[extropy-chat] Forbes Magazine on Robotics

John john.heritage at v21.me.uk
Mon Aug 21 05:53:38 UTC 2006

I was going to comment on this earlier but didn't for some reason.

My comment was to be along the lines of... "I hope everyone isn't assuming 
that alternative energy means wind power, hydro & solar"

Fusion isn't too far away and will wipe out the above three in terms of what 
it means for us and how practically it can be deployed in the here and now.

Even the guys who build wind turbines for their home will tell you that you 
need a big turbine to get usable amounts of energy back. And you'll also 
find that the people who bother buying / building their own in the first 
place are energy efficient elsewhere as well, so the energy isn't being used 
in an extravagant, wasteful fashion of living - it's being used sensibly.

Alternative energy is another point where I think people are focusing too 
much in one area... that being generation. And it's followed by trying to 
make devices ultra efficient.

Both are good causes, but it's hard to effect an ultimate answer to the 
problem when you're approaching from only one of it's failing points. We 
could make these problems ten times easier by looking at some of the other 
failing points, like "why do people leave their lights on when they're not 
in the room?" and "why do people drive 100m down the road and then complain 
about being fat?".

What will happen is that, if you're not careful, as you improve generation 
and device efficiency, people will just get lazier and you'll be back where 
you started, just a little further along.

What we also need (generation / device efficiency aside) is for people to 
stop wasting energy when they don't need to and start respecting the general 
cycle of things. Finally, perhaps we need to think about the possibility of 
population management if the demand is really so great - think a space 
elevator is tricky? Try working that one out in a way that isn't going to 
get your ass kicked when you mention it!

>we have no feasible means of taking down all the sub-GEOs, even if we 
>to, even assuming advanced nanotech.  {8-[  Dammit.  {8-[

Rockets? `.^P

Best wishes,

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