[extropy-chat] Space: The Final Constraint (was Extinctions)

KAZ kazvorpal at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 13 15:25:12 UTC 2006

----- Original Message ----
From: Lee Corbin <lcorbin at tsoft.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 5:44:37 AM
Subject: [extropy-chat] Space: The Final Constraint (was Extinctions)

> The sooner we realize that right now every human life uses up 1300 cc's of
> space running a person, the better, and that unless we want to adopt the
> grotesque and elitist view that "Well, I've got mine!  I have runtime!
> To hell with everyone else who might exist", then we have to favor *more*
> advanced uses of space and resources over *less* advanced uses of them.
Actually, this argument uses a kind of static analysis which is quite irrelevent to the big picture.
"Overpopulation" and "resource" complaints invariably end up being centered on ignorance of not only economics, but also how technology changes things.
For example, Illinios and China have similar population densities, yet Illinois alone produces enough corn to supply the US (the US exports a LOT of corn). Likewise, New York State has a population density equal to India, yet if you drive through the state it seems half empty. The "overpopulation" of China and India purely a matter of their incompetent economic systems and relatively low technology. That's all "overpopulation" ever is, at this time. 
And resource shortages, of course, are just an aspect of that.
What works best, and is why the states I mention seem almost underpopulated while bearing a density of people comparable to "overpopulated" countries, is to allow /precisely/ the kind of "well, I've got mine" attitude you're eschewing. When each person is free to regulate his economic realm for himself, the result is a far more efficient and progressive system than any central planning. The subset of "experts" sitting around analyzing "the best use of space and resources" are utterly incompetent compared to the whole of society making their normal decisions with their normally minimal level of regard for such things.
Not only are they more efficient in resource management than any organization of experts, because they're the ultimate parallel processing system, but they also produce /practical/ technological advancement much faster, so that even the incidental efficiency they produce is greater than the "experts" could do if they had the whole of society's resources dedicated specifically to efficiency.
Words of the Sentient:
To be controlled in our economic pursuits is to be controlled in everything.
                                 ---F. A. Hayek
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