Re: Review of Vinge's Deepness in the Sky

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 02 Mar 1999 15:40:09 -0800

Hal Finney writes:
>> Perhaps most puzzling is the failure to use any significant
>> fraction of the resources at each solar system. Human populations
>> around a star are never more than "billions", and we see nothing
>> like wholesale conversion of asteroids and comets. ...
>We see a system where they have habitats in the asteroids and they've
>terraformed a couple of moons, in addition to living on a planet.
>Beyond that they might have had to start taking gas giants apart, which
>would take a long time. It could be that after a few cycles people
>have adopted a fatalistic attitude like Niven and Pournelle's Moties.
>They know that civilization is only going to last a few thousand years,
>and long term projects don't make sense given those constraints.

The accumulation of lots of short term projects colonizing the asteroids & comets would produce vastly more liveable area than found by terraforming a few moons. No need to take apart planets. Yet when they consider meeting in the asteroids rather than at a planet, that is considered a "nowhere place". This suggests the asteriods have been hardly touched.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884 after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.