Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 14:19:18 MDT

Adrian Tymes writes:

> People once said that it was impossible to move through the air faster
> than air (sound) itself could.
This wasn't based on a physical theory, just empiry and material science.

> People once said that is was impossible to propel oneself through the
> vacuum of outer space.
People said many things, but I wonder why you keep mentioning that
"people said" thing. It bears no relevance to argumentation. People
also said witches don't float on water and the brain is an organ for
cooling of the blood, and that mice are generated spontaneously from
straw and dirty cloth, and that stones can't fall from the skies.

> People once said that nothing could move faster than light under any
> circumstances. (There's still debate over whether anything useful is
> being moved in the latest experiments.)
There is no debate. You can't signal faster than the speed of light in
vacuum. If you've read more than that into it you fell into the trap
of wishful thinking.
> Part of technology is finding ways around limits. There's a provable
> maximum efficiency for chemical rockets? Fine, switch to another
> propulsion (say, fuel or light) with provably higher limits.
> Eventually, switch to moving without propulsion - synchronized quantum
> teleportation over large distances, for example. The only absolute

For example? Do you have a physical theory to go with that one?

This isn't alt.gee.whiz.wouldn', btw.

> limit on that line, barring time travel, is being able to move instantly
> from one place to which point, your per-stop time dominates
> your speed of colonization, so teleport masses of terraformig/industry
> building/colonization nanites to your target to colonize your target in
> a blink, and speed up production of said nanites to lessen time between
> colonizations.
1) No evidence for such physics
2) No evidence for anybody using such technology
3) Did I already mention 1) and 2)?

> > Assuming that physics is not changeable, of course, which is a rather
> > safe bet.
> Give me fixed physics and a sufficiently large amount of ingenuity and
> resources, and I can get you practically anything. (Some things are

Such as relativity and breaking the speed of light in vacuum limit?

> impossible as is, but other things which serve the same ends as well or
> better are present for every human desire I've seen. Even if sometimes,
> the desire - say, colonization of the universe - must be unmasked from
> its expression - say, colonization of the universe with current
> technology - in order to discern the best way to satisfy it.)
I would be foolish to assume that our current physics is accurate. In
fact we know it isn't. However, I would be doubly foolish to step
beyond the known laws, and start extrapolating. There are a lot of
these "could be's", way more than there are neurons in my brain. I
prefer to engage them for more fruitful speculations, e.g. what's for

> The Singularity, if it exists, doesn't peak. It merely goes on until we

The Singularity is a testable hypothesis about future civilisatory
development. We will know it when we get there, and not before.

> advance our ways of thinking sufficiently that we can see the future
> once more. I base this claim on what I see every day, as some people

Then why do you keep talking about things beyond the predictability
horizont? FTL, teleportation, fairies, the cow that jumped over the
Moon, ghosties & goblins, ...

> think the immediate future is an unimaginable tech (u/dis)topia, until
> they get handle on the realities of what's out there.

Yeah, the truth is out there, somewhere, along with the Moon made from
green cheese and the X files.

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