[ExI] Easter Island again

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Mar 26 23:17:12 UTC 2009

Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 10:15 PM 3/25/2009 -0700, Lee wrote:
> [Keith:]
>>> This is in the context of mining the moon.  I don't see how
>>> to do it.  I don't know if I could do it on a budget of many billions
>>> and ship loads of equipment.
>> Nice challenge. How about hydroponics? Is the capital chain
>> really so long that the mining, smelting, and so on couldn't
>> be done, say, with your billion $ or so up front to start it
>> off?
> But but but--Jeff has already said twice that he's talking about 
> *telefactored bots* on the moon...

Well, *I'm* talking about indefinite survival. And Keith's
original question was

    What I was looking for is technical suggestions about how people with
    human labor, knowledge, six square miles of rocks and a little
    charcoal could implement a modern technological society on Easter

True, he did add that part about the context of the question
being about mining the moon---and Jeff probably indeed had
yet another context in mind.

But one classic question is about merely *surviving* indefinitely.
E.g., Biosphere II. I did realize driving home from work that
I guess Easter Island was specified because it *doesn't* have
minerals worth a damn, which makes things harder.

But if there is a way to survive indefinitely, then we've
bought as much time as we need. Eventually, I claim, that
so long as the gene pool doesn't go down hill, ways will
be figured out to make one tiny advance after another.
I'd bet that if you turned loose 500 Keith Hensons on
Easter Island with one billion dollars of equipment and
5000 nubile and fertile young women, you could count on
coming back in a couple of centuries and finding a very
advanced society indeed.

Of course, we should defer to Bryan's great post, and the
link he's provided to all the thought that people have
put into these questions.

(In other words, for your last question below, my uninformed
guess is "no".)


> (but presumably with some fairly wily computer programs on board; I can 
> imagine a large central thing as well with lots of grunt, but that might 
> well be less realistic these days than a cloud or swarm). No humans need 
> be harmed in the making of this Luna!
> Objection 1: it's too soon, we don't have good enough bots. Reply: 
> Moore's Law and lots of dollars. Objection 2: you can't make anything 
> useful out of dirt without ample water. Reply: erm, well, good point. Is 
> it a killer objection?
> Damien Broderick

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list