Monday, June 29, 2009

Carry On Dreaming

I've been ill.

Last Monday was spent in hospital with a saline drip attached to my arm, whilst several vampires dressed up as doctors and nurses so they could take a quick snack on my blood.

The biggest problem with the medication I've been given is the wind from the attic and the slight feeling of sickness. This, I am told, will pass.

I was ordered to take it easy last week, so I just HAD to read a lot, sleep well and take the occasional walk for some fresh air.

Thankfully, all is back to normal...or at least as normal as my life ever gets.

One of the books I read was 'Physics of the Impossible' by Michio Kaku, in which he takes a look at some standards of SF such as warp speed, time travel and shields.

The impossibles are divided into three classes. Class 1 impossibilities are technologies that do not violate the known laws of physics and may be possible within a century or two, albeit in a modified form (shields, teleportation, telekenesis).

Class 2 impossibilities are at the very edge of current scientific knowledge and would take millenia, at least, to be possible (hyperspace and time travel). Class 3 impossibilities are those that would require a fundamental shift in our knowledge of the laws of physics (precognition).

Reading the book reminded me that our understanding of physics is not set in stone. The laws we know today are different to the laws we knew two hundred years ago or a thousand years ago. Whilst our current knowledge builds on the past, some things have been pushed aside and who knows what we will discover in the future.

It also reminded me that those in the world of SF who dismiss Star Trek and Star Wars as unrealistic need to open their minds. Understanding is fluid and will always change as we discover new things. Some ideas are proven false over time and the fiction looks dated, such as some stories by Jules Verne and HG Wells, but if we ever stop and think we know all there is to know, we will stagnate.

I, for one, will carry on dreaming.

3 comments:

Boudica said...

Hello!

Funnily enough, I put that book on my wish list the other day. People can use science as dogmatically as anything else.

Anyway, sorry to hear you've been ill. Take care of yourself.

Cindy said...

Glad to hear your are doing better. Take it easy!

Lady Glamis said...

Oh my goodness, I hope you're okay! That sounds like a great book. Thank you for sharing.