Re: TECH: Quantum Head Job DONE!

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu Oct 11 2001 - 05:24:38 MDT

On Thu, Oct 11, 2001 at 09:01:37PM +1000, Colin Hales wrote:
> I quite like it when something gets touted as impossible. 25 years of
> observations tell me it usually means it'll get done sooner!

Aha, so that is why the perpetual motion machines are so common
these days.

There is a difference between saying something can't be done
because it is thought to be too complex, uneconomical or just
unknown, and saying something can't be done because it doesn't fit
in with a very well tested mathematically consistent theory. It is
the first kind of impossibilities that constantly get overturned.
The second kind are far more persistent. The theory might be
wrong, but such paradigm shifts are rare and often doesn't "fix"
the impossibility. Usually the way around them is instead to find
a way around the assumptions underlying the theory, so you can
exploit phenomena outside its realm of applicability (a good
example is wormholes in general relativity, that allow "FTL" by
making spacetime more complicated).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:13 MDT