David Isenberg explains that spectrum for various forms of wireless transmission and communication is treated as scarce, similar to real estate, because a scarcity model works for “cellcos” (cellular communication companies, former telcos) In fact, spectrum is infinite. [Link]
The core of the story is whether or not spectrum is a rival good. A rival good is something that when it’s used by one party can’t be used by another. The cellcos say it is. Current FCC regulation does too. But David Reed has repeatedly pointed out that physics — our understanding of physical reality — says otherwise. The article paraphrases him: electromagnetic spectrum is not finite. Not finite. In other words, infinite.
The idea that there’s a set of consistent first principles behind the existence and operations of the universe is undermined by evidence of a multiverse – many universes with potentially different properties – and the existence of “dark matter.” In this universe and on this planet, we’ve had just the right conditions for life – is this an accident? What other conditions may exist, what other forms of life? Question’s raised by Alan Lightman in his Harper’s piece, “The Accidental Universe: Science’s Crisis of Faith.” Thinking about the expansion and dissolution of the universe is a great way to feel smaller, less like a dominant life form and more like a gnat buzzing in the dark. Smaller still when thinking how all must be infinite, yet infinity seems impossible to grasp. Our place in all this is uncertain. Do we have within us manifestations of the universal, are we all pieces of some expansive and infinite intelligent hologram? Or are we bits of dust in an infinite chaotic meaningless haboob?
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