Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 14:25:40 -0700
Subject: Re: Self-replicating factories [was Re: Our rocky solar system may be rare]
Robert J. Bradbury, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, writes:
> To: email@example.com
> On Sat, 11 Sep 1999 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > I had commented in my comments on Robin's Great Filter paper:
> > > 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.
> I hope there is a smiley after this Hal. Because in fact you can't build
> strong structural stuff out of horseshit (unless you have a trick I don't
> know about).
I think (frozen) horse manure (although cow pies might have a higher fiber content) would make an excellent Dyson Shell. It is a composite material with partially polymerized matirx and fairly high-strength reinforcement (cellulose). Most crucially, it is produced by self-replicating systems.
-- Forrest Bishop Manager, Interworld Productions, LLC Chairman, Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering http://www.speakeasy.org/~forrestb