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Space Discussion Thread

Hap

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That's curious indeed, has been in the news for quite some time, and i bet it's some kind of natural phenomenon.

One question is what we'd do if we had the technology. By the time you could build such large structures in space, you'd probably be able to attempt terraforming venus. This would be a huge technical operation we are no where near capable of now, but it could be done at some point.

Mars would be another option, but fundamentally difficult since it's too light to hold an atmosphere. This would mean living under a dome forever.

Venus is perfect in terms of mass if we can remove the current atmosphere. Downside is you get 'days' that last about 4 months effectively on there, but people survive near the poles with polar days and nights that last for months as it is.

Yeah, we'd also need to be able to manage a planet's temperature pretty well too. Venus being located at 0.72AU to the Sun means it will get quite a bit warmer and as the years go by and may become inhabitable unless we can properly cool it. In terms of short term Venus may be a good idea, but long term Mars would make more sense as it won't get "eaten" by our parent star :p

-Alex
 
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Razako

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Explanation: That's no meteor. While watching and photographing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower, something unexpected happened: a gigantic jet erupted from a nearby cloud. The whole thing was over in a flash -- it lasted less than a second -- but was fortunately captured by an already-recording digital camera. Gigantic jets are a rare form of lightning recognized formally only a few years ago. The featured high resolution color image, taken near the peak of Shikengkong mountain in China, may be the best image yet of this unusual phenomenon. The same event appears to have been captured simultaneously by another photographer, further away. The gigantic jet appears to start somewhere in a nearby thundercloud and extend upwards towards Earth's ionosphere. The nature of gigantic jets and their possible association with other types of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) such as blue jets and red sprites remains an active topic of research.

Astronomy Picture of the Day
 

diachi

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Explanation: That's no meteor. While watching and photographing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower, something unexpected happened: a gigantic jet erupted from a nearby cloud. The whole thing was over in a flash -- it lasted less than a second -- but was fortunately captured by an already-recording digital camera. Gigantic jets are a rare form of lightning recognized formally only a few years ago. The featured high resolution color image, taken near the peak of Shikengkong mountain in China, may be the best image yet of this unusual phenomenon. The same event appears to have been captured simultaneously by another photographer, further away. The gigantic jet appears to start somewhere in a nearby thundercloud and extend upwards towards Earth's ionosphere. The nature of gigantic jets and their possible association with other types of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) such as blue jets and red sprites remains an active topic of research.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Damn ... APOD is down for me it seems. :(
 

Benm

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That's a very good picture!

I thought these things were fairly well known really as pilots see them too. Thinking of that you'd see them as an airplane passenger too and i never have, so they can't be super common.

Yeah, we'd also need to be able to manage a planet's temperature pretty well too. Venus being located at 0.72AU to the Sun means it will get quite a bit warmer and as the years go by and may become inhabitable unless we can properly cool it. In terms of short term Venus may be a good idea, but long term Mars would make more sense as it won't get "eaten" by our parent star :p

I wouldn't worry too much about that whole sun blowing up thing as it's pretty long away, and even if you survived the following lack of solar output would be a huge problem, if you didn't get burned off mars first.

It will become a white dwarf radiating off it's energy and slowly going dark, so that'd probably be the end of any life in the solar system, regardless what body it's on.
 

Hap

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Cool video here :yh:



-Alex
 

Benm

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He makes pretty good videos :)

Leaving before 2050 will not happen though, even if we see it coming today. One thing we could try is building a generational space station which may or may not work. If it does it cannot travel outside the solar system though as it would need sunlight for power, so setting course for another star would mean doom in the dark space between them.

On such a small closed system you'd be likely to eventually run out of -something- vital though, and with no means to re-supply that'd be the end of that ordeal.

Surviving in space is not like surviving in the woods. If you want to build campfire the problem is not lack of matches, but lack of anything combustible, and lack of oxygen to combust it in. Oh, and those campfires don't even work without a decent amount of gravity, so you couldn't even make one inside the ISS if you were isane enough to attempt it :D
 

Hap

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Hello folks,

I wanted to bring back this thread to talk about a subject I would like to know what everyone's thoughts are. I was watching a regular news channel I watch on YouTube & one subject was AI and the fact that one day us humans may be able to have 100% leisure time, whilst robots do all the work for us. Do you think this is possible? Robots work for us, but we get to relax & collect the money made from that day except we didn't do anything?

This is a very general overview but it would be a sweet situation! :D

-Alex
 

AaronT

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Hello folks,

I wanted to bring back this thread to talk about a subject I would like to know what everyone's thoughts are. I was watching a regular news channel I watch on YouTube & one subject was AI and the fact that one day us humans may be able to have 100% leisure time, whilst robots do all the work for us. Do you think this is possible? Robots work for us, but we get to relax & collect the money made from that day except we didn't do anything?

This is a very general overview but it would be a sweet situation! :D

-Alex
We watch it happen every time a job is automated.

We will know they are getting close to this when automated jobs fully automate maintenance.

I suspect we will always need people to troubleshoot the robots.

Also thanks to "traditionalists" (every one from Amish to Organic farmers to people who want everything done by hand) the chance that we will forget how to live without the bots is minimal.
 

Benm

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It depends on how far automation will go, and if money will even be a factor in that. We could become so productive that an hour of work a month maintaining the automation could provide for enough food, dwelling, entertainment etc.

One risk is that we start to fail to fully understand technology we use.

For example, in the 1970s we had cpu's (say 4004 to 8080) with under 10.000 transistors on them, and they were mostly hand-designed by humans and there were some people around that actually knew what each individual transistor on there did. On a modern computer that number is over a billion for the cpu alone, though much of that is L1 cache and such.

I think you'd have a hard time to find an individual that fully understands, in reproducable detail, how something like a smartphone works, all the way from the silicon wafer to the processor architecture and the software running on that. You may find a team that collectively does, but not a single person. As stuff gets more complex that problem gets worse, and once we take stuff for granted it gets much worse.

Wether or not we should want such a future is a matter for debate though: it has great potential benefits and risks. A risk could be something sci-fi like the technology becomes so smart it has no use for humans any longer and simply stops caring for them or even eleminates them, but also simply technology failing with noone around having the slightest clue on how to fix it.
 
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Hap

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It depends on how far automation will go, and if money will even be a factor in that. We could become so productive that an hour of work a month maintaining the automation could provide for enough food, dwelling, entertainment etc.

One risk is that we start to fail to fully understand technology we use.

For example, in the 1970s we had cpu's (say 4004 to 8080) with under 10.000 transistors on them, and they were mostly hand-designed by humans and there were some people around that actually knew what each individual transistor on there did. On a modern computer that number is over a billion for the cpu alone, though much of that is L1 cache and such.

I think you'd have a hard time to find an individual that fully understands, in reproducable detail, how something like a smartphone works, all the way from the silicon wafer to the processor architecture and the software running on that. You may find a team that collectively does, but not a single person. As stuff gets more complex that problem gets worse, and once we take stuff for granted it gets much worse.

Wether or not we should want such a future is a matter for debate though: it has great potential benefits and risks. A risk could be something sci-fi like the technology becomes so smart it has no use for humans any longer and simply stops caring for them or even eleminates them, but also simply technology failing with noone around having the slightest clue on how to fix it.

Definitely, such interesting topics! :D

-Alex
 

Benm

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Frightening and exciting at the same time i suppose.

Perhaps we shoud literally carve something in stone on the history of technology just in case it fails us at some point and the people left over need to rebuild.

Even something very trivial like smelting iron from ore is quite difficult with rudimentary means if you have no idea on how tho go about it, despite being possible with very primitive technology.

Making a how-to-restart-101 guide seems silly, but it could be useful at some point, and if not entertain historians of the future for a long time ;)
 

Hap

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Frightening and exciting at the same time i suppose.

Perhaps we shoud literally carve something in stone on the history of technology just in case it fails us at some point and the people left over need to rebuild.

Even something very trivial like smelting iron from ore is quite difficult with rudimentary means if you have no idea on how tho go about it, despite being possible with very primitive technology.

Making a how-to-restart-101 guide seems silly, but it could be useful at some point, and if not entertain historians of the future for a long time ;)

Haha, it would be pretty funny indeed to review what we've written in case of self-destruction! Congrats on 1,000 posts by the way :)

-Alex
 

GSS

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On top of missing PI and not knowing what has happened to him,:( he was the one who kept us updated about the Juno spacecraft and it safely making it to Jupiter.
I think October was the time line of some very nice close pic's.
Anybody have any info on this?
 

Rokakku

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Hello folks,

I wanted to bring back this thread to talk about a subject I would like to know what everyone's thoughts are. I was watching a regular news channel I watch on YouTube & one subject was AI and the fact that one day us humans may be able to have 100% leisure time, whilst robots do all the work for us. Do you think this is possible? Robots work for us, but we get to relax & collect the money made from that day except we didn't do anything?

This is a very general overview but it would be a sweet situation! :D

-Alex

I can see this one day being a reality. I fear though technology for killing each other is moving faster than technology for helping each other.
 

Bionic-Badger

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If the automation we see today is any indication, automation will sap away jobs, but will not change society's view that people should occupy most of their time with work. Labor is a way of keeping people busy and unable to contemplate things such as rebelling or demanding changes to the status quo. Until there is a suitable distraction created to occupy peoples' time, there will always be an emphasis on work and labor, even if there are no jobs to be had.
 

Benm

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I think we've been doing a great job at creating distractions as well. Thinks like facebook, netflix or silly video websites and such give people a larger choice of enterntainment than was ever available before.

People are not that likely to go war if they are safe and comfortable, and even less likely if entertained continously.

I suppose that this may lead to a situation where what you do for a living is no longer a key defining characteristic. If you ask people 'what they are' the answer will often be something like 'a 30 year old programmer from san fransisco'.

Currently that all is very relevant information since long-range rapid point to point transportation is not really available, socio-economic status is important, and lifespan is quite limited.

These are all things that could be overcome by technology over time though.

There is the off chance that we will use technology to wage war. There are plenty of examples of this, most notably drones that allow technological superior states to engage in overseas wars with little risk to their own soldiers. One thing about these wars is that they are already very assymetric to begin with: There is no war between say the US and Syria. If there was a full out war that'd last a day or two, or only a few hours if nuclear weapons were used.

The mutually assured destruction status-quo between nato and russia is still there, and no amount of automating systems will change that. There will still be dudes available to press launch buttons if need be ;)
 




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