Friday, October 27, 2006

Tech: Science Fiction becomes reality – 3 ways

It’s a coincidence. But recently I’ve read of three scientific developments which each touch on a core science fiction premise:
When you put those together, it’s dynamite.

Unfortunately, the reality is a little more mundane. Mostly we’re talking about quantum-level experiments; and the quantum world operates under a different set of laws than ours.

Still, interesting to see if anything useful comes of any of it.


Bazza said...

Is the quantum world not a part of our world, Stephen? I think it was Richard Feynman who said 'If you think you understand quantum mechanics then you don't understand quantim mechanics.'

Bazza said...

By the way.... I see you a great believer in Wikipedia. I have learned to be a bit wary of it lately after finding some 'facts' that I was a bit wary of. Because of its nature, there are bound to be some issues over incorrect information being posted, either intentionally or not. I always seek to back up any details gleaned from that site.

S Simmonds said...

The teleportation and time travel experiments were quantum-level. From what I read, they were effectively exchanges of information. Now that may be the way forward on teleportation (as much as anything would be), but it sounds simply unfeasible to do it on an aggregate (eg cellular) level.

On Wikipedia, I have had some reservations of late, but not explicitly in the way you're saying:

1) Incomplete or unclear explanation (eg oil refinement didn't answer all my questions)
2) Missing information

Wikipedia simply reflects the level of interest in any given subject. For some of the academic ones, it's often very good. For some obscure subjects, it can be a bit flaky.

Yes, caveat emptor. You build up a level of trust in it, as in all things.

As far as inaccuracies go, I haven't seen many. Especially not on the more popular subjects. Accuracy, by and large, is a reflection on the number of times a given article is accessed.

Articles on contentious subjects generally reflect the differing viewpoints - in particular, the weighting given a viewpoint seems to reflect the consensus weighting it gets in the real world.

The model is axiomatically not 100%, but recent studies have proven it at least the worth of Encyclopedia Britannica (much as EB would argue otherwise). If you have specialist knowledge, you're likely to know specialist websites that are on the whole more useful.

But I'm certainly interested to hear clear examples of inaccuracies.