Boycott of the day: Shaw’s Supermarket

Boskone has left town, perhaps due to the biting windchill here in America’s windiest city. I enjoyed the talk on interpretations of quantum mechanics given by John G. Cramer. He’s a good speaker and must make a great professor. I had no idea he had his own: the Transactional Interpretation. I’m a pilot-wave girl myself, but I don’t know that the pilot wave survives the experiment he spoke about. Then again, the Transactional Interpretation involves time travel and we all know that leads to being a monkey’s uncle.

The session on Fermi’s Paradox (that is, if the universe is as full of alien life as Drake’s equation seems to predict, then where are they?) gave me some good ideas. I’m firmly in the they don’t exist camp, but the discussion of how likely it is that aliens would colonize the galaxy of course also applies to us, even if we are the only intelligent life in the universe.

It might take a million years to colonize the galaxy, and our current motives for doing stuff - economics and religion, mainly - don’t seem up to that kind of sustained effort. The only “human” effort that took that long was that whole Out of Africa thing. But is there really no economic incentive to spread across the galaxy? What other force besides capitalism and religion might drive people out into space? I thought the answer was obvious, but maybe that’s just me.

Recommended books:

I almost forgot to mention that Michael A. Burstein is a very funny guy.

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