Re: If all the ice melted...

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 15:21:46 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> On Mon, 2 Jul 2001 wrote:
> > In a message dated 7/1/01 6:30:19 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> > writes:
> >
> > > Astronomical by their standards or ours? If we manage
> > > to extrapolate our technology another 20 years, the sums
> > > of money available to do this kinda thing will be difficult
> > > to imagine.
> >
> > By extropolation, the value of improved land increases at similar
> > rates to the wealth of the economy.
> Ouch! This isn't true! (ooopps).
> Improved land goes through a huge devaluation in the brief
> period when we ramp up the nano-constructor-bots. All of
> New York, London, Tokyo, etc. is going to appear to people
> in a nano-era like horse powered buggies appear to automobile
> drivers. When you can build anything physically possible
> and put it just about anywhere you want (even floating in
> the ocean), what would you want to build and where would
> you put it?

Because land area is a finite resource. Use of land for industry and
technology has always been dicatated by the cost of moving working
materials vertically. The old 3-5 story mills clustered along rivers
(and dependent upon river power) became obsolete because with the advent
of AC power distribution, a 1 story manufacturing complex used far less
energy moving material laterally than the mill did moving things from
floor to floor vertically. Gravity is the killer with material
applications. When it costs nothing to move product (i.e. when most
product is information), then this gravitational limitation is
eliminated and the cost of lateral surface area (and it's concurrent
solar flux/ square meter free energy) along with reduced latency of
spatially close networks for hyper-high band networking becomes the
prime determinant of cost. Thus, large corporate networks will optimize
to build vertically as much as they build horizontally. The optimum
corporate building will be giant cubes (and Epcot-like domes). The
optimum office building for a multitude of independent operators will be
tall thin needles reaching into space and communicating horizontally via
wireless between spires, and vertically along the spire....

> > It will be just as expensive for Earth of 20 years hence to
> > buy out several large cities, a huge expanse of farmland,
> > and various historical and biological assets of 20 years
> > hence as it will be for current Earth to buy the
> > current assets.
> Nope. I expect in previously uninhabitable regions with
> interesting scenic vistas land values will increase while
> regions with high population densities land values will
> decrease. Land (or ocean regions) with high solar insolation
> will increase in value until solar power satellites and
> planetary dismantlement steal the sun.

This may occur in the short term, until bandwidth demands increase to
such high latency requirements that networks shrink again....

> > I agree it's cheaper than rebuilding every seaport on the
> > planet, most seafront properties, and a number of low-
> > lying cities.
> In a nano-era, can we uplift (or simply float) the cities?

I say just build bucky fiber dikes around them.

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