[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Dec 23 22:55:10 UTC 2010

>... On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes
Subject: Re: [ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>
>>> >...I recall a sci-fi story where intelligent life was discovered on 
>>> >a neutron star...
>> This could be Stephen Baxter's FLUX (which I haven't read). Baxter 
>> knows a thing or two about science.

>No - it was Dragon's Egg and Starquake, by Robert Forward, and it did
indeed involve a neutron star.


Ah OK, now I get it.  As it turns out I was privileged to meet Dr. Forward
at a conference.  Interesting character, very flamboyant, dresses funny
(ascots), lots of interesting ideas.  He used to be a Lockheed guy a long
time ago, was in our "Big Ideas" group.  He wrote a book proposing an
earthbound zero-gravity chamber by creating a lump of neutronium and making
a hole below it where the gravity from the superdense ball of neutronium
would exactly counteract gravity.  I did the calcs (about 25 yrs ago) which
convinced me a ball of neutronium that size wouldn't be stable on earth.
Any ball of neutrons large enough to hold itself together against neutron
decay would continue to form more neutronium on its surface until the earth
became a really hot 300 meter diameter ball of neutronium.  The transition
would be something like what happened to Jupiter in AC Clarke's second
Odyssey 2010.

Robert Forward is a super smart guy but I think he missed on this one.


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