Are we alone in the universe? Almost every response to the query is unimaginably terrifying. The most reassuring possibility is that we’re not responsible, but the US government is on top of the situation. In recent years, various “whistleblowers” have claimed that alien spacecraft have been crashing into remote regions of the globe for decades, but that federal officials have been covering up the wreckage.
It demonstrates that we are still in competition to become the most potent conscious beings in the universe. We have not yet mastered interstellar travel, but those who have are still using technology that can be stopped by a small amount of dust in the rotors. With a little more concentration and reverse engineering, we’ll have our own galactic fleet operational before any extraterrestrial civilizations launch a significant attack against us. Will Smith is constantly present until then.
This lack of belief is detrimental to my own serenity of mind. Given how long it took us to send people to the moon and two ships past Uranus, it’s probably fair to presume that any aliens who make it to Earth will have technology that we cannot even begin to comprehend. Either we are the only reasonably intelligent beings in all of space, or there are super-intelligent beings out there, but we haven’t heard from them for, I’ll repeat it again, mostly frightening reasons.
This is known as the Fermi paradox, and if you haven’t heard of it, I’m about to destroy your day. There are billions and billions of stars in the sky, and some of them have planets similar to Earth that orbit around them. Even if you believe the probability of intelligent life arising by chance on one of those planets is extremely low and even if those planets are extremely distant, the age of the universe and the vast number of planets in it imply that there should be at least a few alien societies that are far more advanced than ours and have the technology to visit us.
The fact that they don’t could indicate that they don’t care about us, they don’t understand us, or that we’re in some bizarre extraterrestrial menagerie. It may also indicate that we are operating under the radar of one or more malevolent supercivilizations. In this case, the humorous sketches and cheerful communications we occasionally send into space are equivalent to exclaiming “Hellooo?” from the edge of a jungle.
The Enigma of Cosmic Civilizations: Facing the ‘Great Filter’ Hypothesis
Still, the majority of these are preferable to option two, which is that these civilizations are routinely annihilated by a catastrophic event, commonly known as the “Great Filter,” before they can reach Earth.
It is important to consider this right now because so many of our actions appear… It resembles a filter. It is plausible to argue that no society can survive its early years without using fossil fuels. If we exhaust them all and cannot locate a suitable replacement, we will be unable to reach the heavens. Similarly, it is conceivable that no civilization in the galaxy has ever worked out how to travel through space without drastically altering the temperature and destroying the civilization. Nuclear weapons, infectious warfare, and the inability to concur on anything “good” for everyone could all be problems that no society has ever solved. And then there’s artificial intelligence, which, depending on which tech dude you ask, will either advance science in unimaginable ways or transform us all into paste.
For me, the solution to all of this is to cease considering it. In galactic terms, we’ve only been here for a moment. In the 80 years I have left, it seems improbable that a galactic super-predator will murder us all, and it’s even less likely that we’ll know about it beforehand. Possibly, we are the only species in the universe, save for a few bacteria. That would be insane and incredible, but that’s okay. Or, perhaps superintelligent AI is feasible and will usher in a new Age of Aquarius. This is supported by the fact that renegade robots from other civilizations have not yet turned us into their equivalent of paperclips, so perhaps everything will be okay. Men in Black remains popular until then.
Source: The Guardian