962: The Corliss Resolution

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The Corliss Resolution
And no avian society ever develops space travel because it's impossible to focus on calculus when you could be outside flying.
Title text: And no avian society ever develops space travel because it's impossible to focus on calculus when you could be outside flying.

[edit] Explanation

Jeb Corliss is a professional BASE jumper and wingsuit flyer, like in the fourth panel. Corliss has jumped from a lot of different buildings and monuments in the world. Hence, the Corliss Resolution.

The Fermi paradox is an astronomical problem that states: "The universe is large enough that many planets should have extraterrestrial intelligent life. Why, then, haven't we detected any signs of it?" The paradox has numerous hypothetical solutions — some say that life is much rarer than we think, and others suggest that civilizations will eventually destroy themselves (as mentioned in the comic).

Randall proposes another solution to the Fermi paradox: before they can develop space travel and the like, civilizations will inevitably invent an "activity more fun than survival." That is, something fun that's also very dangerous, such as flying off a cliff in a wingsuit.

As said in the title text, a being that can already fly (hence "avian society") would probably prefer flying around outside over developing the tools needed for space colonization.

See 384: The Drake Equation for another comic about intelligent life in the universe.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball with an unusual suit runs right with a small cloud behind his legs. The frame of the panel is only two thirds the normal height and above the frame is the text from the narrator:]
Narrator: The Fermi Paradox: Planets are so common that life should be too. So where is it?
[Cueball keeps running with the small cloud behind his legs. Above him there are two frames with narration:]
Narrator: Well, now we know.
Narrator: It's not that life inevitably destroys itself with war.
[Cueball leaps into the air off a jagged cliff edge with gray cliffs. The image frame only covers a small part of the center of this panel. Narration text is shown both above and below the image:]
Narrator: It's just that it takes longer to develop space colonization.
Narrator: Than it does to invent an activity
[A Youtube video is shown with the usual icons in the black bar below the image; play, volume, full screen etc. The video shows Cueball soaring downwards as indicated with four speed lines behind his spread out arms and legs. The strange suit has opened up revealing it to be a wingsuit. The sound is on and Cueball can be heard. Above the video frame there is a final narration text in a frame. Two people are watching the video together off-panel and their comments are shown below in two voice bubbles with arrows pointing left and right.]
Narrator: More fun than survival.
Cueball: Wheeeee!
Off-panel voice #1: Holy crap.
Off-panel voice #2: I don't care how dangerous it is. I have to try it.


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Discussion

But technological development is eventually going to make wingsuit flight safe, so how are we going to explain our continued survival after that? Davidy²²[talk] 08:28, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Rocket-Sneakers(TM) 178.105.151.131 06:59, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

When wingsuits become safe, they will become common, and will therefore not be as much fun. In the mean time, someone will have invented something else which is both fun and dangerous (like the aforementioned Rocket-Sneakers(TM)) Drmouse (talk) 13:19, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

"before they can develop space travel and the like, civilizations will inevitably invent an "activity more fun than survival." That is, something fun that's also very dangerous, such as flying off a cliff in a wing-suit."

Before they can develop space travel and the like, civilizations will have to invent an activity more fun than jumping off a cliff in a wing-suit and the like. Space travel is boring. Engineering space travel is boring with maths and work in it too. I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 22:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

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