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Emil Miller
11-09-2010, 02:37 PM
The Home Page on my computer is by MSN and is full of items about "celebrities", pop groups, the world's biggest this, smallest that and other forms of juvenilia. So it's not surprising that UFOs feature prominently. Allowing for the hyperbole and fakes, some of the footage shown does pose a question about the origin of some of the objects. I suspect that this subject has been raised elsewhere on these forums but I am interested in ascertaining other members views.

LitNetIsGreat
11-09-2010, 05:36 PM
I'm not really a buyer I think. I know that some footage looks mysterious but I'm probably more of a skeptic. Maybe some of them were prototype cold war spy planes or something, I don't know?

Emil Miller
11-09-2010, 06:21 PM
I'm not really a buyer I think. I know that some footage looks mysterious but I'm probably more of a skeptic. Maybe some of them were prototype cold war spy planes or something, I don't know?

Yes, I'm sceptical too and I imagine that some were , as you say, secret aircraft developed during the cold war and even now, because governments may still want to keep potential enemies in the dark. However, I think the sightings have been too numerous for that to be the whole picture. Many of them must be due to natural phenomena and, as I mentioned, some of them are faked but there is still a question mark over the origin of some of the objects sighted.

Hurricane
11-09-2010, 07:16 PM
I'm pretty doubtful about the validity of UFO sightings, but it'd be pretty silly to think we're the only live conscious beings out there. I'm not a believer, but I'm not a non-believer either, if that makes sense.

Lokasenna
11-09-2010, 07:53 PM
Well, all I can say is that I spend a fair bit of time stargazing, and I've never yet seen anything up there that I can't explain.

I don't think we're alone in the Universe, but nor do I think small green men fly down in their saucers and kidnap hillbillies for a spot of friendly anal probing.

It'll be a while before I break out the tin foil hat...

papayahed
11-09-2010, 09:16 PM
The Home Page on my computer is by MSN and is full of items about "celebrities", pop groups, the world's biggest this, smallest that and other forms of juvenilia. ......but I am interested in ascertaining other members views.

I don't care for MSN, I use google as my home page. :sosp::smilielol5:



I'm pretty doubtful about the validity of UFO sightings, but it'd be pretty silly to think we're the only live conscious beings out there. I'm not a believer, but I'm not a non-believer either, if that makes sense.

I have to agree with you.

OrphanPip
11-09-2010, 09:22 PM
Many people likely mistake common flying objects, like airplanes, for UFOs when they've been up much too long, or been having much too much fun with various legal and illegal substances.

The Comedian
11-09-2010, 09:45 PM
I'm sort of like several people here -- it wouldn't surprise me at all that life exists outside our planet. And, really, now that I think of it, it wouldn't surprise me much if UFOs -- in whatever form they may be -- have visited us in some way. I would be surprised if a UFO is big, metal ship. Anything capable of traveling through that much space has surely found a better way than that.

litera9
11-09-2010, 09:54 PM
Like everyone else who posts, I doubt whether the pictures we have are actually ships. The potential for life is high, somewhere in the universe. But the idea that the ships are evidence of it are doubtable. I think that the sign of UFOs are often a) weather balloons, b) test aircraft(specifically with pictures in Area 51), 3) Pictoral anomalies, or 4) Photoshop.

The Atheist
11-10-2010, 07:50 PM
The Home Page on my computer is by MSN and is full of items about "celebrities", pop groups, the world's biggest this, smallest that and other forms of juvenilia. So it's not surprising that UFOs feature prominently. Allowing for the hyperbole and fakes, some of the footage shown does pose a question about the origin of some of the objects. I suspect that this subject has been raised elsewhere on these forums but I am interested in ascertaining other members views.

Can you give links?

Pretty hard to comment without seeing what you mean, although every single UFO photo to date hasn't been evidence of alien contact, so I'm highly doubtful these will be anything more than the usual fakery, mistaken identification and tricks of light that all the others have been.

The idea of UFOs visiting earth is laughable, given the distances involved. An alien species able to defeat light-speed and pick us out of thousands of trillions of stars & planets would probably figure out a way to send a message rather than an anonymous spaceship.

The fact that UFOlogists believe crop circles are made by aliens is a clue to the level of delusion involved in the fantasy.

Alexander III
11-10-2010, 08:20 PM
Actually on the history Chanel there was a very interesting documentary series called ancient aliens, the theory suggested was that UFO's from space first planted the seeds of life on earth and in some way guided humanity, it was laughable at some points yet at others its was very interesting, any of you guys see it ?

Paulclem
11-10-2010, 08:37 PM
I read a good description of the distances involved in space in Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. Fascinating.

Stuff that you can't identify = UFOs - ok. How that somehow implies visiting aliens I'm not sure.

Gilliatt Gurgle
11-10-2010, 10:14 PM
I’ve always held out for the possibility. Perhaps it is a lingering fascination from my childhood.
My son and I are familiar with the History Channel program and have watched it.
He is particularly fascinated in the Mesoamerican alien connection. (Look, if it keeps him off the street, then by all means!)

Now for those who seek hard evidence, (Atheist, that includes you) look no further than Roswell New Mexico. Pay a visit to the “UFO Museum and Research Center” on Main Street. We’ve been to the museum twice, the most recent trip being this past March.

Below you will find the link to the museum web site. Hopefully the link will remain intact as it travels the firmament to our readers in distant lands. For those with little time or interest, I would suggest you at least consider the “Roswell Incident” and “Virtual Tour” tabs at the left side of the screen and listen to the 1947 radio broadcast just below the images.


http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/


In closing, here is a photo from one of the museum’s exhibits:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/For%20the%20Sonata/IMG_1464.jpg


The life size diorama depicts the famed alien autopsy carried out on one of the occupants of the saucer that crashed near Roswell.

And here is a “Basic Alien Types” chart I found on display:

http://i963.photobucket.com/albums/ae114/tabuka1/For%20the%20Sonata/IMG_1461.jpg




Another interesting UFO phenomenon is the “Marfa Lights” in Texas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFnDrG1iH04



Gilliatt

The Atheist
11-11-2010, 05:35 AM
I read a good description of the distances involved in space in Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. Fascinating.

Stuff that you can't identify = UFOs - ok. How that somehow implies visiting aliens I'm not sure.

Yes indeed.

People who think earth is visited by aliens suck at maths.


I’ve always held out for the possibility.

Me too. Many's the night my wife and I stare at the stars wishing Gort would arrive.



Now for those who seek hard evidence, (Atheist, that includes you) look no further than Roswell New Mexico. Pay a visit to the “UFO Museum and Research Center” on Main Street. We’ve been to the museum twice, the most recent trip being this past March.

Hey, I was AT the autopsy.

;)

Emil Miller
11-11-2010, 07:30 AM
Hey, I was AT the autopsy.;)

Were you the one on the table? :D

Lynne50
11-11-2010, 10:05 AM
Me too. Many's the night my wife and I stare at the stars wishing Gort would arrive.





;)


I was always terrified at Gort in the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still" Remake was not nearly as scary.

litera9
11-11-2010, 07:46 PM
I saw the original after the remake, and have to agree. The first one brought depth to the concept, that was mostly unknown in the remake.

Emil Miller
11-13-2010, 08:52 AM
Here is a video that might prove interesting to this discussion .


http://video.yahoo.com/watch/6941536/18040969


And here is another.


http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=UFOs&docid=236511035999&mid=D1AA8098FCE5B0D0165CD1AA8098FCE5B0D0165C&FORM=LKVR14#

The Atheist
11-13-2010, 12:12 PM
Yep, they're pretty typical of videos that UFOlogists try to use.

It's just so damn stupid. The first one, I managed to watch about 45 seconds of it - it's so blindingly obvious that the smudges, dots and blips which are supposed to be UFOs are actually dust, moisture and other artifacts that I didn't see any point in watching more.

The second is a collection of well-known fakes and fallacies joined into one.

If only these people would come up with something new, they might gain some respect, but making extraordinary claims based on idiotic assumptions leaves me cold.

Satan
11-13-2010, 12:38 PM
I'm not really a buyer I think. I know that some footage looks mysterious but I'm probably more of a skeptic. Maybe some of them were prototype cold war spy planes or something, I don't know?

http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/6982/usairforceaircraftident.jpg

Emil Miller
11-13-2010, 03:09 PM
Yep, they're pretty typical of videos that UFOlogists try to use.

It's just so damn stupid. The first one, I managed to watch about 45 seconds of it - it's so blindingly obvious that the smudges, dots and blips which are supposed to be UFOs are actually dust, moisture and other artifacts that I didn't see any point in watching more.

The second is a collection of well-known fakes and fallacies joined into one.

If only these people would come up with something new, they might gain some respect, but making extraordinary claims based on idiotic assumptions leaves me cold.

I agree that the opening of the first video is as you say, but if you watch on there is some more interesting stuff. Much of the weird pieces of machinery shown floating around is probably space debris from the junk yard that now surrounds the Earth. However, there is an interesting admission from a former astronaut about extra terrestrial life. If the USAF colonel in the second video was lying, he was pretty good at it.

Delta40
11-13-2010, 04:46 PM
I don't think the forum would accept the existence of God on such scant evidence so why accept it for UFO's. Perhaps crop circles are just more believable.....

prendrelemick
11-23-2010, 05:06 PM
Even though I live in a "hot spot" I've never seen anything. But I know some serious people who say they have.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOJiwS6YMtk

I should just say it is also a hot spot for hallucinogenic substence abuse.

manolia
11-29-2010, 06:52 AM
I'm pretty doubtful about the validity of UFO sightings, but it'd be pretty silly to think we're the only live conscious beings out there. I'm not a believer, but I'm not a non-believer either, if that makes sense.


Well, all I can say is that I spend a fair bit of time stargazing, and I've never yet seen anything up there that I can't explain.

I don't think we're alone in the Universe, but nor do I think small green men fly down in their saucers and kidnap hillbillies for a spot of friendly anal probing.

It'll be a while before I break out the tin foil hat...




The idea of UFOs visiting earth is laughable, given the distances involved. An alien species able to defeat light-speed and pick us out of thousands of trillions of stars & planets would probably figure out a way to send a message rather than an anonymous spaceship.

The fact that UFOlogists believe crop circles are made by aliens is a clue to the level of delusion involved in the fantasy.

Agreed.
Considering the huge number of stars solely in our galaxy (200-400 billion) the number of galaxies only in our supercluster and the distances involved the chance of alien life getting in our little corner of the universe is very very slim.

The Atheist
11-29-2010, 07:16 PM
Agreed.
Considering the huge number of stars solely in our galaxy (200-400 billion) the number of galaxies only in our supercluster and the distances involved the chance of alien life getting in our little corner of the universe is very very slim.

Damn shame really.

Even the evidence of Rhea last week pioints to the fact that inhabitable planets must exist in reasonable quantities, so the chances of other life out there are extremely good.

Just the damned distance. Stuff Einstein!

Lokasenna
11-30-2010, 05:07 AM
Now this is interesting - today's NASA Picture of the Day:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1011/thundercell_heavey.jpg

And here's what they say about it:


Explanation: Is that a spaceship or a cloud? Although it may seem like an alien mothership, it's actually a impressive thunderstorm cloud called a supercell. Such colossal storm systems center on mesocyclones -- rotating updrafts that can span several kilometers and deliver torrential rain and high winds including tornadoes. Jagged sculptured clouds adorn the supercell's edge, while wind swept dust and rain dominate the center. A tree waits patiently in the foreground. The above supercell cloud was photographed in July west of Glasgow, Montana, USA, caused minor damage, and lasted several hours before moving on.

I'll admit, if I saw that bearing down on me from out of the clouds, I might think it was the Martians...

The Atheist
11-30-2010, 08:34 PM
Now this is interesting - today's NASA Picture of the Day:

That is sensational.

Just goes to show that fact is more exciting than fiction.

manolia
12-01-2010, 06:45 AM
Damn shame really.

Even the evidence of Rhea last week pioints to the fact that inhabitable planets must exist in reasonable quantities, so the chances of other life out there are extremely good.


Yes for life as we know it (carbon based). If one considers the possibility of other life forms, quite different from us, the chances increase :biggrin5:

(on a side/serious note, this sounds very sci-fi but the universe is a marvelous thing..who knows)




I'll admit, if I saw that bearing down on me from out of the clouds, I might think it was the Martians...

Meh..I might think it's them Ori (http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ori_(Stargate))

MystyrMystyry
12-16-2010, 06:32 AM
I saw a UFO, that is to say I had time to study it from quite close range for many minutes.

It wasn't a 'flying saucer', it didn't have 'little green men' in it.

Nor was it a secret military project.

And it was huge.

And yes it changed my life.

Sorry - you're expecting me to go into detail. I would, but being a writer's forum you'll just say I was making it up (like everyone else) or I'm nuts (which is as may be) or that I was on drugs, have too much imagination for my own good etc (not, not)

So why did I bother to post?

It's a thread about UFO's. I saw one. Before I saw it - well, I didn't care one way or the other, and I can't even remeber which way I leant.

But I'd like you all to have the chance to experience one, a real one.

What I did was walk along a street in a suburb about 9:30 pm. I wasn't looking for it. I'm pretty sure it wasn't looking for me. In fact UFO's was the farthest thing on my mind.

And then-


They do exist...

The Atheist
12-16-2010, 01:19 PM
Sorry - you're expecting me to go into detail. I would, but being a writer's forum you'll just say I was making it up (like everyone else) or I'm nuts (which is as may be) or that I was on drugs, have too much imagination for my own good etc (not, not)

Little point posting unless you give detail, but it's your choice.

Emil Miller
12-16-2010, 02:47 PM
This is part of the problem regarding UFOs, we don't really know how many people may have seen them because some will be afraid of the reaction to their claim.

MystyrMystyry
12-16-2010, 03:29 PM
Not afraid exactly.

More bored.

When I saw what I saw, initially I was really excited, and naively displayed my enthusiasm.

I didn't expect the indifferent scepticism, cynical responses and eyerolling - because it really happened! To me! I've made drawings! Why would I lie about something like that! I don't need to give myself tckets!

I looked for people who could share my enthusiasm, but soon realised that most of these people are a glass and a half-crazy (there was one bloke who initially seemed on my wavelength but as I heard his story - well let's just say it involved alcohol, flying saucers and little green men...)

So really rather than be a totally amazing experience that I wanted to share (I really did) it soon became one of the worst, socailly at least.

Internally I've just largely kept it to myself since I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, and just quietly glad. It was a personal experience that happened to me, and is part of me.

In a way it was my own personal UFO because I've yet to se anyone describe anything like it.

And of course sometimes I even doubt it, but then I remember the details, conscious and unconscious, the way its greasy metallic surface reflected electric blue from the orange streetlamp, all those weird markings, the 'window' that suddenly appeared, what I saw inside... ...

I've speculated on what they were doing there and have basicly come to the conclusion that it was probably just repairs, because they were so preoccupied it took them a while to see me.

All machines and electronics break down, no matter how sophisticated.

So why were they performing repairs on our planet and not in outerspace? Perhaps they've long realised it's better to be stranded on a planet than in space? I didn't have time to ask them.

And like the song 'I saw a UFO and no-one believed me - I was a long way from home and on my own...'

I briefly thought of knocking on someone's door to say, hey come and look! but almost immediately dismissed the idea because curiously the nearby houses all had their lights out, and only the distant ones could be considered.

So how would you feel if someone came knocking, getting you out of bed and crying Space Aliens! Space Aliens! Come quickly!

Precisely

I figure they possessed some fairly advanced electronics, perhaps understand human nature, and what they did was perform a localised blackout, waited for a few residents to come out and see if it was just their house, repair the fuse if so, before seeing it had happened to other houses, and then going back inside.

And then they landed. As silently as they took off.

The Atheist
12-17-2010, 01:37 AM
And then they landed. As silently as they took off.Can I just get this right?

The thing was huge, above a populated area and nobody else saw it?

MystyrMystyry
12-17-2010, 02:27 AM
Huge is a word. Gigantic is another. Semi-visible.

Above (before it landed) and 'in' a residential area, yes.

I know. it sounds ridiculous.

I've written it all down, and it even reads ridiculous to me.

And if I'd made it up I'd show no-one - I'd say I can do better than that.

You realy had to be there - and I wish you had been (but I get the feeling that you'd have said to me 'Of this we must never speak').


Other speculations. They have sophisticated technology allowing them to traverse only they know how far across the galaxy/universe. We have stealth bombers. Perhaps their technology can stealth from the electro-magnetic impulses of both radar and the human-eye.

I know, it all sounds like bad sci fi, but maybe because truth is 'stranger than fiction'? You should know that better than anyone.

I'm not blaming you - I'm blaming them. It's just the more breath that I blow, well it doesn't make it better for me...

Nor do I know why they had to be humanoid - Pumpkin sized heads, humanesque faces with big black eyes, two spidery arms and legs, oddly proportioned pear bodies. Maybe it's the preferred evolutionary form for the 'brainy' ones (stereo vision, opposable thumbs, able to breath out of water etc etc).

I hope we don't evolve further to look lke them - it didn't look healthy.

And I realise the whole thing poses too many questions, but by all means keep asking...

The Atheist
12-17-2010, 03:23 AM
Huge is a word. Gigantic is another. Semi-visible.

Above (before it landed) and 'in' a residential area, yes.

I know. it sounds ridiculous.

Have to agree. Nobody else seeing it is peculiar. What time was it?



Other speculations. They have sophisticated technology allowing them to traverse only they know how far across the galaxy/universe. We have stealth bombers. Perhaps their technology can stealth from the electro-magnetic impulses of both radar and the human-eye.

This is the part which really makes me wonder. Alien technology would need to be advanced far beyond that of humans, so it's not like they'd have anything to fear from us. They're obviously happy enough for people to see them, since people see them, so it seems unlikely they'd come here without saying a general "Hello, earth!" kind of thing.

Doesn't that seem odd to you?



Nor do I know why they had to be humanoid - Pumpkin sized heads, humanesque faces with big black eyes, two spidery arms and legs, oddly proportioned pear bodies. Maybe it's the preferred evolutionary form for the 'brainy' ones (stereo vision, opposable thumbs, able to breath out of water etc etc).

Amazing how Hollywood got it right.

MystyrMystyry
12-17-2010, 05:07 AM
9:30 pm, give or take a few minutes, was the time. I was walking from a mate's house I'd left at 9:15 in order to meet my girlfriend at 10:00 pm. I had no mechanised transport nor watch, but I'd made the same walk more than a hundred times. To get from his flat to where I was takes about 15 minutes depending on pace and I took no shortcuts nor deviations from the most direct normal route.

Think about aliens landing for a minute. As few people who thought of them as celebrities (which is not what Niel Armstrong wanted after he returned to Earth, so why would they?) would largely be the Trekkie/nutjob crowd. Others who'd take an unhealthy interest would be all the paranoid militaries in the world. Paranoids in general.

You'd have a general panic just amongst the already unbalanced members of society. Some would say 'Shoot 'em! String 'em up! They eat children! Cut 'em open to see what they're made of!'

The media would have a field day with camera flashes.

Great welcome for our alien visitors.

So who would they want/need to talk to? The President? And say what? 'We have noticed you are a very violent species and therefore we will not be sharing any of our superior tech with you, not just because you have nothing we need to trade. Also you are inferior to us in every way and you don't even taste nice. That was a joke.'

Perhaps there's an intestellar code of conduct when it comes to dealing with primitive civilisations. Don't interfere with them until they can prove they've bred/evolved out all forms of irrational violence.

Come to think of it, of all the 'real' stories I've heard they've never featured rayguns.

And why would they want to cause even accidental trouble? Maybe they had their own violent ancestors - survival of the fittest may not be so unique to our planet as to all planets.

'Hollywood got it right'

Dr Who got it right - after they realised the audience just didn't identify with faceless formless monsters as readily as monsters that were a similar size and shape and facial placement relative to us.

If Hollywood got it right, they got it right by shorthand after experimenting with giant ants, spiders and lizard effects, Frankenstein, Dracula and the wolfman.

Okay they didn't look like the insectoids of Close Encounters - for one they were clothed in red/brown. The eyes were not as big, round not almond shaped, and when I say they were black they could have been very dark green or ultramarine, dull not shiny. And the big head was a bit like a pyramid that had been very rounded down - no sharp edges or corners. Get freecad or a piece of plasticene for that.

The neck was long and thin. The shoulders broadish but without muscle. They appeared to be eight feet tall, but that could have been my sudden intense encounter - maybe they were even taller.

I was about ten feet from the spacecraft most of the time. I thought of touching it but I just suspected an electric shock or worse (how NASA irradiate everything that returns from the stratosphere and above).

As for the size and shape it was about three stories like a flat block, almost a cylinder but a rounded elongated squaroid.

As for the material - imagine an alloy made of glass and silver.

It's hard, i know, like trying to imagine a colour you've never seen before - but it is a primary colour, not a brown-grey mess.


I've tried photoshop and stuff, but it makes it look even more ridiculous.

Skin colour? Neutral grey? But the lighting wasn't a bright fluorescent lamp like Startrek. It was like a bright ultraviolet tinge to an otherwise subdued almost nightlight. And the walls were covered in faint though coloured LED like lights, in both sparse and clustered patches

The only external light was a crescent moon (over the horizon) and the distant streetlamp - hundred and fifty feet away, two hundred - never checked.

The craft was situated from the edge of the footpath - the curb - over to a small park - about thirty feet deep - at the rear of the local library.

And another detail - you know how some dark people shave their heads and the hairline is perfectly straight across the brow? Like that. And no eyebrows, no blinking but I seem to recall a flick like a snake eye, but then...


I'm aware you're imagining it differently to how it was. If I were to write it as a story (my specialty) I could probably convey a better sense of unity to it, but you're welcome to have a go. It's really quite tiring for some reason.

Before you challenge me about the house/flat dichtomy - his flat was connected to the landlord's house by a single door to grant access to the shared kitchen and bathroom, not the best arrangement he will be sure to agree, but it was two bedrooms all to himself, access to a bathtub and fridge, cheap, and guaranteed privacy from the landlord, and he had a vegetable patch in his own backyard - it was a virtual house.

The Atheist
12-17-2010, 03:03 PM
It's really quite tiring for some reason.

I'd say the alien thought processes probably give off some radiation-like emissions which have affected you.

MystyrMystyry
12-17-2010, 08:58 PM
lol!

No I think it's because I was too intensely straining for every detail


In my reality I've long treated it as a personal joke, but you're someone new to blather on to, so I guess I was being a bit too serious about it (not one of my strong points)

Anyway if you to skies tonight, you never know...

prendrelemick
01-14-2011, 03:51 PM
You see that's the problem. There are many serious sightings from serious people. In almost any other field it would be proof enough, but somehow it isn't here. If we believe them, then we look for a more conventional explanation of what they saw. If we can't think of one, then we still assume there is one. I include myself in this. I know a couple of people who have had similar experiences to MistyrMistyry, but still remain sceptical.

The Atheist
01-16-2011, 02:45 PM
You see that's the problem. There are many serious sightings from serious people.

Which probably goes to show how easily humans are fooled by tricks of light. You must have seen any number of mind-boggling optical illusions in your time - I think almost all UFO "sightings" result from this, with a smaller percentage due to freak weather conditions and a an even smaller percentage due to an internal error in the brain of the sighter.

A [hopefully] smaller number still are plain old hoaxes.


In almost any other field it would be proof enough, but somehow it isn't here. If we believe them, then we look for a more conventional explanation of what they saw. If we can't think of one, then we still assume there is one. I include myself in this. I know a couple of people who have had similar experiences to MistyrMistyry, but still remain sceptical.

That's because Occam's Razor still works. Would there really be aliens capable of overcoming the almost-infinite difficulty in crossing deep space only to come to earth to buzz a few people?

I find it intensely amusing that the number of UFO sightings in NZ recently has gone through the roof.

From what I've been able to track down, people are seeing a bright light cruising across the sky to the north-east between an hour and 2 hours after sunset.

In a bizarre coincidence, that just happens to be when the International Space Station is visible from NZ. In the north-eastern quadrant of the sky.

I just cannot figure how all that technology in the ISS is missing the damn UFOs!

Mutatis-Mutandis
01-16-2011, 03:31 PM
When it comes to UFOs, I take the attitude of "I'll believe it when I see it." My dad is convinced he saw a UFO--now, he doesn't claim it was an alien space-craft, just something he can't explain. I believe him, as he's also a skeptical person, but it still isn't enough to convince me.

It is fun to speculate on, though.

prendrelemick
01-16-2011, 04:19 PM
That is more or less my attitude MM, I'll believe it when I see it. But I am a little uneasy discounting all those genuinely given eyewitness accounts.

As for the Occum's Razor scenerio I don't set much store by it. As Donald Rumsfeld once said ;-

The message is that there are known "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.


I have seen the odd strange lighting effect overhead. I usually think of an explanation.

The Atheist
01-16-2011, 07:17 PM
When it comes to UFOs, I take the attitude of "I'll believe it when I see it." My dad is convinced he saw a UFO--now, he doesn't claim it was an alien space-craft, just something he can't explain. I believe him, as he's also a skeptical person, but it still isn't enough to convince me.

It is fun to speculate on, though.

Seeing the unexplainable isn't all that surprising. Things like ball lightning - if it actually exists itself - aurorae, sunlight, birds, satellites and clouds are all capable of being misinterpreted by the brain.


That is more or less my attitude MM, I'll believe it when I see it. But I am a little uneasy discounting all those genuinely given eyewitness accounts.

As for the Occum's Razor scenerio I don't set much store by it. As Donald Rumsfeld once said ;-

The message is that there are known "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.

Possibly not the best analogy: Rummy was talking crap. (as he often did) It doesn't fit UFOs, because we do allegedly know something. If people see them, they exist, but are just unidentified, which is an important difference from "unknown".

Occy's Razor does honestly work though; it's simply a tool of logic. It only doesn't work on questions where there is no input - Rummy's unknown unknowns. Having no input just gives GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. Much the same as asking what colour antribokundas are.

In fact, even better than Occam is Douglas Adams. He used to eat this stuff.

Emil Miller
01-18-2011, 03:49 PM
This is definitely germane to this thread. It is pretty much inconceivable that the witnesses speaking at the press conference, professionals from around the world, are wrong in what they saw.

http://video.uk.msn.com/watch/video/feature-episode/1ge5ot8jq?from=homepage_related

The Atheist
01-18-2011, 06:35 PM
It is pretty much inconceivable that the witnesses speaking at the press conference, professionals from around the world, are wrong in what they saw.

Why is it inconceivable?

Do professionals never make mistakes?

How about I give you the example of a Nobel-winning professor of chemistry who was an AIDS denier (http://www.aidstruth.org/documents/Nobel-Denial.pdf)?

Or maybe you're unaware of the number of actual scientists who dispute the fact of global warming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scienti fic_assessment_of_global_warming)?

There are professors of physics who believe the 9/11 WTC collapse was due to controlled demolition rather than the planes we all saw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_controlled_demolition_conspirac y_theories).

Please don't be fooled into thinking anyone is exempt from mistakes. The only bloke who ever claimed that ended up nailed to a tree!

_________________________________


As an amateur astronomer, I'd probably be the person who would most like to believe alien life is capable of visiting earth, Something along the lines of The Day the Earth Stood Still (original film) would be the best result for humanity I could imagine.

Trouble is, no amount of logic can make it possible. The distances are vast; much vaster than almost all people are able to imagine. The return trip would be thousands of years, even at speeds approaching light speed.

Maybe there are alien races whose life span or technology makes this possible, but it will still require an immense investment of time, material and labour to travel inter-galactically. I think the chances of an alien life form visiting the planet only to allow themselves to be seen by a few individuals is nil.

Emil Miller
01-18-2011, 07:10 PM
Well, of course, but who says that alien life forms have visited this planet, apart from a few unqualified cranks? Perhaps, it is precisely because they can't, that aliens have developed a means of sending probes to Earth to investigate life here.
Of course experts can be wrong, but the weight of evidence for UFOs and the attempts by official bodies to deny them is obviously irrefutable in the light of the video, where even people who were involved in the cover up have broken silence to admit what has been happening?

I have for many years, despite the statistical probability of life on other planets, always said: where is your proof? If, however, you can prove that the witnesses have a motive for lying, how else do you explain their behaviour, given that they are people who have no reason to deceive anyone?

The Atheist
01-18-2011, 07:54 PM
Well, of course, but who says that alien life forms have visited this planet, apart from a few unqualified cranks? Perhaps, it is precisely because they can't, that aliens have developed a means of sending probes to Earth to investigate life here.

You don't think they'd be smart enough to try radio transmissions first?


Of course experts can be wrong, but the weight of evidence for UFOs and the attempts by official bodies to deny them is obviously irrefutable in the light of the video, where even people who were involved in the cover up have broken silence to admit what has been happening?

I have yet to see any credible evidence of cover up. Ever.

Why would it be covered up? Who's covering it up?

See, these claims make no sense whatsoever. UFOs certainly exist in that they are unidentified, but there is always a rational explanation. People are just too lazy or deluded to look for it.

As far as cover ups go, we have the excllent examples of things that weren't covered up, despite attempts to keep them that way. Governments leak like sieves, which is why Wikileaks has so much information. Watergate, Iran/Contra - you name it, things are never covered up for long.


I have for many years, despite the statistical probability of life on other planets, always said: where is your proof? If, however, you can prove that the witnesses have a motive for lying, how else do you explain their behaviour, given that they are people who have no reason to deceive anyone?

Well, I gave you plenty of examples of people who either delude themselves or lie for their 15 minutes of fame, so why people would lie about it is pretty simple. Along with that, I keep repeating that people are very, very easily misled. Go check some optical illusions - the human brain is easy to fool, and the eyes easiest of all.

Site 1 (http://www.eyetricks.com/illusions.htm) (Comes with multiple, but harmless, popups)

Site 2 (http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/) Some really good stuff here.

soundofmusic
01-19-2011, 03:07 AM
Can I just get this right?

The thing was huge, above a populated area and nobody else saw it?

:wave: Just a thought here. I love to look up in the sky; my neighbors think I'm batty when I talk about the orange full moon or the brightness of the stars; they only look in the sky if they get an email telling them something is eclipsing....

Now, I am of the opinion that if a five story pink elephant flew soundlessly overhead, he would have to free his spincter before they would notice:skep:...and perhaps not even then:nod:

Emil Miller
01-19-2011, 04:38 AM
You don't think they'd be smart enough to try radio transmissions first?



I have yet to see any credible evidence of cover up. Ever.

Why would it be covered up? Who's covering it up?

See, these claims make no sense whatsoever. UFOs certainly exist in that they are unidentified, but there is always a rational explanation. People are just too lazy or deluded to look for it.

As far as cover ups go, we have the excllent examples of things that weren't covered up, despite attempts to keep them that way. Governments leak like sieves, which is why Wikileaks has so much information. Watergate, Iran/Contra - you name it, things are never covered up for long.



Well, I gave you plenty of examples of people who either delude themselves or lie for their 15 minutes of fame, so why people would lie about it is pretty simple. Along with that, I keep repeating that people are very, very easily misled. Go check some optical illusions - the human brain is easy to fool, and the eyes easiest of all.

Site 1 (http://www.eyetricks.com/illusions.htm) (Comes with multiple, but harmless, popups)

Site 2 (http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/) Some really good stuff here.

According to the man from the Ministry of Defence, there isn't a rational explanation for at least 5% of the many sitings they have investigated.
I find it unlikely that people as disparate as scientists, fighter pilots, civil aircraft crew, and physicists are all deluded or too lazy to find a rational explanation for what they saw, or that such people are all involved in trying to get 15 minutes of fame or have suffered optical illusions.
If you haven't seen any evidence of a cover up, it's probably because you weren't meant to. Having worked for central government, I personally know of things that are withheld from the general public and I wasn't in the least surprised at the Wikileaks revelations.
I don't know why putative aliens haven't used radio, unless the concept of radio waves is unknown to them or, perhaps, even dangerous to them.
I agree 100% that people are very, very easily misled:to an extent that Wikileaks has only scratched the surface of.

prendrelemick
01-19-2011, 05:35 AM
Having just watched a programme investigating reality, I now know that we are all part of a cosmic holographic projection anyway. This may seem a little far fetched, but is actually very liberating, it means all sorts of "impossible" things can easily happen.

Atheist. Your arguement seems to have two prongs:- They can't get here, and if they could, why would they ?
The first is probably true, given the confines of speed and mass and energy equations. But there are reasons, including observed phenomena, to think that Einstien was a little hastey in declaring the speed of light as the ultimate limit. There are definitely things we know we don't know (thanks Donald) in that field, before we consider unknown unknowns.
The second is spurious, we can't know their minds, but it is irrelevent until we see a way for them to travel here.

Now if logic and physics can't absolutely deny them, I reckon we are really left with those eye witnesses. Take away all the cranks, the liars, the mistaken and the duped and there is just enough left to intrigue.

Here's a question. Could an alien space craft be mistaken for a weather balloon or an International Space Station, or does it only happen the other way round?

MystyrMystyry
01-19-2011, 08:18 AM
Her name is Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and she's an alien I'm tellin' ya!

But were they all to look that good - then every red-blooded man and woman would put their hand up

The other one is a little green man

I don't see why the need for cover-ups, or anything military/governmental - that stuff's alien as alien to me anyway

The thing with Atheist's question regarding radio message - what!? How would that be satisfactory?

If we were to send a radio message and set up a whole bunch of spacedishes in neat rows, and all that we received in return for our effort was a pile of undecipherable static - oh, hang on... We already tried that before we sent Voyager, didn't we..?


It's not a thing that most in the know really feel like discussing because after a very short while it's not that interesting - certainly not as a pub topic: there is no real story to it, there's not many thrills or jokes you can wring out of it - but it is odd that non-knowers don't have stories, thrills or jokes either, while knowers are quite happy to get on with their lives

Is it possible that non-knowers are actually jealous? If that's the case they're welcome to it

But it is weirder still that if a schizophrenic (before the condition was recognised) confided to someone in the 19c that they heard voices they were- what..?

The Bible's full of people hearing voices and seeing visions, and, after money, it's the cornerstone of Western Culture - perhaps if you listened to the seers more you could get up to speed with the new religion and say you met and talked to the new prophets

Or you could just keep reducing the number of stories you have at your disposal - 'cause dang if the planet don't need mo' them 'pinionated bores

Personally I'd be the first to say that the sites I've visited seem to be run by 99 percenters who seem actually interested in milking a bit of profit out of their 'experience' - and if I don't believe them, what hope is there for any on my - opposite - side?

So one thing to keep clear - I can call myself a knower, a seer (or even a 'genius' if I want) - but to the doubters, I'm just a claimer

But it honestly doesn't bother me either way because I'm on my own with it

Perhaps I went briefly nuts and imagined it? What difference would it actually make to me?

Absolutely none - I didn't go out of my way to see anything extraordinary but rather the universe went out of its way to introduce me to something I had hitherto - and even now - the least interest in

Just keep looking at everything and maybe one day if you're (un)lucky you'll find an SEP sitting in your backyard

Good onya if ya do! Good onya if ya don't!

The Atheist
01-19-2011, 01:41 PM
:wave: Just a thought here. I love to look up in the sky; my neighbors think I'm batty when I talk about the orange full moon or the brightness of the stars; they only look in the sky if they get an email telling them something is eclipsing....

Now, I am of the opinion that if a five story pink elephant flew soundlessly overhead, he would have to free his spincter before they would notice:skep:...and perhaps not even then:nod:

Haha! In the case of the masses, you're dead right - we didn't evolve to look up.

I mean people who spend hours every night looking at the sky. There are millions of amateur astronomers scanning the skies every night, hoping to discover something we haven't seen before (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Space/story?id=8221167&page=1).

Imagine having a comet named after you? Or even better, being the first person to take a picture of an alien craft entering the atmosphere!


Atheist. Your arguement seems to have two prongs:- They can't get here, and if they could, why would they ?

Not "why would they", because exploration is nothing new, but "why would they indulge in that amount of effort only to empty their ashtrays on some bloke in the middle of the Nullabor Plain?" (stolen)



The first is probably true, given the confines of speed and mass and energy equations. But there are reasons, including observed phenomena, to think that Einstien was a little hastey in declaring the speed of light as the ultimate limit. There are definitely things we know we don't know (thanks Donald) in that field, before we consider unknown unknowns.

Oh sure, anything is possible in science, which is why I stick to "very, very unlikely".

If we have a look at how much we do understand of the universe, we now know quite a bit about black holes, big bangs, quarks, dark energy, antimatter and Higgs bosons - things which would have had the theorists in a white jacket with ties at the back only a century ago.


The second is spurious, we can't know their minds, but it is irrelevent until we see a way for them to travel here.

Sure.

So, let's assume that some UFO sightings are actually aliens.

If they are, then several things must be true:

1 They have travelled an immense distance. We know for sure that there are no planets within x light years of earth. There is no possibility of beings living on asteroids, rocks, comets or stars, so it must be true.

2 They have travelled specifically to earth. I don't think this is too big a jump of logic, because the size and scope of the universe is such that it is impossible to accept that an alien species just cruises around the universe for fun and happens to run into an inhabited place every now and then. UFO sightings are all in the atmosphere, so it is certain that visits were planned. Otherwise, it's not akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, but looking for one grain of sand in the entire Sahara.

3 They arrive on earth and flit about, making no effort to contact anyone. Yet, they aren't invisible, because people see them.

We're left with aliens being Douglas Adams' teasers.



Now if logic and physics can't absolutely deny them, I reckon we are really left with those eye witnesses. Take away all the cranks, the liars, the mistaken and the duped and there is just enough left to intrigue.

No question it's intriguing - the debate's been going on since people first looked up.



Here's a question. Could an alien space craft be mistaken for a weather balloon or an International Space Station, or does it only happen the other way round?

I'm pretty sure it's the latter, because we know where terrestrial-based objects are. Going by the rash of sightings of UFOs on the exact path of the ISS over here, I'm pretty confident on that.


Just keep looking at everything and maybe one day if you're (un)lucky you'll find an SEP sitting in your backyard

Alas, I know for too much about far too many SEPs here already, and I can't blame aliens for any of 'em.

prendrelemick
01-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Sure.

So, let's assume that some UFO sightings are actually aliens.

If they are, then several things must be true:

1 They have travelled an immense distance. We know for sure that there are no planets within x light years of earth. There is no possibility of beings living on asteroids, rocks, comets or stars, so it must be true.

2 They have travelled specifically to earth. I don't think this is too big a jump of logic, because the size and scope of the universe is such that it is impossible to accept that an alien species just cruises around the universe for fun and happens to run into an inhabited place every now and then. UFO sightings are all in the atmosphere, so it is certain that visits were planned. Otherwise, it's not akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, but looking for one grain of sand in the entire Sahara.

3 They arrive on earth and flit about, making no effort to contact anyone. Yet, they aren't invisible, because people see them.



.

Number one is a given.

For two and three you are using Human values and logic, Earthling.

soundofmusic
01-19-2011, 05:43 PM
Haha! In the case of the masses, you're dead right - we didn't evolve to look up.

I mean people who spend hours every night looking at the sky. There are millions of amateur astronomers scanning the skies every night, hoping to discover something we haven't seen before (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Space/story?id=8221167&page=1).

Imagine having a comet named after you? Or even better, being the first person to take a picture of an alien craft entering the atmosphere!



Or to look down; which has caused me a fair amount of problems with cobblestone walkways and the favorite toileting areas of dogs and cats.

I think I actually like looking at the sky for the same reason I like to look at the ocean, gardens, and handsome men...

I really hope never to see an alien; I am sure (from the information I've gotten from my favorite sci-fi shows) that while they are far superior to us and have overcome light speed and gravity; they have destroyed their planets and are here to take our water and eat us:cold:

Or worse yet, they may be capitalist, missionaries or here to share their scientific discoveries, something that will, no doubt, force me to pay higher taxes or exercise :lol:

The Atheist
01-20-2011, 01:48 PM
I really hope never to see an alien; I am sure (from the information I've gotten from my favorite sci-fi shows) that while they are far superior to us and have overcome light speed and gravity; they have destroyed their planets and are here to take our water and eat us:cold:

Or worse yet, they may be capitalist, missionaries or here to share their scientific discoveries, something that will, no doubt, force me to pay higher taxes or exercise :lol:

With all the anal probing, I think they have a far different agenda!

MystyrMystyry
01-20-2011, 03:11 PM
We should all invest in one of these:

manolia
01-20-2011, 03:41 PM
With all the anal probing, I think they have a far different agenda!

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha :cryin:

Cartman gets an anal probe hahahaha
(you made me laugh in an otherwise miserable day. thanks)

The Atheist
01-20-2011, 08:21 PM
:) Always a pleasure!

I was wondering, has anyone mentioned SETI yet?

You'd think that if visible UFOs visited earth, SETI would probably notice. They've spent billions looking and all they have to show for it Jodie Foster.

prendrelemick
01-21-2011, 04:39 AM
It's sort of a generalization of functional, matrix, and similar algebras.

Say you have a set of elements S. An operator is some function that maps S back onto itself. So lets take:

A:S?S, B:S?S, s?S.

Then A(s)?S, so we can take B(A(s)), and that will also belong to S. In this case, we can define an operator C:S?S, such that C(s)=B(A(s)) for all s?S. Such definition is consistent with a non-Abelian group, and the multiplication notation is used. That is we write C=BA. Action of operator on the set element can also be written in such notation. Because of the above, B(As)=(BA)s, and the identity function also exists, providing with an identity element, IA=AI=A. The operation, however, does not commute, so in general, AB?BA.

If there is also an addition group on the set S, we can define the same group on the operators, by requesting that (A+B)s = As+Bs. That allows us to play with the operators as if they were a ring, keeping in mind that the specific way they are "added" together is inherited from the way that the elements of the set are added together. That is, for every s,t?S, there must be an element s+t?S that follow all rules of addition.

Real functions are probably the first example of this you run into. For f,g:R?R, it holds that f?g(x)=f(g(x)), and (f+g)(x)=f(x)+g(x). That is simply the way that function composition and addition are defined. Typically, however, working with operators in an abstract way becomes useful when you start talking about functionals. Most basic example is function differentiation*. Operator ?²/?x² is defined as a product (?/?x)(?/?x), which is defined through its action on a function. That is: (?²/?x²)f(x) = (?/?x) ((?/?x)f(x)). And since we do have addition operation available, we can make use of it with operators acting on functions as well. Laplacian operator in 3 dimensions, for example, is defined as ?² = (?²/?x² + ?²/?y² + ?²/?z²).

When you start operating with objects like commutators, defined as [A,B] = AB-BA, it becomes extremely inconvenient to keep track of which of the above algebras you are dealing with, and simply use the generalized notation for operators. After all, the underlying algebra is the same.

This kind of notation is extremely useful when you have to describe behavior of something that is strictly speaking a multidimensional vector (which you'd need to describe various qualities of the sequel) and the way it evolves in time. So it seems like whatever that model will end up being, operator algebra would be a good way to describe it.


* Ok, so strictly speaking Functionals need to map to a real number, so they aren't exactly operators. a functional is something like f:GxS?Rn, where G={g|g:S?Rn} and GxS denotes a Cartesian product. But lets look at differentiation as a functional. Strictly speaking, we have something like (?f(x)/?x)|x=z. That is, derivative of f(x) at specific point x=z. Let us now look at collection of all such points for all z?R. What we get now is a function mapping from R to R. So we took a real function f(x), and we get another real function, one we denote as ?f/?x. In a similar manner, any functional can be viewed as an operator acting on a set of functions.

I think this turned into a rant. I did not intend it to drag on this long. Hope it is of some use to somebody.


Er yeah, that's what I thought.

manolia
01-21-2011, 07:38 AM
:) Always a pleasure!

I was wondering, has anyone mentioned SETI yet?

You'd think that if visible UFOs visited earth, SETI would probably notice. They've spent billions looking and all they have to show for it Jodie Foster.

hehehehe or maybe they are made of dark matter so we can't actually see them :ihih:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/01/110114-galaxy-x-space-dark-matter-dwarf-satellite-science-chakrabarti/

The Atheist
01-21-2011, 01:45 PM
Er yeah, that's what I thought.

I was going ok up to the first "functional".


hehehehe or maybe they are made of dark matter so we can't actually see them :ihih:

Klingons!

prendrelemick
01-23-2011, 05:34 AM
Right, here is my, inter-stellar- flight- is- really- easy- and- really- quick, theory.

Here in this dimension, in this world, it has been demonstrated that "paired" or "entangled" particles can communicate with each other instantly. Speed of light doesn't come into it, it happens instantly. (There is a patented paired particle phone already registered.) The upshot of this, is a theory that Information, having no mass, can pass from anywhere to anywhere instantly, ie- it can be in all places at the same time.

That's all very interesting, but we are still stuck on our rock, and those aliens are still stuck on theirs.

Now along comes the latest theory that reality is in fact a holographic representation of mathematical information held in the outer reaches of the universe. Theroretical Mathamaticians are ****-a-hoop over this one, it tells them they are so brilliant, only they can discribe the universe- they claim to speak its language.

So if we are merely pieces of information, and information is not bound by physical speed limits, we could materialize anywhere in the universe.

Emil Miller
01-23-2011, 07:27 AM
Right, here is my, inter-stellar- flight- is- really- easy- and- really- quick, theory.

Here in this dimension, in this world, it has been demonstrated that "paired" or "entangled" particles can communicate with each other instantly. Speed of light doesn't come into it, it happens instantly. (There is a patented paired particle phone already registered.) The upshot of this, is a theory that Information, having no mass, can pass from anywhere to anywhere instantly, ie- it can be in all places at the same time.

That's all very interesting, but we are still stuck on our rock, and those aliens are still stuck on theirs.

Now along comes the latest theory that reality is in fact a holographic representation of mathematical information held in the outer reaches of the universe. Theroretical Mathamaticians are ****-a-hoop over this one, it tells them they are so brilliant, only they can discribe the universe- they claim to speak its language.

So if we are merely pieces of information, and information is not bound by physical speed limits, we could materialize anywhere in the universe.

This might explain Elvis Presley's appearance on the Moon.

prendrelemick
01-23-2011, 08:44 AM
He could be on the Moon and in Las Vegas at the same time! You just can't help believing.

Emil Miller
01-23-2011, 08:53 AM
He could be on the Moon and in Las Vegas at the same time! You just can't help believing.

Personally, I wouldn't take any notice of him either way, but your theory reminds me of the time when a tabloid newspaper had the headline: B29 BOMBER FOUND ON THE MOON . Later, when the editor was taxed in a television interview with the absurdity of the notion, he replied "Can you prove there isn't?"

prendrelemick
01-23-2011, 09:57 AM
Einstien, admitted he couldn't atually prove the moon existed at all, when no one was looking at it. This is not some namby-pamby philosophical cleverness, he was refering to the fact that in certain Quantum Machanic experiments, the presence of an observer effects the results.

Patrick_Bateman
01-23-2011, 10:32 AM
When places like California have a massive proportion(over 11%) of the population claiming to have seen UFO's or come into contact with aliens I sometimes think that it is possible an other wordly being has penetrated our atmosphere.
But I'm never going to be convinced until I have seen it for myself, and not on camera. Wonderful things can be done with technology these days.

Paulclem
01-23-2011, 07:58 PM
Einstien, admitted he couldn't atually prove the moon existed at all, when no one was looking at it. This is not some namby-pamby philosophical cleverness, he was refering to the fact that in certain Quantum Machanic experiments, the presence of an observer effects the results.

I take it you saw the Horizon programme on Reality Mick. Good programme. Interesting. My O'level maths didn't seem to do me much good when I was listening to it though.

Paulclem
01-23-2011, 07:58 PM
When places like California have a massive proportion(over 11%) of the population claiming to have seen UFO's or come into contact with aliens I sometimes think that it is possible an other wordly being has penetrated our atmosphere.
But I'm never going to be convinced until I have seen it for myself, and not on camera. Wonderful things can be done with technology these days.

Not just penetrated the atmosphere either if you believe some of the stories...

MystyrMystyry
01-23-2011, 08:22 PM
What about reverse time travel? Is that relevant to this discussion?

No - I think time travel has been largely disproved, apart from being frozen and thawed out at some time in the future, reverse time travel is impossible

prendrelemick
01-24-2011, 02:03 AM
I take it you saw the Horizon programme on Reality Mick. Good programme. Interesting. My O'level maths didn't seem to do me much good when I was listening to it though.


I did , I'm a sucker for all that kind of stuff.

Paulclem
01-24-2011, 02:55 AM
I did , I'm a sucker for all that kind of stuff.

Me too. I did ok in physics too - but that was also no help.

prendrelemick
01-27-2011, 03:44 AM
Here I go again.

Atheist made a good point. Why do Aliens always seem to appear to a farm boy in Idaho out on his own in the middle of nowhere. Now I've been thinking about this.

It may be that in order to materialize (or travel) at all they need an observer at this end. Quantum mechanics gets very strange about this . A paired particle will only do its stuff when being "monitored". Also, it has been known since the twenties that photons behave oddly when not observed and predictably when observed. Nobody knows why though.

So your Idaho farm boy is unknowingly part of the space ship engine. Though why they think he needs a good probing afterwards, who can say. Perhaps it's their way of saying thankyou.

billl
01-27-2011, 03:53 AM
Or the maximum insurance that they will have been observed.

manolia
01-27-2011, 05:31 AM
No - I think time travel has been largely disproved, apart from being frozen and thawed out at some time in the future, reverse time travel is impossible

Ok i too agree with you (i feel that reverse time travel must be impossible) but we can't exactly be sure since it is very difficult to disprove such a theory..and i am not even sure if it is largely not accepted among scientists (reading the various theories about parallel universes, multiverse and wormhole time travel).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

Emil Miller
01-27-2011, 10:34 AM
[QUOTE=prendrelemick;1002668]
Also, it has been known since the twenties that photons behave oddly when not observed and predictably when observed. Nobody knows why though./QUOTE]

How do we know they behave oddly if they are not being observed?

prendrelemick
01-28-2011, 03:24 AM
^ The two slit experiment:

Shine a light through two slits onto a screen. you don't get two light bands on the screen, you get several. This is right and proper and predictable because light travels in waves that interfere and collide with each other as they emerge from the slits.

Now adjust your light so that it fires one Photon at a time (that means they can't collide with each other) The result is the same - several light bands on the screen. No one knows why!

So to try and see what is happening, place photon detectors along the route the photons travel. Strangely, they then behave as predicted, two bands of light on the screen. Remove the detectors and they revert back to their many banded odd behavior.

Of course this has spawned many imaginative theories as to what is going on. My favourite is that reality splits in two as the photon approaches the slits, creating a whole new alternative universe.

Emil Miller
01-28-2011, 02:14 PM
^ The two slit experiment:

Shine a light through two slits onto a screen. you don't get two light bands on the screen, you get several. This is right and proper and predictable because light travels in waves that interfere and collide with each other as they emerge from the slits.

Now adjust your light so that it fires one Photon at a time (that means they can't collide with each other) The result is the same - several light bands on the screen. No one knows why!

So to try and see what is happening, place photon detectors along the route the photons travel. Strangely, they then behave as predicted, two bands of light on the screen. Remove the detectors and they revert back to their many banded odd behavior.

Of course this has spawned many imaginative theories as to what is going on. My favourite is that reality splits in two as the photon approaches the slits, creating a whole new alternative universe.

An interesting idea but would the alternative universe be similar to this one?

prendrelemick
01-28-2011, 02:26 PM
Very similar, the only difference being the photon went through the left slit in universe A and through the right slit in universe B.

You see there is an infinite number of universes and every time a "choice" is made by anything, from a particle to an Elephant, a new universe is created that breaks away from the universe where the alternative choice was taken.

Even stranger, there are highly educated professors who are paid lots of money to think this stuff up.

Emil Miller
01-28-2011, 02:36 PM
Even stranger, there are highly educated professors who are paid lots of money to think this stuff up.

I'm beginning to see the logic in the government's cuts in education.

The Atheist
01-30-2011, 02:59 PM
^ The two slit experiment:

Shine a light through two slits onto a screen. you don't get two light bands on the screen, you get several. This is right and proper and predictable because light travels in waves that interfere and collide with each other as they emerge from the slits.

Now adjust your light so that it fires one Photon at a time (that means they can't collide with each other) The result is the same - several light bands on the screen. No one knows why!

So to try and see what is happening, place photon detectors along the route the photons travel. Strangely, they then behave as predicted, two bands of light on the screen. Remove the detectors and they revert back to their many banded odd behavior.

Of course this has spawned many imaginative theories as to what is going on. My favourite is that reality splits in two as the photon approaches the slits, creating a whole new alternative universe.

Is this just not confusing the particle/wave duality of photons? I think you're also making a mistake that the photon experiment isn't one photon at a time, but one photon wide.

I'm nobody's physicist, but I don't think you've presented the case as it's seen by physicists.

There's a lot more here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon#Wave.E2.80.93particle_duality_and_uncertain ty_principles) and here (http://physics.about.com/od/lightoptics/f/photon.htm).

Fascinating, but not really a hole in physics.

prendrelemick
01-30-2011, 03:48 PM
Nope. it was as I said. one particle at a time, so even if they were acting like a wave they could not interfere with each other.

here is a simple and annoying explanation of the effect I was describing. (with electrons)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

The point I was making is that the presence of an observer, or an attempt at measurement, or placing a detector is significant in quantum physics, and not only in this experiment. (It decoheres the probability wave or something)

You might want to look at this too, same annoying bloke on paired particles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh8uZUzuRhk&feature=related

The Atheist
01-30-2011, 11:47 PM
You might want to look at this too, same annoying bloke on paired particles.

Do you have something other than a bloke on Youtube?

If there's some science behind his claims, it should be available elsewhere; there will be publications and peer reviews. My understanding - which I'll readily admit is lousy - is that he's wrong, but I could easily be barking up the wrong river.

billl
01-31-2011, 01:46 AM
The thing about individual electrons (or photons, it works in both cases) is mentioned in pretty much every layman's book about modern physics and its interesting implications. I must admit that my personal exposure came from (laymen's) science magazines which I can't recall the name of, science programs on TV (again, probably more than one), and best-selling popularizations. At the moment, I have Brian Greene's "Fabric of the Cosmos" somewhere, but it would take a while to dig it up to find exact page numbers, for example. Roger Penrose and others also describe it in other books for the layman.

Here's another *non-video* discussion. It's lengthy and detailed, but skipping up to the middle section called "The Double Slit Experiment Revisited" will bring you to the part about introducing an observation of the electrons in transit, and thus bringing an end to the interference pattern.
http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/quantum.html

Apparently Feynman's famous lecture on this can be found in the Third volume of his Feynman Lectures On Physics (which Google Books only excerpts). Feynman's idea that the particles are passing through infinite paths is called Sum Over Histories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sum_over_histories#Feynman.27s_interpretation). What it would actually *mean* regarding multiple universes is open to some debate--but I think the basic idea is that the wave travels *each possible path*, and all of the paths cancel each other out except for the one that we finally observe. That's how the math is meant to work, anyhow.


Stephen Hawking describes Feynman's idea (http://books.google.com/books?id=0CO2iwfzRJkC&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=With+each+trajectory+Feynman+associated+two+num bers,+one+for+the+size+–+the+amplitude+–+of+a+wave +and+one+for+its+phase+–+whether+it+is+a+crest+or+ a+through.+The+probability+of+a+particle+going+fro m+A+to+B+is+found+by+adding+the+up+the+waves+assoc iated+with+every+possible+path+that+passes+through +A+and+B.&source=bl&ots=L8Oz75ZKs7&sig=5kAqo7xLgRrJXpz9eVg7ePZVjEc&hl=en&ei=D0ZGTc6RJpO_gQeCsNXgAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=With%20each%20trajectory%20Feynman%20associated% 20two%20numbers%2C%20one%20for%20the%20size%20–%20 the%20amplitude%20–%20of%20a%20wave%20and%20one%20 for%20its%20phase%20–%20whether%20it%20is%20a%20cr est%20or%20a%20through.%20The%20probability%20of%2 0a%20particle%20going%20from%20A%20to%20B%20is%20f ound%20by%20adding%20the%20up%20the%20waves%20asso ciated%20with%20every%20possible%20path%20that%20p asses%20through%20A%20and%20B.&f=false) about this like so:

Feynman suggested that particles travel from one location to another along every possible path through spacetime. With each trajectory Feynman associated two numbers, one for the size – the amplitude – of a wave and one for its phase – whether it is a crest or a through. The probability of a particle going from A to B is found by adding the up the waves associated with every possible path that passes through A and B.



At about 8:40 on this youtube clip (yes, another youtube guy...), you can hear a Fermilab physicist come to the end of a lecture on this famous experiment (and how sending individual electrons produces the same interference pattern that we would get if the electrons were sent in larger numbers, etc.). He goes on to explain the effects of observing which slit the individually-sent electrons happen to actually pass through: in that case, the interference pattern does not appear, you just get two dots, one for each slit as Newtonian physics would predict (a resulting physics similar to what one gets with only one slit).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXvAla2y9wc&feature=player_embedded#


Here (http://books.google.com/books?id=RoO9jkV-yzIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=stephen+hawking+the+grand+design&hl=en&ei=uGhGTbK4NITqgQezn8GSAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false) is Stephen Hawking going over the same ground in his book The Grand Design. (see page 81)

prendrelemick
01-31-2011, 03:32 AM
Do you have something other than a bloke on Youtube?

If there's some science behind his claims, it should be available elsewhere; there will be publications and peer reviews. My understanding - which I'll readily admit is lousy - is that he's wrong, but I could easily be barking up the wrong river.


There are loads of sites on the interweb about this (see Bill's post above.) This is not some fringe loony Physics, this is fundemental Mainstream stuff. For 90 years scientists have been refining and redoing the experiment, they are still getting the same result, and are still unable to "see" what is happening, though theories abound.

I linked to Dr Quantum because he ignores the Maths (which is all Greek to me) and was a quick and easy explanation. He is the creation of Fred Alan Wolf (you can wiki him)a Theoretical Physicist, who is probably cleverer than me.

My main sources are, as with Billl, magazine articles and popular TV documentries.

The Atheist
01-31-2011, 04:42 PM
Here's another *non-video* discussion.

Thanks!

Here is the nub of it all:


When you fire your photon emitter, what actually comes out is a Y wave (ie a wavefunction). It is not random: it travels according to the perfectly predictable laws of wave propagation, moving out in all directions and interfering with itself and all that good stuff. According to the Copenhagen interpretation, the Y wave represents the probability of the photon being at any particular place. So at this stage, the question "Where is the photon?" does not have an answer—there is only a wave of probabilities traveling outward. ....

But when we put measuring devices in the slits, we collapse the wavefunction much earlier. We force the photon to choose which slit to go through: one probability becomes "definitely yes" and the other becomes "definitely no" in that instant. Thereafter, there is only one beam, and hence no interference and no interference pattern.

Which is the problem with wave/particle duality - you can't measure the wavelength of a particle and you can't measure the height or length of a wave with a particle locator.


There are loads of sites on the interweb about this (see Bill's post above.) This is not some fringe loony Physics, this is fundemental Mainstream stuff. For 90 years scientists have been refining and redoing the experiment, they are still getting the same result, and are still unable to "see" what is happening, though theories abound.

Yep - I should have checked a bit more deeply, but I'm on the right wavelength now!

I think the problem was my reading of your description of what's actually happening.

If you follow the Copenhagen interpretation above, the proton isn't being observed, but located, and to be located, it actually has to be somewhere.

Just think - thanks to CERN, our grandchildren will be learning this stuff at school in a couple of decades' time.

prendrelemick
01-31-2011, 06:26 PM
Yes Billl, a very interesting and informative paper. I should've looked harder before linking Dr Quantum. I should just say that Niels Bohr's probability wave, is not the only explanation, there are some weird and wonderful theories out there, like the multi-universe explanation and the idea of conciousness interacting with the physical

Are we ready to do paired particles yet?

Paulclem
01-31-2011, 07:49 PM
When I was a kid I imagined that death was not a reality, but that you inhabited different aspects of yourselves in different universes as and when your body in one universe was killed. It must have been the eternalist in me after reading about the theory somewhere ...

The Atheist
02-01-2011, 01:38 AM
Yes Billl, a very interesting and informative paper. I should've looked harder before linking Dr Quantum. I should just say that Niels Bohr's probability wave, is not the only explanation, there are some weird and wonderful theories out there, like the multi-universe explanation and the idea of conciousness interacting with the physical

Are we ready to do paired particles yet?

Never mind them, I think we're venturing into infinite improbablity drive!

You're right on theories, and it's difficult to tell the difference between the crazy and the sane, because some of the facts seem more bizarre than the oddest theory. The paired particles are a case in point - it shouldn't happen, but it obviously does, so there might be a dark energy or ............. [/insert theory] cause.

billl
02-01-2011, 02:05 AM
I think the paired particles (as well as discussion of the various "interpretations" that there are for these various weird results) is a bit more difficult than this double-slit business. Maybe another thread, if someone wants to really give it a shot...?

The improbability drive would actually be more relevant to this thread (and I don't mean to be as snarky as I might seem).

prendrelemick
02-01-2011, 02:28 AM
Yes we have strayed from UFOs. But as a confirmed skeptic I'm always dissappointed with the believers arguements, they never seem to marshal current Physics theory to their side, relying on "my mates aunty saw a flying saucer once".

billl
02-01-2011, 02:58 AM
I once heard someone explain that, at this point, the most convincing thing that aliens could do would be to parade some enormous hub-cap-looking metal structure slowly overhead as if to say, "Yes, we can even show up in a form you would never believe, that's how powerful and superior we are. Now try to tell your friends, you little being."

The Atheist
02-01-2011, 01:40 PM
Yes we have strayed from UFOs. But as a confirmed skeptic I'm always dissappointed with the believers arguements, they never seem to marshal current Physics theory to their side, relying on "my mates aunty saw a flying saucer once".

I don't think many of them made the sixth form. ;)

David Icke's mob is a good example. They go a little further than just seeing flying saucers.

(For goodness' sake do NOT try to find out by reading his site - you'll burn your retinas.)

Emil Miller
02-01-2011, 02:56 PM
Yes we have strayed from UFOs. But as a confirmed skeptic I'm always dissappointed with the believers arguements, they never seem to marshal current Physics theory to their side, relying on "my mates aunty saw a flying saucer once".

My mate's auntie saw a flying saucer twice.

prendrelemick
02-01-2011, 03:55 PM
Did she see one twice, or two once?

Emil Miller
02-02-2011, 08:39 AM
Did she see one twice, or two once?

I don't remember but she did wear one of these.


http://www.zazzle.co.uk/einstein_ufo_hat-148716368051679325

prendrelemick
02-03-2011, 12:59 PM
You see that's the problem. Tell your Auntie that E=MC squared greatly limits the chance of interstellar travel. It will have to be done on the back some other more outlandish equation.

Lokasenna
02-03-2011, 02:14 PM
You see that's the problem. Tell your Auntie that E=MC squared greatly limits the chance of interstellar travel. It will have to be done on the back some other more outlandish equation.

There was a thing on the TV a wee while back where some scientist said, as a remark in passing, that actually it isn't necessary to travel faster than light to achieve rapid interstellar travel. His words were something like "as you approach light-speed, the concept of distance becomes unstable and therefore distance actually shrinks once you start moving that fast."

The comment was, as I say, a throwaway one, and only tangential to the matter of the programme, but the offhand nature of the comment would make me assume that it was accepted fact amongst the scientific community. I don't pretend to understand it myself, and I wish the boffin had gone into greater detail, but there you have it!

prendrelemick
02-03-2011, 02:24 PM
Ahh, in-ter-esting. Another route for those pesky Aliens.

It's well known that time slows as you speed up, but I haven't heard of distance shrinking.l

But thinking about it. What is a light year, if time is not a constant?




EDIT: Its just been on the News. They've been visiting Jerusalem .


http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/03/ufo-jerusalems-dome-rock-baffles-experts/.

YesNo
02-03-2011, 05:43 PM
Ahh, in-ter-esting. Another route for those pesky Aliens.

It's well known that time slows as you speed up, but I haven't heard of distance shrinking.l

But thinking about it. What is a light year, if time is not a constant?

Suppose you were riding on a light beam, would it take you any time at all to get anywhere? The people at home might think you've been gone forever, but would you? It seems that that extreme case would be all distance and no time.



EDIT: Its just been on the News. They've been visiting Jerusalem .


http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/03/ufo-jerusalems-dome-rock-baffles-experts/.

Spooky. :alien:

Emil Miller
02-03-2011, 05:59 PM
I doubt that it was a secret Israeli drone, because the last thing they would do would be to let it settle over a major shrine for all to see. One thing I did notice was that there appears to be the sound of thunder right at the start of the video so perhaps the light was ball lightning attracted by the spire of the temple.

The Atheist
02-03-2011, 11:55 PM
There was a thing on the TV a wee while back where some scientist said, as a remark in passing, that actually it isn't necessary to travel faster than light to achieve rapid interstellar travel. His words were something like "as you approach light-speed, the concept of distance becomes unstable and therefore distance actually shrinks once you start moving that fast."

Yes, all sorts of things apparently happen as you approach the speed of light, but "approaching" means over 200,000 km per second. At the moment, even using sun-gravity escape velocity would only be in the 20 km/sec range. Hitting a piece of dust at 200,000 km/s would be fatal to any kind of craft, so the distance would be a bit secondary.

:D


http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/03/ufo-jerusalems-dome-rock-baffles-experts/.

:smilielol5:

Fancy that being on Fox.

prendrelemick
02-04-2011, 03:05 AM
Hitting a piece of dust at 200,000 km/s would be fatal to any kind of craft, so the distance would be a bit secondary.





Aye, there'd be a splatter of Higgs-Bosons.:p


The Jeruselem thing was either;

A hoax.
Ball lightning.
Something man made.
Something alien (from Mississippi.)

billl
02-04-2011, 03:44 AM
I like how the ITN announcer closed out their segment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xb9JoGyy98&feature=topvideos) on the Dome Of The Rock UFO sighting:


"We are not alone! OR ARE WE...??"

MystyrMystyry
02-04-2011, 04:22 AM
Some things are not meant to be 'understood', especially in the case of phase shifting

It is an extremely dangerous pursuit and will bring about itchy palms, Asberger's Syndrome and Night Terrors

I know of at least one person who found his head was able to rotate 360 degrees on its axis

Fortunately all methods so far described are not true phasing in the sense you desire

But if you must 'understand' it make sure you're armed

Things you will need:

A a piece of paper (A4 will do)

B a sharpened HB pencil

C a pencil sharpener (to keep that baby sharp!)

D a box of artist quality Faber-Castille rubber erasers


First, take the paper by two corners and raise it to your lips. Blow over the top

Notice that this causes the sheet to lift in a similar fashion to a Boeing 747 wing at takeoff

While still blowing take the pencil and draw a complete sine phase (one peak one trough) on the underside of the paper

Now while still blowing do the same but opposite (one trough one peak) on the top side of sheet

While still blowing take the first rubber eraser and balance it on the tip of your nose

While still blowing take the sharpener and balance it on the end of the eraser

Still blowing firmly grasp the pencil with your left foot and raise it to the ceiling

While still blowing secure purchase of the box of erasers with you right foot To balance it on the end of the pencil

While still blowing declare 'I am enlightened!'

While still blowing you should now resemble a Danish pretzel

prendrelemick
02-04-2011, 05:16 AM
When can I breathe in!

YesNo
02-04-2011, 10:14 AM
I like how the ITN announcer closed out their segment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xb9JoGyy98&feature=topvideos) on the Dome Of The Rock UFO sighting:

"We are not alone! OR ARE WE...??"

I also like what the woman from Mississippi had to say:


"We've seen 'um in Miss'ssippi like this, but never like this."

Baudolina
03-07-2011, 02:30 PM
There was a thing on the TV a wee while back where some scientist said, as a remark in passing, that actually it isn't necessary to travel faster than light to achieve rapid interstellar travel. His words were something like "as you approach light-speed, the concept of distance becomes unstable and therefore distance actually shrinks once you start moving that fast."

The comment was, as I say, a throwaway one, and only tangential to the matter of the programme, but the offhand nature of the comment would make me assume that it was accepted fact amongst the scientific community. I don't pretend to understand it myself, and I wish the boffin had gone into greater detail, but there you have it!

This is the Lorentz contraction. Suppose you have a particle that is traveling extremely close to the speed of light. Because of time dilation, it may take the particle 10 seconds from its point of view to cross a distance of 30,000 light-years. Of course, from our POV it took a little longer than 30,000 years. But from the particle's point of view, time is flowing normally for it, it hasn't slowed down, and the reason it completed the trip in 10 seconds is because from its POV, that distance wasn't 30,000 light-years but something way shorter--something it could traverse in 10 seconds. So in a nutshell, from our POV time is flowing really slowly for the particle, but from its POV, space is getting "squished."

prendrelemick
03-11-2011, 12:29 PM
Wheras all that is true, were you to pace out the distance travelled, in a traditional earth dweller way, The distance would be the same, only the time taken would be in dispute. (I think) Is it legitimate to measure distance by the time it takes to cover it? It raises an interesting quandry about the relationship of time distance and speed.

The Atheist
03-14-2011, 02:17 PM
Just to get back to UFOs, this one was hanging around outside the other day:

http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s97/TheAtheist/ufo1.jpg

Scheherazade
03-14-2011, 02:22 PM
Well, if that is not an UFO, I don't know what is...

prendrelemick
03-14-2011, 03:05 PM
I hope you avoided the probing.

MystyrMystyry
03-14-2011, 06:59 PM
You were lucky to get such a clear photo - the red ones usually go faster

Emil Miller
03-14-2011, 07:06 PM
[QUOTE=The Atheist;1016349]Just to get back to UFOs, this one was hanging around outside the other day :lol:

The Atheist
03-15-2011, 03:48 AM
I hope you avoided the probing.

Yes, all clear there! I ran back inside quickly.

Three Sparrows
03-17-2011, 03:06 PM
That picture looks like the red streak I saw outside yesterday. I took a picture of it but it isn't very clear. Hmm...Oh well. I guess I will just have to remain happily ignorant of what that funny light was.

prendrelemick
03-21-2011, 04:33 AM
Here's a NASA fact...subject to my memory being up to it.

I would take 100 years worth of the Worlds current energy output to get a 5 tonne spacecraft to the nearest star within 50 years. That's by using the best theoretical propulsion systems. .

and then it probably wouldn't survive the trip.

Emil Miller
03-21-2011, 10:13 AM
Here's a NASA fact...subject to my memory being up to it.

I would take 100 years worth of the Worlds current energy output to get a 5 tonne spacecraft to the nearest star within 50 years. That's by using the best theoretical propulsion systems. .

and then it probably wouldn't survive the trip.

This would of course be using materials and energy sources known to inhabitants of the Earth.

The Atheist
03-22-2011, 12:52 PM
Here's a NASA fact...subject to my memory being up to it.

I would take 100 years worth of the Worlds current energy output to get a 5 tonne spacecraft to the nearest star within 50 years. That's by using the best theoretical propulsion systems. .

and then it probably wouldn't survive the trip.

I suspect whoever wrote that was fooling with you.

Proxima Centauri is roughly 5 light years, or 47 trillion km distant.

To reach there in 50 years would need a speed of 10% of the speed of light.

Light travels at about a billion km an hour, so we would need to be travelling at 100,000,000 km/h.

Given that current technology only allows us to travel at ~50,000 km/h, we haven't got a clue as to what kind of propulsion might be needed to attain that kind of speed. You can't make rockets go faster by building them bigger, so it's impossible to put an energy value on the question. Whether humans could withstand being propelled 20,000 times faster than ever before is moot.

Even the escape velocity of the sun (sorry to pour cold water on Mr Spock) is a measly 2,000,000 km/h, still only 2% of the speed needed to get to Proxima Centauri in time for the half-century party.

MarkBastable
03-22-2011, 08:39 PM
David Icke's mob is a good example. They go a little further than just seeing flying saucers.

(For goodness' sake do NOT try to find out by reading his site - you'll burn your retinas.)

No, no - do! Also read his books. They are absolutely, untouchably fantastic. And I use the adjective in every available sense it carries. As an example of what Vonnegut characterises as slipped-gear thinking, they're unparallelled. Do not for an instant baulk at the thought that, by buying the books, you are funding a dangerous nutter. Nutters of Icke's calibre should be given as much money as they need to keep going. This stuff is so intricately, so unfalsifiably, so comprehensively insane that it beggars the creative imagination.

Honestly - the whole endeavour reaffirms my faith in the impossibility of any human being ever entirely understanding what it must be like to be someone else.

The Atheist
03-23-2011, 04:39 PM
Do not for an instant baulk at the thought that, by buying the books, you are funding a dangerous nutter. Nutters of Icke's calibre should be given as much money as they need to keep going. This stuff is so intricately, so unfalsifiably, so comprehensively insane that it beggars the creative imagination.

Oh, I agree he's completely harmless, but he has no need of our money.

He's about to undertake a speaking tour of NZ, for which tickets are $99, which just happens to be $10 more than premium seats for Walking with Dinosaurs, a show which costs about $2 million to stage.

Tickets for Icke are selling fast apparently.

I wonder if they have a tinfoil-hat stand?

Lokasenna
03-23-2011, 06:02 PM
I wonder if they have a tinfoil-hat stand?

You could make one - take some of the money back!

I had only vaguely heard of David Icke until this thread encouraged me to go and look him up.

The man is a certifiable cretin, but you can't fault him for comedy value.

Baudolina
03-27-2011, 05:54 PM
Wheras all that is true, were you to pace out the distance travelled, in a traditional earth dweller way, The distance would be the same, only the time taken would be in dispute. (I think) Is it legitimate to measure distance by the time it takes to cover it? It raises an interesting quandry about the relationship of time distance and speed.

No, from the point of view of the particle, the distance is way shorter and the time required for the trip is way shorter too. What is preserved, what people "traveling with the particle" (lol) and people on the earth agree on, is the speed of the particle. We think its speed is (huge distance divided by huge time) and it thinks its speed is (short distance divided by short time), but it works out to the same number.

The interesting thing about all this is that, with sufficient energy, you can complete a trip of any distance--no matter how huge--in some set amount of time, say one hour, from your point of view. So a person or alien can live through a trip of any length at all. 100 bazillion light-years? No problem for the people on the ship. The trouble is with the people on the home planet. Once the ship turns around and comes back home, it turns out that some obnoxious amount of time has passed, like one million years, etc. and not the few hours it seemed to those on the ship. This is why I don't see how Star Trek scenarios will ever be workable.

billl
03-27-2011, 06:09 PM
Some physicists have had fun debating the possibility of one theoretical type of engine that seems to resemble the Star Trek Warp Drive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

There are some problems (and some guys trying to address them!), but the objections end up really piling up, it looks like. My favorite criticism mentioned in the Wikipedia article is the fact that the ship wouldn't be able to communicate with (influence) the area in front of the warp bubble, and it would therefore be impossible to control, steer, or stop the ship. But, basically, the main objections are about the energy required, and the problem of actually starting the thing (the warp wave, the bubble riding it).

The Atheist
03-27-2011, 06:18 PM
Not sure where this original post is, but this is a good question:


Is it legitimate to measure distance by the time it takes to cover it?

That's just the way the numbers are expressed. The distance is actually expressable in km, but when the number is something like 4.5 trillion km, it's easier and more understandable that we use "5 light years".

Whether or not the speed of light is constant wouldn't affect the actual distance, which is every bit as measurable as the distance to the moon, or to the corner shop.

Propter W.
03-30-2011, 07:19 AM
I believe in UFOs. They maybe unidentifiable to me, but to others they might be very well known. Perhaps they're simply unclassified. I don't automatically link the term UFO with extraterrestial life.

I do believe in alien life forms, however. Whether they are intelligent enough to know or even suspect we exist and have the means to visit us is a different question. It's not impossible, though. After all, we are able to travel to the moon, send unmanned 'spacecrafts' into space, etc. and we're a rather primitive species, to be honest.

prendrelemick
03-30-2011, 02:05 PM
I suspect whoever wrote that was fooling with you.

Proxima Centauri is roughly 5 light years, or 47 trillion km distant.

To reach there in 50 years would need a speed of 10% of the speed of light.

Light travels at about a billion km an hour, so we would need to be travelling at 100,000,000 km/h.

Given that current technology only allows us to travel at ~50,000 km/h, we haven't got a clue as to what kind of propulsion might be needed to attain that kind of speed. You can't make rockets go faster by building them bigger, so it's impossible to put an energy value on the question. Whether humans could withstand being propelled 20,000 times faster than ever before is moot.

Even the escape velocity of the sun (sorry to pour cold water on Mr Spock) is a measly 2,000,000 km/h, still only 2% of the speed needed to get to Proxima Centauri in time for the half-century party.

It was indeed based on 10% of the speed of light, and didn't include deceleration. I think it was a thoroughly theoretical excercise.

prendrelemick
03-30-2011, 02:12 PM
No, from the point of view of the particle, the distance is way shorter and the time required for the trip is way shorter too. What is preserved, what people "traveling with the particle" (lol) and people on the earth agree on, is the speed of the particle. We think its speed is (huge distance divided by huge time) and it thinks its speed is (short distance divided by short time), but it works out to the same number.

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I can't quite get my head round this. :nonod: