Every aspect of our existence is controlled by Rules, or Laws. Some of these Rules can be broken, with varying degrees of consequence. Invariably, these transient Rules are man-made. They can relate to a Continent, a State, or even attempt to define the minute constraints on where we might walk, sit, or smoke.
There are other Rules that must be obeyed without question, and there is not an opportunity to manoeuvre outside their restrictions, no matter how serious the intent. These unbreakable or Immutable-Rules come from a higher authority, and are very much the focus of this book.
Many grey areas exist due to incomplete knowledge and understanding of the immutable rules. Identifying the exact scope of these rules will have a profound influence on the future directions available to Science. In the past, science-fiction writers have done a wonderful job of forecasting many advances in many fields of endeavour. Perhaps there is no better example than Arthur C. Clark, who first defined the Geostationary-Orbit, and clearly saw the place it would have in our technological future.
But, in some cases, these same writers may possibly have done a disservice in creating a bar that might be too high to reach. There is a growing expectation that, given enough time, humans can do anything. While that attitude is to be admired, is it realistic? The purpose to this exploration of the Rules is hopefully to provide a reality-check on what is achievable, and what is pure fiction.
A requirement for seeing into the future, is a solid understanding of the current rapidly expanding knowledge-base. It would be an utterly false expectation if we imagined we would ever be allowed or enabled to see the whole picture. Our entire world is but a pixel on the postage-stamp applied to an infinite universe. If we managed to eventually blow planet Earth back to a chaos of atoms and molecules, the effect would be less than a leaf-shake in the forest of our nearest galactic neighbours.
To examine the Rules to their fullest extent will require extrapolation way beyond our observable world. Once outside the observable event-horizon, we are squarely in the realms of Philosophy. In this book, we do go there, and make no pretence otherwise.