Pic of the day: Where are all the aliens? So far only in games and other fiction. Well, as far as I know. But there is more between heaven and earth than some other places...
When the game Spore was released here in Europe, I shrugged it off. After all, it is not like I have time to play it. But now it has been released in the USA, and suddenly I feel this psychic vortex pulling me in: Spore sporesporespore...
"It is not exactly your type of game" said the LORD, or perhaps the Voice of Reason, as I went to buy it anyway. "Don't have too high expectations." I didn't, and so far they seemed about right. More about that later, probably, if there is a later.
But it is not the first time where the zeitgeist in America seems to hit me harder than the one in Europe. I have mentioned a couple cases where I take a sudden interest in some topic when the latest issue of Scientific American comes out... and don't know this until a month or two later when I buy it in the local shop here in Norway. A bit creepy. As if I am psychically linked to one or more people in America. More likely, though, it is a feature of the enormous flow of information that now washes us all with us, and which does not care much about distance as long as we have a common language. Which I have with the Americans, while most of my countrymen have not, or only much more limited.
In other interesting news, my eight years ago entry "LHC & the end of the world" seems eerily relevant, since it is only two days till the Large Hadron Collider starts its first large-scale test runs. I am actually writing this a few hours after that, and the world is still around, but the juice will be turned on gradually over the next few months.
Now, 8 years later, there is still no observation of Hawking radiation in nature (the one that would make the little black hole disappear, never mind that it would not actually be black at all but shine very brightly for the moment it existed). There are no signs of gravity waves either, which are an intrinsic part of the current model of the universe. Also over the last few years we have learned more about dark matter, to the point of knowing with even more certainty that we don't know what it is. Likewise the dark energy that keeps pumping up the universe - if that's what it does. For each passing year we realise more and more that we know less than we thought. This, I think, is a pretty good argument for leaving the "1/1000000 second after Big Bang" experiments to the next generation. But it's of course a bit late for that now. And most likely the world is not going to end this time either, since it is probably intelligently designed to withstand semi-sentient lifeforms with a god complex.
If the planet does crumble under us, at least we will know that most world religions were dead wrong. Also, we will die with a pretty good notion of why we were not visited by aliens: They probably built their own hadron colliders...
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.