Alternative Time Scales for Life

People tend to believe that aliens and other life forms would be similar to life on Earth, in that it would have cells, need water, be carbon-based, etc. However, after reading about alternative biochemistry, it makes you wonder what else could be different for other life forms.

Life is simply a series of structures or patterns that continue to exist because they are self-replicating. This might sound cynical, but consider that species, through evolution, all have the “goal” of further propagating themselves. Species that no longer reproduce cease to exist.

So here’s the idea: What if there were forms of life, elsewhere in the universe, that lived in vastly different time scales? For example, most life on Earth “happens” at a certain speed, based on the rate of the specific chemical reactions that are taking place. But, if life relied on vastly different chemicals or occurred in different conditions, there would also be the possibility that the chemical processes for this life could happen at different rates. For example, on a planet with very low energy input, a different kind of life might accumulate energy more slowly, move more slowly, and live more slowly. Their lives might span thousands of years. Or, on the opposite extreme, life in high temperatures/pressures might have a life cycle of seconds. Just an interesting thought.

Idea: Mesh-Network Radio “Cell Phones”

Wouldn’t it be cool if cell phones communicated to each other and could relay calls from one to another? Perhaps cell towers could be eliminated–the mesh network formed by the phones could relay messages across the country. For privacy, you could use public-key encryption between the callers so that no one else would be able to listen to the call. Then again, it’s probably infeasible for a few reasons. 1) It would take up a lot of battery power for each phone to relay other people’s calls. 2) It would have to reach a critical mass before coverage would be good enough. 3) It would not work in rural areas where there aren’t other nodes around to relay a call.