From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 11:55:00 MST

Chen Yixiong, Eric wrote:

>>Your proposal is not a "solution" as all the possibilities of
>>disaster go with you. Solve the problem here or elsewhere, it
>>is still the same problem. Running off to build space colonies
>>will simply distract from actually facing the problem.
> I would throw my lot behind the proposed idea of space colonies, contingent on developing a low cost way to build them (such as a
> space elevator) or mining asteroids or the moon. Otherwise, a series of floating cities very high in the sky would probably offer
> good enough coverage for most purposes.

But how exactly does this solve the problem of using ever
advancing technology, up to and beyond Singularity, with
reasonable chances of surviving the process? The technology is
essential to building the colonies and may, due to more critical
conditions, actually advance as fast or faster there. Are you
depending on a first sort of people who will choose to be
involved or less people producing technology more slowly or
being removed from the majority of clowns on earth or some
combination of these and other factors. For the implied goal of
survival I don't offhand see how your plan is more likely to
acheive it except in creating more baskets for humans to be in.

> For those new here, I have my own project at for developing a technological society. The project focuses
> more on a new theory of social systems (which it seems most people neglect or have great misunderstanding with) and I didn't expect
> it to begin operating anytime soon, as I expect the neccessary technology, social knowledge and motivation to reach maturity only
> near the year 2050.

So for most Singularity time guesstimates, it is too little far
too late, right?

> Should we have to learn the lesson of "putting all our eggs in our basket" the hard or the easy way? If you spend a good chunck of
> you money to buy insurance for yourself or your family, you might consider this additional coverage. And when did the insurance
> agents ever give us discounts?
> Why do we have to think of insurance in a negative way? If you insured your house from theft, then does that mean you would sit
> around waiting to get robbed? If you insured your yourself from accidents, then do you beglect yourself so much that you get into
> them?

Insurance is fine. But that is not precisely what this is. It
is advertised as a way to avoid technological disaster. This is
something I don't think it is likely it will accomplish. It
would avoid a nuclear exchange if you are far enough away or an
asteroid striking earth, but not a lot else. Singularity will
travel faster than your colony will and reach further. Also,
until we have much better technology for supporting humans in
space and much more reason to be there, it makes a lot more
sense in my view to build near earth infrastructure using
largely robotics and teleprescence first. Perhaps exploiting
NEAs for raw materials and using those materials to build is a
reasonable start.

> How can we run away from the problems on Earth by buying insurance? How do we know our plans work, or do we even have any plans at
> all? Why not have a catch-all backup system that can pay dividends, by pioneering space-related technology and also giving those
> technologically primitive earthlings a motivation to get into space?

I have nothing against space development and quite a bit of
reasons for it. But escaping technological crisex is not one of
them. The advertising seems out-of-whack in what it accents.

- samantha

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