Showing posts from January, 2013

the three laws of intellectual motion

Over three hundred years ago, Sir Isaac Newton clarified our understanding of dynamical processes by formulating has famous three laws, which read as follows: Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.The relationship between the mass of an object m, the acceleration of the object a, and the applied force f is f = ma.For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We have all engaged in discussions where one person tires to change another person’s opinion. On rare occasions, these attempts may be successful, but in general they are not. According to Peter Sturrock, an astrophysicist at Stanford University and Emeritus Professor of Applied Physics, his experience leads him to offer for consideration and discussion the follows reformulation of Newton’s laws: Opinions tend to remain in a state of stagnation unless acted upon by an external argument.The rate of change of opinion is proportional to t…

plans to create a real starship in 20 years

This article originally appeared on io9 on this page.

In Star Trek lore, the first Starship Enterprise will be built by the year 2245. But today, an engineer has proposed - and outlined in meticulous detail – building a full-sized, ion-powered version of the Enterprise complete with 1G of gravity on board, and says it could be done with current technology, within 20 years. "We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise -– so let's do it," writes the curator of the Build The Enterprise website, who goes by the name of BTE Dan.
This "Gen1" Enterprise could get to Mars in ninety days, to the Moon in three, and "could hop from planet to planet dropping off robotic probes of all sorts en masse –- rovers, special-built planes, and satellites."
Complete with conceptual designs, ship specs, a funding schedule, and almost every other imaginable detail, the BTE website was launched just this week and…