Sunday, 26 September 2010

100 years in a week

It seems a lot of my blog posts are about the future, so I'm going to stick to that convention and write another.
Yesterday I was watching a programme about time travel by Stephen Hawkings. Technically we have already made a time machine - the large hadron collider in Switzerland has proved that a certain type of particle which normally self combusts after around 125th of a second, when fired in the LHC takes double the time to self combust.
On the programme he spoke about how it was theoretically was possible for humans to travel into the future and that it is only our technology which is limiting us to make these machines that allow us to do the very thing everyone is so interested in doing. Many of the images created on the programme we computer generated images that aided us to understand how it could be possible. He used the example of a train track that went around the whole world. The train would pick up speed and suddenly when it reached 99.999999% of the speed that light travels in (7 times round the world in a second) 1 week on the train would be 100 years in the future as time on board the train would be slowed down so as not to reach the full speed of light.
It just made me think. There is no way back, we can't travel back in time. Who would take that trip if it were at all possible. We have no idea what the future can hold, our predictions are way out of league and mainly based on the notion of hope. We hope that the world can become a place of renewable energy sources, we hope that large areas of land are not underwater, we hope that there is peace and harmony amongst others and nature, and we hope there is fairness and freedom in society. But how much of what we hope will come true? Travelling to the future could mean gazing into a world where there actually is nothing. Maybe not 100 years into the future, but if we went further. A millennium into the future. What would be find?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


So blogging has taken a back shelf recently - school started just about a week and a half ago, though it seems like I've been waking up at ungodly hours and dragging my self to school for months on end. It's such a weird feeling.
Yesterday I watched '2001: a Space odyssey' - and I really haven't stopped thinking about it since. It's such an odd film, something completely ahead of it's time in the sense of plot, ideas and even the cinematography and CGI. Initially the whole plot seems to be a waste of time; essentially there isn't one that is ever complete or explained, and Kubrick, the director obviously wants the audience to ask questions and interpret the film in their own way and have their own ideas.
However essentially the film is about human nature. What does it mean to be human? A question I am constantly faced with in my philosophy lessons. It values evolution. It shows the human race in it's simplest form, apes. When confronted with a mysterious monolith the apes showed clear signs of fear and angst, disturbance my this alien object, yet at the same time a fair amount of curiosity, wrought forward by their courage. Taking a step forward and examining the object in it's entirety, the apes take a step forward and evolve. A simple idea that we can all learn from.
If we cannot full grasp new ideas and concepts, if we are not curious about life and inventions, if we feel no need to learn new things, then how as a race can we move forward?