Leaving Messages for the Future…

I am fascinated by our ancient origins. My background is in Science and industry, but if you are reading this on my blog, you probably already know that my focus these days is Science Fiction. Good Sci-Fic is a mix of fact, gentle extrapolation, and fantastic speculation! So, staying true, I am thrilled to have an excuse to let my mind wander onto paths more fringe than a realscientist would be comfortable with, but I am still forced by the ‘Hard-Sci-Fi Hippocratic Oathto stay more grounded than a tie-died, new-age crystal-healer!

Science has come a long way in the past few decades, but one of the areas that seems to be stuck in the past is archeology (sorry). Many tweed-jacketed academics seem incapable of updating their worldviews based on the mass of new evidence pouring in: from DNA to luminescence dating; from ground penetrating radar to muon tomography.

Luckily, YouTube has given a platform to a bunch of amateur scientists (and in some cases tenured professors who expose heretical non-orthodox opinions). I started down this rabbit hole a few years ago in research for a new book, and am still deep down in the dark, but there is a glow…

If you like mysteries and bold ideas take a look at Martin Sweatman’s channel:

These people were trying to leave a message for their descendants!  that’s Us!
…will we listen?

On a slight tangent: a similar challenge: how do we write something that will have meaning in 100K years?

Perhaps contemporary thinking on this similar problem might help us get deeper into the heads of our ancient ancestors…

Bananas, Sex and Snowflakes

New Medium Essay. Not very Sci-Fi this one. But I needed to get it out of my head:

“The problem with monoculture is that when pathogens — parasites or predators — find a way to exploit one individual, they will have created a successful strategy to exploit all the others too. This is not a hypothetical intellectual curio, banana plantations worldwide are currently under siege from Fusarium oxysporum, ‘Panama Disease’.

This is why we go to the trouble of having sex…”

Read the rest…

Quantum Radar

Quantum Computing is about to upend our Digital Privacy, but I only just learned Quantum Algorithms will do the same for Military Stealth too…

Currently, stealth works in a couple of basic ways:

  1. Minimising the reflected radar signal.
  2. Sending back a fake signal.
  3. Messing with the electronic brain of the radar system (but this is more electronic warfare than stealth).

For a radar system, both 1 and 2 can be circumvented if there is someway for it to focus exclusively on the echoes from its own beam by filtering all the other photons. In this way, it can concentrate on the real target and ignore innocent but confusing background noise, and deliberate spoofing with fake signals.

Radars today try to filter out these false signals by focusing on specific frequency ranges and very precise timings, but clever EM warfare packages are able to spoof these techniques.

What the radar needs is a way to securely ‘tag’ its own photons, so that it can filter and ignore anything else…

Enter the Quantum Radar…

“Only a few of the photons sent out will be reflected back if they hit a stealth aircraft. A conventional radar wouldn’t be able to distinguish these returning photons from the mass of incoming signals created by natural phenomena—or by radar-jamming devices. But a quantum radar can check for evidence that incoming photons are entangled with the ones held back. Any that are must have originated at the radar station. This enables it to detect even the faintest of return signals in a mass of background noise.

Confused signals from target, environment and spoofing.

Background noise is filtered by quantum algorithms which only allow photons through if they are entangled with clones of the transmitted photons held in the radar’s ‘quantum memory’ .

The target is revealed.
However faint the real signal, it can never be swamped because only reflections from the radar station are considered.