Monday, May 30, 2011

My spiritual views

I guess if I have me a blog about life I should probably eventually talk about my own personal views on religion and the afterlife. So lets get it with now right off the bat, I am an atheist, not really believing in any sort of higher power, and I believe that death is just exactly like what it was before we were born, absolute non-existence. Now I'm not one of those atheist that think we are better for the rest for not being "delusional" and see religious people as being mentally inferior in any way. I'm perfectly respectful to any belief, from Agnosticism to Christianity, from Judaism to Islam, and from Taoism to Buddhism. My opinion of a person's religious views is not based in what they believe in but rather how the express it to others. If you have seriously thought about what your opinions are about such important things and only discuss it during an interesting friendly argument about philosophies than no matter what you think you're good in my book. However if you blindly follow what people tell you to believe with out truly thinking about it and if you truly believe than I feel I might question your full intelligence and or if you constantly bring up your beliefs and harshly argue with anyone who disagrees with your opinions even if they don't want to like extremist Muslims, born again Evangelists, and even some Atheists than you'd be some one I would not want to hang around with.

To me each religion has three main points (if you disagree be free to explain (I hope comments aren't restricted...)), an origin story: how the universe and world came into being, rules about how we should live our life (which no one ever really follows, well not nobody but few do), and what happens to the soul after death.
So this is how I shall split up the rest of this blog!

First: Origin of the Universe.
In most religions the Universe is made by a sentient being. Now since I grew up in a mainly Christian nation (little bit too Christian for my taste...) so the stories of Christianity is what I know best. Since Judaism and Islam is in the same religious family as Christianity I'm decently familiar for them. Unfortunately I don't know to much about other mainly Eastern religions, so most of my examples will be Christian, but I'm not explicitly attacking them just as a heads up. Being an atheist probably more interested than most in science and the Universe I believe in the Big Bang theory that almost the entire scientific community agrees with. Of course many Christians also believe in the big bang (don't quote me but I do believe the pope accepted the big bang theory) and believe that it was God that made the big bang, which is completely reasonable given the evidence but I still don't buy in the fact that this world was made by a conscious force. But according to the heavy Christians the world was made 6000 to 10,000 years ago by God in about six days (some say by days they mean 1000 years or maybe more but not really relevant). In the past century much evidence has made it seem that the Universe is about 13 trillion years old. To combat this I actually met a Christian that believes in the bible completely and says if God can make Adam and Eve already aged than of course he has the power to make the Universe already aged. Making the earth with rocks that have appeared to be decaying for millions of years, already extinct animals in the ground, orbiting around a sun that appears to be a third generation star, and light from stars thousands of light years away all ready on it's way to the earth for humans to have something pretty to look at at night. This is one of the reasons why I dislike arguing against Religions mostly since a God that has complete power over the Universe can do anything he wants for reasons humans can't possibly know, which I find quite convenient. My reasons for thinking that the Universe began billions of years of ago starting at a infinitely dense singularity and rapidly and  violently exploded is that when I see evidence all over the Universe that points all to one thing I tend to believe that rather than a being made the Universe one way but made it look like it was formed some other way, call me crazy.

Second: How we should live our lives.
This should go pretty fast since I kind of went over this in a previous blog: I do not believe there is a certain way we should live our lives, no special law in the physics of the Universe that says what actions are "good" or "evil", and that there is no super being that judges our every action. In Christianity and the other Judea religions try to follow the ten commandments told to moses by God that every follower of God should follow if they want to enter God's kingdom. Of course there are also the seven deadly sins which if we commit them we will pay with eternal suffering. But in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve commited the sin of eating a fruit damning all of humanity and all humans are born with sin already and as long as you accept Christ, who died for our sins, than God will forgive you and you can go to heaven (in which I say than what's the point of sinning?). So you can see why some people get a little confused. With no set definitions of right and wrong I then ask does it really exist? Of course now I'm an Atheist not an Anarchist and I treasure humanities civilization that we have been working on quite diligently for about a few thousand years now. How I base my actions around people mostly tend to try to make people like me more or help society in some manner. Most actions that we see as "good" tend to make our relationship with others better and help the group of humans we live in work better and have more comfortable lives which is necessary in a small group of weak tribal mammals who's only advantage they have over the rest of nature is there intelligence where numbers is power. Any action seen as good tends to help other people and bringing them together forming tighter connections and bad actions tend are seen as actions that hurt people and pushes other's away. To me the people that decide what helps a society is the government that knows it's own people and their values and not people who lived thousands of years age and who didn't know about current world conditions and modern knowledge. Of course the governments need to change it's laws as society and world conditions change instead of sticking to laws that worked a few years ago.

Third: The after life and journey of the soul.
Probably the most important part of a religion and why many people turn to it, especially in dire circumstances, is the promise of an afterlife. The two largest concepts for an afterlife is the Indian idea of reincarnation where the spirit is put into another body after the original one dies. Depending if that person follows the rules of their religion (part two), than they either go up another level from an insect to a mammal or up the caste system from a slave to a high priest. This is prevalent in Hinduism and some of India's smaller religions. Reincarnation is also in Buddhism but when one reaches the highest mortal level and ascends again their soul joins all the other souls that have been through the same process in the river of life, or something like that (if you are Buddhist or know this better than me feel free to correct me or go into more depth). In the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, they believe that the soul enters paradise in the kingdom of heaven. In Christianity (I'm pretty sure Judaism doesn't and I have know Idea about Islam) they also believe in eternal damnation where you don't accept Christ as your god and live according to the commandments. This is mainly the reason why Christianity spread so quickly during the Roman ages because it was one of the first that if you didn't follow it you'll pay the ultimate price of unimaginable torture for eternity and if you did you live the rest of your life in paradise, so all the Christians were militant on saving the world and other's where like "I guess I should play it on the safe side, I'll keep practicing my old rituals but say I'm doing it for Jesus Christ" (this is really condensed and not the full story but that's not part of this post). I believe, as I said earlier that death for anybody in the world is just like it was before you were born. For you nothing absolutely nothing would exist no Earth, no Universe, no Multiverse (if that exists in the first place), not even you to ponder why nothing else exists or to think "So this is what it's like", there's not even darkness since that doesn't exist. I've always kind of thought this (at least for a while now, I do remember thinking that reincarnation was real but I was like 10 or something), but I thought about it a bit more when I learned about computer programing in college. In a program I tell it how to act and how to behave and in video games I tell it how to react to outside stimuli such as someone touching the keyboard. It may not have much intelligence but aside from not being able to reproduce one could say it's... it's.... alive!!! I even tried to make a little simulation with little letters that got hungry and thirsty and fell in love with other letters to make baby letters. Even though these are extremely simple things many things we consider alive are almost as equal such as germs and other microbes. With no brain they just automatically react to things around them, yet we call them alive. And eventually as time passes on I'm sure we'll make programs with the same cognitive levels as us that can make emotional connections with us and may be programmed for self preservation. But if we turn them off do they die and their robotic spirit go to heaven if they have been deemed honorable? Every time I turn off my lab top do thousands of background programs die and then reborn as my OS boots up? Methinks thats a little preposterous and if so I think catholics have a little more to be angry about than abortions. As I've said in the previous post about definitions the definition of a spirit is just something to make feel better and special than just a rock or Watson, the computer that won a Jeopardy show. Life arose on this planet a billion years ago or so nothing changed in the universe. The atoms that make up you and me are just as dead as a nebula or an asteroid. It's just that in us they form an amazing dance of chemical reactions that can save and process data from the outside world, think about the past and decide actions about the future, and look down at ourselves and figure out how we and the rest of the Universe works. Some people say that being an atheist is most be one of the most depressing beliefs in the world (yeah, I consider it a belief but I won't go as far as religion, but you may call it whatever you want), but I would have to agree with the most famous self proclaimed atheist, Richard Dawkins, in that looking through the world and seeing how amazing the universe is through a scientific perspective, the ballet of stars and galaxies and planets forever spinning and forming sights more spectacular than any artist could create, than looking at nature and marveling the near perfect designs of life that arose of it's own power and than looking at the human civilization, the wonders we have created, the knowledge we have accumulated and the potential that we have is some of the most satisfying things one could see in one's life past the levels that many can feel with their connection with the religion.

If you are religious and wish to express why you believe what you do or wish to present me a problem to talk about in another post please do. I would like to talk to other people about things because philosophy is pointless when one doesn't have other points of view to see from and a proving ground to test ones ideas and also I'd like to not seem like I'm just typing into my lab top like a lunatic talking to himself. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do aliens exist?

This simple question is not so easy to answer and has a lot of implications to how we should act as a species. To answer this question I'ma split up into three parts. Does life exist at all outside of the planet? If so do intelligent life forms exist possibly with their own civilizations? And if that is so as well does have aliens visited our planet?

Question one: Does life exist at all outside of the planet?
Well given the fact that I even propose the other two questions you can assume that my assumption is yes. Why I think that is due to the laws of probability. Let's do some math now similar to what was done in Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" called the drake equation. Lets try to see how many stars in our very own galaxy could harbor life. So given the estimation that their are 100 billion stars in our galaxy we will apply some factors (mostly estimated) to this number and the result will give us a rough estimation of how abundant life is in the galaxy. So starting with a number of 100 billion we guess the percentage of stars that have planets and multiply these numbers together. So about a quarter of stars have their own planets so 100 billion times 0.25 gives us 25 billion stars that have planets. So now we times that by the average number of planets per solar system, five. So 25 billion times 5 gives us 125 billion planets in the galaxy. So lets times that number by the percentage of hospitable planets. Using our solar system as a guide lets say one out of eight planets has the potential of life. So 125 billion time 1/8 (or 125 billion divided by eight) gives us 15.625 billion planets that can harbor life potentially. So even given a very small percentage of the chance of life arising although it might be very big,  since life came very quickly on earth even when is was still cooling down from being a giant ball of lava, the chances of life existing outside of our solar system is too huge to ignore. Theres even a chance that life could be on planets or moons in our solar system. With evidence of water and a much thicker atmosphere on mars life, at least on a microbial scale, could have existed. And on the moon of Jupiter, Europa, life could exist miles beneath it's ice surface. As it orbits Jupiter the gravitational pull of the gas giant pulls on the solid core, akin to how the moon pulls on the oceans to make tides, making enough friction to raise the temperature  for liquid water to exist and with the miles of ice to protect the environment there from solar radiation life could easily occur there.

Question two: Does intelligent life or extrasolar civilizations exist?
My answer to this is a definite maybe. This comes from the logical stand point and further extension of the Drake equation and that would be totally awesome! So lets say that life occurs on 50% of all the planets that could harbor life half of 15.625 billion would be 7.8125 billion (lets round to 8 billion since these are all estimations anyway) planets that have life. Now we fraction in how many of these planets have intelligent life to get to at least mammalian levels of intelligence. Lets be a bit harsh and say only 1% of these planets have life that evolve to this point and 99% of the other planets have life that stays at the microbial scale. So that would give us 80 million planets with divers and complicated life forms. Now which of these have species that reach around human intelligence or greater and manage to build advanced civilizations. I think planets that have such high life forms it would be pretty likely that one species would walk down the evolutionary path of advanced cognitive development and realize that there is allot more you can do with intelligence than make spears and slings but lets say 50% of planets that have complicated life forms gets a species capable of forming a civilization. So using these estimations we get that 40 million planets in the galaxy alone (not to mention there are an unknown amount of galaxies in the universe) that have had civilizations grace them at one point of the galaxies history. The last and more somber part of the Drake equation is the faction of civilizations that manage to not kill themselves. Within a few thousand years of human civilization (~0.00001% of the age of the universe) humanity has lately become a hairs width of complete annihilation on multiple equations, with the possibility still ahead in the future. Since we are the only civilization we know of we have know way of knowing how often a civilization can get past the point of being able to destroy it's entire home planet to the point of establishing multiple colonies on multiple planets and stars (which would be the point of permanence where the civilization could quit possibly live on until the end of creation. But even with quite low numbers 40 million civilizations in total is a large number some I would place my bets that there are several inter solar civilizations as I type this blog of mine.

Question three: Have alien civilizations ever been to Earth?
This I think would be the most important question out of the three because it could be integral to how we are as a species and as a civilization now. My assumption right now is no, I don't think aliens have ever in the history of out planet visited it. Even with all the sightings and testimonies of sane people about UFOs and alien encounters I'm not convinced that aliens would ever just come and look for a few seconds than disappear. I try to think of this situation from a human perspective (just as any self centered human that's never met an alien civilization would). If thousands of years from now we could had the ability to quickly and cheaply travel between the stars and the stretches of the milky way and we noticed a planet of reasonable size, in the Goldilocks zone of temperature where liquid water could be achieved, had a metallic core that could form a magnetic shield to protect life and was made up of just the right elements for life to occur we would definitely check it out for our quest for extraterrestrial life. But if we found a civilization just past the industrial age (given that all civilizations roughly follow the same pattern ours did) we wouldn't just hover for a bit never actually making contact, or just experimenting on random civilians that no one would believe. We would be like "Yo dawg! whats up? We Humans and we think we tight as shit and wanna rap with ya'll mutha aliens" (this is the future where all the upper class people talk like this and you wouldn't even want to know how future gangsters talk like). We'd be too curious to stand idly by and curiosity would be the pillar of any space faring civilization as well if they want to know the secrets of the universe to bend it to their will.

If aliens did make contact I would guess four outcomes would happen.
1. The most likely is that they would be friendly and curious just like I imagine we would act. They would come down and make there presence known trying to learn our history and teach us what they know and try to ascend us to their level of technology and hopefully we would begin a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with them and any other civilizations that they know about. Much like the situation in Mass Effect and end up in a diverse galaxy like in Star Trek or Star Wars (I might be a little to optimistic about this situation than I should but I think the nerd in me wants this possibility to become true too much).

2. The next most likely scenario (or maybe the most likely according to some) is a situation more like the European exploits of the Americas. Where the space faring civilization simply doesn't care about us at all and only kills us if we get in there way. They would come to earth seeking resources or land for a new colony and most likely hurting us due to their damage to our environment, and could and would easily destroy any military power if we would try to stand up (imagine an apache helicopter fighting off a tribe off Apache Native Americans but even more one sided). Also if life is even more common than we think they might not care about losing our biodiversity since we would only be one of thousands or billions of known planets with life.  Due to the fact that the closest example we can get to alien civilizations colliding is the western exploration of the Native American populace things might not look to good for us given that situation.

3. The not so likely but would explain the UFO situation is that life could be quite rare in the galaxy and an alien civilization might see us as promising and wants to leave us alone for us to develop us on our own. Or we could be seen as some sort of zoo that would help contain galactic biodiversity and they only come to study us and to gawk at our silly exploits as scientists and tourists. This could be the case but I just couldn't Imagine that as being a more likely case than the previous two.

4. The least likely but weirdest situation is the "Ancient Astronaut" theory. This is the theory that at some point during our evolution an alien civilization came down to help us along the way. Either turning us from apes to humans or just giving us the basic knowledge of civilization. A possible example is the movie "2001 Space Odyssey" (possible as in the entire movie is up for interpretation) where the tribe of apes that got kicked out of a watering hole by a rival tribe encountered an alien obelisk that seem to either enhance their intelligence or  impart the knowledge of tools and let the tribe take back the watering hole by using animal bones as weapons and from there on out continue the making of tools improving their quality of life up till today. Many people who believe in this theory say there is evidence in the art of ancient civilizations. In an Egyptian tomb is a rendering of what could possibly be a light bulb and in Mayan drawings there is what could be interpreted as an astronaut on a rocket ship that is about to take off, both of these civilizations where very advanced for there day and possibly explains how they built such huge stone structures with apparently only human of animal power and how many civilizations have many uncanny similarities in patterns or architecture. Even cave paintings of aboriginals in Australia have figures that look like astronauts with an aura around there head that look like space helmets. This is also the explanation for what they ancients got there ideas from gods from that they were accentually the aliens that descended from the sky and gave humanity the gift of fire, language, the written word, and many other integral parts of any civilization (much like the story of Assassin's Creed, that silly game).

All of these possibilities are, well, possible and I definitely can't say which is right or wrong, I'm just saying which I think are most likely. The main reason why I think aliens have never come to Earth and why I don't think they even know about Earth is, once again, the matter of probabilities. As I said there are about 100 billion stars in this galaxy and it's around 100,000 light years in diameter. Our sun is completely average and unexceptional and the earth is nearly impossible to detect from more than a light year away so there is no reason why an advanced space faring civilization would spend any particular attention to this sector of the galaxy and even though we have been constantly sending signals out past the solar system for the past century now our signals would only fill the smallest fraction of the universe and most likely not have reached the ears of any civilization able to detect such signals so they would have no idea that there is a prospering civilization well on it's way to leaving it's home planet ready to explore.

If, thousands of years from now, we explore our galaxy and find that there is no other hint of life, then we must appreciate the honor and luck we have to exist as a life form, as a species, and as an advanced civilization. We must make sure that we accept the honor and duty of being the sole protector of life and make sure that it prospers through out the galaxy as our son will inevitably blow up and destroy the Earth. However, I'm not a betting man but I would safely put my life savings on the fact that there is at least one advanced civilization out there wondering there same perplexing thought we do. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are we in the Matrix?

A while ago one of my friends recommended this  for a topic for one of my posts and since it's my only request to date I wouldn't I oblige?

Well, he asked me to try to prove that the world that we all live in is not some complex computer simulation without our knowledge. I'm not going to say that this question includes the same history as the movies with a civil war between humanity and machine with the eventual victory and complete domination of the machines and using us as a power source to replace the sun, then creating a simulation for our minds to meander in and the eventual rise of a human rebel army using a chosen one to bring the end of the machines. The question is not about the history our current state of the real world if this situation were to be true, just that the world we see around is not the "real" world but just a computer simulation built by an intelligent civilization (one could say the "real" universe is just a simulation as well by some paranormal force, maybe some sort of god figure).

Although computers have decreased in size unimaginably in the past decades, where computers the size of a room are thousands of times less powerful than any standard smartphone today, and the trend still continues to this day and computer simulations become ever more realistic and graphics and physics become better each year, I do not think computers will ever become powerful enough to simulate the world to such detail that such an inquisitive species with such advanced technology would not be able to detect such a major detail  of the universe.

If this would be a simulation than it would be an extremely detailed one as scientists can detect events that occur on the extremely microscopic scale and have not seen any "pixels" as of yet. This simulation would have to calculate the position of every subatomic particle that makes up every atom of the known universe, which I hope I won't have to say how many atoms make up the known universe. Plus every subatomic particle the buzzes around space randomly which are probably even more numerous. Well maybe this simulation only works down to such details on earth and in space there are "efficiencies" where there the rules aren't so complex. So how big of a computer would be needed to simulate the Earth?

Well lets start about how much we would need to compute an atom. In modern computers computers store the state of all of it's data in transistors that holds a charge or not, the 1's and 0's of binary. The decreasing size of computers is the decreases in the size of transistors. Now matter how small transistors get they will always be made out of multiple atoms (I'm not willing to say how small because I'm sure scientists from the fifties would never believe how small computers have gotten today), and can only only hold two states. An atom however can be in multiple states with each subatomic particle storing a lot of information. To accommodate more than two states computers string up eight bits (a one or zero) into a byte. A byte could store one of 256 states (two to the power of eight) and x bytes linked up can store 256 to the power of x states. So if it takes (ARBITRARY NUMBER WARNING) one megabyte, 8,388,608 bits, would take up that many transistors and that number times each atom in a transistor, lets say 1,000, gives you how many atoms it would calculate the state of an atom, more than eight billion. So a hard drive that would store the single state of the earth would be more than 6000 times the volume of the sun and I'm giving plenty of leeway because I think an atom holds a lot more information then that and transistors will never get that small.

In the future we might be able to make quantum computers which instead storing the two states of an electron it can hold thirty two quantum states so one transistor could hold five bits of info dividing the size of our Earth hard drive by five. So if we are using the same numbers as above the Earth hard drive would be 1200 times the volume of the sun. Well that is progress so maybe we can keep going forward. Maybe we could keep making a single transistor hold more and more states and decreasing the size of hard drives this way. Lets say we check the state of an atom itself in a transistor rather than an electron if thats even possible. So if we can have a transistor hold every state an atom can hold than we just need one transistor per atom of the Earth, well we're down to 1000 times the volume of the Earth if we have our 1000 atoms per transistor ratio. If we can keep shrinking down the resistor to one atom for each transistor than we have a hard drive the size of the earth and that is with out wires, casings, or any other components.

A good logical way to see this problem is how can we get anymore information from an atom than how much an atom contains. So the smallest a hard drive can be for the Earth is the size of the Earth and the smallest a computer that can store the data of the of the Universe would be the size of the Universe and thats just to store the data not to mention the actual CPU that will actually change the data stored over time and I don't even want to understand how many calculations a computer would need to do per second to run at real time (I guess the computer could go extremely slow and could alter the way the brain perceives time to make it seem to go normally but I don't think it would because the lifetime would be significantly decreased).

So you can see why I find it a little hard for this entire complex, beautiful and flawless world could be a simulation. Thousands of years of scrutiny of the human civilization has not found a single glitch, bug, or short cut and modern telescopes peer thousands a millions and billions of light years into the Universe completely fitting perfectly with our understanding of the Universe and our findings here on Earth. With the vastness and complexity of the observed Universe there is no way a mortal civilization can make a computer simulation of what we observe around us. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Future of Human Exploration II

So let's finish this topic of human space flight. I'm definitely sure that we'd be able to colonize the rest the solar system specifically the moon, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. A new engine has actually been designed that could be much faster than conventional rocket engines now. Called the VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket), this new engine creates ionized superheated plasma which it ejects from the rear of the ship pushing it forward. Although it gives less oomph than solid fuel rockets it is much more energy efficient and the vacuum of space lets the engine build up speed over time. To prevent the plasma from touching the engine VASIMR uses electro-magnets to create and maneuver the plasma out of the engine.  

The engine is estimated to be able to get a manned ship to mars in forty days given a power source of 200 megawatt source  which a VASIMR engine with such a power source has not been prototyped but should be able to be made within a reasonable amount of time. With this technology perfected interplanetary trade will definitely be feasible. 

As for extra solar travel one interesting design I saw was in Carl Sagan's "Cosmos". When hydrogen fusion is perfected the ship will use stocked up hydrogen for nuclear fusion to accelerate it to a descent fraction of the speed of light at that point the front of the ship will have a huge funnel multiple square miles in size will collect the few hydrogen atoms that float out in the deep space. At such high speeds even the fact that there a barely any hydrogen items the speed at which the ship goes it will collect enough to keep the hydrogen fusion going allowing the ship to carry less than enough fuel to travel such distances but the constant acceleration will still allow the ship to go around 90% the speed of light or maybe even past that. 

Even though habitable planets outside the solar system could be many light years causing the trip to last even more years than that but thats only relative to the earth and other "stationary" colonies. To the pilots and passengers on the ship time will pass by differently, the closer to the speed of light the less amount of time the trip seems to take (where to a photon the trip across galaxy takes instantly, also the distance between any to points to a photon is always zero, think about it), so a round trip to could take years on earth will seem like only a few months for the passenger (or even less depending on how fast the ship goes) giving you the twins paradox where to twins will end up different ages when one returns from a near light space trip (don't ask or me to explain exactly how the twin paradox works cause it's crazy cuz to the twin on the ship the twin on earth travels near the speed of light and should be younger than the pilot, it's got sumthing to do with the fact that it's the space twin that does the acceleration). While traveling between colonies would take a descent delay it's definitely possible once we can get near light speed travel. 

If we can somehow learn how to bend space and time itself and teleport across the universe faster than light other weird things can happen. Where the twin paradox occurs with near light speed and time stops when an observer travels at the speed of light well guess what one can actually travel back in time if one can travel faster than light. As far as I can tell our technology is nowhere near that point if that is even possible and I have no idea what consequences would happen if such technology is possible and how we could get around it.

Well thats pretty much what I have on my mind about space travel and "The Future of Human Exploration." Colonizing other planets and exploring the galaxy is important and necessary to our survival and development as a species and to our civilization. I aint no promising Star Wars (I'm an English guru!) but I think reasonable colonization and trade is possible within a mellenia.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Future of Human Exploration

The story of humanity has always been one of exploration, colonization and adapting to meet any environmental obstacles that stand in their way. Ever since we evolved we have felt a need to leave our cradle in Africa and explore the continent. Eventually crossed into the Middle East eventually going into Europe and Asia having to adapt to the extreme colds of the north during the Ice Age having to make clothes and master the art of fire. Some humans even made their way into the Americas populating the entire length of both north and south continents. As technology developed and ocean going ship designs became more sophisticated Europeans began a new wave of exploration, reaching India by sea by going around Africa and Christopher's famous voyage lead to the western colonization of the America's and soon they circumnavigate the world. Even the frozen wastes of the poles and the depths of the oceans were explored even if they were not colonized.

Once the west colonized many parts of the world and global trade began to connect the entire planet a new wave  of exploration began as a competition between the two major powers of the globe. After a few years the USSR sent Sputnik into orbit and made Yuri Gagarin the first man into space the USA became the first nation to put men onto another heavenly body besides Earth. In no time at all humanity took advantage of the technology to reach space by setting up numerous satellites furthering connecting our world.

Unfortunately it seems we have stopped there. Although many probes have landed on Mars and passed by Pluto and our telescopes peer farther and farther into the Universe and its past it seems that we don't have any plans to go farther. If humanity wished to grow and develop we need to continue to explore and colonize the Universe. And now that we have weapons that have the power to destroy all life on Earth and other galactic catastrophes that are even more destructive leaving the earth permanently becomes a matter of survival for our species and our greatly coveted civilization.

One piece of technology that will greatly help us get into space is the space elevator. These will be stations that are in geosynchronous orbit around the planet so that it will naturally stay over the same spot on the Earth.  They would be connected onto the Earth through extremely long cables. Elevators would be able to travel up and down these cables, powered by lasers shot from the base on the ground it would not need to carry it's own fuel with it as it leaves the Earth's gravitational pull. With traditional rockets fuel makes up a huge fraction of the weight as vast amount of fuel needed to lift a pound into orbit which needs more fuel to lift the weight of the fuel and more fuel to lift that fuel, et cetera. This will make it immensely cheaper to launch people into orbital altitudes. Space elevators can also be used to quickly and cheaply bring up pieces of space ships which could be assembled in space. These ships can be optimized for space travel since they won't have to deal with the stresses of leaving and entering the Earth's atmosphere.

Once space elevators become well established on Earth at least going onto the moon and other planets will become much easier and if we establish permanent colonies onto those bodies space elevators could be built there as well and and interplanetary trade can be established and humanity will continue it's legacy of exploration and expansion.

And now I'm tired so I guess I'll put what I have up now so I can update some what regularly and I shall continue this blog later on another day. Well as always feel free to ask any questions who may want me to expand upon in this blog or request a new topic for me talk about entirely!!!

Some pictures of what space elevators might look like (via Google images):
Space elevator itself

The base of the elevator on the surface of the Earth

Cool looking angle seen from space

(Oh, I hope if I make it big I get sued for taking peeps images off of Google without giving credit.
It's called the internet! All the cool kids pirate stuff!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer's here and I'm back HAHAHAHA

As promised, with the end of April came the end of my fourth and (hopefully) hardest semester at college. So from now until September I got plenty of free time. As I said in my last post I will now continue with my blogs about science history and life. Hopefully I shall get into the habit of writing entries and managing my blogs that I'll check on it as often one would a FaceBook account. With a three hour time delay of going from Seattle to Miami I find myself staying up later than usual and have decided to spend this empty time with blog writing which would help with a consistent amount of updates at least for the next few months.

Also with the help of my friend. who has a decently successful blog (,  I should hopefully get more followers which would actually make me encouraged to do this.

For now I plan to do some more normal updates of my own, probably finish up that special relativity post I did. But once (or if) this blog catches on I'll encourage you, my followers, to ask me questions about mostly anything, from ethics to technology to religion to history to physics to the future to anything in between (that means you four of my current followers).

So thats pretty much it for this post. No kinda information about humanity or the universe today. Just an update about how my Blog is actually going to be updated.