Tuesday, March 26, 2019

They Were Lying

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    Estimated reading time — 2 minutes

    They told us it was the greatest technological achievement in human history. They told us it would forever change our role on the cosmic stage. They told us it would lead to a Golden Age of exploration, prosperity, and expansion.

    They were lying.

    Even after the expenditure of untold billions of dollars on research and development, the world was still shocked when the first positive results came through. Faster than light travel was possible. By establishing certain quantum field configurations, engineers successfully caused a spaceship to “jump” over a million kilometers in a literal instant. It was on that day, supposedly, that humankind’s place in the universe was forever changed. We were now a spacefaring civilization.

    We exploded into interstellar space. Bolstered by a sense of global unity, we launched enormous development projects to mine exosolar planets and unveil an untold wealth of resources. We established colonies outside the solar system, and built an interstellar confederation. Armed with the jump drive, all distances were equivalent. This tool fueled an era of growth unparalleled in human history.

    They told us how the drive worked. A configuration of quantum fields “pushed” the ship into alternate layers of spacetime, extra dimensions where superluminal transit was possible.

    They were lying.

    I’m a theoretical physicist. I’ve read their papers. Their theory is bullshit.

    Anybody who has played a badly developed computer game has experienced “bugs” and “glitches”. You might be in one room, and suddenly your character jumps to an entirely different location in the virtual world. A programming error or oversight has caused the “physics”, if you will, of the gameworld to malfunction.

    For the last ten years, I’ve carefully studied the mechanics of the jump drive. I can only come to one conclusion: the drive is exploiting “glitches” in the universe.

    The physics of faster than light travel follows exactly the patterns you would expect if the universe was programmed, and the software was glitching. Project Omega, the government research program for investigating superluminal transit, was simply a study of how to exploit these glitches by creating certain specific configurations of fields and particles that would “trigger” the software bug.

    The universe is inside a computer. And the programming apparently seems similar to that of an open-world video game.

    They told us that superluminal travel was becoming ever cheaper, and soon would be available to the masses. They told us that the technological components needed to craft the jump drive were exponentially becoming inexpensive. They told us that, in the spirit of Moore’s Law, the cost of FTL transit would fall every year.

    They were lying.

    The glitches are simply becoming more common, easier to exploit. The bugs are piling up.

    I’ve carefully studied the physics, and I can only come to one conclusion: the software is rapidly becoming a corrupted file.

    Credit: Jerry Zhompson

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