Tag Archives | The future

Should We Listen For Messages From Our Future Selves?

PIC: Robert Fogliardi (CC)

PIC: Robert Fogliardi (CC)

[BEEEEEEP] “Hi! We’re busy devolving into morlock-like vault-dwelling nocturnal predators deep beneath the post-apocalyptic hellscape of future Earth, but if you leave us a message, we’ll grunt and hoot in an inchoate mix of rage, envy and hunger.”

The basic principle behind the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is that we’re better off hearing from extraterrestrial intelligence than we are not hearing from extraterrestrial intelligence, but—even assuming we don’t catastrophically screw up first contact (and we may)—we have no guarantee that the alien civilization we reach will share any of our history, values, or priorities.
But there’s one alien civilization we can count on to share at least some traits in common with us: the Earth of the future. And having learned of Cambridge physicist Luke Butcher’s discovery this week that Casimir energy may be able to keep a wormhole open long enough to send photons back in time, I have one question: why the heck would we want to do that?

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The Future of Booze May Be Here

The future of boozeMan, I have been saying this since I was a teenager and it’s become even more glaring as technology advances. So, you can make it so I can access the internet on my goddamn phone but you can’t make something that mimics the socially liberating effects of alcohol without making me hungover or fat? Well, apparently this potentiality I’ve been talking about since I was roughly 14 is now right around the corner. Particularly pertinent in my world, as I’ve had to abandon my hard drinking lifestyle in the last few years because it became obvious my body couldn’t handle it any more. I’ve been bored ever since. What’s also fascinating about this is that it’s being championed by the dude who got fired by the British government for pointing out that alcohol and cigarettes are more dangerous than most illegal drugs:

“I’ve done the prototype experiments myself,” he said. “I’ve been inebriated and then it’s been reversed by the antagonist.… Read the rest

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GOD IN SPAAAAAACE! Does Religion Have a Place Among the Stars?

Picture: Ezekiel's Wheel, Artist Unknown (PD)

Via LiveScience:

If and when mankind develops the capacity for interstellar voyage, should religion com along for the ride? A group of religious leaders recently tackled the topic at a symposium in Texas, and opinions were more varied than you might think.

Some argued against it, including a California-based Southern Baptist minister (who has apparently never met his Deep South brethren):

“The only way humanity can survive is if they leave behind the Earth-based religions,” charged Rev. Alvin Carpenter, pastor at First Southern Baptist Church West Sacramento. “If there’s any way to make this fail, bring Earth-bound religions.”

Religions, he argued, breed aggression and conflict, citing the violent history of his own faith, Christianity, in episodes such as the Inquisition and the Crusades. Many religions’ negative stance on homosexuality has driven young gay people to commit suicide, he said.

“When you bring a religion on a starship, you bring the toxicity that we have seen on Earth,” Carpenter argued.

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