Plugged In


The list of solutions to the Fermi paradox is effectively endless. For all we know we’re being watched by a giant spaghetti monster. Here are a few more to spice up your tea.

We are in a zoo.

To be fair, I’m not far off when I say we’re being watched. The zoo hypothesis proposes that we’re trapped within some sort of celestial cage. We could be like animals in a zoo dancing around for the entertainment of the superior species, or we could be like white mice being observed for scientific purposes. Perhaps also like animals in a zoo… we have no clue that we are in one.

We are living in a simulation.

The simulation hypothesis proposes that reality is in fact a simulation, hence the name. We could be plugged into a computer program created by a superior species and be living out a simulation they designed. The concept of the simulation hypothesis is a plot device used in many science fiction films, for example The Matrix which is a personal favourite of mine.

Civilisations tend to isolate themselves.

It has also been proposed that extraterrestrial civilisations tend to isolate themselves, and this is indeed a very smart move. Other life forms have the potential to be extremely dangerous, so why attract them? Better be safe and sound at home.

We are listening out for the wrong types of signals.

I think this xkcd comic sums this up nicely.

xkcd 638

Read it at the source


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