Posts Tagged ‘Cosmology’

Quote note (#357)


Millions of millennia ago, in our own Milky Way galaxy, but far upstream of where we are today, two neutron stars spiraled around each other, each embodying the mass of a sun but smaller and faster than a speeding planet. Each of these tiny gigaworlds, millions of times denser than our sun, had been produced, not by a mere exploding star, but by a far more powerful supernova. Each supernova, burning a nuclear fire with a far greater power density than a normal star such as our sun, had besides a neutron star also produced a cavalcade of new elements. For elements lighter than iron, this nuclear fusion releases energy; but for elements heavier than iron, including copper, silver, and gold, nuclear fusion requires a net energy input as well as astronomical power densities. Our supernovae were powerful enough to create many metals, including copper and silver, from the fusion of lighter elements. But they were not powerful enough to create gold. Gold awaited the current, far more powerful and rarer event. […] Our two stars, fortuitously set into collision course by two separate supernovae, approached each other and then, captured by each others’ gravity, entered a death spiral. They collided in an unimaginable explosion, unleashing a power density far greater than that of a mere supernova and trillions of times greater than if a mere mountain-sized asteroid had hit the earth. The collision was so intense that it created a black hole and a burst of extremely high energy light called gamma rays. Escaping the black hole along with the gamma rays was a spray of new, heavier metals, including gold. This gold-rich cloud in part expanded and in part coalesced, participating in the subsequent formation of new solar systems, including our own. Due to this collision of rare intensity, our unusual solar system was seeded with astronomically rare heavy metals such as gold along with the more common supernova products such as copper and silver. …

His source.

June 2, 2017admin 57 Comments »

Quote note (#298)

Cixin Liu (op. cit.), p.558:

“… It’s very possible that every law of physic has been weaponized. It’s possible that in some parts of the universe, even … Forget it, I don’t even believe that.”
“What were you going to say?”
“The foundation of mathematics.”
Cheng Xin tried to imagine it, but it was simply impossible. “That’s … madness.” Then she asked, “Will the universe turn into a war ruin? Or, maybe it’s more accurate to ask: Will the laws of physics turn into war ruins?”
“Maybe they already are …”

(All ellipsis after the first in original.)

Among the points here, the (Herakleitean) thesis: Cosmology does not transcend war. Strategy belongs to the infrastructure.

October 31, 2016admin 19 Comments »


There’s a wave of change coming. If we want to be realistic, we need to be ready for it — at least, as far as we are able to be. Anyone making plans for a future that won’t be there by the time it arrives is simply wasting everybody’s time, and first of all their own.

Under even remotely capitalist conditions, technology reliably over-performs in the medium term, as long as you’re looking in the right direction. Sure, flying cars, jetpacks, and nuclear fusion have gone missing, but instead we got mass-consumer computing, Cyberspace, and mobile telephony. What actually turned up has switched the world far more than the technologies that got lost would have done. It climbed into our brains far more deeply, established far more intense social-cybernetic circuitry, adjusted us more comprehensively, and opened gates we hadn’t foreseen. (You’re on a computer of some kind right now, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

Because technological innovation rolls in on hype cycles, it messes with our expectations, systematically. There’s always a prompt for fashionable disillusionment, shortly before the storm-front hits. Dupes always fall for it. It’s hard not to.

Continue Reading

July 16, 2014admin 31 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology
TAGGED WITH : , , , , ,

Cosmological Infancy

There is a ‘problem’ that has been nagging at me for a long time – which is that there hasn’t been a long time. It’s Saturday, with no one around, or getting drunk, or something, so I’ll run it past you. Cosmology seems oddly childish.

An analogy might help. Among all the reasons for super-sophisticated atheistic materialists to deride Abrahamic creationists, the most arithmetically impressive is the whole James Ussher 4004 BC thing. The argument is familiar to everyone: 6,027 years — Ha!

Creationism is a topic for another time. The point for now is just: 13.7 billion years – Ha! Perhaps this cosmological consensus estimate for the age of the universe is true. I’m certainly not going to pit my carefully-rationed expertise in cosmo-physics against it. But it’s a stupidly short amount of time. If this is reality, the joke’s on us. Between Ussher’s mid-17th century estimate and (say) Hawking’s late 20th century one, the difference is just six orders of magnitude. It’s scarcely worth getting out of bed for. Or the crib.

Continue Reading

July 20, 2013admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Templexity