Dropping a shoutout to all my followers, old and new. Thanks for reading!
I’m preparing this week’s installment of Bringer of Light (Chapter 3, Part 2), all the while scouring the web for science and tech news to share.
Anything you want to see shared (or want to share)? Comments on the story so far? Something you want to rant about? (No politics please! Waaay too much of that at home right now. I’d rather keep my head in the stars when possible…)
Bringer of Light: Chapter 3, Part 2 – dropping at 7 p.m. EDT October 31st. No Halloween theme, sorry (that’s a separate post 🎃).
Some would argue that having one’s “molecules scrambled,” as Dr. McCoy would put it, is actually the surest way to die. Sure, after you’ve been taken apart by the transporter, you’re put back together somewhere else, good as new. But is it still you on the other side, or is it a copy? If the latter, does that mean the transporter is a suicide box?https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/09/is-beaming-down-in-star-trek-a-death-sentence/
An old article (2017, whose impetus was the imminent release of ST: Discovery) but a good one.
Is the copy of you, you? Or is it a brand new person with the same memories? Would it have ANY memories? Would it have the same consciousness? (Or ANY consciousness?)
Of course, you can always stick to the “David Brin Theory” of teleportation: “Some dude in the future will figure this all out.”
(This is why, in my novel, I stick to quantum teleportation of inanimate objects only. That includes quantum communication relays, chunks of asteroids…miniature nuclear bombs…you know, “realistic” things like that.)
And, yes, quantum teleportation is real. Just very, very tiny. For now.
I get the attraction of people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. They have big ideas. They’re enthusiastic, ecstatic, even. They’re great at simplifying difficult concepts and promoting tech to the lay person.
But they’re not creators. They’re “visionaries.”
Is that a bad thing? Of course not. I was in computer sales once. It was hard. Only the charismatic are good at it. But I didn’t have the knowledge and ability to make the products I was selling, let alone the power to innovate.
Sticking a chip in a person’s brain and sending thousands to the Moon or Mars sound cool. Possible, even.
But science isn’t sales. Someone might die.
We need visionaries, but scientists are more important. Maybe if they talked to each other…
This is Arisa, the “Information Robot.” It was recently installed at Yamato-Saidaiji, a Kintetsu Railway station in Nara City that I travel through to go to work.
Actually, today I went through the station on my way to renew my driver’s license. Interacting with the robot was much easier.
She (oops, I mean “it”?) can speak four languages (Japanese, English, Mandarin, and Korean) at the touch of a panel. But the functionality is still only limited to basic phrases about where to change trains and which platform to use. Still, it’s a first step (toward replacing human-controlled info booths, so get started learning programming, kiddos!).
We’ve seen this before. Tragic romance framed by sci-fi fantasies. But now it may be possible to block the emotions the amydala associated with painful memories. Continue Reading
I should be finishing the SF novel I’ve been working on (and off) for the better part of four years now. Instead, I’ve found myself obsessed with letters recently found in my dearly departed mother‘s possessions…letters written from my grandmother’s first husband, John Hart, while he was in the US Army in the 1940s.
He died. This ain’t no story of heroic sacrifice or rah-rah patriotism. This is reality. Continue Reading
“Being able to get humans on Mars and actually collecting one of these samples would be such an incredible moment, I would kind of hope it would almost bring us back to the moon days of everyone being glued to the TV.”
Um. Well. OK. TV is dead so we’ll all be watching it streamed on our smartphones, but the point is taken.
And how much did they pay for this? 💰 👽 📺
“Proxima is our closest neighbor in an immense universe. How could we not be charmed by it?”
Well, the planet may or may not exist (the confirmation data won’t be publicly available for another couple years).
And it is most likely not inhabitable — despite being dubbed a “Super-Earth” (which really only refers to size and not whether it’s “Earth-like” or not).
Still, regardless of these facts, the most important part of this article in Scientific American is the science:
“We tried different tools to prove ourselves wrong, but we failed. However, we have to keep the doors open to all possible doubt and skepticism.”
Yes, the astronomers tried to prove their own discovery was a mistake. That’s how it works, folks. Challenge your assumptions, not jump to conclusions. Continue Reading
True story: On the first day of our honeymoon, a pigeon shat on the top of my head as we were walking to the mountain hot spa.
I wonder what would come out of robot pigeons 🤔
Because romping about is not socially acceptable.
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