Re: What Extropians can do

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 19:33:13 MDT

> Isolate yourself in a small micronation, and you give up the resources
> which allow you to conduct research - even if said research is
> constrained by popular opinion.

I would like to clarify that I did not exclude the possibility of ourselves accelerating research, though I had implied so. Perhaps, as you mention, cooperation with a pre-existing poor nation would do us good.

Yes, I think we may find it a good alternative. However, we have to worry about rebels, revolutions, wars and political instability in some of the poorer nations. Even if a nation has no such problems now does not mean its neighbours' problems would not spread into it. This prospect sounds rather dangerous. Some governments may doublecross us too when they need more money, or blockade and threaten us, if we build on their lands.

I propose that, if we implement this project, we emphasise to the world that we would like to experiment on how to build space colonies and new Infostructure systems instead of liberating ourselves from Earth. This could turn potential enemies into allies, since many other nations would want to do space exploration too.

> You also, ironically, give the Luddites that much more of a target:
> weapons of mass destruction are more easily employed when everyone who
> would be affected is extremely unpopular with the deployers. (Saddam,
> for instance, had no problem deploying biological weapons vs. the
> "Satanic Westerners"...assuming he had said weapons, which seems
> likely.)
I must bring the important issues into our awareness now instead of finding ourselves confronted with this unpleasant issue in the future. In space living, we absolutely require high power weapons to deflect or destroy asteroids or we have to have very good rockets or non-Newtonian populsion (to avoid problems with acceleration on human bodies).

These weapons can also act as a good deterrent to any nasty nations that irrationally want to destory us. The luddites may think that we want to take over the world but:
1) we can go far away and say we don't want to interact with Earth except for the purposes of trade
2) we let someone else build their colony first, and wait for them to arm themselves when they find too many asteroids. Then we can excuse ourselves (provided we can find enough suitable fission material) on the basis of space defence.

> Finally, where on Earth could you found a colony? Even Antarctica is
> "claimed" (in that no nation may impose its sovereignity on any part of
> the continent).

Yes, this consists of one of the nastiest transition problems. Maybe we can use a large floating platform (i.e. a ship) sitting in International Waters, however, we may have to worry about terrorism since one well-placed bomb or well-aimed missile can sink it.

Islands seem like a good candidate, and we can always build floating and anchored platforms around it. However, in the case of tsunamis we may have more than a problem. We can also consider a giant airship floating in the stratosphere (but only over International Waters), however, this will have the same vulnerability as the ship problem.

I suggest purchasing an island or chain of islands at low cost. For instance, some uninhabited islands which have to routinely have to deal with tsunamis. Then we place "wave breakers" under the waters around the islands. I don't know if these exists or not, however, I think we can find it technically possible to redirect and reduce the flow of water before it hits land. Someone once suggested using bubbles to do the job. As for tropical storms, we can probably use some well-placed powerful bombs to disrupt the air flow and stop them.

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