Re: Nature

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu May 11 2000 - 11:39:42 MDT

m wrote:

> --- Emlyn <> wrote:
> > Mike wrote:
> > >
> > > OK, but let's try to avoid a general protection fault :)
> >
> > I think that's what Zen is about; trying to get your mind to
> > blue-screen.
> Ah! NOW I understand the meaning of the "Guru Meditation Error"
> message on Amiga computers when they crashed! :-)
> I was asking merely that we try to avoid crashing the Universe/
> ecology!

Well, assuming that the ecology would go into a thrashing mode, we could either
work our butts off to introduce negative feedback into the system to help
stabilize things, or else try to do something with Closed Timelike Curves to hit
the Universe's reset switch (not sure about the locality of such events, are
they supposed to apply to the whole universe, or just some localized area, say a
parsec or so?) to return the system to a state prior to the system instability,
and try to prevent the chaos inducing trends.

Thinking further on the CTC possibility, and having just finished Greg Egan's
Diaspora, I'm wondering if the Gamma Ray Bursts that occur due to black hole
formation might not be a natural protection mechanism the universe has to
prevent intelligent races from using black holes to alter history, that the GRB
cleans out a given volume of space of intelligent life, thus ensuring that
surviving intelligent races outside the kill zone would have to travel hundreds
or thousands of light years before they can reach the black hole, at which point
the motivation to alter ancient history becomes moot.

I also just finished an article in Scientific American (or was it American
Scientist?) about current research in generating metallic hydrogen. Given the
current fusion technologies that are working either generate sub-breakeven
levels of energy or are not sustainable for long periods of time, and that
natural sustained fusion processes all seem to arise from naturally occuring
metallic hydrogen agglomerations (i.e. stars) at sufficient core pressures (i.e.
somewhere between Jovian core pressures and Solar core pressures), I'm getting
the idea that a sustained fusion system is going to have to utilize metallic
hydrogen in some way, perhaps a cell of compressed metallic hydrogen bombarded
by some sort of radiation to catalyse fusion. I'm doubtful that the rather
tenuous plasma systems we currently use will ever amount to much more than
experimental tiddlywinks or gloified neutron generators.

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