Thursday, October 15, 2009

Does this concern you? The Chinese have created a Black Hole. A Black Hole! It sucks in and warps space-time! Light cannot escape! What do you do with your own black hole? I don't know. Hide things in it? Destroy the earth? Jump in, escape, forget everything.

And Al Qaeda has infiltrated the LHC which can't be good. What the terrorists will do when they get their dirty bomb hands on the elusive Higgs Boson particle is also unknown, but it no doubt threatens all humanity, if not the universe. European scientists are planning on firing up the LHC again next month, if you didn't hear, so the world may still end before Christmas. (The LHC broke down last year when they fired it up the first time, so it's been out for repairs since then. Some say it will never fire up, since that would cause the universe to implode, and thus we are living in a reality where the LHC will always break down. Like my boat.)

The tabletop Black Hole idea was from a few guys at Purdue, but leave it to the Chinese to run with the concept. Evidently, our scientists are too busy crashing junk into the moon and building bigger bombs. Why do I mention it? I don't know. It's just science. Bomb science. Projectile science.

It's all science, nowadays. I was reading about the chips they're planning on using in the new Mac Pros, which will have 6 cores and 12 threads for each CPU, and utilize 32nm engraving vs. the fat 45nm today. What does all this mean? Smaller and Faster. That's all, just smaller and faster. I have no idea how they do it. I was sewing a button on my pants yesterday and it took me twenty minutes just to thread the needle.

Does anyone out there know how anything works nowadays? Can anyone explain water pressure in a house? Does anyone know where the electricity comes from, or how the pictures go from nothing, anywhere, to a big flashing screen, sending the neurons in your brain firing off in uncontrolled nostalgic bursts? I could give you a vague generalization that would pass for an answer. Someone, somewhere, has all the answers, but as technology becomes more advanced, are engineers going to have to go to more school, or will they all be specialists? It seems that some day we'll all be inter-reliant, specialists in a world without know-it-alls, if we're not there already. And the robots will fix the robots.

I suspect we'll get the robots to do the simple stuff, too, eventually, but then only the robots will know how to do any of it, and something will be lost. Machines will one day be in the garden, but they will never express an honest admiration for the seeds. The fear is that we'll eventually be helpless and dependent, but I don't believe humans are so stupid, with our primitive pastoral sensibility. Still, civilization transforms itself, and old ways become extinct, like Huck Finn on that raft down the Mississippi, with the steam boat that powers through and destroys that simple dream of free-drifting downstream.

They say the tabletop Black Hole could revolutionize solar power. I hope so. I want to sit on my back patio, basking in the sun with my own little black hole, flipping bottle caps into in it and watching them whirl down, crushed into a singularity, while it all recharges the robot that will bring my pale ale. So, you see, the dream goes both ways, forward in time and back, to some event horizon where you have to choose between the dreams, lest you get sucked in one way, or the other.