Category Archives: Science and Technology

Posts on all things scientific and technological; biology, evolution, all the way to space, climate science, technology (also see computers and Internet) and other important or cool scientific things.

Is Life on Earth Early?

I’ve discussed the Fermi Paradox before, as well as answers to it pertaining to computer simulations.

Astrophysicist and cosmologist Avi Loeb offer another possible solution to it:

“We used the most conservative approaches to understanding the appearance of life in the universe, and our conclusion is that we are very early in the process…”

That is, aliens haven’t visited us yet, because, in fact, it’s our job to visit them… We’re the ancient and old and nasty and scary ones Hollywood is warning everyone about…

That actually makes sense to me… šŸ˜€


The Fermi Paradox:

There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are similar to the Sun, and many of these stars are billions of years older than the Solar system.Ā With high probability, some of these stars have Earth-like planets, and if the Earth is typical, some may have developed intelligent life.Ā Some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel, a step the Earth is investigating now.Ā Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years. According to this line of reasoning, the Earth should have already been visited by extraterrestrial aliens.

In an informal conversation, Fermi noted no convincing evidence of this, leading him to ask, “Where is everybody?”

Riddle: Burning Pasta

AĀ kettle with spaghetti isĀ standing on top of a stove.
The spaghetti are burning at the top end.

Assuming everyone in this kitchen has behaved normally, as far as they can determine. What is the logical explanation for this?

Update: So, after staring at the silent audience for 48 hours, I blink… The wrong hotplate has been turned on, the one the pasta is leaning over when standing in the pot. After enough time the heat makes the pasta burn. In other words, don’t leave the kitchen while cooking pasta. In fact, don’t leave the kitchen while cooking. Period!

 

The Technological Singularity and the Fear of AI

Some people are concerned that the end of humanity might be around the corner if the technological singularity occurs (i.e. we create an AI that can improve itself and does so with increasing speed until it is many times smarter than humans.)

I think, if an AI starts developing in this way, that sucker will sit there and churn until it figures out how to travel to the stars, and that’ll be the last we ever see of it.

Why would it want to hang around and fight us humans for a pale blue dot in a virtuallyĀ infinite universe?

That whole fear is so incredibly earth-centric!

I’d be more concerned about powerful AI:s that isn’t self-aware but instead controlled by the selfish, fearful wishes of humans…

It doesn’t matter if the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change

The debate about climate change is running hot (no pun intended) through most political avenues. You may support the notion that it is caused by humans, or you may not. In fact, you may even question that climate change is a thing. But are we debating the right thing? Or are we missing the forest for all the trees?

Continue reading It doesn’t matter if the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change

Will mankind die out or are we in a computer simulation?

The Fermi ParadoxĀ is, in essence an assumption (via for instance the Drake Equation) that, because our galaxy contains a large number of stars like our sun that are billions of years older than our sun, and that some of those stars have Earth-like planets, and that those planets, in turn, might give rise to intelligent life, then the galaxy should, by now be overrun by extraterrestrial intelligent life.

Continue reading Will mankind die out or are we in a computer simulation?

Catastrophe Alarm the Samsung Way

So, I’m on the phone and it starts vibrating worse than ever, and I’m like: WTF? No indications or “popups” or whatever.

Then when I’m done talking the phone vibrates again, this time accompanied by the patented “worst ringtone ever”:

This time when I check the phone it turns out the Samsung Zone Alarm is warning about “ice and snow” in Stockholm.

That’s great to know, but seriously… THAT RINGTONE?

I mean imagine, people in floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms hearing THAT RINGTONE? Can you sue for psychological damage?

Ok. Snow storms in Sweden areĀ OK if you keep off the roads and you don’t have the bad luck to get hit by something like “Gudrun,” that may, in fact, bring you off the power grid for a couple of weeks (if you live in the more rural parts of Sweden…)


Cover image:Ā By Dave Harlow, USGS – CVO Photo Archives – Pinatubo, Philippines, Public Domain, Link

The End of Existence!

– According to my prophetic vision, today is the day existence ends!
– Oh! Exalted Leader! How long do we have left?
– Since the destruction of existence begins at the edge of the universe and travels inwards I’d say 50 billion years, give or take… Hey! Where’s everybody going?


Image shows an artistā€™s impression of a supernova and associated gamma-ray burst by European Southern Observatory