Drake Equation - Whatevs
Not to be confused with Drake the celebrity, the Drake Equation is not a person at all. Rather, it is a mathematical equation written in 1961 by Dr. Frank Drake in an attempt to give scientists a starting point for dialogue at the first scientific meeting on the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life (SETI). The equation summarizes concepts which Dr. Drake felt SETI scientists should take into account when contemplating the matter of radio-communicative civilizations.
I have recently been working some with the equation myself, but instead of ending the variables on the right with L (which represents the length of time life forms release detectable signals) I've added a new one—f¯\_(ツ)_/¯ —which is an attempt to account for a further limitation on N by including the fraction of advanced civilizations in our galaxy on which "f--- it, whatevs" develops, i.e. a prevailing careless, sarcastic, shrugging attitude. If, for instance, f¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is close to 1, e.g. 19/20, then only a small number (say, 5%) of civilizations survive their ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ period of time.
It should be noted that others have similarly modified the Drake Equation. Carl Sagan, an avid environmentalist and opponent of nuclear weapons, performed an augmentation which estimated the amount of time before civilizations self-destruct due to nuclear war; his value was what he believed to be the most determining and limiting factor in the overall equation, actually. Naturally, I would not claim to be the first to add any sort of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ variable to Drake’s creation, and nor would I at this point even begin to put forward a value for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. As Drake sought to begin discussion in the SETI community with his original equation, I am using the modification likewise to begin dialogue and further analysis.