I have vague recollections of someone telling me of a paradox many moons ago, it went thusly: There's no point in launching a spaceship on a deep space mission, because as technology advances so rapidly (e.g. Moore's law) that any ship you build in the future will be faster/more efficient and hence overtake any craft that you launch now, inferring that one should always put off launching a deep space mission.
The same person told me it was called 'Clarke's Paradox' (I think?) but I can't find any reference to it, save Clarke's Laws (i.e. "Any technology sufficiently advanced will be indistinguishable from magic" etc). Can anyone help put a name to this paradox?
posted by Rufus T. Firefly
on Apr 26, 2013 -
I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious
on Apr 12, 2013 -
My boyfriend has talked about us separating, but it seems like he still wants to be with me. I think he's overanalyzing our relationship to death, and I want to talk to him about how relationships take work and we should refocus on what's important to us, but is that true? How would that look, what would we do? [more inside]
posted by brisquette
on Mar 29, 2013 -
Voyager 1 just left the solar system. I know we're unable to control trajectory at this point, but I'm curious what the next body it will encounter will be, and when, on its present course.
posted by radiosilents
on Mar 20, 2013 -
I am looking for inspiring songs about being in Space, or Space Travel, or even just Science! in general. I want to make a playlist.
The only songs I can think of right now are Space Oddity and Rocketman, both of which are awesome songs but also completely depressing. I'm looking for songs that are more uplifting and inspirational.
posted by sandraregina
on Mar 19, 2013 -
We're visiting Kennedy Space Center in March and have time for one (and only one) of the tours
. Does anyone have any tips/suggestions? I'm leaning towards the VAB one but could be swayed.
posted by smackfu
on Mar 1, 2013 -
If all goes well, I'll be writing a bi-weekly blog about spaceflight and astronomy, with a particular emphasis on manned and unmanned spacecraft -- what's up on the ISS, what satellites will be launching soon and what they'll do, what interesting discoveries ongoing missions have made, that sort of thing. But I have NO IDEA at all what I should call it. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities
on Feb 27, 2013 -
I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
posted by Sleeper
on Feb 27, 2013 -
I have a 250 gig MacBook Pro, which is about 3 years old.
I have approx. 115 gigs of music stored in my Itunes library. All duplicate MP3 files were deleted.
That leaves 135 or some odd gigs of space.
I keep a large majority of my documents and files in a cloud service. I maybe have 5-10 gigs of random files I keep on my HD. That leaves approx. 125 gigs of space...
I know that the computer uses (and I'll guestimate 25 gigs for the OS & random program files I have on my system)...
That still leaves about 100 gigs worth of space un-accounted for....
When I open my 'finder', it tells me I have approx 50 gigs of space available.
I have downloaded Disk Inventory X which is suppose to give you a break down of where all the space is being used. I have also read about a program called DaisyDisk. Both seem to be reputable and popular. I d/l'ed DIX first cause it was free..It did the analysis....
But....While I have somewhat of an idea of computers, I am not sure what is safe to delete, what should't be touched....What if I delete something that has specs attached to files that shouldn't be deleted...Neither utility really gives me an idea of what is safe to delete and what should not be touched.
I know I must have a large cache of files and stuff that could be deleted....Image previews, etc....
I just don't know where to look. What is safe to get rid of.....Not sure what to do.....
posted by TwilightKid
on Feb 22, 2013 -
I am interested in critical theoretical and marxist spatial theory, please recommend me some books that provide a good overview or introduction to this area!
posted by FuckingAwesome
on Jan 17, 2013 -
I have a 42 inch wide, 32 inch deep, and 28 inch tall void between my desk and the wall of my office. (see: here
) My company is relatively lenient on personalizing our offices - in that image, you can see the SMB wall decals - but I'm struggling with coming up with a good use for the space. I'm pretty handy from a carpentry standpoint and I have access to power tools / a space to do some carpentry work in, so pretty much anything goes for this one. What the heck do I do with my Corner of Shame™ to turn it into a Corner of Pride™? [more inside]
posted by Mali
on Jan 14, 2013 -
I know YANMD, but I am wondering if anyone has been told to cease using a space heater due to chronic pharyngitis or similar illnesses? [more inside]
posted by Young Kullervo
on Jan 2, 2013 -
Is there any way to make the new iTunes tighter and more minimalist? For example, I want my podcast and artist lists to be like the small-font, compact lists they used to be. Similar to the column browser, but on the side, NOT the top (which is all kinds of stupid up there). Basically, I want to see as many artists as possible with as little scrolling as possible. Any add-on or script or setting I'm overlooking that could take care of this, and perhaps other inefficiencies of the new iTunes?
posted by iamkimiam
on Dec 28, 2012 -
1) How much memory did the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) have and 2) when was the first cellphone with the same amount of memory introduced to the public? 3) Where there any other publicly available products that had the same amount of memory? 4) If so, when were they introduced to the market? [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Nov 30, 2012 -
K. So my big 3-0 birthday is on Saturday, December 8th, and I'm looking for a good place in Portland (like a semi-private event room in a resturant/bar) to host folks for several hours. Let's say 7-10pm. More specifications inside... [more inside]
posted by redsparkler
on Nov 23, 2012 -
help me find movies depicting women in a healthy relationship, where her space, interest or financial independence are respected. [more inside]
posted by valdesm
on Nov 14, 2012 -
Help me find a flash game where you built a spaceship from parts of enemy ships [more inside]
posted by nickhb
on Jul 23, 2012 -
I'd like ideas or recommendations for an office chair that doesn't hurt, with special decorating/space/shopping concerns. Complication: in Greece. After five+ years of computing from my kitchen table while sitting in a regular straight-backed wooden kitchen chair, I find the urgent need to move my workspace ... and get a chair that doesn't assault my back and legs. But it's tricky, because space is limited and many of the usual chair recommendations may not be available. Too many pix and way too much info inside. [more inside]
posted by taz
on Jul 7, 2012 -
Where can I find more detailed technical information about the International Space Station? In particular, how the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and various atmospheric control systems (like the Elektron system) function? [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities
on Jun 28, 2012 -
I encountered this phenomenon from my practice as a graphic designer:
- it looks as though people with narcissistic streak and big ego - people who have problem with empathy - they also have a problem with negative space
. They are anxious about it, they don't understand it and want to fill it with information. They don't "experience" beauty directly , but instead, they form "narrative" about it.
I often encountered this while working with medical professionals (where narcissism is quite common).
Is this something I imagined or is this something that's actually confirmed in psychology/psychiatry?
posted by leigh1
on Jun 24, 2012 -
Looking for a good motto, quote, or possibly a graphic related to space exploration/research, intended to be engraved on a gift pocketknife. I need ideas! [more inside]
posted by 2N2222
on Jun 20, 2012 -
Do astronauts suffer from hypnic jerks? That sensation of falling as you're drifting off to sleep that causes your body to thrash to catch you, but you're already safe in bed. I would think that since astronauts have been constantly falling that their brain would be desensitized to it. Does anyone have some definitive answers?
posted by borkencode
on Jun 16, 2012 -
If all non-solar-system stars ceased to exist, how would things look different to us on earth? Would anything change? [more inside]
posted by juniperesque
on May 15, 2012 -
There have been questions about Cold War songs from the '80s (1
). What about songs about the Cold War from the 2000s
? [more inside]
posted by flawsekno
on May 7, 2012 -
Wife wants "space" -- but we're supposed to move to a foreign country in a week. Give her "space" and potentially end the relationship, or try to compromise? There's more to it than that, so here goes: [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 4, 2012 -
My housemate and I just saw a bright pinpoint flash (approx intensity and size of Rigel) in the sky, lasting about an eighth of a second, what's it likely to have been? [more inside]
posted by Ahab
on Apr 14, 2012 -
Where in Austin can I host 25-45 people for boardgaming between 1-6 PM that will cost me less than $300? [more inside]
posted by Zorz
on Apr 9, 2012 -
From how far away could the Challenger explosion be seen? (Did you see it? Where were you?)
posted by avocet
on Apr 7, 2012 -
I asked for him to give us another try. He said he didn't know how to respond, needed some time/space to think, and that we'd talk soon. MeFi poll: how many days would this mean to you? Explanation inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Apr 3, 2012 -
Help me put together a Hitchhiker's Guide / outer-space themed DJ mix for a friends' birthday party! [more inside]
posted by thedaniel
on Mar 22, 2012 -