"Don't Panic" is the ultimate piece of advice given in "The Hitchhiker"s Guide to the Galaxy" (author: Douglas Adams). Also, according to "Deep Thought" (the most powerful computer in the universe), the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.
Would you be willing to write a book review on it for EE Times? We'd love to have it in our Engineer's Bookshelf section? Contact Caleb Kraft to submit book reviews -- that goes for all of you engineers out there.
There's a great book by physicist João Magueijo called Faster than the Speed of Light (2003), which proposes that considering C to be a slowly-changing variable rather than a constant solves a number of cosmological questions. The book also tells you what a "cosmological question" is. Faster is written for non-physicists and includes how the author got into theoretical physics in the first place, what he was doing when he got his flash of insight, and is a marvelous exposé of modern academia -- especially the sciences. Those parts are hilarious and depressing at the same time.
I don't know the source for this one: "Either we're alone in the universe or we aren't. Either possibility is mind-boggling."
Personally, I like the theory that we're a bunch of tiny Whos or mere 3-dimensional creatures who are incapable of understanding what's really going on. We may also have a ridiculously fast sense of time, and the Elder Gods or whatever work on such a long time scale that nobody around here can tell that things like the speed of light are very slowly changing.
I also like the theory suggested by Anne Elk at Daily Kos: "Watching the dominant species self-destruct on planet after planet may be God's version of Breaking Bad."
[Subject line is obscure reference to Billy Wilder's One Two Three (1961).]
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.