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

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Fri Aug 27 16:03:54 UTC 2021

On 27/08/2021 10:23, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> ... one 2x2 km cylinder ...

I used to think along similar lines, and that such mini-habitats would 
lead to much grander structures - think Iain M Banks' Orbitals, but a 
bit more modest (physics has to be considered, after all). These things 
would dwarf planets, and provide all the wilderness and living room 
anyone could wish for, and living on one would be pretty much 
indistinguishable from living on a spherical planet, unless you made the 
right measurements.

I don't think like that any more though. Maybe, one day, in the distant 
future when there are no more planets left in the neighbourhood, but not 
sometime soon ('soon' meaning within the next couple of thousand years), 
and by that time, there probably won't be any recognisable humans left 

Because it's so very much cheaper to put non-biological machines into 
space than biological ones, that's what we'll need to become if we're to 
go into space in any significant numbers. And that means uploading 
technology. And that means no need for these massive extravagant and 
hugely expensive structures. With uploading, and the technology that 
that implies, a spacecraft the size of a can of beans could hold a city 
full of uploaded people, with the ability to create whatever 
environments they want, including the surface of a planet, complete with 
weather, mountains, beaches, anything really, and not even bounded by 
the laws of physics, as this is all software.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is the answer to the Fermi 
Paradox - The aliens are all over, but we can't see them because their 
civilisations are the size of domestic fridges.


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