Aliens Patented Our Universe!

Fake News written by Justin Morgan on Sunday, August 14, 2005

from the black-holes-and-blue-screens dept.

Scientists have long been searching for a theory that will solve one of the biggest embarrassments of modern physics. Now a group of researchers have developed such a radical theory involving the holy wars between computer operating systems.

The problem is that big things, like stars, planets and galaxies (collectively the 'macroworld'), are governed by Einstein's theories of relativity, which revolutionized physics a century ago. The embarrassments started coming soon after with the development of quantum theory: it turns out that small things, like atoms and their constituents (collectively the 'microworld'), are ruled by a completely different set of physics, one that conflicts horrifically with relativity.

Both have been experimentally confimed, so both are valid. But why does the universe have two sets of physical laws, one for small stuff and one for large stuff? It's like having two car engines and using one for short journeys, and then swapping the engine over for a long journey. It's like being able to do a backwards somersault in New Jersey and being completely acrobatically disabled the moment you step into New York. What if you somersaulted from New Jersey to New York? Physicists are sick of putting up with problems like this.

Well now there's an explanation. Through some particularly devious variation on the holography theory, the universe is running on two servers.

"It's elegantly simple," said one scientist at the University of Michigan. "All this messing about with superstrings and loop quantum gravity is a waste."

You see, relativity has always been regarded as a simple, smooth, elegant theory in which everything makes sense. It radically alters your perception of the universe, but it does so with style. It handles big things with astonishing ease, in an interface that can be understood at any level you want, and with equations that can be solved to produce exciting, wide-ranging results. It was clear from the very beginning that the macroworld was made on a Mac.

In contrast, quantum mechanics is a wild, unpredictable sea of mind-bending weirdness. It's based on pure randomness: things just pop in and out of existence almost at whim, and we end up with hundreds of different types of particle each with different properties, and the whole thing gets so confusing that documenting them in one over-arching 'registry' just slows the whole thing down and ends up fragmenting the universe into a mess. And it's not pretty, either. The underlying mathematics are well hidden, and it's so complicated that people start wishing it was hidden even better. The quantum world seems to make no sense, and physicists have to admit that.

"That's why we also have to admit that the microworld runs on a Windows platform," said the researcher.

So there's your answer. The universe works the way it does because it has two servers: part of it runs on a Mac, and part of it runs Windows.

"What makes sense here is that the Mac(ro) world is huge, and the Windows world is tiny: in the real world that's not quite true. But that's a minor detail. What we have here is a very simple explanation of the universe."

But it requires one more leap of faith. The question the scientists were facing was: 'Who installed these servers?' Some Christian groups have already taken it upon themselves to proclaim this as the ultimate proof for the existence of God, but researchers have a more scientific explanation. The universe, they claim, was created by pointy-haired aliens in a laboratory, and they were the ones that chose the two platforms.

And yet, why mess around with two platforms in the first place? That's the dilemma. Would a business have a Windows mail server and a Macintosh web server? Do you use a Windows laptop when you're on vacation in Hawaii but take a Powerbook when you go to Canada? Would you store half of your blog entries on a Mac server and half on a Windows server? Of course not... you put them all on Linux!

And there's the answer they've been searching for: the universe shouldn't be run partly on a Mac and partly on Windows -- how ugly is that? It should all be run on a Linux, or perhaps BSD, server. And that's the answer to the grand question of everything. The way to unify physics is to migrate the universe over to Linux.

But if aliens could create universes that run Linux, why didn't they do it, and, more to the point, why can't we SSH into them? Well, scientists say that after the aliens created this hybrid-server universe of ours, they put a patent on it, making it too costly for others to create competing universes. Probably scared of destroying their creation, they could not even consider putting their universe on Linux, and this, physicists say, is going to make the migration process, and hence the development of the theory of everything, a much more difficult task.

"Negotiating patents is much more taxing than supersymmetric membrane theory any day," said a physicist at Yale University.

So will physics turn into another lawyer-oriented practice?

Probably.

"Since physics is just applied mathematics," said a researcher of operating system theory at Yale, "and chemistry is just applied physics, and biology is just applied chemistry, I can envisage that the whole of scientific research, mathematics and technology will quickly become just one big subdomain of Law."

So what's left? Since the creative arts have already been tied to the confines of Law, it seems that all we have remaining is history, physical geography, sports, religious studies and sociology. I'll give them a few weeks.

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