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(MIT Technology Review)   Scientists say either the universe will end a lot sooner than expected, without warning, or Rule 34 will be invoked for every imaginable possibility and then some   (technologyreview.com) divider line 73
    More: Interesting, string theory, cosmology, best evidence rules, event horizon, dark energy, Gliese, higher dimensions, infinity  
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4555 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Oct 2010 at 11:50 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-03 07:17:01 AM
Now I have a whole new phobia: Being caught like a fly in amber if time stops.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-10-03 07:37:13 AM
When there are an infinite number of instances of every possible observation, it becomes impossible to determine the probabilities of any of these events occurring. And when that happens, the laws of physics simply don't apply. They just break down. "This is known as the "measure problem" of eternal inflation," say Bousso and buddies.

Field theory swept its infinities under the carpet via renormalization. Let's give new physics a chance to tidy up before we start planning funerals nobody will attend.
 
2010-10-03 07:46:15 AM
An eternal universe, in which every possible thing happens an infinite number of times, sounds pretty okay to me. Maybe the distribution of things happening can be anisotropic, so all the good invocations of rule 34 happen near me, and the bad ones happen far away.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-10-03 07:49:53 AM
dbirchall

If you accept the implications of their theory, there can't be any more and less fun parts of an infinite universe. The probability of something fun comes out as infinity divided by infinity which is the same everywhere.

As I said, I don't accept the implications of their theory and intend to live in a fun part of an eternal universe.
 
2010-10-03 08:40:35 AM
Just reading it made my head hurt, but anyway.

Wasn't it Douglas Adams who pointed out that an infinite space with a finite population by definition has a population density of zero?
 
2010-10-03 08:58:07 AM
ZAZ: Field theory swept its infinities under the carpet via renormalization. Let's give new physics a chance to tidy up before we start planning funerals nobody will attend.

I'll miss you Zaz.
 
2010-10-03 10:37:39 AM
Or maybe... just maybe (hang on tough concept here)

We humans don't know everything. 50% means his theory is just as bad as everyone else's


Did you ever notice that the criteria for determining if a species is intelligent, was created by humans and amazingly enough, only humans qualify as intelligent?

Maybe the only thing that truly separates us from the animals is our arrogance
 
2010-10-03 10:50:08 AM
Time does not exist outside the mind.

/sorry cannot help myself.
 
Xai
2010-10-03 11:56:15 AM
I really should get around to writing that paper to explain all of this, but the long and short is that these folks are talking out of their collective asses as they are saying that because the proposed results of one mechanic are incalculable then it must end abruptly rather than having another mechanic intervene.

This is a bit like looking at a box full of air, compressing it and seeing the volume drop by almost exactly half and saying "at this rate matter would be compressed into negative space we are all going to die" rather than consider that other forced come into play under more extreme conditions.
 
2010-10-03 11:58:45 AM
Universe ending in less than 4 billion years. I call BS!

Next you'll be saying Dr. Who is actually filmed on a sound stage in england.
 
2010-10-03 12:01:56 PM
Call me crazy, and I certainly don't possess an intellect to match the people making these kind of predictions, but when your theory doesn't work, doesn't that mean it's time to re-work your theory, instead of saying the universe will be the one that needs re-working?
 
2010-10-03 12:13:07 PM
After existing for about 4000 years, the universe making it to the 3.7Bln year mark won't be all that bad.
 
2010-10-03 12:17:14 PM
So this means it is possible the Cubs win the world series?
 
2010-10-03 12:18:57 PM
Or there is this, from the same site:

Link (space-time equivalence)

No end, no beginning. Time and space are relative...which makes a heck of a lot more sense than the gibberish in the submitted article.
 
2010-10-03 12:20:25 PM
Majick Thise [TotalFark] Quote 2010-10-03 10:37:39 AM
Or maybe... just maybe (hang on tough concept here)

We humans don't know everything. 50% means his theory is just as bad as everyone else's


Did you ever notice that the criteria for determining if a species is intelligent, was created by humans and amazingly enough, only humans qualify as intelligent?

Maybe the only thing that truly separates us from the animals is our arrogance


100%. You get a smiley sticker for getting the correct answer.
 
2010-10-03 12:22:35 PM
"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted."

Junk Science sounds junk. Not that these people aren't incredibly intelligent and have very interesting and complex theories and mathematical evidence that leads them to imagine these scenarios....

this is much more philosophy than physics.

/rubber band guy myself.
//all of this has happened before and will happen again, and again, and again, and again, and again
///and again
 
2010-10-03 12:24:21 PM
TsukasaK: Call me crazy, and I certainly don't possess an intellect to match the people making these kind of predictions, but when your theory doesn't work, doesn't that mean it's time to re-work your theory, instead of saying the universe will be the one that needs re-working?

You may very well be wrong. These guys aren't necessarily that smart, they just spent a long time studying very abstract things and are good at certain kinds of math and rhetoric.

I can't count the number of times I've witnessed a very highly regarded scientist saying something that is just obviously wrong. I think the complete side-stepping of classical education and logic in favor of hyper-specializing is part of the problem.
 
2010-10-03 12:26:36 PM
"Their argument is deceptively simple and surprisingly powerful. Here's how it goes. If the universe lasts forever, then any event that can happen, will happen, no matter how unlikely. In fact, this event will happen an infinite number of times."

This argument is total crap. They seem to assume that infinite time = infinite opportunity for things to happen. Unless they have some way of removing entropy by fiat, this assumption is simply wrong. Sure the constituent matter of the universe may expand infinitely, but the stars and energy have only a finite time remaining.

Once the stars burn out, it's hard to say that the infinite time thereafter will lead to an infinite number of things happening.
 
2010-10-03 12:26:55 PM
I wouldn't worry about this. A good physicist will say what they know about the universe is absolutely tiny compared to what they don't know. The theories this idea is based upon will be rejected within a few years and a new one will come out that says something entirely different. It's just the way the game works.

As has already been said, some of these "theories" are really more philosophies than hard science.
 
2010-10-03 12:29:05 PM
machoprogrammer: So this means it is possible the Cubs win the world series?

in 5 years over miami.
 
2010-10-03 12:31:37 PM
Their argument is deceptively simple and surprisingly powerful. Here's how it goes. If the universe lasts forever, then any event that can happen, will happen, no matter how unlikely. In fact, this event will happen an infinite number of times.

This leads to a problem. When there are an infinite number of instances of every possible observation, it becomes impossible to determine the probabilities of any of these events occurring.


No the f*ck it doesn't, who taught you statistics? In a given period of time a given number of incidences will have occurred. You're just being morons because statistics, like most sciences, don't work with "infinity" as a number. This all sounds like crap, just because time is infinite doesn't mean that at any given time an exact number for the amount of time passed won't exist. Lern 2 math.
 
2010-10-03 12:32:56 PM
DrMcNinja: machoprogrammer: So this means it is possible the Cubs win the world series?

in 5 years over miami.


In the future, which team moves to the AL?

/yes, I know it's a reference
 
2010-10-03 12:34:06 PM
'An infinite number of possibilities happening over and over again'?

Why aren't I a rich, best selling author, rock musician, astronomist, p0rn star yet?

Comeoncomeoncomeon! Time is gettin' short!
 
2010-10-03 12:36:38 PM
tdpatriots12: DrMcNinja: machoprogrammer: So this means it is possible the Cubs win the world series?

in 5 years over miami.

In the future, which team moves to the AL?

/yes, I know it's a reference


Well, since it's the Miami Gators(?), probably Florida. Or perhaps a new team?
 
2010-10-03 12:37:08 PM
quizybuck: "Their argument is deceptively simple and surprisingly powerful. Here's how it goes. If the universe lasts forever, then any event that can happen, will happen, no matter how unlikely. In fact, this event will happen an infinite number of times."

This argument is total crap. They seem to assume that infinite time = infinite opportunity for things to happen. Unless they have some way of removing entropy by fiat, this assumption is simply wrong. Sure the constituent matter of the universe may expand infinitely, but the stars and energy have only a finite time remaining.

Once the stars burn out, it's hard to say that the infinite time thereafter will lead to an infinite number of things happening.


Unless we somehow learn to create energy (that is CREATE, not repurpose energy we receive elsewhere) with technology later down the line. It really makes me wonder what the far future holds once we get off this rock.
 
2010-10-03 12:37:24 PM
Hope the cyclons come next time = \
 
2010-10-03 12:38:50 PM
the universe lasts forever, then any event that can happen, will happen, no matter how unlikely.

I don't think probability works that way. I mean it's *possible* to roll a complete random six sided die, an infinite amount of times and never roll a six. Unlikely, but conceivable.
 
2010-10-03 12:42:23 PM
sluck604: Unlikely, but conceivable.

Not really. Kind of like .99999999~ = 1, once probability gets past a certain point, anything is certain.

Take a coin and flip it. For any given coin flip, the odds are 1/2 of landing tails.

Now, for two coin flips, the odds of getting two tails, in a row, are one in four.

Go out exponentially from there. Eventually the odds become so astronomical as to become de facto impossible.
 
2010-10-03 12:57:29 PM
dbirchall: An eternal universe, in which every possible thing happens an infinite number of times, sounds pretty okay to me

This is a popular misconception, even among cosmologists who should know better. Apparently, physicists weren't paying attention when Cantor explained that infinities come in different sizes, or that infinite sets can have subsets that are themselves infinite, or they wouldn't keep repeating this nonsense.

Even granting the totally unsupported assumption that there are infinitely many universes, we have no idea how big an infinity or whether all the possible universes are realized. There are many ways in which it's possible that not only is each universe realized only once, but infinitely many possible universes are never realized at all.

In the simplest possible counterexample, only a finite set of different universes are realized, each infinitely many times, leaving many things that could happen but never do; or even better, some finite subset happens only finitely often or even just once, while the rest of the universe is filled with repeats.

There's also lots of ways that infinitely many universes could all be unique. For example, if the physical constants are different in each universe and can vary continuously, there will be an uncountable infinity of possible universes. It's not unreasonable to imagine that only a countable infinity is ever realized, each one only once, and like the rational numbers among the reals, an uncountable infinity of possible realities does not occur even once.

Or there may be only a countable infinity of possible universes, but only some special yet still infinite subset is realized, each only once, like the prime numbers among the integers.

Or there may be an uncountable infinity of possible universes of which an uncountably infinite subset is realized, like the transcendental numbers among the reals: given how little we know about the proposed mechanism for budding new universes, it could easily be true that some condition applies to actual universes, such as alpha (the fine structure constant) may not be algebraic, meaning that uncountably infinitely many universes, all distinct, are realized, while a countable infinity is left unrealized.

And so on and so on.

Unfortunately, the fact that this is total nonsense won't stop it from continuing to be repeated even by people who should know better, as it's not nearly as cool as imagining that somewhere out there, there's a universe where you're farking a mute Jessica Alba in an apartment above a pizza restaurant with a liquor license.
 
2010-10-03 01:03:38 PM
machoprogrammer: So this means it is possible the Cubs win the world series?

It's possible that in one universe, the Cubs win every world series.

And I'd wish they'd stop, it's really ruining the game for the fans.
 
2010-10-03 01:07:06 PM
sluck604: the universe lasts forever, then any event that can happen, will happen, no matter how unlikely.

I don't think probability works that way. I mean it's *possible* to roll a complete random six sided die, an infinite amount of times and never roll a six. Unlikely, but conceivable.


Given infinite trials it would eventually happen. The problem is that 'any event' doesn't have infinite potential occurrences, even if time is infinite. Most things have a definite lifespan, once they're 'dead' a great deal of potential possibilities with that entity are no longer possible no matter how long you wait.
 
2010-10-03 01:18:56 PM
powhound: Or there is this, from the same site:

Link (space-time equivalence)

No end, no beginning. Time and space are relative...which makes a heck of a lot more sense than the gibberish in the submitted article.


But what about dimensions? Are they relative?
 
2010-10-03 01:20:09 PM
This theory reminds me of the concept that one can never actually get from point A to point B, because he must get to the halfway of the halfway of the halfway point, on to infinite.



How in the hell did they come up with a point by which it is more likely than not that the universe would have ended though? What is the probability, in any given minute, of a universe ending occurrence?

For that matter, can anyone name an event that could destroy the universe?

How do we know that anything CAN in fact, destroy the universe? Just because in an infinite universe everything that has a chance of happening will happen doesn't mean that things that can't happen will happen.
 
2010-10-03 01:31:52 PM
Smackledorfer: This theory reminds me of the concept that one can never actually get from point A to point B, because he must get to the halfway of the halfway of the halfway point, on to infinite.



How in the hell did they come up with a point by which it is more likely than not that the universe would have ended though? What is the probability, in any given minute, of a universe ending occurrence?

For that matter, can anyone name an event that could destroy the universe?

How do we know that anything CAN in fact, destroy the universe? Just because in an infinite universe everything that has a chance of happening will happen doesn't mean that things that can't happen will happen.


up-ship.com

Ah, now the ball's in Farnsworth's court!
 
2010-10-03 01:40:35 PM
I got as far as "Time will end".... That sealed it and I DNfinishTFA.
 
2010-10-03 01:42:53 PM
ITT: Sophomoric Bullshiattery
 
2010-10-03 02:52:12 PM
czetie:
Even granting the totally unsupported assumption that there are infinitely many universes, we have no idea how big an infinity or whether all the possible universes are realized. There are many ways in which it's possible that not only is each universe realized only once, but infinitely many possible universes are never realized at all.


I am not a theoretical physicist, but isn't this a contradictory statement within itself? Isn't the very definition of infinite to be so large and endless as to discount the very notion of size or countability? Thus, no matter how we might postulate how the universe works, we won't be able to because we lack the ability to compare it to anything?


Or there may be an uncountable infinity of possible universes of which an uncountably infinite subset is realized, like the transcendental numbers among the reals: given how little we know about the proposed mechanism for budding new universes, it could easily be true that some condition applies to actual universes, such as alpha (the fine structure constant) may not be algebraic, meaning that uncountably infinitely many universes, all distinct, are realized, while a countable infinity is left unrealized.


Then I read this paragraph and my head exploded, making a response unnecessary as I'll be in the hospital for the next few days now.

Snarfangel: machoprogrammer: So this means it is possible the Cubs win the world series?

It's possible that in one universe, the Cubs win every world series.

And I'd wish they'd stop, it's really ruining the game for the fans.


we call them the Yankees over here
 
2010-10-03 03:15:43 PM
I'm very hesitant to accept such a theory since it seems to be based more on a quirk of the laws of probability rather then any hard evidence.

In addition I'm not even sure if that quirk exists. Eventually (we are talking on the scale of many quadrillions of years) the universe will decay into a state where no events of significance can occur. In this state nothing beyond sparse low-energy photons will still exist.
 
2010-10-03 03:25:00 PM
inkblot:
But what about dimensions? Are they relative?


Hell, I don't know. My GED in cosmic studies doesn't qualify me to answer that. But to bank on some sort of "cosmic disaster" to end time just seems kind of ridiculous.

If time and space are relative, then I would assume any and all dimensions would be effected. Of course, it all comes down to energy states (thinking string theory now).

Are the curled up dimensions postulated in string theory at a higher energy level, or lower? Can time "disappear" into these dimensions?

My speculation would be that all dimensions were at one point tiny and curled up, and as our three spacial dimensions unfurled perhaps a high energy state was traded for time.

/totally talking out of my ass on this.
//but still fun to think about.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-10-03 03:35:12 PM
Rickerkioz

There are a few different concepts here.

First, given an infinite set you can create a larger infinite set. The smallest infinite set is the countable infinity, the set of integers. A larger infinite set is the set of real numbers. Our number system is not powerful enough to say whether there is a medium size infinity between them -- you can say there is or there isn't. (See: "continuum hypothesis", "aleph 1".)

Second, a consequence of the first says it is possible to have a set that contains an infinite number of elements and has size zero by any reasonable definition. (See: Cantor set, "The Infinite Assassin" by Greg Egan, an SF author who writes stories around concepts like sets of measure zero.)

Third, you can construct two sets so that both are the same size infinity but one is obviously twice as large as the other. If you divide their sizes you get one. So don't divide their sizes if you don't want to get confused. Quantum field theory uses this trick for renormalization. The mass of the electron is infinity minus infinity. So don't subtract the infinities, calculate the mass some other way that gives you a useful answer.
 
2010-10-03 03:40:38 PM
"Blah blah blah, say physicists."

Lovely little news formula there. Would you like me to say some random stuff I thought of while in the shower? I'm a physicist by training, so it should sort of work.
 
2010-10-03 03:48:36 PM
TFA: They don't know what kind of catastrophe will cause the end of time but they do say that we won't see it coming.

For this is the day the Time Lords return. For Gallifrey! For victory! For the end of time itself!
 
2010-10-03 05:20:12 PM
Rickerkioz: I am not a theoretical physicist, but isn't this a contradictory statement within itself?
ZAZ: First, given an infinite set you can create a larger infinite set. The smallest infinite set is the countable infinity, the set of integers. A larger infinite set is the set of real numbers. Our number system is not powerful enough to say whether there is a medium size infinity between them -- you can say there is or there isn't. (See: "continuum hypothesis", "aleph 1".)

However, it is powerful enough to show that the reals are "larger", in that the idea of constructing a one-to-one mapping to the integers is self-contradictory. See Cantor's diagonal argument.

Technically, it's a bit easier to show that the set of all subsets of the positive integers is a larger infinity than the original set of positive integers, since you don't have to worry about some esoteric points about when two real numbers are equal or not.
 
2010-10-03 05:20:46 PM
Time is relative;
Or did you misread Einstein?
 
2010-10-03 05:57:37 PM
wordlesschorus.files.wordpress.com


Been there done that.
 
2010-10-03 06:06:54 PM
TsukasaK: sluck604: Unlikely, but conceivable.

Not really. Kind of like .99999999~ = 1, once probability gets past a certain point, anything is certain.

Take a coin and flip it. For any given coin flip, the odds are 1/2 of landing tails.

Now, for two coin flips, the odds of getting two tails, in a row, are one in four.

Go out exponentially from there. Eventually the odds become so astronomical as to become de facto impossible.


except it's not "defacto" impossible. Especially when you're talking about odds that aren't 1 in 2 but like the odds of a ford tauraus instantaneously becoming self aware are so ridiculously small that even in an infinite # of "tries" it still isn't going to happen.
 
2010-10-03 07:05:35 PM
Majick Thise: Did you ever notice that the criteria for determining if a species is intelligent, was created by humans and amazingly enough, only humans qualify as intelligent?


Maybe the only thing that truly separates us from the animals is our arrogance

Did you ever notice that the criteria for determining if a species is arrogant was created by humans?

This kind of crap just drives me crazy. Either human perspectives are valid or they're NOT. PICK A PERSPECTIVE!


Man is the measure of all things because nobody else cares about your measurements!
 
2010-10-03 07:07:01 PM
I have the edit failure
 
2010-10-03 07:39:18 PM
douchebag/hater: Comeoncomeoncomeon chameleon...
 
2010-10-03 08:53:27 PM
You can Role a single D6 as many times as you want, infinite or not, and you will never roll a 7.
 
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