Article about VASCO in Forskning & Framsteg, Vol 6 2018

innehal

In the early spring, we were interviewed

about VASCO for the Swedish popular science journal, “Forskning & Framsteg” for its June issue. You can currently buy it in Pressbyrån in Sweden or online (at http://fof.prenservice.se/KodLandning/Index/?Internetkod=057-0571311&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1PGSw46G3AIVkYKyCh35nAC4EAAYASAAEgI6J_D_BwE).

You can also read an online version: (link: https://fof.se/tidning/2018/6/artikel/jakten-efter-forsvunna-stjarnor)

— Beatriz Villarroel

Article about VASCO in Forskning & Framsteg, Vol 6 2018

What Drake’s equation says about the nature of probability

Drake’s equation (i.e. a decomposition of the probability that alien life must exist as a chain of conditional probabilities which sound more reasonable. After a beer or two. Or three) makes an interesting case for thinking about the nature of probabilities. What do we mean really when saying ‘those aliens must in all likelihood exist‘? No way it can point to a relative frequency. Maybe a propensity interpretation? But statements as ‘they tend to exist‘ make not much sense either. The only viable option – as far as I can see – is that evidence suggested by Drake should be in the eye of the beholder. Subjective. Belief-based. Bayes. In the good ol’ De Finetti sense. Earthlings and any alien civilisation far far away must be exchangeable. We are as curious for them as they for us. This seems a solid foundation for educated guessing about this.

-Kristiaan

What Drake’s equation says about the nature of probability

Life vs Dark Energy

An amazing paper by Dan Hooper appeared on the arXiv preprint server in the past week: “Life Versus Dark Energy: How An Advanced Civilization Could Resist the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe”. The idea is that extremely advanced alien civilizations seeking to maximize the energy available to them billions to trillions of years into the future might want to start gathering distant stars and bringing them closer to home. By moving the stars at relativistic velocities, one could prevent them from being carried outside the horizon by the accelerating cosmic expansion due to dark energy. However, since stars of all masses are not equally suitable for this relocation trick, the end product may be large groups or clusters of galaxies with pretty unusual spectral properties.
Link to paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.05203

– Erik Zackrisson

Life vs Dark Energy

VASCO-i: The kick-off workshop.

Thanks all for participating to what turned out to be a stellar event!

We got a video of Pete’s talk online at  [ video ].

One of the action points is to setup a communication channel to report progress that we make within VASCO. This WordPress website is going to address this in a generic way, and communicate links to whatever platform will turn out more applicable. Particularly, this blog is going to be used for this: this blog is open-to-all to view and comment.

VASCO-i: The kick-off workshop.