Anyone who has been on the net for more than a few days has had the chance to run into a few of the people who populate nearly every newsgroup, devoting their lives to the propagation of their particular theories on the nature of the cosmos, theories such as "the space program is a hoax," "gravity doesn't really exist and the reason that people and their pets don't fly off into space is because of a powerful electromagnetic reaction that only I understand," "the earth used to orbit Saturn, resulting in completely different physical laws that explain all the miracles described in the Bible," "our DNA is really seven-dimensional and only by engaging in special breathing exercises in my specially treated hot tub with a pyramid-shaped cover can we learn to understand out higher multi-dimensional spiritual nature," and so forth. [Note: I am not making any of these up.] These sorts of theories generally have three things in common: 1) their truth is being actively suppressed by a conspiracy of mainstream scientists, 2) future generations will know the truth and will be amazed at how we could have been so stupid as to have questioned these obvious truths, and 3) the authors of these theories have gained considerable mastery of the use of the CAPS-LOCK key. Of course, knowing that in the future we will regard the authors of these various theories with the same sort of reverent appreciation that we now reserve only for those who have contributed the most to our science and culture--Madonna, for example--has made me wonder, "just what will future universities be saying about physics in years to come?" With this in mind, and with the benefit of reading several recent articles that show a quantum mechanical basis for precognition, I decided to attempt to channel just such a university physics course of the future. "Ohm...ohm...ohm...ohm...." (Well, what else would you chant?) #trance(ON) #trancemode(FUTURE | PHYSICS | CAPITAL_LETTERS) "Good morning, class, and welcome to the 2826 school year's first session of 'Alternative Physics 201.' "Science, above all else, is based on evidence; it cares nothing for what you personally like and don't like and, no matter what your personal preferences are for how the universe ought to work, in the end, the theory that best explains the evidence wins. We can do experiments in the present, but this is necessarilly a limited exercise, since experiments performed today can only tell us what the laws of physics are like today. Mainstream scientists tend to ignore this fundamental fact and, thus, are hopelessly hamstrung by uniformitarian assumptions when trying to explain events in the past, many of which simply don't fit with our current physical theories. Much better, then, would be if we could somehow find out what the laws of physics really were in the past, and then use those to explain past events. "Of course we can't just travel back in time and perform our experiments back then--and, unfortunately, records from even a few centuries ago are sparse and incomplete. Back in the early twenty-first century, all existing records were digitized and stored within the capacious memory banks of the most powerful computer of all time, the MegaloMainframe. High-speed data links fed every remote computer in the world, eliminating the need for local storage devices which soon vanished from use. Libraries became unnecessary with everything being instantly available through the world-wide computer network that the MegaloMainframe serviced; books became useful only as collectors' items. "Unfortunately, one day a careless user accidentally reformatted the MegaloMainframe's main storage--and the Sysadmin mounted the backups and entered the wrong command-line option to the backup program, erasing all of the world's knowlege with a mistaken keystroke. Few records survived the ensuing chaos, and most of what we know of civilization before 2050 comes from facts that the users of the MegaloMainframe thought were so important that they printed them out and attached them to the walls of their places of work--so great was the rioting and destruction that only a few sturdy, fire-resistant office buildings remained and even these were ransacked by looters who left little but those few bits of information that the people of that era valued enough that they attached them reverently to the walls of their work areas. "What can we learn from these past records? Perhaps most exciting is the knowlege that even the basic forces of nature were completely different back then. Gravity, for example, was far weaker than it is now, and on smaller celestial bodies like the moon, it was so weak that pencils would simply float away if released. Yet, at the time, there was another force, probably electromagnetic in nature, that held the planets together and kept their inhabitants from flying off; lunar explorers used devices known as "heavy boots" to hold themselves to the moon without need for gravity. "It appears that nuclear forces were also quite different in those days, allowing the formation of many stable elements that are no longer possible under our current physical laws. While we may never know much about many of these now-impossible elements and their properties, we know from the surviving documents that one of the most important and widely used of these was an element they called Administratium; another was a substance called Thiotimoline, of which we know nothing at all save that, when resublimated, it developed endochronic properties. "There remain many other mysteries that the ancients have left for us to explain--what was the popular and powerful technique of chemical analysis that nothing remains of but the name--the Roble Hall Purity Test? What physical laws were there that allowed them to measure physical beauty (in units called millihelens) by the action of boats? Did the interaction of gravity and the strange electromagnetic forces of their time permit animals to communicate telepathically, as they are shown doing in the few fragments we have found of their most prestigious scientific journal, the "Far Side"? "Perhaps the one tidbit that most tantalizes us today is the knowlege that the ancients understood the seemingly bizarre laws of physics they lived under so well that the most famous scientist of their age, a man we know only as "Murphy" was able to codify them all in a single grand unified theory that bears his name. Alas, no records of what "Murphy's Law" was have yet been discovered, so we can only speculate upon whether this pinnacle of twenty-first century knowlege would still apply to our world today...." Unfortunately, my trance ended abruptly with an eerie, authoritarian voice demanding that I insert two Trigannic Pu's for another three minutes; then there was a click, and I was back in my ordinary, twentieth-century bedroom. There you have it; it would seem that what we now think of as crackpot ideas will be at least as enduring and well-accepted in the future as our more conventional scientific theories, so the next time someone on the net tells you that nuclear power is a hoax and the energy is actually being produced by channelling the vibrational modes of the third of twelve higher planes of existence, a fact being suppressed by greedy oil companies who don't want you to discover that you can power your car safely and without pollution merely by meditating on your five non-material chakras which are contained in the higher-dimensional component of your DNA, the existence of which is being suppressed by scientists who want to keep you from learning your spiritual power, don't be quite so quick to dismiss it without giving it the serious consideration it deserves.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)