[ExI] Thoughts on Space based solar power (Clinic Seed & a diverse future)

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Sun Nov 23 03:10:19 UTC 2008

At 05:32 PM 11/22/2008, Paul wrote:
>hkhenson wrote:
>>At 06:50 AM 11/22/2008, you wrote:
>>>hkhenson wrote:
>>>Anyway, an assumption of famine and resource wars is just that -- 
>>>a possible assumption.
>>Given *current* technology, i.e., no nanotech, then the 
>>consequences of running low on energy are gigadeath.  We burn huge 
>>amounts of energy to grow and distribute food.  The existing 
>>population is not sustainable without a huge replacement energy source.
>Agriculture needs to change, agreed. But how it changes is subject 
>to discussion of alternatives.
>I used to help run an organic farm certification program in the 
>1980s in New Jersey for a time. Among other reasons, I thought an 
>important aspect of space habitation was agriculture, so I wanted to 
>learn about that, and who wants to go spraying conventional 
>pesticides around a small habitat? :-)

My ex-wife and I wrote the original study of agriculture in a space 
colony.  Why would you have pests?  Where would they come from?


>>This AI and the other million instances of it wiped the _whole 
>>continent_ clear of humans.  The leopard got to sleep in the village.
>>The humans got what they wanted or were seduced into 
>>wanting.  Editors who looked at the story said it could not be sold 
>>told me it didn't have enough violence.
>I now see your point. Bravo on having me miss it until now (which I 
>guess is part of the point of the story. :-)
>Still, I guess I've read too much sci-fi where people spent more and 
>more time in a virtual universe (e.g. Hogan's Giant's Novels) to 
>notice that as a completely undesired fact. :-) Also, as a software 
>developer, where a program runs to me is often a bit irrelevant. :-) 
>We retire old hardware all the time -- if the Earth is obsolete 
>compared to virtually, so what?

The AIs in this story are "ethical" in their own ways, ways that were 
built into their fundamental personalities and many of the copied 
from evolved humans.  One of the decisions the human made years 
before is that uploading has to be reversible.  And the people do go 
in an out of the simulation often during the early stages.  It's just 
that the simulation gets to be better than the real world.


Computer security issues have long been solved in this world.

>I'm trying to interpret what you write in terms of "Practical Optimism". :-)
>   http://www.extropy.org/principles.htm
>I guess I am seeing that optimism can be interpreted from different 
>perspectives -- I'm optimistic that resource issues are manageable 
>on Earth in the near (pre-singularity) term with things we already 
>know, you are optimistic they are manageable with deploying solar 
>space satellites. So, we're both optimists in that sense, just about 
>different things. :-)

I am optimistic that there is probably a technical solution or 
several of them out there.  I am not very optimistic about them 
actually being done, and downright pessimistic about them being done 
by the US.

>Anyway, to the extent you put your solar space satellite plans under 
>free and open source licenses, people can collaborate on improving them

Following the logic and math through the wiki pages seems to be 
harder than what most people are willing to do.  Or perhaps a social 
group has not yet formed around the concepts where people get support 
from each other the way they do on open source projects.

>  however they are used down the road. That itself is a decision 
> point, I feel, about what sort of singularity we want to have -- 
> how much we build what surrounds it from a scarcity world view or a 
> post-scarcity worldview. Still, we are deeply embedded in an 
> economic system built around rationing and scarcity assumptions, so 
> it is hard to do any new ventures without taking that into account.

You mentioned Clay Shirky. Do you happen to know him?


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