Atom Wave: October 2008

Atom Wave

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Step Into The Alien World

Don’t forget the unseen, as more will always be revealed. Tell me where you want to go.
In alien folklore, it is said by believers that extraterrestrials are among us. They live here in secret, pulling the strings of the world government since the beginning of time.

While I sit here on my lazy ass and lament about all the unknown potentials, not much is known about our very own Earth. The deep oceans might as well be on another planet, and human instruments have never directly observed anything below a few miles of the crust. Jump beyond the Earth and our lousy satellites have only mapped five planets in the solar system in any sort of detail.
Forget about it, space is the final frontier; All 78 billion light years of it, and all of its 9 billion trillion stars. Remember the Drake Equation?


:''N'' is the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible;


:''R''* is the average rate of star formation in Milky Way galaxy
:''f''''p'' is the fraction of those stars that have planets
:''n''''e'' is the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
:''f'' is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
:''f''''i'' is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
:''f''''c'' is the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
:''L'' is the length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

Using educated guesses, astronomers can formulate reasonable answers for the number of civilizations in this galaxy. Inevitably, many of these values come down to conjecture. We just simply don’t know. Personally I consider this equation to be dependent on the Anthropic Principle, and therefore meaningless. All life as we know it is carbon based, but no physical law requires it to be.

Before I redirect my flow, any advanced civilization ought to have some form of stealth technology. Humans have been around for only a few hundred thousand years, and all that we have accomplished is radar stealth technology. It isn’t unreasonable to assume that more advanced civilizations could wonder our skies in secret and we wouldn’t even know it. Just visit your local zoo tomorrow and you might understand.

Before I go, we all know that spaceflight is expensive. One of the arguments against aliens is that a shear amount of energy is needed just to send a modest mass beyond our solar system, in a decade or two. Unfortunately, it is more complicated than that. At best, humans are a type .7 civilization. Our rockets are powered by fossil fuels. An advanced civilization would have much more energy at its disposal, perhaps even the energy of the observable universe.

In the end, this is all open conjecture. All the evidence for UFO’s is observational and absent any direct evidence. It can’t be proven, but it can't be disproven either. One thing that I do know is that not only is the universe stranger than we suppose, it is stranger than we can suppose. I want to believe.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The End of The World

You shouldn’t be here. You’re in trouble! The American economy is now in recession, and the global economy can’t be far behind. Like with all catastrophes, there will be political consequences for the United States and abroad. Already in America, the Republican Party that has long been in power and is at least in part the arsonist of this fire with its deregulation doctrine, is suffering a severe backlash. If you’re lucky, that will be the least of your worries. If you’re unlucky, then it is the end of the world.
It is said that those who forget history, aren’t historians. The last global recession of the 1930’s, destabilized entire governments and set the stage for World War 2. Desperation has a way of doing that to people. Today a conflict on this scale would be settled much more quickly, and at the service end of a bomb.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

People Pissing Me Off

Society never ceases to amaze me in its ability to piss me off. Take the election! Wherever you are, you can be sure that there is always some asshole out there trying to force their morals down your throat. Take education. These days there is always some schmuck trying to crap your kid; may it be prayer in schools, sex education, or creationism. Now I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sensitive topics like this, I don’t want it to be between anyone but me and Johnny, and this is only the beginning. Take television. Should the moral police have their way, some of the shows you love might be censored or cancelled completely. You’re an adult, you ought to be able to see a bare breast or swear word on occasion without political backlash.
Now I know that there are some of you that champion these issues, but grow up. You will never convince the people on the other side, and I don’t think that they will ever convince you. Just leave me alone, I don’t want any more of your crap.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Great American Ransom

By the way, you are now the proud owner of private debt. With the passing of the new Economic Stabilization Act, Congress and the White House have now unveiled an all-new economic theory, the no-risk game. The days are now gone when wealthy venture capitalist had to worry about their fortunes should the market collapse. The recent economic crisis showed that all they need do is take the country hostage until the $800 billion dollar ransom is paid. Screw you Bin Laden; America has beaten you again! I always figured that someday we would catch Al Qaeda’s masters for their day of reckoning, but right now I’d be content with these investment bankers finding new accommodations in Guantanamo Bay prison. This will be remembered as the largest bank heist in history, and the largest acquisition ever of junk. Do you think that they would want taxpayers to buy it if the private sector considered it to be worth something?
Congress can still do the right thing and charge these people higher capital gains taxes to cover this clusterfuck, but don’t hold your breath. They will do what they always do at the end of the party, leave the rest of us with the check.