[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 21:02:08 UTC 2010

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes
> ...
>>...This is why I've been examining a certain asteroid mining plan:
>>...0) Come up with good estimates of the costs for steps 1-4, and obtain
> investment to cover them...
> Excellent thinking, thanks Adrian.

It's something I've been batting around for a while.  I'm not sure how best
to translate it into reality.

One possibility, if we had good NASA contacts: get step 1 done with
current resources.  Schedule steps 2-4 so they can be done in 3.5ish
years.  Propose this to a President shortly after he's elected, with the
caveat that most of the profit goes into the US Treasury.  (Perhaps the
meteorites are sold to mining companies, and are simply manageable
chunks carved off - which simplifies the on-orbit processing needed.)
With the right asteroid, and a fast enough schedule, there could be
enough to erase a big chunk of the US national debt.  This would go a
ways towards helping that President's re-election - especially if he
increases spending once this new revenue source is acquired.  (And no
one says we have to stop at just one.  "Re-elect me, and we'll continue
this.  My opponent might cancel the program, and make us rely entirely
on your tax dollars again.")

Of course, the market for platinum et al will crash once enough material
is sold off.  (Which is not entirely a bad thing.  Think of the consequences
for, say, fuel cells if platinum's price dropped by a factor of 10.)  Said
President might be persuaded to use the infrastructure to let private
entities spam SPS, for a fee, similar to how existing nuclear reactors
work (except, new ground-based receivers for SPS have a prayer of
actually getting approved).

>>...5a) Cackle maniacally.  Mandatory, if you believe Hollywood.  ;)...
> There are two schools of thought on this.  There is the old standard
> Muwaaa{ha}^5 crowd, and those who insist on the more guttural  and evil
> sounding mirthful interjection starting with Buuwaa.

Into which camp would you place the Aaaaa(ha)^5 crowd, who dispense
with both initial phases?

>>...7) At some point, teleoperation just won't cut it, and you'll want to
> have an on-site crew... Adrian
> I must disagree on this, or perhaps modify it thus: teleoperation will
> continue to work, ever improving in fact, but we may argue the whole point
> of the entire exercise is to move meat to the remote site.  It isn't
> *necessary* so much as it is the *goal*, an end point, even if technically
> pointless, like sporting events and so much human activity.  We just do it
> because... well, we don't know why, but we still do it anyway.

This is true, but I suspect there will eventually come tasks, or degrees
of precision, or ability to on-the-spot configure, that are beyond what
can easily be achieved with the teleoperation already present, but can
readily be achieved with people on site.

But yeah.  Excuse for setting up space colonization.  Guilty as charged.

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