Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    •  
      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    I like it!
    • CommentAuthorenginerd
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    Very interesting.

    Of course, I prefer the implication in Heinleins "Stranger in a Strange Land" that the asteroid belt is the remains of a planet that the Old Ones of Mars put an end to.
    •  
      CommentAuthoralsetalokin
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010 edited
     
    Astronomy/astrophysics. Cracks me up everytime. Nearly all the data comes from bazillions of miles away, consists of information with a very low signal/noise ratio, comes to us in wavebands that are beyond our native senses altogether, and deals with timescales and distance scales that are literally absurd. And the opportunities to perform actual experiments or feel real gritty STUFF between our fingers is almost nil.
    And yet, by some sort of Maximum Jeopardy game of answers-and-questions inference and induction, we think we know things about things of which we can only speculate. Or at least we think we do.

    Imagine a planet, far far away, under a stranger sun than Sol, but with a similar infection of slime as Earth, some of which eventually learns to think for itself, even to the point of developing technology.

    But the planet is cloudy all the time.


    Would they dream of celestial realms beyond their overcast sky? Would their gods dwell in the heavens above? Could they even imagine anything above the ceiling?

    Would they be totally freaked out, having developed radio telescopes before optical ones???
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010 edited
     
    Turning that around - what are we blind to that other denizens of the cosmos take for granted?
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    "Turning that around - what are we blind to that other denizens of the cosmos take for granted?"

    free energy
    •  
      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    Posted By: AngusTurning that around - what are we blind to that other denizens of the cosmos take for granted?
    Rationality!
    • CommentAuthortinker
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2010
     
    On earth we have the benisons of custard and rhubarb crumble. And Christmas pudding. I speculate these are quite unknown elswhere - even in the most infinite of univeres
  1.  
    Exactly.

    And I thought of a good metaphor for the energetic dynamics of Life: the Pachinko machine.

    Consider a universe without Life. It's a Pachinko machine with no pins. So you drop in some energy at the top (say, a photon...which is how all your energy got to your breakfast, so it's not so ridiculous) and it slams through the no-pin field and is uselessly dissipated in a poorly impedance-matched impact at the bottom. Now put in some pins in the traditional triangular array: Life. Drop in the photon, and it careeens around, vibrating a bunch of pins, and finally---its total energy nearly already dissipated into the pins...drops to the bottom.
    Life is the Universe's way of squeezing as much slave labor out of Energy quanta as possible, degrading them as much as possible on the way down to absolute zilch.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2010
     
    "Life is the Universe's way of squeezing as much slave labor out of Energy quanta as possible"

    It's all about rumination
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2010
     
    The Universe is Life's way of giving itself something to think about.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2010
     
    Precisely
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2010
     
    Or vice versa
    •  
      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2010
     
    Porn
    • CommentAuthorenginerd
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2010
     
    In Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker's" series the civilization that grew up in complete cloud cover became very angry when they learned there was a universe out there and decided to destroy it.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjohnq
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2021