So long and thanks for all the fish?

10Sep08

Update: We live to die another day.

The LHC gets switched on in a few hours and contrary to what lunatics may want you to believe, the world will not be swallowed by a black hole. What interests me more is as to what *will* actually come out of this 6 billion dollar science experiment. Will they find the Higgs boson? Or will Hawking win that wager?

In Carl Sagan’s Contact, governments cooperate to build this giant dodecahedron (after receiving step by step instructions from a very ambiguous extra-terrestrial intelligence). After spending trillions of dollars on a project that many believed would shape humanity’s future, remember what happened?

Nothing.

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12 Responses to “So long and thanks for all the fish?”

  1. The wikipedia article about the novel is really good… very interesting.
    I can only tell from the movie, but something did happen. It just wasn’t very tangible or profitable. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, the LHC is a very exctiting project, in my opinion.

  2. 2 ArtyP

    You better be over this lhc business by saturday. I’m not going to sit and humor you again. πŸ˜›

    Oh and I sat and watched that brian cox doc last night. Proud yet? (blushes)

  3. Did you read the Wired article on quantum particles and how they are all characters in a reality TV show?
    http://tinyurl.com/5fhfes

  4. 4 Charl

    And that is what you were on about the other day! Right, right…

    ::nods vigorously::

  5. @kalafudra I decided to never watch the film because I was sort of convinced you could never translate a book like that for the screen. But watched it a year back…and I thought they did a decent job with it.

    Oh yeah and a major plot point is that nothing tangible comes out of the machine for people outside it…but inside-they travel through wormholes and stuff!

    @ArtyP Really…nobody’s asking you to humor me. Feel free to walk away. Wokay? Wokay. πŸ™‚

    @bpsk Oh yeah I’ve read that one…and pretty much every other LHC related stuff my tiny cerebral cortex could comprehend. :

    @Charl Yesh! That’s the one! πŸ™‚

  6. 6 ramblingperfectionist

    Just to make a point, there are several good reasons to prove that the LHC will not in fact implode the earth, but it isn’t AS ridiculous as it first seems to think that it will. While clarification of positions firmly and absolutely is as useful as it is rare in most scientific enterprise( it’s practically a LAW, don’t devalue the THEORY of evolution!!!), “good” science requires skepticism and alarmists (and yes, “imagination” as well). Bryan Cox calling the skeptics “twits”(twats? they blanked it out, so I can’t say for sure πŸ™‚ ) for instance, is overkill (although his explanation/apology takes on a more reasoned tone).

    And yeah…there’s a very good chance that there won’t be any immediate results, at least from what I understood. But we can hope it helps, in some incremental way, to improving our fundamental understanding of the universe. Surely, that’s worth 6 billion dollars, particularly considering that the US government spends 350 on its military.

    Btw, I’m pretty sure Carl Sagan’s central theme wasn’t “Scientific Research Doesn’t Pay.” πŸ™‚

  7. @ramblingperfectionist Oh I did twist Carl Sagan’s theme there for purposes of a punchline (much less dramatic in hindsight).

    While people may not be able to appreciate the real goal of the LHC, i.e., finding out the secrets of our universe, they may very well be consoled by the fact that the spin-off technologies emerging from this have enormous practical implications. Case in point (among countless others), the cooling technology is being considered as viable cooling method for nuclear reactors.

    “…but it isn’t AS ridiculous as it first seems to think that it will. While clarification of positions firmly and absolutely is as useful as it is rare in most scientific enterprise.”

    Only that the doom sayers turn out to be,yes, twats with no expertise in physics or engineering. One of my friends is for some strange reason convinced we’ll be punished by god for trying to ‘learn’ too much. So very fucking disturbing when you hear that from an individual with a rather high IQ.

  8. 8 ramblingperfectionist

    Ouch. I haven’t heard that before, and it IS disturbing. I was only talking about those who have at least tried to understand the issue in scientific terms, and end up at mistaken conclusions. There’s a post at Overcoming Bias, here.

  9. 9 ArtyP

    Question. how come you haven’t written about (y)our adventures on the dance floor yet?

    get off that high horse mister!

  10. 10 Swen

    DAnce floor ? That has got to be fun. πŸ™‚

    Please tell

  11. 11 Ravenent

    Dancing? Oh, pray do tell! πŸ˜› (A YouTube vid or perfectly timed snap would be better still.)

  12. @ArtyP Thank you for that.

    @Swen and Ravenent- Nothing really extraordinary boys…just one too many pegs of whiskey.


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