[extropy-chat] Nanoassembly Blueprints using Atomic Resolution MRI

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Wed Apr 4 23:28:21 UTC 2007

At 03:15 PM 4/4/2007 -0700, Jeffrey wrote:


>The main "advantages" I was thinking of were a
>possibly considerable size(space) and weight savings
>for the space colony, plus a potentially much simpler
>(probably cheaper) internal environment. For example,
>if you could just rebuild a strawberry to eat, you
>wouldn't require any specialized light sources, soil,
>bacteria, nutrients, additional physical space, etc.

The entire problem of feeding people in space was worked over in a great 
deal of detail over 30 years ago.  I can't point you to an on-line site, 
but if you can find a copy of the Space Manufacturing Conference for 1975, 
"how to grow food" is spelled out in considerable detail with a pretentious 
title on the paper.  Incidentally, in space you have all the light you 
want, and area isn't that hard to make either.

You don't need soil or bacteria.  In a closed system, what comes out of the 
sewage plant incinerator has everything except a bit of nitric acid for a 
hydroponics solution that will keep the plants happy.  Now it might 
eventually be easy to rebuild strawberries to eat, but if you are that far 
into nanotechnology, why not just run on electricity and simulate eating a 

>Whatever the case turns out to be, the near future
>will, without a doubt, be very exciting. :-)

There is good exciting and bad exciting.  Unfortunately, the odds are 
stacked by the long evolutionary history of our species against the future 
being good.

But if you want to do something to improve the odds of a bright future, I 
have a number of suggestions.  Even so, the most likely number for physical 
state humans 100 years from now is zero.


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