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(Wired)   Interactive info-graphic uses Drake equation to estimate how many alien civilizations exist. Enrico Fermi unavailable for comment   (wired.com) divider line 94
    More: Spiffy, Fermi, Drake equation, aliens, civilizations, Neil Armstrong, space race, space programs, .info  
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3607 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Aug 2012 at 7:44 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-29 05:10:26 PM
This infographic is interactive to the extent that I can look at it, and I can click it with a mouse to get a page that links to a standalone copy of the image.
 
2012-08-29 05:10:43 PM
One of the most embarrassing values, is the number of years a civilization will last.
The idea that a civilization could last more than 10k years, let alone 1m years is so funny.
In order to last that long, the rate of advance would have to be so low, that it might as well be negative.
For all purposes, the civilization would be stagnant. And then dead.

We certainly have a few examples in history of this happening. China and Japan becoming insular.

It would be hilarious to see a survey of how long people think that the US will survive as a country.
100 more years?
1000 more years? REALLY??
more than 1000? LOL

and yes, I know that civilization is not the same thing as a government.
and even if civilization collapses in say, europe during the dark-ages, that is not the same as worldwide collapse.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
what is the average life-span of a mammalian species?
Counting evolution and the survival of the next variant?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I would guess that at best, humanity would survive as civil until the next ice-age is in full swing.
Unless of course Vinge is right.
 
2012-08-29 05:12:24 PM
interesting, but how is that graphic interactive?
 
2012-08-29 05:14:35 PM

BKITU: This infographic is interactive to the extent that I can look at it, and I can click it with a mouse to get a page that links to a standalone copy of the image.


if ONLY there were some way to read and find the link to the interactive part??
HERE

this is also why I hate sites which point to other sites, but do a CRAPPY JOB of it!!@!@~!@
 
2012-08-29 05:29:14 PM
will there be penis dogs?
i.imgur.com
 
2012-08-29 05:33:38 PM

BKITU: This infographic is interactive to the extent that I can look at it, and I can click it with a mouse to get a page that links to a standalone copy of the image.


i483.photobucket.com

hint:
Visit the BBC Future page for the customizable version.
 
2012-08-29 05:39:03 PM

namatad: BKITU: This infographic is interactive to the extent that I can look at it, and I can click it with a mouse to get a page that links to a standalone copy of the image.

if ONLY there were some way to read and find the link to the interactive part??
HERE

this is also why I hate sites which point to other sites, but do a CRAPPY JOB of it!!@!@~!@


ParallelUniverseParking: hint:
Visit the BBC Future page for the customizable version.



Sorry. I must have missed the single link of text buried underneath the GIGANTIC HONKING INFOGRAPHIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FARKING PAGE.

I'm an idiot for thinking that the GIGANTIC HONKING INFOGRAPHIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FARKING PAGE was the infographic in question.
 
2012-08-29 05:41:57 PM

BKITU: namatad: BKITU: This infographic is interactive to the extent that I can look at it, and I can click it with a mouse to get a page that links to a standalone copy of the image.

if ONLY there were some way to read and find the link to the interactive part??
HERE

this is also why I hate sites which point to other sites, but do a CRAPPY JOB of it!!@!@~!@

ParallelUniverseParking: hint:
Visit the BBC Future page for the customizable version.

Sorry. I must have missed the single link of text buried underneath the GIGANTIC HONKING INFOGRAPHIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FARKING PAGE. I'm an idiot for thinking that the GIGANTIC HONKING INFOGRAPHIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FARKING PAGE was the infographic in question.


so, you're not really sorry. you're SORRY
 
2012-08-29 05:43:19 PM
Jebus, it's not a matter of reading, its a matter of proper link submission. Don't submit a headline saying it's a link to an interactive graphic when there is only an non-interactive graphic and a link (one of 8) to the interactive graphic (on another site) in the text. The link that the headline takes us to is not interactive, how hard is that to understand? It doesn't say "Click this link, then this other link to the interactive info-graphic".

Why didn't subby just link to the BBC directly? I'm backing BKITU up on this one.
 
2012-08-29 05:44:20 PM

ParallelUniverseParking: so, you're not really sorry. you're SORRY


Yes. I am a 20th-century revision of the classic board game Pachisi.
 
2012-08-29 05:57:59 PM

CommieTaoist: Jebus, it's not a matter of reading, its a matter of proper link submission. Don't submit a headline saying it's a link to an interactive graphic when there is only an non-interactive graphic and a link (one of 8) to the interactive graphic (on another site) in the text. The link that the headline takes us to is not interactive, how hard is that to understand? It doesn't say "Click this link, then this other link to the interactive info-graphic".

Why didn't subby just link to the BBC directly? I'm backing BKITU up on this one.


nope
I am with everyone else on this. STUPID link to a link.
The ONLY rational argument which I have heard to linking to the crap in the middle, is giving credit to the site which got you there in the first place.

WHICH IS CRAP.
that site COULD have linked the image to the actual site ... but NO ....
 
2012-08-29 06:08:27 PM
I'd be worried if Enrico Fermi was available for comment seeing as he's been dead for almost 60 years.
 
2012-08-29 06:16:22 PM
Um, yeah... because all intelligent life communicates via some sort of wave therefore everything will be using radiowaves.
 
2012-08-29 06:17:19 PM
All snark aside, the actual interactive info-graphic is pretty awesome.

My first try came back with 188,000,000 billion civilizations in the universe......which might have been a little high.

/or is it?
//DUN DUN
 
2012-08-29 06:41:02 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: Um, yeah... because all intelligent life communicates via some sort of wave therefore everything will be using radiowaves.


I always wondered about this as well. Isn't it a little homo-sapien centric to assume every race will develop technology along the same lines as us? But then again, what other frame of reference can we have?

Also, regardless of what an alien civilization calls them, radio waves are abundant in the universe and they'd have knowledge of their existence if they study the stars.
 
2012-08-29 07:07:24 PM
So let's just make up a lot of shiat that can never be dis-proven and profit?
 
2012-08-29 07:55:46 PM
I'm just glad Drake got better after his tragic paralyzation during a school shooting at Degrassi
 
2012-08-29 07:56:56 PM
Am I shadowbanned? Sometimes it feels like I'm shadowbanned.

Also, no more infographics. I thought they died with Digg.
 
2012-08-29 07:58:58 PM
Interesting side note is that somewhere in the universe it's possible that two (or more) civilizations are very likely already in contact with each other. I'd love to see how that is working out, especially if one is more advanced than the other.
 
2012-08-29 08:01:40 PM

spamdog: Am I shadowbanned?


Yes. I cannot see your posts.
 
2012-08-29 08:02:54 PM
spamdog:

How come every time I see your username in a thread there's no text, or anything?
 
2012-08-29 08:03:24 PM

SnarfVader: Interesting side note is that somewhere in the universe it's possible that two (or more) civilizations are very likely already in contact with each other. I'd love to see how that is working out, especially if one is more advanced than the other.


sharetv.org
It worked out just fine, never ask again.
 
2012-08-29 08:04:05 PM

BKITU: Yes. I cannot see your posts.


What if...you're shadowbanned too, and we're both just chilling in the shadow realm?
 
2012-08-29 08:38:46 PM
Any person that you may meet from time to time is merely a figment of your imagination.
i148.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-29 08:39:06 PM
Like I said last week when this was posted...

Call me a SETI heretic, but I've never thought the Drake equation had any value whatsoever.

The ONLY thing that is useful that we can say is that technological civilizations are not so common and so active in the universe that there is any indication of them that we can detect without really trying. Nobody is out there apparently reconfiguring the Galaxy or anything. No Dyson spheres or equivalent within a thousand light-years. No 200 million year old picnic debris left on any asteroid we've looked over.

I applaud us looking -- its always a good idea to look -- and I've even spent a hunk of my life at it... but.
I personally suspect that tech civilization is REALLY rare. And the "progress" paradigm of evolution is screwing up our perspective. Earth has been home to large animal land-based ecosystems with fully-capable neurology since the Devonian. And even with that start... GIVEN the development of large multi-celluar life with sophisticated neurology (never mind how hard it is to get there)... the adaptation to use symbolism to extend memory outside the individual has occurred ONCE -- in ONE lineage. Out of HOW MANY CHANCES? Even in the Tertiary period... after 50 million years there is NO indication that the isolated ecologies of South America, North America, Australia, were showing ANY movement towards freakish runaway intelligence.
 
2012-08-29 08:39:57 PM

miss diminutive: Because People in power are Stupid: Um, yeah... because all intelligent life communicates via some sort of wave therefore everything will be using radiowaves.

I always wondered about this as well. Isn't it a little homo-sapien centric to assume every race will develop technology along the same lines as us? But then again, what other frame of reference can we have?

Also, regardless of what an alien civilization calls them, radio waves are abundant in the universe and they'd have knowledge of their existence if they study the stars.


We know about them because our eyes use light. Now think about a species on earth that doesn't have eyes. Now assume that the species in question develops some sort of intelligence. Does it make sense that the creature will discover radiowaves and then use it as a communication medium?
 
2012-08-29 08:48:39 PM

miss diminutive: Because People in power are Stupid: Um, yeah... because all intelligent life communicates via some sort of wave therefore everything will be using radiowaves.

I always wondered about this as well. Isn't it a little homo-sapien centric to assume every race will develop technology along the same lines as us? But then again, what other frame of reference can we have?

Also, regardless of what an alien civilization calls them, radio waves are abundant in the universe and they'd have knowledge of their existence if they study the stars.



Bob Dixon at OSURO used to say that we look any way we can think of. Sure a bunch of civilizations may be using Neutrino communication systems, but we know radio CAN do the job and we have the ability to check radio now. If we get Neutrino communication tech, we should try that too.
 
2012-08-29 08:52:31 PM
i.dailymail.co.uk
RIP Alex Drake, 1973-2008or09, 1981-1983
 
2012-08-29 08:54:03 PM

CommieTaoist: Jebus, it's not a matter of reading, its a matter of proper link submission. Don't submit a headline saying it's a link to an interactive graphic when there is only an non-interactive graphic and a link (one of 8) to the interactive graphic (on another site) in the text. The link that the headline takes us to is not interactive, how hard is that to understand? It doesn't say "Click this link, then this other link to the interactive info-graphic".

Why didn't subby just link to the BBC directly? I'm backing BKITU up on this one.


Why does fark link to gawker sites just so we can watch a youtube video? I think I know the answer.
 
2012-08-29 08:58:18 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: miss diminutive: Because People in power are Stupid: Um, yeah... because all intelligent life communicates via some sort of wave therefore everything will be using radiowaves.

I always wondered about this as well. Isn't it a little homo-sapien centric to assume every race will develop technology along the same lines as us? But then again, what other frame of reference can we have?

Also, regardless of what an alien civilization calls them, radio waves are abundant in the universe and they'd have knowledge of their existence if they study the stars.

We know about them because our eyes use light. Now think about a species on earth that doesn't have eyes. Now assume that the species in question develops some sort of intelligence. Does it make sense that the creature will discover radiowaves and then use it as a communication medium?


Aliens without eyes? Pffft, why would we even contact them in the first place? If they can't see the vapid hotness of our reality TV stars then why bother?

Good point though, never thought of that.
 
2012-08-29 09:04:06 PM

OhioKnight: The ONLY thing that is useful that we can say is that technological civilizations are not so common and so active in the universe that there is any indication of them that we can detect without really trying. Nobody is out there apparently reconfiguring the Galaxy or anything. No Dyson spheres or equivalent within a thousand light-years. No 200 million year old picnic debris left on any asteroid we've looked over.


The laws of physics and the periodic table of elements would have to be the same everywhere, otherwise all the measurements we take are meaningless. So with that in mind, everyone is subject to the same physical laws and materials limits. What, for example, would a Dyson sphere be made of? Iron? Aluminum? There are no other elements. Would it be built using the same forces we know about here? The same chemical energy sources? The same nuclear power plants that are steam turbines?

We can't get there, and they can't get here.

There is no Fermi's Paradox. Quantum Apostrophe's Paradox is why do people think there is a Fermi's Paradox?
 
2012-08-29 09:16:50 PM

OhioKnight: The ONLY thing that is useful that we can say is


is that there are no civilizations beaming powerful msgs directly at us from nearby, in the last ~ 10-50 years.

There could be a million civilizations within 1000 light years, at our level of tech, and there would be no way to detect them. vinge's theory on the singularity alone would explain the missing MASSIVE tech or lack of intergalactic empires. everyone moved on or failed.

by the time we could easily visit, the nearest 1000 stars, the advances required to do that would also have fundamentally changed everything else about "us"

hell, we cant even get past the delusion of religion.
 
2012-08-29 09:18:01 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: What, for example, would a Dyson sphere be made of? Iron? Aluminum? There are no other elements.


Generally the idea is lots of little satellites -- made of... sure Iron, Aluminum, Silicon, Carbon ...
I dunno, the advanced materials knowledge of my civilization is less that 5 centuries old -- I have the same chance being involved in building a Dyson sphere, or an artificial intelligence, or a Von Neuman device (or some combination of the above) as Socrates had of being involved in a Lunar Landing. Doesn't mean it won't happen.

But my point was only that we actually know there aren't any stars in 1000 Light Years where the star is surrounded by materials absorbing its energy -- not that I think anybody would/could ever do such a thing
 
2012-08-29 09:22:42 PM
CSB time: My dad took me to a lecture with Frank Drake and Carl Sagan at the Masonic Lodge in Ithaca presenting Drake's formula when I was a kid--mid 70's/pre "Cosmos"? The part that stuck with me was that given the length of time a civilization is likely to last as well as the assumed age and size of the universe/speed of light constraints, they thought it unlikely that we'd be able to detect any of these extant tech civilizations, even though given the sheer number of possible extant civilizations, it was likely that there was an exact duplicate of our own, down to you and me farking away, right this very minute. Mind blown. Don't think I've recovered, yet, closing in on 50.
/endCSB, no need for you to care
 
2012-08-29 09:25:16 PM

namatad: OhioKnight: The ONLY thing that is useful that we can say is

is that there are no civilizations beaming powerful msgs directly at us from nearby, in the last ~ 10-50 years.

There could be a million civilizations within 1000 light years, at our level of tech, and there would be no way to detect them. vinge's theory on the singularity alone would explain the missing MASSIVE tech or lack of intergalactic empires. everyone moved on or failed.

by the time we could easily visit, the nearest 1000 stars, the advances required to do that would also have fundamentally changed everything else about "us"

hell, we cant even get past the delusion of religion.



Actually, I think that they are here on Earth, but their physical form is composed of microscopic self replicating space probes and THEY'RE IN OUR EYES!!!!! AAAAHHHH!!! AHHHHHH!!!

(that's what those "floaters" really are) and SHUT UP Quantum Apostrophe with your physics-stuff objections... you're probably going to say microscopic space probes can't live undetected in our eyes because of some heat chemistry or something... well... just SHUT UP -- they fixed that!
 
2012-08-29 09:28:06 PM
Doesn't the Chaos Theory more or less make this equation meaningless?
 
2012-08-29 09:32:47 PM

namatad: OhioKnight: The ONLY thing that is useful that we can say is

is that there are no civilizations beaming powerful msgs directly at us from nearby, in the last ~ 10-50 years.



Oh and we actually CAN'T say that -- there could be a million civilizations beaming radio signals to us right now and for the last few hundred thousand years and we wouldn't know it unless those signals had the right combination of wavelength, power, etc. for us to have seen them with our alien-catching gear. If they aren't broadcasting near the "water-hole" none of the SETI surveys would have spotted them -- or if they're too narrow-band or too wide-band or intermittent in the wrong way...
 
2012-08-29 09:33:05 PM

miss diminutive: SnarfVader: Interesting side note is that somewhere in the universe it's possible that two (or more) civilizations are very likely already in contact with each other. I'd love to see how that is working out, especially if one is more advanced than the other.


It worked out just fine, never ask again.


That would explain all the recipes for Swedish meatballs.
 
2012-08-29 09:34:19 PM

OhioKnight: Generally the idea is lots of little satellites -- made of... sure Iron, Aluminum, Silicon, Carbon ...


Yes, I forgot about that. It's not an actual structure, but more of a cloud of stuff to capture as much energy from the star as possible. Still, this requires an insane amount of energy, and even then, just having that energy is no guarantee you can use it. All we know is F=ma, so then it's like this: if you HAVE that much energy available that you can build a Dyson Sphere, why would you need to?

It's a real paradox when one analyzes many of the popular space delusions, sorry, very serious engineering propositions.

OhioKnight: not that I think anybody would/could ever do such a thing


So wait, Ringworld isn't a National Geographic documentary? There isn't a transfer booth under my carpet, and there won't be a Pierson's Puppeteer kidnapping me to go visit a Ringworld made of scrith? But but but technology and shiat?
 
2012-08-29 09:34:34 PM

HopScotchNSoda: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 306x423]
RIP Alex Drake, 1973-2008or09, 1981-1983


She could fire up my Quattro anytime.
 
2012-08-29 09:36:52 PM

MilesTeg: Doesn't the Chaos Theory more or less make this equation meaningless?


t1.gstatic.com
"Idiots! Dummkopfs! Sissies!"
 
2012-08-29 09:42:26 PM
Isn't this a repeat from a few weeks ago?
 
2012-08-29 09:46:05 PM

Hoopy Frood: HopScotchNSoda: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 306x423]
RIP Alex Drake, 1973-2008or09, 1981-1983

She could fire up my Quattro anytime.


For your enjoyment then, the whole Drake family (Alex, Molly the cat, Pete, Molly) as teens:
img14.imageshack.us
 
2012-08-29 09:48:21 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Yes, I forgot about that. It's not an actual structure, but more of a cloud of stuff to capture as much energy from the star as possible. Still, this requires an insane amount of energy, and even then, just having that energy is no guarantee you can use it. All we know is F=ma, so then it's like this: if you HAVE that much energy available that you can build a Dyson Sphere, why would you need to?


You start it with the solar powered space satellite factories and use the solar energy to build/move more until you have a Dyson Sphere. Personally I can't imagine that there's no better way to convert matter to energy than solar power but you probably get REALLY GOOD solar tax credits from a Dyson Sphere.

/an extended hobby for when a Cathedral just isn't challenging anymore
 
2012-08-29 09:51:43 PM

OhioKnight: Quantum Apostrophe: Yes, I forgot about that. It's not an actual structure, but more of a cloud of stuff to capture as much energy from the star as possible. Still, this requires an insane amount of energy, and even then, just having that energy is no guarantee you can use it. All we know is F=ma, so then it's like this: if you HAVE that much energy available that you can build a Dyson Sphere, why would you need to?

You start it with the solar powered space satellite factories and use the solar energy to build/move more until you have a Dyson Sphere. Personally I can't imagine that there's no better way to convert matter to energy than solar power but you probably get REALLY GOOD solar tax credits from a Dyson Sphere.

/an extended hobby for when a Cathedral just isn't challenging anymore



But then you have to get them and their extraordinarily hardened and durable energy transmitters way, way, way the fark up there. That takes energy.
 
2012-08-29 09:53:51 PM
I doubt there's intelligent life out there. Say that sometime in the next thousand years Earth sends colonists to 10 stars. Say that 10,000 years later those 10 colonies each colonize 10 colonies. In 11 steps, that's 100,000 years, every star in the galaxy has been colonized (even the ones that don't have planets!).

Someone may point out that the galaxy is more than 100,000 light years across, so this scenario has 'civilization' moving acorss the galaxy at a rate faster than the speed of light. This is true, I did ignore travel time between stars, which may or may not be a factor depending on how like Star Trek the future of space travel is.

The point is, that even with this very low rate of colonization, once a civilization develops any sort of interstellar travel capability, the spread across the galaxy is explosive.

As Fermi said when asked if there was intelligent life out there "OK, but where are they?"

Look up Galactic Habitable Zone for some good information on how rare habitable planets likely are.
 
2012-08-29 09:56:29 PM
How do you get gravity in a Dyson sphere? Us we, squishy humans aren't built for zero-g for prolonged periods, let alone the rest of time.
 
2012-08-29 10:04:12 PM

ThreadSinger: How do you get gravity in a Dyson sphere? Us we, squishy humans aren't built for zero-g for prolonged periods, let alone the rest of time.


Either you spin it and have a ring of habitability along the equator, or you build a second inner ring that's clear or mesh or something so that lots of solar radiation can get through, but that still provides a planetary surface using the gravity of the sun as the gravity for the inner sphere.
 
2012-08-29 10:16:22 PM
namatad:
and yes, I know that civilization is not the same thing as a government.
and even if civilization collapses in say, europe during the dark-ages, that is not the same as worldwide collapse.


You say that you know that, and yet, you posted the rest of this anyway:
One of the most embarrassing values, is the number of years a civilization will last.
The idea that a civilization could last more than 10k years, let alone 1m years is so funny.
In order to last that long, the rate of advance would have to be so low, that it might as well be negative.
For all purposes, the civilization would be stagnant. And then dead.

We certainly have a few examples in history of this happening. China and Japan becoming insular.


When they are talking about civilization, they are talking about HUMAN civilization. How do you not get that? Who cares about calculating the odds that feudal Japan might have encountered aliens? Do you think anyone really gives a shiat how an alien species might subdivide themselves based on when and where they were born on their particular planet?

And seeing how human civilization is at least 6,000 years old, the idea that we'll last at least 10,000 years doesn't seem that ridiculous.
 
2012-08-29 10:21:41 PM

HopScotchNSoda: ThreadSinger: How do you get gravity in a Dyson sphere? Us we, squishy humans aren't built for zero-g for prolonged periods, let alone the rest of time.

Either you spin it and have a ring of habitability along the equator, or you build a second inner ring that's clear or mesh or something so that lots of solar radiation can get through, but that still provides a planetary surface using the gravity of the sun as the gravity for the inner sphere.


A second inner sphere, I meant to say. Sorry.
 
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