The Australia 2050 Project: Making Informed Decisions for Australia in 2050 Socially, Environmentally and Economically

Organization: The Australia 2050 Project
Author: Melodie Murphy

The new geography inside the Australian land mass has new Indigenous boundaries (Native Title), new environmental boundaries (National parks/world heritage areas), new mineral claims, changing climate parameters and new communities.

This geographical context has changed substantially over time, at both National and International levels. International geographic change has affected trading patterns influencing infrastructure and transport requirements and defence relationships.

How we shape up in 2050 is up to us. The decisions we make need to be made in light of our global relationships, location and world markets.

  • Rodney Bartlett

    We all tend to assume Australia in 2050 will be rather similar to Australia in 2010. Sure, we say, there will be differences – our country is not the same as it was 40 years ago. My feeling is that not only Australia, but the entire world, will undergo changes so enormous that we would call them unbelievable. These social, environmental and economic changes will result from the incredible advances science will see in the near future.

    While the conclusions are unbelievably fantastic by today’s standards, I don’t think the steps taken to arrive at those conclusions are irrational at all. They have their foundation in quantum mechanics and Einstein’s Relativity and a recent demonstration in electrical engineering at Yale University in the USA. The experiment in electrical engineering is the first point in this 11-step prediction of science’s evolution – while it’s logical to me, I realise many will call it nonsense because they find the conclusions so fantastic.

    1) In July 2009, electrical engineer Hong Tang and his team at Yale University in the USA demonstrated that, on silicon chip- and transistor- scales, light can attract and repel itself like electric charges/magnets (Discover magazine’s “Top 100 Stories of 2009 #83: Like Magnets, Light Can Attract and Repel Itself” by Stephen Ornes, from the January-February 2010 special issue; published online December 21, 2009). This is the “optical force”, a phenomenon that theorists first predicted in 2005 (this time delay is rather confusing since James Clerk Maxwell showed that light is an electromagnetic disturbance approx. 140 years ago). In the event of the universe having an underlying electronic foundation (hopefully, my summary will make it clear that this must be so – also … an electronic universe is a necessary precursor to scientific fulfilment of Star Trek’s “magic” which becomes clear as these steps are read), it would be composed of “silicon chip- and transistor- scales” and the Optical Force would not be restricted to microscopic scales but could operate universally. Tang proposes that the optical force could be exploited in telecommunications. For example, switches based on the optical force could be used to speed up the routing of light signals in fibre-optic cables, and optical oscillators could improve cell phone signal processing.

    2) If all forms of EM (electromagnetic) radiation can attract/repel, radio waves will also cause communication revolution e.g. with the Internet and mobile (cell) phones. I anticipate that there may be no more overexposure to ultraviolet or X-rays.

    3) In agreement with the wave-particle duality of quantum mechanics, EM waves have particle-like properties (more noticeable at high frequencies) so cosmic rays (actually particles) are sometimes listed on the EM spectrum beyond its highest frequency of gamma rays.

    4) If cosmic rays are made to repel, astronauts going to Mars or another star or galaxy would be safe from potentially deadly radiation.

    5) And if all particles in the body can be made to attract or repel as necessary, doctors will have new ways of restoring patients to health.

    6) From 1929 til his death in 1955, Einstein worked on his Unified Field Theory
    with the aim of uniting electromagnetism and gravitation. Future achievement of this means warps of space (gravity, according to General Relativity) between
    spaceships/stars could be attracted together, thereby eliminating distance. And “warp drive” would not only come to life in future science/technology … it would be improved tremendously, almost beyond imagination. This reminds me of the 1994 proposal by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre of a method of stretching space in a wave which would in theory cause the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract and the space behind it to expand. Therefore, the ship would be carried along in a warp bubble like a person being transported on an escalator, reaching its destination faster than a light beam restricted to travelling outside the warp bubble. There are no known methods to warp space – however, this extension of the Yale demonstration in electrical engineering may provide one.

    7) Since Relativity says space and time can never exist separately, warps in space are actually warps in space-time. Eliminating distances in space also means “distances” between both future and past times are eliminated – and time travel becomes reality. This is foreseen by the Enterprise time-travelling back to 20th-century Earth in the 1986 movie “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and by Star Trek’s “subspace communications”. Doing away with distances in space and time also opens the door to Star Trek-like teleportation. Teleportation wouldn’t involve reproducing the original and there would be no need to destroy the original body – we would “simply” be here one moment, and there the next (wherever and whenever our destination is).
    8) Another step might be to think of “… the grand design of the universe, a single theory that explains everything” (words used by Stephen Hawking on the American version of Amazon, when promoting his latest book “The Grand Design”) in a different way than physicists who are presently working on science’s holy grail of unification. Recalling the manmade Genesis Planet in the 1982 movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, we might anticipate that the future will actually see a manmade planet (literally forming a planet is merely an advancement of terraforming, where a planet is engineered to be Earth-like and habitable). We might even free our minds from all restrictions and imagine science and technology creating every planet in the universe. The universe’s underlying electronic foundation (which makes our cosmos into a partially-complete unification, similar to 2 objects which appear billions of years or billions of light-years apart on a huge computer screen actually being unified by the strings of ones and zeros making up the computer code which is all in one small place) would make our cosmos into physics’ holy grail of a complete unification if it enabled not only elimination of all distances in space and time, but also elimination of distance between (and including) the different sides of objects and particles. This last point requires the universe to not merely be a vast collection of the countless photons, electrons and other quantum particles within it; but to be a unified whole that has “particles” and “waves” built into its union of digital 1’s and 0’s (or its union of qubits – quantum binary digits). If we use the example of CGH (computer generated holography, which is reminiscent of the holographic simulation called the Holodeck in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), these “particles” and “waves” would either be elements in a Touchable Hologram – demonstrated by Japanese researchers in August 2009 (search for “Touchable Holography” in Google or You Tube) – or elements produced by the interaction of electromagnetic and presently undiscovered gravitational waves, producing what we know as mass (in September 2008, renowned British astrophysicist Professor Stephen Hawking bet US$100 that the Large Hadron Collider would not find the Higgs boson, a theoretical particle supposed to explain how other particles acquire mass) and forming what we know as space-time. Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, and measurements on the Hulse-Taylor binary-star system resulted in Russell Hulse and Joe Taylor being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1993 for their work, which was the first indirect evidence for gravitational waves.The feedback of the past and future universes into the unified cosmos’s electronic foundation would ensure that both past and future could not be altered. (I’m disagreeing with Einstein’s view of weights [mass] causing indentations in a malleable “rubber sheet” called space-time, but the system I’m proposing can yield exactly the same measurements as his and I think Einstein would welcome the chance to consider a different interpretation.)
    (Our brains and minds are part of this unification too, which must mean extrasensory perception and telekinetic independence from technology are possible.)

    9) Elimination of diseased matter and/or eliminating the distance in time between a patient and recovery from any adverse medical condition – even death – would also be a valuable way of restoring health. With time travel in an electronic universe, people who have long since died could have their minds downloaded into clones of their bodies – a modification of ideas published by robotics/artificial intelligence pioneer Hans Moravec, inventor/futurist Ray Kurzweil and others – allowing them to “recover” from death (establishing colonies throughout space and time would prevent overpopulation). Or if the distance between recovery and a patient is reduced to zero before illness or accident occurs (we might call this “eVaccination” – electronic vaccination); prevention of any adverse medical condition, including that of a second death for those resurrected, can occur. Science’s real-life conquering of all disease, and even death, would certainly make the technology employed by Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the Enterprise’s doctor, appear non-futuristic.

    10) These paragraphs imply the possibility of humans time-travelling to the distant past and using electronics to create this particular subuniverse’s computer-generated Big Bang (but there’s still room for God because God would be a pantheistic union of the megauniverse’s material and mental parts, forming a union with humans in a cosmic unification). We’ve seen several examples of how science fact could equal, or surpass, science fiction. A final example of surpassing is that, in Star Trek, there are many military conflicts with Klingons, Romulans, the Borg, etc. In a real-life cosmic unification, there are no wars between the stars but peace is normal – even on Earth – since nobody can attack anyone in any way without knowing they’re attacking themself.

    11) Exactly how could humans time-travel to the distant past and use electronics to create this particular subuniverse’s computer-generated Big Bang? I write about the mechanics of time travel later in this book so I’ll just talk about the electronics here. Are you familiar with the 95-year-old amateur astronomer and cosmologist John Dobson? I’d like to offer my version of “E=mc squared for the 21st century” (inspired by his book “The Moon Is New”) -

    “The Moon Is New” (a book by John Dobson – Berbeo Publishing, 2008) has the potential to completely change our understanding of the universe. On page 14, it’s stated that “Einstein’s equation (E=mc squared) says that mass and energy are the same thing …” and “The c squared is just how many ergs are equal to one gram” (making the equation E=m). In pages 38-40, the book asks “… how many centimeters (are) equal to a second. That ratio, what is known in the trade as the speed of light, is about 30 billion centimeters to a second.” This question, and these pages, could lead to us saying “space and time are the same thing.” But as the book tells us on p. 38, “… time is the opposite of space in the geometry of this world …” and “… the space and time separations between (any) two events are equal and the total space-time separation is, therefore, zero.”

    Suppose a star we are viewing is at a distance of 100 light years (this can be represented as +100). Since we see nothing as it presently is but as it was when the light left it, we are seeing the star as it was 100 years ago (represented as the opposite of space i.e. as -100). Repeated experimental verification of Einstein’s Relativity theory confirms its statement that space and time can never exist separately but form what is known as space-time. The space-time distance between us and the star is therefore 100 + (-100) i.e. 100-100 i.e. 0 and there is actually zero separation between us and the star’s gravity, heat etc.

    So saying space and time are equivalent (“equal” or “the same thing”) is incomplete and, to be accurate, we need to say space-time separation is equal (and zero). This possibly explains cosmic unification and because the inverse-square law of famous English scientist Isaac Newton (1642-1727) says the force between two particles is infinite if the distance of separation goes to zero; also possibly explains the existence of an all-powerful, and super-intelligent (since those particles could be brain particles), God.

    Is it also incomplete to say mass and energy are the same thing? Yes. We can add c squared to E=m. But we can think differently and think of E=m as 10=10 exponent 1. To make the equation totally complete, we must add something without altering the meaning e.g. by writing 10=10 exponent 1+0. Now we have E=m exponent 1+0 (in the BASIC programming language, E=m ^ 1+0). Where do we find 1’s and 0’s? In the binary language used by computers. Does this mean the Underlying Existence spoken of in the book is energy as the book suggests – but to be more specific, the energy of a computer (perhaps a quantum supercomputer) processing?

    Maybe this quantum supercomputer resides in the same place as the purported Big Bang. Science says the Big Bang created all the matter and energy in the universe – if a quantum supercomputer exists in that place, we could indeed say that all matter and energy is computer-generated. Carl Sagan (who was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author) said there is no centre to the universe where the Big Bang could have taken place and initiated expansion. Therefore, the Big Bang (and for our purposes, the quantum supercomputer) would exist outside space and time in what we might call 5th dimensional hyperspace. Page 34 suggests “… the rest mass of the proton (is) just the energy represented by its separation … from all the rest of the matter in the … universe.” Since that separation is zero, the universe must be unified with each of its constituent subatomic particles and those particles must follow the rules of fractal geometry being similarly composed of space and time and hyperspace. This is another challenge to our senses – like their being zero separation between us and a star’s gravity, heat etc. – that is possible if we live in a holographic universe (combining gravitational with electromagnetic waves) controlled by the magic of computers.

    The expansion of consciousness that produces this science is not merely something for far-off centuries but can be applied right now (the experiment in electrical engineering already has been) to show us a silver lining in the cloud of the global financial crisis.

    The worldwide economic crisis has the potential for many political benefits, since cooperation will be the only way to maintain and improve our living standard if monetary systems fail. The crisis would encourage domestic and international peace and sharing – perhaps even paradise on earth …

    The present global financial crisis may indicate that the world we live in today has lost stability and is on the brink of changing. Therefore, this “crisis” might be necessary to awaken us to the potential of tomorrow. Just because money has been making the world go round for thousands of years doesn’t mean money will be the way of the world forever. We should start looking for an alternative system to preserve, and increase, standards of living now in case we need it tomorrow (I imagine politicians are the ones with the resources and organizational ability needed to implement such a system). This scheme should not use any form of monetary organisation nor be based on gold, silver etc. It should, idealistic and naive as it appears at first, be based on mutual cooperation and the goal of ushering in a paradise on earth. We can say there can never be paradise on earth; but the human instinct to survive is much stronger than our tendency for other types of self-interest, and greed, and to not cooperate with each other. If money ceases to be an option; most people will gladly cooperate with those we would have previously regarded as competition, or even as an enemy, if it’s the only way to maintain and improve our living standard.

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