Re: The Fermi Paradox & Virtual Worlds: Colonizing Inner Space Good video. I often wonder about the potential of virtual worlds compared to true exploration of our universe. If the speed of light turns out to be a hard limitation but we manage to crack the secrets of artificial consciousness then exploring a virtual universe may be far more compelling than exploring the real universe.
Re: The Fermi Paradox & Virtual Worlds: Colonizing Inner Space However, as Isaac Arthur points out, that explanation does not have exclusivity. Even if nearly everyone decided to go virtual, someone was bound to spread out. The inevitability of "Santa Claus" machines means that whoever decided to spread out would have quickly colonized the galaxy.
As near as I can tell, there are three really compelling scientific explanations of the Fermi paradox.
The first is that we are actually the first civilization to emerge on the scene. Since we do not actually know all the conditions that are necessary for life to begin and continue to form, we may be way off on our estimates for how likely intelligent life in the universe is. Maybe it happens, on average, only once per universe.
The second is that the expansion has already occurred and we are all living in a simulation that, for whatever reason, those who expanded into the universe have set up. Maybe it is an experiment or maybe it is a teaching tool. For a variety of reasons, I doubt that it is for entertainment.
The third is that there is something every civilization, without exception, gets wrong at about this point in their history. Maybe every single one attempts to develop an energy source that looks promising but that invariably wipes them all out. This, of course, is the "great filter" argument.
Now, those are only the scientific explanations. The explanation I find most compelling is that the universe was created, rather than the result of an accident, and that the "creator" was not interested in having more than one "earth" with more than one sentient species. There is no one out there because they are not "in the script".
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