Posts by 'zilla

    That is an awesome way of looking at mass and the speed of light!


    And I think you are right that the temperature in the interstellar medium would rise. Everything would become interstellar medium. And the overall temperature of the universe would rise too – all mechanical energy, chemical energy and even rest mass energy would be converted into heat energy. However, there is one caveat: the universe is expanding. Although this actually represents an additional energy "entering the universe"*, it expands space to the point that matter gets more spread out, and that reduces the temperature.


    Additionally, the vacuum energy is not the same as the ambient heat energy. To measure vacuum energy you'd want to build a radiation-free box. It is related to the fact that the energy of anything can never be measure to be exactly zero, by the quantum uncertainty principle. So since we have determined that space itself is something, its energy must fluctuate randomly in accordance with quantum principles. Heat energy will come on top of that.


    There is more here that I do not understand very well. Something about the phases of quantum fields, and how both real and virtual particles (quantum fluctuations) appear to exist because of these fields' wiggling. I saw a bit of this in PBS Spacetime's episode on Hawking radiation (link).


    * I think this way of seeing is dissolves when you get deep into the Einstein equations, the curvature of the universe and whatnot. Energy is actually not conserved in the very large picture of the universe, because the conservation laws that we are used to only work for a specific spacetime curvature.

    Yes! There were some good points to retrieve from your text though.


    - Since mass equals energy, all energy is some kind of mass. The photon has no rest mass, but it does have mass since E=mc^2.
    - Gravity is fundamentally tied to mass. Another way to put that is, gravity is fundamentally tied to energy. So energy from anywhere creates gravity. The Higgs field contributes some of this energy.
    - Before the Higgs field took its current non-zero value, a lot more particles were massless like the photon. It took way less energy to move them around. When the Higgs field took its value, most of these got a rest mass, which meant that energy was stored in them even when they weren't moving around or doing anything else wonky.*
    - Higgs was the last missing piece of the standard model, which explains all of the particles and their forces except gravity. Also except dark matter and dark energy. So it explains how the electromagnetic, the weak and the strong forces can sort of combine, but gravity is still out there even then.
    - So as you move back in time towards the hypothetical Big Bang, you should see everything turning into a quark-gluon plasma; then the electroweak force should become mended and several particles become massless; you might also see the strong force join in and more fun stuff happen; and then, maybe something really odd starts to happen with gravity, that is, with the fundamental structure of spacetime. This is where we need quantum gravity – if such a theory is possible.


    I am currently reading an interesting book about quantum gravity. Haven't read enough to know if I recommend it yet, but it should have some interesting details:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book…lity-is-not-what-it-seems


    An intriguing idea for what drove the expansion of the early universe:
    https://news.vanderbilt.edu/20…rld-is-three-dimensional/


    * All massless particles must move at the speed of light, so they always have energy there. No matter your reference frame, they will move at the speed of light, just like photons do. I'm actually not sure why they have to do this...

    Very interesting ideas! I like to think of the Earth as an entropy machine, converting energy in a way that maximizes the production of entropy. The waste heat coming off the Earth is normally equal to the incoming solar energy, but with much higher entropy.


    So our very existence is a manifestation of change, a sort of disequilibrium, because energy always goes in and out. Of course, you can still settle into stable patterns of change. Equilibria in ecology are exactly this; self-sustaining patterns of change. They don't even need to be constant in time, or at least so I imagine. For a very abstract analogy, consider time crystals: a recognizable pattern in both space and time. Basically, some order of events are more likely than others, creating distinct paths that are possible as opposed to a uniform continuum. What drives this? Very probably, the principle of least effort. The universe chooses the path from A to B that expends the least energy.


    So when do we see dynamic equilibria? I would say when the environment is unchanging over a long period of time. All systems move towards complete equilibrium, and probably gravitate towards dynamic equilibria on the way there. As for life on Earth, evolution has been a complete mess. Maybe this can be compared with the mess of waves on a pond when you've thrown in several rocks at different times. The environment on Earth has changed as the solar system has changed, the energy output of the Sun has varied, and life has affected itself. How long would it take to reach some sort of equilibrium in this situation, if ever possible?


    We might be able to attain that state, using technology and intelligent planning. The question is, is it desireable? The more stable the equilibrium, the greater the efficiency. But at the same time, the potential to change is reduced. What about the Sun running out of energy? What about cataclysmic events, interplanetary wars, or some superbug that slips through our iron fist of control over the biosphere? Heck, how about a superbug from another solar system. Equilibrium is a weakness in this situation. And I agree, this could be the demise of civilization and explain the Fermi paradox.


    Signals we have sent are readable in principle. It might take enormous receivers, but it is feasible. There are probably much more efficient means of communication across space, such as directed beams, and this could indeed explain the Fermi paradox as well.

    Population: I agree, we are starting to come to terms, as a species, with the limits for our growth that the planet imposes upon us. Fortunately. However, we might always come upon further hacks that extend our food supply, and the trends of today can turn back up as we push back the limits further. But I find that unlikely.


    Climate change: for this case I would quote you out of context: "the future looks questionable globally". Our emissions will peak, yes, but constant emissions will still mean a continuing accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere. We need a complete reversal of the emissions growth, through an absolute elimination of emissions, into a net negative emissions scenario, for decades, starting in just 20 years - just to reach a stability in the carbon concentration! That is batshit crazy stuff. The only thing that a stabilization in population brings is a stabilization in emissions, and only with technological advances since even a stable population will expect a growing economy and consumption. Unfortunately, a stable population as civilization exists today is not compatible with a stable climate. The two are at odds and we will need much more effort to justify our long-term presence in the biosphere.


    Which brings me into the theme of overarching patterns. The S-curve and the likes may describe a singular change over a limited period of time, but the story never starts or ends there. Products take a long time to come into being, they are based on other products and other technology, they arise out of a setting. Then their success may feature an S-curve. And eventually, the products will be obsolete, broken, forgotten, and new products take over. The end is exactly that – the end. But the world does not end, it keeps being dynamic, it keeps changing, and that ever-present driving force will kill that which stagnates.


    The stagnation of culture can be theorized to be a symptom of impending decline. This is an ancient theory. Maybe we really are going to see a death of cycles, a triumph of linear theories? But I find also this unlikely. Socio-political changes are obvious in today's global world, and these power shifts tend to send nations and regions into new cycles, some of decline, some of growth, and sometimes we see drastic changes in-between. Stagnating regions will have trouble in these times and are more likely to burn fiercer when the time comes. I am worried for the continuation of the stability that we have known in the western world for so long. I believe these regions are in a stagnant phase and in a hundred years or so, things could be very very very different. I only hope it won't happen through widespread conflict, but rather through short periods of destructive change that we will rebound from and regain enough plasticity to adapt to the changing world.


    If only we had a well-developed framework of Psychohistory!


    EDIT: Also, technology. Significant breakthroughs in AI, quantum computing and other known and unknown technologies could be potent enough to change the rules of the game, upsetting any current S-curve trend or other trends.

    Listening to this new album by a very interesting musician. It's the fulfillment of a 10-year legacy of making music expressing hard-to-grasp ideas of identity, transformation, and the inner worlds of abstract emotion. He has blended instrumental, metal and electronic elements into an epic exploration of ideas. I recommend giving this opening track a spin if you can tolerate it.


    Neurotech - The Catalyst

    How was that console? I don't read any information about that. :^^U:


    It was different. Gaming consoles and computers were very different back then, and the Amiga was a merge between the two. It released in 1987 by Commodore as a kind of sequel to the Commodore 64. Its capabilities were ahead of its time – a separate GPU, stereo sound, etc. The entire computer was housed in the keyboard, which had several ports at the back for attaching anything from printers to extra floppy disk drives.


    It had a large range of games, but also a lot of software. My brother programmed his own games on the machine, compiled them and copied them onto floppies. You could create music, and even render 3D.


    One of my favorite games was Superfrog:

    That would be the SNES. I bought it off my brother once he got tired of it.


    The first console we had in my family would be the Amiga 500. I have fond memories of that that go way back:
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    I actually really like replaying Super Mario Sunshine. I like the laid-back tone, playing it is so much fun. The Galaxy games I think are better, but somehow less appealing to replay. You have less freedom to fool around surfing for no apparent reason.

    I forgot to mention why. A lot of it is the music, which combines with the visuals to create atmospheres that I find very appealing. In that sense it entertains my imagination and emotions. It has great nostalgic value because of this.


    The gameplay is simple but leaves some room for finesse and mastery. Playing it is like rehearsing a song you've learnt to play, and brings a good feeling when you do it well


    What the game doesn't have is challenges for the mind; no deep storyline and no room for strategy. There's not even any challenging puzzles, only tricks and secrets you learn once and then you got it. I can see how this can leave some wanting.



    Final Fantasy games also hold great replay value to me, though they require more investment. I've done FFVI several times, VII a couple (yet never finished), IX at least twice and X too. The story plays a bigger role in those games, of course, and there's a lot more room for building your individual strategy. However, this sometimes puts me off as there's so many choices to make. The feelings through music, atmosphere and storyline are just as big a reason for me to go back to FF

    Yeah, after watching for a minute I get so hyped I don't want to watch it all. Like hearing someone talk about cake when you're not going to get any.


    I will be able to buy it by summer, though, if I so choose.