Fermi's Paradox and Technological Progress (was Re: ww3 architecture.)

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I wonder what they did with them.
Here's something I read very recently (at home, over a bout of rollerblade-related bursitis) that made me think about you and what your thoughts on this might be (I added Sagan at the end just for flourish):
"Fermi pointed out that an intelligent species that developed the sort of technology we have today, and kept on progressing, could be expected eventually to work out a way to travel from one star system to another; they would also leave traces that would be detectable from earth. Even if interstellar travel proved to be slow and difficult, a species that developed starflight technology could colonize the entire galaxy in a few tens of millions of years - in other words, in a tiny fraction of the time the galaxy has been around. Given 400 billion chances to evolve a species capable of inventing interstellar travel, and 13 billion years to roll the dice, the chances are dizzyingly high that if it's possible at all, at least one species would have managed the trick long before we came around, and it's not much less probable that dozens or hundreds of species could have done it. If that's the case, Fermi pointed out, where are they? And why haven't we seen the least trace of their presence anywhere in the night sky?
...On another level, though, Fermi's Paradox can be restated in another and far more threatening way. The logic of the paradox depends on the assumption that unlimited technological progress is possible, and it can be turned without too much difficulty into a logical refutation of the assumption. If unlimited technological progress is possible, then there should be clear evidence of technologically advanced species in the cosmos; there is no such evidence; therefore unlimited technological progress is impossible. Crashingly unpopular though this latter idea may be, I suggest that it is correct - and a close examination of the issues involved casts a useful light on the present crisis of industrial civilization...
The difference between going to the moon and going to the stars... isn't simply a difference in scale. It's a difference in kind. It takes literally unimaginable amounts of energy either to accelerate a spacecraft to the relativistic speeds needed to make an interstellar trip in less than a geological time scale, or to keep a manned (or alienned) spacecraft viable for the long trip through deep space. The Saturn V rocket that put Apollo 11 on the moon, the most powerful spacecraft to date, doesn't even begin to approach the first baby steps toward interstellar travel. This deserves attention, because the most powerful and technologically advanced nation on Earth, riding the crest of one of the greatest economic booms in history and fueling that boom by burning through a half billion years' worth of fossil fuels at an absurdly extravagant pace, had to divert a noticeable fraction of its total resources to the task of getting a handful of spacecraft across what, in galactic terms, is a whisker-thin gap between neighboring worlds...
...Finally, the suggestions made here raise the possibility that for more than a century and a half now, our own civilization has been pursuing a misguided image of what an advanced technology looks like. Since the late 19th century, when early science fiction writers such as Jules Verne began to popularize the concept, 'advanced technology' and 'extravagant use of energy' have been for all practical purposes synonyms, and today Star Trek fantasies tend to dominate any discussion of what a mature technological society might resemble. If access to concentrated energy sources inevitably peaks and declines in the course of a technological society's history, though, a truly mature technology may turn out to be something very different from our current expectations." -- John Michael Greer
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves... There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. [and may ever will know]" -- Carl Sagan
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How'd I miss this?
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Warm Worm> wrote:

Change the timescale paradigm and you change the mechanics of the equation. Distance does NOT equal time unless you stick to the old way. 2+2=4 but if you change the + to a * you change the outcome. In 1850 if you were in New Foundland and your brother was in Vancouver it would take you months to talk with him. Today, you pick up a cell and are yapping up a storm with him in seconds. From months to seconds, because of change.
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wrote:

So what's your "new" way, then? Also, time isn't the only thing you have to concern yourself with. You can talk at length, BTW, about your dreams and machinations if you want, and they can sound intriguing, but they can only get you/us so far-- like in a dream; nowhere:
"You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe." -- The Matrix
Incidentally, there is a sun-to-energy thing: It's called photovoltaics. You could probably do it up like a tree if you wanted to. Likewise, there're already tidal energy systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_energy
I'm still intrigued by your corkscrew-elevator idea, but then, there still needs to be a proof-of-concept/prototype, or a computer simulation to see if it works and what its problems are. One thought off the top is a motor that would have to spin both ways and often and possibly fast and under large loads, to mention nothing of setup, design and safety.
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It's like those old sci-fi images of the past with vast metropoli and architecture connected with human conveyor belts and with personal aircraft flying around. I think they thought that industrial mass production, and computers were supposed to free our time for more leisurely persuits.
I wonder where space funding is going to come from if many more begin living in smaller, decentralized communities, and growing their own food and making much of their own things, like their own currencies, and not paying taxes to a central govmonk. Seems a lot of your nifty sci-fi stuff relies on your oft-quoted "govmonkery".
Then again, if we're only talking fruit flies, then maybe small-/ smaller-scale rocket-builders-- perhaps like you-- with be the new NASA. And (very) little people could very well assume larger roles in space colonization.
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Confirm what? More leisure time? If only. But I'll add the qualification of _quality_ leisure time.
Speaking of which, I've a hankerin' to go and get some milk for a special home-made premixed oatmeal mix I want to have for dessert. It's a combo of the usual dry quick oats mixed with chopped dates, chopped nuts or sunflower seeds, finely chopped fresh ginger, cinnamon, some brown sugar (all ingredients proportions according to taste) and a few grains of salt if desired and/or if the nuts are unsalted. If I had butter (or oil), I could melt it and mix it in with everything else and then roast it in the oven on a cookie sheet for a homemade granola, but I'm good with having the mixture as is with hot milk kind of on the side.

Forget roadways at this point-- so many appear to suggest. The required vast energies and materials for their construction and maintenance may be about to slide downward... And we may yet find that we need, from our prospective alcohol stills, drinks, too, for our ageing internal combustion engines, like the one in our back hoes.
BTW, if you're curious about permaculture (see also http://www.transitionnetwork.org )-- and you would do well to be and to look seriously into if you haven't-- you may find that, if our world goes in its directions, it may, as one effect, undermine centralized government. The reduction in fossil fuels will be what (also) subverts the concept of centralized national governments. Stunning, ay? We may indeed be witnesses (and participants) to the dawn of a new era that is happening as we speak... http://transitionottawa.ning.com/forum/topics/transition-as-a-quiet-anarchy

I'll take a safe guess at, roughly Earth-size... Why do you ask? Apparently, Mars loses more atmosphere due to its weaker gravity; Earth too, but less. What do you call the term regarding navigating a space vehicle toward a planet, incidentally? I looked up celestial navigation, but it looks to be for ships on the ocean.
I wonder if much smaller space/planet exploration hardware might be feasible for the future of space exploration, if it is to have any future.
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Getting a sentinel on the *other side* is the first step. Some one or something that can reel the line in. Think of a long rope with a pulley at each end. Getting the distant pulley installed is the difficult part.
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Sure if you want. I can't seem to get enough of it.

You mean _inside_? Where? Floating in space like a planet, or like a giant geodesic dome on Earth? Who could/would build it and who would want to live in it?
What year is it? 2010? Seems to me we were supposed to be on Mars by now. Of course there's a lot more behind technology than technology itself.
I recall an old 70's program on tv called The Starlost. Ever seen it? You can see episodes of it on You Tube. Anyway, the premise if recalled is that they left, aboard a huge spacecraft a long time ago, a dead/dying Earth. I forget how the Earth got to that stage, but my point is, why kill our Earth and then go on to colonize another planet, only to kill it and then move on from there? Should we be getting our acts together first, such as where terrestrial ecosystems and our balanced place in them, are concerned? Does high technology or progress have to involve industrial mining, rocket flight, beakers, questionable genetic modification, or clinical labs, etc., or can it involve forests, communities, social-equality, soils, humanure/urine/recycling, food-forest-gardens, wild animals/ plants/"weeds", and high-knowledge/wisdom of and/or mimicry/natural- human-sustainable-integration/echoes/etc. of natural ecosystems and their dynamics, etc.?
If so, maybe some of us need to rethink what technological advancement actually means, or can mean/include.
"I think if we could get Earth in a living and stable state, not a constantly degrading and dying state caused by our actions, then we have won some right to go to the stars. But at present, I don't think we would be welcome anywhere else in the universe. You wouldn't welcome anybody who laid waste to their house and wanted to live in yours I'm sure..." -- Bill Mollison, from 'The Permaculture Concept'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofKTgmW_FAg

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Earth is already in space, and you're living on it. What's the problem?

For a second, I thought you wrote grown-ups. (Where'd they go?)
Anyway, the more divested we become from true reality, the more we may have a need for for drugs, tv, Facebook, cellphones/PDA's and what/ how/-ever else we use to escape. But that's coming from me here in Ottawa, downtown and near the Rideau river which I'd like nothing better than to swim in but which I can't... Have you ever thought of being closer to town? What are you going to do at 70+ years old? Are you nearest Kelowna, Meritt?

*sigh* It sure is, and it may yet blow up the lab beyond repair to continue with the experiment.

Ah here's where I quoted that one by Mollison... I was wondering where the hell I put that. I sent that post, but seem to recall Google telling me that it didn't catch.
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Is that what you would tell me in person? I would respond by advancing toward Lake Okanagan or some such body of water nearby and proceed to enter and swim and splash around a little and then, while treading water, turn to you on land and go, "Aahhh... the water's nice, Ken... How about coming it." The more we and our friends and families have time to do stuff like that, and the less we have to work for our healthy livelihoods, the more we've advanced.

Oh ya. I think I recall you telling me that. It's a nice area. I've been to both towns-- Kelowna for the day, and Vernon to take a bus. I have a big preference for small towns. But I prefer being closer to them-- ideally maybe within their medium-outer limits.

Hell no. Humanity's already well on its way on its own. It doesn't need a James Bond or Bat Man villain. If you get a special blood analysis done, it should detect levels of pesticides, mercury and plastics, etc.. When you degrade your ecosystem, you degrade yourself.
I'd love to see a Bond film that pits Bond against coporatocratic interests. But then again, he's on his queen's side, is he? But maybe he could be swayed to join the light side-- the permaculture movement-- and strategically blow up stuff like highways and dams part- time in between gardening, community support and ex-hippy stuff, like treehugging. What kind of career does someone like James Bond get into when his gov't collapses or decentralizes I wonder?
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Fine. Then let's be truly productive and not call destructive, productive, and/or decontextualize/disassociate productive with destructive.

As long as our lifestyle choices are sustainable, then we can eat our cakes.
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Warm Worm> wrote:

If you're talking about the noo dood it prolly involves snapping necks and grindin' ho's. The part I don't get is, the noo dood is supposed to be the *young* Bond back before Connery, but the new M is the old M. How? For that to work they should have replaced M obviously. Yea, the did the Star Wars routine all over again, now no one will ever get it right.
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wrote:

In absence of a centralized gov't/queen?

Non-fiction isn't even consistent, never mind fiction. ;)

If Bond kept getting captured and that close to death in real life like he is in the films, he'd be toast long ago. South Park's Kenny.

"Movers and shakers" don't need to get it right.
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http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS_DaFsFu8VcKOPbCi-DnhDusnRxKcQ9NapupKgrRuMAKsbnwA&t=1&usg=__xXRj-6nvJO9eaGyrUcaee9WR8Eo Mini Me, I'd like you to meet Ken; Ken, Mini Me.
Personally, I think all astronauts should be mini.
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wrote:

And then there's also scale and the laws of thermodynamics and so forth, if I didn't already mention this. Many people seem to miss stuff like that, and to think that what works small can work big, can scale up. Obviously, not necessarily, or not necessarily as easily. Reminds me of a funny, if serious video I saw recently that's worth a view; 'The Impossible Hamster':
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqwd_u6HkMo

My brother actually is in Vancouver, and I might end up in Newfoundland to finish my education, but if there didn't exist cellphones or jet aircraft, and we wanted to chat, we'd either both stay put in either British Columbia or Newfoundland, or tag along for any trip we took, or put up with months being out of touch. Turns out, phones are no big deal and month-long trips across Canada in the summer can be fabulous-- especially in a world where there was no pollution/overly-large population, and all the lakes and rivers were pristine and there were all kinds of trees and wildlife. We can miss that or take it for granted when we're in front of a tv, phone or computer.
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Ya but in what sense, though. Advancement may actually mean regression. When you look around you what do you see? I see polluted waters, dual-couple 40+-hour-no-time-for-kids/love-workweeks, overfished oceans, depleted resources, mass-species extinctions, and so forth. That's not advancement to me. That's severe regression.
I think you and Lynn(?) have the right idea, or at least seem closer to it, the essence of life: Just hang out on in a nice enviro with a small house and near a clean(?) lake and enjoy life. Maybe live off the land who knows what else. (Chickens too? A cow/sheep? Sure!)

And great systems/rules of technology/economics/govmonkery to support such companies.
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What's that supposed to mean?
Maybe regression's the wrong word-- or maybe it's in part what we need-- but advancement doesn't seem the right one for where we're at.

That kind of technology, at least fission, seems to require in large part, centralization/infrastructure, and with that comes an excuse for more government intervention and/or centralized control, and therefore more excuse for more gov't employees, taxes and therefore further excuse to further brainwash people into working more to pay more taxes, etc.. Maybe you like your government more than you think.
I recently heard that, apparently, running laundry dryers in the US uses the equivalent of all of its nuclear capacity.
As for your spaceball, you can go live in it, and I'll stay here in Earth and help clean up the mess...

If you were in your spaceball, your town would be all self-contained. That's in part what permaculture teaches, by the way; decentralization. Along with local currencies, etc., it seems inherently subversive to centralized (coporo)government, along with, of course, their military and police forces. That's why I created a separate thread for it alone, because I think it's important, crucial.

"I think if we could get Earth in a living and stable state, not a constantly degrading and dying state, caused by our actions, then we have won some right to go to the stars. But, at present, I don't think we'd be welcomed anywhere else in the universe. You wouldn't welcome anybody who laid waste to their house and wanted to live in yours, I'm sure." ~ Bill Mollison, 'The Permaculture Concept'
"Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control...In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival." -- Noam Chomsky 'Manufacturing Consent'
Speaking of Manufacturing Consent, I'd be tempted to advise against going with digital tv, where you apparently eat what they want to feed you, and see if you can upgrade your internet access from dialup.
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Are you being coy? What would you have me see? :)
BTW, viva la throne (looking more and more like one): http://shewhomeasures.wordpress.com/tree-bog /
If I was a proctologist, I would say, with a sparkle in my eye, "Hey there, sir/ma'am; turds are for keeps!"

Like cold fusion? http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/archive/2008/01 / (scroll down a touch)

There may be little left worth conquering.

The net's an improvement over tv, but at any rate, it's nothing we need their gov't for. We would likely have been more progressed if it weren't for them.
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I'm trying to visualize that... I presume you composted it and that the bags were biodegradable?
...Well, maybe not, but apparently, if the mix is right and there's some aeration and other materials added, and special composting worms (not the same as run-of-the-mill earthworms), and some ventilation where needed, you can get free high-end odorless compost in very little time.

I visited Toshiba's site and checked out a few more sites on the subject. It looks like a case of I'll believe it when I see it, but in any case, I strongly suspect that energy solutions and demands have upper/ eco-limits... And here's an interesting quote to help round out the issue:
"Problem was, the Toshiba 4S bears no relationship to Next Energys description other than being (a) a nuclear reactor and (b) smaller than the battlestar Galactica...True, the 4S reactor unit would be about 8 feet in diameter by 60 feet tall, which is smallish, but thats just the engine, not the whole vehicle, if you follow me. The overall plant would be 190 feet long and 90 feet wide, and even Willie Nelson doesnt have a bus like that." ~ Rest of article: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2888/if-europe-gets-its-power-from-bus-size-nuclear-reactors-why-cant-we
As for some possible eco-limits (that already exist for one reason or another), an example:
"FARIDKOT: In the wake of discovery of high level of uranium and other heavy metals in hair samples of 80% of 149 neurologically- disabled children, samples of five children from worst-affected village of Teja Rohela, near Fazilka with maximum density of congenitally mentally and physically challenged children have been sent to Microtarce Mineral Lab Germany by the Baba Farid Centre for Special Children, Faridkot. Experts say that the results from the village would be more alarming.
While high concentration of uranium is attributed to use of depleted uranium in the Afghan war by US, the problem appears to be due to continuing of release of effluents in natural water channels, something which the government machinery has failed to check. The report from Germany on water samples from Budha Nullah has revealed heavy metal content as quite high and the presence of uranium one-and- a-half times more than the reference range.
'Toxicity of single element may not be that harmful, but when heavy metals are coupled with uranium, the toxic effect increases manifold,' said Dr Amar Singh Azad, a paediatrician working on neurological disorders in children at Baba Farid Centre at Faridkot. Budha Nullah and Chitti Bein carry industrial waste into river Sutlej; its waters are used by the people in Malwa and parts of Rajasthan." ~ Rest of article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Parts-of-Raj-Malwa-drinking-poison/articleshow/6052988.cms
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