If at first an idea does not sound absurd, then there is no hope for it. -Albert Einstein
Let me start off this lovely session of tickling your mind by enlightening you that before you pry into this, you should slide over to Logan’s last post on Inspiring your Curiosity. The link is simply a few lines down. I re-read it this morning, and realized it is a prerequisite to understanding how we, as humans, have gotten this far. We are brilliant animals, which thrive off of tinkering with absurd ideas until we force science-fiction into our reality. So do me, a fellow human and stranger, a “solid” ……….then jump back over here and get your neurons ready to fire.
I’m aware that all generations before me have probably stated this, but if you are alive now, you are living in one of the coolest eras in the history of human beings. We striding through technological understanding, and coming to terms with how our Universe is designed to work, along with the laws it functions under. We should all be freaking out and spraying each other with silly string ALL THE TIME. It is truly that exciting.
Are you able to remember where technology was 20 years ago? How about 10? Let me explain something to you……….I WAS GOING TO SAY SOMETHING DRAMATIC HERE BUT MY THOUGHT RAN AWAY FROM ME SO I’LL PICK UP ON ANOTHER TOPIC. To give you a nostaligic reminder, my friends used to have “Snake” competitions on those old, brick Nokia phones. Now, I can simply go to the app store and play thousands, literally thousands of interactive, beautiful games. Snake now seems like hogwash, to me. I would probably grow weary within only a few moments. How about communications? Do you remember getting letters in the mail? Hand-written letters? Now, we run around with a cellphone glued to us, pondering when our next text message will arrive. If an alien civilization ever does visit us on this lovely blue planet, they will think these devices are simply an extension of our limbs. Don’t you feel slightly silly? I do.
Although gaming and cellular devices may seem simple to us now, not too long ago we would have thrown these ideas out as “science fiction.” People from the past may have seen these things as ridiculous dreams, or drug-induced delusions (Thanks, 60’s 😉 ). We are now in an age where science fiction is becoming a reality every single day. Technology is exponentially increasing and the transition is so smooth that we cannot take notice and appreciate it, or maybe we just don’t care to. Well, I’m here to enlighten you that in the near future, Earth may be home to some forms of technology that you never could have imagined possible, and that you won’t be able to ignore. Psychokinesis, invisibility, teleportation, hive-minds, cyborgs, and other ridiculous ideas are in the batter’s box just waiting for their chance to shine. Don’t believe me? Well, it’s time to get a little curious…
Physics of the Impossible
Not too long ago, Logan and I both purchased a book called Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku. Kaku is a theoretical physicist and is a co-founder of the String Theory. If you don’t know what that is, look it up, or be patient and I shall write about it in the near future. It is fantastic! The bottom line is, he is a modern-day Einstein with beautiful grey locks covering his melon.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for some time, and I only recently decide to dive in. It is sectioned into groups of Class 1, 2, and 3 Impossibilities that human technology may develop in the future, based on our current understanding of how things work and if our laws of physics will allow their existence in this realm. Class 1 consists of things that are likely to be developed. Class 2 contains ideas that our laws of physics will allow, but that are currently out of our knowledge league. Lastly, Class 3 is home to ideas that our laws of existence will not allow. Period. Yet, anything is possible. I have used this book to guide my reading, and I hope it will inspire and BLOW YOUR MIND, as it did mine.
Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax. -Physicist Lord Kelvin, 1899
Teleportation is the theoretical transfer of matter or energy from one point to another without traversing the physical space in between them. Also known as, disappearing from existence and reappearing in another location in the blink of an eye…or in milliseconds. Whichever you prefer. Do you realize how greatly this act would change our civilization? Seeing relatives, going to work, military capabilities, sandwich retrieval without moving, running away from wasps. The possibilities are endless. Go ahead, ponder away. Spend the next 15 seconds doing so. Annnnnnndddddddd we’re back. “But seriously Zade, doesn’t that sound a little ridiculous? Teleportation, really?” I have news for you, curious humans. It has been done, just on a much smaller scale. Throughout the late 90’s physicists were able to teleport photons of light, but nobody would take them seriously. So the rat race began. In 2004, the first atom was teleported and the scientific community sat in awe and wonder. Let’s not jump too far ahead of ourselves, transferring a carbon-based lifeform is much more complex than a single atom. Yet, there exists a crack in the wall, and physicists are building brilliant science hammers to beat the hell out of that door, opening a whole new world of teleportation that you and I never believed could exist. Are you mentally prepared to handle that?
The atomic bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -Admiral William Leahy
Alright, let me stop you before it is chosen that I be thrashed for even imagining such a scenario as immortality. Give me a break. I’m wired and have eaten many of those delicious little dried cranberries. I believe they contribute to my wandering mind. Immortality in itself seems ridiculous. We know that all life on Earth will decay, due to our bodies having an expiration date. Yet, what if we got rid of our bodies? What is the thing that causes us to compute? What leads to emotions, passion, belief in a higher power, if you do? Is it the spirit, the mind, the brain? Honestly, we have no facts. We simply don’t know and I am not here to pick and poke at your personal beliefs. What we do know is that neurons kick our brains into action. Chemical and electrical firing create and record our thoughts, actions, beliefs. This is a fact. Is it possible to remove this neural architecture from our fragile, decaying bodies? Can your memories, hopes, dreams, and personality be transferred to a digital database to live forever in the technical abyss? The elegant answer is, “Maybe.”
Let us break it down for a brief moment. Our DNA functions like a genetic coding in a combination of ATCG. It is surprisingly similar to binary code, which uses only 0 and 1. Isn’t that fascinating? Just as a computer, our genetic coding is formulated in a certain pattern, eventually creating your hair color, skin tone, and the number of neurons in your brain. Scientists believe that this coding, along with your neural network, will eventually be uploaded to a database, if you wish. This could allow us to launch our “consciousness” out into space to see the Universe, or allow our mental being to live on throughout many generations. Sadly, we are only at the start of understanding how our brain processes. Using PET scans and MRIs, we can currently examine the location of certain emotional processes, and other vague thoughts. In the future, mapping the mind will become easier, allowing us to create this biological to digital transfer. Keep in mind, this is a very complex process that I have simplified to an exponential amount. After all, I simply want to get your blood flowing and help your curiosity to ignite. I may live long enough to be immortal, anyway. I need something to pass the time.
I believe my initial goal with this post is to help you realize that human progress is never-ending, until we cease to exist. There is no theoretical brick wall stopping us from accomplishing these amazing feats. We MUST get curious, and not be in fear of learning. Pick up a book. Dive into the sciences. Learn something new. My only hope is that you believe me to be absurd and foolish. If so, at least I have stimulated your imagination and succeeded in my tricky tactics. I don’t have any fancy closing, or words of mental manipulation and encouragement. But, I do have one more quote. One more line and thought from a past life, which may help you to welcome these thoughts of impossibilities and outlandishness. Thoughts from a twisted dream and ever-vivid imagination. Thoughts that I hope everyone learns to practice every single day, right before saying their prayers to a higher power, or even before thanking natural adaptation and selection for doing its work in developing the wonderful creation that is the Human Being.
And I leave you with this:
This foolish idea of shooting at the moon is an example of the absurd length to which vicious specialization will carry scientists…the proposition appears to be basically impossible. -A.W. Bickerton, 1926