[ExI] Extrope Robert Bradbury Has Died

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Mar 3 12:04:36 UTC 2011

This is very sad news.

I remember meeting Robert at the Extro 3 conference 1997. It was my 
first international conference ever, and I was in awe of all the other 
speakers. But the talk I always remember when I think about it was 
Robert's talk. It was the last talk of the last day (not a good slot). 
In the banquet hall next door a very kitschy wedding dinner was talking 
place, complete with a hockey organ (!) that penetrated through the 
wall. Max was tring to keep them quiet, but our time was running out.

Robert's talk started out slowly, discussing nanotechnology and what 
capabilities it might achieve. He then started applying those to 
computer speeds. To uploading. To space access. To constructing smart 
constellations of solar powered satelites and servers. To constructing 
Dyson clouds around the sun. To dismantle planets to build true Dyson 
swarms. As the talk progressed things accelerated: time was running out, 
the new ideas came at a  faster pace, the fanfares and crescendos from 
the wedding party came more and more often, the possibilities grew 
steadily more wild and amazing. It was a brilliant talk. It was like 
experiencing the singularity.

Afterwards we hung around for an excited discussion about everything, 
extending the ideas and analysing their implications, until we were 
finally shooed away by the wedding guests.

That is my memory of Robert.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute 
James Martin 21st Century School 
Philosophy Faculty 
Oxford University 

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