I read this great paper today on the Fermi Paradox. Everyone please do yourselves a favor and go read it. It may help your nerd cred out some telling folks you've read stuff from arXiv.
I've posted about the Fermi Paradox before. Several times actually (click for my take or click for a better explanation). I've read several books on the subject, I've read sci fi novels about the topic. I'm something of a Fermi Paradox junkie. My unpublished novel is sort of a take on the subject as well. Or, in other words, I've heard every possible explanation and considered it, gaged its truthiness, and moved on.
What the paper postulated for our consideration, was that a cosmic natural selection process was at work. Those that went about exploring the galaxy, broadcasting their whereabouts (Like us, in other words) were getting systematically wiped out. By what? Predator species that prey on the naive civilizations that let everyone know where their at.
The paper continues to point out that if earth analogues can be used - and assuming natural selection is the only possible means for any species to evolve - then any intelligent species probably was a predator anyway. That isn't new, but further makes his point that what we meet out there would probably be more like Alien than E.T.
Stephen Hawking is on board with the idea, as he mentioned in his mini series that aired last year on the science channel. At the time I disagreed, I still think I do, but it got me thinking. The whole idea of some sort of cosmic natural selection is at work, culling outgoing species and fostering intensely secretive ones I think is flawed, it's like social Darwinism writ large.
Still. it's interesting.