AGRICULTURE: food resources, was Re: Islam, theology and politeness

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 06:21:39 MST

On Thu, 22 Mar 2001, Damien Raphael Sullivan wrote:

> (Which needn't be strong nanotech. I'm currently mildly interested in
> controlled environment agriculture, as the antithesis of organic farming
> ("hey, soil's just dirt when you come down to it") but it's a lot easier to
> find information on hydroponics and tomatoes and lettuce than on hydroponics
> and staples such as wheat. Except for one NASA experiment giving 6 kg wheat
> in 1m^3 in 60 days, which to me means 5 m^3 would feed a person perpetually,
> which seems like way too little space...)

Though I'm unable to discuss it in much detail (in part for proprietary
reasons, and in part because it hasn't been completely worked out) --
you should be able to throw away the concept of 'agriculture'
entirely. Base your food resources entirely on from the ground up
engineered self-replicating systems. You ought to be able to design
bacteria that turn sunlight directly into food. With typical insolations
and conversion efficiencies I think you can get it down to a 2-3 m^2
per person (in the sunnier parts of the world).

People have been blocked by thinking we need diamondoid nanotech
to produce many of the 'wonders' associated with it. But its the
"self-replication" aspect of things that gives you many of the
benefits (and potential hazards). And we already have that all
around us.


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