Breaking News
Comments
Duane Benson
User Rank
Blogger
Significance
Duane Benson   3/27/2014 2:53:27 PM
NO RATINGS
If we are, in fact, alone in this universe, there are two ways to look at it. First, the way you concluded: "it would behoove us to take good care of each other and of the planet we call home"

From another perspective, in all of those trillions of stars out there, if we are alone, then we are such a small component of the whole as to be completely insignificant. We are a tiny spec of dust to brushed off and never thought of again.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Significance
Max The Magnificent   3/27/2014 3:00:27 PM
NO RATINGS
@Duane: We are a tiny spec of dust to brushed off and never thought of again.

If you are trying to cheer me up, you aren't succeeding :-)

It's amazing to think that we are all formed from star dust.

My mother always used to tell me I was "special" (i took it as a complement :-)

Duane Benson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Significance
Duane Benson   3/27/2014 6:37:15 PM
NO RATINGS
Don't panic

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Significance
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:00:32 AM
NO RATINGS
@Duane: Don't panic

I want a towel that says that!

davemb
User Rank
Freelancer
Re: Significance
davemb   3/28/2014 2:51:01 PM
NO RATINGS
"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.

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
betajet   3/27/2014 7:49:47 PM
NO RATINGS
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).]

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:02:01 AM
NO RATINGS
@betajet: 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."

I've heard that one -- I don't know who said it either -- but it is mind-boggling.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:03:19 AM
NO RATINGS
@betajet: ...nobody around here can tell that things like the speed of light are very slowly changing.

Interestingly enough, there are suggestions that some of what we believe to be fundamental constants may be changing over time.

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
betajet   3/28/2014 2:18:46 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

Susan Rambo
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Ja, wir hab' kein Bananen
Susan Rambo   3/28/2014 2:39:02 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

antedeluvian
User Rank
Blogger
30,000 lbs of Bananas
antedeluvian   3/28/2014 8:59:25 AM
NO RATINGS
The topic reminded of the Harry Chapin song (which I only discovered recently) "30,000 lbs of bananas". Seems there is quite a story behind the ending.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 30,000 lbs of Bananas
Max The Magnificent   3/28/2014 10:09:07 AM
NO RATINGS
@antedeluvian: The topic reminded of the Harry Chapin song "30,000 Bananas"...

You never fail to surprise me (I'm not saying whether I mean that in a good way, or not... LOL)

David Ashton
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 30,000 lbs of Bananas
David Ashton   3/29/2014 5:14:10 PM
NO RATINGS
@antedeluvian...I used to have that record ("Verities and Balderdash") but it got lost in a move.   It's a good song.

donq_#1
User Rank
Rookie
Population factoid
donq_#1   3/29/2014 2:08:45 PM
NO RATINGS
The most interesting population factoid to me is: Because of the exponential nature of population growth, fully half of the people who have ever lived are alive today.

Absolutely frightening.

 

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Population factoid
Max The Magnificent   3/30/2014 12:28:18 PM
NO RATINGS
@donq: Because of the exponential nature of population growth, fully half of the people who have ever lived are alive today.

That really is amazing...

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Population factoid
betajet   3/30/2014 3:16:56 PM
NO RATINGS
That reminds me of a favorite sillygism:

1.  Almost all scientists are living things.  (The vast majority of scientists who ever existed are living now.)

2.  Almost all living things are microörganisms.  (Every complex living thing is filled with myriad more microörganisms.)

Therefore, almost all scientists are microörganisms :-)

wilber_xbox
User Rank
CEO
Re: Population factoid
wilber_xbox   3/31/2014 8:43:28 AM
NO RATINGS
Strange things happen when you read too many things in one day. Just before reading this blog, i had finished my daily dose of news through newspaper and now i wonder if we are alone in this universe (even for assumption) then does it make sense to fight for petty issues that politicians usually divide us and can't we all live in peace and harmony if we are so intelligent. If we look at our evolution then our history is not so peaceful and is full of massacres and wars. Even today, we have more than half population who lacks basic needs. Thinking about all this i think we cannot be (and hopefully not) alone in this universe.

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Population factoid
betajet   3/31/2014 9:58:56 AM
NO RATINGS
wilber wrote: ... does it make sense to fight for petty issues that politicians usually divide us and can't we all live in peace and harmony if we are so intelligent?

1.  Tip O'Neill used to say: "All politics is local".

2.  From Eric Idle's "Galaxy Song" in The Meaning of Life (1983):
So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely it is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
Because there's bugger all down here on Earth.


AZskibum
User Rank
CEO
Re: Population factoid
AZskibum   3/31/2014 9:47:32 AM
NO RATINGS
That is truly an amazing statistic!

David Ashton
User Rank
Blogger
Bananas.....
David Ashton   3/29/2014 3:32:21 PM
NO RATINGS
The article and comments bring to mind a JBS Haldane quote that I love:

"The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."

Having just googled it here, I find his original wording is slightly different:

"Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose." 

Somewhat antique language these days, but you get the point.....

Found another good one there as well:

"The world shall perish not for lack of wonders, but for lack of wonder" 

So Max, your wonderings are doing a great job of keeping the world from perishing.  Keep it up!

 

 

 

seaEE
User Rank
CEO
Yes we do not have 7 billion
seaEE   3/29/2014 8:12:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Muppet Show floor sweepings :)

LBeethoven
User Rank
Rookie
Not to worry, look on the other side of the bump!
LBeethoven   3/30/2014 9:43:02 AM
NO RATINGS
The reason the population is exploding is not because the birthrate is above the replacement, but because we all are living longer. The birthrate is actually in sharp decline. On the otherside of the 2050 'bump' in population there is a sharp decline in persons alive. This is why today's leaders in Russia and Japan, for example, are aking couples to have babies!

The truth is we are headed for a population decline on teh otherside of 2050. (Check the WHO website for validation)

The argument that the earth is overpopulated and unable to feed the population is a 200-year-old myth which persists. 

 



 

See:

http://pop.org/

http://overpopulationisamyth.com/

 

So relax, and go hug your kids! Remeber, without them, old age would really suck! ;)

LBeethoven
User Rank
Rookie
7 Billion People: Everybody Relax!
LBeethoven   3/30/2014 9:46:10 AM
NO RATINGS




EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Glen Chenier

Engineers Solve Analog/Digital Problem, Invent Creative Expletives
Glen Chenier
4 comments
An analog engineer and a digital engineer join forces, use their respective skills, and pull a few bunnies out of a hat to troubleshoot a system with which they are completely unfamiliar. ...

Max Maxfield

What's the Best Traveling Toolkit?
Max Maxfield
23 comments
A few years ago at a family Christmas party, I won a pocket knife as part of a "Dirty Santa" game. This little scamp was a Buck 730 X-Tract. In addition to an incredibly strong and sharp ...

Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer

Future Engineers: Don’t 'Trip Up' on Your College Road Trip
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer
10 comments
A future engineer shares his impressions of a recent tour of top schools and offers advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college road trip.

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
42 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...

Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)