Re: Our rocky solar system may be rare
Sat, 11 Sep 1999 18:38:49 -0700

Robert J. Bradbury, <>, writes:
> Look at my comments on Robin's paper at:
> Somewhat out of date because of the more recent work I've done.

Robin had written, regarding possible reasons why we don't see an engineered universe:

> First, large-scale engineering such as orbiting solar collectors made from
> asteroids, Dyson spheres, and stellar disassembling might be effectively
> impossible, explaining why nearby stars look so natural. Second,
> structures that best use such resources might happen to almost always
> preserve natural spectra and other appearances. Third, our understanding
> of astrophysics might just be very wrong, so that the apparently dead
> stars and galaxies around us really are very alive.

Robert commented:

> Even without nanotechnology, Von Neumann type factory operations
> would allow asteroid and planetary engineering. If current growth
> rates in silicon wafer production continue, we could construct a
> Dyson Shell with microprocessors within 300 years.

My response:

If we extrapolated the use of horses in the 19th century we could build a Dyson Shell out of horseshit in a few hundred years.