[extropy-chat] Space elevator numbers III

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Fri Feb 16 19:55:32 UTC 2007

At 07:22 PM 2/16/2007 +0000, you wrote:
>On 2/16/07, Jef Allbright wrote:
> > Keith Henson wrote:
> > > Anybody who can launch a ton of ball bearings can
> > > launch a nuke which is much more likely to take it out.
> > > But *why?
> >
> > Because such a structure represents a huge gradient of power, and nature
> > abhors a gradient.

Could you expand on this?  Perhaps putting it in evolutionary psychology terms?

>Or maybe just to get their 73 virgins in Paradise.
>How simple and low-tech destruction techniques are required?
>Would the cable survive a light plane strike?

First, the location is out of range for light plains, but yes.  The plane 
would be sliced like a hard boiled egg.

>A parachutist with a chainsaw or bolt cutters or arc-welding kit?

The cable is *moving* up and down at 1000 mph.  Grab it, and if you can 
hang on, you are very shortly out of the atmosphere or wrapped around the 
driver wheel.

>Maybe none of these is feasible, but the point is not to defend the
>cable against ICBMs, but against the simple, basic methods of suicidal

Sinking the Enterprise would do it, but that's getting close to the ICBM 


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