January 14, 2010

Drake Equation explains lack of aliens and girlfriends..

Filed under: Internet, Math — Jonathan @ 11:04 am

The Drake Equation is used to estimate the number of highly evolved civilizations that might exist in our galaxy.  Warwick University’s Peter Backus applies the Drake equation to discover why, exactly, he can’t find a girlfriend. The results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.

“So,
 what
 this
 means
 is
 that
 there
 are
 10,510
 people
 in
 the
 UK
 that
 satisfy
 these
 most
 basic
 criteria
 for
 being
 my
 girlfriend.
 That
 is
 0.00017%
 of
 the
 UK
 and
 0.0014%
 of
 Londoners,
 which
 doesn’t
 seem
 so
 bad.
 On
 a
 given
 night
 in
 London,
 there
 is
 greater
 than
 a
 1
 in
 1000
 chance
 that
 I
 will
 meet
 an
 attractive
 woman
 between
 the
 ages
 of
 24
 and
 34
 with
 a
 university
 degree.
 Of
 course
 this
 does
 not
 take
 into
 account
 the
 fraction
 of
 these
 women
 that
 will
 find
 me
 attractive
 (depressingly
 low),
 the
 fraction
 of
 these
 women
 who
 will
 be
 single
 (falling
 with
 age)
 and,
 perhaps
 most
 importantly,
 the
 fraction
 of
 these
 women
 who
 I
 will
 get
 along
 with.
 Including
 such
 factors
 would
 greatly
 reduce
 the
 above
 figure
 of
 10,510.
 A
 rough
 estimate
 puts
 the
 number
 of
 potential
 girlfriends
 accounting
 for
 these
 three
 additional
 criteria
 (1
 in
 20
 of
 the
 women
 find
 me
 attractive,
 half
 are
 single
 and
 I
 get
 along
 with
 1
 in
 10)
 at

 26.

 That’s
 correct.
 There
 are
 26
 women
 in

 London
 with
 whom
 I
 might
 have
 a
 wonderful
 relationship.

 So,
 on
 a
 given
 night
 out
 in
 London
 there
 is
 a
 0.0000034%
 chance
 of
 meeting
 one
 of
 these
 special
 people,
 about
 100
 times
 better
 than
 finding
 an
 alien
 civilization
 we
 can
 communicate
 with.
 That’s
 a
 1
 in
 285,000
 chance.
 Not
 great.”

More info + all the math: link

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