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Eldorado

The God Equation by string theorist Michio Kaku

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Eldorado

Michio Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at City College, New York, a proponent of string theory but also a well-known populariser of science, with multiple TV appearances and several bestselling books behind him.

His latest book, The God Equation, is a clear and accessible examination of the quest to combine Einstein’s general relativity with quantum theory to create an all-encompassing “theory of everything” about the nature of the universe.

Uk Guardian interview

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Hammerclaw

He's a great orator, quite entertaining to listen to. If they had a Sagan Award for scientific speaking, he'd win, hands down.

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Orphalesion
Posted (edited)

Ugh, again. If we ever manage to find aliens, there is NO danger in talking to them.
Assuming they would have the technology to reach us, then they'd also have the technology to get every resource imaginable from the vastness of space (like it would be much easier for them to farm ice asteroids rather than take our, earth microbe infected, water). They don't need our stuff. And warfare would be impractical due to the vast distances. We do not need to be afraid of them.

However accomplished he's otherwise, I find that equating talking to another civilization (again, IF that was even likely, or possible) to a gamble is silly.

And I can't even begin to point out the holes in his comparison to the Aztecs and Conquistadores. If the Spanish had found an empty continent just next to South Africa, full of just as fertile, and just much gold, I wager they would have settled and mined that one, rather than bothering with fighting the SA civilizations. And that's what space is, nigh endless, uninhabited systems that have all the resources any civilization could want. Aliens slaughtering us for our resources would be like the Conquistadores coming to South America and ignoring all the gold everywhere to get to a couple coins hidden in one specific, disease ridden house in Machu Pichu.

Edited by Orphalesion
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grouden
5 hours ago, Orphalesion said:

Ugh, again. If we ever manage to find aliens, there is NO danger in talking to them.
Assuming they would have the technology to reach us, then they'd also have the technology to get every resource imaginable from the vastness of space (like it would be much easier for them to farm ice asteroids rather than take our, earth microbe infected, water). They don't need our stuff. And warfare would be impractical due to the vast distances. We do not need to be afraid of them.

However accomplished he's otherwise, I find that equating talking to another civilization (again, IF that was even likely, or possible) to a gamble is silly.

And I can't even begin to point out the holes in his comparison to the Aztecs and Conquistadores. If the Spanish had found an empty continent just next to South Africa, full of just as fertile, and just much gold, I wager they would have settled and mined that one, rather than bothering with fighting the SA civilizations. And that's what space is, nigh endless, uninhabited systems that have all the resources any civilization could want. Aliens slaughtering us for our resources would be like the Conquistadores coming to South America and ignoring all the gold everywhere to get to a couple coins hidden in one specific, disease ridden house in Machu Pichu.

Yes, but you only touched on material resources. Unfortunately that wasn't all the Conquistadors wanted. Columbus sailed back to Spain with slaves, and we know that didn't stop there.

Would aliens need human slaves? I assume if they're advanced enough to reach space, they'd be advanced enough to have their labor/production problem worked out. But it's still a thought. Could humans have any potential value to them?

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mesuma

Would we rule out trade?  Again, with such an advanced technology, would we have anything they needed?  I think he may still be right to an extent.  No matter what deals were to be made made they would undoubtedly always have the upper hand.

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Orphalesion
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, grouden said:

Yes, but you only touched on material resources. Unfortunately that wasn't all the Conquistadors wanted. Columbus sailed back to Spain with slaves, and we know that didn't stop there.

Would aliens need human slaves? I assume if they're advanced enough to reach space, they'd be advanced enough to have their labor/production problem worked out. But it's still a thought. Could humans have any potential value to them?

As you say, a civilization that somehow can travel through inter-stellar space likely has some sort of robots to do their work and the effectiveness of human slaves would potentially be hampered by their biosphere being toxic to us (and vice versa) That and genetic incompatibility would likely ruin any potential use for humans they migth have. 

38 minutes ago, mesuma said:

Would we rule out trade?  Again, with such an advanced technology, would we have anything they needed?  I think he may still be right to an extent.  No matter what deals were to be made made they would undoubtedly always have the upper hand.

Assuming we ever find a way to travel fast enough to make inter-stellar trade feasible, and we find an civilization close enough to trade with... Again, who cares if they have some sort upper hand in a scenario were there is no longer direct competition for resources or living space? 

Unless they are some sort of interstellar philanthropists, I don't even know whether there would be trade, since we have nothing to offer them that they can't get themselves, except maybe resources derived from biomass, such as oil. And by the time of inter-stellar travel, you'd hope they'd have better fuels than oil.

The only two scenarios where I see us being in danger are

1)if we somehow get the attention of basically something like the Borg or the Tryannids, something that exists to destroy others. And that's not only extremely unlikely, but they'd probably find us, no matter if we talk to them or not. 

2)if our galaxy ends up like in Star Trek or Star Wars we're many inter-stellar polities are squeezed tightly enough together to create local competition for resources or space and... I'm feeling very confident that the real Milky Way is not like that... Maybe somewhere in the universe, due to sheer probability, but if our part of the galaxy was like that, you'd think we would have heard of some of the neighbours by now... 

Edited by Orphalesion
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Dejarma
1 hour ago, grouden said:

Would aliens need human slaves? I assume if they're advanced enough to reach space, they'd be advanced enough to have their labor/production problem worked out. But it's still a thought. Could humans have any potential value to them?

I'm one for the theory that the big bang is the result of the previous universe collapsing= an infinite cycle.

The previous universe could have been multiple billions of years old which would make our universe in its infancy stage.

Maybe we're the most advanced race so far? Who knows.. I don't that's for sure;)

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Dejarma
24 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

if we somehow get the attention of basically something like the Borg or the Tryannids, something that exists to destroy others. And that's not only extremely unlikely, but they'd probably find us, no matter if we talk to them or not. 

why do you feel that is extremely unlikely? just out of interest

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Orphalesion
10 minutes ago, Dejarma said:

why do you feel that is extremely unlikely? just out of interest

Because I figure for an interstellar civilization to exist that has "destroying/feeding off other civilizations" as their default M.O., well there would have to be enough targets/fuel to perpetuate their behaviour, otherwise they'd fizzle out. And I find the prevalence of any alien civilizations, let alone space faring one's to be unlikely, considering the sheer amount of parameters that have to be *just rigth* for complex life to form and for complex life to evolve sapience, and for said sapient life to start a civilization. 

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Dejarma
8 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

well there would have to be enough targets/fuel to perpetuate their behaviour, otherwise they'd fizzle out.

maybe there is enough

9 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

And I find the prevalence of any alien civilizations, let alone space faring one's to be unlikely, considering the sheer amount of parameters that have to be *just rigth* for complex life to form and for complex life to evolve sapience, and for said sapient life to start a civilization. 

i'd suggest it's not complex & these "just right" parameters happen all over the universe? it may well be a normal thing- we don't know

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grouden

I assume there is also the possibility of them spreading unknown diseases or biological contagions, though. Diseases the Native Americans hadn't encountered wiped them out, and we live on the same planet. Who even knows what some form of extraterrestrials would have or what they could do to our ecosystem. But that's a reach considering they'd actually have to visit us first.

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Dejarma
7 minutes ago, grouden said:

I assume there is also the possibility of them spreading unknown diseases or biological contagions, though. Diseases the Native Americans hadn't encountered wiped them out, and we live on the same planet. Who even knows what some form of extraterrestrials would have or what they could do to our ecosystem. But that's a reach considering they'd actually have to visit us first.

if they are highly advanced I'd assume they would know this & act accordingly.

I've always found it a little stupid that in 'war of the worlds' these highly evolved entities didn't check the water first...silly aliens:rolleyes:

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pallidin

With our Universe estimated (with obvious debate) to be roughly 13.77 Billion years old, it begs the question:

Why is THAT date so special?

Why not a hundred billion of years earlier, or a hundred billion years later?

Cyclic (Big Bang, Big Crunch) seems fully reasonable.

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bison

Conditions have been suitable for life to develop in our galaxy for a very long time. It's been calculated that the oldest civilizations could be, on average, a billion years our senior. Even expanding by the use of sub-light speeds, our galaxy could have been filled a very long time ago. The fact that we have no evidence of the exploitation or occupation of our planet  seems to suggest that such acquisition is not desired. It looks more like our world being set aside as a cultural, and/or ecological reserve. 

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Jon the frog
1 hour ago, Orphalesion said:

Because I figure for an interstellar civilization to exist that has "destroying/feeding off other civilizations" as their default M.O., well there would have to be enough targets/fuel to perpetuate their behaviour, otherwise they'd fizzle out. And I find the prevalence of any alien civilizations, let alone space faring one's to be unlikely, considering the sheer amount of parameters that have to be *just rigth* for complex life to form and for complex life to evolve sapience, and for said sapient life to start a civilization. 

And for said sapient life to not destroy their own civilization, we are not far from that already...

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Skulduggery

If there is an “it,” “it” could be anything. It could be predatory. Even life on Earth devours each other. We have no clue.

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fred_mc

Sometimes I think that what if our math is not suited for describing the physical world. What if it is built up by another kind of math, which would lead to much simpler equations.

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ant0n

"Contacting ETs is a terrible idea" ... therefore contacting Mishio Kaku is a terrible idea too.

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ufoguy
Posted (edited)

Boy he must think ETs that have been watching this planet for thousands of years...are dumb...lol...the poor guy...hopefully he'll figure it out soon

Edited by ufoguy

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MissJatti

We are so preoccupied with whether we could contact aliens.. maybe we should think about if we should contact aliens

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