# The Grey Labyrinth is a collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, paradoxes and other intellectually challenging diversions. Related topics: puzzle games, logic puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, philosophy, mind benders, brain teasers, word problems, conundrums, 3d puzzles, spatial reasoning, intelligence tests, mathematical diversions, paradoxes, physics problems, reasoning, math, science.

 Contact logic not adequate for real life situations Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
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pob14
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 7:46 pm    Post subject: 1 Huh? Is this a puzzle or what?
KD
Guest

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 7:56 pm    Post subject: 2 It's a perfectly simple question. Using various aspects of science and math, and assuming the 'aliens' can build pretty much anything, is it possible for them to create an environment just like Earth, based on what you describe? And could you tell the difference between both worlds? I have no idea of the actual answer, but that's the basic question. Happy puzzlin'! KD ^_^
mwf
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 8:13 pm    Post subject: 3 That look like the same question I got from the puzzle. My first answer is, NO! How does one describe living things or how we interact with or environment using only logic and math?
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 8:47 pm    Post subject: 4 With adequate technology, one could describe a living thing by specifying its construction, atom by atom. Difficult, but theoretically possible. I'm geussing one of the big problems is one that was discussed here in the GL long ago (and what hasn't been discussed here?), which is describing to them the difference between right and left. I believe there is a rather arcane answer to this problem, but the interesting thing is how it seems to be impossible using well known principals.
mathgrant
A very tilted cell member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 8:48 pm    Post subject: 5 No. I wouldn't be able to describe Yoshi's Cookie to them, and I can't live without Yoshi's Cookie. ------------------ "Mathematics is like the Nile, begins in minuteness, ends in magnificence." --Charles Caleb Colton
daniel801
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 8:57 pm    Post subject: 6 It would be like The Truman Show. Addendum: The answer is no, because no one could understand women, much less explain them.
Felonix
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 9:54 pm    Post subject: 7 If you look at the exact question though, it asks if they could make things so similar that you could not tell the differance. In this case, the answer has to be no. You already know for a fact that they aren't on Earth. Therefore, where ever they actually are, there will be a differant kind of night sky than you have here, and you WOULD be able to tell the differance. Unless this just isn't in the spirit of the puzzle.
JDTAY
obseletes now

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 10:10 pm    Post subject: 8 I think the answer is yes. I think the answer is no. Not only am I right, I'm hypocritical. Beat that.
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:20 pm    Post subject: 9 It isn't hard to use language to describe the format of digital images you would like to send (describing the format being necessary for them to reconstruct the visual images). Nor is it hard to describe the format of digitally encoded sounds. So you could send them 3D stereoscopic videos with stereo sound. You could build a simple robot with camera eyes and microphone ears, and with the input they pick up digitized and transmitted to the aliens. And you could work out a method to allow them to control the motions of that robot in our world. It's called "telepresence" - it would be very much like they were here - they could observe what they want to. You'd be able to give them a pretty clear picture of things, and if they want to examine something more closely, they can. But again, the left-right problem is tricky. If you can't tell them what left and right is, you can't tell them how to reconstruct the images from the digital data in such a way that you can be sure they don't have them reversed. So you might arrive there, put on a shirt they've made for you, and find the buttons on the wrong side. Or worse, get in a car and find the steering wheel on the wrong side.
Icarus
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:27 pm    Post subject: 10 How do you know the aliens you're talking about are aliens ? The possibility exists that you are talking to someone else on earth. The puzzle never once stated anything about establishing where you were nor what language you speak. It talks about mathematics and science, but not language. Remember the "Twilight Zone" episode where the astronauts thought they crash landed on a planet - at the end of the episode the last survivor realizes they never left Earth's atmosphere. But getting back to the puzzle - if the aliens could build whatever you describe, how do you describe Oxygen and Nitrogen using mathematics and physics ? How do you build Oxygen ? No, I could not describe well enough to live. But the puzzle goes on to ask well enough you couldn't tell the differnce. This assumes that you could describe it well enough the aliens could build it to sustain life. So now, can you tell the difference - well, yeah - every time you look at the aliens - that's difference enough.
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 12:02 am    Post subject: 11 Oxygen & Nitrogen are defined by the number of electrons, neutrons and protons an individual atom contains. Not difficult.
cahighlndr
Guest

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 12:30 am    Post subject: 12 I think one important concept to consider is the randomness of the world around us. Looking outside the window right now, you can see cars passing, birds flying, shifting clouds, smog rolling... etc etc. It is impossible to describe the randomness around us. What is important in the question is could you describe the earth well enougth that you couldn't tell the difference? So you need to describe a world in which everything that you could examine yourself would appear perfectly normal. This is obviously different for all of us, because we each see the world through differing vantage points. The electron microscopist would have to be in an alien world where things could be visualized down to minute detail under the microscope vs. the firefighter who would have no need to explain anything about electron microscopy but would need to explain the heat of fire fighting. Also, given the vast amount of knowledge that our minds process and interpret on a subconscious level, how could we ever describe all of that information?
Felonix
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 12:55 am    Post subject: 13 Icarus, Describing Oxygen and Nitrogen isn't nearly as hard as you might think. They have already made the supposition that the Aliens planet contains the same elements, therefore you can describe base elements and air mixtures, as well as complex chemicals by mathematical models describing your neutron/proton mixes and molecular bonds. Now, I am not sure I completely understand the right-left issue. So there could be an important point there. If you allow the possibility for multiple universes/dimensions, you can also then attribute another planet in a parallel location in a differant universe with the same sky. This would have to be a coincidence though, and not an actual fact of construction on the alien's part. I suppose the realistic limit which gets imposed on the situation is the alien's level of technology and the upper bound of the human brain to comprehend. If both of these limits are seen as boundless, anything which we do not currently have the ability to describe would leave us with the responsibility of learning from the aliens how to explain it. There are plenty of things that we do not understand well enough to be able to describe to the aliens, such as how our minds work (Assuming there is more to it than just genetic code), emotions, philosophy, cultural slang, etc. However, if their knowledge/technology is limitless, they would be able to tell us how to describe these things. If their own technology and understanding is not fully complete, the question then comes down to where does it tap out at? If we can get to a point where after sharing, we are only left with mutual problems that neither side can answer, but which remain constant for both cultural sets (Concrete definitions and descriptions of time for example) then we still don't have problems. Since it has already been pointed out that all physical laws behave the same, this rules out these kind of difficulties. But what if emotional reactions are learned and the aliens don't have any emotions? This still satisfies all conditions of the puzzle but puts in a big problem with any duplicate human life forms they try to create. None of them will react as expected. Just a few thoughts.
Ghost Post
Icarian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 1:30 am    Post subject: 14 I think the Right-Left dilema can be solved using magnetism. If you were to orient yourself perpindicularly away from a wire facing in the direction of the current flow then the magnetic field created by that wire would face to your right (or left I can't remember) I don't see why they couldn't produce an enviroment that could sustain life. A breathable atmosphere, we can describe the chemicals our body can injest for food (I would assume the IVs used in hospitals are pretty simple), what else do we need to live? Recreating the earth would seem to require way more information than we have the ability to process.
Griffin
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 2:54 am    Post subject: 15 Dolemite - The question of how to communicate left and right to aliens was considered by many prominent physicists yet went unsolved for many years -- if it was as simple as what you described I think they would have gotten it. Still, I don't see whats wrong with your solution. Perhaps we would not be able to communicate what was "north" and "south" parts of the field. Telling the Right Hand From the Left
wordcross

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 4:35 am    Post subject: 16 Alien technology vs. perception The answer to the first question, could we describe enough of the earth and our life to survive on the other planet, sure. Basic food consumption, breathing, and other biological/Chemical functions are relatively simple to explain. This is not, however, to say that we would prosper or even be comfortable in their environment. If the environment were not similar enough after just the basic minimum survival requirements, then complications could arise. Someone brought up the emotion question. If the aliens were not significantly emotionally developed, or lacked the capacity for emotion, then we could develop severe mental instability after a while for lack of emotional stimulation. Little things like this are where the line between survival and sanity becomes thin. But we needn't start nitpicking just yet, we'll leave that for later in the month :-) Now, as far as the pseudo-enviroment's ability to fool our senses completely enough to make us believe that we could still be on earth, that is very difficult. Theoretically, if the aliens had mind probes or higher brain function that allowed for telepathy and empathy, then it would make the job a great deal easier. The main problem is not the environment on a grand scale. Most if not all of our world could be successfully recreated in another world to a very close standard. The biggest problem that we would face would be explaining to the aliens things that we humans are a) unsure about (the brain has been mentioned, good example) or b) things that we pick up subconsciously and do not cognizantly recognize as sensory information. For example, smells have a powerful impact on the human brain, because the information is channeled directly into the olfactory portion of the brain. THere are many many levels to a smell. The brain is often able to recognize individual smells in a conglomeration of input, even if the individual cannot consciously separate all of the smells. If this other world were not perfect, we may not realize on a conscious scale, but our subconscious would immediately recognize the difference and tip us off that something isn't quite right. The same would hold true for eyesight, even thought the data our brain gets is filtered. That is why I said that mind probing would be a good way for the aliens to get information, because it is possible that they could get information from our subconscious that we could not give them otherwise. This is assuming, however, that they know enough about the human brain to construct a device capable of reading it. This would be dependant upon how much info we could give them and how much they could infer using their higher scientific achievement (they weren't necessarily of higher intelligence i don't believe). So my diagnosis is: no I don't believe that is practically possible for the aliens to construct any faux environ detailed enough to fool us into believing that we are on earth. My apologies to the aliens, no offense to your scientific abilities intended.
Sumudu2
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:20 am    Post subject: 17 about the left-right thing, if we couldn't communicate that correctly, and we got unlucky, then the food available might have the wrong handedness...i heard that some molecules have two forms (optical isomers) and that some of these are essential to human life in one form but not the other (i guess those are amino acids)...i'm not sure if this is true but it sounds plausible to me...so this is a major problem
Icarus
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:27 am    Post subject: 18 I missed the part about being able to describe Chemistry - for some reason I got hung up on understanding of math and physics and missed Chemistry - that's what I get for reading puzzles while at work. O.K. - so since you have math, physics and chemistry - and all the combined resources of Earth at your disposal - Yes, you could easily describe the basics for sustaining life - food, drink, air, shelter, and companionship - after all, if the aliens are bringing you to their planet, I think they'll spend some time with you. Now the really difficult part - Assuming the aliens can build anything you can describe, and that you have the combined resources of all of Earth, could you theoretically describe your world well enough that you couldn't tell the difference? How long are you going to be there ? 10 minutes, 1 week, 50 years ? Without getting rediculous - how are the aliens going to create the Sun and the Moon without disrupting their own universe. Also, tying in the left and right argument - how do you describe East and West for Sunrise and Sunset ? As Felonix pointed out - what about the stars - I'm sure the constellations that we all grew up with would be greatly different. Even if you could use geometry and math and physics to describe where to place the North Star - you can't ignore the laws of physics. The reason the moon revolves around the earth is due to physics. Even if the aliens world is more or less like ours, it can't be exactly like ours without being ours. Therefore they would have to have there own starts and planets - a whole unique solar system. What are they going to do, replace their solar system with ours ? That would be impossible. Eventually you would have missed something. There isn't a single human being - living or dead - that has ever known everything about life on earth. How much is well enough you couldn't tell the difference ? Everyone has their own perception of everything. There's simply too much information - something would be missed.
Icarus
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:34 am    Post subject: 19 Here's something to think about. If you could theoretically describe your world well enough the aliens could duplicate everything without you being able to tell the difference - then why go to their planet in the first place ? I know this wasn't the question asked, but think about it - why go through the time, effort and trouble of descibing your world to the aliens so they could create an exact replica of your world in their world to the point of where you wouldn't be able to tell the difference ? Isn't the whole reason you want to go to their world is to see it is different ? When most of us go on vacation - it's usually because we want to go somewhere we haven't been before. Someplace new - we want to see and experience new and different things. What would be the point of travelling to a different planet or universe or dimension if you didn't even know the difference ? How would you know you travelled to their planet unless it was different. Otherwise, wouldn't it just be a dream ?
Ryoushi
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 8:42 am    Post subject: 20 You know they're just going to blindfold you, take you on a ride in their ship, and return you back to where you started at .
OcularGold
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 9:25 am    Post subject: 21 for the sake of the problem, icarus, disregard any limits on time, or amount of information. assume you can send an infinite amount of verbal information (i think images, vanyo, arent allowed by the problem), and that you dont need to worry about time. Now, can you describe to them our world exactly? i say yes. we can describe to them all particles, all molecules, concentrations of gases in the atmosphere, location of everything etc. etc...lots of info, but it can be done.. left/right? doesnt seem to hard. i think this was suggested by a previous poster (not sure, just skimmed): first explain that left/right indicates an exact 90 degree turn to on side, where a 360 degree turn would be a full turn, etc.. tell them to pass a current through a wire that heads directly away from them. on one side of the wire (the left side), the direction of the magnetic field surrounding the wire will be up. On the other side (the right side) the direction of the magnettic field will be down. easy as pie. yep - they have the same physics as we do, so this should work. but how do you prefectly describe human behaviour? we cant even define things such as "truth," "love," or even "life." so the second question seems impossible because of this.. [This message has been edited by OcularGold (edited 06-30-2001).]
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 12:00 pm    Post subject: 22

If you can send verbal information, you can send images - no way around it. Yes, no, no, yes, no, yes ... is verbal. 100101... is binary data. You can easily describe how to translate your "verbal" messages to clear, crisp high resolution full color images (except they might translate to a mirror image due to the left-right problem).

The left-right thing is a problem.
 Quote: tell them to pass a current through a wire that heads directly away from them. on one side of the wire (the left side), the direction of the magnetic field surrounding the wire will be up. On the other side (the right side) the direction of the magnettic field will be down.

The problem is that a magnetic field has two directions - north and south. Which one are you refering to? And how do you explain which is which?

And Sumudu2 is correct - If you can't tell them left from right, then they can't manufacture food for you. Living things on earth are made of molecules many of which occur in left handed and right handed forms, but only one of which is present in living things.

The link Griffin posted (Telling the Right Hand From the Left) is to an old discussion here in the GL of the left-right problem (I was extro... back then).
OcularGold
Daedalian Member

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 5:25 pm    Post subject: 23

 Quote: The problem is that a magnetic field has two directions - north and south. Which one are you refering to? And how do you explain which is which?

easy. an electron would go up in one, and down in the other. of course it would be the opposite if they are anti-matter, but wouldnt you have the same problem in the solution in your thread?

 Quote: You can easily describe how to translate your "verbal" messages to clear, crisp high resolution full color images

yes, i know, but i think for the sake of the problem, youre assuming that you can only talk to them - all info must be verbal. i could be wrong, but thats how i interpret it.
if this were real, then yes, you can send images, but this is a hypothetical problem - this constraint makes the whole thing harder. and forces us to think more laterally.

quote:
Living things on earth are made of molecules many of which occur in left handed and right handed forms, but only one of which is present in living things.

yes, i know. theyre called racemic molecules.

[This message has been edited by OcularGold (edited 07-02-2001).]
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 5:44 pm    Post subject: 24

 Quote: The problem is that a magnetic field has two directions - north and south. Which one are you refering to? And how do you explain which is which?

 Quote: easy. an electron would go up in one, and down in the other. of course it would be the opposite if they are anti-matter, but wouldnt you have the same problem in the solution in your thread?

There was no solution in the other thread.

My physics is rusty, but I don't think an electron will move in a magnetic field - only in a moving magnetic field. Otherwise a generator wouldn't need moving parts. And you have to define the direction of movement, which gets you right back to the same problem.

[edited out attempt at nesting ubb quotes]

[This message has been edited by Vanyo (edited 06-30-2001).]
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 5:54 pm    Post subject: 25 In other words: Suppose I have a magnet in front of me, one pole up, the other down. And there is a wire passing through the magnetic field, the wire going away from me. If I move the wire left, electrons in the wire will move toward me or away, depending on the orientation of the magnet (whether north or south is up). So I can describe north and south if I can describe left and right. If the wire remains stationary, there is no induced movement of electrons.
OcularGold
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:01 pm    Post subject: 26 Err.. i see, i took the Cobalt70 solution to be the "correct" one. oh well.. yes, an electron would move in a magnetic field of a stationary wire. a generator works by doing the opposite. whearas passing a current through a wire creates a magnetic field, rotating a magnetic field around a wire would create a current. as per the direction of movement: up is away from the ground, down is towards. away is, well, you can explain "away" somehow. have a current that goes away from you. left = electron moves up side, right = electron moves down side. alternative solution: (im only about 70% certain this would work, i need to look something up): get the aliens the primary sequence (amin-acid sequence) of an enzyme that say, breaks down glucose. get them to make the enzyme from all left-handed amino acids, and all right handed amino acids. then get them to try the enzyme on D-glucose, and S-glucose. only one of the four possibilites should work (i think left-handed amino acids on D-glucose).
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:02 pm    Post subject: 27 Oh, there was a solution in the other thread, posted by dave10000. It used a rather arcane fact to describe north and south, and from there you can describe left and right. (I'm assuming there's no anti-matter involved - if there is, you'll know real quick when you arrive there).
OcularGold
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:04 pm    Post subject: 28 i posted the last message before reading your last message. you dont need a magnet. whats that for? when you pass a current through a wire, a magnetic field is induced around the wire. this is true. i am 100% certain of this. electrons around the wire will move. [This message has been edited by OcularGold (edited 06-30-2001).]
OcularGold
Daedalian Member

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:06 pm    Post subject: 29

lol.. stop posting at the same time as me!

 Quote: Oh, there was a solution in the other thread, posted by dave10000

i think mine's easier.

quote:
(I'm assuming there's no anti-matter involved - if there is, you'll know real quick when you arrive there).

ok, lets assume that they may be anit-matter - how would we be able to determine the difference? as for right now, im lost for ideas..

[This message has been edited by OcularGold (edited 06-30-2001).]
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:54 pm    Post subject: 30

I'm not satisfied it's solved for the case where they're not anti-matter (where they're plain old ordinary matter).

 Quote: when you pass a current through a wire, a magnetic field is induced around the wire. this is true. i am 100% certain of this.

Agreed. But if it's a steady DC current, you'll get a steady unchanging magnetic field, and I don't think this will induce a current, except in a moving wire, but then the direction of movement matters, and it's back to the right-left problem.

 Quote: electrons around the wire will move.

In what direction? I think they will tend to move in the same direction as those in the wire (if at all).

If I have this right, let's say I have a wire moving away from me, with a DC current moving away from me (electrons moving away). Now, if I have another wire parallel to the first, if it moves toward the first wire (no matter whether from the left or right), current will flow in the second wire toward me, and if the second wire moves away from the first, current will move away from me. It doesn't help me tell left from right.

OcularGold
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 7:04 pm    Post subject: 31 quote: ). Now, if I have another wire parallel to the first, if it moves toward the first wire that completely lost me. sorry, i dont think im making myself clear: all you need is one wire, and one electron. make the DC current go away from you. now place the electron on one side of the wire. if the electron goes up, its on the left side, if the electron goes down, its on the right side. thats it. the magnetic field around the wire will cause the electron to move, even though the field is unchanging.
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 10:32 pm    Post subject: 32 I don't think it works that way. What principle is this? I know of two "right hand" rules. One defines the direction of a magnetic field around a wire with current (but says nothing about that magnetic field moving electrons). The other defines the relationship between direction of a magnetic field, direction of movement of a conductor (wire), and direction of flow of electrons (either the flow of electrons will induce movement of the wire in the magnetic field, as in a motor, or the movement of the wire in the magnetic field will induce flow of electrons, as in a generator). If an unchanging magnetic field could make electrons move, couldn't you use that as a power source? A strong permanent magnet (some are permanent for all practical purposes) with a wire coil wrapped around it in the proper orientation should then produce electricity. But it doesn't, unless the magnet or coil moves in relation to the other. You can't build an electromagnetic generator without moving parts.
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2001 10:36 pm    Post subject: 33 Actually, the way you'd generate power if what you say is true is to create a ring of rod shaped magnets, north pole touching south of the next, and have a coil of wire close to it.
OcularGold
Daedalian Member

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 12:52 am    Post subject: 34

 Quote: One defines the direction of a magnetic field around a wire with current (but says nothing about that magnetic field moving electrons).

yes, thats exactly the one im talking about - this magnetic field will move electrons.

------------------
I've seen water. It's water that's all.

Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 2:22 am    Post subject: 35 A magnetic field is a magnetic field, whether created by electricity, or by a magnet. Again, if it could move electrons, you could build an electromagnetic generator with no moving parts. That would be quite remarkable. Look at the second right hand rule - the one that describes the correlation between three things: 1) direction of a magnetic field 2) direction of movement of a conductor 3) direction of flow of electron in that conductor This is a very well known rule, and you're saying, essentially, that it's invalid - that the second thing listed is irrelevant - that there's a correlation between direction of magnetic field and direction of flow of electrons in a conductor, regardless of direction of movement of the conductor in the magnetic field.
Chuck
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 2:36 am    Post subject: 36 How would the aliens know which end of their magnet would be considered to be north by us?
Vanyo
Daedalian Member

 Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 2:58 am    Post subject: 37 Let me geuss Chuck - you're reading the thread from the bottom up? Yeah, that's the point: north-south and left-right are equivalent - if you can explain either one, you can explain the other.
Ghost Post
Icarian Member

 Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 4:44 am    Post subject: 38 the answer i think is clearly no you can give them every genetic code and all thta stuff they may be able to physically create earth but unless they already know how they cant make things think in my opinion
Feezle
Guest

 Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 4:02 pm    Post subject: 39 I have not read all of the above so someone may have said this. But i think that you would not be able to make the new earth so we couldnt tell the difference. Simply because once the aliens create anything on that new earth that you describe it will begin to change just like everything on Earth changes, only it will change differently compared to its original on Earth, therefore when you get there, it will not be the same. Am i making any sense. It is so hard to type these things
dave10000
Tinhorn

 Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2001 10:49 pm    Post subject: 40 I'm not sure the question asked in the problem is meaningful unless we have some definition of what it means for me to "theoretically" be able to do something, and what it means for me to not be able to "tell the difference" between two worlds. With respect to the first, surely there would be at least a billion things I'd have to tell them to even begin approaching not being able to tell the difference. If each one took 3 seconds (surely each would take more) that would be about 100 years. That seems, to me, to be theoretically impossible. Or are we "theoretically" allowed infinite time? Infinite knowledge? Infinite communication over light years of space? Infinite precision to our measurements? This harkens back to the parable about being able to encode any book by merely breaking a bar in 2 pieces so that the ratio of the lengths, to billions of digits of accuracy, does an ASCII encoding. Is that accepted as "theoretically" possible? No known measurement device can -- or ever would -- be able to measure that precisely, especially since quantum effects would overwhelm after 10 or so decimal places. With respect to the second, isn't it to some degree a matter of speculation? In order for me not be be able to tell the difference, I'd have to be able to describe to them how to build all of the people I know, in a way that they would continue to act like people I know. Is that possible? Surely reasonable minds can differ about whether this can be done eventually (although I think everyone would agree that WE cannot do this NOW). Finally, if they can transport you using technology that appears to us to be "magic," how could we possibly say that it would be "impossible" for them to do what is asked? Whatever we perceive to be an impediment, perhaps they have some technological "magic" to get over it. In short, there seem to me to be many ambiguities in the question that preclude a definite "yes" or "no" answer. I'll be curious to see what the "official" answer is. If it's yes, how does the answer deal with our limited lifetimes and our (seeming) inability to recreate people. If it's yes, how does the answer deal with the fact that it's GIVEN that our guests have magic-like technology in one area, so they may have magic-like technology that is unknown to us, but one that may solve problems we find impossible. Let's see. [This message has been edited by dave10000 (edited 07-01-2001).]
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