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Mission to Planet Halfbakery

In an infinite universe, everything is possible
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If the universe is sufficiently large, it must contain an infinite number of copies of this planet. That's not all though. It also means that out there somewhere, there's a Planet Halfbakery, where all the stuff on here which is mutually consistent, is baked. It means there really is somewhere with custard-filled speed bumps, Hullaballoons, enchanted eaves and so forth. However, it's not that simple. Not only is there a Planet Halfbakery, but also there are various mutually inconsistent Planets Halfbakery. For instance, some ideas cancel each other out and some of them only work if nothing else is true, sort of.
I have a self-indulgent suggestion, half half-serious and half-only quarter-serious: The quarter-serious suggestion is that we launch a mission into intergalactic space to find this planet and colonise it. The half-serious suggestion is that we map the concepts on the HB to work out which ones could work on the same planet and which are mutually inconsistent, then produce some huge, tangled mess of a diagram to explain this. Clearly, i have too much time on my hands.
nineteenthly, Jul 22 2009

"hawk in the dirt" http://shelledy.mes.../prairie_falcon.jpg
[normzone, Jul 23 2009]

"hock in the dirt" http://www.boblangr...OfEquitation,UK.JPG
[normzone, Jul 23 2009]

Hawk not upon the dirt. http://tooplyshy.mu...TJrBgoKCqIAAEaXDuE1
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 24 2009]

Angels dancing on the head of a pin http://www.headofapin.net/
(from a quantum physics perspective) [nineteenthly, Jul 25 2009]


       //some of them only work if nothing else is true//   

       {holds up to light, turns over}   

       Take one early Wittgenstein universe. Pinch an axiom between thumb and forefinger and turn inside out. Now, turn to page 103...
pertinax, Jul 22 2009

       Are we assuming a multiverse model in your physics here?
RayfordSteele, Jul 22 2009

       To be consistent with the theory of infinite possibilities at once, then surely it's not so far fetched to think that these multiverses might bear some sort of fractal time geometry amongst them so that we are already where you want to be [nineteenthly]. A part of the beast. More like at the toes, however.   

       I heard something cool the other day. Don't know if it's true but somewhere it says that if you put the orbit of pluto in a coffee mug then the milky way fills the united states.   

       <sniffles> i miss pluto! What the hell happened there! Just because he isn't like right in the middle of things all the time you just gotta go and kick him out of the group? Damnit!
daseva, Jul 22 2009

       Awww, enough with the whining about Pluto already - we've been there, it's rubbish.
8th of 7, Jul 22 2009

       I think we'd have to assume a multiverse model made necessary by the insurance rates on such a place in this one.   

       First we need to find a star system that supports custard.
FlyingToaster, Jul 22 2009

       The fundamental shortcoming is that if this place were to exist, then it is probable that we would have already been picked up and escorted by the natives to it. Maybe in some other world we already have been?
RayfordSteele, Jul 22 2009

       I suspect the residents of said planet would not be impressed by you and would laugh at the many preposterous things that you eat, use, build and drive everyday. They would call them "half assed" and claim you came from the "half of an ass planet". The bicycle would get three butt cheeks. Custard on the other hand would be met with revulsion and receive a balance of two and a half (negative) butt cheeks (a concept yet to occur to us)
WcW, Jul 22 2009

       I like the idea that our planet is the realized version of some wacky civilization's drab whim. Two and a half buttcheeks, Shirley?
daseva, Jul 22 2009

       // It also means that out there somewhere, there's a Planet Halfbakery, where all the stuff on here which is mutually consistent, is baked.   

       No, it doesn't mean that. It always bugs me when people try to justify their fiction by misapplying math like that. I like math. (Strokes cute little "math" plush toy with big black eyes she's clutching to her chest.)   

       Here's an analogy. There are an infinite number of numbers that, spelled out in decimal, don't contain the digit 9. If you come to me with a box from which I can draw an infinite series of numbers, that box's existence doesn't prove that any of the numbers will have the digit 9 in it.   

       So, if you come to me with a model of physics that contains an infinite number of universes, that doesn't mean that everything possible exists in them. That may be true, but you'll have to prove it separately - it doesn't follow from infinity.   

       Personally, I think you don't need a whole universe or a planet. Just build any one thing. Crazy little inventions and art have a way of making the reality and people around it a little more likely to make their own, and so on.
jutta, Jul 22 2009

       "Crazy little inventions and art have a way of making the reality and people around it a little more likely to make their own, and so on."   

       Hey, that reminds me of this website I know of !
normzone, Jul 22 2009

       Well, yes, [Jutta], in the end you are of course right, but then we don't live in an infinite universe and it would take a while to get there even if such a place did exist. I imagine a spatially infinite universe would be one filled with very sparse hydrogen and helium gas, since gravity would just pull everything apart and there could never even be any stars. However, what about the conceptual universe? Can the ideas on here be arranged into mutually compatible families? What ideas on here would be incompatible with most of the others? Planetary engineering ones for a start, i would've thought.
Then again, maybe something fun could be done with a universe where the only normal matter is hydrogen, helium and traces of lithium.
nineteenthly, Jul 22 2009

       //orbit of pluto in a coffee mug then the milky way fills the united states//
<astronomy geek> Ratio of USA to mug ~ 46.3 million, ratio of Milky Way Galaxy to Plutos (average) orbital diameter~ 80.4 million.
Close, but no cigar. The USA isn't really very big at all. </ag>
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 22 2009

       I don't think that ideas can be mutually exclusive. If two ideas exist and seem to be in conflict one idea does not destroy the other idea in a metaphysical explosion. If planet halfbakery existed all HB ideas would exist and be widely believed, to some degree, just as some ideas here are impossible and unbelievable to some degree. A mirror image so to speak.   

       As to the Panverse Theory; poppycock. It's postmodern intellectual laziness at its very worst, anyone who believes it should be well ready to explain why.
WcW, Jul 22 2009

       I wish I liked math. Or rather I wish it were more like a reluctant critter that could be schmoozed into sharing its habits.   

It it this big, foaming at the mouth, fang filled dervish that's going to need tackling, wrangling, breaking, and a lifetime of re-enforcement to ride with any confidence.

       <hawks in the dirt and straps on spurs>
<cricket chases tumbleweed 'cross the plain>

       Mathematics is fine. Unlike many other disciplines, there's no need to deal with the general uncooperativeness of the Universe, including one's own limbs, when one does it. I always think it's odd when people who aren't involved in home ed ask us about how we do that, because of all things, it's the easiest. No special equipment, no field trips, no manual skills required, just joined-up thinking and clarity.
Also, this is sort of an SF hardness assessment. Clearly this idea isn't hard SF. Nor are other ideas on here, but because of the transparency of mathematics, it's clearer that it doesn't work than it often is with other ideas.
Concerning a panverse, i will obviously look at it philosophically. Besides the many-worlds business, there's the linguistic problem that if you say "If a unicorn ran at me with its head down, i would be injured" (barring a suit of armour), it appears to be true despite the non-existence of unicorns. It means "the real world" simply means "this world". So, in terms of logic, it's nice and tidy to suppose that possible worlds exist. However, there are some nastinesses. For instance, what if one world contains an empire-building God which lays claim to all other possible worlds and another contains a similarly imperialistic Atheon, an "anti-God" which constitutes a terminal illness for all deities? Besides these local difficulties, there's a sense in which complex numbers exist, and if people are happy to accept those, why not accept possible worlds? They do the job of turning modal operators (necessity and contingency) into unary truth-value operators no more exotic than negation, and no-one can argue that negation isn't a valid operation.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2009

       While there probably isn't a single 'verse in which *all* HB ideas have been baked, it should be possible to live in a seamless mosaic of the ones that do, given a sufficiently powerful personal or group affinity spell. May confuse bystanders if it's a physical shift instead of simply mentally shifting through doppelgangers.   

       Meanwhile back in the 4D world, a single planet would probably work also, given that the time/money/aggravation savings achieved from baking the more serious'ish postings could fund the other ones.
FlyingToaster, Jul 23 2009

       [2fries] I think you mean "hocks in the dirt" (link).
normzone, Jul 23 2009

       First of all the existence of other universes is entirely speculative. There are no real grounds suggesting that plural universes exist, it is simply a way of explaining the unknown that is comforting and containing. It is just as reasonable to assert that, in the face of the evidence, this is the sum-all and scientists who want to promulgate another model need to bring home the functionalistic bacon.   

       Accepting this as the model to explain quantum phenomena is like accepting the Flat-Earth model for geology. It actively inhibits reaching a more functionally effective model because "if we go to far we will fall off the edge". Much like the celestial geometries had to be abandoned due to their relative worthlessness at predicting planetary motion, plural universes will fail due to the fact that it does not assist actually producing predictions about subatomic behavior or the boundaries and cogency of this universe.
WcW, Jul 23 2009

       superpositional states?
daseva, Jul 23 2009

       [FT], using the idea of alternate timelines for a second, perhaps a cubic second, i find the idea of points of divergence dubious, assuming classic cause and effect. There comes a point at which a difference would be discernable, but that's simply when someone has begun to notice it. Say the Tunguska event had occurred ten years later. That would've been because the comet or asteroid had its orbit perturbed differently. We might not have known about it until it happened, but the object in the outer solar system which did the perturbing would either have been a kilo more massive or been a metre further round in its orbit for four billion years, and that in turn would have been because the initial conditions of the solar nebula were different, and so on. Concerning the 'bakery, anything halfbaked which eventually becomes baked always will have been going to be baked anyway in this timeline. If there's ever going to be a Hullaballoon, that's been true since the beginning of time. The seeds of the Hullaballoon have been sown already.
[WcW], quantum phenomena are not the only option for parallel universes. I actually don't think such universes, would literally be other universes. They're simply bits of this universe separated by an unfamiliar dimension from this one. I also believe in hidden variables because of that whole quaternion commutativity doobrie, so the classical stuff goes down all the way in my opinion (as a non-scientist).
Are parallel worlds the same as possible worlds? Some people say they are spatiotemporally isolated, so there's no way of getting from one to another, whereas parallel worlds would be linked - if they are forks, they are clearly linked, and if not, they could be linked by relative probability, so that they are located closer to each other the more similar they are. Relative probability then becomes a measure of distance. Possible worlds might not be like that at all. I see it as akin to logic. Using two-valued logic, if i negate P it turns from false into true or from true into false. "True" and "false" are meaningful, for instance they may mean "corresponding to reality" or "differing from reality". Then there are the modal operators for necessity and contingency, which can be interpreted as "true in all possible worlds" and "true in at least this possible world". Well, these possible worlds could be taken seriously. If they are, there's an elegant link between the notions of possibility, location and time, because they all end up breaking down into notions like "here", "there", "now", "then" and "in this world", "in these worlds", "in those worlds", "everywhere and "nowhere". Now, i really am located roughly fifty centimetres to the right of the end of the sofa, but a centimetre is an abstraction. Similarly, i really do exist in this possible world, just as an imaginary sister of mine really does exist in a different possible world.
Quantum-based parallel universes though? Less feasible, maybe.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2009

       //Are parallel worlds the same as possible worlds? Some people say they are spatiotemporally isolated, so there's no way of getting from one to another, whereas parallel worlds would be linked - if they are forks, they are clearly linked, and if not, they could be linked by relative probability, so that they are located closer to each other the more similar they are//   

       If all of the matter and energy entering every singularity exceeds the speed of light, then this matter/energy would travel backwards in time. If it all collects at the beginning of time and critical mass causes it to re-explode, then these parallel worlds are separated by time and not space though the two are as interchangeable as matter and energy themselves.   

       //Then surely it would re-explode along the same timeline into the same universe.//   

       I don't see why this should be assumed. If quantum states exist and the cat is neither dead nor alive until observed then conciousness determines the shape of any give reality.   

       <later edit> You know what happens to hawks on the dirt eh [norm]? [link]   

       Exactly. The paradox is what allows it to be.   

       You don't want to know what color the sky is in my world...
: ]

       if 'verses differed because of a single quantum state in a particle off in Andromeda somewhere.... maybe it's a spatiotemporal thingy: only the spacetime of that particle is split off... the rest of the universes' couldn't give a rats ass unless it affected something else (which would then split off etc.). You'd have to explore consciousness too: is our consciousness limited to one 'verse ? or does it sortof slop in between a number that aren't different enough from each other to be noticeable. There certainly seems to be a double handful of dimensions to play with in this respect.   

       The existence of multiple timelines in the 'classic' sci-fi sense, eg: "what would've happened if Germany had won WW II" relies on a metaphysical element: that mankind actually has much more say in the universe than common sense would indicate.   

       So looks like we're back to quantum.
FlyingToaster, Jul 24 2009

       I like the trebuchet point, because given enough unpredictable variation in paths, there could be places where the laws of physics are always bucked simply because of coincidence. So, there are HB worlds where things just happen to work every time, and the probability of them continuing to work is equally small every time.
[Fries], there would have to be a way of checking from the outside whether events were simply repeating or there was in fact only one timeline. This brings up another point. Eternity might be another way of getting an infinite set of planets. This is true if quantum events allow things to spring out of "nowhere", like the Boltzmann Brains. Then, a Planet Halfbakery could simply pop into existence spontaneously a few googleplex aeons from now at a random point in the Universe. I'm rather dubious about this though, since we ourselves seem to be living at the beginning of time, which given that scenario is improbable. And of course, the colour of the sky in my world is blue with purple blobs in it.
Come to think of it, maybe two Planets Halfbakery could pop into existence as a double planet system, somewhere way, way into the future, and they could be mutually incompatible, though not in a "laws of physics"-style way.
[FT], the Universe doesn't care if there's a different detail in our history or not. That doesn't mean there can't be a difference, just that it's pretty improbable and most of the time it'll just be a case of something like an ant in Siberia being in a different place or a bit of blue john being upside down in a cave in the Peak District, but it's not actually an order a magnitude less probable that the Tunguska event happened somewhere else or even that Chicxulub didn't happen.
Anyway, as i said, it doesn't just come down to quantum because of isolated worlds.
nineteenthly, Jul 24 2009

       I love your plush toy, [jutta].   

       [19'], //gravity would just pull everything apart// ???   

       I fell off at that corner, and haven't managed to climb back on yet.   

       I mean, er..., sp. "pull everything together", shirley?   

       [WcW], //personal or group affinity spell// - as in MFD *magic* spell?   

       [bigsleep], //the only remotely conscious being would be the zombie cat// <wisely> Mmm... </wisely> ... no, wait: Buh?
pertinax, Jul 24 2009

       I think it one of the greatest scientific misconceptions of all time that people believe that quantum effects require "HUMAN OBSERVERS" to be resolved. A mote of dust is just as able to make an observation. In fact even light itself may act as an "observer". the whole idea of the necessity of a "human observer" is so ridiculous that it frequently leaves me speechless.
WcW, Jul 24 2009

       [Pertinax], what i mean is this. The force of gravity's range is infinite, so although it gets weaker, it never disappears entirely. There could of course be infinite space containing a finite clump of matter which could be thought of as the Universe. However, it would have to start off like that for it to be possible. Otherwise, there would be infinite mass in all directions, meaning that all matter would be pulled apart, since the pull never disappears completely. The result would be almost empty space all over the Universe, with whatever could survive in all those conditions, which is basically nothing.
nineteenthly, Jul 24 2009

       You definitly weren't speechless right there, [WcW]... the only way I know that, of course, is because I observed it.   

       I doubt a place like this warrants a serious discussion of quantum mechanics, but I'm surprised you didn't propose an alternative to the human observer. Namely, decoherence.
daseva, Jul 24 2009

       I say we trash all the theories, keep the actual observations and begin building a real science, a science of mechanisms. If photosynthesis has been taking advantage of quantum switching for millennia then maybe by reconstructing the mechanism we can begin to understand its basis, the hypothetical origin of the mechanism and thus build a useful functionalistic science. Right now the debate is focused on killing sacred cows and overthrowing apple carts.
WcW, Jul 24 2009

       I can't help thinking science seems to be in an "angels dancing on a pin" state right now, but maybe it always looks that way to an outsider. By that, i mean that it does look like physics has become a bit silly. So, [WcW], are you not a fan of thermodynamics? I've always thought that was quite neat.
nineteenthly, Jul 24 2009

       Yes, let's start over. Right at the beginning... wait. Where is the beginning?
daseva, Jul 24 2009

       Who said anything about Human conciousness?   

       reference was made to human observation in the annos. We are straying far afield here.
WcW, Jul 25 2009

       //science seems to be in an "angels dancing on a pin" state right now// A theoretical physicist once told me that the notorious question of angel-to-pin ratio was actually a perfectly sensible one from a theoretical physics point of view. Maybe that just proves [nineteenthly]'s point.
pertinax, Jul 25 2009

       See link.
nineteenthly, Jul 25 2009

       I think *my* theoretical physicist was less tongue-in-cheek than that, but maybe he was just subtler.
pertinax, Jul 25 2009

       In the same way as the debate about angels on the head of a pin never happened, maybe it's unfair to accuse physicists of something similar. I can't help thinking that everyone, including me, is completely wrong all the time about everything, but maybe i'm wrong.
nineteenthly, Jul 25 2009

       You're meta-wrong, and para-meta-hemi-right.
pertinax, Jul 26 2009

       Is there a possible world in which i'm wrong?
nineteenthly, Jul 26 2009

       Either that, or there's a possible world *about* which you're wrong.
pertinax, Jul 26 2009

       Or a possible world about which i'm wrong about being in.
nineteenthly, Jul 26 2009

       gr. "in which I'm wrong about being"... or, possibly, "of which I'm wrong about being in it".
pertinax, Jul 27 2009

       // The fundamental shortcoming is that if this place were to exist, then it is probable that we would have already been picked up and escorted by the natives to it. //   

       I was going to mention something similar, but that we should create an idea which involves the building and use of a vessel capable of reaching us from half across the bakerverse.
marklar, Jul 27 2009

       Yes, there's a bootstrappy issue here, isn't there?
[Pertinax], i really did try but i was defeated by the plethora of prefixes. "About which in i'm wrong i'm being"? "In and about which i'm wrong"?
nineteenthly, Jul 27 2009

       I would think that each of the ideas we post here is an attempt to nudge the future history of the universe in a certain direction. The sum of all of those different, contradictory forces creates such a stress that when the universe does fracture into a jillion little universlings, the epicenter of the failure will be the halfbakery's server.   

       And we'll each be able to say we had a hand in it! (or toe, or pancreas, or whatever, depending on how the pieces are distributed)
lurch, Jul 27 2009

       //the plethora of prefixes// Yes, sorry about that. They usually roost at this time of year. Then the little neologisms can be hatched in good time for the new year.   

       They're not usually aggressive, but can stick to your clothing like burrs.
pertinax, Aug 01 2009

       [jutta] - or to put it another way, your phone number does not necessarily occur in pi, even if taken to an infinite number of decimal places.
hippo, Aug 01 2009

       Even if every M class star with a flat accretion disk forms 1-2 wet planets at about earth distance and the "seeds" of life are ubiquitous in the universe then there is still no chance that any of these planets evolved creatures "like" us custards and warts and all.
WcW, Aug 02 2009


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