[extropy-chat] Diaspora was Bluff and the Darwin award

KAZ kazvorpal at yahoo.com
Tue May 16 21:30:53 UTC 2006

----- Original Message ----
From: Keith Henson <hkhenson at rogers.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:29:19 PM
Subject: [extropy-chat] Diaspora was Bluff and the Darwin award

At 01:28 AM 5/16/2006 -0700, Samantha wrote:
> For what are basically economic reasons it will take nanotech level 
> technology to get us into space.  I don't see any way to avoid strong AI.

I encountered this myth regularly when I was working as a consultant for NASA, and it just doesn't hold water.
It is true that if you're a massive government agency, wasting billions of dollars under a system which rewards failure instead of success, getting into space costs an enormous amount in resources and (therefore) money.
If government had enough sense, in the seventies and eighties, to anticipate personal computers being terribly valuable, and they'd set up a massive NASA-like organization to ensure good computer technology and universal accessibility, PCs today would cost tens of thousands, be 16 bits, have a meg or two of RAM, and be as slow as a 286. Oh, and inaccessible to all but the wealthiest.
That's what happens when you have a government monopoly.
But it doesn't take Virgin Galactic to prove that NASA's way of doing things is a huge, needless waste. This has long been clear to anyone /not/ needing to justify the budget of their latest failed Mars probe.
Words of the Sentient:
I pass the test that says a man who isn't a socialist at 20 has no
heart, and a man who is a socialist at 40 has no head. -- William Casey
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