Relative impossibility

I have recently taken to listening to podcasts via my ipod on the drive to and from work (depending on whether there is anything actually worth listening to on the radio).

This evening on my way back from the Gym I was listening to a podcast that I quite like called Futures in Biotech, and they had a physicist as the quest and he raised quite a cool concept.

He described there being three classes of Impossibility

  1. Things currently impossible, but probably achievable in decades to centuries, with the examples of molecular teleportation, invisibility, antimatter drives, ray gun, Starships, and telepathy (via technology).
  2. The currently impossible, but probably achievable in centuries to millenia, with the perceivable limitation being mainly due to the exorbitant energies required (and he was talking about projects requiring percentages of the energy output of a star) such as wormhole travel.
  3. Those things that are truely impossible due to them requiring violations of universal laws, such as precognition (seeing the future).

Overall I like the idea, mainly I think because of the number of really cool things that fall into the “Possible provided enough money/energy” basket. Be honest. Who wouldn’t want an invisibility cloak…

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