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(io9)   The Universe may tear itself apart in 16.7 billion years, which is 75% sooner than predicted. No word on how to blame someone for it. Yet   (io9.com) divider line 152
    More: Interesting, universe, magnetisms, curve fitting, redshifts, cosmologists, dark energy  
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3978 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Jul 2012 at 6:26 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-30 03:07:56 AM  

the cake is a pie: common sense is an oxymoron: ...Part 3 eliminates Pluto (its orbit crosses that of Neptune), Ceres (it's in the middle of the asteroid belt), and most TNOs regardless of size unless they happen to occupy "cleared" orbits (the ones discovered so far tend to have eccentric orbits, the ranges of which would be virtually impossible to clear of other objects)....

If Part 3 eliminates Pluto, shouldn't it also eliminate Neptune? Pluto couldn't clear Neptune out of its orbit, sure, but apparently Neptune couldn't clear Pluto either.


Not only is Neptune much larger than Pluto, but the two are in a 3:2 orbital resonance. Neptune's orbit is directly affecting that of Pluto, so even if its orbit isn't exactly "cleared," it's still obviously the dominant mass in that orbit. This may seem like a loophole, but it's legitimate. A planet clears its orbit by gravitational deflection of any smaller objects, and a deflection (or capture) into a stable resonant orbit eliminates any chance of collision. Despite Pluto's orbit appearing to cross that of Neptune, the two objects remain billions of miles apart, and in that sense Neptune's orbit is indeed "clear."
 
2012-07-30 03:48:16 AM  

Dinjiin: Omnivorous: Sounds like god's been playing dice with the universe all along.

16.7 billion years until it craps out.

Actually, it appears that when He created the universe 6,000 years ago, he used a 24-bit integer variable to store the year value in the Matrix's mainframe. N00b programming error.


"16 billion years is enough for anybody." -- God
 
2012-07-30 04:32:24 AM  

Clowns are a Ten: ... so when the universe does end, what is there afterwards?


Well, time is part of this universe, so when the universe goes, so does time. There won't be any "afterwards."

OTOH... This "ripping itself apart" thing sounds a bit like a big bang. Maybe it's the beginning of a new universe? I'd prefer that to heat death, which is entirely depressing.
 
2012-07-30 05:01:56 AM  

buckler: <b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/7239209/78379948#c78379948" target="_blank">Virtuoso80</a>:</b> <i>Clowns are a Ten: Does no one else find this utterly depressing? Everything that ever is, was, just wiped out? Our entire existence not even as relevant as tears in the rain.

... so when the universe does end, what is there afterwards?

What was there before? I think Penn Jillette made this point best, which regards to death and non-existence: Does the year 1850 terrify you? You didn't exist then either. So why are you terrified of not existing in 2150? Also, think about how much envy someone who only got, say, 4 days of life would have for your 80+ years of likely existence. On the grander scale you suggest, if you're not depressed by the universe not existing before the big bang (or so we think), there's no particular reason you should be depressed about it not existing 40 billion years later. And what amount of time would be more appropriate? Do you want 10 billion more years? 100? The only other option is infinite life and infinite existence, which has it's own 'meaningless' and depressing aspects to think about if you really wanted to.

It all comes down to perspective: If you think about the idea that life and the universe are these unfathomably wonderful gifts, and that we get to enjoy them for incredibly vast stretches amounts of time, you could be elated about it, instead of depressed.</i>

The way I think about it is to try to recall everything that happened to me before I was born, which is, unsurprisingly, nothing. Then I realize that that is the exact situation I'm going back into after I die. The first was painlessly unfathomable, and so will the second be.


It's the only way to look at it. There really is no point. Even if the some form of life was able to escape the final apocalypse it would still be pointless to exist. Just think how boring rehashed stories are now and imagine what they will be like in a few billion years.

There will be nothing left to do because everything will have been done.
 
2012-07-30 05:16:02 AM  

Clowns are a Ten: Does no one else find this utterly depressing?


Nope.
 
2012-07-30 05:33:19 AM  

Virtuoso80: Clowns are a Ten: Does no one else find this utterly depressing? Everything that ever is, was, just wiped out? Our entire existence not even as relevant as tears in the rain.

... so when the universe does end, what is there afterwards?

What was there before? I think Penn Jillette made this point best, which regards to death and non-existence: Does the year 1850 terrify you? You didn't exist then either. So why are you terrified of not existing in 2150? Also, think about how much envy someone who only got, say, 4 days of life would have for your 80+ years of likely existence. On the grander scale you suggest, if you're not depressed by the universe not existing before the big bang (or so we think), there's no particular reason you should be depressed about it not existing 40 billion years later. And what amount of time would be more appropriate? Do you want 10 billion more years? 100? The only other option is infinite life and infinite existence, which has it's own 'meaningless' and depressing aspects to think about if you really wanted to.

It all comes down to perspective: If you think about the idea that life and the universe are these unfathomably wonderful gifts, and that we get to enjoy them for incredibly vast stretches amounts of time, you could be elated about it, instead of depressed.


It's not so much me not existing, but any traces of me, or my ancestors, my descendants, history, art. farking... EVERYTHING.

And what I meant by "What comes after the universe" was supposed to be taken literally. As in, what kind of "existence" would there be? Would particles, atoms, and the such, still be around? Anything resembling physics? Or just an endless expanse of blank? Will everything just set up again for another big bang?

/science stuff always goes over my head.
 
2012-07-30 05:42:14 AM  

Clowns are a Ten: Virtuoso80: Clowns are a Ten: Does no one else find this utterly depressing? Everything that ever is, was, just wiped out? Our entire existence not even as relevant as tears in the rain.

... so when the universe does end, what is there afterwards?

What was there before? I think Penn Jillette made this point best, which regards to death and non-existence: Does the year 1850 terrify you? You didn't exist then either. So why are you terrified of not existing in 2150? Also, think about how much envy someone who only got, say, 4 days of life would have for your 80+ years of likely existence. On the grander scale you suggest, if you're not depressed by the universe not existing before the big bang (or so we think), there's no particular reason you should be depressed about it not existing 40 billion years later. And what amount of time would be more appropriate? Do you want 10 billion more years? 100? The only other option is infinite life and infinite existence, which has it's own 'meaningless' and depressing aspects to think about if you really wanted to.

It all comes down to perspective: If you think about the idea that life and the universe are these unfathomably wonderful gifts, and that we get to enjoy them for incredibly vast stretches amounts of time, you could be elated about it, instead of depressed.

It's not so much me not existing, but any traces of me, or my ancestors, my descendants, history, art. farking... EVERYTHING.

And what I meant by "What comes after the universe" was supposed to be taken literally. As in, what kind of "existence" would there be? Would particles, atoms, and the such, still be around? Anything resembling physics? Or just an endless expanse of blank? Will everything just set up again for another big bang?

/science stuff always goes over my head.


The notion is that the universe will continue to expand and burn out. Galaxies will come apart, then stars, and eventually even atoms won't stay together. Basically just a really thin cloud of low-energy elementary particles.
 
2012-07-30 06:54:41 AM  
FTFA: The discovery of a gravitationally repulsive force called dark energy, back in the 1990s, provided cosmologists with a neat and tidy explanation of why galaxies are moving away from each other at an accelerating rate. A surprising implication of this theory, however, was the realization that this same force could eventually cause the Universe to rip apart into nothingness. And the more we learn about this mysterious force, the sooner it looks like this will happen.

Dark energy is a kind of cosmological placeholder that helps scientists explain why the universe behaves the way it does. They aren't exactly sure how or why it exists, nor can they come to a consensus on its exact nature.


Of course I am just an idiot but if the "Big Bang" was an explosion and the "dark energy" is the force which propels the galaxies to move away from each other and the expansion of the universe, wouldn't the best explanation for "dark energy" be the explosive outward force from the big bang? Any explosion expands outwards until it rips itself apart as it releases the energy contained in it and that seems to be the predicted behavior of the universe.
 
2012-07-30 07:30:43 AM  
Wait...I thought Dark Energy was the energy keeping galaxies from flying apart. Can't have it both ways

/or maybe you can at the quantum level
 
2012-07-30 07:31:59 AM  

heavymetal: FTFA: The discovery of a gravitationally repulsive force called dark energy, back in the 1990s, provided cosmologists with a neat and tidy explanation of why galaxies are moving away from each other at an accelerating rate. A surprising implication of this theory, however, was the realization that this same force could eventually cause the Universe to rip apart into nothingness. And the more we learn about this mysterious force, the sooner it looks like this will happen.

Dark energy is a kind of cosmological placeholder that helps scientists explain why the universe behaves the way it does. They aren't exactly sure how or why it exists, nor can they come to a consensus on its exact nature.

Of course I am just an idiot but if the "Big Bang" was an explosion and the "dark energy" is the force which propels the galaxies to move away from each other and the expansion of the universe, wouldn't the best explanation for "dark energy" be the explosive outward force from the big bang? Any explosion expands outwards until it rips itself apart as it releases the energy contained in it and that seems to be the predicted behavior of the universe.


My understanding is that, unlike an explosion, the speed at which things are moving apart is accelerating
 
2012-07-30 07:33:56 AM  

Lionel Mandrake: Mugato: But the entire universe is only 6,000 years old. Seems kind of lopsided.

Are you saying God can't destroy the universe before He creates it??

HEATHEN!!!


Without beginning and without end if I remember by Sunday school correctly
 
2012-07-30 07:51:20 AM  

relaxitsjustme: heavymetal: FTFA: The discovery of a gravitationally repulsive force called dark energy, back in the 1990s, provided cosmologists with a neat and tidy explanation of why galaxies are moving away from each other at an accelerating rate. A surprising implication of this theory, however, was the realization that this same force could eventually cause the Universe to rip apart into nothingness. And the more we learn about this mysterious force, the sooner it looks like this will happen.

Dark energy is a kind of cosmological placeholder that helps scientists explain why the universe behaves the way it does. They aren't exactly sure how or why it exists, nor can they come to a consensus on its exact nature.

Of course I am just an idiot but if the "Big Bang" was an explosion and the "dark energy" is the force which propels the galaxies to move away from each other and the expansion of the universe, wouldn't the best explanation for "dark energy" be the explosive outward force from the big bang? Any explosion expands outwards until it rips itself apart as it releases the energy contained in it and that seems to be the predicted behavior of the universe.

My understanding is that, unlike an explosion, the speed at which things are moving apart is accelerating


Maybe we are still at the beginning part of the explosion on its time scale? I don't know, just grasping at straws. Good point.
 
2012-07-30 08:25:06 AM  
So, the Rhana Dandra happens on a 2+?
 
2012-07-30 09:11:25 AM  
Theory Of Null: buckler: Clowns are a Ten: ...

There are some things in life that I would've been much happier had I never known about, like teletubbies, fursuits, scat, and purposelessness on a cosmological scale.

Surely there is more peace in self-deception than in knowledge.
 
2012-07-30 09:40:43 AM  
I blame this guy and his socialized medicine

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-07-30 09:48:45 AM  

Kittypie070: Kitty not gonna be here. Kitty gonna pick up n go to 'nother universe next door.


That's what some of us are already looking into.
 
2012-07-30 10:09:24 AM  

relaxitsjustme: Wait...I thought Dark Energy was the energy keeping galaxies from flying apart. Can't have it both ways

/or maybe you can at the quantum level


Dark matter holds galaxies together. Dark energy is making everything expand. They are two different things.
 
2012-07-30 10:21:46 AM  

John Nash: That infinite dark energy is just going to rip out a few of those curled-up dimensions from m-theory and it will be the next big bang. Then we get a new universe, with maybe some different rules this time.


1. No fat chicks.
 
2012-07-30 10:32:39 AM  

nmemkha: The Universe is doomed and nothing we can do can change it. Ultimately, we have no future as a species.

Luckily, we will have wiped ourselves out (or been wiped out) long before then.


I'm re-reading The Man Who Fell to Earth right now, so getting a kick, etc.

I don't say it much, mostly because it's pretty pointless to do so, but I often feel that The Great Experiment is proving itself a failure. And I mean that on pretty much any level anyone might suggest. America, the great democratic melting pot, hope for equality, liberty, and the great emancipation of the human spirit? Failure. Just look around you. Religious nutbags are writing laws against free-thinkers, replaying *exactly* the scenario the Framers were trying desperately to prevent from ever happening again. Once those nutters are back in charge, the game is lost for good. Humans, the great apes who rose up from functional idiocy, gained abstract thought, vast imagination, dexterity, and limitless capability to change the world, change themselves, dismantle the very secrets of the very universe itself, perhaps even learn to cheat death? Failure. Look around you. How many humans do you see aspiring to greatness, to betterment, to discover the extremes of their own capabilities, on every level -- mental, spiritual, philosophical, and emotional, not merely physical? As Heinlein said, most of them could, like the famous headless chicken, get by with just a brain stem. Just look at the majority of content that appears here, in the comments on YouTube, or hell, anywhere. But for a very pockets of real intelligence, and a vanishing few bright tiny diamonds in the rough, the Internet is a vast cesspool of ignorance, apathy, and idiocy. And this probably represents the apex of human intercourse -- the rest is even worse. A failure of evolution, like so many other hominids that have fallen by the wayside over the aeons? Or a failure of God's hope and maybe hubris, to see if a thinking being could achieve greatness if handed the tools, but not the map? Does it even matter?

Sagan tried very hard to get across that if we don't make it off this speck of cosmic dust, we can not and will not survive as a species. The earth as a planet is too small, too limited, too vulnerable. But we're not even trying anymore. We have everything we need do to it, but we're not even making the effort. Instead, we wallow gloriously in our ignorance and arrogance, going out of our way to hurt and insult each other, steal from each other, and generally, like remarkably stupid apes in a tiny zoo, smear our wastes over everything we need to survive -- including our most vital resource of all, knowledge -- all in the assumption that it will somehow be alright in the end. But it probably won't be, because we're not working for real solutions, only temporary advantages, like people fighting over the last bottle of champagne on the Titanic.

And I have to laugh -- albeit sadly -- at those who moon about sad TFA makes them, how they feel that having faith gives them hope, a greater hope than considering the ultimate and inevitable shredding of all reality that they know. How farking childish is that? The universe isn't interested in anyone's happiness. Why should it be? Could we escape this fate? Probably not. Will we even survive to see it? Probably not. So it hardly matters what we might think of it, how we might feel about it. We could instead express wonder at the vast majesty of the universe, of the awesome and confounding power of its natural laws. We could ponder our place in it, with all the extreme and intense humility that implies, and dedicate ourselves to making the best of it, to learn what we can, enjoy what we can, be happy, and not create problems we don't have to. But instead we think about how sad it makes us that one day there will no longer be any such thing as a Big Mac. How farking pathetic.
 
2012-07-30 10:50:37 AM  

heavymetal: FTFA: The discovery of a gravitationally repulsive force called dark energy, back in the 1990s, provided cosmologists with a neat and tidy explanation of why galaxies are moving away from each other at an accelerating rate. A surprising implication of this theory, however, was the realization that this same force could eventually cause the Universe to rip apart into nothingness. And the more we learn about this mysterious force, the sooner it looks like this will happen.

Dark energy is a kind of cosmological placeholder that helps scientists explain why the universe behaves the way it does. They aren't exactly sure how or why it exists, nor can they come to a consensus on its exact nature.

Of course I am just an idiot but if the "Big Bang" was an explosion and the "dark energy" is the force which propels the galaxies to move away from each other and the expansion of the universe, wouldn't the best explanation for "dark energy" be the explosive outward force from the big bang? Any explosion expands outwards until it rips itself apart as it releases the energy contained in it and that seems to be the predicted behavior of the universe.


We've known that the universe is expanding for decades now. What we only recently discovered is that the *rate* of expansion is *increasing* -- the universe isn't just getting bigger, it's getting bigger faster and faster. That is absolutely not how any explosions that we understand work. We don't know why this is happening, but the implications are staggering. In time, the rate of expansion will approach and finally exceed the speed of light itself, and that will be the real beginning of the Big Rip. The first obvious indication will be visible objects starting to disappear from the sky, as their light can no longer travel fast enough to reach us, due to the rate of expansion of the space in between. More and more of the sky will vanish, until we're only able to see other galaxies in our local neighbourhood. And here's the really astounding fact of that eventuality: We not only won't be able to see those other things, we won't even be able to know that they ever existed, because they and all evidence of their existence will be completely undetectable. A few billion more years after that, even the nearby galaxies vanish. Then, finally, our own galaxy comes apart, our solar system, our planet, and whatever's living here by then, if anything is.
 
2012-07-30 10:51:14 AM  

Dinjiin: Omnivorous: Sounds like god's been playing dice with the universe all along.

16.7 billion years until it craps out.

Actually, it appears that when He created the universe 6,000 years ago, he used a 24-bit integer variable to store the year value in the Matrix's mainframe. N00b programming error.


I was working on a joke regarding the scripture that says "1000 years is as a day" but it didn't come together as planned. Instead, I'll simply point out that 16.7 *million* is the largest number you can store with an unsigned 24-bit integer.
 
2012-07-30 10:57:17 AM  

relaxitsjustme: Wait...I thought Dark Energy was the energy keeping galaxies from flying apart. Can't have it both ways

/or maybe you can at the quantum level


No, that's dark *matter*. Dark matter is an unknown and so far undetectable substance or force that behaves like common matter, in that it provides additional gravity we can't account for when we add up all the matter we can see and watch how it behaves. Imagine if a tiny kid did a cannonball into a pool, but the resulting splash was like a truck had fallen in instead. That's essentially what 'dark matter' is: the unknown factor that must exist in order to account for the observed size of physical effects caused by apparently much smaller amounts of detectable matter.

Dark energy is a similarly unknown and so far undetected force, that fills the mathematical gap in our observations of the expansion of the universe. Whatever it is provides a kind of antigravitational effect that drives everything in the universe apart. Given long enough, if it continues to accelerate, it will eventually tear all matter apart down to the subatomic level.
 
2012-07-30 10:59:47 AM  

heavymetal: relaxitsjustme: heavymetal: FTFA: The discovery of a gravitationally repulsive force called dark energy, back in the 1990s, provided cosmologists with a neat and tidy explanation of why galaxies are moving away from each other at an accelerating rate. A surprising implication of this theory, however, was the realization that this same force could eventually cause the Universe to rip apart into nothingness. And the more we learn about this mysterious force, the sooner it looks like this will happen.

Dark energy is a kind of cosmological placeholder that helps scientists explain why the universe behaves the way it does. They aren't exactly sure how or why it exists, nor can they come to a consensus on its exact nature.

Of course I am just an idiot but if the "Big Bang" was an explosion and the "dark energy" is the force which propels the galaxies to move away from each other and the expansion of the universe, wouldn't the best explanation for "dark energy" be the explosive outward force from the big bang? Any explosion expands outwards until it rips itself apart as it releases the energy contained in it and that seems to be the predicted behavior of the universe.

My understanding is that, unlike an explosion, the speed at which things are moving apart is accelerating

Maybe we are still at the beginning part of the explosion on its time scale? I don't know, just grasping at straws. Good point.


If I understand TFA correctly -- and I won't presume that I do -- if we can plot this rate of expansion, we can estimate both a zero point of no expansion -- the beginning of spacetime as we know it -- and an infinity point -- the end of everything as we know it. Based on that, we estimate that we're about halfway along about now. Again, though, I don't presume I'm making complete sense of this yet.
 
2012-07-30 11:03:01 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Sagan tried very hard to get across that if we don't make it off this speck of cosmic dust, we can not and will not survive as a species. The earth as a planet is too small, too limited, too vulnerable. But we're not even trying anymore. We have everything we need do to it, but we're not even making the effort. Instead, we wallow gloriously in our ignorance and arrogance, going out of our way to hurt and insult each other, steal from each other, and generally, like remarkably stupid apes in a tiny zoo, smear our wastes over everything we need to survive -- including our most vital resource of all, knowledge -- all in the assumption that it will somehow be alright in the end. But it probably won't be, because we're not working for real solutions, only temporary advantages, like people fighting over the last bottle of champagne on the Titanic.


Ever try explaining that to an old money politician? The one's I've talked to, the end of the world is beyond their comprehension. Hell, Hurricane Katrina was beyond their comprehension. But then again, impending doom seems to work really well for these guys.
 
2012-07-30 11:04:05 AM  

Clowns are a Ten: Does no one else find this utterly depressing? Everything that ever is, was, just wiped out? Our entire existence not even as relevant as tears in the rain.


Welcome to the universe. Your existence was never relevant.
 
2012-07-30 11:12:23 AM  
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj222/bighasbeen/Funny/black_presid ent.jpg
 
2012-07-30 11:13:20 AM  
Oops...

i273.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-30 11:48:00 AM  
16.7 Billion Years from Now?? I better get my affairs in order and start living right.
 
2012-07-30 12:03:22 PM  

babtras: I'll simply point out that 16.7 *million*


D'oh. I read it as million.
 
2012-07-30 12:05:53 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: nmemkha: The Universe is doomed and nothing we can do can change it. Ultimately, we have no future as a species.

Luckily, we will have wiped ourselves out (or been wiped out) long before then.

I'm re-reading The Man Who Fell to Earth right now, so getting a kick, etc.

I don't say it much, mostly because it's pretty pointless to do so, but I often feel that The Great Experiment is proving itself a failure. And I mean that on pretty much any level anyone might suggest. America, the great democratic melting pot, hope for equality, liberty, and the great emancipation of the human spirit? Failure. Just look around you. Religious nutbags are writing laws against free-thinkers, replaying *exactly* the scenario the Framers were trying desperately to prevent from ever happening again. Once those nutters are back in charge, the game is lost for good. Humans, the great apes who rose up from functional idiocy, gained abstract thought, vast imagination, dexterity, and limitless capability to change the world, change themselves, dismantle the very secrets of the very universe itself, perhaps even learn to cheat death? Failure. Look around you. How many humans do you see aspiring to greatness, to betterment, to discover the extremes of their own capabilities, on every level -- mental, spiritual, philosophical, and emotional, not merely physical? As Heinlein said, most of them could, like the famous headless chicken, get by with just a brain stem. Just look at the majority of content that appears here, in the comments on YouTube, or hell, anywhere. But for a very pockets of real intelligence, and a vanishing few bright tiny diamonds in the rough, the Internet is a vast cesspool of ignorance, apathy, and idiocy. And this probably represents the apex of human intercourse -- the rest is even worse. A failure of evolution, like so many other hominids that have fallen by the wayside over the aeons? Or a failure of God's hope and maybe hubris, to see if a thinking being could achieve ...


I would like to subscribe to your newsletter
 
2012-07-30 12:52:39 PM  
Subby, next time put 'SPOILER ALERT' in the headline. I wanted to be surprised when the universe tore itself apart, and now you've ruined it for me. Jerk.
 
2012-07-30 01:40:14 PM  
Don't panic. Vishnu will keep creating Brahmas, and they will keep creating universes.
 
2012-07-30 02:16:59 PM  
Seeing as how I plan to live forever encased in an unaging, robot body, this is VERY relevant to my interests!
 
2012-07-30 04:24:26 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: nmemkha: The Universe is doomed and nothing we can do can change it. Ultimately, we have no future as a species.

Luckily, we will have wiped ourselves out (or been wiped out) long before then.

I'm re-reading The Man Who Fell to Earth right now, so getting a kick, etc.

I don't say it much, mostly because it's pretty pointless to do so, but I often feel that The Great Experiment is proving itself a failure. And I mean that on pretty much any level anyone might suggest. America, the great democratic melting pot, hope for equality, liberty, and the great emancipation of the human spirit? Failure. Just look around you. Religious nutbags are writing laws against free-thinkers, replaying *exactly* the scenario the Framers were trying desperately to prevent from ever happening again. Once those nutters are back in charge, the game is lost for good. Humans, the great apes who rose up from functional idiocy, gained abstract thought, vast imagination, dexterity, and limitless capability to change the world, change themselves, dismantle the very secrets of the very universe itself, perhaps even learn to cheat death? Failure. Look around you. How many humans do you see aspiring to greatness, to betterment, to discover the extremes of their own capabilities, on every level -- mental, spiritual, philosophical, and emotional, not merely physical? As Heinlein said, most of them could, like the famous headless chicken, get by with just a brain stem. Just look at the majority of content that appears here, in the comments on YouTube, or hell, anywhere. But for a very pockets of real intelligence, and a vanishing few bright tiny diamonds in the rough, the Internet is a vast cesspool of ignorance, apathy, and idiocy. And this probably represents the apex of human intercourse -- the rest is even worse. A failure of evolution, like so many other hominids that have fallen by the wayside over the aeons? Or a failure of God's hope and maybe hubris, to see if a thinking being could achieve ...


Take a look at history and has been the cycle of human development since the beginning. Maybe we humans are like the Moties in a Mote In God's Eye: its just our nature to build it all up, corrupt it, and then burn it all down.
 
2012-07-30 05:43:29 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: Mikey1969: PirateKing: The problem was that there weren't any standards set. Everyone just "knew" there were 9 planets. So the smart guys finally decided what counts as a planet, and Pluto, while great, just didn't fit the criteria. If we had set the minimum standards AT Pluto, there'd be dozens of planets.

And there is no problem with that. Our "standard" up to that time was 9 planets. Having "dozens" wouldn't change anything. It's like suddenly deciding that a Bassett Hound isn't a dog because his ears are too long, after calling it a dog for years. Not the best analogy, but it gets my point across well enough. Pluto orbits the Sun and has moons. It's a little shaky, but it does still orbit the sun, I would have been fine if they had set it up as the lower limit... I mean what if they discover another gas giant out past Pluto's orbit, will it not count because it is too big or something? It just seems like someone woke up one morning and arbitrarily decided what he wanted a planet to equal, and then convinced everyone else that his was way "right"...

A decision had to be made one way or the other. If Pluto is considered a planet, then so should Eris and possibly hundreds of other transneptunian objects of comparable size. A three-part definition was therefore chosen: It has to orbit the sun (if it orbits another star, it's an exoplanet or dwarf version thereof), it has to be massive enough to assume a spherical or spheroidal shape under its own gravity, and it has to have "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit. Part 3 eliminates Pluto (its orbit crosses that of Neptune)--


By the same logic, doesn't Part 3 also exclude Neptune?
 
2012-07-30 06:03:00 PM  

Clowns are a Ten: Does no one else find this utterly depressing? Everything that ever is, was, just wiped out?


Don't worry about it. When and if the universe is "wiped out," there's no sense in which it ever happened at all.

Focus on the depressing in-universe stuff. Chances are good that a few of the atoms in your body used to belong to members of one or more intelligent species who lived on planets that orbited around suns that went nova billions of years ago. I like to imagine that they met their fate bravely, never troubled by the horrifying thought that their atoms might once again "live" in the form of a bunch of smelly dickbag monkeys like us.
 
2012-07-30 06:29:01 PM  

Rueened: common sense is an oxymoron: Mikey1969: PirateKing: The problem was that there weren't any standards set. Everyone just "knew" there were 9 planets. So the smart guys finally decided what counts as a planet, and Pluto, while great, just didn't fit the criteria. If we had set the minimum standards AT Pluto, there'd be dozens of planets.

And there is no problem with that. Our "standard" up to that time was 9 planets. Having "dozens" wouldn't change anything. It's like suddenly deciding that a Bassett Hound isn't a dog because his ears are too long, after calling it a dog for years. Not the best analogy, but it gets my point across well enough. Pluto orbits the Sun and has moons. It's a little shaky, but it does still orbit the sun, I would have been fine if they had set it up as the lower limit... I mean what if they discover another gas giant out past Pluto's orbit, will it not count because it is too big or something? It just seems like someone woke up one morning and arbitrarily decided what he wanted a planet to equal, and then convinced everyone else that his was way "right"...

A decision had to be made one way or the other. If Pluto is considered a planet, then so should Eris and possibly hundreds of other transneptunian objects of comparable size. A three-part definition was therefore chosen: It has to orbit the sun (if it orbits another star, it's an exoplanet or dwarf version thereof), it has to be massive enough to assume a spherical or spheroidal shape under its own gravity, and it has to have "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit. Part 3 eliminates Pluto (its orbit crosses that of Neptune)--

By the same logic, doesn't Part 3 also exclude Neptune?


From upthread: Not only is Neptune much larger than Pluto, but the two are in a 3:2 orbital resonance. Neptune's orbit is directly affecting that of Pluto, so even if its orbit isn't exactly "cleared," it's still obviously the dominant mass in that orbit. This may seem like a loophole, but it's legitimate. A planet clears its orbit by gravitational deflection of any smaller objects, and a deflection (or capture) into a stable resonant orbit eliminates any chance of collision. Despite Pluto's orbit appearing to cross that of Neptune, the two objects remain billions of miles apart, and in that sense Neptune's orbit is indeed "clear."
 
2012-07-30 06:33:24 PM  

nmemkha: Take a look at history and has been the cycle of human development since the beginning. Maybe we humans are like the Moties in a Mote In God's Eye: its just our nature to build it all up, corrupt it, and then burn it all down.


Now there's a depressing thought. We certainly have enough Crazy Eddies helping things along.
 
2012-07-30 06:39:23 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: Rueened: common sense is an oxymoron: Mikey1969: PirateKing: The problem was that there weren't any standards set. Everyone just "knew" there were 9 planets. So the smart guys finally decided what counts as a planet, and Pluto, while great, just didn't fit the criteria. If we had set the minimum standards AT Pluto, there'd be dozens of planets.

And there is no problem with that. Our "standard" up to that time was 9 planets. Having "dozens" wouldn't change anything. It's like suddenly deciding that a Bassett Hound isn't a dog because his ears are too long, after calling it a dog for years. Not the best analogy, but it gets my point across well enough. Pluto orbits the Sun and has moons. It's a little shaky, but it does still orbit the sun, I would have been fine if they had set it up as the lower limit... I mean what if they discover another gas giant out past Pluto's orbit, will it not count because it is too big or something? It just seems like someone woke up one morning and arbitrarily decided what he wanted a planet to equal, and then convinced everyone else that his was way "right"...

A decision had to be made one way or the other. If Pluto is considered a planet, then so should Eris and possibly hundreds of other transneptunian objects of comparable size. A three-part definition was therefore chosen: It has to orbit the sun (if it orbits another star, it's an exoplanet or dwarf version thereof), it has to be massive enough to assume a spherical or spheroidal shape under its own gravity, and it has to have "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit. Part 3 eliminates Pluto (its orbit crosses that of Neptune)--

By the same logic, doesn't Part 3 also exclude Neptune?

From upthread: Not only is Neptune much larger than Pluto, but the two are in a 3:2 orbital resonance. Neptune's orbit is directly affecting that of Pluto, so even if its orbit isn't exactly "cleared," it's still obviously the dominant mass in that orbit. This may seem like a loophole, but it's ...


Ah...

That is very interesting.

Thanks for the info, appreciated.
 
2012-07-30 06:40:13 PM  

common sense is an oxymoron: Rueened: common sense is an oxymoron: Mikey1969: PirateKing: The problem was that there weren't any standards set. Everyone just "knew" there were 9 planets. So the smart guys finally decided what counts as a planet, and Pluto, while great, just didn't fit the criteria. If we had set the minimum standards AT Pluto, there'd be dozens of planets.

And there is no problem with that. Our "standard" up to that time was 9 planets. Having "dozens" wouldn't change anything. It's like suddenly deciding that a Bassett Hound isn't a dog because his ears are too long, after calling it a dog for years. Not the best analogy, but it gets my point across well enough. Pluto orbits the Sun and has moons. It's a little shaky, but it does still orbit the sun, I would have been fine if they had set it up as the lower limit... I mean what if they discover another gas giant out past Pluto's orbit, will it not count because it is too big or something? It just seems like someone woke up one morning and arbitrarily decided what he wanted a planet to equal, and then convinced everyone else that his was way "right"...

A decision had to be made one way or the other. If Pluto is considered a planet, then so should Eris and possibly hundreds of other transneptunian objects of comparable size. A three-part definition was therefore chosen: It has to orbit the sun (if it orbits another star, it's an exoplanet or dwarf version thereof), it has to be massive enough to assume a spherical or spheroidal shape under its own gravity, and it has to have "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit. Part 3 eliminates Pluto (its orbit crosses that of Neptune)--

By the same logic, doesn't Part 3 also exclude Neptune?

From upthread: Not only is Neptune much larger than Pluto, but the two are in a 3:2 orbital resonance. Neptune's orbit is directly affecting that of Pluto, so even if its orbit isn't exactly "cleared," it's still obviously the dominant mass in that orbit. This may seem like a loophole, but it's ...


Also, I should have mentioned that it's still Obama's fault.
 
2012-07-30 07:10:27 PM  

semiotix: Focus on the depressing in-universe stuff. Chances are good that a few of the atoms in your body used to belong to members of one or more intelligent species who lived on planets that orbited around suns that went nova billions of years ago. I like to imagine that they met their fate bravely, never troubled by the horrifying thought that their atoms might once again "live" in the form of a bunch of smelly dickbag monkeys like us.


Hey now...speak for yourself. I prefer the term smelly yambag monkey, thank you very much.
 
2012-07-30 07:23:37 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: I don't say it much, mostly because it's pretty pointless to do so, but I often feel that The Great Experiment is proving itself a failure. And I mean that on pretty much any level anyone might suggest. America, the great democratic melting pot, hope for equality, liberty, and the great emancipation of the human spirit? Failure. Just look around you. Religious nutbags are writing laws against free-thinkers, replaying *exactly* the scenario the Framers were trying desperately to prevent from ever happening again. Once those nutters are back in charge, the game is lost for good. Humans, the great apes who rose up from functional idiocy, gained abstract thought, vast imagination, dexterity, and limitless capability to change the world, change themselves, dismantle the very secrets of the very universe itself, perhaps even learn to cheat death? Failure. Look around you. How many humans do you see aspiring to greatness, to betterment, to discover the extremes of their own capabilities, on every level -- mental, spiritual, philosophical, and emotional, not merely physical? As Heinlein said, most of them could, like the famous headless chicken, get by with just a brain stem. Just look at the majority of content that appears here, in the comments on YouTube, or hell, anywhere. But for a very pockets of real intelligence, and a vanishing few bright tiny diamonds in the rough, the Internet is a vast cesspool of ignorance, apathy, and idiocy. And this probably represents the apex of human intercourse -- the rest is even worse. A failure of evolution, like so many other hominids that have fallen by the wayside over the aeons? Or a failure of God's hope and maybe hubris, to see if a thinking being could achieve greatness if handed the tools, but not the map? Does it even matter?

Sagan tried very hard to get across that if we don't make it off this speck of cosmic dust, we can not and will not survive as a species. The earth as a planet is too small, too limited, too vulnerable. But we're not even trying anymore. We have everything we need do to it, but we're not even making the effort. Instead, we wallow gloriously in our ignorance and arrogance, going out of our way to hurt and insult each other, steal from each other, and generally, like remarkably stupid apes in a tiny zoo, smear our wastes over everything we need to survive -- including our most vital resource of all, knowledge -- all in the assumption that it will somehow be alright in the end. But it probably won't be, because we're not working for real solutions, only temporary advantages, like people fighting over the last bottle of champagne on the Titanic.

And I have to laugh -- albeit sadly -- at those who moon about sad TFA makes them, how they feel that having faith gives them hope, a greater hope than considering the ultimate and inevitable shredding of all reality that they know. How farking childish is that? The universe isn't interested in anyone's happiness. Why should it be? Could we escape this fate? Probably not. Will we even survive to see it? Probably not. So it hardly matters what we might think of it, how we might feel about it. We could instead express wonder at the vast majesty of the universe, of the awesome and confounding power of its natural laws. We could ponder our place in it, with all the extreme and intense humility that implies, and dedicate ourselves to making the best of it, to learn what we can, enjoy what we can, be happy, and not create problems we don't have to. But instead we think about how sad it makes us that one day there will no longer be any such thing as a Big Mac. How farking pathetic.


Ha! What a moran, you said 'moon' where you clearly meant 'moan'

Just kidding :) I get what you are saying but I wouldn't be too hard on the common man for not aspiring to greatness. For the most part they are pretty average human beings. Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them ~ Henry David Thoreau. What Thoreau failed to mention is that circumstance dictates. By that I mean it would be wonderful to throw off the bonds of the day to day but unfortunately for the average man the day to day is not so easily cast aside. That and there are no great unknowns anymore. Little more than a couple hundred years ago a person could ride or sail off into the sunset to see what lies beyond. Or with nothing more than maybe a few tools and an inquisitive mind make a small or great discovery. Now all those frontiers have been pushed to the point that we need to build multimillion (or billion) dollar machines run by people who have studied in their particular field for years to make the next discovery.

The willful ignorance, pettiness and fighting is less easy to justify but is as much a part of our as the beautiful side. The world would be a better place if we could get beyond that. I don't see it happening but I'm not going to sweep all of mankind into the useless bin on account of it.
 
2012-07-30 07:46:24 PM  
People people, Futurama already covered this. Everything repeats
 
2012-07-30 08:03:59 PM  
DAMN ! I guess I better start painting the garage like tomorrow.
 
2012-07-30 08:11:03 PM  

Rueened: Also, I should have mentioned that it's still Obama's fault.


He does give that time machine a workout, doesn't he?
 
2012-07-30 09:09:26 PM  

NFA: OBAMA!!!!!


and yet, Romney still retroactively will blame Obama for the future collapse of the universe...
 
2012-07-30 09:40:41 PM  
SILENCE WILL FALL

eventually.
 
2012-07-30 09:58:48 PM  
On the other hand...

Does anyone know where to find a Gunslinger named Roland, who is supposed to be chasing a Man in Black across a desert?

He needs to start recruiting a ka tet to save the Beam.
 
2012-07-30 10:58:57 PM  
Before the big rip occurs we will have mastered time travel and went back to near the start and try again.
 
2012-07-31 02:56:31 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Sagan tried very hard to get across that if we don't make it off this speck of cosmic dust, we can not and will not survive as a species. The earth as a planet is too small, too limited, too vulnerable. But we're not even trying anymore. We have everything we need do to it, but we're not even making the effort. Instead, we wallow gloriously in our ignorance and arrogance, going out of our way to hurt and insult each other, steal from each other, and generally, like remarkably stupid apes in a tiny zoo, smear our wastes over everything we need to survive -- including our most vital resource of all, knowledge -- all in the assumption that it will somehow be alright in the end. But it probably won't be, because we're not working for real solutions, only temporary advantages, like people fighting over the last bottle of champagne on the Titanic.


Even knowing our time is limited doesn't necessarily mean it makes sense to invest heavily in manned exploration or moon bases right now. Any money and resources you spend on that is being taken away from something else, which might stifle economic growth and ultimately make us less capable of doing something in the future.

Imagine if Great Britain, in the year 1900, stopped producing and spent it's entire GDP trying to make a space canon a la Jules Verne. Would that have really put us in a better place today? Would we even have learned all that much, based on trying something with antiquated technology and understanding? Is it worth the economic and production costs? And this is only a century ago. Imagine where we'll be in the year 2300, and how silly our puny attempts at a moon base now will look to people then!

Bottom line is you can't assume the best strategy is to try to get off the planet right away. It might not make sense to even try yet.
 
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