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Fermi Paradox and Percolation Theory
#1
http://www.geoffreylandis.com/percolation.htp

I noticed that the OA piece on the Fermi Paradox doesn't seem to mention this as a possible resolution -- assuming I haven't missed something of course. To me, this has always seemed the most elegant and plausible explanation for why we don't see galaxy spanning civilizations setting up shop around Tau Ceti or the ruins of alien colonies buried in Permian sediment. If Landis is correct, several waves of colonization may have passed Earth by, leaving it unmolested. It's possible that Earth may have been surrounded by a sprawling network of civilizations more than once throughout its history, but fortunately for us, Earth just happened to reside in one of the many voids that form due to the nature of percolation.

Thoughts?
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#2
By the time of the OA current era, the truth or otherwise of the Percolation theory would be apparent, mostly because the Terragen Civilisation itself seems to expand in a completely different way to that suggested by Landis.

The Terragens send out numerous colonisation missions from multiple locations, and those missions report back to the worlds that sent them out, sharing information about the progrsss of the colony and so forth. Any uncolonised worlds are catalogued and closely observed, and it is highly probable that these worlds will be visited, surveyed and colonised in due course.

Basically it is not possible for a world to be 'missed' by a wave of highly organised, information-rich colonisation as represented by the Terragen civ.

However that would not necessarily apply to other civilisations in the scenario. The Muuh, for instance, seem to have been very patchy in their colonisation efforts (though it is difficult to be sure, since they established their colonies so long ago that they have all been moved by stellar proper motion).

It may also be the case that at least some of the a-human colonies established by the Diamond Network and the Panvirts follow the rules of percolation, since these entities are generally solitary and solipsistic, unwilling to share much information even with other beings very like themselves.
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#3
Thanks! That helps clarify things considerably.
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#4
It's also not clear how much longer Terragen Civ will continue to expand in its current fashion. If a large part of the civ moves into the virtuality or goes solipsist or mysteriously vanishes as past civs apparently have, then there could be a period when the remaining exploration and colonization (or pre-colonization) systems keep operating at a ever reducing level of effectiveness that results in a 'patchy colonization wave' that gets ever patchier for a time and then eventually peters out. Stellar drift and time would then create even more gaps until some new civ started filling things in for another cosmic eyeblink of time.

Just a thought or two.

Todd
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#5
I'm curious; over the course of hundreds of millions of years, wouldn't remnants of extinct civilizations spread out over the galaxy due to the drift of stars from their original relative positions? Is it possible, that given enough time, one might find the remnants of a Terrangen analog on opposite sides of the galaxy?
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#6
(05-06-2013, 07:41 AM)Sim Koning Wrote: I'm curious; over the course of hundreds of millions of years, wouldn't remnants of extinct civilizations spread out over the galaxy due to the drift of stars from their original relative positions? Is it possible, that given enough time, one might find the remnants of a Terrangen analog on opposite sides of the galaxy?

Yes, that could happen. In the OA setting the Halogenics are an example of a civilization (or meta-civilization) that could probably detected by its traces almost anywhere. That there aren't the remains of one or several Terragen-type HEECs within the Terragen Sphere is a deep mystery in the 'reality' we've created for the setting. The Fermi Paradox as we experience it now in the real world is much milder than the version we've written into the OA setting.
Stephen
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#7
Maybe the remnants of any HEEC that has entered Terragen Space have been cleared by the Restorers; this might be the main reason for their existence.
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/480284ad2994e

Some remnants of very advanced civilisations do persist, however, such as the Archives
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/48000b3e907d6
and
Miracle City
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/49111e628407
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