Sunday, June 9, 2013

vote for carlo

Mars One plans to establish a permanent settlement on Mars, funded through a reality show about the training process and the one way trip to get there. Potential settlers are posting videos on the Mars One homepage which can be rated by anyone who visits it. The team to be trained will be picked from amongst the top rated videos.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, response is quite diverse, ranging from obvious nutjobs, through undergrads with no prospects, to young career entrepreneurs with science or tech backgrounds. Included amongst applicants appears to be Carlo Rovelli, one of the most philosophically subtle theoretical physicists alive today. Rovelli works on "Loop Quantum Gravity," the prime competitor against the more widely known String Theory for reconciling the apparent contradictions between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. The motivation for his endorsement of Loop Quantum Gravity over the sexier String Theory is the philosophical position that scientific progress is made by building upon previous insights rather than making sharp and radical breaks with past theory.

In his Mars One video, Rovelli is self effacing and does not play up his importance in the field. Nevertheless, the frontier for humanity deserves to have intellects like his paving the way. See him here, and Vote for Carlo!