6/17/13

I thought I'd take a break from finance related stuff today to give you guys the heads up that you should get your affairs in order because the human race doesn't have much time left in existence. As a species, we've had some really bad ideas, but I'm pretty sure this one's the one that's gonna do us all in.

Before I get into what's about to happen, let's cover some basic science/math real quick. The universe is estimated to be about 13.77 billion years old. Earth is around 4.5 billion years old, and life emerged on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago. NASA estimates that there are 100 billion planets in our galaxy alone, 10 billion of which share Earth-like characteristics. I've heard the number of planets in the known universe to be estimated at a billion billion.

So from a strictly mathematical viewpoint, some form of intelligent extraterrestrial life somewhere in the universe is a near certainty. Given a long enough timeline, contact between us and some form of alien life is also highly probable. And whatever life we may encounter could conceivably have about a 10 billion year head start on the evolutionary race track and be quite a bit more advanced than us shaved apes. So it would behoove us as a species not to piss them off.

Scientists have been concerned about this for a very long time. Getting the right message about Earth out to the cosmos was once a matter of heated debate and careful consideration. When the Voyager probe was launched, it included a Golden Record which contained a carefully crafted melange of Earth sounds, various photographs and music, and a radioactive clock that will help whomever encounters it determine when it left Earth. This effort was spearheaded by none other than Carl Sagan himself.

That's all about to change, because starting tomorrow every inbred hick shitheel is going to become Earth's ambassador to outer space. We no longer have to worry about Mutual Assured Destruction or a zombie apocalypse; I have no doubt that our species will now meet its end courtesy of an intergalactic Kardashian tweet.

The good folks ushering in our doom are located at LoneSignal.com, where you can sign up to be one of the first to send a message into space. I can't imagine a worse idea, frankly. If a highly evolved extraterrestrial intelligence is greeted with Tchaikovsky, we might stand a chance. But 2 Chainz? We're screwed.

The most ironic thing about this is that the only people sending messages into space will be Internet trolls, humanity's lowest common denominator.

Oh well, we had a good run...

Comments (72)

6/17/13

A bit dated, but relevant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlikCebQSlY

The odds of something actually receiving that mind-numbing kardashian tweet is hopefully a lot less than you have in mind; the radio wave hitting some alien trilobite in a billion years doesn't really count.

6/17/13

All of this assumes that God forbid, we are not the most "intelligent life forms" in the universe....the aliens.
Add to this the option for people to become space tourists and you have a comedy in the making.

6/17/13

sometimes I think the surest sign that there's intelligent life out there is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet ;)

6/17/13

Edmundo Braverman:
We no longer have to worry about a zombie apocalypse
Let's agree to disagree.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

6/17/13

scott.summers.1983:

sometimes I think the surest sign that there's intelligent life out there is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet ;)

I have no trouble believing that the Milky Way is the ghetto of the universe.

6/17/13

If: 1) there is intelligent life out there (which I highly doubt) 2) they are significantly more advanced than we are, and 3) there is any way our technology has the capability to get a message to them, then they would have contacted us already, or found us and chosen not to. This is just people being people, and it won't have any effect even if aliens do exist.

I love the Calvin & Hobbes reference, by the way.

6/17/13

808:

If: 1) there is intelligent life out there (which I highly doubt)

Just curious. Why do you doubt it? It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities. I mean, we've already confirmed that there was bacterial life on Mars at one point, and that's just the next planet over.

6/17/13

Edmundo Braverman:

808:

If: 1) there is intelligent life out there (which I highly doubt)

Just curious. Why do you doubt it? It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities. I mean, we've already confirmed that there was bacterial life on Mars at one point, and that's just the next planet over.

People don't like to believe it 1) because the earth is 6000 years old, 2) math is hard.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

6/17/13

Okay Eddie, I'll bite. Say that it is an absolute certainty that intelligent life exists beyond earth. How do you know that the "intelligent life," which is possibly billions of years more advanced than us, didn't destroy themselves by now? If you are certain that the human race will blow each other up or consume all of earth's natural resources prior to our being technologically advanced enough to visit distant planets, then why won't the other intelligent life out there suffer the same fate?

Also, your statistic that 10 out of 100 billion planets have earth like characteristics. 10% of the planets are earth-like? That math seems a bit high to me. If you assume that Earth-like characteristics are achieved by being a certain size and distance from a sun then you need a couple very important key variables to "hit" within a wide range of possibilities.

CompBanker

6/17/13

Comp,

Actually, I believe it's likely (mathematically) that life has come into being and been snuffed out millions of times in the universe, and that it will eventually happen to us as well. Well, it's already happened here once, so yeah, it's likely that it'll happen again. But the very nature of time being what it is, combined with the vastness of space, makes it reasonable to assume (in my view) that at any given time there are probably thousands (if not millions or even billions) of instances of life cohabiting the universe all at varying stages of evolution. If you step back from the human-centric view of the universe, I think you can see where this is not only a possibility but is actually more of a likelihood.

The 10 billion number surprised me too, but that's NASA's number, not mine. Keep in mind, though, that they're referring strictly to mass when they say Earth-like and not necessarily the number of planets in the "Goldilocks Zone" which are commonly believed to be able to support life. In other words, there's 10 billion planets in our galaxy that are roughly the same size as ours, but not necessarily able to support life.

6/17/13

Edmundo Braverman:
It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities.
I agree that intelligent life outside of our solar system is an almost certainty. The universe is incomprehensibly enormous.

That being said, I still don't believe we will ever come in contact with any other civilizations. Reason: the universe is huge and the time required to go to a distant planet is too great. I just read that if you travelled at 150,000 miles per hour, it would take you 18,000 years to reach the nearest star. Imagine the logistics. What if the nearest civilized planet is 100x, 1000x, or 1,000,000x as far? All of these distances are relative specks in the scheme of the universe.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

6/17/13

Also, you just reminded me of a fantastic speculative documentary they ran on NatGeo called Evacuate Earth, which happens to be available in HD thanks to YouTube. Basically describes what would happen if we had to un-ass Earth in a hurry:

6/17/13

Worry not, it doesn't matter how many signals we send out into space, they don't get all that far. If you fly your starship 50 light years from Earth, you won't be able to pick up the "new" Beatles song. Sure, the signal got there, but by then it would have degraded so horribly that you'd never know it. It'd be indistinguishable from the background noise.

In other words, if you believe there's intelligent life out there (and I don't), the only risk we have is if they come into our solar system, catch wind of "The Real Housewives" and decide that instead of giving us their formula for immortality, they'd do us all a favor and blow us up. It'd be more like an alien Jack Kevorkian situation.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/17/13

Edmundo Braverman:


scott.summers.1983:

sometimes I think the surest sign that there's intelligent life out there is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet ;)


I have no trouble believing that the Milky Way is the ghetto of the universe.


I litterally laughed out loud
6/17/13

mikesswimn:

Sure, the signal got there, but by then it would have degraded so horribly that you'd never know it. It'd be indistinguishable from the background noise.

That's too bad, they would love our county fair crowds.

Also, we'll make great pets.

6/17/13

I personally believe that there is intelligent life out there, but I hope that it never comes into contact with us. Extra-terrestrial life that had the technology and capability to come into contact with us would be several orders of magnitude more advanced than us, which would in all likelihood be a disaster for the human race. History has shown us that when a less advanced civilization comes into contact with a more advanced civilization, the results are often disastrous for the less advanced civilization (e.g. early European settlers in North America who decimated the indigenous Native American population, etc.)

6/17/13

I am certain there is intelligent life and they look at us like cockroaches

6/17/13

SirTradesaLot:

Edmundo Braverman:

It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities.

I agree that intelligent life outside of our solar system is an almost certainty. The universe is incomprehensibly enormous.

That being said, I still don't believe we will ever come in contact with any other civilizations. Reason: the universe is huge and the time required to go to a distant planet is too great. I just read that if you travelled at 150,000 miles per hour, it would take you 18,000 years to reach the nearest star. Imagine the logistics. What if the nearest civilized planet is 100x, 1000x, or 1,000,000x as far? All of these distances are relative specks in the scheme of the universe.

Turbo fuel for spaceship explosion.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

6/17/13

The most amusing misconception IMO is the need for earth-like planets or water as preconditions of life? Really? Because in earth (sample = 1) life needs water and earth-like conditions, all those hundred billion planets should be the same?

Space scientists are behaving like little kids. "I like Pokemon; therefore every species must also like Pokemon". To top it off, NASA already sent some bacteria to space that survived for around 500 days or so, outside the ship (truly in space).

There's no reason for a need to have earth-like anything as a precondition for life. There may be fire beings or plutonium ants out there, and we truly don't have any clue about what may or may not create life in billions of different samples.

6/17/13
6/17/13
6/17/13

The idea of sending directed signals into space is dumb. Here is why: it is based on assumption that more evolved smarter aliens are friendly. There is no reason to assume that. They well might be hostile, and encountering better developed hostile civilization is certain death - a risk that outweighs any possible gains from encountering friendly hippie aliens.

6/17/13

Maybe they are on their way - just takes them a while to decide or to show up.
And immediate destruction is not the only option, of course. Maybe one day they decide that humans are cute to keep as pets in a cage in their dwelling. Or that they need to put humans into interesting expositions into 1 billion Natural Galactic History Museums/Galactic Zoos. Or that humans fighting crocodiles/lions barehanded is entertaining. Unpleasant possibilities for the humans are endless.

6/17/13

My guess is that a vastly superior civilization would regard our chatter in the same light as we regard monkeys flinging poo. That people are stupid enough to consider the idea probably puts the overall average intelligence of the human race at about the level of monkeys as well. I cringed while reading this and equate these people to those standing on the tower in the movie "Indepenance Day" welcoming the aliens, only to be shocked to find themselves on the recieving end of a plasma weapon.

Assuming it was possible to even travel the distance to us, and assuming they'd already have done so, a civilization/species advanced enough to do so wouldn't need to "attack" earth. Their technology would necessarily be advanced to the point that would crush us the same way we wipe an ant colony out. It would be over the moment it started, and it wouldn't be close at all, they'd simply steamroll us instantly. So, by this logic, if we've shown up on the radar, aliens A) haven't been able to reach us or B) haven't considered us worth bothering with in any capacity. Also assuming this same technological sophistication, they could synthesize anything they'd need and would have no possible use for us or our planet at all.

There has to be life out there given the sheer volume of opportunities and the physics that shaped our autochthony; it becomes required by the laws of science. It's always the people that say things like "there aren't giant squid" or "there's no life on the seafloor" or "life can't live in a volcano" that get surprised when some errant submersible discovers giant squids chewing on giant worms that grow on volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean...probably where life started in the first place on this planet. If we can discover an entire ecosystem only a few decades ago, and two out of nine planets had/have life (I'm including Pluto, deal with it) then it stands to reason that at 22.22% probability out of billions of planets at least one has managed to sustain life beyond the primordeal goo phase of development. If you need to be a stickler, remove Pluto and the odds go to one in four planets giving rise to life at some point....I'd be shocked if there wasn't life on other planets.

EDIT: I'm from outer space and y'all earthlings are wack

Get busy living

6/17/13

Why even assume that intelligent life is more intelligent than us? What if they are thousands or millions of years behind us? I like the questions in this thread that challenge the common theories out there. Yes it's plausible there is intelligent life out there, but it doesn't have to match earth like conditions and doesn't have to be more intelligent than us (but very well could be). And if there are multiple planets with intelligent life, then maybe there are some less intelligent and some more intelligent.

6/17/13

Not sure how many folks are familiar with Contact (the movie and Carl Sagan novel), but I remember at least in the film version the signal they send out is a hitler broadcast...whether theres intelligent life or not, just to be on the safe side, prolly don't want to do that.

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
6/17/13

SirTradesaLot:

Edmundo Braverman:

It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities.

I agree that intelligent life outside of our solar system is an almost certainty. The universe is incomprehensibly enormous.

That being said, I still don't believe we will ever come in contact with any other civilizations. Reason: the universe is huge and the time required to go to a distant planet is too great. I just read that if you travelled at 150,000 miles per hour, it would take you 18,000 years to reach the nearest star. Imagine the logistics. What if the nearest civilized planet is 100x, 1000x, or 1,000,000x as far? All of these distances are relative specks in the scheme of the universe.

don't even bother doing numbers like that in your small skull, it's meaningless. we don't know what we don't know

6/17/13

SirTradesaLot:

Edmundo Braverman:

It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities.

I agree that intelligent life outside of our solar system is an almost certainty. The universe is incomprehensibly enormous.

That being said, I still don't believe we will ever come in contact with any other civilizations. Reason: the universe is huge and the time required to go to a distant planet is too great. I just read that if you travelled at 150,000 miles per hour, it would take you 18,000 years to reach the nearest star. Imagine the logistics. What if the nearest civilized planet is 100x, 1000x, or 1,000,000x as far? All of these distances are relative specks in the scheme of the universe.

100% agree. We will probably never come into contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life because either they or we would need to learn to travel faster than the speed of light. And we're pretty sure that that violates the laws of physics.

6/17/13

We might not be the only ones casting random radio signals into space. There could be others out there searching. I present as potential evidence The WOW Signal, for those unfamiliar:
http://www.universetoday.com/93754/35-years-later-...

Just to explain the significance of the printout:

Radio wave signal strength is measured by a system of numbers 1 through 9 and then letters A through Z, giving the scale a range of 1-35. Most background radio waves created naturally come in at a 1 or a 2, occasionally as strong as a 3. This is basic galactic background noise. So when you see a spike to 5 or 6, it almost has to be artificial in origin, like one of our TV signals.

To get into the alphabet is almost unheard of, and to get as high as J, Q, and then U is completely unprecedented.

6/17/13

I'm a firm believer that earth in the equivalent of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" to some advanced civilization.

6/17/13

Edmundo Braverman:

scott.summers.1983:

sometimes I think the surest sign that there's intelligent life out there is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet ;)

I have no trouble believing that the Milky Way is the ghetto of the universe.

Well on the plus side we are entitled to some galactic food stamps.

6/17/13

JDimon:

SirTradesaLot:
Edmundo Braverman:

It just seems to me that it's almost certain based on the sheer number of opportunities.

I agree that intelligent life outside of our solar system is an almost certainty. The universe is incomprehensibly enormous.

That being said, I still don't believe we will ever come in contact with any other civilizations. Reason: the universe is huge and the time required to go to a distant planet is too great. I just read that if you travelled at 150,000 miles per hour, it would take you 18,000 years to reach the nearest star. Imagine the logistics. What if the nearest civilized planet is 100x, 1000x, or 1,000,000x as far? All of these distances are relative specks in the scheme of the universe.

100% agree. We will probably never come into contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life because either they or we would need to learn to travel faster than the speed of light. And we're pretty sure that that violates the laws of physics.

Physics as we understand them. And while our understanding is good, it's not great, hence the great quest for unification. Plus, all sorts of great things happen when you near relativistic speeds, namely that time slows down for those aboard the ship and you can live quite a long time compared to those on Earth, many thousands of years if my memory serves.

However, I think that what's more likely is that aliens undergo the same sort of societal infighting and deterioration that we go through on Earth and are too busy fighting on their own planet to get a serious space program going, much like we haven't.

6/17/13

Mind you that the universe is expanding (not sure at what rate), and as we progress it will be even harder to get anywhere! The nearest planet with "earth like" conditions is about 70 odd light years away, and given the fact that nobody will ever be able to travel as fast as light, seems highly unlikely that we'll ever see or even contact any thing out there.

Also, think someone mentioned the amount of degradation that would be done on the signal. I'm no astrophysicist, but the amount of radiation, bending, gravity, etc in space is so unbelievably complex that I don't expect us to be the ones sophisticated enough to make contact.

Also, I do think people give to much credibility to the "intelligent" life theory; most likely the only life out there could just be bacteria. Furthermore, someone mentioned the need for "earth like" conditions being perhaps misleading, but I think that it is a general prerequisite (for our universe) to have these conditions for life. We also have 7 other sample planets in our solar system, here is one of the examples as to why life cannot just exist in circumstances unknown to us: Saturn for a small example, is jovian and its density is actually less than we are.
I.e., if you stood on Saturn you'd melt through and eventually be crushed by the pressure.

One last note, there's actually an equation for finding the odds of life: Drake equation, pretty interesting, however probably useless.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

6/18/13

If an alien civilization is capable of getting to Earth, that would mean that they are hundreds of thousands if not millions of years ahead of us in terms of technology. Thus, I believe it is highly unlikely they will be using radio waves to transmit messages. They may not even have any record of their existence. It would be like us using the lost and forgotten technologies of homo erectus.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

In reply to Hooked on LEAPS
6/18/13

Alright, I gotta chime in on this one. I think you're vastly underestimating how far we've come as a species in a very short period of time.

In just over a century (December 17, 1903) we've gone from first flight to walking on the moon, sending a communicative probe to Mars, and we have two long range probes (which, by the way, were launched 36 years ago - just 74 years after the Wright Brothers) that are now in the Heliosheath almost 12 billion miles from here which are still sending back data.

To think contact would require an intelligence hundreds of thousands or millions of years more advanced than ours is a bit outlandish.

6/18/13

Edmundo Braverman:

Alright, I gotta chime in on this one. I think you're vastly underestimating how far we've come as a species in a very short period of time.

In just over a century (December 17, 1903) we've gone from first flight to walking on the moon, sending a communicative probe to Mars, and we have two long range probes (which, by the way, were launched 36 years ago - just 74 years after the Wright Brothers) that are now in the Heliosheath almost 12 billion miles from here which are still sending back data.

To think contact would require an intelligence hundreds of thousands or millions of years more advanced than ours is a bit outlandish.

I don't think it's that outlandish. The accomplishments you mentioned: flying a plane, landing on the moon, flying to mars, sending probes to the outer reaches of the solar system, etc. are all possible using an understanding of physics developed in the 17th century. In order to traverse galaxies we'd require an understanding of physics that's not been developed. In fact, the prevailing theories of today (namely relativity with its annoying speed limit) suggest it may be impossible from a practical standpoint.

If someone came around with a widely accepted and ground breaking theory that allowed for intergalactic travel, then I'd say, sure, we'll probably get there in just under 400 years. But that doesn't appear to be the case, suggesting that we'll get there in just under "never". Just my $0.02.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/18/13

Wormholes?

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
6/18/13

Eddie, I think that your assumption is that technology will grow exponentially at the same rate it has for the past century. I'm with mike on this one. I mean, 12 billion miles is actually nothing, the speed of light is about 186,000 miles/second. Which I think is about 670 million miles/hour. So it'd take light just about 18hrs to travel that far and the closest "earth like" planets are about 70 light years away. I did have to use a calculator for a bit on that part, but I think you get the picture.

Conversely, I think the more we know and learn, the more we realize just how large and complex the universe and space travel are.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

6/18/13

I'm not disagreeing with any of you guys, but I think it's a mistake to underestimate the Moore's Law component to human evolution, and further to project that underestimate upon alien civilizations.

6/18/13

Well I actually hope you're right. I think we definitely have the capabilities and resources, but right now we're too busy keeping up with the kardashians and so forth, so I'm not sure we'll have the time to get around to that sort of stuff today. They have a lot going on.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

6/18/13

mikesswimn:

Edmundo Braverman:

Alright, I gotta chime in on this one. I think you're vastly underestimating how far we've come as a species in a very short period of time.

In just over a century (December 17, 1903) we've gone from first flight to walking on the moon, sending a communicative probe to Mars, and we have two long range probes (which, by the way, were launched 36 years ago - just 74 years after the Wright Brothers) that are now in the Heliosheath almost 12 billion miles from here which are still sending back data.

To think contact would require an intelligence hundreds of thousands or millions of years more advanced than ours is a bit outlandish.

I don't think it's that outlandish. The accomplishments you mentioned: flying a plane, landing on the moon, flying to mars, sending probes to the outer reaches of the solar system, etc. are all possible using an understanding of physics developed in the 17th century. In order to traverse galaxies we'd require an understanding of physics that's not been developed. In fact, the prevailing theories of today (namely relativity with its annoying speed limit) suggest it may be impossible from a practical standpoint.

If someone came around with a widely accepted and ground breaking theory that allowed for intergalactic travel, then I'd say, sure, we'll probably get there in just under 400 years. But that doesn't appear to be the case, suggesting that we'll get there in just under "never". Just my $0.02.

What he said.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

In reply to mikesswimn
6/20/13

If you told someone 200 years ago that in 2013 we would have special boxes that allowed you to view and edit communal pages from anywhere in the world, you would have gotten some very strange looks.

"How are these boxes powered and how do they work?" they would ask.
You would reply, "well, they are powered by this type of energy that is currently only theoretically and uses a system that hasn't been invented yet."

For someone in 1813, electricity was kind of what antimatter is today. They knew it existed, but had only the most tenuous grasp on its characteristics and potential. To believe we are at the pinnacle of technological advancement is a little egocentric. If we could glimpse 200 years into the future, the state of technology would blow our minds.

Just as science has done hundreds of times before, eventually we will come across a breakthrough that rewrites the preexisting rule. It was once believed that the sun revolved around the earth; it's my opinion that, just as we look back and shake our heads at the people who believed that, so too will our ancestors will look back at some of our 'truths'.

In reply to Datsik
6/20/13

Reminds me of that joke about what you'd tell a guy from 50 years ago:

I have a device in my pocket that contains the entirety of human knowledge. I use it to look at pictures of cats.

6/20/13

Datsik:
To believe we are at the pinnacle of technological advancement is a little egocentric. If we could glimpse 200 years into the future, the state of technology would blow our minds.

"Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results."
- Common Sense

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
6/20/13

Edmundo Braverman:

Alright, I gotta chime in on this one. I think you're vastly underestimating how far we've come as a species in a very short period of time.

In just over a century (December 17, 1903) we've gone from first flight to walking on the moon, sending a communicative probe to Mars, and we have two long range probes (which, by the way, were launched 36 years ago - just 74 years after the Wright Brothers) that are now in the Heliosheath almost 12 billion miles from here which are still sending back data.

To think contact would require an intelligence hundreds of thousands or millions of years more advanced than ours is a bit outlandish.

I've always thought that this would be an interesting premise for a book. For example, take any 100-year period (century) in history and measure the number of "important" technological/scientific/etc breakthroughs and you'll notice that we are compressing more and more in to each century as well evolve. For example, what important, revolutionary "developments" occurred between the years 200-300 AD or 1300-1400 AD, as compared to 1900-2000. The exponential rate that advancement and change is occurring and will occur is almost mind-blowing. To expand, think about how quickly our tastes are changing as well. Think about, for example, music during the 1700s - probably a very similar genre for most of the century. Now, compare it to how quickly music genres come and go during the 20th and 21st centuries (long such as a decade - 70s/80s, or short such as mid-90s gangster rap). A lot of this has to do with globalization and the spread of information (Internet), obviously. Which in itself if pretty amazing; how far we have come over the last decade, quarter century, century, etc. I'm probably just rambling and haven't done much research in to the idea - but it could be a fascinating thing to look in to. Tie it to Moore's Law, tie it to globalization, tie it to advancements in travel (walking/horses being many centuries and now ships, trains, cars, planes, spaceships, ???, etc.) and it could make for a cool topic for a book (or completely mind-numbing depending on the researcher/author)... anyway, stuff like this fascinates me... carry on...

PS - there most definitely is life on other planets. It's sheer probability.

6/21/13

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

6/21/13

SirTradesaLot:

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

Moore's Law is a scientific theory...relating to predicting how the number of transistors on a circuit increases over time.

Maybe you're thinking of Murphy's Law not being a theory.

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
6/21/13

Going Concern:

SirTradesaLot:

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

Moore's Law is a scientific theory...relating to how the number of transistors on a circuit continues to increase.

Maybe you're thinking of Murphy's Law not being a theory.

It is not a scientific law. I know that Roger Moore stated this as his theory about transistors, but it is not a Theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. It is a rule of thumb and it will break down eventually because they will have a hard time making sub atomic sized transistors.

adapt or die:
What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

MY BLOG

6/21/13

Not sure I would call it theory either (in the same sense as Newton's Laws, Relativity, or String Theories). Just did some quick reading and it is actually expected to taper off soon and even Moore admitted it will not always continue the way it has.

Actually, according to a lot of the studies, the tapering should be happening sometime within the next 5 years or so.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

6/21/13

SirTradesaLot:

Going Concern:
SirTradesaLot:

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

Moore's Law is a scientific theory...relating to how the number of transistors on a circuit continues to increase.

Maybe you're thinking of Murphy's Law not being a theory.

It is not a scientific law. I know that Roger Moore stated this as his theory about transistors, but it is not a Theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. It is a rule of thumb and it will break down eventually because they will have a hard time making sub atomic sized transistors.

Fair enough. 'Law' is pretty serious sounding though. I don't think there's even any real consensus on how 'gravity' really works. The so-called gravitons can't be individually observed if they exist at all, feisty little guys.

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
In reply to JDimon
6/21/13

No need to travel faster than the speed of light. Even traveling close to the speed of light, thanks to special relativity, will allow those in the vessel to age much less than those on Earth (or whatever other planet). Relativity is a beautiful thing!

And maybe we can't currently move faster than the speed of light by the laws of physics as we know it, but others have theorized possible forms of travel that would give us this capability (with technology obviously well beyond our means). This would include wormhole creation and moving space as opposed to moving within space (i.e. the Alcubierre drive).

Semi-unrelated, but if/when first contact occurs, it likely won't be one life form to another. It will most likely be machine driven. We have no reason to visit a distant planet that may or may not have life when we can send an unmanned vessel with much less risk.

6/21/13

Going Concern:

SirTradesaLot:
Going Concern:
SirTradesaLot:

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

Moore's Law is a scientific theory...relating to how the number of transistors on a circuit continues to increase.

Maybe you're thinking of Murphy's Law not being a theory.

It is not a scientific law. I know that Roger Moore stated this as his theory about transistors, but it is not a Theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. It is a rule of thumb and it will break down eventually because they will have a hard time making sub atomic sized transistors.

Fair enough. 'Law' is pretty serious sounding though. I don't think there's even any real consensus on how 'gravity' really works. The so-called gravitons can't be individually observed if they exist at all, feisty little guys.

Wait, what? Moore's Law is merely an observation that has coincidentally held true for some time. It's not even science, never mind a scientific law. Gravity, on the other hand, is very well understood, and there is absolutely a real consensus that general relativity explains how gravity works extremely well, with very few exceptions. The "graviton" is just the theoretical force carrier for gravity within QFT and may prove to be unnecessary, so I'm not quite sure why you brought it up.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13

mikesswimn:

Going Concern:
SirTradesaLot:
Going Concern:
SirTradesaLot:

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

Moore's Law is a scientific theory...relating to how the number of transistors on a circuit continues to increase.

Maybe you're thinking of Murphy's Law not being a theory.

It is not a scientific law. I know that Roger Moore stated this as his theory about transistors, but it is not a Theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. It is a rule of thumb and it will break down eventually because they will have a hard time making sub atomic sized transistors.

Fair enough. 'Law' is pretty serious sounding though. I don't think there's even any real consensus on how 'gravity' really works. The so-called gravitons can't be individually observed if they exist at all, feisty little guys.

Wait, what? Moore's Law is merely an observation that has coincidentally held true for some time. It's not even science, never mind a scientific law. Gravity, on the other hand, is very well understood, and there is absolutely a real consensus that general relativity explains how gravity works extremely well, with very few exceptions. The "graviton" is just the theoretical force carrier for gravity within QFT and may prove to be unnecessary, so I'm not quite sure why you brought it up.

A lot of laws,theories and discoveries originate from time tested observation. Look at Kepler's Laws; and one could even make the philosophical argument that all scientific facts are based off of sensational observation, but that is irrelevant.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

In reply to dew2229
6/21/13

Maybe I am a bit behind on my science knowledge, but can someone explain to me how we would age slower due to relativity?

Relativity says that time passes slower due the speed at which your traveling in "relative" terms (as I understand it). I.e. when you are driving from NY to CA, you will have aged less than if you had walked that same distance.

How I understand this is that your aging/time don't slow down, just your perception of it in accordance with the distance that you're traveling.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

6/21/13

mikesswimn:
Gravity, on the other hand, is very well understood, and there is absolutely a real consensus that general relativity explains how gravity works extremely well

What is your source for this statement? I'm no expert on this stuff but I know there are several alternative theories to how gravity works.

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
6/21/13

Relativity does well at explaining gravity for material things, not so much for quarks and on a quantum/string theory level (as I understand).

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

6/21/13

Going Concern:

mikesswimn:

Gravity, on the other hand, is very well understood, and there is absolutely a real consensus that general relativity explains how gravity works extremely well

What is your source for this statement? I'm no expert on this stuff but I know there are several alternative theories to how gravity works.

There doesn't exist a source in the traditional sense, but if you're wondering how I know, my educational background is in pure mathematics and I have a working knowledge of general/special relativity and quantum mechanics (admitted, my knowledge of QM could be much better; QM will burn a hole in your brain). In short, I did not get laid as a result of going to class.

So, what you're thinking of are grand unified theories or TOEs (theories of everything). They're not "alternatives" in the typical sense, in that they're distinct from general relativity (or Newtonian physics for that matter), just that their formulation from a mathematical standpoint is more robust. For instance, general relativity doesn't behave particularly well mathematically when you're dealing with a black hole. While newer theories, like string theory, behave better mathematically (i.e. no infinities pop up). Now, the reason I say "mathematically" is because we don't have much empirical evidence of black holes. We know they exist, but they're hard as shit to observe for the obvious reasons. At any rate, outside of the few situations where general relativity breaks down, string theory reduces to general relativity, in other words, they produce the same result.

Now, as far as how gravity "works" from the perspective of the actual dynamics, general relativity is widely accepted as the best answer, in that there are very few alternatives to the concept of curved spacetime. I've seen some theories, such as LQG (loop quantum gravity) and other quantum foam theories that appear to rely on a different dynamic, which seems to stem from how spacetime is imagined. Don't quote me here, the big GUT/TOE competition is out of my wheelhouse and is reserved for people much much much much much smarter than me.

The long and the short of it is, there are two accepted theories for how the universe works, general relativity explains gravity and all that is "really big" while QM (more specifically, the standard model) deals with the very very very very small and does not require gravity. They don't work perfectly, but they're the only ones who have stood up to scrutiny. The alternatives on the other hand, have no experimental backing yet, although it would not surprise me if that changed soon.

Sorry for the length, I hope that clears up my earlier statement.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13

streetwannabe:

Relativity does well at explaining gravity for material things, not so much for quarks and on a quantum/string theory level (as I understand).

We don't "need" (which is to say, "use") a theory of gravity for super tiny things. It's too weak at that scale and assuming it's zero seems to work for the quantum world. Now, String Theory is something different, that's a grand unified theory, a theory meant to incorporate gravity with the other three fundamental forces (strong, weak, and electromagnetic). String Theory also isn't an accepted theory. It's considered a great candidate, but it doesn't have the bona fides that the standard model and general relativity have.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13

streetwannabe:

Maybe I am a bit behind on my science knowledge, but can someone explain to me how we would age slower due to relativity?

Relativity says that time passes slower due the speed at which your traveling in "relative" terms (as I understand it). I.e. when you are driving from NY to CA, you will have aged less than if you had walked that same distance.

How I understand this is that your aging/time don't slow down, just your perception of it in accordance with the distance that you're traveling.

Lorentz Contraction is the effect that causes time to "slow down" when you're traveling near the speed of light (typically referred to as "relativistic speeds"). So, if you're on a spaceship traveling near the speed of light, relative to an observer who is not traveling that fast, you would appear to be in slow motion. You wouldn't notice it, but it happens. In fact, thanks to special relativity, we have GPS. If we didn't, GPS wouldn't work. Fun fact!

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13

streetwannabe:

Maybe I am a bit behind on my science knowledge, but can someone explain to me how we would age slower due to relativity?

Relativity says that time passes slower due the speed at which your traveling in "relative" terms (as I understand it). I.e. when you are driving from NY to CA, you will have aged less than if you had walked that same distance.

How I understand this is that your aging/time don't slow down, just your perception of it in accordance with the distance that you're traveling.

As I understand it, the phenomenon can be explained with this allegory: pretend you are on a space ship that is moving at the speed of light (impossible, I know, but just go with it). You are sitting in your seat, currently moving at the speed of light, the so-called "speed-limit of the universe". Now, if you were to get up out of your seat and walk forward, in the direction that the space ship is traveling, what would that mean? You are going faster than the speed of light, violating one of the principal rules of physics (as we currently understand them).

In order to compensate for this, time on the space ship slows down in order to uphold this fundamental rule. So you still experience one week as one week, but your one week might have been something like two years for the people who are still on Earth.

6/21/13

streetwannabe:

mikesswimn:
Going Concern:
SirTradesaLot:
Going Concern:
SirTradesaLot:

You guys realize that 'Moore's Law' is not an actual scientific theory, right?

Moore's Law is a scientific theory...relating to how the number of transistors on a circuit continues to increase.

Maybe you're thinking of Murphy's Law not being a theory.

It is not a scientific law. I know that Roger Moore stated this as his theory about transistors, but it is not a Theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. It is a rule of thumb and it will break down eventually because they will have a hard time making sub atomic sized transistors.

Fair enough. 'Law' is pretty serious sounding though. I don't think there's even any real consensus on how 'gravity' really works. The so-called gravitons can't be individually observed if they exist at all, feisty little guys.

Wait, what? Moore's Law is merely an observation that has coincidentally held true for some time. It's not even science, never mind a scientific law. Gravity, on the other hand, is very well understood, and there is absolutely a real consensus that general relativity explains how gravity works extremely well, with very few exceptions. The "graviton" is just the theoretical force carrier for gravity within QFT and may prove to be unnecessary, so I'm not quite sure why you brought it up.

A lot of laws,theories and discoveries originate from time tested observation. Look at Kepler's Laws; and one could even make the philosophical argument that all scientific facts are based off of sensational observation, but that is irrelevant.

A lot ideas relating to science begin as observation, but in order for them to become theories with laws, they need a logical and mathematical framework. Moore's law may have an equation associated with it, but there's no reason why it's held up. The number of transistors on a chip doesn't HAVE to double every X years (I forget the number). In fact, I can guarantee to you that if aliens came and blew up the world, it would stop immediately while gravity would keep on working the same way it always has.

Hmm, I probably should've started at this comment and moved down...

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13

Datsik:

streetwannabe:

Maybe I am a bit behind on my science knowledge, but can someone explain to me how we would age slower due to relativity?

Relativity says that time passes slower due the speed at which your traveling in "relative" terms (as I understand it). I.e. when you are driving from NY to CA, you will have aged less than if you had walked that same distance.

How I understand this is that your aging/time don't slow down, just your perception of it in accordance with the distance that you're traveling.

As I understand it, the phenomenon can be explained with this allegory: pretend you are on a space ship that is moving at the speed of light (impossible, I know, but just go with it). You are sitting in your seat, currently moving at the speed of light, the so-called "speed-limit of the universe". Now, if you were to get up out of your seat and walk forward, in the direction that the space ship is traveling, what would that mean? You are going faster than the speed of light, violating one of the principal rules of physics (as we currently understand them).

In order to compensate for this, time on the space ship slows down in order to uphold this fundamental rule. So you still experience one week as one week, but your one week might have been something like two years for the people who are still on Earth.

Travel at the speed of light is absolutely possible. Photons do it all the time. You just have to deal with the Lorentz contraction associated with it which, at the speed of light, stops time and makes your mass infinite. Luckily for photons, they're massless.

But no, that's not how it works. When traveling near the speed of light, the passage of time is unchanged for YOU. It is an observer who is standing still who will see the time dialation. In other words, relative to the observer, time moves slower the faster you go. Read about the "twins paradox", it's a pretty good explanation.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13

Okay, sounds like we're working up to Lisi.

While we're on the subject, did you guys see the awesome shots from CERN of the LHC?
http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/19/4440730/large-ha...

Buncha fuckin' nerds, lol.

6/21/13

Edmundo Braverman:

Okay, sounds like we're working up to Lisi.

While we're on the subject, did you guys see the awesome shots from CERN of the LHC?

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/19/4440730/large-ha...

Buncha fuckin' nerds, lol.

Lisi, the surfer physicist? Clever guy, and I'm told his theory is interesting but it doesn't have a chance in hell of being right, haha. But, hey, tough to hate on a guy with an appreciation for the e8 lie group.

Goddamn I'm a nerd. Okay, I'm going to drink beer until I'm cooler. That still works, right? Worked like a charm in my 20s, haha.

"My caddie's chauffeur informs me that a bank is a place where people put money that isn't properly invested."

6/21/13
Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky
6/24/13

This is an old documentary that my dad saw when he was younger. It is an interview with Bob Lazar who explains his time working for the government's alien project. It is a little long but very in-depth and in my opinion Bob Lazar comes across as very rational and convincing. It you want to skip ahead to where he talks about travel jump to 12:50, but the beginning of the film talks about how he became involved in the project and his credentials.

He essentially claims that gravity is divided into A and B waves and that the spacecrafts use a gravity generator/disruptor to manipulate these waves and that is how it is able to travel so far.

"Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."

6/25/13

Fuck! As a Singularitarian, I'm annoyed to only now be entering the fray.

Yes, the overwhelming evidence suggests that extraterrestrial life exists, HOWEVER, here's the assumption you've all gotten wrong: The height of technological achievement is NOT the exploration of the physical world, but rather the complete scientific control of our subconscious. I think the common arch that most advanced species in this universe (at least ours, if we don't blow each other up) will experience goes as follows:

-Extroversion: The species will develop the technology to master its biology and habitat. This means things like integration with machines (cyborgs), control of all diseases and natural causes or mortality (because you'll never be able to cure murder or statistics), control of the planet's ecosystems (weather, etc.), surrounding domain (ability mine asteroids, settle on instra-star-system territories, etc.), etc.

-Discovery & Realization: The species caresses the absolute limit of scientific knowledge and discovers that the physical universe has constraints smaller than the civilization's ambitions. Perhaps it discovers some fucking plankton on a distant world and realizes that the next most evolved life form cannot be physically reached without significant endangerment to the species. Perhaps it's even something much more disturbing like the species just becomes so disheartened by the reality of the limit that any significant technological achievement just slows down and eventually stops.

-Introversion: The species makes a mass-exodus inward. With technological advancements in neuroscience, the species induces advanced, controlled-subconscious states that grant each member a universe of boundless creativity in which it is sole god. After centuries of addiction to the mental world, the species forgets its origins and is survived by its advanced robotic creations who go on as indifferent caretakers.

The truth of the matter is that any species with creative intelligence, the kind necessary to actually travel at the galactic level will ultimately discover that the concept of finity MUST necessarily lead to an end of scientific understanding. Therefore, the only beings fit to truly rule the universe are the indifferent. The kind that hear the radio signal and ignore it. The droids, the plankton, the rocks, the gaseous clouds, etc.

Anywhooo, back to this LBO I go...

In reply to Nouveau Richie
6/25/13

Unless everything we consider "reality" and our "physical universe" is just a computer simulation being run by our future selves.

7/1/13

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