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Programming, speculative fiction, science, technology
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IMG_5888 Twin Paradox panel

Kenneth Hoover, Ted Chiang, John Gibbons, and Pauline Baird Jones at the Twin Paradox panel. Here are some thoughts from this panel.

Ted Chiang and Kenneth Hoover say that paradox is an apparent contradiction: it stops being a contradiction when explained by scientific reasoning. The twin "paradox" (an identical twin travelling near the speed of light ages much more slowly than the one remaining on Earth) is no exception. Ted Chiang talked at length about a thought experiment made by a physicist Kip Thorne in the 1980s, which presents a well thought-out mechanism for creating a time machine. More detail about it will be in my upcoming blog post.

For now, here are some science fiction novels that address relativistic time dilation well, according to the panelists:

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

A World Out Of Time by Larry Niven

Gateway by Frederick Paul

Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh

Forever War by Joe Haldeman -- it deals with human cost of relativistic travel.

IMG_5888 Twin Paradox panel