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Old 01-11-2017, 02:18 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Govi View Post
There's a lot wrong with that logic. Only one of them has mass.
Well, in a way they do. They will be physically represented in the innards of any computer system that has them on record.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:50 AM   #27 (permalink)
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In special relativity, relativistic mass is the mass of the kinetic energy of the object. It is actual mass. It changes depending on the reference frame and is zero in the reference frame of the object, but that's irrelevant for photons since you can't ever be in the reference frame of the photon and if you could the photon wouldn't exist because its wavelength would be infinite. It also doesn't matter, because so much else changes when you're not in the same reference frame and you can't ignore those complementary changes.

For example, when calculating acceleration effects on the object, in your reference frame the result is the same as if the mass was real, due to time dilation. It takes more energy to accelerate a particle from 0.8c to 0.9c than from 0c to 0.1c. Whether you describe that as "accelerating the relativistic mass" or "time dilation" depends on what the purpose of the calculation is. Both interpretations are valid.

When accelerating the object, the relativistic mass is exactly the same as the kinetic energy you added to the object. That's how E=Mc^2 was originally derived.

As for gravity, when you're dealing with relativistic velocities and masses gravity is not actually a force, it's a description of the shape of space time. Special relativity doesn't really deal with gravity, general relativity does, and my physics chops aren't up to calculating frame dragging (or even really understanding it) and all the other bizarre effects of gravity in relativistic regimes.

But for the purpose of a joke about the mass of bitcoins, I think that's getting into overkill territory.

Not to mention that we really need to be looking at information theory and computability and the smallest mass-energy equivalent required to hold a bit, and whether space-time is quantized...
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:58 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The Bitcoin Network has plenty of mass, and consumes a good number of MW of power. Bitcoins are useless without the Network, because there would be no way to move them from person to person. They cannot be understood properly without understanding the network they are part of.

Gold has a separate existence whether or not humans are using it. My desktop PC, which I sometimes run as a bitcoin network node, and used to run as a bitcoin miner, also has a separate existence as a physical artifact. Both gold and my PC have value assigned to them by people, based on their usefulness. So does the Bitcoin Network. "Owning some bitcoins" just means you have a claim on using part of the network. Whether that has value to you will depend on who you are. Value is subjective, and varies from person to person.


Apples and oranges...

No. Fizzy water and electron hole migration.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:02 PM   #29 (permalink)
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my point was that kinetic energy (or kinetic mass if you want to do the conversion) is not the mass of the object (rest mass), which is independent of frame of reference (and is what you use to calculate kinetic energy, from relative velocity, or vice versa)... they are commonly grouped together for calculations of force, but they are separate things
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:17 PM   #30 (permalink)
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The usual method of measuring an unknown small amount of gold is to use a balance, which measures mass. An accurate balance works properly in all practical gravitational fields. The archaism of using a weight measure -- ounces -- for gold is balanced by the casual use of units of mass -- kilograms -- as equivalent to the weight of a thing.

Variance in earth's gravitational "constant:" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravit...ound_the_world
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:35 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I know we're famous for this sort of thing, but the magnitude of derail in this thread combined with the .... shall we say, "somewhat refined" nature of the derail .....

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Old 01-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:36 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I know we're famous for this sort of thing, but the magnitude of derail in this thread combined with the .... shall we say, "somewhat refined" nature of the derail .....

ya gotta admit, it's a hell of lot more interesting and informative than the topic = X
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:30 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:33 AM   #35 (permalink)
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You want extreme physics?

Remember that Red Nova thread, and I made that reference to the Lacerta event in Diaspora? Turns out Greg Egan is coming out with a new book set in a universe with hyperbolic geometry and where it takes infinite energy to turn 90 degrees.

Dichronauts — Greg Egan

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Old 01-12-2017, 03:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
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and here I thought Poul Anderson did some good HARD SF... holy crap
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:44 PM   #37 (permalink)
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All I know is, if we move to bitcoin as the currency what am I going to use to scratch off my lotto cards???
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:24 PM   #38 (permalink)
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and here I thought Poul Anderson did some good HARD SF... holy crap
Oh, you're not familiar with Greg Egan's ouvré? His stuff is about 11 on the Mohs scale.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:15 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Can one diagnose an entire country?
I'll try it. The whole country is about to have a bad case of PTSD.

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Old 01-13-2017, 04:23 AM   #40 (permalink)
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You want extreme physics? Remember that Red Nova thread, and I made that reference to the Lacerta event in Diaspora? Turns out Greg Egan is coming out with a new book set in a universe with hyperbolic geometry and where it takes infinite energy to turn 90 degrees. Dichronauts — Greg Egan GEEEEEEEK OUT
Something similar has been written before - Inverted World by Christopher Priest https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_World
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When Helward is assigned to escort three women back south to their village, he is astonished by what he learns about the alien nature of the world. As they go further south, the women's bodies become shorter and wider, and they begin to speak faster and in a higher pitch. The terrain itself becomes similarly squashed; mountains now look like hills to Helward. One woman has a male baby who, like Helward, does not change shape. Most frightening of all, the guildsman feels an ever-growing force pulling him southward.
I remembered this book as soon as I read Argent's post, despite having read it only once, and that over 40 years ago.

...and full marks to Google search - I couldn't recall either title or author, but a Google search for science fiction city on wheels strange geometry brought it up as the second hit.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:03 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Something similar has been written before - Inverted World by Christopher Priest https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_World
I remembered this book as soon as I read Argent's post, despite having read it only once, and that over 40 years ago.
Point. I liked Inverted World too but on a Mohs Scale of SF hardness Christopher Priest is about 3. Greg Egan invents new physics AND does the math to make it work.

Also recommend Karl Schroeder, Peter Watts, and Charlie Stross if you want a bit of science and engineering with your fantastic fiction.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:38 AM   #42 (permalink)
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When I stumble into a physics discussion and have absolutely no idea what is going on I realize maybe it would be good to read the thread from the OP instead. Or at least track down some caffeine.
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:44 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Also recommend Karl Schroeder, Peter Watts, and Charlie Stross if you want a bit of science and engineering with your fantastic fiction.
Especially Peter Watts.

Although I personally prefer a bit of imagination and a good sense of adventure - e.g. Pippa Da Costa, Kameron Hurley, Ann Leckie, Veronica Roth etc..
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:37 PM   #44 (permalink)
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[...]
Also recommend Karl Schroeder, Peter Watts, and Charlie Stross if you want a bit of science and engineering with your fantastic fiction.
Blindsight? heh, good book, not an especially hard read... didn't agree with the conclusions, but the writing was good. available free here
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:25 PM   #45 (permalink)
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For a more gonzo look at the future, in a gratis eBook, try Accelerando.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:45 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Consider the units; gold's value is based on demand versus supply per unit mass; bitcoin's is based on demand versus supply for an elaborate cross-checked bookkeeping entry.
And you can't eat either.
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:56 PM   #47 (permalink)
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And you can't eat either.
Money is useful because it saves you from having to barter for everything you want. When it stops performing that function (see Zimbabwe and Venezuela), people resort to barter, or find something else to use as money. The only money you could eat was the occasional culture that used cattle, or medieval peoples who paid in kind, because there was a shortage of silver coinage.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:34 PM   #48 (permalink)
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But our new money is made of meat !
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:21 PM   #49 (permalink)
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And you can't eat either.
True, but pointless... non durable goods make for horrible currency. tools, land, housing, clothing, things that last and have a longer stable lifetime make for much better barter currency.

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Old 01-15-2017, 11:53 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Hostess Twinkies, then?
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