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In 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi casually asked the now-famous question, “But where is everybody?” while in a conversation about our vastly silent universe. The question of silence and the absence of detectable “alien” or nonhuman life despite the substantial number of stars, planets, and galaxies became known as the Fermi paradox. The big-picture science magazine Nautilus recently published a story called “The Great Silence” by Ted Chiang, the award-winning science fiction writer. It looks at the Fermi paradox a little differently.
Chiang’s story opens with an observation by a highly intelligent (and endangered) grey parrot:
“The humans use Arecibo to look for extraterrestrial…READ MORE