An artist's concept of what it would be like to stand on the surface of exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC).

If habitable exoplanets do turn out to be as common as this discovery suggests, where are the aliens? That's the Fermi paradox.

A giant high-tech Faraday cage made with pixel-like optical elements could control precisely what electromagnetic radiation gets through—an informational version of the air-filtration and containment of a biohazard lab. 

We want to find out if there are aliens out there, but do we really want to let them in? A sort of bonkers set of ideas for making a two-way mirror for Earth.
↩︎ Nautilus
Feb 23, 2017

Science fiction generates compelling, if depressing, answers to why we haven't found alien intelligence.

"The thing that makes the Fermi Paradox interesting for SF is that like the speed of light, you have to have an answer for it. It can be any answer you like, but it has to answer it."

Tor compiles a list of possible solutions to the Fermi paradox, including: 

—The aliens will arrive any minute
—The aliens, who planted us as a crop, will arrive any minute for the harvest 
—The aliens are already here
—The aliens are so advanced we can't even understand that they're already here
—"Life is common, intelligence vanishingly rare."
—Our part of the universe is boring
—The aliens think we're boring
—All the aliens have had their own Singularities and live in other dimensions now

Then there's the somewhat noble possiblity that we really are the chosen ones, the first intelligent species, as well as the depressing probability that we, like every galactic civilization before us, will kill ourselves before we can explore the stars.

Feb 23, 2017
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