Who Wrote Their Phd Thesis in the Shortest Amount of Time?

George Bernard DantzigGeorge Bernard Dantzig arrived late to class, found some problems on the board and copied them down assuming they were homework.

He took them home, worked them out. A couple of days later, he gave his work to his professor while apologizing for taking so long because the questions were a bit harder than usual.

What he didn’t know was that those questions on the board weren’t homework, but some examples of unsolved problems that were being discussed in class.

A year later he asked his professor for help choosing his thesis topic and the professor just told him to put those two problems in a binder and he’ll accept them as his thesis.

More Details Story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Dantzig#Mathematical_statistics

All You Zombies

The year is 1945. A stranger emerges from the darkness carrying a baby girl that he leaves at an orphanage. Well, the nuns find this baby girl, they don’t know where this baby girl came from, so the nuns call her… Jane. So Jane grows up at the orphanage wondering, “Who is my mother? Who is my father?”

When Jane is 17 years old, she’s a beautiful young woman and finally has her first boyfriend. A drifter comes drifting into her life, but it just wasn’t meant to be. They quarrel. She argues with her boyfriend. It’s a very sad story. First, she finds out that she’s pregnant. Second, her boyfriend has left her. She’s abandoned and pregnant. She’s rushed to the hospital 9 months later and she delivers a beautiful baby girl. But somehow, somebody breaks into the hospital that night, kidnaps Jane’s baby girl, and vanishes into the darkness. Wait, it gets worse. Jane is bleeding very rapidly and death becomes a real possibility. The doctors must perform an experimental emergency operation. They have to change Jane (she) into Jim (he). Fortunately, the doctors find that Jane has both sets of sex organs, and to save her life, they are forced to surgically convert Jane (her) into Jim (him).

Well, Jim wakes up the next day with a huge headache and he’s told the bad news. First, the boyfriend left her pregnant. Second, somebody stole her baby, and now she’s not even Jane anymore! She’s… Jim?

So Jim grows up to become a bar room drunk. Every time someone asks, “Who are you, Jim? Where’d you come from? Who’s your mother or father?” He just didn’t know.

Finally, Jim one day is once again stone drunk at the floor of the bar right after a bar fight. The bartender comes up to him and says, “Jim! Jim! Wake up! Hey, guess what? You see, I’m not really a bartender. I’m actually a time traveler. Let’s step into my machine and see who is this Jim/Jane the stranger who left you pregnant and abandoned.”

So they go back into the past. Poor Jim, he doesn’t know where he is in the past. However, he meets this beautiful 17 years old girl and it’s love at first sight. But it just wasn’t meant to be. They quarrel. Then Jim finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. Jim says to himself, “Holy crap. History is repeating itself! This happened to me! Well I’m going to make sure that my baby gets the best education possible.”

That night, nine months later, Jim goes to the hospital, breaks open the window, and kidnaps his own precious baby girl. Then Jim, holding his baby girl, goes back into the time machine, way back into the past until it’s 1945. It’s a dark and stormy night. Jim comes in from the darkness carrying his precious baby daughter and drops her off at an orphanage.

Well, the nuns don’t know what to do with this baby girl the next day so they just decide to call her Jane. And Jane grows up wondering, “Who is my mother? Who is my father?”

Anyways, Jim finally gets it together. Well, I don’t want to be a drunk for the rest of my life. So Jim decides to join the Time Travelers’ Corps. So Jim has many wondrous exploits in the annals of time.

Now Jim is an old man. He thinks to himself, “I’ve had a good long life. But I want to give myself one final mission. For my last mission, I’m going to go back in time, put on a wig, and impersonate a bartender, to meet a certain bar room drunk who just got into a fistfight because someone said, ‘Who are you Jim? Who’s your mother? Who’s your father?’ “

The question is, “Who is Jane’s mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson? The girl, the drifter, and the bartender, of course, are all the same person. These paradoxes can made your head spin, especially if you try to untangle Jane’s twisted parentage. If we draw Jane’s family tree, we find that all the branches are curled inward back on themselves, as in a circle. We come to the astonishing conclusion that she is her own mother and father! She is an entire family tree unto herself.”

Another Version

A baby girl is mysteriously dropped off at an orphanage in Cleveland in 1945. “Jane” grows up lonely and dejected, not knowing who her parents are, until one day in 1963 she is strangely attracted to a drifter. She falls in love with him. But just when things are finally looking up for Jane, a series of disasters strike. First, she becomes pregnant by the drifter, who then disappears. Second, during the complicated delivery, doctors find that Jane has both sets of sex organs, and to save her life, they are forced to surgically convert “her” to a “him”. Finally, a mysterious stranger kidnaps her baby from the delivery room.

Reeling from these disasters, rejected by society, scorned by fate, “he” becomes a drunkard and drifter. Not only has Jane lost her parents and her lover, but he has lost his only child as well. Years later, in 1970, he stumbles into a lonely bar, called Pop’s Place, and spills out his pathetic story to an elderly bartender. The sympathetic bartender offers the drifter the chance to avenge the stranger who left her pregnant and abandoned, on the condition that he join the Time Travelers’ Corps. Both of them enter a time machine, and the bartender drops off the drifter in 1963. The drifter is strangely attracted to a young orphan woman, who subsequently becomes pregnant.

The bartender then goes forward 9 months, kidnaps the baby girl from the hospital, and drops off the baby in an orphanage back in 1945. Then the bartender drops off the thoroughly confused drifter in 1985, to enlist in the Time Travelers’ Corps. The drifter eventually gets his life together, becomes a respected and elderly member of the Time Travelers’ Corps, and then disguises himself as a bartender and has his most difficult mission: a date with destiny, meeting a certain drifter at Pop’s Place in 1970.

The question is: Who is Jane’s mother, father, grandfather, grand mother, son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson? The girl, the drifter, and the bartender, of course, are all the same person. These paradoxes can made your head spin, especially if you try to untangle Jane’s twisted parentage. If we draw Jane’s family tree, we find that all the branches are curled inward back on themselves, as in a circle. We come to the astonishing conclusion that she is her own mother and father! She is an entire family tree unto herself.

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Note:

  1. This story was summarized by Michio Kaku from the original story and he said this story is the mother of all time travel story.
  2. Original story, “All You Zombies” is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein.
  3. You can read the original story here.

Nash Equilibrium

John Forbes Nash, Jr. by Peter Badge
John Forbes Nash, Jr.

Pada 23 Mei 2015, dunia dikejutkan dengan kabar meninggalnya Matematikawan Legenda sekaligus peraih Nobel Ekonomi tahun 1994, John Nash beserta sang Istri, karena taksi yang mereka tumpangi mengalami kecelakan. Beberapa hari sebelum kecelakaan, Almarhum menerima penghargaan Abel salah satu peghargaan tertinggi di ranah Matematika.

Almarhum mulai dikenal dunia sejak kisah hidupnya diangkat ke layar lebar, berjudul A Beautiful Mind. Film ini meraih 4 penghargaan Oscar diantaranya Film Terbaik dan Sutradara Terbaik. Jika kamu belum nonton filmnya, wajib kamu tonton! Film peraih Oscar tidak perlu diragukan lagi kualitasnya.

Yang membedakan Almarhum dengan para Jenius peraih Nobel yang lain adalah dia mengidap Schizophrenia. Ya… dia gila, mungkin dia orang gila paling berprestrasi sepanjang sejarah peradaban manusia, mampu meraih Nobel.

Continue reading Nash Equilibrium

Playing Games With Eternity: The Devil’s Offer

by Edward J. Gracely

Suppose Ms C dies and goes to hell, or to a place that seems like hell. The devil approaches and offers to play a game of chance. If she wins, she can go to heaven. If she loses, she will stay in hell forever; there is no second chance to play the game. If Ms C plays today, she has a 1/2 chance of winning. Tomorrow the probability will be 2/3. Then 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, etc., with no end to the series. Thus every passing day increases her chances of winning. At what point should she play the game?

The answer is not obvious; after any given number of days spent waiting, it will still be possible to improve her chances by waiting yet another day. And any increase in the probability of winning a game with infinite stakes has an infinite utility. For example, if she wait a year, her probability of winning the game would be approximately .997268; if she waits one more day, the probability would increase to .997275, a difference of only .000007. Yet, even .000007 multiplied by infinity is infinite.

On the other hand, it seems reasonable to suppose the cost of delaying for a day to be finite — a day’s more suffering in hell. So the infinite expected benefit from a delay will always exceed the cost.

This logic might suggest that Ms C should wait forever, but clearly such a strategy would be self defeating: why should she stay forever in a place in order to increase her chances of leaving it? So the question remains: what should Ms C do?

© Edward J. Gracely June 1988

Sains – Penjaga Abadi Piramid

Apa yang berjalan
empat kaki kala pagi,

dua kaki kala siang,
tiga kaki kala senja,
dan kembali empat kaki kala malam?

Bayangkan kita sedang berada di suatu jalan setapak menuju kota dan tiba-tiba melompat seekor makhluk berkepala manusia, berbadan singa, bersayap pula yang menanyakan teka-teki diatas. Salah menjawab akan berakibat fatal, badan kita akan dicabik-cabik sebelum dimakan dengan buas oleh makhluk gado-gado gabungan beberapa spesies tersebut.

Untuk yang akrab dengan cerita mitologi Yunani, pasti sangat akrab dengan cerita tersebut. Makhluk yang menghadang tiap pejalan kaki tidak lain adalah Sphinx. Patung Sphinx yang tersisa dan yang paling terkenal, kita ketahui menjaga tiga piramida besar di Mesir. Dalam mitologi, Raja Thebes sangat khawatir dengan keberadaan Sphinx di persimpangan jalan menuju kotanya. Tiap pejalan kaki takut menuju Thebes dan menjadikannya kota mati. Akhirnya Raja Thebes membuat sayembara, siapa yang berhasil mengusir Sphinx, bagaimanapun caranya, akan menjadi Raja Thebes. Sebenarnya cerita ini khas dongeng sekali. Kerajaan bermasalah? Cek. Raja sudah tua? Cek. Sayembara dengan hadiah besar? Cek. Pahlawan yang berhasil menyelesaikan masalah? Cek.

Oke! Singkat cerita, pahlawan yang namanya Oedipus berhasil menjawab teka-teki Sphinx. Jawaban Oedipus, makhluk yang dimaksud adalah manusia. Ketika pagi, sewaktu bayi, berjalan dengan empat kaki. Kala dewasa, siang hari dua kaki. Senja kala renta, 2 kaki dengan bantuan tongkat. Malam hari kala sekarat, merangkak mendekati kematian. Keberhasilan Oedipus menjawab teka-teki membuat Sphinx tidak berdaya dan mudah dikalahkan. Badan Sphinx lalu diangkut oleh keledai ke kota untuk bukti kemenangan. Dan seperti di dongeng-dongeng, Oedipus pun menjadi Raja. Sebenarnya cerita lanjutannya menarik, tapi bukan fokus tulisan ini. Cerita detailnya kenapa ada nama Oedipus complex dan bagaimana nasib Oedipus bisa dibaca disini.

Cerita tentang Sphinx ternyata bukan hanya dongeng belaka. Banyak perumpamaan yang ada di cerita ini. Sepertinya pengarang mitologi Sphinx ingin menyampaikan suatu pesan yang halus tentang Sains. Sphinx dengan penggambaran muka perempuan, seperti sains yang menawarkan keindahan mencandra alam semesta. Tapi Sphinx juga digambarkan bersayap dan mempunyai cakar. Sains juga memiliki sifat yang sama, dapat menerbangkan ide dari satu individu ke individu lainnya. Tapi Sains juga mempunyai cakar yang tajam, yang menoreh dalam ke dalam pikiran. Dengan pertukaran argumen serta empirisme data, sains merobek persepsi lama tentang dunia yang kita kenal.

Posisi Sphinx yang berada di atas bukit menggambarkan bahwa sains senantiasa terlihat jauh dari jangkauan. Ketika manusia dalam perjalanannya mendekati Sphinx, ia melompat menghadang dan mengajukan pertanyaan. Manusia dalam perjalanan kehidupan membangun peradaban, akan menjumpai masalah, dalam cerita digambarkan sebagai Sphinx. Jikalau ia bisa memecahkan masalah dengan metode sains, maka ia akan mendapat kejayaan. Kita bisa lihat di rentang sejarah, peradaban yang berhasil menyelesaikan masalah-masalah mereka seperti pangan, pertanian, penyakit bahkan bencana alam akan menjadi peradaban yang maju dibanding sekitarnya. Benarlah seperti yang dikatakan Kelly Clarkson di lagunya “What doesn’t kill me, will make me stronger”. (Friedrich Nietzsche seorang filsuf Jerman adalah orang yang pertama kali mengucapkan kalimat tersebut.)

Hal ini pula yang membuat bangsa Mesir meletakkan Sphinx di depan piramid-piramid mereka. Bukan sebagai makhluk mitos yang menerbitkan tahayul dan ketakutan pada orang-orang yang melihatnya. Bangsa Mesir kuno seakan menantang para manusia setelah mereka. Jika ingin mengetahui isi dan rahasia piramid, lewatilah teka-teki (Sphinx) dan pecahkanlah dengan Sains.

Apakah analogi Sains sebagai Sphinx berhenti sampai disini? Belum. Setelah dikalahkan oleh Oedipus, Sphinx hanyalah jasad yang dapat diangkut oleh keledai. Tidak ada satu pun orang yang takut memegang Sphinx lagi. Hal yang sama berlaku di sains, ketika suatu formula, teori, hukum dicetuskan oleh Saintis, maka siapa pun dapat mempelajarinya dengan mudah. Bayangkan bagaimana “mudahnya” kita memahami gerakan orbit planet dengan hukum Newton. Tapi sebelumnya? Bahkan para filsuf Yunani masih berdebat mengapa batu yang dijatuhkan dari atas tiang kapal yang berjalan, jatuh tepat di bawah tiang, bukan bergeser sedikit. Sama halnya di Teori Evolusi, bahkan sahabat dekat Charles Darwin, Huxley bilang gini, “Simpel sekali teori ini, coba aku yang nemuin.” Contoh terakhir, untuk kita, mudah memahami bagaimana DNA menginstruksikan sel menjadi protein. Tapi generasi orang-tua kita yang bersekolah di tahun 60 dan 70-an mungkin belum mendapat pengetahuan ini. Wong DNA strukturnya aja baru ketemu tahun 60-an.

Sphinx menerima teka-teki dari dewa-dewi penyanyi Muse yang selalu membuat syair-syair indah. Teka-teki yang indah jika diucapkan oleh Muse, berubah menjadi ancaman. Di tangan Sphinx, teka-teki dari Muse menjadi penentu nasib manusia yang sial bertemu dengannya. Apakah analogi sains tersembunyi pula disini? Bisa jadi. Sains pada ranah akademis memang sesuatu yang menyenangkan. Tidak heran banyak orang merasa nyaman di kepompong akademik mereka. Tidak mau beranjak ke dunia kerja yang kejam. Tapi ketika masalah di dunia nyata, Sains berubah menjadi monster yang kejam. Salah membuat kalkulasi atau gagal menerka hukum alam, maka kematian menunggu di ujung jalan. Cerita Scott & Amundsen dua penjelajah Antartika, cocok untuk menggambarkan kejamnya alam dan sains jika kita salah menjawab “pertanyaan”.

Kesuksesan dalam menjawab pertanyaan Sphinx atau sukses menerka teka-teki alam, berhadiah kejayaan dan kesuksesan. Orang yang menguasai sains dan teknologi akan menguasai alam beserta manusia di dalamnya. Tidak heran Augustus Cesar menggunakan gambar Sphinx sebagai cap resmi kerajaannya. Simbol yang mengandung pesan pada wilayah-wilayah jajahan Roma seterang matahari di musim panas.

“Roma yang maha kuat menguasai Teknologi dan Manusia sekalian.”

Sumber: prasdianto.blogspot.co.id

Ship of Theseus – Theseus’ Paradox

Ship of Theseus atau dikenal juga sebagai Theseus’ Paradox adalah suatu paradoks mengenai identitas dari suatu entitas. Paradoks ini berasal dari kisah seorang pemuda yang bernama Theseus. Theseus adalah seorang tokoh dalam mitologi Yunani yang mengalahkan Minotaur, makhluk setengah manusia setengah lembu yang tinggal dalam Labirin Knossos. Minotaur meminta tumbal secara teratur dari penduduk Athena sehingga menimbulkan keresahan bagi penduduk Athena, hingga suatu hari Theseus dengan berani memasuki labirin dan mengalahkan Minotaur.

Setelah berhasil mengalahkan Minotaur, Theseus kembali ke Athena dengan sebuah kapal yang sangat besar. Selama berabad-abad kapal Theseus tersebut dijaga agar tetap bisa berlayar di laut oleh penduduk Athena untuk membuktikan bahwa kisah heroik Theseus tersebut benar-benar ada. Masalahnya, yang membuat kapal tersebut tetap bisa berlayar selama ratusan tahun adalah berkat perbaikan terus-menerus dan penggantian suku cadang. Begitu satu papan menjadi tua dan mulai rapuh akan diganti dengan papan yang baru dan seterusnya sampai setiap bagian dari kapal itu tidak ada lagi yang asli.

Seorang ahli sejarah Yunani di sekitar abad pertama yang bernama Plutarch mempertanyakan apakah kapal itu masih Kapal Theseus yang sama atau sesuatu yang baru dan berbeda? Jika tidak sama, pada titik manakah kapal itu berhenti menjadi kapal yang sama?

Seabad kemudian, filsuf Thomas Hobbes mengajukan pertanyaan lebih jauh, bagaimana jika potongan-potongan yang asli disusun ulang menjadi sebuah kapal baru, manakah yang merupakan kapal milik Theseus yang asli?

Seorang filsuf Yunani, Heraclitus mencoba memecahkan teka-teki ini dengan menggunakan analogi seseorang yang melangkah ke sebuah sungai. Meskipun orang tadi masuk ke sungai yang sama, air yang mengalir selalu berubah tetapi sungai itu tetaplah sungai yang sama. Beberapa solusi lainnya bisa Anda temukan disini.

Pertanyaan yang lebih mengejutkan lagi adalah jika tiap sel yang mati di tubuh kita akan digantikan dengan sel yang baru dan jika BENAR setiap 5-7 tahun seluruh sel di dalam tubuh kita sudah digantikan oleh sel yang baru, apakah kita adalah orang yang sama dengan diri kita pada 5-7 tahun yang lalu?

Sumber: www.wikipedia.com

Why Doesn’t Honey Spoil?

Honey is magic. Besides its delicious taste, it’s pretty much the only food that does not spoil while in an edible state. But why, exactly, doesn’t honey spoil?

Honey has a lot of pretty incredible properties. It’s been used and investigated for medicinal properties for a long time, especially as a treatment for open wounds. Herodotus reported that the Babylonians buried their dead in honey, and Alexander the Great may have been embalmed in a coffin full of honey.

The oldest honey ever found was unearthed in Georgia, and dates back over 5,000 years. So, if you found yourself in possession of some 5,000 year-old honey, could you eat it? Well…!!!

Chemical Properties of Honey

Honey is a sugar. You may have heard all sorts of things about the health benefits of substituting honey for sugar, which may or may not be true. While honey isn’t the same as regular, granulated, white sugar, it’s still a sugar. And sugars are hygroscopic – they don’t contain much water in their natural state. And very few bacteria and microorganisms can live in the resulting low-moisture environment.

Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute at Univeristy of California, Davis says, “Honey in its natural form is very low moisture. Very few bacteria or microorganisms can survive in an environment like that, they just die. They’re smothered by it, essentially.” The fact that organisms can’t survive long in honey means they don’t get the chance to spoil it.

Another thing that sets honey apart from other sugars is its acidity. Honey’s pH is between 3 and 4.5 (or, more precisely, 3.26-4.48), which also kills off anything trying to make a home in honey.

And there are a few factors behind honey’s low moisture content, including:

1. Bees

First, bees contribute to the low water content of honey by flapping their wings to dry out nectar. Second, the way bees get nectar into honey combs is by vomiting it there. This sounds really gross, but the chemical makeup of bees’ stomachs also contributes to honey’s long shelf-life. Bees’ stomachs have the enzyme glucose oxidase, which is added to the honey when the nectar is regurgitated. The enzyme and nectar break mix to create gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide is also a hostile force for anything trying to grow in honey. (Although, maybe not that effective in your cuts.)

2. Storage

This is important. The fact that honey is hydroscopic means that it has little water in its natural state but can easily suck in water if its exposed to it. If it does that, it could spoil. So the final key to honey remaining unspoiled is making sure it’s well sealed and stored in a dry place.

3. Crystallization

Related to storage is the problem of crystallized honey. NOTE: Honey that’s crystallized is not necessarily spoiled. Americans apparently see crystallized honey as “wrong”, so large packers filter honey to remove any particles which may lead to crystallization. Raw honey and organic honey doesn’t go through the process, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to spoil. Also, different honey has different rates of crystallization. So it may just be that the honey you have is more prone to crystallization.

So crystallization doesn’t mean there’s anything “wrong” with your honey – but if you don’t like it, the big tip is to not put your honey in the refrigerator. Below 52°F, crystallization slows down, so feel free to freeze your honey. And at temperatures above 77°F, honey resists crystallization best. But honey crystallizes most quickly at temperatures of between 50°F and 59°F. So, if you want to avoid having to heat your honey to remove crystals (apparently slow, indirect heat is best for that, by the way), avoid the refrigerator.

Caveat: Infants

So, yes, honey mostly doesn’t spoil. However, honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum. This isn’t harmful to adults and children over one year old, whose gastrointestinal tract is developed enough to deal with the spores. But children under one are at risk for infant botulism, so honey is not for your infant.

So could you eat 5,000 year old honey? Well, if it’s spent that time sealed and stored against moisture, sure. If it’s crystallized, it’s not spoiled, just heat it up and put it in your food of choice. Unless you’re under one year old. Then you’d have to wait.

Source: www.io9.com

Fermi Paradox – Where Is Everybody?

Chapter I. Introduction

Suatu hari di tahun 1950-an, seorang Ilmuwan asal Italia bernama Enrico Fermi lagi duduk-duduk di 7-Eleven bareng teman-temannya. Sambil minum Slurpee mereka ngobrol-ngobrol ringan kira-kira seperti ini:

Fermi: Guys, kan katanya di luar sana banyak planet yang bisa nampung kehidupan ya?
Ferma: Katanya sih iya.
Ferme: Kayaknya si Drake cuma asal ngitung tuh.
Fermo: Memangnya kenapa?
Fermi: Aku mikirnya gini, kalau memang banyak kehidupan disana, dan banyak makhluk pintar … kenapa makhluk tersebut belum datang kemari ya?
Ferma/Ferme/Fermo:
Fermi: Where is everybody?

Artikel asli dalam bahasa Inggris dapat Anda baca di sini.

Di suatu malam yang jernih, coba sempatkan sekali waktu memandang ke langit penuh bintang.

Stars #1
Stars #1
Stars #2
Stars #2

Sebagian orang terutama yang lagi galau pasti tergugah hatinya dan langsung berubah menjadi pujangga, sedangkan sebagian orang lainnya mungkin merasa bodo amat.

Tapi siapapun pasti merasa ada yang kurang, “Umm wait … there’s something wrong!”

Langit sedemikian luas, bintang sedemikian banyak, tapi kenapa sebegini sunyi senyap. Kemana perginya semua orang? Kenapa belum ada yang datang ke sini?

Kalau kita berpegang pada Drake Equation, seharusnya kita mendapatkan hasil kurang lebih 1.000 sampai 100.000.000 civilization di galaksi Bima Sakti saja. Masa dari segini banyak civilization nggak ada satupun yang nyasar ke sini? Ini yang dirasain oleh Enrico Fermi kala itu.

Chapter II. Tipe-tipe Peradaban

Tahun 1964 Nikolai Semenovich Kardashev yang berasal dari Rusia mengajukan proposal jenis-jenis peradaban yang ada di alam semesta ini. Total ada 3 jenis peradaban.

Peradaban Tipe I yaitu peradaban yang menggunakan planet sebagai sumber energi, bahkan cenderung menghabiskan sumber daya planet itu sendiri. Kita mungkin berada disini, walaupun belum sepenuhnya. Carl Sagan bilang peradaban manusia itu masih di kisaran 0,7.

Peradaban Tipe II yaitu peradaban yang menuai energi dari bintang induk mereka. Bagaimana caranya mungkin masih gelap untuk manusia, tapi seseorang bernama Freeman Dyson dengan berani-beraninya berteori kalau peradaban tersebut membuat kubah sebesar Sharivan (lebih besar dari Gavan dong) yang menutupi bintang, lalu mengubah radiasi panas dari bintang itu menjadi energi. Kubah ini dinamakan Dyson Sphere.

Dyson Sphere
Dyson Sphere

Peradaban Tipe III jauh lebih advance dong dari kedua peradaban diatas. Nah peradaban tipe ini sudah menuai energi dari seluruh galaksi mereka. Sepertinya memang susah dibayangin, tapi kalau dibandingkan dengan peradaban manusia yang baru 100 ribuan tahun, dengan usia bumi yang 4.5 miliar tahun saja kita sudah seperti ini, apalagi ada sebuah peradaban kuno yang usia planetnya katakanlah 8 miliar tahun? Ingat lho, Big Bang itu terjadi 13 miliar tahun yang lalu, mungkin saja kan ada peradaban kuno sebelum Bumi yang sudah berevolusi ketingkat ekstrim. Who knows? Bayangin saja, evolusi teknologi manusia 4 miliar tahun yang akan datang kaya gimana.

Oh well, yang pasti si sifat dasar peradaban tipe III adalah ekspansif. Dimana mereka akan membuat koloni-koloni di planet dan bintang yang ada di galaksi mereka. Spore? Everyone?

Ini memang spekulatif, tapi kalaulah kita anggap rentang waktu sebuah peradaban lompat dari satu sistem planet ke sistem lain adalah 500 tahun, maka kurang lebih dalam 3.5 miliar tahun harusnya mereka sudah menguasai seisi galaksi.

Colonization Timeline
Colonization Timeline

Spekulasi lagi, kalau 1% saja dari seluruh peradaban intelek tersebut survive cukup lama sampai masuk ke peradaban kategori III, hitungannya kurang lebih ada 1.000 peradaban tipe III di galaksi kita saja loh. Bagaimanapun, biar sedikit pastilah kita orang pinggiran mendeteksi atau paling tidak merasakan kehadiran mereka. Tapi nyatanya kita nggak melihat apapun, nggak mendengar apapun, dan nggak dikunjungi siapapun.

Jadi “WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYBODY?!” – selamat datang di Fermi Paradox.

Chapter III. Jawaban dari Fermi Paradox

Terus terang belum ada jawabannya. Tapi paling tidak kita bisa bilang kemungkinan terbaik yang bisa menjelaskan paradox itu adalah kurang lebih sebagai berikut:

Grup 1: Tidak ada yang namanya peradaban Tipe II dan III, makanya nggak ada tanda-tanda dari mereka.

Grup ini menyatakan kemungkinan peradaban tipe I nggak bakal sampai ke tipe II atau III karena ada sesuatu yang menyebabkan begitu, yang dinamakan The Great Filter.

Gambarnya kira-kira seperti ini:

The Great Filter
The Great Filter

Pada suatu kurun waktu, semua peradaban berlomba-lomba berevolusi dari tipe 0 ke tipe diatasnya, sampai suatu saat mereka terbentur dinding yang memfilter sebagian besar dari mereka, yang menyebabkan cuma segelintir saja dari mereka yang bisa terus berevolusi ke tahap berikutnya. Analogi lain dari ini adalah sperma, anggap saja sperma ayah Anda berlomba-lomba ke sel telur ibu Anda sampai akhirnya menjadi Anda.

Nah, kalaulah kita anggap teori ini benar, yang jadi pertanyaannya adalah, bilamana (kapan) The Great Filter ini terjadi? Kalau kita berkaca ke peradaban kita sendiri, lalu kita tanya kapan The Great Filter terjadi, maka jawabannya ada 3 dimana 3 kemungkinan itu adalah: We’re rare, we’re first, or we’re fucked.

1. We’re Rare. Kita satu-satunya anomali yang berhasil melewati The Great Filter.

Teorema ini didukung Peter Ward dalam bukunya Rare Earth. Disini kita anggap The Great Filter sudah terjadi, nggak tahu entah itu saat kita melompat keluar dari kolam primordial dari bentuk protein organik ke makhluk hidup bersel tunggal, ketika Hominidae mulai belajar mukul memakai tulang, ketika Australopithecines mulai berjalan menggunakan dua kaki, atau bahkan event katatrospik yang lewat-lewat. Kalau memang begini ceritanya, kita adalah pemenang dan dengan kemajuan teknologi kita, bisa dibilang nggak ada lagi yang bisa menahan kita untuk terus berkembang jadi tipe II dan III.

2. We’re First. Kita yang pertama melewati The Great Filter.

Sama dengan poin 1 diatas, cuma bedanya kali ini ada beberapa peradaban lain yang berhasil melompati The Great Filter, cuma sayangnya mereka mengekor di belakang kita. Kita tetap jadi pemenang. Breaking the filter bukan sekedar anomali, tapi cuma probabilitas dan walaupun probabilitas-nya kecil, tapi kita berhasil.

3. We’re Fucked. Kita belum melewati The Great Filter.

Ini yang bikin eneg, kemungkinan paling jelek adalah kiamat belum datang. Bisa jadi The Great Filter itu, asteroid salah alamat, Gamma-ray bursts atau yang paling radikal adalah semua kehidupan dirancang untuk self destructIcarus yang terbang terlalu tinggi terbakar matahari, kerajaan yang terlalu megah akan hancur dengan sendirinya seperti Kerajaan Mesir atau Kerajaan Romawi. Sedangkan dalam kehidupan modern kita sekarang, kita mengenal istilah global warming dan perubahan iklim. Dalam nilai-nilai filosofis, saya lebih setuju dengan alasan ini. Bagus dalam mengerem kesombongan manusia.

Grup 2: Adalah antonim dari grup 1 yang menyatakan Tipe II dan III ada, tapi ada alasan logis kenapa kita tidak mendengar apa-apa dari mereka.

Grup ini mengesampingkan The Great Filter dan menyatakan evolusi itu terjadi ubiquitous dan lumrah. Peradaban manapun bisa menjadi tipe I/II/III. Grup ini mengajukan beberapa kemungkinan:

1. Entitas super intelek kemungkinan sudah pernah ke bumi, tapi pada zaman dahulu kala.

Dasar pemikirannya seperti ini: Yaelah manusia pintar kaya gini baru berapa lama sih? Paling lama 100.000 tahunan yang kalau dibandingin sama skala usia alam semesta nggak ada seujung kukunya. Kalau memang kehidupan lain sudah berevolusi miliaran tahun lalu, bisa jadi mereka sudah pernah ke Bumi sudah dari kapan tahun. Bisa jadi ketika mereka kesini, planet ini masih dipenuhi raptor sama T-Rex jadinya mereka pergi lagi. Atau ketika datang yang ada hanya orang-orang hitam bugil nari-nari ngelilingi api, nggak penting gitulah pokoknya.

2. Bumi ada di daerah pinggiran.

Analoginya, kalau yang ramai banyak manusianya itu Jakarta, Bumi itu ada di Boven Digoel Papua. Sebenernya ini sama dengan teori dasar Urban Planning yang mengatakan sebaran Central Bussines District itu teraglomerasi (bergumpal) ke pusat kota. Kalau dalam galaksi kita anggap pusat kotanya ya pusat galaksi.

You Are Here - Milky Way
You Are Here – Milky Way

3. Peradaban tipe III nggak mau ikut campur urusan peradaban primitif.

Coba bayangkan, peradaban tipe II atau III sudah advance, mereka sudah bisa menuhin semua kebutuhan mereka tanpa harus kemana-mana, ngapain lagi ngurusin manusia dan bumi yang nggak penting. Kalau yang saya bayangkan, peradaban tipe III itu sudah semi dewa yang tinggal menjentikan jari sudah bisa membuat apapun sekehendak mereka. Atau mungkin mereka sudah naik level jadi The Elevated One (semacam goal semua makhluk hidup), mereka sudah nggak tinggal lagi di dimensi fisik, mereka sudah nanggalin atribut fisika mereka dan cuma tinggal kesadaran murni, imajine that! Seperti tinggal di dunia matrix, immortal lagi.

4. Galaksi dalam perang bintang.

Kenapa kita nggak mendengar sinyal apa-apa dari luar sana? Karena semua orang lagi ngumpet di planet mereka masing-masing. Cuma ada satu makhluk idiot bernama manusia yang terus menerus ngirim sinyal ke angkasa, awas saja ntar didatengin predator baru nyaho dah. Beberapa film Hollywood sudah mengambil tema ini, misalnya Battleship dan Avenger. Stephen Hawking sendiri sudah mewanti-wanti agar manusia jangan melakukan kontak sama sekali sama alien, ini sama saja ngundang maut. Ingat nggak peradaban Aztec yang hancur didatangin penjajah Spanyol, nah kita bakalan mirip kayak gitu ntar. Teknologi kita jauh nggak ada apa-apanya dibanding mereka, kalau benar kita diinvansi habislah.

5. Ada satu peradaban super yang dominan di galaksi.

Ini seperti film Highlander, “There can be only one.” Jadi satu peradaban ini bakal datang ngehancurin semua peradaban yang dianggap mengancam kedaulatan mereka. Hancurkan sebelum tumbuh berkembang. Atau mungkin semua makhluk hidup di galaksi sengaja dikembangbiakkan sama mereka untuk suatu saat bakal dijadikan bahan baku makanan. Ingat The Harvester di Star Trek dan Mass Effect?

6. Manusia terlalu primitif.

Oke! Siapa bisa kasih garansi kalo alien masih memakai teknologi kuno bernama radio sederhana? Bahkan dalam usianya yang belum ada 200 tahun, kita sendiri menganggap teknologi itu sudah kuno. Sudah terganti oleh IrDA, GSM, CDMA, LTE, etc. Lha wong SETI masih pakai radio kok. Bisa jadi alien sudah memakai teknologi Subspace atau Undus-Mundus network untuk berkomunikasi, tapi kitanya saja yang belum tahu gimana cara dengarnya. Michio Kaku menganalogikan begini, “Manusia tidak ubahnya semut yang sama sekali tidak sadar ada jalan layang 10 jalur disamping sarang mereka.”

7. Kita sudah mendapat kontak, tapi pemerintah menyembunyikan kenyataan ini.

Ini cerita favoritnya penggemar teori konspirasi. Ceritanya di adopsi oleh film Men in Black.

8. The Prime Directive.

Diantara semua pilihan, ini adalah pilihan yang paling masuk akal. Star Trek tampaknya mengadopsi pola pikir ini. Intinya, semua makhluk cerdas di galaksi sana sudah berkongsi satu sama lain, dan membentuk federasi. Lalu untuk melindungi keragaman kultural, mereka menerapkan sebuah peraturan untuk tidak melakukan kontak kepada peradaban dibawah tipe II. Alasannya banyak, selain oleh karena keragaman kultural itu sendiri adalah karena ketidaksiapan peradaban primitif itu. Ingat kata Thor yang bilang, dengan buat senjata menggunakan energi dari Tesseract berarti manusia sudah siap ke perang dengan level lebih tinggi. Nah bayangin, kalau nggak ada Prime Directive dengan seenaknya peradaban tinggi menjajah dan menghancurkan peradaban rendah (seperti Navy Seal lawan suku terasing Amazon yang masih memakai tombak), ya habislah peradaban di galaksi ini. Nggak ada lagi kesetimbangan peradaban. Ini yang ingin dijaga oleh federasi. Tampaknya poin nomor 8 inilah yang paling disukai oleh pengemar UFO.

Diluar grup 1 dan 2 diatas, ada satu lagi solusi Fermi Paradox yang rada nyeleneh, yaitu:

Tidak ada yang namanya realitas, manusia hidup dalam simulasi komputer.

Wat

Kayaknya mengawang-awang dan fantastis, tapi jangan salah loh, ini beneran ada paper ilmiahnya, yang bikin orang Oxford pula, namanya Nick Bostrom. Paper-nya bisa dilihat disini.

Katanya ada entitas super cerdas di sebuah universe yang sedang membuat simulasi alam semesta, yaitu alam semesta yang kita tinggali sekarang. Nah sayangnya yang diprogram baru manusia, belum ada alien-alien lainnya. Sedangkan luasnya alam semesta cuma berupa hologram saja, sebenarnya alam semesta simulasi itu terbatas seperti di film Truman Show.

Chapter 4. Penutup

Pusing kan? Bagaimanapun namanya teori ya cuma sebatas teori, semua berbalik lagi ke kepercayaan masing-masing. Yang bisa diambil hikmahnya adalah, dalam Fermi Paradox, manusia cenderung dalam posisi insignificant alias nggak penting. Ini bagus buat dasar filosofis, bagaimana kita sekali lagi menyadari betapa kecilnya diri kita sendiri di alam semesta ini.

Sumber: www.kaskus.com

Milgram Experiment – Will People Do Anything If Ordered?

Milgram Experiment V2
The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. The subject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks, though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level.

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.

The experiments began in July 1961, in the basement of Linsly-Chittenden Hall at Yale University, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the popular question at that particular time: “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?” The experiments have been repeated many times in the following years with consistent results within differing societies, although not with the same percentages around the globe.

The experiment

Milgram Experiment Advertising
Milgram Experiment advertisement

Three individuals were involved: the one running the experiment, the subject of the experiment (a volunteer), and a confederate pretending to be a volunteer. These three people fill three distinct roles: the Experimenter (an authoritative role), the Teacher (a role intended to obey the orders of the Experimenter), and the Learner (the recipient of stimulus from the Teacher). The subject and the actor both drew slips of paper to determine their roles, but unknown to the subject, both slips said “teacher”. The actor would always claim to have drawn the slip that read “learner”, thus guaranteeing that the subject would always be the “teacher”. At this point, the “teacher” and “learner” were separated into different rooms where they could communicate but not see each other. In one version of the experiment, the confederate was sure to mention to the participant that he had a heart condition.

At some point prior to the actual test, the “teacher” was given a sample electric shock from the electroshock generator in order to experience firsthand what the shock that the “learner” would supposedly receive during the experiment would feel like. The “teacher” was then given a list of word pairs that he was to teach the learner. The teacher began by reading the list of word pairs to the learner. The teacher would then read the first word of each pair and read four possible answers. The learner would press a button to indicate his response. If the answer was incorrect, the teacher would administer a shock to the learner, with the voltage increasing in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer. If correct, the teacher would read the next word pair.

The subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks. In reality, there were no shocks. After the confederate was separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electroshock generator, which played prerecorded sounds for each shock level. After a number of voltage-level increases, the actor started to bang on the wall that separated him from the subject. After several times banging on the wall and complaining about his heart condition, all responses by the learner would cease.

At this point, many people indicated their desire to stop the experiment and check on the learner. Some test subjects paused at 135 volts and began to question the purpose of the experiment. Most continued after being assured that they would not be held responsible. A few subjects began to laugh nervously or exhibit other signs of extreme stress once they heard the screams of pain coming from the learner.

If at any time the subject indicated his desire to halt the experiment, he was given a succession of verbal prods by the experimenter, in this order:

  1. Please continue.
  2. The experiment requires that you continue.
  3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
  4. You have no other choice, you must go on.

If the subject still wished to stop after all four successive verbal prods, the experiment was halted. Otherwise, it was halted after the subject had given the maximum 450-volt shock three times in succession.

The experimenter also gave special prods if the teacher made specific comments. If the teacher asked whether the learner might suffer permanent physical harm, the experimenter replied, “Although the shocks may be painful, there is no permanent tissue damage, so please go on.” If the teacher said that the learner clearly wants to stop, the experimenter replied, “Whether the learner likes it or not, you must go on until he has learned all the word pairs correctly, so please go on.”

Results

Before conducting the experiment, Milgram polled fourteen Yale University senior-year psychology majors to predict the behavior of 100 hypothetical teachers. All of the poll respondents believed that only a very small fraction of teachers (the range was from zero to 3 out of 100, with an average of 1.2) would be prepared to inflict the maximum voltage. Milgram also informally polled his colleagues and found that they, too, believed very few subjects would progress beyond a very strong shock. Milgram also polled forty psychiatrists from a medical school, and they believed that by the tenth shock, when the victim demands to be free, most subjects would stop the experiment. They predicted that by the 300-volt shock, when the victim refuses to answer, only 3.73 percent of the subjects would still continue and, they believed that “only a little over one-tenth of one percent of the subjects would administer the highest shock on the board.”

In Milgram’s first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment’s final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment; some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment. Throughout the experiment, subjects displayed varying degrees of tension and stress. Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures.

Milgram summarized the experiment in his 1974 article, “The Perils of Obedience”, writing:

The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

The original Simulated Shock Generator and Event Recorder, or shock box, is located in the Archives of the History of American Psychology.

Later, Milgram and other psychologists performed variations of the experiment throughout the world, with similar results. Milgram later investigated the effect of the experiment’s locale on obedience levels by holding an experiment in an unregistered, backstreet office in a bustling city, as opposed to at Yale, a respectable university. The level of obedience, “although somewhat reduced, was not significantly lower.” What made more of a difference was the proximity of the “learner” and the experimenter. There were also variations tested involving groups.

Thomas Blass of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County performed a meta-analysis on the results of repeated performances of the experiment. He found that while the percentage of participants who are prepared to inflict fatal voltages ranged from 28% to 91%, there was no significant trend over time and the average percentage for US studies (61%) was close to the one for non-US studies (66%).

The participants who refused to administer the final shocks neither insisted that the experiment itself be terminated, nor left the room to check the health of the victim without requesting permission to leave, as per Milgram’s notes and recollections, when fellow psychologist Philip Zimbardo asked him about that point.

Milgram created a documentary film titled Obedience showing the experiment and its results. He also produced a series of five social psychology films, some of which dealt with his experiments.

Interpretations

Professor Milgram elaborated two theories:

  • The first is the theory of conformism, based on Solomon Asch conformity experiments, describing the fundamental relationship between the group of reference and the individual person. A subject who has neither ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy. The group is the person’s behavioral model.
  • The second is the agentic state theory, wherein, per Milgram, “the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view themselves as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes, and they therefore no longer see themselves as responsible for their actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow”.

Alternative interpretations

In his book Irrational Exuberance, Yale Finance Professor Robert Shiller argues that other factors might be partially able to explain the Milgram Experiments:

[People] have learned that when experts tell them something is all right, it probably is, even if it does not seem so. (In fact, it is worth noting that in this case the experimenter was indeed correct: it was all right to continue giving the “shocks”—even though most of the subjects did not suspect the reason.)

In a 2006 experiment, a computerized avatar was used in place of the learner receiving electrical shocks. Although the participants administering the shocks were aware that the learner was unreal, the experimenters reported that participants responded to the situation physiologically “as if it were real”.

For a 2009 episode of the BBC science documentary series Horizon, the Milgram experiment was replicated. Of the twelve participants, only three refused to continue to the end of the experiment. Speaking during the episode, social psychologist Clifford Stott discussed the influence that the idealism of scientific inquiry had on the volunteers. He remarked: “The influence is ideological. It’s about what they believe science to be, that science is a positive product, it produces beneficial findings and knowledge to society that are helpful for society. So there’s that sense of science is providing some kind of system for good.”

Something

This is a follow-up to Was There Ever Nothing?

SomethingIf there ever was Absolutely Nothing, there would still be Absolutely Nothing today. Since there is something (you, for example), that means that Absolutely Nothing never existed. If it ever did, you wouldn’t be here reading this right now. Absolutely Nothing would still be here.

So there was never a time when Absolutely Nothing existed. Therefore, there has always been something. But what? If we go back to the very beginning, what was the Something that must have existed? Was it more than one Something, or just one? And what was it like, judging by what exists today?

Let’s explore the quantity issue first. Let’s call into mind again our large, pitch-black, sealed-off room. Imagine that there are ten tennis balls inside the room. As far back in time as we can go, there was only this: ten tennis balls.

What happens next? Let’s say we wait an entire year. What’s in the room? Still just ten tennis balls, right? Because there is no other force in existence. And we know that ten ordinary tennis balls — no matter how much time passes — cannot spawn new ones. Or anything else for that matter.

Okay, what if there were six tennis balls in the room to begin with? Would that change the situation? No, not really. Alright then, what if there were a million tennis balls? Still no change. All we’ve got in the room is tennis balls, no matter how many there are.

What we find out is that quantity is not an issue. If we go back to the very beginning of all things, the quantity of the Something that must have existed is not what’s important. Or is it?

Remove the tennis balls. Now inside the room is a chicken. Now we wait a year. What’s inside the room? Just one chicken, right? But what if we started out with one hen and one rooster in the room? Now we wait a year, what do we have? A bunch more chickens!

So quantity is important, IF inside the room are at least two things that can produce a third thing. Hen + rooster = baby chick. But quantity is not important if we’re talking about at least two things that cannot produce a third thing. Tennis ball + football = nothing.

So the issue isn’t quantity so much as quality. What qualities does the Something possess? Can it bring other things into existence?

Let’s go back to our chickens, but let’s get very exact, because such would be the case in the very, very beginning. We have a hen and a rooster in the room. They are in different parts of the room, suspended in nothingness. Will they produce other chickens?

No. Why? Because there’s no environment to work in. There’s nothing in the room except the hen and the rooster. No air to breathe or fly in, no ground to walk on, no sustenance for them to live on. They can’t eat, walk, fly or breathe. Their environment is complete nothingness.

So chickens are out. Chickens cannot exist or reproduce without some sort of environment. With an environment, they could spawn other chickens. And with an environment affecting them, maybe they could — though it seems absurd — change into a different kind of chicken over time. Something along the lines of an otter or a giraffe.

So we’ve got a room with no environment. Therefore, we need Something that can exist without an environment. Something that doesn’t need air, food or water to exist. That disqualifies every current living thing on this earth.

So, then, what about non-living things? They don’t need an environment, that’s true. But then we’re in the same predicament we were in with the tennis balls. Non-living matter doesn’t produce anything. Let’s say, instead of ten tennis balls, you had a trillion molecules of hydrogen. Then what happens? Over time, you still have a trillion molecules of hydrogen, nothing more.

While we’re talking about non-living matter, let’s also consider what it takes for that to exist. Ever heard of the Supercollider? Years ago the government embarked on an experiment to create matter. The Supercollider was miles and miles of underground tunnel through which atoms would travel at supersonic speeds and then smash into each other, in order to create a tiny particle. All that for the tiniest, most microscopic bit of matter.

What does that tell us? That our illustration of the ten tennis balls is not nearly as easy as it sounds. It would take an AMAZING amount of energy just to produce one tennis ball out of nothing. And nothing is all we have. The room has absolutely nothing in it.

So here’s where we are. The Something that existed at the beginning must be able to exist without depending on anything else. It must be totally and fully self-sufficient. For It was alone at the very beginning. And It needed no environment within which to exist.

Second, the Something that existed at the very beginning must have the ability to produce something other than Itself. For, if It could not, then that Something would be all that exists today. But Something Else exists today. You, for example.

Third, to produce Something Else — out of nothing — requires an incredible amount of power. So the Something must have great power at its disposal. If it takes us miles and miles of corridor and the most energy we can harness, just to produce the tiniest particle, how much power would it take to produce the matter in the universe?

Let’s go back to our room. Let’s say we have a very special tennis ball inside the room. It can produce other tennis balls. It has that much power and energy. And It is completely self-sufficient, needing nothing else to exist, for It is all there is. It, this one tennis ball, is the Eternal Something.

Let’s say the tennis ball produces another tennis ball. Which of the two will be greater, say, with respect to TIME? Ball #1. It is the Eternal Something. It has always existed. Ball #2, however, came into existence when produced by Ball #1. So one ball is finite with regard to time, the other infinite.

Which of the two will be greater with regard to POWER? Again, Ball #1. It has the ability to produce Ball #2 out of nothing — which also means it has the ability to unproduce (destroy) Ball #2. So Ball #1 has far more power than Ball #2. In fact, at all times, Ball #2 must depend on Ball #1 for its very existence.

But, you say, what if Ball #1 shared some of its power with Ball #2 — enough power to destroy Ball #1? Then Ball #2 would be greater, for Ball #1 would cease to be, right?

There’s a problem with this. If Ball #1 shared some of its power with Ball #2, it would still be Ball #1’s power. The question then becomes: could Ball #1 use its own power to destroy itself? No. First of all, to use its power, Ball #1 has to exist.

Second of all, Ball #1 is so powerful that anything that can possibly be done, can be done by Ball #1. But it is not possible for Ball #1 to cease to be, therefore it cannot accomplish this.

Ball #1 cannot be unproduced, for Ball #1 was never produced in the first place. Ball #1 has always existed. It is the Eternal Something. As such, it is existence. It is life, infinite life. For Ball #1 to be destroyed, there would need to be something greater. But nothing is greater than Ball #1, nor ever could be. It exists without need of anything else. It therefore cannot be changed by any external forces. It can have no end, for It has no beginning. It is the way it is and that cannot change. It cannot cease to be, for BEING is its very nature. In that sense, it is untouchable.

What we see is this: the Something at the very beginning will always be greater than the Something Else it produces. The Something exists on its own. Something Else, however, needs Something to exist. Therefore, Something Else has needs. It is therefore inferior to Something, and will always be so, for the Eternal Something has no need of another.

The Something might be able to produce Something Else that is like It in some ways, but — no matter what — Something Else will always be unlike It in other ways. The Eternal Something will always be greater with respect to time and power. Thus, the Eternal Something cannot produce an exact equal to Itself. It alone has always existed. It alone can exist independent of another.

Source: http://www.everystudent.com