Okay, let’s let that sink in for a moment. Humanity is now playing with a device capable of destroying the earth. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always said if I could die in any cool way, it’d be implosion (or torque, among other things), and being crushed into a singularity is pretty much the closest you can get on a global level, unless of course you live on a sun. So yes, it’s a badass means of global destruction. But let’s wait a few billion years until the earth is in immediate peril anyhow, or at least until after my selfish ass is dead.
But seriously, I do understand the plight of the scientists involved, and even sympathize with their problems of public opinion. Research is research, and as far as knowledge of the universe goes, we’ve taken leaps and bounds in the past 40 years in comparison to the 500 before it. There could be great cosmic truths, simple yet elusive physical laws awaiting our revelation around the corner of any project such as the Large Hadron Collider. It cost $8 billion dollars and countless hours to make, and there is apparently only a slight, slight chance that a black hole will be created. What I’m trying to say is that the guys who built this are way smarter and devoted to science than you and me, and it’s got to be a pain in the ass for geniuses such as themselves to have to put up with accusations of apocalyptic orchestration every time the intellectually inferior masses hear big trigger words like “ particle accelerator” and “one billionth of a second” and “simulate…big bang”. Moral of the story: They’re probably right, and we’re probably idiots.
But as the journalist seems to imply (Sorry if I’m putting words in your mouth, Dennis), the risk may be too great. I know I’m obviously a bit biased towards this journalist’s opinion, but he has some good points. Specifically, global destruction is global destruction, and even if the chances are 1000 to 1, if it happens, it’s over. I guess I’m just shocked by the idea that a few physicists in some warehouse somewhere could throw a switch and wipe out millions of years of human history.
I don’t honestly think any harm will come of this, but the idea that it could be that simple is astounding. I just hope those safety checks are thourough. You don’t fuck with this shit.
Over my blogging hiatus Arthur C. Clarke died, which is very sad. The man who gave us great books, movies, and according to Trivial Pursuit the radar, will be missed. Go read 2001.