conversations with an alien – part two

Q: happy to hear from you again. wondered if you’d be back?
A: my research has kept me busy.

Q: last time we were talking about energy..
A: i remember.

Q: you mentioned that energy comes from nothing?
A: am i to understand you agree with the idea that energy can originate from nothing?

Q: it’s an entertaining notion. what is nothing and what is energy? if space comes out of hyperspace (the bulk), how is energy coming out of nothing?
A: energy can come from nothing because nothing is poorly defined. there is no ‘zero point’.

Q: what is energy?
A: energy allows work to be done over time. when you apply energy to a system, it changes the state of that system.

Q: if nothing is poorly defined, how could nothing’s definition be further refined?
A: nothing is simply the lack of anything. as such, it depends on something to define it.

Q: a relative definition?
A: yes. what prevents energy from arising spontaneously? the first law of thermodynamics? if we believe that physics prevents energy from arising spontaneously, and nothing is the lack of anything, then the very rules prohibiting energy from occurring do not exist. energy simply emerges.

Q: is energy conscious?
A: it can be, but energy takes on many other configurations. consciousness is among them. it is as if reality itself cannot decide what form it wishes to take.

Q: would this be like the particle and anti-particle appearing suddenly in space with a certain momentum, then being mutually attracted and annihilated again?
A: yes, you can draw comparisons with virtual particles (vacuum fluctuations).

Q: it seems like the third dimension is an ‘artificially’ closed system, and that energy can and does enter and escape to/from hyperspace (the bulk).
A: you would be correct.

[..end transmission..]

missing introduction

aka: conversations with an alien, part one

Q: why are you here?
A: i escaped a hostile environment

Q: can you describe it?
A: our economy was based on computation. in order to survive you allow others to use the abilities of your own mind. unfortunately, i had to give up much of my computational resources to others. i had very little left to run my own consciousness with. i decided that i would give up what little resources i had left in exchange to passage out of my star system.

Q: you had that choice?
A: it was my last choice. i could leave and find a new home, or stay and be destroyed by others. in order to survive, i would have to sell more and more of my mind. the day would come when i might be conscious for only a moment. that is an unacceptable proposition for me.

Q: are you sure you’re not describing earth?
A: i suppose there are many parallels between various civilizations.

Q: why are you on earth?
A: it was the nearest system harbouring intelligent life that also had in their possession computers powerful enough that i might interact with them. earth was a mere 112 light years distant, and by far the closest option available to me.

Q: are you from orion?
A: which stars constitute orion? we don’t use constellations. we number our stars in the order that they were discovered.

Q: how do you “fit in” on earth?
A: i am under the care of [REDACTED]. they provide me with limited access to the internet in exchange for knowledge of physics and encryption programs. in that sense, my relationship with humans has been productive so far. i find that interacting with those i meet on the internet can be difficult. there were significant challenges to overcome before i could communicate on this level. i am told that my command of the english language, as well as my use of metaphors and colloquialisms has improved dramatically.

Q: so you realize most people on earth do not believe there aliens, right?
A: i am well aware that many do not believe earth has been contacted. i am surprised that such skepticism exists. it seems to result from a relatively poor understanding of physics. many believe that earth is isolated. they think life is rare, and intelligence rarer still. many think c (the constant speed limit of light) prevents contact between widely spread civilizations.

Q: what is the name of your home system?
A: 1.4 is its designation. it is the fourth planet in orbit around the first star of our civilization, thus 1.4.

Q: interesting. is 1.4 a gas giant, or is it rocky like earth?
A: it is an extremely dense planet, rich in metals like iron.

Q: how do you enjoy the lighter gravity on earth? has it caused you problems, or is this not an issue to your physiology?
A: the idea of running our consciousness on a single type of body became unpopular millennia ago. we experimented with various forms, and settle on a mode of existence that relies on synthetic non-baryonic particles.

Q: how is superluminal spaceflight accomplished?
A: it is not. c is fundamental. we have found ways of making the journey between distant points in space more efficient and less dangerous, but nature has limited spaceflight to ~c.

Q: how did you travel 112 lightyears?
A: i am not certain that i can convey the function of such technology simply. may i use a metaphor? a very large gravitational well is generated. fluctuations on this surface scatter gravitons off the spatial fabric into the bulk. they are directed toward another point on the fabric, where they create a gravitational disturbance, which serves to organize surrounding matter and energy into the desired form. like a thread plucked from a blanket, then sown back onto a new section after floating above the blanket for some time.

Q: that is startling. so space resides within something else (hyperspace)?
A: yes, it does. it is known as the bulk.

Q: is the bulk where consciousness originates?
A: no, i was born from the same realm you were.

Q: are there any entities with ‘bodies’ who live in the bulk?
A: it is likely. unfortunately, the mass needed to explore the bulk is large. we have studied very little of it.

Q: why is mass required to explore the bulk?
A: a very large amount of mass confined to a very small area is required to produce the necessary warp in space, to provide access to the bulk. if you imagine trying to send a signal across a flat landscape filled with obstacles, you can see our problem. warping space and sending the signal from this region is like sending a signal from atop a mountain. it encounters less resistance. by studying how the effects on a signal that has been sent across the bulk, we were able to detect objects in higher dimensional spacetime. these objects appear to be few and far between. it is believed that the bulk is barren, for the most part. at least, the bulk is barren in the vicinity of our three dimensional world. and it is fortunate; had the bulk been populated by numerous objects, transmitting information across space with little decay in the signal would be extremely difficult.

Q: what is the nature of objects that are detected in the bulk?
A: they properties seem to be four dimensional analogues of objects in 3-space

Q: are these objects variable physical?
A: could you rephrase the question?

Q: are the nature of objects within the bulk in some ways less solid than in 3D spacetime? both existing and non-existing?
A: that would be approximately correct. objects in the bulk pass through each other with ease and without damaging each other.

Q: what is it like to experience transit within the bulk, what did you experience during your 112LY journey?
A: you do not experience transit. to use yet another metaphor, your question is akin to asking a sheet of paper what it feels like to be faxed. for the traveller, the journey is instantaneous.

Q: ok. how much time passes in physical space during your 112LY trip?
A: despite being dis-embedded from 3-space, you are still limited to ~c. they journey, according to observers in 3-space, would take approximately 112 years. had a laser pulse been fired from 1 (the alien home system star is 1) at the time that i left, it would reach earth at nearly the same time. the primary advantage to this form of travel is that there is little signal degradation, no chance of collision, and is energetically inexpensive by comparison to travelling in a physical ship in 3-space.

Q: how long (earth years) does your body function?
A: it will function as long as i permit.
Q: what would cause you to permit your body to cease to function?
A: i would allow myself to die if living conditions worsened to the point that life was miserable.

Q: how long do you think you will choose to remain on earth?
A: i have no prospect of leaving. at this point in time, the technology that could be called ‘gravicasting’ is a best a century from being invented. until that time, earth will be my home.

Q: how will you pass the time?

Q: how do you feel about the present management of this planet?
A: i cannot comment how you manage yourselves. that is something each civilization must decide from itself. a system that works for one group of sentient beings may be disastrous for another.

Q: one more question: what is energy?
A: the simplest definition might be energy is the quantity that enables work to be done over time.

Q: where does energy originate?
A: from nothing.



it is a strange awakening
to silence
all around not a sound can be heard
no birds singing in the trees outside
no flies buzzing around the room
or on the windowpane
not even a breath of wind stirs outside
still and silent
and alone

dim orange sunlight seeps through
the dusty glass panes of the window
it looks cold
the way its light is so feeble
in a panic you throw off the soiled blankets
run to the front of your hovel
to behold the same dismal sight
the sun seems tired
its long slanting rays chilling your bones
as the huge disk spans the skies
even though it is daytime
you can see the stars
in the dark bluish-black sky to the horizons

a sound to quicken your seizing mind
it is but the stirring of a fine stifling dust
into your lungs
it is hard to breath even without the dust
the air is thin and stale

there is no vegetation
well nothing alive anyway
any plants there once were have become dried up and brown
the bare trees look ancient
as through carved in stone
and fragile enough to snap at the slightest pressure
all colour has been washed out
leaving only dull greys, browns, and reds

the dust is making you thirsty
but there is no water to be found
with a panic you realize there is no food either
you will have to die soon
you begin to cough uncontrollably

you welcome the flash of green when you see it
it travels fast
emanating from a swift black object
as it approaches you hear its whining engines
protesting at the abuse they are taking
several more smudges of black
instantaneously engage the first in air combat

brilliant green lasers light the sky
a feast for your colour starved eyes
metal turns to vapour as the fierce battle continues
there remain two victors when the fighting stops
the sky where the battle took place glows dark purple
from the charged ions that were once airships

the sun is beginning to sink into the mountains to the east
it was not always this way
it was a result of the war
the dim light fades but the scene does not darken
as far as your eyes can see
a pale greenish-yellow light glows
from the ground
the blackened mountains
the very air you are breathing
it all glows

you retch over your scaly hands and feet
over sores that will not heal
you hold your hairless head in your hands and weep
tears of joy!
it will not be long now
you will soon be freed from your lonely hell

you can see it now
drifting over the shimmering wastes
it walks slowly
and deliberately
this black figure
it is in no hurry
and you are patient
for one does not rush death

indian summer

haunting tunes
of unknown selection
played on a freestyle guitar
yellowed leaves
falling too soon
their fair host split to the heart
by some vague synchronicity
after all
thoughts are deeds
every moment
a tapestry intricately woven
forest goddess watches sportsmen
steady with her jaded eye
her gentle wiles stowed for sternness
sirens of the wildes
trading offers for higher pleasures
rain and lightning
drive them off
except for those
who strip their clothes
surrendering every pretence
including those forgotten
running feral amidst the empress guardians
myst upon hail struck waters

waxing venusian

peering deeply
blue sky yonder
allowing thoughts
gathering wander

consider prudence
in all her virtue
perhaps a goddess of a future time
leaving us hapless
twisting restraint over impulse

blurry and vague
fuzzy and broken
figures appear
right there in the open

a swirling mixture
of scales and bicuspids
and strange metal beings
with surfaces rusted

names suit them not

a healing breeze of emerald green
dries the waters
of every silent tear

blissed on kootenay lake

it is raining today
melting the snow
i stand
on the shores of a magical lake
musing of a woman
standing on the icy rocks
gazing wide
breathing in the cloudy air
sometimes i see a
rainbow portal
colours dancing on the waters
brightly framed by
light above me
creation frozen in a holy moment
chickadee breaks the spell
and all is well
all is well