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I've read them all: Johan Norberg, Hans Rosling, Steven Pinker and so on.
All the authors that write about how the world is getting better. Even if you have read them too, I still recommend Ten Global Trends That Every Smart Person Needs to Know: And Many Other Trends You Will Find Interesting.
It is jam-packed with short chapters with stats about all things important for human life and our planet.
Is faster-than light speed possible, warp drive?
If warp drives didn't exist in science fiction, the Enterprise's mission statement would have been "slowly going where no one has gone before."
According to the rules expressed in Einstein's Special Relativity Theory, the speed of light is simply a hard speed limit, and there's been no evidence anyone or anything can exceed it.
In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre suggested a way to go faster by hitching a ride on a bubble in the space-time fabric using an Alcubierre drive.
The LIGO discovery a few years back was, in my opinion, a huge leap forward in science, since it proved, experimentally, that spacetime can 'warp' and bend in the presence of enormous gravitational fields...
The theory has borne out thus far that it is well worth pursuing, and it is easier now than before to provide evidence that it is legitimate. In terms of justifications for allocation of resources, it is not hard to see that the ability to explore beyond our Solar System, even beyond our galaxy, would be an enormous leap for mankind. And the growth in technology resulting from pushing the bounds of research would certainly be beneficial.
More on the warp drive and FTL travel.
🗄️ From the archive
In March I wrote this:
We humans are phenomenal when faced with a concrete problem and a deadline. Now, tens of thousands of researchers and millions of others are working together to solve the same problem. Backed by almost an unlimited amount of money.
There is a good chance we will see some phenomenal breakthroughs.
It's too early to fully evaluate breakthroughs related to this pandemic, but the work with the vaccines is just phenomenal. In less than one year we have, so far, three highly effective vaccines.
That is way earlier than even a super knowledgeable optimist like Bill Gates thought. His best guess was 18 months, and the absolute best-case scenario was nine months. Now it looks it will be less than nine months to start vaccinating.
What an achievement.