December 10, 2018

Stephen Hawking Saw Time Travel as a Possibility

““If one made a research grant application to work on time travel it would be dismissed immediately,” writes the physicist Stephen Hawking in his posthumous book Brief Answers to the Big Questions. He was right. But he was also right that asking whether time travel is possible is a “very serious question” that can still be approached scientifically.

Arguing that our current understanding cannot rule it out, Hawking, it seems, was cautiously optimistic. So where does this leave us? We cannot build a time machine today, but could we in the future?

Let’s start with our everyday experience. We take for granted the ability to call our friends and family wherever they are in the world to find out what they are up to right now. But this is something we can never actually know. The signals carrying their voices and images travel incomprehensibly fast, but it still takes a finite time for those signals to reach us.

Our inability to access the “now” of someone far away is at the heart of Albert Einstein’s theories of space and time.”

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

"With the weakest of hands, an economy not much larger than that of Spain, and a GDP per capita several thousand dollars smaller than Malaysia, he has asserted massive negative influence over the globalized world."

"Scarcely hours after the titanic drubbing Democrats delivered to President Trump's GOP in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential campaign began in deeply unwelcome earnest."

"US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital exactly one year ago, breaking with decades of international consensus in the process. What was the historic move and what impact has it had?"

"With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011."

"Have the scars of the housing bust turned us away from the American dream of homeownership? Survey data suggest otherwise.... We simply can’t afford to pursue that dream right now.'

"Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme... the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day."

"Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel Miami is part of a global network of art fairs that have transformed the worldwide art market."

"Dutton Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House, is releasing a series of tiny books that give the act of reading a studied whimsy."

"The presence was so disruptive, she added, that some children had a hard time when their parents left. Others were disappointed that their parents did not come for lunch."

"The kitchen — named after the Hebrew phrase “L’Chaim,” which means, “To Life!” — features a menu of Americanized Jewish food items such as pastrami on rye, potato knish with herb sour cream..."

"Life on the sprawling grasslands precipitated a shift from individualistic ways of living to more cooperative ways. This was the birth of what you might call “social intelligence,” and it changed the way our minds work."

"When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness—except, of course, for neo-Nazis, who see Jews as hyper-integrationists."