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Topic: The Ultimate Wacky 'give me a break' Theory of all time!
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 23, 2007 05:14AM)
Forget about the threat that mankind poses to the Earth: our activities may be shortening the life of the universe too. Cosmologists claim by observing dark energy the universe has been nudged closer to its death.


The startling claim is made by a pair of American cosmologists investigating the consequences for the cosmos of quantum theory, the most successful theory we have. Over the past few years, cosmologists have taken this powerful theory of what happens at the level of subatomic particles and tried to extend it to understand the universe, since it began in the subatomic realm during the Big Bang.

But there is an odd feature of the theory that philosophers and scientists still argue about. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that we change things simply by looking at them and theorists have puzzled over the implications for years.

They often illustrate their concerns about what the theory means with boggling mind experiments, notably Schrodinger's cat in which, thanks to a fancy experimental set up, the moggy is both alive and dead until someone decides to look, when it either carries on living, or dies. That is, by one interpretation (by another, the universe splits into two, one with a live cat and one with a dead one.)


Full Story:
[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/21/scicosmos121.xml&CMP=ILC-mostviewedbox]telegraph.co.uk[/url]
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 23, 2007 05:47AM)
I think the theory lacks sooooo much weight.

Schrodinger's cat is a paradox anyway.

But everytime you look at the future, that changes because you looked at it.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 23, 2007 05:58AM)
Or your wifes bum...or your computer entry...wait, that explains the missing entries...

But seriously just another 'Humans are bad' junk theory this time instead of the environment it's the ENVIRONMENT! (All of it) I think I'll not give a crap.
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Nov 23, 2007 06:03AM)
Careful what you wish for!

I think it is true that our attitudes shape the world.

Dream / reality are intertwined in all human affairs.

Attention and intent are the building blocks of reality.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 23, 2007 06:03AM)
In the land of the blind, the future is safe.
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Nov 23, 2007 06:35AM)
Which is more useful, the sun or the moon?

The moon gives us light at night, when its dark.

But the sun gives us light in the day when it is already light.

So it must be the moon.

-the wise men of Chem.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 23, 2007 07:28AM)
:)
Message: Posted by: kregg (Nov 23, 2007 08:22AM)
Edit: In the land of the safe, the future is blind.

In the memory of Pluto. ;)
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 23, 2007 08:29AM)
The moon reflects the lights sun, the moon doesn't actually give off light on its
own self esteem, it has none.

Therefore we need both the mirror and the man to make peppers ghost work.
The sun is more important to us. The moon does nothing but produce werewolves in my back garden.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Nov 23, 2007 08:51AM)
There were some other good stories linked to on the page Doug posted.

Such as this "Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything" (a bit misleading of a headline, though):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/14/scisurf114.xml&page=1

And this story about the 'tree=man' is flabbergasting:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/14/wtree114.xml
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Nov 23, 2007 11:50AM)
The article gets the uncertainty principle SO wrong, either

1. The article completely misconstrues what the physicists say; or
2. The "physicists" are fakes.

This reads like the sort of nonsense coming out of the Maharishi International University.

John
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 23, 2007 12:16PM)
I've tried to research this without looking at the results...cats were everywhere!
Message: Posted by: balducci (Nov 23, 2007 12:21PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-23 12:50, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
The article gets the uncertainty principle SO wrong, either

1. The article completely misconstrues what the physicists say; or
2. The "physicists" are fakes.

This reads like the sort of nonsense coming out of the Maharishi International University.

John
[/quote]
It seems to me that a lot of modern day physics sounds like that, as does a lot of higher level mathematics. Much of it makes sense and leads to verifiable predictions, even though it seems nonsensical and crazy at first blush. Of course, that doesn't mean that every crazy sounding theory is true.

Concerning your comments:

2. The physicists in the article are certainly [b]not[/b] fakes. A quick Internet search demonstrates that.

1. I imagine the article simplified things, as articles tend to do when scientific matters are discussed.

Magnus, have you studied physics and / or seriously kept up with it in recent years? I'm pretty smart and technically I'm a mathematician / scientist, but the math in modern physics is beyond me (well, unless I made it my life to work in that area full-time perhaps).
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Nov 23, 2007 12:55PM)
Schrodinger's bank account - it's both flush with money and empty until someone writes a check.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 23, 2007 01:33PM)
All of you are thinking too much.

As I have said several times here, intelligence is overrated.

As I understand this thread, we are to think the following: because of Schrodinger's cat, the possibility exists that because I am looking at stuff in the particle accelerator in my basement I have shortened the lifespan of the universe. Or I might have lengthened it. Or it might have stayed the same. And [b]therefore[/b] we have scientists and philosophers at state universities making 100K a year thinking about what damage we might have done by thinking about what damage we might have done. Or what damage we might not have done. Or what damage could be done in the Final Fantasy XXIV computer game.

[b]I want to puke![/b]

Bozos and idiots! They get Ph.D.s and run around sucking money from every possible source to study...[b]What?[/b] That studying might shorten the life span of the universe?

[b]I want to puke![/b]

I want a Ph.D. which allows me to study pornography. Then I could get paid to do something that I do once and a while when the mood fits.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 23, 2007 01:38PM)
I have this theory every time we go to the toilet an innocent invisible sea horse in a parallel universe to mars dies.

Can someone fund me to study this?
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Nov 23, 2007 02:25PM)
There is only one thing to do. Everyone must hold get a tree seedling and then bury themselves so that the tree seedling can be placed in front of you in the ground. Then everyone can blow their brains out and their bodies can fertalize the tree and the universe and the world will be safe.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Nov 23, 2007 06:08PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-23 13:21, balducci wrote:

Concerning your comments:

2. The physicists in the article are certainly NOT fakes. A quick internet search demonstrates that. [/quote]

I checked Vanderbilt, and all I found about Dent is that he is a "research associate". Kraus is on faculty at Case Western, but his homepage makes no mention of peer-reviewed publications. They are not fakes, but it is hard to tell who they are in their fields.

Note that the original article is in the current New Scientist. It's a good mag, but it's hardly peer-reviewed science.

[quote]
1. I imagine the article simplified things, as articles tend to do when scientific matters are discussed. [/quote]

I suspect that this is largely the case.

[quote]
Magnus, have you studied physics and / or seriously kept up with it in recent years? I'm pretty smart and technically I'm a mathematician / scientist, but the math in modern physics is beyond me (well, unless I made it my life to work in that area full-time perhaps).
[/quote]

My first degree was in mathematics, but I am no physicist.


These guys could, indeed, be onto something important. For now, I stand by my belief that the whole article reads more like new-agism or an April Fool's joke than science.

John
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Nov 23, 2007 06:16PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-23 14:38, Matt Colman wrote:
I have this theory every time we go to the toilet an innocent invisible sea horse in a parallel universe to mars dies.

Can someone fund me to study this?
[/quote]

I am sending you 73p immediately. If this is true, it will probably upset a lot of children and other animal lovers. Hopefully your research will discover this is a local (to you) anomaly and when you cease to exist, the invisible seahorses will once again be free to roam the invisible ocean liberated from the danger of Colman inter-dimensional pollution.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 23, 2007 06:27PM)
If you can't donate, can somebody wash my fish for free? Fishwashers quote was redicularse
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 23, 2007 07:59PM)
Just when I come to the edge of having an affinity or at least a fondness for Balducci out he comes with the sum of all his previous posts...

"I'm pretty smart and technically I'm a mathematician / scientist,"

Oh well...now I have to start all over again.

John being a 'Mathematician' was fairly evident as well with out the confession. A form of engineer who might measure the squares of toilet tissue before purchasing the corrct configutraton.

American: Pass the *** wipe.

Canadian: T square please.

There is truth in all things.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Nov 23, 2007 08:05PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-23 19:08, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:

Kraus is on faculty at Case Western, but his homepage makes no mention of peer-reviewed publications. They are not fakes, but it is hard to tell who they are in their fields.

Note that the original article is in the current New Scientist. It's a good mag, but it's hardly peer-reviewed science.
[/quote]
Kraus has bunch of honours, an enormous number of invited lectures, and a ton of papers. His publications are listed on a sub-linked page:

http://genesis1.phys.cwru.edu/~krauss/Publications.htm

Many of these are in good refereed journals, but it is also clear that an equal number (maybe more) are in non-refereed forums targetted at the general public. He appears to be very politically savvy in terms of attracting attention to himself etc.

I think the newspaper article was referring to this manuscript: 322. The Late Time Behavior of False Vacuum Decay: Implications for Cosmology and Metastable Inflating States and a String Landscape", with J. Dent. In preparation.

I should be as industrious, publication and publicity wise, as Kraus is, but I am just too darned lazy, and I hate being quoted by the media.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Nov 24, 2007 01:45AM)
Evidently I just proved their claim:

I was reading the article when I noticed the [b][i]Feature Focus[/i][/b] box to the left, with changing pictures. I thought that I saw a picture of Sir Jackie Stewart, but didn't catch the caption. Sure enough, as soon as I focused (no pun intended) on the box, the picture of Sir Jackie disappeared and never returned.

You can't get any more solid proof than that: I changed the universe by looking at it.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 24, 2007 02:13AM)
Rush is right...there is something about Yorba Linda. :) Maybe George Noory should be interested as well. Is there a preponderance of feline aparitions Bill?
Message: Posted by: Tina I (Nov 24, 2007 06:44AM)
One can not understand quantum theory with a linear mind set. Actually I'm not sure one can understand quantum theory. The interesting thing about quantum theory is that if you apply quantum theory to it you'll find that it is correct until you understand it, at which point it instantly turns false. Like particles... you can either see where they are or what they are doing, but you can have both. So of course, the more matter we look at the more matter we have no idea exists and hench the universe will... naw, I don't know what the heck I'm talking about...

Cool article though.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Nov 24, 2007 08:42PM)
[quote]On 2007-11-24 03:13, Doug Higley wrote:
Is there a preponderance of feline aparitions Bill?[/quote]
Neither my wife nor I have ever liked cats.

Three-and-a-half years ago we bought a Pixie Bob kitten and named him [i]Orion[/i]; we figured that eventually we'd need a barn cat, so this was a first step. Just over a year ago my wife got two kittens from the animal shelter: a tuxedo we named [i]Carlton[/i] and a gray tabby we named [i]Mingus[/i].

We now have feline apparitions coming out our ears.

Unfortunately, these apparitions need to be fed, and policed, as it were.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 25, 2007 03:07AM)
If a cat crawls into my banjo case, and I don't see it, does that mean that playing the banjo might shorten the life span of the Cups and Balls museum?

Again: remember that people are taking MONEY to come up with these absurd speculations. When they're published in the News of the World it doesn't bother me, but when I hear that professors are publishing "ULTIMATE Wacky give me a break" theories in peer reviewed journals I think the world is out of kilter. Which it is, of course.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Nov 29, 2007 02:40PM)
More fun theories:

10 Bizarre Scientific Papers

http://www.oddee.com/item_90683.aspx
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Nov 30, 2007 11:32PM)
There's a great bit in Terry Pratchett's "The Last Hero," where Death's assistant is trying to explain the Uncertainty Principle to him.

ASSISTANT: Y'see, you put the kitten in a box with a poison pellet that may or may not go off at any time, then you close the box.

DEATH: (Who speaks in all caps) WHAT MIGHT THE PURPOSE OF THAT BE?

ASSISTANT: Well, you see. The kitten now goes into a strange state, it's not alive or dead.

DEATH: I, ABOVE ALL THINGS, SHOULD CERTAINLY KNOW WHEN SOMETHING'S ALIVE OR DEAD.

ASSISTANT: Well you can't tell, can you? Not until you open the box and look at the kitten.

DEATH: ARE YOU SUGGESTING I CAN KILL A KITTEN JUST BY LOOKING AT IT?

ASSISTANT: No! Of course not!

DEATH: I SHOULD THINK NOT! I LIKE KITTENS!

I may not have gotten the dialog exactly right, but that was the gist of it.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 1, 2007 01:19AM)
Thus does gist become grist.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 1, 2007 10:01AM)
Well, I'm sorry. I thought it was funny and pertinent to what was being said.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 1, 2007 02:01PM)
It is funny. Thanks, Mandrake. And I've finally noticed that pertinent is never welcome in "Not very Magical".

John
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 1, 2007 02:50PM)
Uh excuse me? Mandrake01 used the term 'gist'. I linked the word 'grist' to it as in 'grist for the conversation'...thus giving it relevance and being pertinent.
So what's with the 'Sorry"?

John don't tell me you know not of 'grist' as well?

Wikipedia:

The proverb “all is grist for the mill” means “everything can be made useful, or be a source of profit.” There are some minor variations, such as "all's grist that comes to my/his/her mill", meaning that the person in question can make something positive out of anything that comes along.

A miller ground whatever grain was brought to him, and charged a portion of the final product for the service. Therefore, all grain arriving at the mill represented income, regardless of its quality. The first recorded usage was in the sixteenth century, but the term is probably much older. The term “gristmill” was once common in the United States and Britain to describe a small mill open to all comers.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 1, 2007 04:28PM)
Doug, I got your meaning. Mandrake seemed slightly crestfallen, so I made the point of telling him that his post was funny and appropriate (which it was).

Your comment, Doug, was pretty highbrow, so I left it alone.

John
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 1, 2007 04:31PM)
The phrase seems to go back to John Calvin - and his sermon about rebellious children - would that he had made the direct connection. ;)
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 1, 2007 08:05PM)
John...send Townsend one of those Stuffed Shirts.

And of course it was high brow! Geesh.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Dec 2, 2007 09:44AM)
The bigger picture - earth cannot break away from the suns orbit. However, the little carbon units
called humans can destroy the universe in the act of being. :sun:
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 3, 2007 05:07PM)
I'm looking at this hoping everyone is kidding.

http://jnaudin.free.fr/meg/meg.htm

Halfway down the explanation of extracting energy from 'the vacuum'.

I witnessed, when a fully shielded MEG ran fully enclosed inside a magnetic shield further shielded with anti static packing. It continues to do so months later.
The electron flow can not come from the earths magnetic field or the static collected from the air in this state. The thought process needed to understand how it works completely cut off from the rest of the physical world......scary.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Dec 3, 2007 05:55PM)
Regarding KingStarDog's post:

http://cheniere.org/correspondence/051605.htm

http://cheniere.org/correspondence/index.html

http://www.rexresearch.com/meg/meg.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_E._Bearden
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Dec 3, 2007 06:04PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 21:05, Doug Higley wrote:
And of course it was high brow! Geesh.
[/quote]

So now your calling me fat?
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Dec 3, 2007 06:05PM)
It’s a multiloop servomechanism control problem.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Dec 3, 2007 06:09PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-25 04:07, stoneunhinged wrote:
Again: remember that people are taking MONEY to come up with these absurd speculations. [/quote]

I don't fault the guy for getting paid. If some university wanted to write me a check fro $100K to write a thesis on how humans evolved from rats, who in turn realized humans were dumb so some of them went back to being rats (Which is true), I would. And I would not feel bad at all for taking the check.

The problem is that people are paying for this tripe. Back to the check I hope to one day receive. After receiving the check and publishing the book, I would slap the guy upside the head for buying into the load of crap. Unless he was interested in a sequel
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Dec 3, 2007 06:19PM)
Now, right there is the correct attitude!
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 3, 2007 06:25PM)
We could say the cost of MetGlas cores and the tooling up to produce full sized versions won't hit economy of scale without the type of funding Bearden is talking about, is what is holding this back. Those cores are beyond what the average tinkerer has to lay out in cost. Honeywell may be doing us all a favor until there is an explanation as to exactly where the electricity comes from. It would be a real bummer to explain it away as entanglement, and later find out it pulls from the firing of neurons....Our neurons.

Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. That juice comes from somewhere.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 3, 2007 06:25PM)
What specifically do the claim the effect is? Beyond adding dust of course ;)
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 3, 2007 06:49PM)
Well what they are trying to say is the electrical increase from a small amount of input to a much larger output comes from a magnet and its fields. The Dept of Energy hosted this information at one time.

The wiki is actually wrong in that the device ...Does... require a steady electrical input to receive an amplified output with no drop in strength or intensity.

But hey. this is The ULTIMATE Wacky give me a break Theory of all time! thread.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 3, 2007 09:19PM)
Won't a Whoopie CUshion achieve the same result?
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 4, 2007 11:12PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-01 15:50, Doug Higley wrote:
Uh excuse me? Mandrake01 used the term 'gist'. I linked the word 'grist' to it as in 'grist for the conversation'...thus giving it relevance and being pertinent.
So what's with the 'Sorry"?
[/quote]

My bad. I thought you were complaining that I'd made light of the thread.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Dec 5, 2007 08:06AM)
I don't understand any of it so I'm just going to crack stupid jokes. So there.

[quote]
On 2007-11-23 06:47, Matt Colman wrote:
Schrodinger's cat is a paradox anyway.
[/quote]
Wrong!! You're thinking of Schrodinger's wildfowl.

Have to go,
Got some grist stuck in me teeth.

George
Message: Posted by: Fauna Gob (Dec 5, 2007 09:01AM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-23 19:27, Matt Colman wrote:
If you can't donate, can somebody wash my fish for free? Fishwashers quote was redicularse
[/quote]

What sort of state of mind are these fish in?

Fauna
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 5, 2007 09:13AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-03 19:09, Josh Riel wrote:

And I would not feel bad at all for taking the check.

[/quote]

Good point. Maybe I'm just jealous.
Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Dec 6, 2007 07:49AM)
I am almost 100% certain that the cat in the whoopie cushion will not have survived after Doug has sat on it.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (Dec 6, 2007 08:44AM)
Is my answer supposed to be in the form of a question? Are questions just answers in disguise? If I answer a question with another question, has the first question really been answered yet?

The postulation that things change every time we look at them is preposterous. They should have tried looking at my paycheck.

Marching forward, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Dec 6, 2007 09:30AM)
Doodie-heads, every one! ;)
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 6, 2007 04:40PM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc&feature=related

doh!