Previously, Peter Hipwell at HCRC/Centre for Cognitive Science, University of

Edinburgh wrote:

Why Haven't Aliens Come To Visit Us?


Many answers have been proposed for this perennial conundrum, along

the lines of the low likelihood of the evolution of intelligence, the

extremely dispersed nature of star-systems, or suspicions of cosmic

conspiracy in which the aliens are hiding from us because we're too

nasty. Although some claim that we have, indeed, been contacted from

BEYOND, I feel the evidence here is wooly and not scientifically

admissable. However, my new solution provides a more coherent and

satisfying response.


One of the prevalent trends of our civilization is that of

MINATURIZATION. As time goes on, things become smaller and smaller. We

can see this in the development of such current novelties as the

coffin-sized hotel room, the palm-sized microwave oven, and the

so-called "ear computer": but today's miracle gadgets will rapidly become

tomorrow's commonplaces. As the necessary volume for things to exist

in becomes less, a coherent civilization must necessarily shrink,

drawing closer together to minimize communication problems: tiny

wires are more susceptible to being broken. Incoherent civilizations

simply blow themselves to bits, so that takes care of that.


Let us imagine this kind of shrinkage is occuring for our hypothetical

aliens. We see that as the process progresses, it will eventually be

convenient for a civilization to place itself within a shell of some

sort, as naturally occuring events such as rainstorms will frequently

threaten to wipe it out: location in an arid zone would only be a

temporary solution to this dilemma. Once enshelled, a civilization has

little incentive to contact anything outside of itself. I would

imagine that at the current rate of development of our own

civilization, we will be the size of a speck of dust, and covered with

a chitinous coating, at some point within the next 200 years!


Hand-in-hand with minaturization comes an escalation in rapidity. It

is well known that small things move faster in general than big

things, because there is less matter to be propelled about. We can see

how civilization around us is speeding up as minaturization takes

effect by considering the rapid increase in the amount of rubbish

human beings produce on average: in 1600 this approximated 4kg per

person per annum, wheras in 2000 it will be on the order of 400 tonnes

per person per annum. This vast escalation in the amount of

obsolescent material in the world indicates the rapidity with which

things are, in general, used: it is especially surprising when we note

that most of those things are SMALLER than they used to be. The level

of acceleration this required is literally incredible.


Extrapolation of these two trends together leads to the conclusion

that intelligent aliens are very probably microscopic, yet are

developing extremely rapidly. This suggests that societal

fragmentation will be rapid within these specks, leading to splitting

off of components: thus the speck will rapidly disintegrate to finer

and finer pieces of powder. As this shrinkage occurs, the likelihood

that a journey through interstellar space will occur decreases, as the

amount of space that has to be traversed becomes proportionally much





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