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Moron Mind Blowers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. downndirty

    downndirty
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    I'm watching "Cosmos" and learn about the "mycelium network", basically a way for plants to communicate in a forest chemically: https://gardenculturemagazine.com/how-mushrooms-and-the-mycelium-network-are-healing-the-world/

    It's wildly fascinating, and made me think about how different organisms communicate. I realized one output of this network is stabilization of the environment. Ie, it's theoretically possible that this network can "instruct" organisms to produce more or less oxygen, or store more or less carbon, sugar, etc. So, I thought: holy shit, what if climate change is exacerbated because we're interrupting the control panel, by destroying so many natural habitats with their own natural communications networks?

    Another one: I am thinking about how the evolution of blockchain-esque technologies could emulate DNA, and we could have literal digital DNA. The application right now would be helpful for supply chains, logistics, etc. So, you could have a universal registry of all the information about a given thing, like an airplane, that's decentralized....you could see when the last maintenance was performed, by who, on what, etc. as the latest entry in a long chain going all the way back to who was the senior enginer overseeing the manufacturing of the fuel pump. Think about how much easier this would make it to do things like certify seafood was sustainably caught, or that your global supply chain didn't rely on slave labor, etc.

    Here's the catch: I'm a fucking moron and know functionally nothing concrete about any of this shit. I vaguely know how blockchain works, and I have an even vaguer notion of how plants release chemicals to signal and "communicate". My entire thought process ended with: "sounds cool, science should get on that."

    Focus: what blew your uninformed, lay-person or uneducated mind?

    Alt. Focus: What is your wild futuristic idea that no expert will take seriously?
     
  2. Juice

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    Focus: How big the known universe is. Given the rate of expansion, not only will humans probably never leave the Milky Way (unless they build a star gate or something), at some point no other galaxies will even be visible. And then some day it will all just burn out in a heat death.

    Alt Focus: At some point computer science will become an obsolete field of study. It’s not really mine, but I buy it 100%.
     
  3. Aetius

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    Focus: Quantum Mechanics. As Feynman put it "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."
     
  4. downndirty

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    From what I understand, you can theoretically power a "gravity well" that would enable space travel, or at least travelling faster than light. However, the energy required is....as close to impossible as it gets in terms of quantity. Like, the energy of exponential suns.

    I read that Moore's Law is possible because computing is essentially an abstraction, and an abstraction can be continued infinitely. I see the convergence of CS and biology as a potential "end" to computer science as a standalone study.
     
  5. Aetius

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    We're actually approaching the limits of Moore's law because the transistors are getting so small they're reaching the limit of what's physically possible. The gaps are so small we're starting to see quantum tunneling of electrons across "closed" paths. A lot of focus on improving these computers these days is around parallelization so you can throw more CPUs at the problem, rather than trying to make a single CPU run faster.
     
  6. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
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    Just call me Topher

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    I was blown away just by what light speed actually is, and just how pretty much impossible it is for us to get any object to achieve it. Want to a get a baseball up to 670,000,000 mph? Drain every single one of this planet’s energy sources for nearly an entire week.

    On this rock, it is here we will stay.
     
  7. Aetius

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    Trebuchets. Once you can launch a 95kg stone projectile 300m where else is there to go?
     
  8. AFHokie

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    The trebuchet is a product of mechanical engineering
     
  9. Binary

    Binary
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    Common usage of the term computer science is a programming curriculum in virtually all universities. I'm not sure how many universities are skipping computer science degrees and are instead routing future programmers to the applied mathematics department, but it's not many.


    I'm not sure that biological "machines" that @downndirty mentioned will actually obsolete computer science or computer engineering, but they will radically change both fields and render them nearly unrecognizable to their current state. While, in theory, computer science is not precisely dependent on a specific language, I think that programming biological machines is likely to be so different as to almost be a new field entirely.

    Focus: just how little we know about the ocean. Every time I read about some wild new creature that seems like an alien that lives in the ocean, I'm blown away by how foreign the water is that's all around us. We know about the protein pathways of the cells inside our bodies, or about the composition of stars that are millions of miles away, but are still finding out that there are 60 foot long undulating, living tubes that live right here on earth.

    The weird shit that exists in the oceans makes me wonder if we would even know what alien "life" is if we see it.
     
  10. Volo

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    Wi-FI, and all of its myriad applications.

    Every time I walk by my TV I’m fascinated that it is only physical connection is to electricity, and yet I have access to the sum total of human entertainment.
     
  11. walt

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    Focus: The internet.

    I remember how amazed I was the first time I logged in to AOL back in 1995, able to communicate with random strangers all over the world. True story, I still keep in touch with one one of my chat buddies from way back then.

    We take it for granted now, although the recent connection to 5G has rekindled the amazement a little. There’s so much information available at our fingertips, yet so much complete horseshit as well.