I had plans to blog about more alien technology today, and when I got up I found the two tweets, shown above, together in my tweet roll….like yin yang. Those two tweets got me thinking about a blog post from two years ago about “Passion for Writing”. In that post I commented on the agony of not having time for fiction writing and that has been my usual state of mind during most of my life.
The one time that I can recall being close to feeling regret over having defiled a virgin piece of paper was when I was 14 years old and I started trying to write about an alien life form that had maintained a technological civiilization for millions of years. I had seen Forbidden Planet and I was upset by the idea that the Krell had become extinct. How unfair that a civilization with power plants that were many miles across should become extinct!
David Bowman Theorem
In 2001: A Space Odyssey, David Bowman is magically (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic“) transformed into an intermediate between humanity and aliens who are otherwise only represented by featureless “black monoliths“. The David Bowman Theorem is: in Hollywood, first contact between two cultures separated by millions of years of cultural evolution needs a David Bowman plot device. Dr. Morbius was the “David Bowman” device in Forbidden Planet, providing a viewer-friendly account of Krell civilization. The Genesaunts provide a kind of David Bowman plot device for stories set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe. It would be nice to have the Contact sequel be a television series so that there is adequate time to explore the Huaoshy without having to rely on a magically well-informed “David Bowman”-like character. It is more fun to actually have time to show viewers the adventure of discovering the nature of the mysterious alien culture.
While I was disappointed by the demise of the Krell, I was stimulated by Forbidden Planet to imagine an interstellar civilization that would expand forever through the stars. But at the age of 14 I was unable to imagine an interesting story about how such an advanced interstellar civilization might interact with humans. At that time, I was thinking along the lines of what Ellie expressed in Contact: a civilization that was millions of years old would interact with humans on Earth in about the same way that we might interact with the residents of an ant hill. I was not happy thinking of myself as an ant. At the age of 14 my ideas for the the Huaoshy, Genesaunts and the Exodemic Fictional Universe were still coming into focus and my early attempts to write about the Huaoshy were little better than scrawling “duh” across a page…a good example of a situation where it would have been better to leave the page blank!
I was always bothered by the idea that Dr. Morbius could use the Krell “teaching machine” and have it magically boost his intelligence. In Forbidden Planet, it was made clear that the Krell were biologically distinct from humans, so why should their “brain booster” work on humans? It would be fun to write a fan fiction sequel to Forbidden Planet in which Altaira, having gone to Earth and become a feminist, goes out in command of her own spaceship on a mission searching for other worlds that might have been colonized by the Krell.
Who might play the role of Altaira in the year 2012?
What Altaira and her crew discover are worlds inhabited by artificial life forms composed of nanoscopic machines rather than cells. This gets Altaira thinking about the possibility that those artificial life forms might have visited Earth long ago…..and the story would be off and running through an Exodemic scenario. When Dr. Morbius lived on Earth he, like everyone else, already had advanced Krell nanites in his brain. Although humans and the Krell evolved on different planets, the human brain is no stranger to the Krell nanites….in fact, our minds are very much like those of the Krell because human brain evolution has been guided by the Krell nanites!
I’ve been thinking about imaging methods that might allow people to notice the presence of alien nanites inside the tissues of Ellie Arroway, the main character in the Contact television series. Do we have the needed technology that might allow us to detect nanoscopic devices -the advanced technological tools of aliens- inside living animals?
Seeing the Yin and Yang in Cell Biology
Image to right. Yin yang symbol: “Yin Yang: The oriental symbol of the Laws of Polarity and Synthesis.” Bonewits, P.E.I. Real Magic.(Berkeley: Creative Arts Book Company, 1958) 94.”
I like the version of the yin yang symbol that is shown to the right. The image hints at an infinite regress of balanced forces that reminds me of renormalization in physics. While thinking about nanites inside Ellie, I’ve also been thinking about the dimensional structure of the universe and Carl Sagan’s idea of scientific evidence that the universe was created.
In the title of this blog post I wrote, “Wim Bang,” where “wim” stands for WIM and means “weakly interacting mass“. The Machine researchers at Area 51 routinely use the word “wim” when they discuss how the Machine’s rotating rings generate large amounts of energy and even artificial gravity. In the big bang, there were more wim particles created than ordinary matter particles and wim engineering is the basis for faster-than-light communications and travel in the Contact television series. It is fun to imagine that with our primitive technology here on Earth we are totally unaware of how to make use of most of the mass in our universe. Other intelligent life forms such as the Huaoshy have been doing wim engineering for hundreds of millions of years.
I’ve been thinking about a new twist on faster-than-light space travel that would involve a transposition of the very small and the very large. If wim is important for the structure and evolution of galaxies, then what about the effects of wim on the largest scale structure of the universe?
The image to the right is a WhIMsical depiction of how ordinary matter and dark matter could mix together in a galaxy. See this web page for a more conventional discussion of the idea that galaxies can have a “dark matter halo”.
After the big bang, the “dimensional structure” of the universe was in an energetically low configuration (the ground state). In the dimensional structure diagram to the right, each of the three sides of the three triangles represents one of the spatial dimensions of the universe.
Six of the spatial dimensions failed to inflate and remained as “compact dimensions“. The shaded triangle represents our familiar three dimensional space of every day experience. The other lines in the diagram represent temporal and other dimensions of the universe.
There are some elementary particles that have unreasonably high energy states in our 3D space, but those particles can produce interesting physics at the Planck length scale of the compact dimensions. There are two triplets of compact spatial dimensions that provide “compact spaces” where dark matter particles can reside. There is “leak” of gravitational force between those compact spaces and the inflated universe where stars, planets and people reside. Most of the mass in the universe resides in the compact spaces, which might seem paradoxical, but there is plenty of space in the compact spaces for the kinds of particles that reside there.
Some of the matter in one of the compact spaces is subject to a repulsive force that is undetectably weak on the scale of things in our everyday experience in the inflated dimensions. During the big bang, some of the matter in the universe clumped and we now experience the result, a universe where some matter in each of the three 3D spaces is gravitationally bound. However, while the mass in our extended space tends to clump into the center of galaxies and often forms supermassive black holes, due to the repulsive force, some dark matter tends to spread out and avoids collecting at the center of galaxies.
The Huaoshy long ago learned how to alter the dimensional structure of the universe and make possible faster-than-light movement of communications signals “through” the inflated space of stars and galaxies. This is basically accomplished by a trick that makes use of “shortcuts” through one of the compact spaces. There is a family of bosons (the hierions) that make FTL communications possible. It is hierion communications signals that can be detected using Machine technology, and Ellie helps make that “alien” communications technology available to Earthlings, as introduced in Contact Episode 3: Voice from the Sky“.
The curved green line in the dimensional structure diagram of the “transitional universe” is what makes FTL communication possible. For millions of years the Huaoshy expanded through their home galaxy and made use of FTL hierion communications to manage their growing interstellar civilization.
Eventually, the Huaoshy finally were able to harness enough energy to catalyse another change in the dimensional structure of the universe. This change allowed for the faster-than-light movement of physical objects such as nanites “through” the expanded space of stars and galaxies. Again, “through” is in quotes since the process involves the “trick” of moving by way of a “shortcut” through compact space. The Machine, as depicted in Contact, does not allow for sending an object through space at FTL speeds, but it did create a target that could be used by the Huaoshy for sending nanites to Earth. Such FTL transport of fermions requires advanced sedronic engineering. Through their control of the supply of sedronic matter, the Huaoshy maintain a monopoly on the technology required for travel through space at speeds greater than light speed.
Sedronic engineering allows for two modes of FTL space travel. The first mode is what was depicted in Contact. The Machine was able to energize the IPV pod, allowing for the transport of advanced Huaoshy nanites to Earth. This is how “contact” has routinely been initiated between the Huaoshy and civilizations like our own. The transported nanites invade Ellie’s brain and start manufacturing false memories that depict for Ellie the kind of experience of first contact that the Huaoshy want her to have. In particular, they want Earthlings to think that the nearest aliens are very far away and not particularly interested in Earth.
Why was David Drumlin killed in Contact? Drumlin was the Earthling selected by the Overseers to make first contact. Like Ellie, Drumlin had nanites in his brain through his entire life. However, Hadden, as an Interventionist, wanted Ellie to be the one to make first contact. Hadden built a second Machine and used the first one as “fly paper” to attract and eliminate Drumlin. As long as it appeared that Drumlin would make first contact, the Overseers relaxed and did not worry too much about the Interventionist plot that provided Earthlings with instructions for how to build the Machine.
There was a significant difference between the nanites in Drumlin’s brain and those inside Ellie. Hadden made sure that the nanites inside Ellie prepared her to be able to have some resistance against the false memories forced upon her by the Huaoshy nanites. In contrast, Drumlin would have been a complete puppet for the Huaoshy. Ellie will have a fighting chance to learn that the Huaoshy first visited Earth millions of years ago.
Will it be possible for people like Ellie to understand that the Huaoshy “created our universe” by altering its dimensional structure and making FTL travel possible?
The Interventionists and the Overseers are the “yin” and “yang” of how the Huaoshy interact with humans. As mentioned by Hadden in Contact Episode 4: Hail to Vega (“Even I’ve never met an alien.”) the Huaoshy don’t have direct contact with Earthlings. Where did the Interventionists and the Overseers come from? The answer to this question has to do with the second mode for FTL travel.
When there is no Machine-generated target for sending objects through space, it is still possible to travel through space at FTL speeds using the advanced sedronic technology of the Huaoshy. However, without a target it is hard to control the place in our universe where transported matter will “materialize”. The Huaoshy have spent the past several hundred million years systematically sending out nanite probes in search of worlds like Earth. The probes are sent out into the universe in what is an essentially random way, although there are some poorly-understand patterns in the spatial locations where the probes materialize. Those probes are small spaceships that, having been transported over vast intergalactic distance by advanced sedronic technology, then try to find a world where a Machine can be constructed, providing a new “target” for further transport to that region of the universe. However, this is something like having an airport available nearby in case we might want to visit some random “ant hill in Africa”. The Huaoshy don’t bother to visit worlds like Earth unless something interesting and unusual happens. The routine work of locating planets like Earth is automated and left to the nanite probe ships.
Millions of years ago, a nanite probe ship reached Earth and established an Observer Base on the Moon. Animals have occasionally been taken off of Earth and “cultured” at various locations in our galaxy. The Overseers and the Interventionists are descendants of those “cultured” life forms from Earth.
In Contact Episode 5: “Look Closer”, the Atlantis returns from the Moon after its crew explored the Observer Base that has existed, hidden, under the surface of the Moon for millions of years. The Observer Base is now abandoned, the Observers having moved to a new base of operations that is further from Earth.
Those on Earth who remain skeptical about the existence of aliens are not impressed by the newly–discovered Moon Base. As for the artifacts found on the Nesr asteroid by Ellie and the crew of the Inspiration, no artifacts are found on the Moon that seem very different from what is possible on Earth using conventional Earthly technology. The skeptics again suggest that Hadden must have secretly had the Moon Base constructed as a “gift for humanity”. Going into Contact Episode 5: “Look Closer”, the search for difinitive evidence of alien life forms continues.