Monday, January 05, 2009

On TV again... and a sweep of "stuff"

Seems I’ll be on the telly again. The two-hour special “First Apocalypse” aka “What Really Killed the Dinosaurs” is scheduled to air on Wednesday, January 07 @ 09:00 PM on History (please check your local listing)They put an hour of my blather in the can, but you never know how much they'll use.

Starship Sofa has produced -- on its audio magzine Aural Delights a spoken version of my story “Temptation.” The narration is by Julie Davis. A story by Geoff Ryman makes the lengthy experience worthwhile. Parts 2 & 3 will appear soon.

Anybody care to gather all three parts into a single audio file?

Again, in order to see several of my recent novellas, subscribe to Universe Magazine... Type in coupon code EE329517B2 - which is good for $5 off any subscription!

FROM HERE ON... it’s all just accumulated stuff... that I am clearing out of a file and not preparing at all. (Posting it all now because of the TV announcement.)

My science predictions, submitted to SEED magazine: “Efforts to recreate extinct species, like mammoths or Neanderthals, with be stymied as we learn the egg -- the reader-translator -- is as important as the DNA code. Cosmologists will admit “the Big Bang was an actual explosion (with a center), after all...” and then they’ll change their minds again. SETI will shift from expensive arrays that sift for aliens in the frequency domain, to thousands of backyard radio telescopes that cover the whole sky. Amateur science will grow important as millions of private sensors join together in ad hoc networks that become indispensable to governments, corporations and specialists”

A lot of speculations are gathered at John Brockman's EDGE site. A majority are a bit tedious, predictable and utterly tied to the writer's specific agenda. But a few stood out. Howard Garner, Stuart Kaufman, Shermer, Metzinger. Kelly and both Dysons.

An excellent overview of the multiverse concept as it applies to the anthropic principle and the cosmic “coincidence numbers.”

I am among several score experts, futurists and pundits who were interviewed for a new report issued by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020. The report entitled "Future of the Internet III" is built around respondents' responses to scenarios stretching to the year 2020, and hundreds of their written elaborations address such topics as: the methods by which people will access information in the future; the fact that technology is expanding the potential for hate, bigotry and terrorism; the changes that will occur in human relationships due to hyper-connected communication; the future of work and employer-employee relationships; the evolution of the tools for and use of augmented reality and virtual reality; the strength of respondents’ concerns that the global corporations and governments currently in control of most resources might impede or even halt the open development of the internet; and the challenges to come as issues tied to security, privacy, digital identities, tracking and massive databases collide.

From my friend Mark Frazier: Openworld has to do with mobilizing some of the currently highly limited well of philanthropic sources to empower people at grass-roots levels for purposes of self-organization using (for example) the cell phones that are becoming ubiquitous even in the developing world. “Openworld has mapped ways for transparency-enhancing reforms to awaken human capital and dormant land values for community uplift...” Also worth mentioning is the entrepeneurial schools endeavor. One appraoch maps a self-funding path way for microvouchers to bring aspiring talent online, and map out self-organizing alternatives to the status quo, in part by giving poor but bright kids internet-mediated tasks that they can perform for both pay and experience. “We'll be glad to sponsor some microscholarships for students at entrepreneurial schools in poor communities to do web research, translation,or other work-study projects.” Anybody out there have any tasks you'd like to send their way? I love it and deeply respect the effort.

One of you wrote in about a single celled organism, a distant relative of microscopic amoebas, the grape-sized Gromia sphaerica. At up to three centimeters (1.2 inches) in diameter, they're also enormous compared to most of their microscopic cousins.

Read about the Science & Entertainment Exchange. From my own experiences in Hollywood, let me say it's about time! I hope it does some good.

A mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) underwater, a remote control submersible's camera has captured an eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and—strangest of all—"elbowed" Magnapinna squid.

The illusion of body-swapping -- making people perceive the bodies of mannequins and other people as their own -- has been achieved by Swedish neuroscientists.
In one experiment, the team fitted the head of a mannequin with two cameras connected to two small screens placed in front of volunteers' eyes, so that they had the same view as the mannequin.
When the mannequin's camera eyes and a participant's head were directed downwards, the participant saw the mannequin's body where the person would normally have seen their own body.
The researchers created the illusion of body-swapping by touching the stomach of both the mannequin and the volunteer with sticks. The person saw the mannequin's stomach being touched while feeling (but not seeing) a similar sensation on their own stomach. As a result, the person developed a strong belief that the mannequin's body was actually their own.

"This shows how easy it is to change the brain's perception of the physical self. By manipulating sensory impressions, it's possible to fool the self not only out of its body but into other bodies, too," project leader Henrik Ehrsson, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in a news release.

See a lively and interesting tour comparing modernist images to sci fi images by artist John Powers at:


Moving? Be sure to pick up a map of natural hazards in your new 'hood.

See a spectacularly interesting lecture by multiple entrepreneur Steve Blank, at the Computer History Museum, about how Silicon Valley got its start.... earlier than you’d think!

See the origins of the name R2D2... in Bell Labs of all places!

Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering — a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories. In her San Francisco dining room lab, for example, 31-year-old computer programmer Meredith L. Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that turned Chinese-made baby formula and pet food deadly.So far, no major gene-splicing discoveries have come out anybody's kitchen or garage. But critics of the movement worry that these amateurs could one day unleash an environmental or medical disaster. Defenders say the future Bill Gates of biotech could be developing a cure for cancer in the garage. Many of these amateurs may have studied biology in college but have no advanced degrees and are not earning a living in the biotechnology field. Some proudly call themselves "biohackers" — innovators who push technological boundaries and put the spread of knowledge before profits.



Chris said...

ck out and for a lot of discussion (search "body swap" - more than one blogger wrote about it).

Furthermore, a recent study showed that even our personal perception of our own face can be influenced and altered - very cool

Blake Stacey said...

An excellent overview of the multiverse concept as it applies to the anthropic principle and the cosmic "coincidence numbers."

Really? I found it irritating, myself, propagating the standard set of confusions. For example, it failed to address the issue that inflation is not expected to populate the string landscape evenly. Also, it treated quantities like the proton mass as fundamental when they aren't, skewing the reader's perspectives on what these "anthropic coincidences" really are.

Cosmologists will admit "the Big Bang was an actual explosion (with a center), after all..." and then they'll change their minds again.

Why? None of the pre-Big Bang scenarios on the table include this idea; it's not an ingredient in eternal inflation; it is not implied by the notion of matter over our visible horizon.

Rob Perkins said...

Write write write! And may you be paid handsomely enough to fund at least three full college-level educations!

Cliff said...

Good, maybe now the posts will stick around long enough to generate some decent discussions, like we had pre-election.

Unknown said...

Cosmologists will admit "the Big Bang was an actual explosion (with a center), after all..." and then they'll change their minds again.

I like your instinct David, and I think that a mechanism like this that enables the universe to periodically "reheat" will suffice without the need of silly rationale for the flatness and horizon problems, like "eternal inflation"...

That's after the large hadron puts the theoretically righteous out of business. (aka; the Blake Stacey's of the world).

Without a complete theory, you'd have to be completely lost in LaLaLand to think that an anthropic principle could ever be indicative anything other than bio-oriented cosmological structure principle that resolves the "anthropic problems" from first principles.

For example, it failed to address the issue that inflation is not expected to populate the string landscape evenly. Also, it treated quantities like the proton mass as fundamental when they aren't, skewing the reader's perspectives on what these "anthropic coincidences" really are.

Why? None of the pre-Big Bang scenarios on the table include this idea; it's not an ingredient in eternal inflation; it is not implied by the notion of matter over our visible horizon.

I guess that it doesn't do any good to roll my eyes... LOL

Anonymous said...

Since David Brin has decided to effectively abandon this blog, it's up to us to fill in the discussion. Of course, history shows that anyone who does too good a job of filling in the discussion, anyone who provides too many links to interesting material, anyone who stirs up too much controversy, will get banned.

David Brin apparently wants to remain in charge of this bog, yet abandon it to its most frequent posters. That's a contradiction in terms and impossible. So chances are that this blog is now dead, since frequent posters who churn out too much interesting material will surely get chucked out like those Korean guards when 007 pressed the eject button on his Astno Martin in Goldfinger.

In any case, time will tell.

Amid the horrific carnage of the Gaza strip, I should like to point out some hopeful signs for the future. Obviously the spectacle of watching Hamas using Katyusha rockets to murder innocent Israeli women and chldren is monstrous (9 Israeli civilians have reportedly died so far). Equally obviously, Israel's retalitary aerial bombings followed by the IDF's ground troops have resulted in many civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip, also mainly innocent women and children (507 casualties reported so far, some of them Hamas fighters, many not) and that's at least as unspeakably horrible as the other deaths, if not more so.

We could fruitlessly argue the alleged merits of relatiation by Israel, Hamas' cowardice for deliberately placing their rocket launchers in civilian areas, and so forth... But let's step back and take a look at some remarkable numbers.

Between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese died in one night in Tokyo on March 9 1945 in the most appalling incident of civilian bombing ever recorded in the history of conventional warfare.

In Hiroshima on August 6 1945 somehwere around 140,000 civilian were killed. In Nagasaki on August 9 1945, an estimated 80,000 civilians were killed.
See here for more details.

These were all civilians. 100%. Think about that. More than 100,000 civilians, women, children, old-men, non-combatants all, died screaming in agony in Tokyo in one night.

Ditto Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Battle of the Somme, which began 1 July 1916, produced than a million casualties -- 58,000 British casualties on the first day alone.

In the Battle of Verdun, starting 21 February 1916, the French racked up 550,000 casualties and the Germans, 434,000 casualties -- half of those horribly injured, the other half dead.

So why talk about good news in Gaza today?

Look at those numbers. Then take a look at the numbers in Gaza. 507 casualties is certainly horrible...but it would take more than 20 years of non-stop combat and air bombardment in Gaza just to equal the number of casualties one one side in just one battle of just one of the world wars in the 20th century.

My prediction? There may be as many as several thousand casualties in the Gaza Strip before hostilities stop. But, boy, that's sure better than the Battle of the Somme, isn't it? And that certainly better than the fire-bombing of Tokyo, or the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki or Hiroshima.

The point remains that as horrible as the meatgrinder killing in Gaza looks, it provides hard evidence that the world really is getting more peaceful as time goes on.

Think about it, folks. The entire world is up in arms right now over the killing of 507 civilians (some Hamas, most not) in Gaza by the Israeli military. Rather than debate the merits of the Israeli military action, let's just point out that the world has risen up in outrage for just 507 deaths. What do you think would happen if Israel (or any other modern military power) were to fire-bomb an enemy nation and cause 100,000 civilian deaths in just one night? Why, the whole world would come unglued. There'd be mass demonstrations every capital on the globe. CNN and Fox News and every other news channel would run 24/7 footage non-stop, and the entire blogosphere would reveberate with worldwide cries of outrage.

Isn't this a good thing?

We're seeing people all over the world increasingly concerned with increasingly few military casualties, in battles which get progressively smaller as time goes on. That's a good thing, isn't it?

Even more important: world opinion is now intensely pressuring Israel, as well as the U.S. (since we provide a great deal of material and military support to Israel). Once again, without debating the merits of whether Israel is right or wrong in its reaction to the Hamas rocket attacks, notice that we are witnessing a slow but steady replacement of military conflict with international convocation and global electrically-mediated exchange of opinion.

Back in the 17th century, Gottfried Wilhelm Liebiz suggested that with a sufficienty advanced "logical language," people and nations would eventually stop killing one another on the battlefield and instead proclaim, "Gentlemen, let us calculate!" to resolve their disputes. Now, while this seems absurdly utoptian...think about it -- isn't this exactly what's happenng to an increasing extent in global conflicts today?

The numbers of casualties get smaller and smaller, the magnitude of the electronically-mediated global firestorm of opinion gets greater and greater, and the pressure of world public opinion becomes increasingly plenipotent.

This seems tremendously encouraging. The true lesson of the Gaza conflict right now seems to be that no one nation can resist the overwhelming pressure of worldwide public opinion. Isn't that an enormously hopeful sign?

I certainly think so. Israel is now facing the same kind of near-unanimous public pressure that the South African government when it tried to maintain apartheid in the 1970s and 1980s. And history shows that in the long run, no nation can really resist that kind of pressure. Other nations erect economic embargoes, place trade sanctions, doing business becomes much harder, the nation's citizens face prejudice around the world, its products wind up boycotted, and the whole mess just snowballs... All without violence! South African apartheid was defeated without mass invasions or ground slaughter or a civil war or mass aerial bombing or rampant terrorism. The quiet irresistable force of global public opinion ultimately crushed apartheid.

This suggests that most conflicts may eventually get resolved the same way. Isn't that a wonderfully hopeful sign of things to come in the 21st century?

David Brin said...

I WILL post occasional random thoughts and worries, taking moments. Not returning for reactions....

The worry spreading everywhere is that there are powers desperate not to let the honest men into office. The vulnerable hour is while Obama and Biden and a hundred others are standing right next to each other. Scary scary.....

Alex Tolley said...

DB: Efforts to recreate extinct species, like mammoths or Neanderthals, with be stymied as we learn the egg -- the reader-translator -- is as important as the DNA code.

If by stymied, you mean we cannot achieve this, I think you are incorrect.

We already know that the egg has an important role to play in reading the DNA, as we also know that the DNA must be in the correct starting state.

However, we have already done cross-species cloning (see link below) so we know in principle an extinct animal's DNA can be developed in a related contemporary species.

Secondly, we recently had successes with forcing tissue DNA to restart for stem cell production. Thus in principle we are starting to get a handle on the starting state for DNA to ensure embryonic development, probably part of the problems encountered with cloning to date.

Therefore in principle, we should be able to clone some extinct animals given the correct DNA sample and a close contemporary species egg donor and host.

Unknown said...

Oh, ouch, now Blake Stacey is calling you a crackpot David, over at CV, which is no surprise since Blake, (like, Sean Carrol), takes for granted the unproven assumptions of the cutting edge. I gotta say that I live for the day that these guys go down... ;)

But check this guy out!... which I found to be just too funny, since he managed to do both, successfully defend a true crackpot physicist, while slamming the holy crap out of Sean Carrol at the same time.

WHO is this religious freak that knows so much about the subject?

James Redford Says:
I notice how you brought up the issue of I.Q., Sean Carroll, which apparently you found to be a matter in need of explaining, given that Prof. Tipler is easily smarter and far more accomplished than you. But then, Sean, you can’t rationally expect to be much more than what you currently are if you insist on regurgitating noxious etatist pap.


JuhnDonn said...

David Brin said... "This shows how easy it is to change the brain's perception of the physical self. By manipulating sensory impressions, it's possible to fool the self not only out of its body but into other bodies, too,"

I've always thought it was interesting that a person can sit down in a large vehicle and successfully park vehicle in a crowded lot, with just a few inches of clearance around. I first noticed this when I switched from a Honda CRX to a '70 Impala. How was my perception of physical size able to rearrange itself so well?

And after doing some 3d gaming, using multiple screens set up in flight simulator arrangement, I've noticed the same thing. In this case, you don't even have a physical shape around you but you get used to how you have to move, to avoid bumping in to things.

Pretty cool!

Tony Fisk said...

Scale-wise, a more accurate comparison to the Somme and WWII bombing raids might be the Iraqi invasion, where an estimated 600,000 civilians died over a three year period.. still only 4 days of blitzes.

Nevertheless, AnonymouZ's point prompts me to observe that those 2-300 casualties in Gaza appear all the more awful because the scale is more comprehensible. Make it 2-300,000 and who cares? It's just a number.

In other words, could it be that the less violent the world becomes, the more attuned we are to the voilence remaining?

Gilmoure, I recall this idea of being able to extend the sense of body into a vehicle was covered by Jonathan Miller in his series 'The Body in Question' (A history of medical theory. Well worth tracking down)

OK, David. If you want kicking, how about this: for every spurious comment/posting you make over your limit, we delay buying your next novel by one day?

copsav: corruption of 'cop savvy'. Alternative form of 'streetwise'.

Ilithi Dragon said...

I say we make it a week, instead of a day. It's too easy to dismiss just a single day.

Rencing: What Scooby-Doo does in his new sword-fighting club.

Tony Fisk said...

I believe book sales spike quickly, so a day is pretty significant.

'backer': person who hacks books.

David Brin said...

Oh, quick thought.

Innauguration day is a danger choke point. Stock up on canned goods...really... then watch me gradually calm down....

trixem said...

“Efforts to recreate extinct species, like mammoths or Neanderthals, with be stymied as we learn the egg -- the reader-translator -- is as important as the DNA code."

What about the uterus and the maternal connection? Seems like a lot of important things can happen there. After all, what happens in the uterus, and the chemical bath that it generates for the developing embryo, is encoded in part in the genes of the mother, which are in turn passed on to the child; certainly some feedback must exist there?

Anonymous said...

We can now begin to see the outlines of the Obama administration. Sensible people have suggested that this massive recession (which hasn't yet gotten really bad yet) would make our bureaucracies rethink their crazy failed "war on drugs."

But of course the evidence now points to exactly the opposite conclusion -- the congress and the new president will undoubtedly crank up the war on drugs and enact even more savage new penalties against even the smallest infractions in order to create jobs and shore up the economy in the new prison-industrial complex.

Indeed, the evidence shows that law enforcement is now going nuts inventing crazy new crimes for which to imprison people and ruin their lives.

Case in point:

Man gets 20 years in prison for child pornography because he ordered
some Japanese hentai showing cartoons of underage girls engaging
in fake sexual activity.
Judge proclaims "“it is not a required
that the minor depicted actually exists.”

Girl handing out cough drops accused of selling drugs at school.

Boy expelled from school for sharing his asthma inhaler under the
"zero tolerance" no-drugs policy.

Obama picked the RIAA's favorite lawyer for top DOJ post. We can
reasonably deduce this will signal the enactment of the death penalty
for downloading, with SWAT teams shooting the hinges off doors of
suspected downloaders and capping whole families with M-16s for
downloading an episode of Battlestar Galactica. This is why the RIAA has dropped its lawsuits against downloaders -- very soon the FBI will be shooting them down like dogs.

Former FBI agent says "Northern Mexico is a war zone."

Mexican President admits Mexico is disintegrating because of the failed and futile "war on drugs."

So, naturally, the
U.S. congress just approved 400 million dollars more
to make the situation in Mexico worse
by cranking up the failed and futile "war on drugs" even further and funding even more troops and
more weapons and more tanks and more DEA manpower into the failed
anti-drug war down there.

Clearly, this next Great Depression will not be a repeat of the last Great Depression. In the last Great Depression, America regained its sanity and ended Prohibition of alcohol. In this Great Depression, America is going even more insane and ramping up the failed and futile "war on drugs," even extending the definition of Schedule 1 narcotics to include herbs like salva divinorum and herbal ecstasy. Soon, espresso will be a schedule 1 narcotic -- too highly caffeinated -- and tea will be classed as a "psychoactive susbtance" and banned, with SWAT teams kicking in grannies' doors and ransacking their houses looking for bags of green tea.

As this Great Depression worsens, America will try to compensate for tens of millions of lost jobs with tens of millions of new felony convictions for non-violent non-offenses like smoking weed or taking herbal ecstasy or downloading Batman: The Dark Knight via bittorrent. As the prisons fill, vast new industries will be created -- millions of new prisons guard, millions of new police and DHS goods, milliions of new TSA thugs...the money gusher will spurt to record heights.

But, of course, as America disintegrates into a sullen impoverished gulag with only two types of citizens -- prison guards and prison inmates -- America itself will be destroyed.

Tony Fisk said...

We know, David.
-1 day.

(Although the klepto-ninja might go for Howard by mistake?)

Related to the 'egg as engine' notion, there is a Scientific American article from a while ago discussing the nearly equally important role of sugar scaffoldings in making the proteins fold properly.

the congress and the new president will undoubtedly crank up the war on drugs and enact even more savage new penalties against even the smallest infractions in order to create jobs and shore up the economy in the new prison-industrial complex.

A prediction, anonymouZ?

When do you project the WOD to target the endorphin 'dazers' found at every charismatic prayer congregation? To turn on itself and bring those indignoholic inspectors so beloved of the pulp fiction industry to heel?

Meanwhile, Apple has dropped the DRM from iTunes.

Ilithi Dragon said...

I think I see AnonymouZ's bent here. A friend of mine is taking a similar approach to the new Trek movie. He's deliberately shooting for extreme, fatalistic pessimism, putting his hopes so low, he has almost zero chance of being disappointed by the movie (or the Obama administration/the American people in Anon's case).

Tony Fisk said...

It's a possibility, Ilithi. AnonymouZ is trowelling it on a bit thickly.

Coincidentally, and astonishingly, a report, to be submitted to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, recommends changing international law to allow the state to prepare and distribute marijuana for recreational use to adults (not minors, who are at significant risk to the adverse effects)

One of the points made is that, while pot has health issues, the harm resulting is nothing to the harm of a criminal record.

Watch the indignoholics' eyeballs roll up at that one!

I doubt it will be allowed to fly very high, but it will be interesting to watch what happens.


Whilst I'm perusing this week's New Scientist, a couple of other tidbits:

- Did Time's arrow kick in when gravity became the dominant force? Link

- the LHC... on a table top? Link

- quantum repulsion: lubrication for nano-machines? Link

- sweet and gentle and sensitive man... Daniel Tammett can not only recite pi to 22,514 decimal places, he's sufficiently communicative to be able to write a book about how he does it (synaethesia seems to be part of it) Link

- (with apologies to Spike Milligan), the gofongo, if you please, is a fish with singing knees... and a cousin who has mirror lensing eyes. Link

persili: collective noun for silicon based life forms

Anonymous said...

no one nation can resist the overwhelming pressure of worldwide public opinion

Two words:
North Korea.

Anonymous said...

I just posted one suggestion of yours to another blog:

* Spread the power of subpoena — and include the minority party.

Here’s a note to Congressional Democrats; remember, a day will come when you’ll be back on the outs. Now is the time to set permanent precedents, that ensure you’ll still have a little power to poke after truth, when that happens. Establish processes NOW so that even a congressional minority can hold some future Bush-like administration at least somewhat accountable!

The person there gave a response that makes the whole thing seem kind of pointless:

The problem is, precedents are not permanent, and are not binding. The Democratic majority has no means of setting any rules that a future Republican majority would be in any way compelled to respect.

David Smelser said...

While the Brin suggestion to spread the power of subpoena may not last because the minority party may undo it when they become the majority, I think it still should be implemented:

a) Giving subpoena power to the Republicans might keep the Democrats in check in the Obama administration.

b) It will give subpoena power to less influential members of the majority party. This might break up some of the power held by the majority leadership (a problem in both parties).

c) It forces the Republicans to go on record and say that they don't want the minority party to have these powers. Let them stand before the microphone and rationalize their behavior.

James Redford said...

Island, to answer your question as to who I am, you and others will intellectually profit by reading my below article:

James Redford, author of "Jesus Is an Anarchist," revised and expanded edition, June 1, 2006 (first published at on December 19, 2001)

For more on the Omega Point Theory, see:

F. J. Tipler, "The structure of the world from pure numbers," Reports on Progress in Physics, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 2005), pp. 897-964. Also released as "Feynman-Weinberg Quantum Gravity and the Extended Standard Model as a Theory of Everything," arXiv:0704.3276, April 24, 2007.



Out of 50 articles, Prof. Tipler's above paper was selected as one of 12 for the "Highlights of 2005" accolade as "the very best articles published in Reports on Progress in Physics in 2005 [Vol. 68]. Articles were selected by the Editorial Board for their outstanding reviews of the field. They all received the highest praise from our international referees and a high number of downloads from the journal Website." (See Richard Palmer, Publisher, "Highlights of 2005," Reports on Progress in Physics. )

Reports on Progress in Physics is the leading journal of the Institute of Physics, Britain's main professional body for physicists. Further, Reports on Progress in Physics has a higher impact factor (according to Journal Citation Reports) than Physical Review Letters, which is the most prestigious American physics journal (one, incidently, which Prof. Tipler has been published in more than once). A journal's impact factor reflects the importance the science community places in that journal in the sense of actually citing its papers in their own papers. (And just to point out, Tipler's 2005 Reports on Progress in Physics paper could not have been published in Physical Review Letters since said paper is nearly book-length, and hence not a "letter" as defined by the latter journal.)

Also keep in mind that Prof. Tipler’s foregoing paper details the correct quantum gravity Theory of Everything (TOE) properly describing and unifying all the forces in physics, so in addition to proving the existence of God (according to the known laws of physics), it’s a very important paper even without that, to say the least.

Unknown said...

Oh, good grief.

David, I'm sorry.

And James Redford, I know who Tipler is, and my opinion is that he's extending his interpretation of the anthropic physics to the point that it becomes absurd, which is really no different than what happens to every other theory that we have when it gets tested to its limits.

Sean Carroll or Blake Stacy are no less a crank for this reason, and it comes out when they comes up with his bright ideas for solving the same problem.

For example, Blake Stacy claims to know what these "anthropic coincidences" really are, which, in context with his theoretical posturing, requires a complete assumption of the tenants of string theory as being factual in nature. So I naturally think... OMG, this guys is a theoretically righteous crank of the third kind... in other words... heheh

And he thinks that David is gone in the head because David doesn't just toss-out other possibilities that have never been conclusively disproved, on the grounds that the 'mainstream must be correct' and everybody that isn't in this group is a crank.

Just imagine how big a bunch of fools these guys are going to look like for chasing fairies if it turns out that David's prediction is correct, and Cosmologists will admit “the Big Bang was an actual explosion (with a center), after all.

No Higgs, and no new physics should put them out of business, and I can't wait.

Stacy cranks:
Also, it treated quantities like the proton mass as fundamental when they aren't

phhhhht... if quarks are permanently confined inside the proton, then it *only* makes sense to regard the proton mass, rather than the quark mass, as a fundamental unit, because it is impossible to determine and differentiate the mass of the quark from the proton... and duh.

Okay, I'm done beating up on the cutting edge, so go back where you came from so that I can do the same thing.

Again, I'm sorry David.

Alex Tolley said...

Apocalypse was awful. It didn't know if it was trying to determine other possible causes for the dinosaur extinction or whether these were warnings for humans.

Frankly I was surprised at Bakker's assertion that a meteor strike would leave the ground full of bones that we don't see as fossils. The most likely effect would feeding by other animals and fungi, leaving no traces. The other hypotheses did not strike me as being very explanatory either, just speculation. And did we have to be subjected to the same limited CG clips over and over and over again?

David, I think you got in 3 soundbites (out of a hour of interviewing?) which made some sense in the wider context.

IMO, another example of the low quality of the history channel.

James Redford said...

Hi, Island. Since the only way to avoid the conclusion that the Omega Point exists is to reject the known laws of physics (of which have been confirmed by every experiment to date), and hence to reject empirical science, there exists no rational reason for thinking that the Omega Point Theory is incorrect.