[extropy-chat] Forbes Magazine on Robotics

Martin Striz mstriz at gmail.com
Sun Aug 20 20:38:10 UTC 2006

On 8/20/06, Keith Henson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:

> The trouble is, human demand for energy is so high that small scale
> solutions just won't do it.

Alternative energy, when fully implemented, won't be small scale, it
will just be decentralized, and that's a benefit in itself.  Having
the world's energy subject to the whims of a few dozen people is

> The potential for wind energy, for example, isn't large enough.

High altitude wind power is sufficient to supply the world's energy
needs, according to many estimations.



Other than that, energy needs will be met with resources available
locally: hydroelectric where rivers are available, solar at low
latitudes, etc.  With advanced photovoltaic technology, every building
could be energy self-sufficient.

> >That being said, I don't think alternative energy will make the
> >greatest impact within the *10 years.*
> You are probably right.  But without a massive start in the next ten years
> a substantial fraction of the current population is likely to die in the
> next 20 years from starvation or wars from the effects of a looming bleak
> future.

A bit histrionic.  Even I don't see the energy crisis looming that
closely.  However, I would love to see a massive start in alternative
energy R&D anyway.

> >Out of that list, my vote
> >would be wireless networking.  There's no reason why Bill Gates'
> >conception of networked home appliances couldn't happen within the
> >next 10 years.
> I just can't see a toaster able to burn an image of Jesus into bread having
> that much of an impact on my life.

That just means you shouldn't expect anything too radical in a mere 10 years.


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