• Wayfarer
    16.3k
    Right. I've started a sci-fi novel on a similar idea to that, although I can't find the motivation to finish it. In any case, we have a spaceship suitable for possibly hundreds of millions of years, but it's over-heated, overcrowded and resource-depleted. That is the one that needs our attention.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    Right. I've started a sci-fi novel on a similar idea to that, although I can't find the motivation to finish it. In any case, we have a spaceship suitable for possibly hundreds of millions of years, but it's over-heated, overcrowded and resource-depleted. That is the one that needs our attention.Wayfarer

    :grin:

    Ok, you have some skill. — The Merovingian

    Spaceship Earth! No obvious destination though! Perhaps in the coming few centuries/even millennia we'll rendezvous with a wormhole, just as planned by...who?
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    Spaceship Earth! No obvious destination though!Agent Smith

    that's a philosophical problem. I think it's usually called 'Why are we Here?' :chin:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    'Why are we Here?' :chin:Wayfarer

    Indeed :chin:

    The question of all questions: What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose?

    Meaning is use. — Ludwig Wittgenstein

    :chin:

    I feel so useless right now! :sad:
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    well, that answer was no use.
  • 180 Proof
    9.4k
    Too many mouths to feed, oui monsieur?Agent Smith
    World Wars, (manufactured) famines, (weaponized) pandemics and pro-abortion/sterilization regimens can thin the herds far more cost effectively than "colonizing exoplanets".

    Spaceship Earth! No obvious destination though!Agent Smith
    Quaint notion. :smirk:

    Consider, however, the notion of rats fleeing a burning ship ("the Anthropocene").

    Re: space habitation, not exoplanetary colonization:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/580339

    Re: "too many mouths to feed" until there aren't:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/582635

    A pulp dramatization of "mid-22nd century" class struggle of space habitat Haves versus global Earth-bound Have-Nots – watch the movie if you haven't already.

    :cool:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    Wars, (manufactured) famines and (weaponized) pandemics can thin the herds far more cost effectively than "colonizing exoplanets".180 Proof

    True. The choices are kill humans or kill aliens. No prizes for guessing which of the two options we'll take. Even so, why go through all that trouble - developing space tech is hard and that's an understatement - when you can just club people to death and solve the problem?

    well, that answer was no useWayfarer

    Sorry about that.

    Is the sun, the planets with it, simply going around in circles with no particular destination inferrable from its trajectory?

    Food for thought: What are the other planets for? Backup spaceships (reserve fleet), to be activated (terraformed) as the sun slowly expands into a red giant?
  • 180 Proof
    9.4k
    Even so, why go through all that trouble - developing space tech is hard and that's an understatement - when you can just club people to death and solve the problem?Agent Smith
    For the same reason the Einsatzgruppen and colonial slavers didn't live in concentration camps and plantation fields with their victims. The movie Elysium makes this perennial feature of oppression-exploitation quite clear.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    For the same reason the Einsatzgruppen and colonial slavers didn't live in concentration camps and plantation fields with their victims. The movie Elysium makes this perennial feature of oppression-exploitation quite clear.180 Proof

    Most interesting! — Ms. Marple
  • Enrique
    825


    I've got a crazy idea for you that I have not in any way corroborated or identified specific sources for, so I'm being liberal with facts, apologies. The speed of entanglement/coherence is at least 300 trillion m/s, and it occurs as a statistical correlation between bulk quantities of particles, which suggests an underlying macroscopic mechanism.

    What if this macroscopic mechanism is actuated by dark matter/energy of which electromagnetic matter is a fractional component, and in some circumstances the physical principles of dark matter/energy predominate, including faster than light motion or ''nonlocality'' from the electromagnetic frame of reference, and perhaps more or less direct routes through spatial configurations that can be modeled with higher dimensions, in essence independent of the classical arrow of time. Can a spaceship conceivably use this mechanism to transport humans?

    Across relatively short distances, perhaps a sixth of the mileage between Earth and Mars, this mechanism could be so rapid as to almost be instantaneous, about .1 s or less. You would arrive at your destination before you even knew what happened. This might be like pulling a tablecloth from under dishware, so rapid that the human body would not have time to react an iota before the spaceship was again at a standstill, like a mild jolt, provided the passenger was fastened in tightly enough.

    If you determined and set the coordinates of your spaceship's destination with an unmanned, computerized homing beacon sent ahead by the same mechanism, you could leap frog between locations as far removed as planets of our solar system in minutes. This navigational procedure could be automated to a large extent, making the journey minimally demanding for the passengers as far as logistics. At that rate of travel, a leisurely trip could make it to Alpha Centauri in a month. Thinking less optimistically, unmanned probes might be designed that can tolerate the journey better and cover longer bursts for exploration of neighboring star systems.

    Rates of entanglement within fields of coherence indicate that causality can attain these speeds, even as time travel. The issue is how to harness the essence of matter underlying electromagnetism.
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    Can a spaceship conceivably use this mechanism to transport humans?Enrique

    Not physically. The idea I had for the sci fi story was about the discovery that some lifeform was able to transmit itself via electromagnetic radiation, manifesting as extremely subtle genetic mutations in humans and other species (among other things). The originating civilisation had worked out how to harness a supernovae to broadcast packets of data that could interact with any suitable life-bearing planet. It turns out that it was possibly the origin of life on earth in the first place. (It ties in to the intriguingly-named panspermia theory.) The problem for the hero of the story is that all the data is ambiguous and nobody believes him, they think he's talking about an occult force (which may not be that far from the truth.) But physically shunting actual matter around the universe - forget about it. The only thing that can be transmitted at lightspeed is information.
  • Enrique
    825


    I wonder if by using an extremely powerful computer to calculate the wave function of a macroscopic space, you can generate or merely define a field of quantumlike coherence within that space, then do a targeted collapse of the wave function to create near-instantaneous convergence at a point within or on its perimeter. Perhaps you could compute a coherence field in space between your location and a destination, then collapse the wave function on a point near the destination via entanglement to travel long distances in a flash. Can the wave function and its collapse theoretically be any computable value? Wouldn't that make Schrodinger a hero!
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    I wonder if by using an extremely powerful computer to calculate the wave function of a macroscopic space,Enrique

    the wave function does not occupy space. It's a distribution of possibilities, that is all. There's no such actual thing 'out there'. The 'collapse' of the wave function is likewise a figure of speech. Go read up on the QBism article pinned to my profile page.
  • Enrique
    825


    I admittedly should do more reading, but...can the wave function and its collapse be instantiated with some technology, like a REALLY fast elevator you have to be strapped into? For the sake of brainstorming, why not? Just an engineering problem as far as I can tell. If measurement collapses the wave function predictably, why can't a souped up wave function with sophisticated measurement and better known properties of physically entangled objects in principle collapse anywhere energetically feasible?
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    It’s not physically real, it doesn’t exist on the level of physical things. There’s no literal collapse of anything. What happens is that prior to measurement, all you have a distribution of probabilities or possibilities - the answer to the question ‘where is the particle?’ just *is* the wave equation, meaning, it’s not actually anywhere, all there is, is a range of possibilities where it might be, some greater, some lesser. Then take the measurement, and bingo! - that distribution of probabilities no longer exists, because you definitely know where it is (or was) at that precise moment. That is the ‘collapse’. The scientific difficulty is that there is nothing in the equation that accounts for the act of measurement - which is what forced the recognition of the observer, a.k.a. ‘the observer problem’. But you can’t reify the wave function as something physically existent - which is what you’re doing.

    That’s why modern physics forced a reconsideration of metaphysics. As Heisenberg said, electrons stand at a strange boundary between existence and non existence - they kind of exist. But scientific realism can’t deal with that, it wants to say that something either exists or it doesn’t.

    https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/context/quantum-mysteries-dissolve-if-possibilities-are-realities
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k


    Regarding the position of an electron in an atom, is the uncertainty, as captured by the probability distribution

    1. Epistemological as in the electron does have an exact location, it's just that we don't know or it's unknowable.

    2. Ontological as in the electron actually is in all those locations as described by the probability distribution. Pythagoras was said to be possess the ability of bilocation.

    ???

    :chin:
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    it doesn't have a position, it can only be described in terms of the wave equation. It's not hiding there in a position unknown, it doesn't have a position - it is described in terms of super-position. Probably best to stop thinking in terms of minute objects or even particles as these are at best kinds of analogues. But, let's not go further here, it belongs in a different thread. The only current one is this one, take it up there if you like.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    :ok: I was worried for this thread. It came close to derailment on a number of occasions.
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    First images from JWT about to drop, story in NY Times (paywalled with some free access).
  • Banno
    17.9k
    Dang feed is slow.

    Any one else watching and waiting?

    Here it is:

    main_image_deep_field_smacs0723-5mb.jpg
  • Wayfarer
    16.3k
    I've been sifting through it although missed the live reveal. But I keep thinking, each of those vaguely cigar-shaped blobs is a galaxy, and each of them are tens or hundreds of thousands of light-years in diameter. I'll never really get my head around the scale.

    The NASA page is here https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-webb-delivers-deepest-infrared-image-of-universe-yet
  • Christoffer
    1.3k
    The most interesting thing with that image is the gravitational lens shifting being so heavy. Things skews into surrealism the further away you look.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    It's insane. Finally we are getting the images after several months, I think they are going to share 4(3?) pics tomorrow.

    Can't wait to see what new things they discover.
  • magritte
    462
    As they say,
    The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. The combined mass of this galaxy cluster acts as a gravitational lens, magnifying much more distant galaxies behind it
    .
    The objects which appear the deepest red are likely the furthest and oldest.
    Though I would prefer if eventually some of those distracting bright Milky Way stars in the image foreground could be photoshopped out of my sight.
  • 180 Proof
    9.4k
    :starstruck: :party:
  • Maw
    2.7k
    :starstruck: :cheer:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    The Cosmic Perspective! Our anthropocentric egos take serious hits from astronomers. More! At this rate we'll be humbled to death! :snicker:
  • 180 Proof
    9.4k
    Ever since Copernicus's heliocentric model (re: mediocrity principle). :smirk:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    Ever since Copernicus's heliocentric model (re: mediocrity principle). :smirk:180 Proof

    Astronmers are there to put us in our place! :snicker:

    The irony is that Copernicus was working for the Church, an organization that's all about how humans are sooo special. Laozi?
  • universeness
    2.4k
    Astronmers are there to put us in our place! :snicker:Agent Smith

    Our place as the only species in the universe, as far as we know, that can build something like the James Webb telescope and find out a little more about the universe. Not bad for a fragile race of short lived bipeds currently restricted to a planet comparable to a grain of sand on the cosmic scale.
    Yet all the universal vastness may only be able to claim any significance through us!
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