[ExI] Step at a time was economic parable

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Thu Oct 9 22:15:30 UTC 2008

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 2:39 PM, hkhenson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
> At 10:11 AM 10/9/2008, Jef wrote:

>> For me, the biggest question not adequately addressed has to do with
>> the extended ramifications of essentially single-point dependency on a
>> particular geopolitical power in control of a major energy source.
> What assumptions are you making to create this model?
> There is zero risk the sun will stop shining.

This wasn't any concern of mine, but thanks for the reassurance...

> The rectennas are near power loads.  The US alone will take hundreds of
> power sats so failure of a few isn't going to be a major problem.  They have
> to be repairable since flying rocks will hit them once in a while.

Of course there are multiple possible failure modes, and if you'd
included sabotage it might have hinted in the direction of my

> They could certainly be taken out with a large number of very large nuclear
> weapons, but that's the same as all power systems on the ground.

I imagine kinetic modes of (threatened) destruction would be nearly as
effective, without the outright provocation entailed by a nuclear
attack.  My point was to the more subtle and insidious effects of,
e.g., ostensibly unforeseeable "denial of service" events when a
single agency holds the keys.  Space is presently a militarily
strategic "higher ground" which I don't imagine being easily
surrendered to the "electric companies."

> While there are physical reasons that some versions of the million ton per
> year (or more) materials pipeline might be a single facility, there is no
> reason I  can see why the constructed power sats should not be owned by
> diverse organizations from national governments to electric companies.

Okey-dokey then.

- Jef

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