We review Fermi's paradox (or the "Great Silence" problem), not only arguably the oldest and crucial problem for the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI), but also a conundrum of profound scientific, philosophical and cultural importance. By a simple analysis of observation selection effects, the correct resolution of Fermi's paradox is certain to tell us something about the future of humanity
... Somewhat paradoxically, it seems that the class of (neo)catastrophic hypotheses gives, on balance, the strongest justification for guarded optimism regarding our current and near-future SETI efforts.
It's long but it's worth it. The giga-scale thinking involved in Fermi's paradox is a breath of fresh air and a great antidote to spending too much time worrying about whatever tiny little details make up your tiny little life."
NSFW It appears that while some people are increasingly concerned that Google's entertaining Street View might visually rape their swimming pool or lay bare their military secrets to black turbans and other jihadist riff-raff, the residents of Illinois have a rather more relaxed attitude to privacy.
"Live or die, I'll make a million." -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater