Saturday, October 27, 2018

"Will We Ever Find Alien Life?" on PBS Digital Studios



Matt O’Dowd, from PBS Digital Studios (in London, and the Curiosity Stream) asks (and “tells”) “Will We Ever Find Alien Life?”


He examines the Fermi paradox and Drake equation and gives us bad news on Tabby’s star. Dyson swarms could be easier to make than Dyson spheres.

Recent probes have shown that there should be about 40 billion inhabitable planets (and maybe moons) in the Milky Way.  Civilizations could build other structures, like O’Neill cylinders.

But civilizations have to pass through filters where asymmetric access to technology can jeopardize them.  O’Dowd mentions impulse control and the compulsive personality problem.  That sounds like Nicholas Taleb’s “Black Swan” long tail problem in his “skin in the game” book.

Civilizations will develop finance (probably digital currencies and blockchain) and political structures, which are likely to be authoritarian most of the time.

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