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Thread: Things that may never be invented

  1. #1 Things that may never be invented 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Don't want to be pessimistic and I hate to say anything is impossible because I believe human nature tends to prevent us from thinking so. Certain laws and barriers to progress appear with each new discovery or theory but we persevere because we know laws are broken and barriers are overcome. Are we that naive to think we can accomplish anything we set out to do?

    There must be limits to our inventiveness. I don't have any reason to say that but if I was to claim no one will ever build a craft that could successfully return from a landing on the Sun I think it would be a safe assumption. Doesn't matter why we would attempt it, the whole idea of it may seem preposterous to start with and I'll go on record stating such a machine will never be invented.

    People could argue that by saying something will never be invented that people would be disheartened to try but I think the opposite is true. Again, when a task is declared hopeless we are spurred on to prove it not so. I'm only making this list based on what I think I know so I'm probably in trouble already. Without further ado here is my short list.

    1. A faster than light craft
    2. A time machine capable of physically going into the past
    3. A mind reading device
    4. A perpetual motion machine

    Agree or disagree? Do you have any to add to that list? If you think I'm out to lunch then I welcome criticism.


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  3. #2  
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    I certainly agree with some of your points. However i would contest the "Mind reading device", this is because, in my limited knowledge of biology i believe that every impusle, vision, concious thought etc is created through a reaction in our brain. Could it really be impossible to ever divise a way to read these reactions with reasonable accuracy?
    I should imagine the biggest problem would lay in the fact that everyones reactions would slightly differ, and thus creating one reading method would be somewhat impracticle. But in my limited knowledge i certainly wouldnt rule it out. Feel free to educate me in my mistakes should i be completely wrong!


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  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I guess it would depend if the device is attached to a head or is a remote device. If they could ever match an electrical brain impulse(s) pattern to a common human thought(s) it might be the Rosetta Stone of mindreading. I wonder if anybody is actually trying this.
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  5. #4  
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    I would be extremely suprised if this has not been tried, or is not currently being tested somewhere.
    Whether we would ever get to a point of matching is another question, i just dont think it could be classed as a complete impossibility.
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  6. #5  
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    I would probably agree that none of those things will ever be invented. #4, most certainly for sure, if you are talking about a self-contained perpetual motion machine in the strictest sense.

    FTL, again in a strict sense, can't be achieved but I don't think it's entirely implausible to think that sometime down the road, something that has the same function as FTL travel (interstellar travel that doesn't take centuries/millenia) could exist. Some type of way to use wormholes, or contract space in some manner. Say, for example, we come up with some type of technology that releases some type of wave/energy that, as it travels through space, contracts it to an extraordinary degree as it goes. It dissipates at a predetermined time later, and the effects are not permanent in space. So anything travelling along that path essentially has a shorter path to the destination. Of course, that itself would be subject to the light speed limit, but you get the idea. Obviously nothing like that sounds plausible right now but if we're talking the hypothetical future - who knows.

    Time travel - I doubt it but who knows. Right now I'd say that it's impossible, but we already know that time isn't as static as it seems. Forward "travel" seems possible in a sense if you could, for example, find a way to safely orbit a star at a significant chunk of the speed of light, and slow down at a calculated time later to emerge in the future - but it sure doesn't seem there's anyway to go back. But, thinking of the universe as spacetime and not space + time - perhaps there's an as of yet undiscovered way to manipulate spacetime locally and do it. Or, thinking of antiparticles as particles travelling "back" in time - maybe there's more reality behind that description than we know and it'd be possible to "reverse" our orientation with some super-futuristic technology, then implement the forward-travelling idea I outlined above to travel "back" in time. I doubt it, and I realize that outside of this thread what I've said is ignorant psuedoscientific garbage of the worst degree, but we're talking about the hypothetical future and limits of possibility. So I'm just saying "who knows" basically.

    Mind reading, I also doubt it. I suppose it depends on what information is actually trasmitted in brain waves. I seriously doubt that your thoughts shape brainwaves specifically enough to later be able to decode them back into those specific thoughts. So I'd say it's not possible.

    Bottom line, I doubt anything on the list is going to happen, but it's fun to imagine anyway
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Mind reading is already with us in a very basic form. Test subjects hooked up to an ecg can move a pointer on a screen by thinking about it. Basic, yes, but it is the foot in the door.
    Please don't ask me for references: I remember the substance of all the good stuff, not the source.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    My basic stance against physically travelling into the past has more to do with logicistics than science. Let's pretend somebody does invent such a device. It turns out that its cheap and can be mass produced so that millions of homes have it installed. Pick a historical event like Christ's cricifixion for instance(ya, I hate mixing science and religion, but..). Turns out the first Easter millions of time machine owners want to go there. I don't think millions attended the crucifixion but official attendance records were never released. As a result, either time travel into the past is impossible, or they end up there changing history or those millions end up in a very very strange placewe can't even begin to imagine.
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  9. #8  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    It turns out that its cheap and can be mass produced so that millions of homes have it installed.
    I think this is where your otherwise impeccable logic breaks down.
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  10. #9  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I think this is where your otherwise impeccable logic breaks down.
    What was I thinking? Cheers...gotta go
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  11. #10 Re: Things that may never be invented 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos

    1. A faster than light craft
    2. A time machine capable of physically going into the past
    3. A mind reading device
    4. A perpetual motion machine
    #5. A weather control machine(regulator) either localized or global.

    I'm not talking about heating or cooling a room or vehicle. I saw a bit of a show a few weeks ago where scientists were able to divert a tropical storm for a few miles. I didn't quite catch how or what they were using. Did anyone else see the whole show? Divert is one thing but total control is another....won't happen. Hmmm, could be wrong though.
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  12. #11  
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    Concerning brain reading device, it is difficult to say. At a level of structure, the brain vary quite a bit. If we present a test subject with a face, and register the neural activity, we can probably say that the person is seeing a face. If the person is thinking of a face, that part is also active, so we can tell that he was thinkin of a face. What face, however, will be impossible to determine. It would be dependent on various neurons, which can not be generalised. The brain varies too much per person on this basis. However, if we showed the picture of a man, were able to measure the exact neurons that are active (which we can't, yet), and he was thinking of that man's face, we might be able to detect that.

    However, this won't be some brain reading device in the old sense. It's much more efficient to just ask a person. In any case will we be able to induce states of extreme pain, so that shouldn't be a problem. :P

    Mind reading is already with us in a very basic form. Test subjects hooked up to an ecg can move a pointer on a screen by thinking about it. Basic, yes, but it is the foot in the door.
    Naughty Ophiolite. That would be an EEG, were it not that I would expect that kind of test to be done with a fMRI scanner. The professor at my university does this kind of thing, but not in your example. He teaches people to set 5 degrees of potency of thought (the size of a concert, per example), than the amount of blood to that part of the brain, which increases with the size of the concert can be measured with an fMRI scanner. Than, by using neuro-feedback, they can learn to differentiate between these five stages. Than, with these five stages, they can play pong against each other. Good fun :P

    Mr U
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    FTL travel... impossible in the sense of moving the craft through 4D spacetime but thats why writters like toying with the idea of hyperspace.

    time travel to the past...maybe not now and maybe never as a travel destination. but wormholes could be used i suppose to see into the past, i know i got that of a sci-fi novel.
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  14. #13  
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    Here are some more things that will never be invented:

    6. Instantaneous communication across distances. (btw,quantum intertwined particles don't carry information)

    7. A prediction machine, that can predict future events beyond the "chaos horizon".

    8. A telepathy machine.

    9. A learning pill (which you eat and then after digestion you learn a new subject, such as speaking French)

    10. A vehicle which can travel to the center of the Earth.

    11. A device that allows one to jump back and forth between alternate universes.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    a cure for the common cold or flu virus.
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  16. #15  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Many have tried and many have failed........

    #13. Permanent glue

    Wouldn't it be great if it's this easy....

    #14. Love potion
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  17. #16  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silylene
    9. A learning pill (which you eat and then after digestion you learn a new subject, such as speaking French).
    It's called garlic.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Freshman tablariddim's Avatar
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    #15 A magic word that turns lettuce into marijuana
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