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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Cosmic billiards | Technology

“The technology involved is quite complex, but the mechanics of the game are very simple: each time you play, you have a maximum of three seconds to accelerate your spherical boat in the direction you want,” explained a customer.

Slowly chalking the toe of his cue, one of the patrons of the Wandering Tavern said:

—A few days ago there was talk here of the Zen archer who becomes one with the arrow he is going to shoot. And what is the billiard ball but a round arrow shot from a straight bow? To fully play pool, you have to be the ball.

“You don’t know to what extent what you’ve said is true,” answered his companion, leaning on the edge of the table, “unless you’ve also played cosmic billiards.”

“Cosmic billiards?” He didn’t even know of its existence.

-I’m not surprised. Few get to know it, and of those few, very few can or want to tell about it… The nine balls of the cosmobillar They are spherical boats about two meters in diameter piloted by as many players, with which the requirement of “being the ball” is literally fulfilled. At the beginning of the game, the boats orbit around a single pocket, which is a small wormhole, and each player, in turn, launches at greater or lesser speed, as the play requires, against one of the other balls or of the large elastic beacons that, controlled by the judges of the game, act as bands.

-Fascinating. And great. That cosmic billiards will require very advanced technology.

—The technology involved is quite complex, but the mechanics of the game are very simple: each time it is your turn to play, you have a maximum of three seconds to accelerate your spherical boat in the direction you want, after which you continue to move in a straight line and until you hit another ball or a cushion, at which point you have another three seconds to decelerate.

“What if you don’t hit another ball or a band?”

“Then you walk out of the game room and lose your turn, like when the ball goes off the pool table.”

“And the object of the game?”

—Very simple: put the other balls in the pocket. And prevent them from putting you in.

“I take it you won the game, since you’re here to tell the tale.”

—I was about to win, yes; but when there were only three of the nine players left, one of the other two, through a lucky carom, sent me straight into the wormhole.

“But in that case you should have left the universe.”

—And that’s what I did: I left my universe. That’s why I’m in yours.

The texts in this series are brief narrative approaches to that “great game” of science, technique and technology -three inseparable threads of the same braid- that is transforming the world faster and faster and in which we all must participate as players, if we do not want to be mere toys.

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– Article Written By @Carlo Frabetti from https://elpais.com/tecnologia/2022-08-22/el-billar-cosmico.html

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