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Feudalism is a tempting contender for Fermi's great barrier, if an unlikely one

Ta, David Brin

You may well have heard of the Fermi Paradox. It's one of my favourite paradoxes, even though it is terrifying. It goes like this: given what we know about the likelihood of our galaxy containing multitudes of life-supporting planets, combined with our knowledge of the galaxy's age, why haven't aliens come knocking? Even our primitive brains can imagine populating a huge portion of the galaxy in a relatively brief time using self-replicating machines, so something doesn't add up.

I've been jabbering on about the Fermi Paradox to anyone who'll listen since I was 13, but it was only last week that I saw someone pin the blame on feudalism.

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Matt Cox avatar
Matt Cox: Once the leader of Rock Paper Shotgun's Youth Contingent, Matt is an expert in multiplayer games, deckbuilders and battle royales. He occasionally pops back into the Treehouse to write some news for us from time to time, but he mostly spends his days teaching small children how to speak different languages in warmer climates.
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