Physicist Brian Keating is the codirector of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination at UC San Diego. The middle used to be established in partnership with the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2012 as some way of sporting on Clarke’s legacy.
“They sought after to peer if they may inspire, expand, and learn about the enabling of the human creativeness,” Keating says in Episode 445 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “So they’d a contest to search out an establishment to host it that may have its pursuits aligned with Arthur C. Clarke’s passion in each science fiction and science truth.”
Keating notes that lots of science fiction’s greatest stars have visited UC San Diego, whether or not as visitors of the Clarke Center, as scholars or instructors at the Clarion Writers Workshop, or as scholars at the college. “David Brin is an alum, Greg and Jim Benford are alumni, Kim Stanley Robinson is an alum, Andy Weir used to be a scholar right here,” Keating says. “These are a few of the fundamental writers of our time on the subject of science fiction.”
With reside occasions lately on hang because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Keating just lately introduced a brand new podcast, which allows him to proceed the Clarke Center’s venture of bringing in combination a few of the global’s most sensible thinkers. “The identify of the podcast is Into The Impossible, which derives from Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws,” Keating says. “The 3rd [law] is, ‘The handiest manner of discovering the limits of the conceivable is to challenge past them, into the inconceivable.’”
Guests on the display have integrated science fiction authors reminiscent of Annalee Newitz and David Brin, scientists reminiscent of Sean Carroll and Janna Levin, and cultural commentators reminiscent of Noam Chomsky and Ben Shapiro. Keating enjoys the alternative to speak about science fiction ideas with visitors who aren’t science fiction writers, like asking Chomsky if shall we be in contact with extraterrestrial beings. “It used to be actually a amusing factor for me to do, to speak to him about one thing that I don’t assume he’s ever mentioned,” Keating says.
Listen to the entire interview with Brian Keating in Episode 445 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some highlights from the dialogue beneath.
Brian Keating on the Fermi paradox:
“[Paul Davies] claims that we haven’t heard from extraterrestrial beings on account of a number of other forces that principally both make their life inconceivable or makes our interplay and belief of them inconceivable. If they’re lurking, we known a number of puts in the sun device the place they may wish to lurk. But one fanciful science fiction concept is they’re right here, however they’re in the type of a microbiome that has the opposite-handed chirality to our DNA construction, and so subsequently we will be able to’t digest them, we will be able to’t have interaction with them, we will be able to’t do experiments, reagents don’t react with them. That’s one in every of the extra fanciful ideas, most likely, in Paul Davies’ guide The Eerie Silence. … It could be like they’re a type of ‘organic darkish subject,’ so as to talk.”
Brian Keating on assembly extraterrestrial beings:
“There’s a well-known parable from Richard Feynman, which is that in the event you expand a communications technique with extraterrestrial beings, and also you’re speaking again throughout the galaxy, and also you describe to them that, ‘When human beings meet, they lengthen their proper hand to shake it,’ he stated be very cautious in the event that they stick out their left hand. Not as a result of they violated the social conventions, however as a result of they’re most probably fabricated from antimatter. … If they’re fabricated from anti-protons, anti-neutrons, and positrons, then they might annihilate you while you shook their left hand as a substitute in their proper hand. They would assume it’s their proper hand, as a result of while you opposite price and parity, then maximum bodily processes—rather then antimatter—opposite their houses as smartly.”
Brian Keating on James Altucher:
“He stated, ‘I by no means submit an editorial, or do a podcast, until there’s one thing in it that makes me hesitant to push the submit button.’ And this just lately manifested itself with an editorial he wrote on LinkedIn known as ‘NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why.’ Over 20 million folks shared it round the global, after which Jerry Seinfeld wrote an anti- op-ed in the New York Times that were given revealed. It known as James a schmuck and a LinkedIn putz and a loser, and stated, ‘New York goes to come back again, New York doesn’t want you, so just right riddance, have amusing in Florida.’ It actually devastated James on one hand, however on the different hand, I stated to him, ‘Be cautious what you want for. You stated you had been scared to submit, and that is one in every of the causes that you’ll have been scared.’”
Brian Keating on Jim Simons:
“We began to collaborate on concepts to check other ramifications of Jim’s purely mathematical theories, however implemented in bodily eventualities the use of the laboratory of the whole cosmos. … And so that is what we’re doing with the Simons Observatory and the Simons Array—and he’s funded either one of the ones as a big backer, along side the National Science Foundation. And the latter one, the Simons Observatory, is beneath building now at 17,000 toes in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Every week or so I replace Jim on what we’re doing with the group, and we’re making nice growth, however after all Covid’s actually challenged us, and Jim helps to keep reminding me how outdated he’s each time we communicate, and that he’d actually love to win a Nobel Prize earlier than he dies.”