Have Some Truly Depressing Mathematics

It’s easy to follow – even I can follow it. I could probably even input my own figures into that equation and come out with a fairly similar answer.

Here, is where this paper is published; it’s based on the Drake equation (used to estimate the number of highly evolved civilisations that might exist in our galaxy), and here is the paper itself.

By that logic it’s kind of remarkable that anyone ever has any relationships with anyone, far less actually gets married and sticks with it. So, if the mathematics and logic seem sound (which they do) why is it that the truth is so much less hopeless?



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10 responses to “Have Some Truly Depressing Mathematics

  1. Because most couple don’t meet through, quote, ‘random nights out in London’. Spot the unaccounted-for factor time! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Adam

    Must. Not. Attempt. Own. Calculation…

  3. Jenny

    Also there are 365 days in the year when you might meet someone. Which ups the probability a bit.

  4. Plus people aren’t simple enough to be defined by such a simple equation.

    You could put it all down to hormones (we’re attracted to people who are genetically different to ourselves) and a bit of chance (so you actually get on reasonably well) and it probably gets a lot more likely.

    He said, answering one gross oversimplification with another.

  5. C R M

    pFft. everyone knows it’s silly because people are more complicated than that. Just enjoy the maths. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. (Also, wrt the title, I have quite enough truly depressing mathematics already, thanks… *grumble sigh*)

  7. Jenny

    Sorry ๐Ÿ˜› xxx

  8. Whoops, I thought all about how I would comment on this without actually doing it!

    First off, I’m always sceptical when people come up with equations. There are millions upon millions of possible equations out there that describe nothing at all. You only get real validity when you come up with an equation, make a testable prediction, then perform an experiment to validate that prediction. Science, bitches.

    Second, these types of approaches all rely on the unspoken assumption that our own experience is typical. Maybe most lifeforms out there are gaseous intelligences which span whole nebulae! Who knows? It’s terribly ego-centric of us to think that everyone out there will communicate by flinging radio waves about.

  9. Jenny

    I am never going out with a gaseous intelligence who communicates by flinging radio waves about. Just thought I’d make that clear from the off!!

    But yes, you’re right.

  10. I dunno, some of those gaseous intelligences are pretty hot.

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