Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Oct 17 2000 - 10:25:47 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> Prediction if wave passed here: not observable, since no
> survivors. The universe looks dead because we're alive. Or, rather,
> the other way round.
> Seriously, with our current level of technology the fastest
> colonization mechanism would be by launching a very small seed (<<100
> kg, probably requiring NEMS level of tech) driven by carbon truss
> cloth sail powered by a phased array of microwave generators made from
> a disassembled asteroid on a circumstellar orbit. You do the math, but
> I reckon the resources of a cubic mile boulder would be more than
> sufficient. You should be able to achieve a few gee acceleration using
> this technology, and the radiator is fully reusable and
> recycleable. (This is what we monkeys in the year 2000 *think* is
> optimal with currently known technology).
> Because you can't get the microwave spot to focus very well on large
> distances, you would use a large number of seeds, lest one gets lost
> in transit due to head-on collision. Braking is accomplished by
> ejecting a brake sail, which gets accelerated, while deccelerating the
> main probe sail. Or you could use a little antimatter assisted fusion,
> or whatever.
> Such seeds will travel very close to c (braking will probably take
> most time), and take negligeable amounts of time to replicate. Days,
> maybe weeks. These are the pioneers, and they will not consume a lot
> of resources. But pioneers stay. And they will adapt. Plus being
> followed by waves of successor species. Right now we're in the
> hatching phase, which is very brief in relation to the time it took
> Earth to breed us, so we're extremely unlikely to see a pioneer front
> sweeping through the local neighbourhood. Lucky we, the first egg to
> hatch in the local basket. Unlucky the others, who will never get a
> chance to hatch.

Exactly why is there this assumption that the technologically adept
develop zero compassion along the way? I think the answer to Fermi's
Questions is that we are in a cosmic nursery. The other species are
waiting for us to either grow up or destroy ourselves. I think that
with time enough, resources enough and intelligence enough that we, like
they may have, can find better games to play than simplistic Darwinian

- samantha

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