1. The world ends tomorrow. Err… or not. For some reason, I have this intuition that even if the LHC were to cause the world to get sucked into a black hole, that wouldn’t be a really big loss — not out of some kind of emo-kid depression, but just because it seems like most of the harm from dying would be, e.g., making other people sad, not achieving things that would otherwise be possible to achieve (cf. Richard’s post about babies linked in my previous), not getting revenge against the person who killed me, having done something very stupid leading to death, suffering pain and growing infirmity, etc. Most of that would be mooted by a form of death that took everything else out too, and acted pretty-much instantaneously (as I imagine the death-by-physicist-created-black-hole would be).

    Also, fun to imagine an evil genius setting a large hadron collider on the moon and demanding billions from the U.N. per Dr. Evil, etc. I think I need to watch Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog again.

  2. Also also, John Henley should be beaten with a wet noodle for the following paragraph:

    If you think it’s unlikely that we will all be sucked into a giant black hole that will swallow the world, as German chemistry professor Otto Rössler of the University of Tübingen posits, and so carry on with your life as normal, only to find out that it’s true, you’ll be a bit miffed, won’t you?

    Uh, no, John, I won’t. I won’t be miffed because I won’t *be*. And neither will you.

  3. In the less-silly physicsblogging department, apparently unpublished physics research has been captured by “data paparazzi” who snapped photographs of slides at a conference and used the data on the slide to produce their own publications. And Paul says: What the fuck?! Something is seriously wrong in your discipline if you have the scientific equivalent of sneaking cameras into the movie theatre going on. Get it right, people. I don’t purport to say which side was in the wrong here, the whole discipline should be ashamed both that its data secrecy practices are such that people are driven to do it, and that it has people who have no compunctions about doing so.

(Also, why does wordpress keep randomly adding the “injustice” and “scene” categories to every post?!)


4 Responses to “physicsblogging”

  1. GNZ Says:

    Well you will probably know before you get killed – even at it’s fastest it would take a few years for the black hole to eat the earth.

    “why does wordpress keep randomly adding the “injustice””

    maybe it’s all that talk of killing everyone on earth heh

  2. Nick Tarleton Says:

    GNZ: but if it’s a stable strangelet?

    High-energy collisions don’t start until next month, mind.

  3. Paul Gowder Says:

    Huh. I really want some physicist to show up here and actually explain what the LHC-scareds are afraid of. One doesn’t imagine a black hole as a slowly growing thing — rather one imagines it as a “hot damn, there’s a lot of gravity there, everything nearby goes crunch on the spot.”

  4. Jason Wojciechowski Says:

    The quote from Henley has to be tongue-in-cheek, right? Please?

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