Let's talk aliens

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Let's talk aliens

Post by FallenLeaves on Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:04 pm

Possible spoilers ahead? I'm not sure whether this is really obvious to everyone and just no-one mentioned it, whether I'm just plain wrong or whether or not it's a plot point, but if you want to play it safe, I suggest not reading on.

(I'd understand why no-one mentioned this in the comments, it was rather a revelatory page.)
Here Rasputin mentions a "great filter". Now, this could be something completely different, but my first thought on hearing that was of the Fermi Paradox.
For those who don't know, basically the Fermi Paradox is that there are enough planets around, and the universe has existed for long enough, that we should have seen other life by now, but we haven't. If, for example, some race in our galaxy a billion years ago had developed self-replicating interstellar robots, they should have colonised the entire galaxy by now. Thus, paradox.
One explanation is that there must be some "filters" which races must pass through to become intelligent, develop signalling or space travel, or otherwise be detectable to us. But since there should be billions of opportunities for this to happen, it seems unlikely that there could be enough minor filters, which only stop a small proportion from progressing, to stop all the races before us. This leads to the theory of a "great filter", which has stopped all or almost all races until now.
But of course, there's no reason to assume the great filter's behind us. If an alien race a hundred light years away had followed a similar technological path to us, then been wiped out about 50 years ahead of where we are, we would be very unlikely to detect them, because the window of radio signals is so small.
So these time paradoxes seem to be the great filter of this universe. It seems that every race at some point develops time travel, and creates paradoxes such that the only stable timelines are those where either the race is wiped out or, possibly, never existed.
I also think I remember the lack of aliens being mentioned as a future plot point in one of our foreign mapmaker's comments under a page, which sort of supports this, maybe?
I realise now that I've sounded very certain on much of this throughout this post. I'm not, but I am curious to hear your thoughts.
A much better explanation of the Fermi Paradox than I gave


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