Re: ARCHITECTURE: Nomadic Nano-structures

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Feb 02 2000 - 11:34:15 MST

Jay Dugger <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > (The scenario will involve the division between the netocracy and
> > nationlubbers, the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War, the arrival
> of
> > the next ice age and the death of the *real* dragons)
> An old but relevant technology involves running current through sea
> water. Dissolved salts precipitate onto a conductive mesh and liberate
> hydrogen gas. Run current as long as you like, or at least until
> you've reached the desired thickness of deposit. I understand this
> material has about the strength of concrete, but has different
> advantages and drawbacks. These include low-cost (just current and
> electrodes), easy repair (turn the current on again), a built-in
> network (the electrode mesh), limited construction location (under
> salt water), difficult to remodel, and aesthetics (ugly looking).
> Advantages can be played up and drawback played down in science
> fiction.

Yes, this is definitely something I had planned on using. A very nice
idea, and probably necessary for setting up the basic framework on
which to build the rest of the sea construction. Possibly it could be
done using conducting polymers made by modified bacteria or plants,
powered by solar cells. Hmm, maybe islet farms in the tropics, where
the constructions grow until ready to be seeded with more biotech and
eventually harvested and sold to the highest bidder...

> I assume any Chinese Civil War will involve action against Taiwan at
> some point. Without serious collapse of American military prowess
> naval action among People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), US Navy, and
> Taiwanese forces seems reasonable.

Well, the real problem is a few million refugees (just a few millions
because the others didn't get boats in time). This kind of ships (or
rafts) may play a significant role in the evacuation. At this point (I
put the civil war at 2014) biotech is not yet as good as later on and
the national states are still forces to be reconed with.

> Any side involved might use this technique to produce cheap hulls
> for "Liberty Ships" or low magnetic signature mines. If your
> scenario has vessels using screws for propulsion then they remain
> vulnerable to entangling wires. Reinforcing such traps with
> electrodeposition might make them more effective. On the other hand,
> I suspect magnetohydrodynamic propulsion would prove very sensitive
> to changes in the gross electrical properties of its working
> fluid. Perhaps salting (no pun intended) the sea lanes with plants
> that release this material would damage or slow MHD-propelled
> vessels.
Maybe a defensive water hyacinth? Especially designed to accumulate
iron filings so that when it passes through the MHD it does real

> If naval action plays a role in your next SF scenario, I'd
> like to make further suggestions off list.

I have not planned much of that, but I gladly listen to your
suggestions. It is this kind of ideas and extrapolations I really want
to add in.

At the start of the scenario my players will be dealing with the local
politics of the Republic of Sichuan, but I expect the focus to move
out globally after a while.

BTW, I think I never thanked you properly for your RPG-net review of
BIGV. Thank you! I think it was right on spot, and mentioned a few
things I will try to fix in new versions.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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