a writer's blog

Another One—Checked!

collateral tales

collateral tales

Well, almost. For more than a year now I’ve wrecked my brain for a possibility to bring in ESP, which goes deeply against my knowledge of physics.

There’s a difference between something like, say, FTL, and something like ESP. For FTL, we can either stretch the knowledge that we have (wormholes, warp, and stuff) or invent some new phenomena we’ll possibly come across one day (hyperspace and stuff). With some effort, we can even stay within Einstein’s parameters, have nothing actually move faster than light within the confines of our good old space-time continuum, and deal with the problem of the availability of information outside their causal “cones” later, or simply ditch the problem when no-one’s looking. FTL is a vehicle, after all, and no puns intended!

ESP is a different beast. There’s nothing to stretch and there’s nothing to come across one day. Within the physical world we know, it just can’t squeeze in. There are simply no ways in which such forces could be transmitted, let alone manipulated. Besides, the human aptitude for ESP seems to be around nil, even if you could win one million dollars with a simple test, while the aptitude for bogus claims is unlimited (ask James Randi).

But last weekend on a hiking/climbing tour, when I was in the midst of a somewhat heated argument about thermal entropy and the “readability of waste heat,” I suddenly had an idea. Traces of particle physics are involved, and some vague ideas I recently formed while reading Lee Smolin’s terrific The Life of the Cosmos.

Cool. Now I have pretty much everything I need in order to work out an ESP solution that will, I can see that, tie in neatly with some other aspects of the setting. And the weather last weekend was brilliant too, a sudden relapse into summer—hot, in other words. Which did tie in neatly with the forementioned dispute and a bunch of other things, in turn.

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