Re: Major Technologies

Dan Clemmensen (
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 21:23:34 -0500

Billy Brown wrote:
> Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> > I chose to build my weapon in the Oort cloud specifically to keep you from
> > knowing what I was doing, and to give myself stealthy access to more mass
> > than you have readily available.
> Then you picked the wrong way to do it. By current U.S. legal definitions,
> I currently own more mass than you could dig out of any hundred comets (a
> few thousand acres of useless swamp, projected down to the center of the
> Earth - yes, I own the mineral rights). That ignores the fact that Luna and
> the Earth-crossing asteroids are much closer than the Oort cloud, and can be
> mined much faster.

I didn't make myself clear. I don't intend to us a few hundred comets: I intend to use as many as necessary to accumulate an earth-mass weapon.
> > I also get the advantage of throwing
> > my planet-sized mass down a steep gravity gradient giving you an
> essentially
> > impossible task.
> What impossible task? You're thinking in 20th century terms. With the
> technology we are talking about there is no problem hitting an object that
> moves at a paltry few tens of KPS, and one mega-nuke per comet is a cheap
> trade - I can easily take out as many comets as you care to throw.

Any technology that will stop an earth-mass impactor can also be used directly against the earth.
> > The only way you can stop me is to organize your entire
> > set of resources into a single defensive and surviellance effort, to keep
> > track of all of my efforts to destroy you.
> Again, tracking every large natural object inside the orbit of Saturn is not
> that big a deal. Comets are especially hard to hide - an asteroid would
> have been a better choice.

I'm using nanotech. My impactor will not have the attributes of a comet, because I'll extract the metals to create a shell, which I will then paint flat black, lowering the albedo to below that of a carbonaceous chondrite.
> > That is inconsistent with the concept of complete freedom of action for
> > millions of individuals.
> Did I say I was an Anarchist? Governments will only be replaced if we come
> up with another institution capable of fighting wars - either way, there is
> going to be an Earth-Luna defense system backed by the collective resources
> of four billion human beings. Good luck - you'll need it.
> > Any weapon
> > you can build and use to defend against an earth-massed weapon can be used
> > against the earth, also.
> Comets aren't 'earth-massed weapons' - a typical comet might weigh 10^12
> tons, while the Earth is more like 10^21 tons. That's why comets are
> relatively easy to stop. If you want to use a really big object (like
> Ganymede) as a missile a short-range interception becomes impractical - but
> there is no way to move something that massive without releasing enough
> energy to tell the whole solar system what you're up to in plenty of time to
> stop it.
That's why I'm starting from the Oort cloud. I'll do all my accelerating out there, probably on the individual comets, before final assembly.

As a reminder of what all this ia about, I feel that an SI is needed to control nanotech, and that nanotech without an SI will lead to the destruction of humanity.