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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

Random Sci-Fi Thoughts

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

Random Sci-Fi Thoughts

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Tom Baker
I want to see a sci-fi story about a galaxy spanning civilization trapped by relativity- ie. the speed of light is the absolute speed limit for matter. That said, we do know about a variety of effects that propagate faster than light- neutrinos for example, or possibly information transmitted by quantum entanglement. Let us imagine then, a Universe where the bridge around relativity is information transmitted by quantum entanglement- "ansibles". We still cannot ship matter around at faster than light speeds- but information travels instantly. In that case, we have an effective mode of transport- telecommuting on 100,000 light year scales. Imagine ansibles with extensive nano-factories, capable of reproducing complex organic machinery- like our cells. If I wanted to travel to, say, a station in orbit about the black holes at the center of our galaxy, I would do so by transmitting low-level details about my biochemical state, via ansible, to a nano-factory on board the station. It would "de-serialize" that stream of information and instantiate a duplicate of me- or nearly so. I imagine some noise in the stream, a certain degree of error. This does create another problem- there's two of me (roughly).

Still, this paints an interesting Universe. Something to think about anyway.
  • How much of one's personality/memories would copy over? You may be able to give that clone some raw knowledge and expertise, but would it really be a second "you" in the truest sense, or just a lookalike?

    Then you could get into the legal status of such a clone- whether it's every bit a separate individual, or property, or something in-between. Or you could create them with the knowledge that they'll be un-created once their task is done?

    I'd like to keep puzzling this out with you *kiss* =)
    • I've never swallowed dualism- so I would argue that they'd be "you" in a very real sense- again, there'd be some noise in the copy- perhaps intentionally inserted. For example, if the remote entity isn't really a copy of you, but an automaton constructed to your specifications with limited intelligence- or perhaps, at this point, your intelligence is largely mechanical in nature any way. Cybernetic enhancements that contain large swathes of our consciousness would resolve some of these concerns- especially with instantaneous communication- the "copy" might not even be a copy at all, but an extension of your body- another appendage.
  • Neutrinos actually can't move at or faster than the speed of light. They do move pretty damn fast though, by virtue of having so little mass.

    That's an interesting idea, though. I'd love to tackle the information theoretics of faster-than-light information transfer (though first I'd have to actually learn some basic information theoretics...)
    • Wow, I'm out of date- last I heard was that neutrinos didn't have mass. I see I was mistaken.

      There's several important concerns, the most glaring, I believe, is causality. For some frames of reference the arrival of the message would precede the transmission of the message.

      For example, imagine the sender and receiver both possessed extremely good telescopes that were capable of detecting minute details, like the read out of an ansible screen from light years away. Now the sender transmits the message, which is received at the destination an instant later- but the receiver doesn't see the message get sent for several years. Relativity has problems with this outcome- which might be enough to ban quantum entanglement as a communication's medium (we aren't sure if it actually works yet).
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