December 9th, 2006

Tom Baker

Random Sci-Fi Thoughts

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.