The emptiness of Fermi’s Paradox as an argument against ETs rests, I think, on the unlikelihood that advanced technological civilizations would ever explore or colonize their universe in the flesh. I’ve suggested here that the “reach” of ETs through space, and that of our own human or machine descendents, will be via Von Neumann probes gathering and collecting potentially infinite amounts of information for use and enjoyment back home. But there are other, not incompatible possibilities that, if we are to be suitably broad minded, we should also consider. These possibilities rest on a series of very big “ifs,” admittedly, but they are worthwhile (and way fun) to think about.
One of these ifs—which actually seems to be becoming less controversial in our day—is ESP. As outrageous as it remains to committed materialists—and I’ll admit it didn’t settle well with me either until I started paying serious attention to the literature—there is ample experimental evidence (quite apart from ample testimony of psychonauts and mystics since time immemorial) that knowledge may indeed transcend apparent limitations of matter, space, and time. According to a few serious scientific thinkers on this topic like Russell Targ and Dean Radin, consciousness is nonlocal. The CIA-funded remote viewing research of the 1970s and 80s at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), for instance, shows that distance is no obstacle for talented clairvoyants; the experiments conducted at SRI by Targ and Hal Puthoff clearly indicate that Psi effects don’t obey an inverse square law like electromagnetic radiation or any other known physical force. Skilled remote viewers seem to be able to accurately view targets on the other side of the planet or within an electromagnetically sealed chamber as readily as they can view something in a sealed envelope in the same room.