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Author Topic: The Truth is 1,480 LY away?  (Read 14117 times)
01101010
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Reply #70 on: November 29, 2015, 04:42:30 PM

Daleks...

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Surlyboi
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Reply #71 on: November 29, 2015, 08:56:31 PM

We require moar pylons.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Goumindong
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Reply #72 on: November 30, 2015, 03:51:37 PM

Comets.   Blocked 20% of the light?  There's some missing data somewhere in that explanation.  I don't feel like parsing through it to find out though.
Big-ass swarm of comets? Perfect angle? Probably something like that.  A Van Neumann swarm would be awesome, but incredibly terrifying given how close it is...

A Von Neumann swarm wouldn't be terrifying if it was at alpha centauri . It wouldn't get here in a million years and we would be able to see it coming long before it even got there.
Morat20
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Reply #73 on: December 01, 2015, 12:17:07 AM

A Von Neumann swarm wouldn't be terrifying if it was at alpha centauri . It wouldn't get here in a million years and we would be able to see it coming long before it even got there.
Depends on propulsion. It's not like they need to waste mass on life-support. Ion drives? Solar sails?

Self-replicating little bastards wouldn't travel as a swarm. They'd disperse like dandelion seeds from whatever system they were in.  Laser propulsion or electromagnetic launches (or both) and really all they'd need is to slow down on the other end.

The terrifying part is simple once they got here -- what on earth would we be able to do about it?

Geometric progression is a bitch, and the Oort cloud is...very large.
Malakili
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Reply #74 on: December 02, 2015, 11:43:24 PM

Yeah, um, if an advanced alien species showed up and wanted us dead frankly it wouldn't matter if they were self replicating robots or gelatinous cubes, we wouldn't last 10 minutes.  This does not really top my list of conerns.
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Reply #75 on: December 03, 2015, 04:03:45 PM

Stuff at a certain scale simply doesn't matter because there is nothing we can do and I think will ever be able to do about it.

If someone tomorrow said, "In two hundred thousand years, our solar system will pass through a region of galactic space that will flood the entire solar system with deadly radiation", I'd say "Fine, that's the end for us, who cares, because even in 200,000 years there's nothing to be done about it. Elon Musk-level wankery about how we have to all live on Mars now!!!! because survival is stupid. It isn't the world that people like Musk are making. If they want to make collective decisions, build better systems for that first. If they want to be some fantasy ultrabillionaire from a fantasy novel who finances star colonization, build a dumb MMO, write a novel, something like that, because that's the only way to make that into something. You could give human beings a hundred millennium headstart on solving a world-ended problem and they'd get started on it in millennium 99.9.
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Reply #76 on: December 03, 2015, 10:14:09 PM

Yeah, um, if an advanced alien species showed up and wanted us dead frankly it wouldn't matter if they were self replicating robots or gelatinous cubes, we wouldn't last 10 minutes.  This does not really top my list of conerns.
Von Neumann probes aren't that hard to do. It's a pretty good proof of the Great Filter that our solar system hasn't been disassembled.

I'm seriously hoping it's behind us, but given the fact that it's becoming clear that Earth is the first planet we're going to have to deliberately terraform, we've got at least one big one barreling towards us.
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Reply #77 on: December 04, 2015, 02:31:03 PM

A Von Neumann swarm wouldn't be terrifying if it was at alpha centauri . It wouldn't get here in a million years and we would be able to see it coming long before it even got there.
Depends on propulsion. It's not like they need to waste mass on life-support. Ion drives? Solar sails?

Self-replicating little bastards wouldn't travel as a swarm. They'd disperse like dandelion seeds from whatever system they were in.  Laser propulsion or electromagnetic launches (or both) and really all they'd need is to slow down on the other end.

The terrifying part is simple once they got here -- what on earth would we be able to do about it?

Geometric progression is a bitch, and the Oort cloud is...very large.

Doesn't matter. Constant acceleration relative to us requires increasing thrust. Its impossible to carry enough fuel in order to achieve reasonable constant acceleration in order to make the distance. Solar sails do not provide nearly enough thrust and lose thrust as you get further away from a star.

Then, once they're in the OORT cloud they have to move between the asteroids, which we can minimize due to geometric progression but still takes a long time. Considering the 1g constant acceleration time to get to the earth from the oort cloud is about 2 years the doubling time in the cloud would be measured in years. Lets call it 1 year to consume the first million kilograms of the cloud. It would take 64 doubling periods to consume the cloud.[cloud is 3 x 10^25 kg, but lets call it 2x 10^25 for nice round numbers -> 1m kg is 10^6 so 2^n= 2 x 10^19 -> 2^n-1 = 10^19 -> n = 19 ln10/ln 2 + 1 = 64.11]

So if a Von Neuman swarm launched from Alpha Centauri right now at the absolutely ridiculous speed of 1g constant acceleration we all would almost certainly be dead by the time it reached earth.

And these are absolutely ridiculous numbers. The reason that Von Neumann's can consume galaxies is because the time scale relative to the universe is huge. Because if it takes 1 million years to consume a star system it takes 33 million years to consume the largest estimate of the Milky way which is 1/418th the age of the universe and that is enough doubling periods to consume a hilarious amount of galaxies. Indeed that number would be 6 x 10^125 galaxies and as known universe is estimated to be about 10^11 galaxies this would mean that at a 1 million year consumption time for a star system a swarm could have destroyed the known universe so many times over that the number isn't even comprehensible.

But of course at the same time, if we saw this swarm at Alpha Centauri that swarm would still be 1 million years away from consuming it and branching out, because that is how long it takes the swarm to move on. And/or if we saw the swarm here, in our oort cloud it would still take it a good deal of time to get to earth because it would consume the last half of the galaxy [assuming we are on the interior half by consumed mass] only in the last[inter system] doubling period which would put thousands of years between us and destruction at the minimum.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 02:48:16 PM by Goumindong »
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Reply #78 on: December 08, 2015, 07:21:29 AM

Am I the only one who doesn't understand a god-fucking thing written in the last ten posts?

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Reply #79 on: December 08, 2015, 09:11:39 AM

What, this is stuff you learn in 6th grade. (or in Kerbel Space Program)

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Reply #80 on: December 09, 2015, 12:20:12 PM

Am I the only one who doesn't understand a god-fucking thing written in the last ten posts?

You are not the only one.

01101010
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Reply #81 on: December 09, 2015, 02:33:48 PM

What, this is stuff you learn in 6th grade. (or in Kerbel Space Program)

I went to public school. We were lucky to learn the color wheel by 6th grade.

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Reply #82 on: December 09, 2015, 04:09:53 PM

Definitely had to Google a lot of it, but it's been interesting reading.
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Reply #83 on: December 09, 2015, 06:12:11 PM

The sad thing is, if there ever is a Von Neumann Cloud in this universe, it will probably be created by us humans.  And probably not even accidentally, it will be by some twit who actually knows what they can do and thinks, for the short term at least, that it's a good idea! Go team!

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?
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Reply #84 on: December 09, 2015, 06:35:30 PM

The sad thing is, if there ever is a Von Neumann Cloud in this universe, it will probably be created by us humans.  And probably not even accidentally, it will be by some twit who actually knows what they can do and thinks, for the short term at least, that it's a good idea! Go team!

Considering how long it takes such a structure to actually destroy a star system/galaxy (especially if designed as a probe) i can't really forsee a discounting rate which doesn't suggest that its an OK idea.

I mean think about saying "you do something now and get some benefit out of it but in a million years the human race might be destroyed as a result of your action" and then you figure say, .1% discounting. In 1 million years the amount of loss you would have to sustain to make up for the benefit would have to be hilariously massive (basically for every 1 unit of "benefit" now you would have to have 8 x 10^435 units of "loss" in 1 million years)
Malakili
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Reply #85 on: December 09, 2015, 06:46:30 PM

The sad thing is, if there ever is a Von Neumann Cloud in this universe, it will probably be created by us humans.  And probably not even accidentally, it will be by some twit who actually knows what they can do and thinks, for the short term at least, that it's a good idea! Go team!

Considering how long it takes such a structure to actually destroy a star system/galaxy (especially if designed as a probe) i can't really forsee a discounting rate which doesn't suggest that its an OK idea.

I mean think about saying "you do something now and get some benefit out of it but in a million years the human race might be destroyed as a result of your action" and then you figure say, .1% discounting. In 1 million years the amount of loss you would have to sustain to make up for the benefit would have to be hilariously massive (basically for every 1 unit of "benefit" now you would have to have 8 x 10^435 units of "loss" in 1 million years)

This is why I don't get along well with economists.
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Reply #86 on: December 09, 2015, 07:56:56 PM

Who the hell is thinking discount rates over a million years? Nobody. When they come up with drones that can 3D print fully autonomous copies of themselves from whatever matter is on hand, it's either going to be to strip mine an asteroid without all the cost of getting there, or to fight a war without sending any people. Neither scenario really requires any sort of mandate that says "let's restrain the number of copies to, say, 10."

That's not the thing I'm worry about though. You can still reproduce bullets much faster than the things that fire them. And a self-replicating drone swarm you can at least see.

Nah, it's the grey goo scenario that I wonder about.

None of this in my lifetime though, nor any amount of descendents I care to calculate.
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Reply #87 on: December 09, 2015, 08:05:25 PM

Who the hell is thinking discount rates over a million years? Nobody. When they come up with drones that can 3D print fully autonomous copies of themselves from whatever matter is on hand, it's either going to be to strip mine an asteroid without all the cost of getting there, or to fight a war without sending any people. Neither scenario really requires any sort of mandate that says "let's restrain the number of copies to, say, 10."

That's not the thing I'm worry about though. You can still reproduce bullets much faster than the things that fire them. And a self-replicating drone swarm you can at least see.

Nah, it's the grey goo scenario that I wonder about.

None of this in my lifetime though, nor any amount of descendents I care to calculate.
I think grey goo runs up against some pretty interesting physical limits. Power, for one. It's gotta have power. Where's it coming from?

Materials. I mean self-replicators are cool, but you have to actually make sure you're replicating with similar materials. It does no good to replicate something in plastic if it requires the strength and melting points of steel to work.

I mean we HAVE a pink goo situation here -- it's called "life" and it is everywhere, but it hasn't eaten the planet and it's had billions of years. It's a pretty voracious self-replicator with a real knack for adaptivity.

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Reply #88 on: December 09, 2015, 09:10:07 PM

Who the hell is thinking discount rates over a million years? Nobody.

When economists talk about any sort of decision that happens over time we tend to lean towards discount rates since we want to be able to model the situation mathematically even if the decision may not actually occur in that manner. Such we tend to have to also accept some tenets of how the human mind works, one of which is that there is a time preference for earlier as opposed to later. Once we have that time preference we have discount rates in the math.

The point wasn't that people are going to be doing the math to figure things out but that the internal calculus for "impending doom a million years from now" has a hard time being weighted highly, given that humans have a preference for the present. Even amazingly small amounts of preference yield the idea that very few people should care about that far in the future.
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Reply #89 on: December 10, 2015, 08:03:53 AM

Aaaaaaand the thread gets worse. Ohhhhh, I see.

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Reply #90 on: December 10, 2015, 02:51:53 PM

But what is the exact equation to measure the speed at which it gets worst?

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Reply #91 on: December 10, 2015, 06:17:18 PM

But what is the exact equation to measure the speed at which it gets worst?

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Reply #92 on: December 10, 2015, 08:31:37 PM

I mean we HAVE a pink goo situation here -- it's called "life" and it is everywhere, but it hasn't eaten the planet and it's had billions of years. It's a pretty voracious self-replicator with a real knack for adaptivity.
I'd argue for green goo rather than pink.

That's where all the carbon in our atmosphere went, for example. By volume,  Venus has exactly as much nitrogen in its atmosphere as we do, but it's 3.5% of her atmosphere and 70% of hers. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is 96% of Venus' atmosphere and .0004% of ours.  All the earth's limestone and marble, for example, was once the shells of diatoms, but it was a relatively late development. Most of the minerals on the surface of the earth depended upon atmospheric oxygen for their creation, and life has been the primary source of that for billions of years. Not to mention organic chemistry.

In many places it's hard to see all the oxygen and silicon that makes up the crust because there's such a verdant layer of  of carbon compounds on top of it. Of the top twenty elements present in the crust only six (silicon, aluminum, titanium, barium, zirconium, and tungsten) aren't part of human biochemistry.

Like you say, the big limit is power. Most biomass won't work without access to the sun, and most of the rest eats things that can't work without access to the sun.

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Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #93 on: December 11, 2015, 08:59:28 PM

meanwhile, back in the solar system, pluto looks like popcorn and ceres has the salt!

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?
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Reply #94 on: December 12, 2015, 11:08:38 PM

The sad thing is, if there ever is a Von Neumann Cloud in this universe, it will probably be created by us humans.  And probably not even accidentally, it will be by some twit who actually knows what they can do and thinks, for the short term at least, that it's a good idea! Go team!

Meh. You've seen one hegemonizing swarm, you've seen 'em all...

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #95 on: December 14, 2015, 10:31:25 PM

well, there really can only be one, right?

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?
Surlyboi
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eat a bag of dicks


Reply #96 on: December 14, 2015, 11:26:10 PM

Eh, the universe is a big place and the speed of light is relatively slow...

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
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Reply #97 on: February 29, 2016, 03:34:20 AM

Goumindong's posts here are extremely interesting.

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Reply #98 on: March 01, 2016, 09:03:55 AM

The economy of the universe.
Speaking of which, how goes Eve?

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Reply #99 on: March 01, 2016, 09:08:26 AM

The economy of the universe.
Speaking of which, how goes Eve?

There was some drama between us and Goons , but it ended exceptionally well: we're in Pandemic Legion and we successfully passed our trial period this week so we're having fun.

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Reply #100 on: March 01, 2016, 10:49:24 AM

... we successfully passed our trial period this week ...

Despite my best efforts.

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Reply #101 on: March 01, 2016, 01:34:59 PM

Yeah, um, if an advanced alien species showed up and wanted us dead frankly it wouldn't matter if they were self replicating robots or gelatinous cubes, we wouldn't last 10 minutes.  This does not really top my list of conerns.
Nah, because like acid rain or plastic ocean waste or petroleum or whatever would be toxic and then BAM TRUMPED

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Reply #102 on: December 19, 2016, 05:48:39 PM

Probably not aliens. Probably.

Quote
Now, a useful clue towards solving this puzzle has been offered by Mohammed Sheikh, Richard Weaver, and Karin Dahmen from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign [2]. The researchers analyzed the spectrum of fluctuations in the flux from Boyajian’s star over four years, finding that it followed a universal power-law characteristic of systems close to the critical point of a phase transition. While this result does not reveal the physical processes driving the brightness variations, it suggests that they might be associated with nonequilibrium phenomena occurring within the star, rather than with external orbiting structures.

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Reply #103 on: January 26, 2017, 07:07:06 PM

Another hypothesis, also not involving aliens:

https://qz.com/884106/tabbys-star-alien-megastructures-and-planet-gobbling-a-strange-new-theory-may-finally-solve-the-mystery-of-an-alien-megastructure-that-has-confounded-scientists-for-months/

Quote
Brian Metzger of Columbia University and his colleagues have instead put up the planet-gobbling theory. Planets don’t usually fall into their stars, but one could if, say, a large body like a comet knocked the planet out of its orbit and sent it to its doom. They reason that when a star swallows something as large as a planet, for a cosmologically short period, between 200 years and 10,000 years, its brightness increases as it burns away the planet’s matter. Then it would decline again. So if we happen to have started watching the star towards the end of such a period, it might explain the 14% fall in brightness over 100 years.

Also, an eaten-up planet could leave behind large debris, such as its moon or large pieces of the planet that for some reason weren’t sucked in. These large bodies could be passing in front of the star in orbit, blocking some of its light and causing the brief dips seen by the Kepler space telescope.
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Reply #104 on: January 26, 2017, 07:16:22 PM

So, what's left over after the Vogon Constructor Fleet comes through?
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