"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Two is a ridiculous number and cannot exist."

Could THIS be where Fringe is heading?
(01 May 2011 - SPOILER WARNING: If you have recorded the Friday, Apr 29, 2011 episode, and have NOT yet seen it, you want to leave this post NOW.  I should have made this part of the original post, but I simply didn't think. That was unforgivable, and I'm sorry.)

The title is from a statement by a physicist named Denison, in Isaac Asimov's 1972 novel The Gods Themselves  (From a quote by Schiller, "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.").

In it, the discovery of a parallel universe, with different physical laws, leads to almost limitless cheap energy by swapping materials from each universe and taking advantage of their behavior as a result of their not being in the universe to which they belong.

Problem is, those contrary physical laws are also being swapped (by leakage) and threaten to destabilize (and ultimately destroy) both universes.

Denison's statement, "Two is a ridiculous number and cannot exist", is a philosophical argument that it is conceivable that, because of the number of factors required to make it possible, there could be only one instance of a phenomenon (life, for example, or planets around a star) in the entire universe, or no instance at all.

Should you encounter another instance, however, the notion that two are all that exists becomes unimaginably improbable; very likely there are vast numbers of them.

So, he seeks and finds yet another universe as an alternative, whose physical laws counter the effects of our interactions between ours and the first parallel universe.

In last night's (Friday, 29 Apr 2011) episode of Fringe , Peter finally enters the machine he was apparently destined to control and suddenly materializes into a New York City where the Twin Towers have been taken down in 2001, but the Freedom Tower has arisen in their place.

Has he been transported to the near future?

Or, into yet another parallel universe whose existence may be able to prevent ours and the first alternate from ripping each other to pieces.

Only J.J. Abrams and his script writers know.  As a science fiction fan, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he was familiar with Asimov's novel, or at least the argument.

(PS - So, WHY is everything below the fold in this post?  Call it a test of curiosity.)


Foxfier said...

Whole thing came up in my RSS feed.

I was a bit interested in these shows-- our TV is netflix and the internet, so we get to choose our shows-- until I saw that one of the writers was J.J. Abrams. Thanks, no, I can live without loving a show and then getting it destroyed for shiny.

Paul_In_Houston said...

Whole thing came up in my RSS feed.

I presume that's in response to my "test of curiosity" line.

That wasn't a very long post. Did a monster like "WANTED!!! -- for stealing these movies..." come up intact there?

I'm guessing your last line refers to the "group hug in the afterlife" ending of you-know-what. :(

Well, I'm with you there, although it was sometimes a Hell of a ride getting there.

Foxfier said...

Yes, almost all the posts I get are the whole thing.


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