Re: Bioastronomy [was Bloated Stars and excess IR] (fwd)

Robert J. Bradbury (
Sat, 14 Aug 1999 19:48:00 -0700 (PDT)

> Rik van Riel <> wrote:

> I wrote:
> > At some energy density, I presume we turn energy into matter, yes?
> That would be nice. If that happens we've just gotten rid of the
> material constraint as well as the energy constraint.

Not quite. We can breed any elements we want if you want to devote enough energy to it. However, the rate of production is *very* slow. You also have to sacrifice energy for current thought to produce the elements for enhanced future thought. I would not want to be the person responsible for the present-value analysis of that equation!

> The only remaining constraint will be the rate of growth...
Yes, as soon as you max out your solar system in terms of energy/materials, your growth rate declines sharply. Though it remains interesting in terms of what *exactly* you want to think about. The sun produces enough energy in ~50 years to break/recast all of the atomic bonds in the non-stellar material. So in that time frame (or less if you are clever about chemical transformations) you can "rearchitect" your computers to think optimally about something completely different.

It is interesting if you consider the growth curve -- nonexistant, slow, somewhat faster, exponential, very slow. (That is over a ~5-6 billion year period if we are typical.) However the "growth curve" may be disconnected from the "thought/knowledge curve" in ways we cannot currently comprehend.