of finite age (as ours appears to be), there has to be a first time for everything.

Or perhaps, there can be only one...
 

Shady's Fox

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Can you stop the Fermi theory

and all the sciene papers worked

There are apex predators right?.. we got animals/plants some air bacteries/a few invention of our test and that's it, all this with material which hasn't been confirmed( even though in the mendeleev's periodic table), what they do instead is that they perfome a detalied page of what they been told and late on memory flesh..

Weird. I think we invented them and there is no way we can make them see far beyond our solar system because we haven't explored again I say 1% space. Stop.
 

Xorkoth

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What never seems to be considered is that perhaps Earth is the very first planet in this universe to harbour intelligent life. In a Universe of finite age (as ours appears to be), there has to be a first time for everything.

Or perhaps, there can be only one...
I mean it COULD be... it just seems overwhelmingly unlikely, considering the staggering vastness of the universe. There are at least 100 billion galaxies (scientists think probably a lot more but we just can't see them all), each of which has billions to hundreds of billions of stars, each of which might have planets (we have discovered that planets are typical around stars). For this one planet to be the ONLY place where intelligent life has happened... it seems so unlikely as to be nonsensical.
 

Vastness

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^ I agree it seems really unlikely, BUT there has to be a first time for everything as FUBAR said - it's also worth bearing in mind that although the universe is pretty big and old, the chemical properties of the universe have not remained constant, and the heavier elements that appear to be needed for life as we understand it did not exist for solar systems like our own to form in the early universe.

I mentioned earlier about the metallicity of the stars being a possible confounding factor (ie, the quantity of heavier elements in the universe, which were blasted into existence by ancient supernovas). Our sun is only a "third generation" star - meaning at least 2 other stars of similar lifespans* preceded it (*lifespan is important here because generally, stars similar to our own sun have other good properties for the formation of stable planetary systems, ie, not being too dim for a large habitable zone, and not being too large to obliterate the formation of a protoplanetary disk, torch any planets that do form with harsh radiation, or go supernova long before any complex life would have the chance to go far beyond the single cell stage, if that, let alone contemplate the nature of their existence or think about leaving their home planet).

So if you think about it in that sense, the universe is maybe not as old as it seems. Perhaps the universe is not yet rich enough in heavy elements for life to be abundant - but in another 10 or 20 billion years or so when the current stellar generation has burned out and reformed into Fourth generation, or even Fifth Generation, high metallicity stars, the universe will see an explosion of life bearing planets and complex life forms... :)
 

F.U.B.A.R.

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Absolutely. It took a couple of stellar generations to produce iron in sufficient quantities for our planet to have an iron core which produces the magnetosphere which helps to deflect much of the cosmic radiation detrimental to life.

The Earth's axis is tilted enough so that the average global temperature keeps water liquid over the majority of the planet.

We also happen to have a moon of sufficient mass to produce the tidal forces which heat our planet and drives plate tectonics.

We are also lucky enough to have just survived enough extinction episodes that were big enough to eliminate dominant predators, but not quite catastrophic enough to wipe out smaller, highly adaptable species which could then go on to form intelligence. Our planet seems to have been blessed with just the right conditions to favour slow, but consistant evolution (albeit with a few setbacks along the way).

I do believe that life in the universe is inevitable, but intelligent life is extremely rare, if not unique...
 

Vastness

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Oh yeah, I didn't consider about the need for iron to create a magnetosphere, that's obviously very true as well.

Just had a quick check of Wikipedia to refresh my memory about this (the "Stelliferous Era"), assuming our current theories about the expansion of the universe are correct (which of course they may not be) the Stelliferous Era - the age in which new stars can form - should last around 100 trillion years - which would allow for at least ten thousand generations of sunlike star formation. In that sense, the universe is actually very, very young, and our planet and species may well be one of the very, very early statistical outliers in the yet-to-be-written history of the emergence of life.

Of course, there may be some time during this period that the elemental balance becomes somehow unfavourable in the other direction. But it's interesting to consider also (according to that Wiki page :)) that within this era, very very distant galaxies will redshift to the point that they are no longer detectable, and after only 1 trillion years galaxies outside the local supercluster will no longer be accessible (without faster than light travel, at least).

In that sense, for species appearing later on, the visible universe will be a lot smaller than it is for us now... we are lucky to able to see as far back into the history of the universe as we can, because for the later ones the visible universe will be a smaller and darker place.

Obviously the local supercluster is still very large, and for all practical purposes the accessibility of deep, deep space is not really relevant as even intergalactic travel seems implausible even if we think reliable interstellar travel is. But it's still interesting to consider, that for some species popping up at the tail end of the Stelliferous Era that manages to flourish to the extent that they can consider going beyond their home galaxy... they will realise that they can only go so far, and the universe might begin to look small.
 

F.U.B.A.R.

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Yes. It's sad to think that one day we may be masters of our galaxy, yet have no comprehension of anything which lies beyond.

It's a fuckin headfuck, I'll tell ya...
 

Vastness

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True. I assume by "we" you mean, "we, thinking lifeforms of our universe, evolved or yet to evolve", rather than "we humans"... :p





...That said, I guess if humans manage to survive that long, it's possible by the time we develop the kind of fantastical technology we'd need to go beyond the Milky Way (although it will be "Milky Andromeda" by then), it will be too late.
 

Xorkoth

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Good point about the age of the universe producing more heavier elements. It makes sense to me that in billions of years life could be far more common. However it's still hard for me to accept the idea that with hundreds of billions of hundreds of billions of stars (that's a number so high it staggers the mind to imagine) that it would have only evolved in one place so far. It seems to me that at that sheer level of vastness, no matter how tiny the probability is, it would have to exist in multiple places. I mean is the probability of intelligent life evolving and surviving really in the order of 1/(100 billion x 100 billion)? Highly unlikely in any given scenario, yes of course. But...
 

F.U.B.A.R.

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Yes again. Whether it's us upstart humans or just a current twinkle in the galactic eye that evolves to conquer the galaxy, it's still sad to think that the obvervable universe may have shrunk beyond their comprehension.

But there will be legends. Stories of when the universe was vast and galaxies immeasurable. These legends will no doubt be viewed with scepticism, much as our ancient teachings are viewed today.

Makes ya wonder dunnit? :)
 

Vastness

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I mean is the probability of intelligent life evolving and surviving really in the order of 1/(100 billion x 100 billion)?
Who knows! We only have a sample size of 1. =D It's a fascinating question though.

What I personally think is one of the most interesting components of that question, is when intelligence evolves, what factors influence the likelihood of them discovering science and complex technology? Assuming their environment allows it.

Again, impossible to answer, but I think it's conceivable looking at human history that cultural factors relating to our innate animal tendencies might have severely inhibited our ability to override evolved, unscientific systems of thought - like those that lead to Galileo being imprisoned for daring to say the Earth orbited the sun rather than the other way round. Even today there are vast amounts of humans who unintentionally cling to quite Luddite, unscientific beliefs that inhibit our ability to move forward culturally and technologically.

And it's still possible that now or in the future our innate human pettiness might lead to catastrophic nuclear war, historically, perhaps it's conceivable that even in a pre-technological age we would have wiped ourselves out, perhaps an extremely genocidal society would reduce the gene pool to dangerously low levels before we had an understanding of what genes even are, and a poorly timed natural phenomenon like climate shift or the rise of another apex predator that was not as intelligent but was physically powerful and prolific enough to hunt us to extinction.

Of course, going back to the original question of statistics - we can imagine a range of scenarios where a species is both "civilised", ie, not prone to self-destructive tendencies, and theoretically tech-capable, but live on a world that makes this impossible, ie, covered in water or some other solvent, atmosphere too thick, gravity too strong, not enough metals to progress beyond the simplest of tools , etc, etc... perhaps a species could evolve in a small system just as it was flung into the intergalactic void by some gravitational dynamics, they evolve, survive develop advanced technology... and then find themselves a couple of billion light-years from the next nearest star, and know that even though they can see the galaxies (and, presumably, might think they are teeming with life), they are destined to be alone for a very long time...
 

Xorkoth

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Not to mention, what if the species is physically incapable of dexterous motor control to actually use tools in an advanced way (for example, dolphins seem quite intelligent, self-aware, pass the mirror test, have society and language, but when all you have is flippers, it's pretty hard to build anything).

I sometimes wonder whether self-destruction is a necessary aspect of higher intelligence, or whether our curse is due more to biological evolutionary relics of the way we evolved and the family of animals we evolved from? What about love? As humans, there are evolutionary/biological factors that make love extremely survivally advantageous, mainly the fact that our young are so immensely helpless for so long. it's necessary for humans to form powerful bonds where they act selflessly to protect each other in order for our species to survive, not only to raise young but also because our strength is in numbers and working together; individually, without technology, we're pathetically weak. So we get an oxytocin release that causes us to feel this amazing and powerful bonding emotion with others that we call love. But maybe that's unique to humans and generally the mammal kingdom on Earth? or if not unique, at least not a given.

Even with love, there are still enough humans that act selfishly to cause every civilization we've ever produced to eventually implode and crumble, and for us to have tremendous unnecessary suffering in many populations that could be prevented with benevolence.

I guess I'm just thinking about the timespan element... how long can an advanced civilization last? Ours has lasted a tiny blip so far even compared to the total time we've been a species, let alone the total time of life on Earth. So what are the odds there would be a civilization in range to actually detect or communicate, at the same time as a different one? What if there were two different "Earths" within a reasoable distance, but one of them had an early late bombardment-style period where it was molten from continuous impacts for a million years longer than another? Life seeded both planets but one didn't get a chance to develop for a million years after the other. If two advanced civilizations developed around the same time since life was able to take hold and progress, they would come to fruition around a million years apart. Unless the first civilization was able to not destroy itself, they wouldn't coexist during the same timespan, even if they were near each other.

If it's possible for an intelligent species to be stable and self-sustaining, it could last forever, if it dispersed through space so as not to be vulnerable to total extinction from a given planet's extinction-level catastrophe. But I'm not at all convinced we won't destroy ourselves given enough time, in fact I think it's more likely than not as we seem to be doing it currently. Perhaps the species with the best chance of succeeding indefinitely would be something with a hive mind where the individuals have no sense of individuality or self-preservation over the whole.
 

Vastness

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Yeah, I wonder about those things too. The animal world is in some ways a fairly brutal place, where the risk of death or critical injury is never far away... as a consequence, to survive species need to become apex predators, with both physical adaptations such as claws, sharp teeth, strength and speed, and behavioural adaptations which hardcode them to feel they need to fight and kill to survive. In our case of course the physical adaptations were not needed because of our intelligence, but the same animalistic tendencies to fight to survive remain. At least in the developed world, we've basically created an environment where for the most part, we don't need to literally fight to survive, but the rise of technological civilisation of course has happened more rapidly than it would be possible for evolution to change our hardcoded behavioural tendencies that much... Of course, this evolved, fiercely competitive side of us is also the reason we've been able to become the dominant species on the Earth, but I guess the question is, is this drive for more resources and more knowledge, to fight to survive in a harsh and amoral universe, inseparable from our tendencies towards violence and conflict with each other? I hope it is, but I think it's also possible it isn't.

There's probably a "tipping point" of sorts in in the growth of highly technologically capable civilisations - as you say, the further a species can spread, the less likely it is that it would be possible to wipe themselves out just because of the time and distances involved in interstellar travel. At some point it will become almost impossible. That is of course, unless there is something innate and deep rooted in the psyche of any higher intelligence that one way or another ends in self destruction...

I think it's very true what you say about love. For any species to survive in the long term, their chances are increased the less time and resources they waste in petty squabbles about things that are ultimately irrelevant... like what we are doing right now, a species just on the cusp of moving beyond our animalistic nature... and yet we leave countless members of our own to suffer in abject poverty, and squabble over imaginary concepts like national identity, territory, "respect" and all the tedium of global politics.


Shadowmeister said:
Perhaps the species with the best chance of succeeding indefinitely would be something with a hive mind where the individuals have no sense of individuality or self-preservation over the whole.
Very true! But we can try to emulate this now. If we all thought about what is going to be best for the future of the human race when considering our actions, the world would be a far better place. If people could put their egos aside, and think of EVERYONE else, all 7 billion of us, half of which don't even have internet access... it's a depressing situation in many ways right now, but, I try to be optimistic about the future of the human race.

In fairness to us, it's not easy to overcome our evolutionary programming, so to speak... the modern world is very outward focused, but we are learning to look within ourselves, and as our culture evolves we can see that the importance of looking within is something of which we are collectively becoming more and more aware, and we have more and more tools to do it, those tools being both physical instruments or devices, and also knowledge.

I think the rise of technology comes simultaneously with a kind of spiritual awakening of sorts... I use the word "spiritual" somewhat loosely, but I think it is applicable. Previously we had little understanding of what we were, and what the world was - but now, as well as putting reality under a microscope, we are able to look within ourselves, both in a literal sense with technology, but also in a somewhat more abstract sense, as we have studied the processes of our cognition, and are gaining more and more understanding of our own minds, and what we truly are.

At some point in the distant past, the very earliest hominid looked at the world and at itself and realised that it was something... when in previous generations, food, shelter, competition for a mate, and base emotions ruled their minds. Now, we are doing the same, but the tools that evolution has handed to us are much better, and of vast potential, if we can just manage to use them properly...

Apologies for the rambling, long post, might have gone off topic a bit, am on a bunch of pregabalin, kratom, and armodafinil, but this is a topic that interests me greatly. :)
 

Zopiclone bandit

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They Z Bandit, nice to see you post.
Thanks, you were the guy into Robert Anton Wilson if I remember correctly?

What if I told you 99perc of your peers feel the same as the 1% - most (not all) given the chance would sell you/me out, because their values are wrapped up in the values of the society they are so dependent on to feel validated; to feel like someone/thing. Many have not even throught about who they are - just 'lucky' by default. scary thought, scary reality. This 1% nonsense has led us to a common enemy and herded us politically to not question the very culture we inhabit - very powerful stuff because, we buy it. Us vs. them - the elite vs. the rich, left v.s right - handy tactics for political pensions. Blaming without action is complying -' I dont like how that makes me feel' but im powerless to do anything - I have NO power. Easy. Its an easy life to point fingers and be smug in your victimisation.
We can do something about it & it COULD start tomorrow very easy BUT a lot of people would have to die & "the system" as we know it would have to be smashed.
 

Xorkoth

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I used to have a different name, had to change it for a bit.

I also try hard to feel optimistic about the human race. It's challenging, though. It seems like the curse of our nature is that once we organize into groups that are too large, we stop seeing each other as a tribe and start seeing each other as adversaries. Even so, I think we could rise above that, except there are also a certain percentage of people who are sociopaths and seek power over others, and those people, again and again, corrupt and pervert institutions and authority into destructive things, and poison the minds of the people who want to follow.
 
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