The Five Ages

The current state of the distant future

Archive for December 2009

S.E.T.I. (Suggested Dosage: 1 per day)

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American Scientist asked me to review a new SETI book, The Eerie Silence, by Paul Davies.

The premise is effectively the Fermi Paradox 50 years on. Certainly, the lack of any success with SETI must be telling us something.

A low traffic weblog seems like the right environment to collate thoughts along these lines…

It’s said that the highest-level programming language is a graduate student. As one settles further into the academic environment, ideas, direction, come easily, but responsibilities and busy schedules conspire to keep you away from the front line. There’s less time to debug code, less time to spend truly immersed in one topic. I have a suspicion that very few members of the National Academy actually write their own code.

A model, then, or rather the social dynamic for SETI contact when it finally occurs, would be us, humanity, as the eager, energetic, naive graduate student, and them as the jaded bemedaled advisor.


Written by Greg Laughlin

December 30, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Posted in SETI