The apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations.
My Resolution to the Fermi Paradox
Maybe they are here… But just don’t reveal themselves?
Star Trek – Prime Directive
General Order 1: “No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society.” (TAS: “The Magicks of Megas-Tu”)
General Order 1 is also better known as the Prime Directive. It supersedes all other laws and directives, with the exception of the Omega Directive.
“Who Watches the Watchers” – Star Trek Episode
In the Star Trek episode “Who Watches the Watchers”, part of the crew have an invisibility station they are using to observe a bronze age civilization on a remote planet. When the power station overloads and goes down the invisibility shield wall stops working, and their station is accidentally revealed to a member of this bronze age civilization. I won’t ruin the entire episode for you, but the basic premise is that once an alien race reveals its existance, you can’t ever go backwards. It’s an irreversable decision, and it often results in completely #*@&ing up the more primitive civilization they make contact with.
Advantages of non-intrusive observation
- Allows for the unmolested study of nature
- Unperturbed behavior
- Never completely fool-proof
- What happens when the cover is blown?