[ExI] wyoming has lithium

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sat May 4 14:04:55 UTC 2013

On 03/05/2013 23:20, Eric Messick wrote:
> So, the universe has processes on various scales which concentrate and 
> distribute materials, and we live on an interesting planet where these 
> processes continue, with the balance shifting one way or the other for 
> various materials at various places and times. A cool, chaotic place 
> to be!

Exactly! A lot of elements get concentrated by non-equilibrium processes.

Diffusion and thermal equilibrium do not mean everything ends up evenly 
mixed, while rapid convection (despite forming complex patterns) do. So 
it is not the non-equlibrium aspect that matters.

Magma rising upwards will drag with it heavier components, but as 
temperature and pressure changes different solubilities of different 
components will cause separation. Sedimentation will concentrate heavier 
elements below lighter, but they might be dragged up though folding 
processes. Thermal vents will circulate water to dissolve certain 
elements and move them upward, and so on. And biology loves picking up 
certain elements and moving them to other places, often enriched (just 
consider the love affair we have with calcium and phosphorous).

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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