Setting Space Boundaries

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 12:26:47 MDT

Eric Chen Yixiong wrote:

> Errm.. well, yes, I admit that this seems a little minor on the colony
> project agenda.
 (presumably referring to the fact that a space colony doesn't exist)

Eric, if you go back and dig through the archives, you will find
a message from me about how a MEMS probe (or eventually a nano-probe)
could be used to colonize near Earth asteroids and turn them into
powered rockets to be delivered to high altitude orbits. Further
it discusses exponentially growing this effort and a role the
space station could play in actually doing some "real work".
(The Javien search engine might be better at finding the message
than the Lucifer engine but I'm unsure).

You *could* start work on it *today* using computer aided design
of such a probe. Once designed, something that small doesn't
cost much to manufacture and I'm sure you could get one of
the public space societies to launch it. It isn't a small
undertaking though. You would need a core group of good
engineers that really wanted to work on it. Spike or Doug
might be able to comment on how many are needed but I'd
guess perhaps 50-100 people.

You may have also missed the discussions on why interstellar
colonization is a stupid idea (though opinion is divided on
this). You are trying to apply anthropocentric views of
travel, colonization, property ownership, etc. without taking
into account the self-evolution that will occur once robust
nanotechnology is developed. You are not taking into account
the high costs and diminished value (due to time 'aging')
of information transmitted over light-year distances or
the very high costs of navigating solar systems. I do agree
with your comments that claiming space resources is a
valuable strategy for individuals to pursue (within a
solar system) but believe that as we go through the
singularity, individuals will develop approaches for creating
trust relationships and guaranteeing one another's security
that eliminate the need for wars and weapons. If you go way
back in the archives you will also find discussions about
why "berzerker bots" make aggressive acts a very risky strategy.

You and others having this discussion should read my papers
on planetary dismantlement and Matrioshka Brains as well
as some of the large body of referenced material.

Start at:

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