Thursday, January 26, 2023

The world of tachyons and science fiction

In previous posts in this blog I have mentioned various procedures often used by the authors of science fiction novels to make interstellar travel almost as simple and brief as today's airplane trips to different points on Earth. One of these procedures consists of disintegrating the ship and reintegrating it into the universe of tachyons: hypothetical particles, compatible with the theory of relativity, that would always travel at speeds greater than the speed of light. Thus it would be possible (in principle) to travel very fast to the point we are interested to go to, reintegrate the ship into the world of tardions (in other words, into our world), and presto! We have traveled faster than the speed of light.

In fact, the authors of these novels (of which I am one) don’t usually go into detail about what the world of tachyons would be like. We simply assume three necessary conditions for interstellar travel to be possible:

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The abolition of truth

Aquilino Polaino-Lorente

In his book Antropolog√≠a e investigaci√≥n en las ciencias humanas (Anthropology and research in human sciences, 2010), Aquilino Polaino-Lorente writes:

The evangelical phrase "truth will set you free" is being replaced by the opposite: "freedom will set you true." (Chapter 6). After scientific relativism, political absolutism almost always appears... only irrational attitudes remain, dominating the person, the world and politics... The truth is a mere hostage of the material world, without admitting any discussion outside of it. The absence of truth has maddened science. (Chapter 10).

Science has as its objective the search for truth. Its purpose is to discover what happens in the world, outside and inside of us. And once discovered, that truth also should set us free, because it makes technology possible, which increases our freedom (or should increase it).

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Nine years of Divulciencia-Populscience

Nine years after the creation of the blog Divulciencia (whose English version is named Populscience), I have published more than 400 posts, which is equivalent to about 45 posts a year (in summer I take vacations and do not publish).

These posts are classified into 25 thematic threads, of which the most visited is What is man?, one of whose posts, Is man just an animal? is the most visited post in the blog, with more than 55,000 visits.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

The best sci-fi films

As usual, there are lists of the best movies for all tastes. In this article I will focus on three:

  • The 100 best films in history, the result of a vote among seven film critics, organized by the newspaper La Vanguardia in 2007.
  • The 100 best films in history, the result of a vote among hundreds of thousands of users of IMDb, the largest database on cinema.
  • My personal preferences: the 230 movies I have liked best.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Downloading consciousness

If we could download our consciousness in a computer or a robot, we could go on living indefinitely inside the hardware and thus achieve immortality. This is what some futurists and supporters of transhumanism hold. But is there any chance that this will come true?

If this were possible, we could also keep backup copies. Thus, in the event of an accident, the dead person could be retrieved and put back into operation with minimal memory loss. As usual, science fiction arrived there first, as in Cory Doctorow's novel Down and out in the Magic Kingdom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Will cyborgs be immortal?

Neil Harbisson
File licensed under Creative Commons

The third procedure that has been proposed to make us immortal is the following: as our organs deteriorate, we could replace them with artificial organs, thus becoming a cyborg, a being intermediate between man and machine. The process could be repeated as many times as needed, potentially making us immortal.

Just now, this line of research is not very much advanced.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Will robots help us to be immortal?

The second method that, according to optimists, will help us achieve immortality, is based on the following idea:

We will soon be able to design tiny robots that, introduced into our blood, will attack and destroy every pathogenic microorganism, as well every cancer cell, leaving the normal cells of the body intact. When all diseases disappear, we will automatically be immortal.