[ExI] OP-ED: The billionaire space race reflects a colonial mindset that fails to imagine a different world

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Aug 26 21:03:39 UTC 2021



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat

>…- if human population had decreased to the point that there weren't enough users to make chips cheap.


Now imagine that for food production, sanitation, medicine, and other basics of life.  The impacts would not be as soon or as extreme, but they would be there….





Excellent point, and I might be able to carry it a little further.


We often overlook how critically important is the phenomenon of economies of scale, being scarcely aware of how huge this is.  Adrian uses the concept of chip fabs, for without huge potential demand, we won’t build new ones.  We don’t know what will happen if BitCoin stops creating huge demand for high performance chips.  Good chance no one will invest in new fabs.


Adrian points out that food, sanitation, medicine, everything is as cheap as it is because of economies of scale, and never is this so clear as if you substantially rebuild a car or motorcycle.  If you start adding up the cost of parts, it is easy to reach the price of a new car with a tenth of its parts bought separately.  The economy of scale does its magic, the car factory not only gives you all the parts at a tenth their retail price but assembles them and puts them in a showroom for you.  Without the economy of scale, cars would be ten times more expensive and very few could afford them.


If we try to grow enough food on our own land and assuming your manual labor is free (since it is exercise) it is still very difficult to compete with grocery store produce.


Conclusion: at our current population and density, we are completely dependent on the economy of scale.





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