A googolplex is a very large number. 10 to the power of a googol where a googol is 1 with 100 zeros after it. Even though a googolplex is a very large number, it's still nowhere near infinity. With infinite possibilities the chance of finding life is mathematically very high.
So why can't we expect to find intelligent life out there in our lifetime? The answer is because we humans exist in a very short period of time. A micro section of time. Now if you consider a macro strategy of finding life then the possibility of a discovery increases. But it still eludes us as that discovery of life will most certainly exist somewhere else along the infinite time-line well beyond a googolplex.
Glenn: Ty. yes, we do exist for a very short period of time which makes travel and discovery, even within the limits of our galaxy improbable...Unless we can "bend" the time dimension and shorten distances by finding "wormholes." Most don't realize that the distance travelled at "light" speed of 1 light year, equals about 6 trillion earth miles! I am of the belief that micro and macro are relative. Of course a "googolplex" comes nowhere near being infinity. "We" could be existing somewhere toward either end since "infinity" cannot be defined. Of course we haven't considered the many dimensional potential existences when one studies the complexities of the TOE! I like the way your mind works. Thanks for the very reasoned reply..:-)
qwark, The thoughts you bring up are very interesting to think about. It is true that there is no way to know if we are near either end of time or somewhere in the middle. And we can complicate this even more by considering that time may not be linear at all. If wormholes do exist then time and space may be much more complicated than simply four dimensions that are at 90 degrees from one another. Imagine traveling through a wormhole to not only get to another location in 3 dimensions, but to also travel in the 4th dimension (time). And who's to say that we may be able to, or not able to, travel backwards. Sorry for the 2-day delay with my reply to your reply. I like the way your mind works too. Perhaps we might keep this going.