Changing the Speed of Light

Kurzweil is an interesting thinker. His stuff gives me the willies. Don’t ask me why. He seems perhaps a little too far out there.
NPR : Thinkers Lay Out the Beliefs They Can’t Prove

At this point, we run up against a seemingly intractable limit: the speed of light. Although a billion feet per second may seem fast, the universe extends over such vast distances that this appears to represent a fundamental limit on how quickly an advanced civilization (such as we hope to become) can spread its influence.

There are suggestions, however, that this limit is not as immutable as it may appear. Physicists Steve Lamoreaux and Justin Torgerson of the Los Alamos National Laboratory have analyzed data from an old natural nuclear reactor that 2 billion years ago produced a fission reaction lasting several hundred thousand years in what is now West Africa. Analyzing radioactive isotopes left over from the reactor and comparing them with isotopes from similar nuclear reactions today, they determined that the physics constant a (alpha, also called the fine structure constant), which determines the strength of the electromagnetic force, apparently has changed since 2 billion years ago. The speed of light is inversely proportional to a, and both have been considered unchangeable constants. Alpha appears to have decreased by 4.5 parts out of 108. If confirmed, this would imply that the speed of light has increased. There are other studies with similar suggestions, and there is a tabletop experiment now under way at Cambridge University to test our ability to engineer a small change in the speed of light.