Many answers have been proposed for this perennial conundrum, along
the lines of the low likelihood of the evolution of intelligence, the
extremely dispersed nature of star-systems, or suspicions of cosmic
conspiracy in which the aliens are hiding from us because we're too
nasty. Although some claim that we have, indeed, been contacted from
BEYOND, I feel the evidence here is wooly and not scientifically
admissable. However, my new solution provides a more coherent and
satisfying response.

One of the prevalent trends of our civilization is that of
MINATURIZATION. As time goes on, things become smaller and smaller. We
can see this in the development of such current novelties as the
coffin-sized hotel room, the palm-sized microwave oven, and the
so-called "ear computer": but today's miracle gadgets will rapidly become
tomorrow's commonplaces. As the necessary volume for things to exist
in becomes less, a coherent civilization must necessarily shrink,
drawing closer together to minimize communication problems: tiny
wires are more susceptible to being broken. Incoherent civilizations
simply blow themselves to bits, so that takes care of that.

Let us imagine this kind of shrinkage is occuring for our hypothetical
aliens. We see that as the process progresses, it will eventually be
convenient for a civilization to place itself within a shell of some
sort, as naturally occuring events such as rainstorms will frequently
threaten to wipe it out: location in an arid zone would only be a
temporary solution to this dilemma. Once enshelled, a civilization has
little incentive to contact anything outside of itself. I would
imagine that at the current rate of development of our own
civilization, we will be the size of a speck of dust, and covered with
a chitinous coating, at some point within the next 200 years!

Hand-in-hand with minaturization comes an escalation in rapidity. It
is well known that small things move faster in general than big
things, because there is less matter to be propelled about. We can see
how civilization around us is speeding up as minaturization takes
effect by considering the rapid increase in the amount of rubbish
human beings produce on average: in 1600 this approximated 4kg per
person per annum, wheras in 2000 it will be on the order of 400 tonnes
per person per annum. This vast escalation in the amount of
obsolescent material in the world indicates the rapidity with which
things are, in general, used: it is especially surprising when we note
that most of those things are SMALLER than they used to be. The level
of acceleration this required is literally incredible.

Extrapolation of these two trends together leads to the conclusion
that intelligent aliens are very probably microscopic, yet are
developing extremely rapidly. This suggests that societal
fragmentation will be rapid within these specks, leading to splitting
off of components: thus the speck will rapidly disintegrate to finer
and finer pieces of powder. As this shrinkage occurs, the likelihood
that a journey through interstellar space will occur decreases, as the
amount of space that has to be traversed becomes proportionally much

**** ZPK SITE PLUG: http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~petehip/ZPKIntro.html ****

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