Gamma Ray Bursters

Robin Hanson (
Sun, 4 May 1997 16:27:15 -0700 (PDT)

John K Clark writes:
>suppose in the technological history of any civilization there will
>come a time when it will find hints of a new force in nature, and
>suppose there was a very obvious experiment to investigate this
>possibility, and suppose they had not one scrap of information to
>think it was in any way dangerous. And then BOOM.

This is a more plausible story regarding mistakes make before the
stage where we are now: able to see these booms out there and soon to
figure out what causes them. Even then, I find it hard to see how
this could explain more than about 10^3 out of a filter of > 10^20.
And given the high rate at which we see bursters out there now the
filter past this point must be very large. This theory, if true,
would be very bad news, even assuming we could avoid the BOOM ourselves.

Robin D. Hanson