Today scientists think that extraterrestrial life should be ubiquitous, so that it should be easily detected by SETI, or even that it should have manifested itself since long ago. However no clear trace has been found until now. This discrepancy is called the Fermi Paradox, and it can be resumed by Fermi's own words: «if they are so numerous, why don't we see them?». This paradox necessarily points at something we do not understand in this problem. Simple solutions may be just wrong estimates of one or another factor (like they cannot travel in space), more complex ones call to yet unknown parameters or features (like they moved to spiritual worlds, from where they can no longer contact us).
All along the previous chapters of this part, we tracked down the probabilities of extraterrestrial life. Not only our most pessimistic estimates still confirmed that «they» are numerous and should be very visible to the SETI, but it even showed other possible means of contact that scientists just hypothesized or even not imagined: laser communication, Bracewell probes orbiting around Earth, knowledge repositories landed long ago on Earth, paleoartifacts, psi contacts, psi spaceships, wisdom waves, etc.
This unfortunately makes the overall situation still more uncomfortable, with a much stronger Fermi paradox. The worse is that we have many troubling yet inconclusive hints (chapter VII-5): bizarre radio signals from space, bizarre stories of unexplainable objects, incoherent UFO stories, waves of philosophy releases, and the unthinkable psi spaceships already described in details in urban legends and in ancient religious texts! All seems to happen as if the blocking point was in our own heads. But before wondering such things, let us assess the situation case per case.
(Permalink) Astronomy SETI is the search of inhabited exoplanets, through the use of classical astronomy methods. If the existence of numerous potentially inhabitable exoplanets is now sure, we are still far from seeing them with enough details to assess if they are inhabited or not, and many years are still needed to be able to do this. Astronomers are looking for oxygen, but oxygen alone is not enough, as it can appear from mere chemical reactions. We found a better criterion in chapter VIII-3: the proportion of oxygen, which should be relatively constant, according to several kinds of biosphere, the most common being ours, with 20% oxygen.
So that we do not yet have a Fermi paradox here. But maybe it is better to prepare our minds.
But we also have here some interesting discoveries (see here): The Berkeley SETI, using catalogues from the IRAS satellite, found 3.3 percent of stars having an excess of infrared which could be Dyson swarms (a sphere being in fact impossible to build, but numerous objects in orbit are possible). This number is even 20 times better than the 0.15% optimistic bound we established for the Drake formula!
Still better, the mysterious KIC 8462852 star shows complex and irregular dips in luminosity, which makes of it the best candidate for hosting a Dyson swarm. However, to say frankly, the light curve of KIC 8462852 is so complex and unusual that we need to gather more information before attempting to draw conclusions.
Some researches attempt to find large technology endeavours, like the effect on the transit curve of dark side illumination of planets by mirrors, that we should soon be able to detect with existing or planned instruments.
(Permalink) This is historically the first SETI, based on the idea as what focused emitters like Arecibo could reach their counterpart at tens of light years. This made scientists think that interstellar radio communication would be easy. As the first attempts to find obvious emissions from close stars failed, the radio SETI is engaged into a constant race to sensitivity and scanning power, to be able to detect fainter and fainter signals.
The lack of any clear detection so far is already a result: there is no large Kardashev type 3 civilization in our galaxy, using powerful radio beacons and the like. But there could still be fainter signals, or in other frequencies. In facts many years will still be needed before to be able to find unintentional radio emissions leaking from inhabited planets using radio technology. (Earth passed a maximum of emitted power, and uses less and less radio power, so that high tech planets may still use much less). Today (2016) SETI would be unable to find Earth at more than... one light year!! So the lack of detection is not troubling yet. More, some unexplained signals have been found, like the «Wow signal». See chapter VII-5 for more.
This is true for unintentional signals, though. But the much more powerful and concentrated intentional signals should be already detected now. This is where things become difficult: there should be many such emitters, and they should already be detected. But we found none.
(Permalink) To the difference of radio signals, which disperse in space, lasers are much more directive. In this way, they can range much farther in space, or use much less power at the emission site. So they probably are the preferred communication method between civilizations, and a much better choice than radio, especially on psychoeducated planets without a powerful central government. But the inconvenience is that, for us to detect them, they need to be intentionally aimed at Earth, or at least that we are nearby on the path of a communication beam between two planets. There are some SETI projects searching for laser beams, but few are implemented yet, so that we have no results (2016). The next projects aim at pulses sent in sequence to many stars, by civilizations seeking contact, to attract the attention on their main frequency.
A laser needs energy, so that it cannot be far away in space, but instead close to a star. Moreover, to have it ground based is much simpler, and it can even be operated by individuals, if needed in secret, without the support of a large established power. So that we have much better chances to find one while looking at a star. Problem however is that the light of the star is much brighter than the laser. There is a solution however:
(The continuation of this sub-chapter is my original contribution, so that I claim precedence for April 2016):
Stars have absorption rays, narrow frequency bands where their light is much less intense. In such narrow gaps, the light of a star is simply much less, so that a laser is much more detectable. And these gaps are still large enough for a laser to place a lot of information. The frequency with the best signal/noise ratio may vary from star to star (although a deep sodium ray appears in most inhabitable stars) and it may even be in the ultraviolet or in the far infrared (but still in a range where the atmosphere is transparent. Intentional emissions will occur in bands where our atmosphere is transparent!).
So that we need:
-I think it is totally useless to look for variations of the global light of stars, in their whole spectrum. To emit such signals would requier a far more superior economy power, or a strongly centralised society, while the method described here produces the same result with much less efforts.
-Look for unexplained emission rays in the deepest dips of a star's spectrum, which do not show thermal Doppler spreading, or which show a planetary Doppler. Try several times a day, to catch single sources on a rotating planet, or operating intermittently (due to weather, resources, etc.)
-Look for modulation. We have little chances to catch a complex wideband modulation, but signals specially intended for being detected will have a pulsed nature, making them easily recognizable. We just need a fast photometer, and a... good ear, to spot repetitive patterns. The idea may look idiot, but the human ear has a lot of computing power, and sending work units as sounds in theSETI@Home is perfectly feasible. This may even save many years of intense computing.
-A prism spectrometer would not be discriminant enough in frequency. I propose a superheterodyne receiver, based on a non-linear optic crystal, transposing the signal in radio frequencies, where a classical radio receiver can detect and filter them. The telescope does not need a high resolution, so that it can be very large, with a cheap metal mirror. And we can add the outputs of an arbitrary number of them (it is not an interferometer) to simulate a gigantic aperture. (Added in October 14, 2021: A realisation useful from this point of view would be single-photon nonlinearity at room temperature, thus at the maximum of sensitivity.)
To end up with laser SETI, since it is not operational yet, we can bring no conclusions. However once it works, conclusions may come fast, in a matter of some years. And depending on there are detections or not, these conclusions will be drastically different, and much more constraining than the lack of radio detection.
Added in March 2021, the excellent work of Anna Zuckerman to detect unusual rays in star spectra. This is an important step in this direction.
(Permalink) Paleoartifacts are objects or traces which may be found on Earth, from current or from past extraterrestrial visits. This subject is still stupidly regarded as pseudoscientific, just as any other SETI which is not yet endorsed by universities. When this topic will be recognized in turn, the hazers will have to hide, as it happens each time.
There are some known candidate paleoartifacts on Earth itself, like the Moonshaft and the Patomski Crater. However there are few actual searches on them (Russian academic Viktor Antipin for Patomski, and UFO traces researcher Ted Phillips for the Moonshaft. See chapter VII-5 for more info). There are many other claims, but most lack credibility, or they can be easily dismissed.
Here again, the least we can say is that these objects are not so numerous as expectable from a situation where many civilizations are attempting contact.
(Permalink) Some ancient legends seem to describe spaceship visits: the Ezechiel charriot, the Vimanas, the Hopi's space visitors, etc. Sometimes ancient legends are memories of real events, as it was checked in several instances, for instance memories of tsunamis by tribes in the west coast of the USA. However such legends are often embellished and interpreted. The best known example of embellished story is the Dogon people who astounded the first missionaries by telling them the existence of Sirius B. Some researches «just» found that other missionaries came 20 years before... a detail that the Dogons avoided to remember!
This paragraph added in March 2021: The idea that the Vimans (Vimanas) would be spaceships comes from misunderstanding of the spirituality of India. In reality, Vimans are Mandalas, that is to say, divine dwellings, which exist only in the spiritual world. And, like their Tibetan counterparts, they float in their own empty space, surrounded by protections represented as a circle with various attributes. Well, the Hindus themselves draw Vimans floating in the sky, even engaging in aerial combat, so the confusion is a bit of their fault too. In any case, some spiritualists have hypothesized that UFOs would be Mandalas, which fits well with the psychic hypothesis of UFOs. There is therefore something to be dug there, but which is accessible only to high spirituality.
Useless to also add that such a field is highly polluted by cook stuff, archaeology fiction, and probably many forgeries.
So that, unless some exceptional finding of really authentic documents, there is not much science results to expect here. But still a feeling... just as with the other SETI.
(Permalink) Known physics allows for a large industrial power to reach Earth with nuclear-powered probes, but not for easy space travels as in science fiction. Such space ships may be Bracewell probes (automated exploration probes, intended for reporting discoveries, or for contact), insemination probes (intended for colonisation, see chapter VIII-7) or knowledge repository probes, possibly hosting billions of years of galactic chronicles.
Professional astronomers already tried to find Bracewell probes parked in suitable orbits around or near Earth, without success until now. Yet, if we consider that we are still discovering big asteroids, a small probe may still elude detection for years. But we can already say that they are not numerous.
This is bothering, and brings a strong Fermi paradox, as our description of the galactic civilization predicts that there should be many, especially that they could accumulate all along the Earth history.
(Permalink) This mostly supposes that some yet unknown physics allows to build space travelling machines allowing for easy space travels, as in science-fiction stories. Nothing such has been observed yet. Should such a technology exist however, it would obviously be used, and there would be numerous occasions for intentional contact, unintended sighting, operating residues, derelict machines, or even accidents. Especially it would mandatorily lead to a Kardashev type 3 civilisation.
All these are easily observable things, yet none was detected.
So there is a strong hint that such machines do not exist at all, and interstellar travel being limited at best to nuclear probes.
The lack of such visits does not arise a strong Fermi paradox: that no unknown physics exists is enough to explain it.
It has been widely hypothesized that UFOs would be spaceships piloted by extraterrestrials. However numerous incoherences, in-understandable violations of laws of physics, and the enigmatic behaviour of the «aliens» led to a different hypothesis, mostly from Bertrand Méheust (1978) and the late John E. Mack (1994 and 1999): UFO appearances would be interferences of spiritual worlds into the material world. They were courageous to say that in this time, and only in about 2000 in the version 1 of this book I published the theoretical frame allowing for such interactions to take place (now with much more details in Part III and part VII of this version 2).
This may provide with a satisfying explanation of this astonishing and protean UFO phenomenon, but at one cost: the scenarios of the encounters are generated by the witness, in a kind of dream, and they would not be real extraterrestrial encounters (chapter VII-3).
However real extraterrestrial mastering the spiritual worlds, or even beings of purely spiritual origins (angels) may also use the phenomenon for real contacts, or for delivering real messages. Precisely we have numerous «contactees», persons claiming to receive messages from extraterrestrials, at the occasion or UFO encounters. Unfortunately my own inquiry in the domain of UFO contactees and New Age «channels» (chapter VII-2) brought a grim conclusion: no «contactee» can prove his contact, and in more anybody, even evil people, can create wonderful stories and nice looking fake «spiritual» messages. So that we today cannot state that any real extraterrestrial contact happened through UFOs, and even not be sure that this phenomenon is of interest for the SETI.
We cannot exclude however that a real contact may happen through an UFO encounter. But it may just pass unnoticed, if we let continue the idiot bashing and disinformation about this phenomenon.
There especially are stories of UFOs neutralising nuclear weapons. It is difficult to check if such a thing is real or not. But the stake is very high: it would demonstrate without ambiguity that there is a superior intelligence behind the UFOs.
(Permalink) In this hypothesis, extraterrestrials mastering the psychical worlds may try to contact Humans using psi methods, like telepathy.
For now, there cannot be many observable results, for a very simple reason: receptive Humans are still very rare.
Actually, there are people claiming they received such contacts: the UFO contactees and New Age «channels». Unfortunately, it happens that I encounter several, and so I could «study» then without negative prejudice. This makes of me probably the top specialist of them! Unfortunately, even without negative prejudice I found that all the ones I met, and probably all of them, are, at best, self-deluded, and sometimes openly crooks. Anyway none was able to demonstrate the reality of his contacts. The existence of a great number of false contactees makes that a real contactee would need to give concrete proofs of the reality of his contacts, to avoid being confused with the numerous cooks and crooks.
Even people knowing serious meditations methods stumble on an obstacle: we can effectively get wonderful visions of a better world, and even real deep wisdom. This can make of us a valuable and authentic guide for the others, and certainly the best choice for orienting general policies. However this does not make us able to get any «personal information» hinting at a real telepathic communication with a real being. We are even warned, in all the serious teachings, not to hope for this kind of things. The explanation, as we see in chapter V-7 «How can Transcendence be everywhere?», is that these elements that we receive are universal properties of our own consciousnesses, and everybody finds the same things, just as crystals all have the same shape, without exchanging any information between each other. This is especially true for the «light» of the NDE, which often give a tremendous spiritual boost, but no factual information beyond the immediate situation of the person.
Technically speaking, receiving inspiration or base wisdom is freewill (chapter V-3), that is a connection from our consciousness toward our physical brain. This is already a good thing, that not everybody chooses to do. However to receive information from another person requires a second connection, further into the spiritual realm, this time to the consciousness of this person, or to the spiritual world she is living in. Only this can be called telepathy or ESP. But useless to say that this second requirement depends on conditions that we do not master easily (most probably befriending this person first, or attracting her attention in a way or another). This is the hard part, which further reduces the number of real contactees to a trickle, if any.
An advance notice of an astronomy event should constitute a sufficient proof of a telepathic contact or activity, even for classical science. But even so it is not so simple: if someone comes in a science conference saying that he received news from a deceased friend who lives in the Tushita paradise, he would just be expelled. He theoretically has more chances if he sends an email to the LIGO headquarter with an advance notice of a chirp. Problem, they don't have information on LIGO chirps in Tushita. Yes, the spiritual worlds have their laws and limitations too, just as the physical worlds, and these limitations can provide for a satisfying explanation of the Fermi paradox in all the scenario involving psi activity. Anyway before taking the risk of being ridiculous, the person needs to check the chirp himself first. But if he does, the others can no longer check themselves, and the contactee speech becomes indiscernible from any cook speech.
These requirements of practical spirituality limit psi contacts, if they exist, to an informal network of people who join in their meditation. Well, if we really want to know, we just need to join too. That is science, in the meaning of this book.
So that there is no clear evidence of psi messages being received on Earth today.
This may still happen, though, in private contexts, or we may some day reach the level to be officially contacted. But even so, given all the current scams and delusions, a contactee can be considered authentic only if he can give testable evidences, such as the coordinates of a special planet, or an advance notice of a Gamma Ray Burst.
This kind of awareness and checks can be considered as the bases of a psi SETI. Another method would be to find a way to discriminate real messages from the numerous visions and presence feeling which arise in meditation. One of the first point would be to have a clean enough and regular enough meditation, in order to attract the attention of a possible sender, and start an exchange. But above all, anybody trying such a thing has to do his own sanity check: useless to publicly claim any result if we do not have a factual test ourself.
The advantage of telepathic communication is that all types of civilizations can do it, save of course robots. Being non-physical, it is not limited by the speed of light (theoretically, not checked). In more, a potential emitter, or the receiver as well, do not need any powerful mean, and even not an endorsement from a state or organisation: the contact can be between two individuals, in a totally decentralized way. It may even be private, of no concern for the other people of both the emitter and receiver planet. (and today on Earth if such message exist they are private, for safety reasons).
A potential form that such contact can take is after a guru-disciple system, that is in a totally free, democratic and decentralised way. In this way, most probably potential emitters will train potential receivers... if the later heed them.
At this point, do not expect that the receiver starts to makes conference and try to convince people, under the media mocking and accusations of madness. There fortunately are much more efficient methods to spread a real message.
(Permalink) This is about finding contacts, detections or objects which would already be known, but censored. Useless to warn scientists that this is a hugely polluted field, from the numerous boosting disinformation (conspiracy theories, cooks, etc.). Although the very existence of such a huge disinformation effort and expenses may be a hint that precisely something is hidden somewhere.
Actually I do not know really credible stories of censored discoveries, although some discrete checks of some troubling statements may be useful.
A good idea would be an ear somewhere, some kind of setileaks, for possible whistle blowers to be heard without exposing themselves to retortion (We can safely assume that authorities censoring such an extraordinary thing as extraterrestrial contacts or artefacts are clearly abusing their power, and are in fault)
I address the topic of a large scale censorship in my series of fiction novels «Dumria».
(Permalink) For the spiritual factors of the Drake equation, fc (fraction of the previous able of emitting radio signals) and L (average duration of a civilisation, in years), we cannot give observation based estimates. However the statistical considerations of chapter VIII-5 lead to very high values for L, in billions years, and high values too for fc. Given that the estimates of the previous factors led to values between a million and billions planets in our galaxy where civilisation actually started (closest neighbour between 30 and 100 light-years), the whole Drake formula leads to a huge number of civilisations, on a high fractions of the stars. So we can easily detect them, and this should already have happened now.
However we have found zero until now (February 2016, with however some hints seen in chapter VII-5). This discrepancy, called the Fermi paradox, is becoming more and more annoying.
However a thorough analysis of the cases above in this chapter, shows that the paradox much more affects intentional signals: targeted radio beams, Bracewell probes, knowledge repositories, paleoartifacts, psi contacts, all are yet to be found, while theory says that they would be so common that we should live with them from the very start. On the contrary, all the cases of lack of detection of unintentional signals can be explained without paradox: either they are yet impossible to detect (astronomy SETI, diffuse radio signals) too difficult (nuclear interstellar travel) or they may even not exist at all (spaceships with unknown physics). The only unclear case so far is laser signals, because we did not yet really tried to detect them (April 2016).
This strongly suggests that the key of the Fermi Paradox is in the way civilisations behave, toward each other, or toward us precisely.
We do not need to discuss here trite hypothesis like civilisations being rare or destroying themselves. Anyway this would not save us of the paradox, since we would still need to explain what prevents civilizations to exist. A definitively important practical concern, since we are precisely the next one to be prevented to exist...
In facts there are several hypothesis which are already discussed among scientists, or that I shall introduce. We cannot yet assess which one of these hypothesis is the good one, but we can put them on the table and see how things are going. Especially the detection of unintentional signals will be possible soon, allowing to know the exact number of civilizations around and putting an end to the Drake equation discussion. So we shall see if they really exist, if they shun us, or if they just cannot contact us.
(Permalink) This is the favourite hypothesis among scientists: extraterrestrials may know Earth, but avoid to contact it, and even hide evidences of their existence, in order to avoid interfering with our own evolution. This idea is supported by a lot of facts in our own history: colonization always resulted in the destruction of the colonized civilizations, and often in the disparition of the peoples themselves.
However the recent history show on the contrary a reversal of this attitude: the last unspoiled native peoples are left isolated (Amazon tribes, Papu tribes, Sentinel island). This reversal is a consequence of our own evolution toward more respectful attitudes. Anyway, psychology, sociology and spirituality all tell together that we cannot force people into their own evolution: they have to want and decide themselves. An example of this is of the Jarawa people (Andaman Islands), who today are not colonized or enforced out of their ways. Interestingly they show a variety of behaviour, from keeping hidden to showing up into schools for being educated.
So it appears logical that extraterrestrials do the same with us. In more, if there is a galactic civilization (we found that there surely is one), then some moral values could be widespread, and respected by everybody, from large governments to small independent groups of individuals. (the absence of immoral extraterrestrials is the only sure SETI result so far: if they existed, they would have invaded us or played tricks on us for long ago, instead of showing up right when Hollywood is filming).
Can this attitude lead so far as extraterrestrials suppressing their own emissions and hiding their activities, in order not to appear to us? This is more questionable, for several reasons. Not the last being that our radio capacity is very recent, and they not yet had the time to change their attitude. Actually our emissions able to make it out is space date back about 1940-50. If a planet is at 50 light years, they received our first emissions in 1990-2000. Even if they shut down all their emissions at this moment, there is still today (2016) about 30 years worth of them under way toward Earth.
This reminds me a curious result claimed by Claude Poher, when he was the director of the GEPAN in 1978. He produced a curve of UFO activity, and compared it with the curves of inhabitable planets around Earth. The two curves showed a clear correlation, as if each UFO wave had been the response to our radio waves hitting various planets. I am curious to see what becomes of this curve today, with our better knowledge of our neighbor stars, and especially the discovery since of several stars unknown in this time, including a red dwarf (Teegarden's star, at only 12 ligh years). An interesting detail in Poher's curve was that the responses were instant, hinting at UFOs being psi activity, instead of machines bound by relativity.
There also are pro arguments. The low number and even probable absence of Bracewell probes or paleoartifacts points at this attitude being pursued since at least millions of years, well before intelligent life appeared on Earth. The lack of colonization even shows that this attitude already existed 4.5 billions years ago (admitting that colonization was already possible at this time).
(Permalink) We theorised a lot on interstellar travels, and found that the only predictable practical way is nuclear powered unmanned probes. This is not simple, though: fission needs the dangerous uranium mining. On Earth, the only (remaining) uranium mines are on the Moon, and they may be too diluted to extract efficiently, and anyway nobody wants our Moon to be disfigured. This makes that fission is reduced to a very limited supply of uranium and thorium. This fits well with the rarity or absence of space probes and paleoartifacts.
Fusion works better in theory. However it is thwarted by a dreadful thermodynamics requirement, called ergodicity. To explain simply, a good hobbyist can set up a high voltage source on his kitchen table, able to project protons on a boron block, with enough force for them to fusion. This works, but the problem is that most protons miss their target, and they bounce off in all the directions. Devices of this kind were made, but even the best waste a thousand times more energy in bouncing particles than they produce from fusion energy. Today the only known way to circumvent the ergodicity is to confine the particles in a plasma of millions degrees, where the bouncing atoms are sent back to react again. And the only known methods today are huge machines, tokamaks or giwawatt lasers. Even the promising IEC tubes finally needed to be gigantic. And there is no foreseeable way to miniaturise these colossal machines enough for a spaceship, and even less to survive their huge neutron flux.
This makes that, unless some unforeseen technological development or discovery, space travels may be impossible, or they require too much work or rare resources for being widespread. With only fission, we can't expect more than some Bracewell probes. With fusion, we can expect more probes, but still no inhabited spaceships.
(Permalink) I claim precedence for this one, starting April 2016.
Psychoeducated civilizations may be reluctant to contact us, and even not bother at all to do so, thinking that the result would not be worth the effort. Not everybody will like to know why.
Let us consider an ant nest, where a violent war rages between two queens and their supporters. Killing, enslaving and torture are rife, while innocent worker ants are slaughtered and famished by thousands.
Facing such an horrible situation, one of the basic motives of spiritual people is to bring justice and stop the war.
Very nice, but is this possible?
At first, we need to appear to the ants, in a form comprehensible to them, so that they do not reject us as mere invaders. Second, we need to learn their language. But even admitting that we are able to communicate with them about the situation and our purpose, we have a serious obstacle to consider: ants are deeply neurotic, and they cannot let go their mental conditioning, hardwired in their neurons. Worse, their conflict between two queens has no sense, since any of the two queens will do exactly the same thing. These difficulties make that nobody ever tried to contact ants to help them bring peace. And we daily pass besides ants nests without bothering about the horrors and dictatorship which may go on here, because quite simply we cannot help them at all. Even the great masters of compassion regret this situation, but usually they even not let this idea enter in their mind, and consecrate their time and energy to tasks which are within their reach and possibilities.
From the point of view of extraterrestrials wanting to help us out of compassion, Earth looks much like the ant nest above. We just can boast more free will than the ants, since our neurosis are in the «software» of the brain, allowing us to change them. But how many of us actually want to do so? If we do not use our freedom to solve our problems, then who else can solve them?
This makes that there is not much point for extraterrestrials to even think at us. Why to undertake such a tremendous work as a Bracewell probe, if it just ends up censored by some idiot secret service?
Even with psi contact, extraterrestrials do not have much more capacity to help us than we have to help the ants. Indeed extraterrestrials cannot force us to remove our neurosis: as everybody could check, it is useless to help people who do not want to change. People able of receiving psi contacts (see above section on psi SETI) already removed their neurosis for long, but they also face the difficulty to communicate with ordinary neurotic people.
This makes that quite simply most extraterrestrials would be busy at enjoying their wonderful worlds, thinking at us only as of a general philosophy topic, but not actually worrying or building projects (or only in privacy, with Humans able to receive them).
We even have a hint of this, with the possible detection of Dyson swarms on about 3% of the stars. If this is true, these civilizations are certainly highly technological and work intensive. But fact is that we do not see any of their spaceships.
Also, psychoeducated or spiritual beings will certainly have a big involvement in beauty, positive emotions and feelings. If so, they may not be interested in a «scientific» way of contacting us, and even shun this kind of discussion (especially knowing what some did with our science). As to interact with us in an emotional way (or even in a sexual way, possible in psi contact), it would feel for them as for us to interact with animals. This strongly impacts the methodology of the psi SETI of course, but also the classical radio or laser SETI: if they sent only music, would seti@home find it?
Another issue is also known on Earth: people teaching high spirituality encourage to become bodhisattvas, that is beings with such a high compassion that they would sacrifice their own happiness to help others. In this way, extraterrestrial bodhisattvas would try to contact us and help us, by whichever mean and whatever the expense and effort. However many practitioners of high spirituality more or less abandon this path, to become arhats, able to master their own spiritual existence. Arhats are certainly wonderful beings, and very interesting to meet, but instead of bodhisattvas, extraterrestrial arhats would privilege immediate efficiency, consecrate their energy to the situations they have at hand, that they can practically work with. To do otherwise would need an extraordinary level of Bodhisattva quality! Most likely these people create paradise worlds, physical, virtual or spiritual, and help people here to complete their own evolution and master their life conditions.
The situation is however not entirely hopeless: contrarily to ants, with their brain blocked since tens of millions years, Mankind is evolving at the century scale, and individuals can go even faster. This opens the possibility of a tipping point, which could be close, where some extraterrestrials could decide to contact us, either publicly, or some persons in private, by any mean available to them.
Anyway high spirituality always use the guru-disciple system: to receive help, we must ask for it. Good to remember this point, for the psi SETI, and even for the radio SETI.
(Permalink) (This sub-chapter added in December 2022) The idea is that life would be common, and many planets would reach the stage of starting a civilization. But for some reason, they would all be eliminated at this stage. This would solve the Fermi paradox by making life common, but civilizations rare or non-existent. This hypothesis became very popular in some years, perhaps for its masochistic tinge «elimination of the unfit».
We started to hear about this when the Large Hadron Collider went online. Some people feared that it could create mini-black holes, and destroy the Earth. All the civilizations would all be trapped that way, and radically eliminated. Scientists knew that the LHC scenario cannot happen, but they have their own catastrophe scenarios: nuclear war, Venus-like climate flip, rich morons taking control over our genome or our brain, etc. However we saw in chapter VI-15 that it is in fact hard to really eliminate intelligent life on Earth.
This allows us for several hypothesis on a possible great filter:
-Some unexpected discovery in physics destroys Earth. We have nothing such in sight, but this makes a possible trap even more dangerous: nobody is aware of the danger, or even suspect what to be wary of. My best guess: a genetically engineered virus or bacteria, destroying all superior life, released from carelessness or by life haters.
-Samples returned from neighbouring planets (Mars for Earth) would not contain living DNA, and therefore would not be considered dangerous. But they would contain auto-catalytic molecules or prions which would indiscriminately destroy all living cells.
-Civilizations would systematically self-destroy with war, ecology carelessness, uncontrolled genetics, robots power taking, etc. This hypothesis ignores psychoeducation and what it can do.
-Civilizations would become spiritual, and abandon science and technology.
-The planets themselves would change to a spiritual state, disappearing from the physical world. This is the topic of my «dumria» novels.
-Soon after discovering psychoeducation, civilizations would become able of psychical communication. It would then replace technological communication as much more efficient, just as cars replaced horses. But this requires mastery of the ego, on both emitter and receiver sides. This way, they would try to contact us using psychical means, and fail, since most of us are still riveted to our egos. So that they are waiting for us to be ready, see they would even not bother at all to reach us (ant nest hypothesis):
(Permalink) As we saw, psi powers, and even fantastic things like moving from the material world to the spiritual world, happen soon after obtaining of basic psychoeducation. This makes moot all the technological development, including communication, lasers, spaceships. Why to consecrate a large part of the resources of a planet, if we can obtain more results simply with sitting on a meditation cushion? Why to bother maintaining a complex technostructure like a Dyson swarm, if we can have a much better life just beyond death?
Still worse, people with psi powers, or even living into spiritual worlds, would simply be unable to contact us using their methods. Indeed today very few humans have a real capacity to receive psi messages, and for the majority they just appear as evanescent experiences, forgotten or discarded as soon as the heavy mechanics of the neurons take the full power again.
If this is really the case, then the most likely scenario for the galactic civilization is only low tech nursery worlds.
And the most likely contact is psi SETI.
But even so, if today people have psi contacts, they will need to keep silent, or exchange together in privacy.
This situation still opens up the possibility of a secret network of persons having some form of contact, and attempting to bring better politics, or even to correct the evolution of our civilisation. I personally have no information on this, but I would not be surprised at all to discover such a spiritual government of Earth.
(Permalink) The five points above are interesting, because they can provide, each or in combination, with several credible solutions to the Fermi paradox.
The only remaining trouble is that today (April 2016) we cannot assess the contribution of each of the four points, to the lack of detection of extraterrestrial civilizations. There could even be others.
I shall however still try to make a synthesis, after the previous points:
- There would be no intentional radio signals, given that lasers are much more efficient for this purpose.
- Unintentional radio signals are still too hard to detect today. But this may be possible in 20-30 years. To detect them will allow at last to know the proportion of stars hosting technological civilisations, but will give us no information on other types of civilisation.
- Unintentional laser signals are rare, because we need to be on their very narrow path (searching stars with a possible target at 180° would help).
- Intentional laser signals, aimed at contacting Earth, are easy to produce and to detect. And as soon as the laser SETI works in the right way, it will allow to know in some years if extraterrestrial civilisations are really trying to contact us. If yes, then they do not consider us as an ant nest or a protected or dangerous specie, and our admission into the galactic network of civilizations is nearby done, as soon as we build a powerful enough laser to reply.
- If we do not find laser signals, then the situation is more complex, and probably the solution is some combination of ant nest hypothesis and psi contact being so much easier that nobody even bother with lasers, and all the less with spaceships. We then should focus on the psi SETI.
- Especially, confirming the known Dyson swarms candidates will contradict the psi worlds hypothesis, because they imply a widespread use of high technology and high reliance on it for life support. If these high tech civilizations exist, and they do not try to contact us with lasers, then it is that it is us the ants, the barbarians, the primitives, and nobody can help us, only us can help ourselves.
-(Permalink) Develop laser SETI in a priority. Select a small set of best frequencies per star (see above), and look for variable or unexplained emission rays. With a fast photometer, monitor their modulation several times a day at random intervals, for pulses, or for low frequency modem-like modulations. Ideally we need satellites, but waiting for this we can filter out low frequency fluctuations due to the atmosphere, and still be able to spot pulses, or modem frequencies. If the signals are intentional, they will be specially designed with this in mind. Surfing on this idea, modem frequencies have an irrational ratio, while best pulses have a complex but constant waveform, like multiplets, and repeat in a predictable pattern. Put simply, extraterrestrial signals will be ideally designed for Astropulse, ha ha ha!
- Existing radio SETI must not be abandoned, because it may be close to the point where the huge investment will pay off. In more its tools can easily be adapted to laser SETI, and the two work together with the same tools.
- Other electromagnetic frequencies, such as millimetre maser, should be investigated.
- Check Dyson swarms candidates (spectra, Doppler effect, radio, infrared or optical high resolution imaging...)
- Inquire known paleoartifact candidates (only two or three so far, see chapter VII-5)
- Piggyback on the search for dangerous asteroids, for finding probes.
- Check for artistic signals, not only for prime numbers or mathematical formula.
- Evaluate methods for UFO SETI and psi SETI. Perhaps this book may help. This is delicate, because of the high prejudice and idiot bashing, which may also hit the classical SETI by ricochet. Lots of boosting disinformation anyway in this domain, but filtering out noise has become a SETI speciality, right? Perhaps read chapter II-9, before setting an appropriate place for discussing of this.
- Psi SETI most likely involves a kind of demand from us. Depending on the content of this demand, it will be received, or ignored.
- Enjoy academic funding or state funding when it comes, but do not rely on it for base work, since it can be suppressed at whim (as it already happened). Even donations are safer, although they also fluctuate a lot, depending on events or media coverage. Ultimately background work and support personnel must be paid mostly by foundations.
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