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View Diary: Who can own the future? (262 comments)

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    I thank you for your long and well-researched reply.  But it just reinforces what I'm talking about.  

    Maybe I shouldn't have said 120 years.  Maybe I should have said 500.  Because then, the idea of Bob's journey wouldn't call to mind experimental gliders, it would call to mind things like witchcraft.  So let's go with that.  Five hundred years ago, Bob's journey would have been nothing but fancy.

    ...similar aerodynamic principles were based upon the difficulty of getting sufficient thrust into a small enough weight profile, not about breaking any laws of physics.
    Yes, and my only counter is that we haven't discovered all the laws of physics.  Back in Newton's time, quantum mechanics was inconceivable.  What will we discover about wormholes in the future, about other means of travel we can't even conceive of now?  Are hydrogen and antihydrogen really the best we'll ever have?  Are we really going to talk about crossing the Atlantic in a Sopwith Camel?  Let's cross the English Channel first, and see where engineering goes from there.

    Yeah, I'm a dreamer.  Go ahead and tell me I have a soft head.  But I've learned never to underestimate human cleverness or intelligence, or dreams.

    Odds and ends about life in Japan:

    by Hatrax on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 03:11:59 PM PDT

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    •  That's why I concentrated on the laws of physics (0+ / 0-)

      ...rather than of engineering, because while materials scientists can change the laws of engineering, ye cannae change the laws of physics.

      Are hydrogen and antihydrogen really the best we'll ever have?  Let's cross the English Channel first, and see where engineering goes from there.
      That's my point: the engineering cannot take us further than that: new physics would be required before it's even a consideration.  The laws of physics, unfortunately, are under no obligation to play ball with human wishes.

      By all means dream, but where science can help is it can tell us what barriers stand between dreams and reality: the same math with which one can describe a wormhole also shows that you can't traverse it before it collapses unless you have so-called "exotic matter" - which requires properties unseen in any particles, observed or even theorized.

      Frankly, getting anywhere outside the solar system within a human lifetime is asking a lot more than getting the sci-fi staples of e.g. human cryogenics or building ark ships working - at least in these cases no new physics is required.

      Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

      by GeoffT on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 05:56:40 PM PDT

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