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alternate universes [message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:52 Go to next message
ariels is currently offline  ariels
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Message-ID: <49@orca.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 10-Aug-83 20:13:35 EDT
Article-I.D.: orca.49
Posted: Wed Aug 10 20:13:35 1983
Date-Received: Thu, 11-Aug-83 13:29:32 EDT
Lines: 9

Andrew, don't you think it's a little self centered to assume that 
the universe we currently inhabit is the original (as your numbering
system implies)?  Why should this universe be 0? Why not another 
universe? Perhaps this universe is just a shadow universe, ala 
Zelazny's Amber series.  I propose that we number our universe 42.  
After all, that IS the answer.

                  Ariel Shattan
Re: alternate universes [message #54903 is a reply to message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
eric is currently offline  eric
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Message-ID: <231@aplvax.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 11-Aug-83 11:26:16 EDT
Article-I.D.: aplvax.231
Posted: Thu Aug 11 11:26:16 1983
Date-Received: Fri, 12-Aug-83 05:09:25 EDT
References: orca.49
Lines: 11

	While 42 does have a certain ring to it, why should there
be an absolute numbering system? After all, aren't they 
distributed universes? Then when you wished to travel, communicate,
or refer to another you would have to negotiate the numbering scheme
that each uses. The alternative, a common numbering system, requires an
outside agency to oversee new numbers, and we all know how well that

Re: alternate universes [message #54966 is a reply to message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
israel is currently offline  israel
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Message-ID: <1876@umcp-cs.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 15-Aug-83 19:54:44 EDT
Article-I.D.: umcp-cs.1876
Posted: Mon Aug 15 19:54:44 1983
Date-Received: Tue, 16-Aug-83 14:36:54 EDT
References: orca.49 <231@aplvax.UUCP>
Organization: Univ. of Maryland, Computer Science Dept.
Lines: 34

Obviously the way to number alternate universes is not with an absolute
numbering scheme, but instead by relative transformations.  For example,
a computer is a good example of a separate universe, and I am currently
on the "umcp-cs" universe.  There are transformations from our universe
called "aplvax", "rlgvax", and "seismo", among others, so I can
reference the universes "umcp-cs!aplvax", "umcp-cs!rlgvax", and
"umcp-cs!seismo".  I can reference alternate beings like
"umcp-cs!aplvax!eric" and "umcp-cs!rlgvax!guy" (fictional beings if
ever I've seen any!).

A referencing scheme then just needs the base universe and the list of
transformations to get to the target universe.  Of course, if you can't
get to the destination universe (physically or informationally) then you
don't need to reference it.

Some examples of referencing characters in other universes are
(using the base universe "this universe") "startrek!kirk" (general
character reference), startrek!"the day of the dove episode"!kirk
(kirk in that episode), "earth!1974!Bruce Israel"
(me when I graduated high school),
"Time Enough for Love, by RAH"!second-to-last-section!Ted Bronson
(Lazarus Long, fighting in WWII), etc.

All we need is a general mail facility for this, so I could do

mail "site!!idiot"
Don't post that request on net.general, put it on instead!

...!umcp-cs!"August 15, 1983"!"7:54 p.m."!israel

~~~ Bruce
Computer Science Dept., University of Maryland
{rlgvax,seismo}!umcp-cs!israel (Usenet)    israel.umcp-cs@Udel-Relay (Arpanet)
Re: alternate universes [message #54994 is a reply to message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gjphw is currently offline  gjphw
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Message-ID: <447@ihuxm.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 17-Aug-83 20:06:39 EDT
Article-I.D.: ihuxm.447
Posted: Wed Aug 17 20:06:39 1983
Date-Received: Thu, 18-Aug-83 22:30:41 EDT
Organization: BTL Naperville, Il.
Lines: 42

   This personal note is in reply to a query sent by G. Skinner to net.physics
seeking comments about the prospects for the existence of alternate universes.
He seemed to be asking for the opinion of physicists (eh?).  Almost at the
same time that this challenge appeared, R. Forward posted an article in this
news group listing several references that discuss alternate universes and
quantum mechanics by a few practicing physicists.  My degree says physics but
my specialty is thermodynamics.  I have not read any of the references given
in the Forward article, but I thought that I might launch into the melee.

   Alternate universes are not standard topics for consideration in the
graduate education of physicists.  In fact, more than three spatial dimensions
are not covered in graduate school.  Only recently, with the introduction of
some promising grand unification theories (GUTs) have more than three
dimensions been considered tolerable.

   Science has many explicit and implicit assumptions built into it.  One
says that the subject of science, in my case it is physics, is capable of
being understood by the human mind (even though it may only be collectively).
Another is that the best theories describe the greatest number of phenomena
with the fewest number of assumptions.  This is also known as Occam's razor.
For a successful theory, one that describes alot without serious violations,
the assumptions that go into that theory are granted ontological status (the
belief that they exist and are worthy of study).

   Alternate universes have not been found necessary for the description of
physical phenomena.  This does not prove that they don't exist, but merely
that they are unnecessary for theory building.  Since they are not used,
most physicists (including me) would vote that alternate universes do not
exist.  It may be entertaining to read stories that use various universes as
vehicles for the action or moral, but there is insufficient motivation to
begin a search for any alternate universe.  Whether or not our existence
is the alternate universe of someone else's imagination lies completely
outside of, and violates another assumption of, physical science.

   And now, I return to my ivory tower....

                                       Patrick Wyant
                                       Bell Labs (Naperville, IL)
Re: alternate universes [message #55039 is a reply to message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
grindal is currently offline  grindal
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Message-ID: <2091@utcsrgv.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 24-Aug-83 16:39:10 EDT
Article-I.D.: utcsrgv.2091
Posted: Wed Aug 24 16:39:10 1983
Date-Received: Wed, 24-Aug-83 19:12:14 EDT
References: <4489@sri-arpa.UUCP>
Organization: CSRG, University of Toronto
Lines: 25

	Re Silverberg's idea that the flow of history is difficult to
	this same theme occurs in Asimov's "The End of Eternity", in which
there are people who live "outside" of time.  They can travel between 
times, and keep their numbers up by recruiting youngsters from the
various centuries.  (This book has some interesting gramatical adaptions, 
including word like "upwhen", "downwhen", "When are you?", ...).

	These people, known as the Eternals, perform two roles.  They use
their time travelling to act as intermediates in commerce between centuries.
They see their main task, however, as adjusting history for the "benefit"
of mankind as a whole, such as eliminating wars etc.  They find after a while
that if they make a change in the 100th century, the reprcussions of the
change begin to fade after 40 or so centuries.  (The Eternals deal with
centuries from 19 (1900) to 100,000 and higher).  In other words they find
that the flow of history is difficult to permanently divert.

	As an aside, we also find by the end of the book that by continually
changing history for man's benefit, they have also bred the initiative and
drive out of man, as well as postponing numerous scientific advances (eg.
the first nuclear explosion is in the 43rd century instead of the 19th)

				David Grindal
Re: alternate universes [message #55048 is a reply to message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
brucec is currently offline  brucec
Messages: 37
Registered: March 2013
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Message-ID: <1931@tekecs.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 25-Aug-83 19:54:37 EDT
Article-I.D.: tekecs.1931
Posted: Thu Aug 25 19:54:37 1983
Date-Received: Sat, 27-Aug-83 16:35:05 EDT
References: sri-arpa.4489
Lines: 22

The story describing the difficulty of changing history is called,
appropriately enough, "Try and Change the Past," by Fritz Leiber.  It's
one of a series of stories about what Leiber calls the Change War, a
battle between two groups known as the "Snakes" and "Spiders" (for reasons
which no one in the stories ever discovers, as far as I remember).
The war is fought throughout time and in every solar system in at
least two galaxies.  Other stories in the series:

	Damnation Morning (short story)
	The Big Time (novel - barely)
	The Oldest Soldier (short story)

There's another story, whose title I can't recall, though I read it
more recently than the others.  It involves some of the characters
from "The Big Time" in a plot to kidnap Queen Elizabeth I and replace
her with a Spider agent.

				Bruce Cohen
				UUCP:	...!teklabs!tekecs!brucec
				CSNET:	tekecs!brucec@tektronix
				ARPA:	tekecs!brucec.tektronix@rand-relay
Re: alternate universes [message #55121 is a reply to message #54901] Fri, 03 May 2013 17:53 Go to previous message
Thomas[1] is currently offline  Thomas[1]
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Message-ID: <899@utah-gr.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 2-Sep-83 00:40:08 EDT
Article-I.D.: utah-gr.899
Posted: Fri Sep  2 00:40:08 1983
Date-Received: Sat, 3-Sep-83 04:21:24 EDT
References: utcsrgv.2091
Lines: 12

Just tonight I read Fritz Leiber's "The Big Time".  It is set in "the
Place", a sort of R&R joint for people involved in the "Change Wars". 
The Change Wars are fought over a very long period of time between the
"Spiders" and the "Snakes".  Each group is trying to change "history" so
that they will "win" in the far distant future.  I'm not sure if it was
originally written as a play, but it is obvious that it could be very
easily produced (as it was, here at the lowly U of Utah, last year,
Leiber himself actually came to the premier).  I won't say more, except
that I thought it was *excellent*.  Probably not available in
bookstores, but check your public library.

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