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Comment Re:Not again (Score 1) 575

>Instead, QM says that particles gain or lose energy "instantaneously", or rather "so fast that you can't tell what happened" as per the Heisenberg uncertainty of dE*dt. This means GR is, in some sense, more complete as a mathematical theory than QM

Great. I can't believe I understood that.

So QM is Newtonian, huh? Just goes to show the difference that scale can make. Cosmology is out of its reach.

Comment Re:Theory or Hypothesis? (Score 1) 575

Yep. There's a theory out now that says we live inside of a computer. That is, the universe is an information processing machine with ruthless precision. For example, if you want to find out where a thrown ball will land, you can sit at a desk, run Netwon's equations, and plot the trajectory. Or you can simply throw the ball. The universe provides the answer, perfectly every time.

I consider this theory basically moot. We know the universe conforms to our mathematical approximations. We know it's reliable. We know nothing is going to change this situation barring some fantastical event. We know that, however imprecise, we can communicate with the universe through math.

But there is a theory that goes further, which says that mathematics is the sole requisite for an object to exist. That is, if an object can be described by mathematics, then it does exist, period. I'm not sure what to make of this. I know that math is a human invention. I know that math will always fail, subtley, in comparison to the infinite complexity before us.

And yet, what are we but empty space? Mass is just vibrations held in place by forces, whatever those are. Atoms, mostly empty space, with tiny protons and electrons inside.

I used to say that mathematics was the language of God. I wouldn't go that far anymore. But I think he likes what we're thinking.

Comment Re:ZZZTTT ! (Score 1) 575

Time exists. We experience it everyday. If you could go backwards in time, you would have done so by now.

But as I said in another post, the universe is asynchronous. It doesn't care much for the raw clocking of time. Time is just another annoying impediment for particles moving around randomly, which is what the universe likes to do with itself. You're right in the sense that God has no wristwatch; if you mentioned "time" to him, he would laugh any more than you mentioned distance or volume. It's all just shit moving around (and "moving" implies some useful time dimension, just not an accurate one).

Rather, I agree with your statement that there is an amorphous interface between the two. Quantum mechanics is extremely small-scale, perhaps (I should look this up) smaller than Planck scale. Time is 12-billion light-years wide. The idea that both theories have to match up perfectly is kind of silly :/

Comment Re:And FTL, too (Score 1) 575

>If you can't encode information into it, are you really transmitting something? *Headache*

Simple. There are many regions of the universe that can't currently communicate with one another because the distances are greater than the speed of light can effectively handle. By the time you get to, say, Cygnus X-1, it may no longer be there.

So how do you think we got so far away from Cygnus X-1?

By travelling faster than the speed of light. Relative to one another, of course.

FTL travel is crucial for understanding the current makeup of the universe. That's because the universe is currently composed of a great many units which do not interact.

Comment Re:And FTL, too (Score 1) 575

The universe is asynchronous. It doesn't understand the concept of global time. When a particle moves at c, it is moving as fast as possible. Therefore time is irrelevant.

For an analogy, imagine you are late for work. You call your boss and say, "I'm on the expressway, I'll get there as fast as possible." You don't tell him how long it will take. As far as you are concerned, you will be there instantly.

You are a photon. Your next scheduled event, or interaction with the outside world, is arrival at work. Everything you do between now and then isn't happening. You can't stop and get breakfast. The music you're listening to in the car is irrelevant, since you're the only one who hears it. Your trip effectively takes no time as observed by anyone else.

But in your boss' local world, you will take time and be late.

Faster-than-light travel doesn't really make sense. It implies that there is some shoulder you can ride on that will bypass the laws of physics. The shoulder lane may exist, but good luck finding it. It may be so far out of the way that there is no benefit.

Comment Re:Yea so? (Score 1) 251

Actually I got a quite different idea from reading that article. Burning coal, oil, and other hydrocarbons is going to look pretty silly a generation from now when you have the choice of rooftop solar, local or distant wind sources, and then possibly nuclear or fusion on top of that. It's going to be an orgy of electricity.

How can you say that rooftop solar that produces enough energy to sell back to the grid is "pretty disappointing?" You think making money is a losing proposition?

Comment Re:Power of the sun? Artificial stars? (Score 1) 251

It's late, but reading that Wiki article 2 or 3 times has me saying "Bullshit." Basically what they are saying is that since normally you have infinite-density singularity, here is an alternative where some quantum phenomena pushes back and prevents that from happening.

Problem is, there's no such thing as the type of singularity they are describing. I know that now. So the black star "alternative" that is the opposite of a dumb idea (singularity) is probably meaningless.

Roger Penrose or whoever came up with the idea of a singularity inside of an event horizon was wrong. I'm not sure what you mean that black holes are "debatable," but if this is it, then we agree on that much.

Event horizons are not very debatable, they make intrinsic mathematical sense, even if they are extremely odd. Asymptotes tend to be odd. I'm not sure that anyone has ever had the balls to view event horizons as asymptotes or *cough* as singularities in an of themselves. It seems a great deal of mathematical gymnastics have been performed to avoid coming to such a simple conclusion.

There's more of course. I just want to be on record saying that Penrose is wrong and that Hawking is off his rocker. The best description I've ever gotten out of Hawking about the nature of the universe is that spacetime is like a closed system or loop, and that description is so vague as to be a dead giveaway that he's never come up with an actual, workable theory.

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