Re: Great Filter Material

Freeman Craig Presson (
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 21:30:06 -0500

<color><param>0100,0100,0100</param>On 25 Jun 99, <color><param>7F00,0000,0000</param>Anders Sandberg <color><param>0100,0100,0100</param>wrote:

<color><param>7F00,0000,0000</param>> Charlie Stross <<> writes:

</color>[...]> > ... just find a

<color><param>7F00,0000,0000</param>> > nice, sterile terrestrial planet orbiting a star that's heading up and

> > out of the core [...]


<color><param>7F00,0000,0000</param>> Of course, once you have settled in nicely for a few million years and got

> that home feeling for your planet, then you are not happy about having it

> incinerated. So the next obvious question is how to protect your planet

> against supernovae. Presumably you can detect all stars in the vicinity

> that might blow up, and even predict when they will go off (within a few

> centuries or so). What forms of shielding might be workable? Especially

> the close range neutrinos might be tricky to deal with. Maybe the best

> solution is to be pro-active and try to defuse the novas or move them (or

> the sun) out of the way.

</color>Wouldn't entities who can move stars be more likely to think of planets as raw material than as real estate?

Of course, if you've built a ringworld or a Dyson sphere or any other large structure, you still have the problem of staying near your "good" star as an energy source and avoiding "bad" ones ... unless you've worked out how to make an energy source considerably more efficient, and therefore more mobile, than a star.

There might well be various ways to make a radiation shield that would require less energy than star-tampering (although I certainly agree that if you're close enough for neutrinos to be a problem, that's a REAL problem. I will defer that at the risk of being told I'm ignoring "the hard problem" :-). Perhaps instead of thinking of shielding the entire habitat, you could launch your shield towards the offending star and eclipse it.

This all sounds like a good argument for either smaller, mobile, distributed habitats, or uploading into rad-hardened computers.

-- (Freeman Craig Presson)