[ExI] Thoughts on Space based solar power (limited time?)

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 22 22:33:41 UTC 2008

--- On Fri, 11/21/08, hkhenson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:

> There *is* no long term future.  I don't expect
> physical state humans 
> to exist long after the singularity and that's
> extremely likely to 
> happen before the end of the century.  The reasoning is so
> twisted 
> that I had to resort to fiction to get the ideas across. 
> Many on 
> this list have read "the clinic seed."  The
> reason to go after power 
> sats built entirely from the ground is to prevent famines
> and 
> resource wars before the singularity.

I think that war on an unprecedented scale is far more likely than the singularity within the next twenty years unless alternative energy sources replace the majority of our fossil fuel usage within ten to fifteen years. I plan to do my best to make this happen because I see no long-term future for *this* civilization otherwise.

I doubt the singularity will be achievable after the massive disruption to the infrastructure and extravagent resource depletion caused by a war between super powers even in the absence of catastrophic climate change. Moore's Law is contingent on a semiconductor industry that needs plenty of energy and access to raw materials. Nobody is going to think about funding AI development, chip manufacture, or nanotechnology when diesel is $25 per gallon and they are starving. They will instead be entertaining atavistic thoughts of murdering and looting their neighbors.

On the bright side, barring complete breakdown of the ecosystem by nukes or asteroid, small pockets of humans may survive in isolated regions and after a dark ages lasting only a few centuries, we may have another shot at the singularity.

I wish I could be more optimistic but we have wasted nearly a decade moving away from progress and now our economic engine is sputtering. This is the danger of being governed by very short-sighted concepts of profit, effectiveness, and consequence; a chronic condition of unplanned responses to emergencies instead of a deliberate movement towards something of lasting worth.

Stuart LaForge

"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision." - Helen Keller 


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