[extropy-chat] What if Dyson spheres are obsolete? (was the Drake Equation)

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 27 04:30:50 UTC 2006

--- Robert Bradbury <robert.bradbury at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 10/26/06, The Avantguardian
> <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > One of the "possibilities" that I think you guys
> seem to be missing is
> > that it may turn out that harnessing
> dark/vacuum/zero-point energy may
> > actually be easier than building a Dyson sphere.
> I very much doubt it.  At least while I'm on watch,
> I try to keep a "no
> magic physics" zone in effect.  And other than when
> we let Anders get
> carried away from time to time its also a "no magic
> engineering" zone.
> *When* you show me that it exists *and* there is a
> way to tap it *and* you
> get a significant number of other physicists and
> engineers to agree with you
> -- you can bring it to the table.  Until then it
> belongs in the nice but no
> cigar idea pail with Star Trek transporters and Star
> Gate SG-1 worm holes
> (IMO).

Both you and Eugen make this point although I thought
the scientific consensus was that the cassimir force
was a manifestation of said vacuum energy. What else
could it be? Quantum gravity? The fifth fundamental
force? Cassimir's experiments have been replicated
enough times that I don't "disbelieve" his results so
to speak. And Adrian Tymes seemed to be onto some
interesting, with his cassimir micro-turbines. (What
ever happened to Adrian anyways?) 

> Lineweaver and his graduate students over the last
> several years have
> published a set of papers which argue that of the
> "Earth's" in our galaxy (
> i.e. those solar systems which should have Earth
> like conditions allowing
> for a similar evolution of life) that 70% of them
> are *older* than ours is
> (implying that their civilizations stand a
> significant chance of being much
> further along than ours is).

Your explanation is still rather data-free. I am not
big fan of appealing to authority for my arguments.
And authoritative speculation in the complete absense
of data is not much more accurate than a layman's.
Beyond that there is a certain dellusory aspect to
speculating upon the speculations of others. By the
time you get around to the third recursive iteration
of speculation, you are firmly in the realm of
unicorns and fairies. Three steps beyond a definitive
mathematical proof or conclusive experiment and you
are on the yellow-brick road to Oz. 

That's my philosophy at any rate. I tried to look up
the links you posted but they didn't work. Let me know
when they are back online. I will reserve my comments
until I have read them.

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."- Siddhartha Guatama aka Buddha.

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