[ExI] Millions of tons to space

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 04:24:13 UTC 2011

2011/4/3 Mr Jones <mrjones2020 at gmail.com>:
> On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 3:08 AM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 2011/4/2 Mr Jones <mrjones2020 at gmail.com>:
>> Energy is clearly central to the endeavors of human beings and will be
>> to our successors as well. Let's do a little exercise... Let's suppose
>> that in 100 years most intelligence is non-human. That is, it runs on
>> a non-biological substrate. I would suppose that such a substrate
>> would be able to survive without too much difficulty in outer space.
>> Given the nearly limitless solar energy that could be harvested by
>> orbiting the sun, I kind of wonder if earth itself won't be a
>> backwater in 100 years.
> I'm perhaps a touch idealistic, but I would hope that it's been maintained
> as an 'animal preserve' so to speak.

I think of many outcomes, this one is very much within the realm of
possibility. The ethics of preservation would have to be accepted by
the AGIs... which is why artificial ethics is such an important area
for the future of biological humanity (not to mention the rest of the
biosphere). I can see Earth being a museum piece.

>> If intelligent robots can survive in space
>> without the life support that biological humans require, then
>> harvesting the needed materials from asteroids, comets and other
>> sources will be cheaper than bringing materials up from earth to
>> space.
> Exactly.  And to increase real-estate when necessary, you tow hunks from
> space into an orbit

Precisely. Of course you eventually run out of hunks, and at that
point, earth starts to look like something you could harvest hunks
from... hopefully there won't be quite that level of greed in the
AGIs... I hope, I hope...

>> So the whole concept of the importance of the space elevator, beaming
>> solar energy down to earth, solving global warming and so forth may be
>> a problem for the remaining biological legacy on earth, but may not be
>> "where it's happening" in the future.
> I see abundant solar energy solutions as a precursor to the Singularity.

I don't think there is enough time. We aren't even working on space
based solar, except as a mental exercise.

>  Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think they're very necessary in the grand scheme
> of things.  I'd like to see humanity build a solar/hydrogen economy, seeing
> as it's the most abundant element in our Universe.

I think it would be nice too.

>> This is just a thought experiment, I'm curious what you all think.
> Sign me up for virtualization, I'm game.

That's a separate question. Very interesting but off thread to some
extent... I'm talking about intelligence that was always
non-biological first and foremost.

>> Of course we would, but if we didn't spend money on war, we certainly
>> wouldn't be spending it on something less politically important. At
>> some point, when gasoline is $20 a gallon, and there is no hope of it
>> ever going under $15 a gallon, then the people of the USA will raise
>> the priority of energy management to the point that such spending will
>> seem justified to the point that the politicians will pay attention.
> I just don't understand how the foresight isn't in place already.

Propaganda. The power brokers in oil and government (and they
cooperate) don't want a switch from oil to anything else until it is
absolutely necessary.

Sperm whale oil sold for $200 a barrel in 1823 (equivalent price by
2003 standards*), but by 1855 this animal product was fetching more
than seven times that amount. Those higher prices helped prompt the
permanent switch from whale oil to other lighting fluids and
eventually electricity. (Whale oil was only used by the rich, and was
the best fuel for lighting. It wasn't widely used, other liquid fuels
and candles were used by poorer folk.)

The point is that there are people who don't want us to have this
foresight, especially in public thought, and so we don't. Gasoline is
highly subsidized to this day. If we paid the full cost of gasoline at
the pump, we would be switching to something else rather more quickly.

> How can
> we not see the giant cliff we're headed towards?  It's not as if the writing
> hasn't been on the wall for decades.  Not to mention previous 'empires'
> being brought down by extremely similar situations.  The perfect storm of
> sorts.  I get the 300+ million sheeple in the USoA sleeping at the wheel,
> they've been programmed well.  What confuses me, is how upper management,
> the top 10%, sees it as being in their own best interest to fleece the
> middle/lower class they skim off of.

Follow the money. Who donates to politician's reelection funds more
than oil companies? Why were George Bush 1 and 2 elected? Partly
because of their connections to the oil industry.

> I guess everything's international and
> out-sourced enough to where location is irrelevant.  Bad time to have
> inferior manufacturing huh?

Perhaps. I'm very concerned about the government numbers that came out
this week indicating that we have twice as many people working for the
government than we do in manufacturing. That seems very far out of
balance to me.

>> Sorry for the cynical attitude today... but I just don't see
>> politicians as an intelligent life form.
> I'd like humanity to revolutionize governance by way of the internet.  Gov
> 2.0 type deal.

I'd like to see an AGI elected to be president, once it's smart enough.

>> > It's silly, we spend $400B plus a year importing oil, yet $100B
>> > investment
>> > in renewable/sustainable energy is unheard of?
>> Yup. The idea that Al Gore would have done things differently is a
>> pipe dream... even with his green ideas, I don't think it would have
>> turned out all that differently.
> I agree.  Politicians go in with the best of intentions, I'm sure they're
> not all evil/incompetent.  But reality sets in quickly.  It's very
> entrenched, I have no doubt.  Which is why drastic actions are called for.
>  No incumbents allowed, and 'none-of-the-above' would be a great start.

I couldn't agree more, but the bigger problem is the entrenched
bureaucratic monster. That's why I rather like the idea of government
shutting down... permanently, if possible.

>> I love the spin on Libya. It's so clearly about oil, why do they have
>> to maintain the facade that it's human rights concerns?
> Because we're complacent enough to allow it to continue.

I think the American public is losing it's complacency. See "tea party".

>> We haven't
>> done crap in Sudan. There is more human suffering in Haiti, Sumatra
>> and Japan than there ever will be in Libya, but Libya has oil... it's
>> the only difference.
> The only one that matters right now, yes.
> I just can't wrap my mind around this suicidal kind of thinking.  Each day
> we push ahead with this garbage oil business, is a month (just a guess,
> picked an arbitrary #, no sources) we're going to pay for it in spades down
> the road.  I just can't comprehend how killing one another is a better
> choice than cooperating until we colonize space, and then you can go your
> way, I go mine, and we've got more room than we could ever know what to do
> with.

Cooperation is not possible. Only competition. But competition can be
non-violent. It has been pointed out that no two nations both of which
have a McDonalds have ever declared war on each other. It's an
interesting point. Once you are part of the international marketplace,
it's tough to throw that away for a disagreement. It pulled India and
Pakistan back from the brink.

> We need to do it because we can, and it's necessary.  Not because it's
> profitable.

But if the costs are born at the pump, then it will be profitable to
do the right thing. Pay for the wars with gasoline tax. Pay for CO2
sequestration with gasoline taxes. It's the only fair thing to do.
We're hurting bad soon if we do anything different.


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