S2E8 - Aliens: Where is everybody???

Hey--is anyone out there? In our last official episode of Season 2, we talk about whether humans are actually alone in the universe with the help of theories from physicists, philosophers, and Champagne Papi. JK. Kind of. From the Fermi Paradox to the Great Filter Theory to the Drake Equation (see what we did there?) we discuss whether it's crazy to believe in UFOs and little green men…or crazy NOT to! Along the way Maria reveals her awkward mixup of foreign vs. intergalactic policy expectations, Noorain sings the praises of the feminist movie Contact, and together we muse on what our collective obsession with life on other planets says about humanity today. Get ready everyone, the government can’t cover up this conversation! The truth is out there...

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Rene Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy." transl. D. A. Cress (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing; originally published in 1641) http://selfpace.uconn.edu/class/percep/DescartesMeditations.pdf

"The Drake Equation." SETI Institute. http://www.seti.org/drakeequation  

"The Fermi Paradox." SETI Institute. http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/project/details/fermi-paradox

Max Weber, "Science as Vocation." From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. and transl. H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946; originally published in 1919),  129-156. http://anthropos-lab.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Weber-Science-as-a-Vocation.pdf


David Chalmers, "The Philosophy of Virtual Reality" (on Descartes, perception, and the Matrix - thanks to Nabiha Syed for the link!) https://aeon.co/videos/new-realities-are-imminent-how-vr-reframes-big-questions-in-philosophy


Will Dahlgreen, "You are not alone: most people believe that aliens exist," YouGov. September 28, 2015. https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/09/28/you-are-not-alone-most-people-believe-aliens-exist/

George Dvorsky, "11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox," io9. March 20, 2013. http://io9.com/11-of-the-weirdest-solutions-to-the-fermi-paradox-456850746

George Dvorsky, "The Great Filter theory suggests humans have already conquered the threat of extinction," io9. December 21, 2012. http://io9.com/5970501/the-great-filter-theory-suggests-humans-have-already-conquered-the-threat-of-extinction

Douglas Main, "Most People Believe Intelligent Aliens Exist, Poll Says," Newsweek. September 29, 2015. http://www.newsweek.com/most-people-believe-intelligent-aliens-exist-377965  

Tim Urban, " The Fermi Paradox: Where the Hell Are the Other Earths?," Gizmodo. May 23, 2014. http://gizmodo.com/the-fermi-paradox-where-the-hell-are-the-other-earths-1580345495


Noorain's elementary school reading: My Teacher is an Alien (1989) https://lexile.com/book/details/9780671737290/  and beloved film Contact (1997):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRoj3jK37Vc

Music this time by Katy Perry, St. Vincent, and the magnificent Ella Fitzgerald. With shoutouts to Drake (naturally) and the X-Files theme song (DOUBLE naturally).

Posted on June 8, 2016 .