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RIP Stephen Hawking

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He will be remembered. 

I like to think that he himself considered that he lived a good life, as it's well known his optimism and way of thinking. 

It's always sad to say goodbye, but in the end we must accept that is the fate we all share. He has become now one of those undying stars that will inspire the future generations. It was his books that made me interested in physics in the first place. So thank you and good night, Mr Hawking, have a good sleep. 

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It feels like yesterday when I bought The Grand Design and fell in love with his explanations of the physics of our world. I read his stuff right around the time when I was a Kaku fan. Stephen explained in that book why String Theory did not make much practical sense. He also talks about why creationism doesn't work, and lays down the philosophy of science.

Many people at like they know science.

Some dismiss it as though it's some kind of religion. However, it's a methodology. A methodology built upon fallibilism and falsifiability.

We stand on the shoulders of giants, and today one of those giants can now rest in peace.

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Stephen Hawking once talked about the creation of life where he said something I quote once in a while. The theory goes that there used to be some pools of mud, much like we see today in volcanic areas. In here amino acids were floating around, bumping into each other, joining and falling apart. At some point they by chance hit a combination, which formed something we view as life and it started replicating itself. Critics says it's too unlikely to happen by chance. Stephen Hawking said if the probability of something happening is greater than 0, it will eventually happen if you try enough times regardless of how unlikely it is. The chance of winning lotto is close to zero, yet somebody wins nearly every week. For life to begin, it only needs to hit the right combo once. Not much happened on Earth at the time, meaning there would not be a problem if we would have to wait 100-200 million years for that one time event. Of all the great stuff Stephen Hawking have said, this one is likely the one, which means the most to me because it applies to everything and it touches the core issues of probability.

 

Stephen Hawking also came up with the "mad scientist paradox" (look it up if you like), which shoots down all theories of time travel. Or rather as he puts it, all travel back in time. Approaching the speed of light will make time pass slower, meaning in theory you can spend 10 years traveling in space, age 10 years and come back to Earth to see 20 years have passed. The problem with this approach is that you need to be near a super massive black hole and the closest one is at the center of the galaxy, meaning actually using this approach involves some logistics problems. Speaking of black holes, Stephen Hawking came up with the name in his attempt to explain astronomy to the general public.

 

Stephen Hawking died on 14th (aka 3.14 or π day), which happens to be Einstein's birthday. It's somehow fitting to connect those two because both of them did the unlikely feat of being a scientist, who became known in pub culture.

 

I'm not sure if it's completely appropriate to mention right now, but he did have a few misses in his last years, such as fearing alien invasion, requesting planning to evacuate the solar system before the sun burns out and becoming anti-Brexit with a public statement about it being bad for science, without really telling why. The problem I have with the latter is not about being pro- or anti-Brexit, but rather that it's politics and politics are about opinions. We do not want people thinking they can take their personal baseless opinions into science. It's a big enough problem as it is without providing fuel for people to do so. I have decided to remember him for his scientific achievements and not those missteps.

 

Well, we will all also remembering him for the wheelchair. He was diagnosed at age 21 and told he would live just a few years more. He very strong willed decided to carry on regardless of how bad things would turn out and he lived until he was 76. That alone is an impressive feat, though I'm not sure how journalists came up with "3 times as long as expected". "a few years"*3 is to me like 10 years, not 55.

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