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    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2015
    Posted By: alsetalokinIn Ulan Bator, all socks are red.

    That was in the old days, before perestroika. But even then you couldn't use it. It would be like sending morse with all dashes.
    Or like morse with equal numbers of dots and dashes
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2015
    That should be easy enough to use, Shirley? If nothing else, just send the same message twice with dots and dashes interchanged.
    There's nothing like getting no information from encoding no information. Like video compression for most TV shows.
    If you could devise a Higgs field reflector, you could sell it as a weight loss aid.
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2015
    Is it really weight loss if your weight and the weight of old Terra are equally diminished?
    "ISS 'nauts will get lovely urine-presso on Friday"
    Hacking Arecibo from a nearby spot shouldn't be hard
    Posted By: AngusIs it really weight loss if your weight and the weight of old Terra are equally diminished?
    Quite right. I was however envisaging a local reflector, to be perhaps worn around the midriff.
    Did you notice that Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind Of Science" isn't?
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2015 edited
    Long ago. Isn't science and isn't new. We've been over it on the 'trap - maybe before your time.
    Can we move the sun? If we could, it would be using physics we don't yet know. Even if we knew how to make all the sun's power output stream in one direction to create a monster photon rocket, the acceleration would only be on order 10-13 m/s2. So dodging the Andromeda galaxy collision can't be done like that.
    Actually, it can. Although the acceleration is tiny, the timescale is huge, and that's what wins. After 3 billion years at that acceleration, we'd have accrued a deltaV of about 10 Km/s and we'd have travelled about one million light-years.

    That's 10 Milky Way diameters away from the collision point. Probably sufficient to have gotten out of the way.
    It's not surprising that advertising is so successful, given our species' widespread predilection for self-delusion.
    "The shortest path between two truths in the real domain passes through the complex domain"
    - Hadamard
    The daily death toll world wide for automobile fatalities is more than 3,000
    • CommentAuthorsonoboy
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2016
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanThe daily death toll world wide for automobile fatalities is more than 3,000

    That's it dammit. Time to ban automobiles.
    I think we are all fucked. Seriously - we're done with as a species.

    Did people think in a similar way after the invention of the atom bomb? Certainly, and world powers rushed to put safety measures into place. The thing about a nuclear bomb is that it's very hard to get the raw materials to make one, it's very hard to actually build a working one, and if you manage to deploy it, everyone will know you did it.

    Not so with the latest gene editing tools. The expertise required can be acquired by a high schooler in a few days. The raw materials are ubiquitous. And if you create something accidentally or deliberately that's bad, and release it into the wild, nobody can trace it back to you. And so there's no way to put safety measures in place.

    It only takes a single loonie with a single batch of - say - mosquitoes to change the mosquito genome forever, everywhere, using CRISPR plus gene drive. Once done, it's irrevocable.

    This is much worse than the nuclear bomb.
    • CommentAuthorkorkskrew
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2016 edited
    Neal Stephenson has some ideas about this. Diamond Age, and Windup Girl spring to mind.

    Correction: Windup Girl was written by Paolo Bacigalupi. I could have sworn it was a N. S. book.
    I'm making a statement about the real world in which you and I and everyone else actually live. Thank you for the fictional links nevertheless. I am genuinely concerned about this. It really is much worse than the nuclear bomb, in that the effects of a nuclear explosion are relatively short-lived (we can visit Hiroshima) whereas this problem has much more of a permanent nature associated with it, and has the potential to affect the ecosystem of the entire planet. And all it takes is one accident by one kid.