|The Quake Equation|
How can we estimate the number of intelligent individuals that might exist on Earth? While working as a burger flipper at a McDonalds in Southampton, Hampshire UK, Dr. Marvin Fenderson (now President of the STI Institute) conceived an approach to bound the terms involved in estimating the number of intelligent individuals that may exist on our planet.
It is hard to accurately calculate the exact number, but as an avid Quake player, Dr. Marvin surmised that playing Quake was the only certain indication of intelligence.
Although there is no unique solution to this equation, it is a generally accepted tool used by the scientific community to examine these factors. The equation is shown above.
The number of communicative intelligent individuals
The rate of purchase of suitable computers
The fraction of those computers to which Quake has been ported
The number of game players per computer
The fraction of games players who like and play Quake
The fraction of Quake players with Internet access
The fraction of Quake players who write websites about it
The "Bandwidth" of a website
Within the limits of our existing technology, any practical web search for nearby intelligent life must necessarily be a search for some manifestation of a nearby web site. A search for terrestrial web sites has long been considered the most promising approach by the majority of the scientific community. Besides illuminating the factors involved in such a search, the Quake Equation is a simple, effective tool for stimulating intellectual curiosity about the planet around us, for helping us to understand that life as we know it is the end product of a natural, cosmic evolution, and for making us realize how much we are a part of that planet. A key goal of the STI Institute is to further high quality research that will yield additional skins or information related to any of the factors of this fascinating equation.