Category Archives: Thinking

Are we alone in the Universe? A Time and Space Question

Arthur C Clarke

“There are two possibilities, we are either alone in the universe or we are not. Both of these are equally terrifying.” Arthur C Clarke.

These words have resonated with me for some time and it’s hard to find any human being that could to relate to this feeling. It’s a quote that gives me the sense of the isolation of the human race and gives me the inescapable feeling that we are all space travellers on a lonely rock in space. It’s also got me thinking – the search for life outside of our own world is focussed purely on one thing – space or location. Where are they?

But let’s look at this another way – is there extraterrestrial life around now, was there life before? Is there extraterrestrial life to come?

 


 

If other beings live out there, if we’re to find them, we must do so before one or either of us is expired by the universe. ~ Simon Farnell

 

Now you might be reading this and thinking that I’ve lost it this time. Surely the aliens are here, right here and right now. But bear with me on this. Planet Earth and the solar system have been around for a very short time in terms of the age of the universe and the human race has existed for a mere blink of an eye in that time… if that. So maybe in the time that we currently exist in the universe is a time where there’s nothing else.

Civilisations have come, grown, developed and been wiped out millions of years ago and any trace of them turned to dust by the natural erosion of their planets.

Or maybe we exist in a time before other civilisations have even started, maybe we’re the first to crawl out of the oceans and develop and grow into sentient beings.

Other possibilities may be that one human life is far shorter than the lives of other beings that live on other worlds.

Time as I have said before is such a relative thing, based on what we can perceive and measure with our minds. If we imagine the universe as a giant entity existing in its place we can maybe imagine that our existence is a fleeting and insignificant thing, a moment of time too short to measure and other races that may or may not exist will also be a similar fleeting moment.

So if other beings live out there, if we’re to find them, we must do so before one or either of us is expired by the universe. Our fleeting moment expired before we could reach out and connect.

Kinda scary eh?

 

Planet Simon

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The NHS – What is the real cost of saving it?

For those living in the UK, you will have noticed that there’s rarely a day goes by when the NHS is in the news and most of the time it’s not for good reasons. The words crisis, lack of resources, funding are used in the the story. The same politicians responsible for funding the service and keeping it going are on TV apologising for the outcomes over the winter or becasue the ambulances can’t get out to emergency calls becasue they can’t offload the patients they already have – becasue the hospitals are full to overflowing already with people being treated in the waiting rooms or left to be ill in the corridors.

The picture I hate to say this is bleak. It’s a tragedy to actually witness this great institution being strangled to death in front of our eyes and yet the British government (with it’s hand around the neck of the NHS) still insists it’s doing all it can to alleviate the daily crises affecting the NHS. The reality is different I think.

It’s the doctors, the nurses, paramedic and all the people working to try and make the NHS work that are actually keeping it going. I twas announced today that more nurses are leaving the NHS than joining. Small wonder considering the working conditions and pay that they’re getting. They seem to think that some kind of ambassadors will help the situation – so these people will help them accept long hours, low pay and demanding working conditions?

Keep on reading!

Coincidences – Is the Universe rarely so lazy?

I’ve been on this Earth a little while now and if there’s one thing I’m increasingly convinced that doesn’t exist or is rare it’s coincidences. The premise is that on your path in life many, many other paths cross yours in different ways and these are totally random events. But I’m not so sure.

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Do coincidences exist? Possibly, probably, maybe. But as Mycroft Holmes said to Sherlock when he was summing up some facts and trying to explain them as coincidence “The universe is rarely so lazy” and I think this is a better way to look at it.

Keep on reading!

Behind Every Man – Arthur C Clarke

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I stumbled across this from Arthur C Clarke and it inspired me to share it:

“Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.

Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.

But every one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small, nearby star we call the Sun. And many–perhaps most–of those alien suns have planets circling them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven–or hell.

How many of those potential heavens and hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. But the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters, among the stars.

Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become reality. Increasing numbers, however are asking; ‘Why have such meetings not occurred already, since we ourselves are about to venture into space?’

Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please remember: this is only a work of fiction.

The truth, as always, will be far stranger.”
―Arthur C Clarke

Thought for Tuesday – Water chillers are bad for your health!

Water chiller drinking stations, you know you get them at work and they’re a good source of cool refreshing water at work. Often found in random corners of any place of work.

These are bad for your health, well – more accurately your back. I’m not sure who these are designed for, some kind of dwarf. The angle I need to bend down at to use it is precisely the right angle to ping my back.

Then, if you need to replace a water bottle – extra back breaking work and for heaven’s sake don’t drop the bottle!

Just saying… or is it my age?

Simon 🙂

Thought for Tuesday – Car Headlights

So here we are and watch out I’ve been thinking again. As the data get darker and those who drive have to start using headlights I’m left wondering about makes of high end cars who put ultra bright headlights in their cars that help the driver to see better.

This is all very well you selfish little shit but me and everyone else you pass had to suffer their retina bring burned out just so you can see better so you can keep driving like a bastard!

Thanks… Do us a favour car makers, knock it off! It’s not funny!

Simon ☺️

The Shape of Things to Come – Awesome Quote

My friend Roger of Heroically Bad Writers quote this to me today – it was so awesome I had to share it!

 

“But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.”

Hope you’ve all had a great day!

Simon 🙂

Humans on Mars – My view on the Logic and Insanity

The concept of human colonising Mars isn’t new – it’s decades old and has been talked about since space travel started in the 1950’s and 60’s. Since the Moon landings the science community has viewed that travelling to Mars as being the next logical step in manned space exploration. The science and engineering behind this effort is staggering and while no actual missions are definitely planned in, the discussions have not ended and will carry on until we finally achieve this.

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The way in which we travel to Mars has modified over time, I can remember when then missions talked about would last for some months on the Red Planet in order to make it worth the effort. I recent years though this has slowly changed to the realisation that missions to Mars are going to be one way only. You go to live the rest of your days there. This ties in nicely with the ethics of the colonisation of Mars, the preservation and advancement of the human race seems to be important right now. While I get this and there are those that have volunteered for this which is amazing, but do they really know what it’s going to be like? I’m sure a few months will be brilliant fun, but let’s face it 10 years down the line you might well have gone completely insane – if you haven’t starved to death.

Starvation and human preservation is kind of what brings me to some of the insanity around this. I’ve seen people talking about Mars being the next place the hum races goes to once we’ve finished ruining the Earth.

Seriously… WTF?!?

Do you seriously think that it’s all going to be ok to plunder the Earth until it’s a wasteland and then park up on Mars? When was the last time you saw this place?

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This is it. It doesn’t change much. Nothing grows here, there is no atmosphere to breathe despite what science fiction movies tell us (it’s called fiction for a reason). If we reduce Earth to a wasteland we won’t find anything better on Mars. Colonising Mars is a huge step towards human living permanently off Earth but it’s not a second option to Earth. Earth must be preserved!

The other insane idea is that of Elon Musk’s to create a martian atmosphere by detonating nuclear warheads at the poles, melting them and creating an atmosphere. This is so flawed it’s not funny. Mars has a tiny magnetic field, so it cannot keep much of an atmosphere. But even if it could – everyone would be breathing radioactive air for the next 1000 years! There is also his vision to make travel to Mars accessible to all, costing around $200,000 a trip.

As in every huge project, there is insanity that rides with it. Travelling to Mars is going to be expensive. Living on Mars will be even more expensive and will be very hard! The rewards could be unimaginable and ultimately so will the costs.

Simon 🙂