Re: A Challenge To All Extropians/Free Martketeers

Dan Clemmensen (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 21:40:19 -0400

Damien R. Sullivan wrote:
> On Apr 27, 5:37pm, Paul Hughes wrote:
> > James Rogers wrote:
> > > First, there is the problem of energy, which is neither replicable nor
> > > renewable.
> > A double "HUH?". I am aghast at the engineering naiveté of that statement.
> > For transhumanity's purposes well into the next millennium w/o any
> > significant scientific breakthroughs, their is enough energy to power global
> > output at its current rate of consumption for several trillion years. That
> > energy source is the Sun. It may not be infinite, but it is renewable for
> > all intents and purposes.
> Naivete? The Sun will burn out in 5 billion years, a thousand times less than
> several trillion years. Unless you meant that the full output could be stored
> for later. But a transhumanity extended into the solar system would
> presumably not be operating at the current rate of consumption. Hell,
> "transhumanity" and "current rate of consumption" seems like an odd
> combination. So does "next millennium" and "current rate of consumption".
> And someone has to build and maintain the solar collectors or OTEC generators.

I think we are operating on different timescales, here. Paul is worried about
the transtion era, starting as automation accelerates and ending at the singularity.
After the singularity, as Damien points out, An SI will certainly be able to
concieve of projects with a high demand for resources. In particular, an SI that
wants to maximize its computational resources may very well decide to convert
all available mass in the solar system to neutronium, in order to minimize the
distance (and therefore the delay) between the computational elements. Obviously,
this is likely to have detremental effects on anybody else that is still around.