Given the multitude of stars in the sky and what we’ve observed about the orbiting planets, why haven’t we observe alien life? The Great Filter is one possible explanation; perhaps there’s some tremendous physical or social hurdle to interstellar travel which no alien life has ever cleared.

When I learned of the Great Filter hypothesis, I immediately wondered if the Tower of Babel story ( describes an ancient failure to pass the Filter. A “tower that reaches to the heavens” sounds like interstellar aspirations, particularly when “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

Regardless, confusion of language strikes me as a fine description of how human endeavor and social cohesion is commonly attacked. When language is confused and ambiguous, people are driven apart.