Magnified sand grains
A bit, or a memory cell, in computing terms, is the smallest addressable entity of information conceived by man, — not a byte, a byte is made up of eight bits, also called a word but not in the literary sense.
Science, by way of nature, knows about some really small stuff too:
Atoms, Protons, Neutrons, Electrons and Quarks, Quanta, Plancks, Leptons, Higgs bosons, and Strings…
It gets so small it becomes enormously large again.
Flipping bits was the exclusive terrain of Assembler programmers in the early years of programming.
They’d switch them on or off, — a dichotomous choice, — for various programming logic reasons. Often bits were simply used as status indicators. An ‘on’ bit is also said to reflect a status value of ‘true, and an ‘off’ bit a status value of ‘false.’
Imagine you are running an App.
For simplicity let’s say on some processor a bit is designated as a day/night status indicator. ‘on’ means it’s night-time. When the App tests the status of that bit a value of true is returned and it will say ‘Good Night Earthling,’ otherwise if the bit is ‘off,’ false is returned and the App will say ‘Good Day Earthling.’
Because bits can only have one of two values at a time, either on or off, these values are also referred to as being ‘one’ and ‘zero.’ A zero is sometimes also referred to as meaning ‘initial.’
Strung together bits and bytes make sense (instructions, data) and have been the foundation of our computing prowess for the last, oh, seventy-five years.
Bits, as tiny as they are, have allowed humans to progress on all fronts at mindboggling speed, — human-lightspeed when compared to a hundred years ago.
We rule and succeed by ones and zeros, or more accurately by on and off. Hard to believe, — when we play with an App or use a social network, — that it ends up in ones and zeros.
Computers and most significantly the internal process that uses bits and bytes are an ingenious, brilliant invention.
Shades in between ‘on’ and ‘off’ don’t exist. A distinct yes or no, or a clear ‘on’ or ‘off’ has been our modus operandi since the start.
If we can get this far using this principle how much further could we get expanding on it?
Nature works on an inclusive approach. It doesn’t just switch on or off, it has every nuance in between too.
Nature’s bits are called cells. A single cell has all the information necessary to make the whole, whatever that is: a tree, a human, an orange…
“Lead the way Nature and we shall observe and copy.”
Arrive the Quantum bit or Qbit. It can exist in the superposition of two states at once. That is a quantum jump from the established, entrenched, practiced thought process of seven decades where a bit could only have one of two states.
Why this (Super)Quantum bit?
Because we want to achieve more. In the process, we always come up against limits that make us re-think our approach and then better it.
“We are masters at transforming reality to rise above the wishlist anchored in imagination.”
Human lightspeed was achieved with one bit representing one value. Dare imagine the possibilities if a bit can represent more than one value?
The potential incremental effect to everything conceivable to us would leave factorials in the dust. We would have to strap our mind to our brain else we would lose it.
Now then, let’s look at our greatest desire:
Human interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic travel.
We have come a long way with travel. Walking, riding, driving, flying. At its extremes, we are now at the international/interplanetary stage. Let the ISS* and the moon be planets for this example.
Elon Musk wants to get to Mars. Extended interplanetary travel. Presently this journey critically highlights the limitation of conventional space travel: to transport matter (human, spaceship) through space (distance) to an extraterrestrial destination in a time frame that does not adversely affect our life or compromise our lifespan on earth.
A prerequisite seems to remain: we still want to climb into a vehicle, race into the distance, get out on the other side and do something and return again.
We are at odds with the time required and the physical and potential psychological extremes and limitations involved.
We got this far by flipping bits and we have once again approached a limit.
The time has arrived to use Quantum bits and develop that even further to the capacity and ability of a cell and then, — then capture the essence of individual beingness and project that.
Nature, the Universe, seems to have no limit to anything.
Humans suffer limits but somehow always manage to come up with something to jump over those boundaries.
Limits occur because, well, we have reached the end of a path and are being ‘told’ to think beyond the state we are in, i.e. not just ‘on’ or ‘off,’ but out of the quanta called a box.
“Let irrational, perceptive thought govern our thinking and rational actions our collective fellowship.”
Physically we are Earthlings, accurately definable entities governed by the natural laws and behavioral laws on earth. If we want to venture beyond our horizon, and by the way Mars is still within our horizon albeit barely visible, then a quantum leap is necessary that supersedes the rational, temporal, telluric based thought process.
Materialistic propulsion has limits.
Certainly, a self-contained, Enterprise-like spaceship traveling at warp speed through space is a wonderful picture and incentive to dream.
However, imagine transportation evolving into a completely new reality through a concept born of irrational thought conceived in a vacuum of presupposition.
The future of transportantion lies in:
Essence gathering and projection
and not physical transportation at all.
Picture credit: These sand grains took 14th place in the 2011 Nikon Small World contest. https://www.livescience.com/16369-nikon-small-world-photos-2011.html
ISS – International Space Station