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

The Fermi Paradox: Planets are so common that life should be too. So where is it?
[Cueball with an unusual suit runs.]
Well, now we know. It's not that life inevitably destroys itself with war.
[Cueball keeps running.]
It's just that it takes longer to develop space colonization.
[Cueball leaps off a cliff]
Than it does to invent an activity
more fun than survival.
[Youtube video of Cueball, with the suit opening up into a wingsuit. As this is youtube, the comments have not been shown. Two people are watching the video offpanel.]
Person 1: Holy crap.
Person 2: I don't care how dangerous it is. I have to try it.
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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) 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)
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