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Space based industry

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Slightly revised version of presentation put together in a hurry for a recent Singularity Salon.

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Space based industry

  1. 1. Singularity Salon 25 July 2012Space Based Industry Tony Smith Kororoit Institute
  2. 2. Where I want to go [was: Saturn]
  3. 3. Where I want to go [was: Saturn] • Background: Space one of four pillars of Transhumanism
  4. 4. Where I want to go [was: Saturn] • Background: Space one of four pillars of Transhumanism • Today’s state of play:Value delivery from space to Earth
  5. 5. Where I want to go [was: Saturn] • Background: Space one of four pillars of Transhumanism • Today’s state of play:Value delivery from space to Earth • Barriers: Escaping gravity well, humans exposed in space
  6. 6. Where I want to go [was: Saturn] • Background: Space one of four pillars of Transhumanism • Today’s state of play:Value delivery from space to Earth • Barriers: Escaping gravity well, humans exposed in space • Synergies: Bulk materials, autonomy spectrum, economy
  7. 7. Where I want to go [was: Saturn] • Background: Space one of four pillars of Transhumanism • Today’s state of play:Value delivery from space to Earth • Barriers: Escaping gravity well, humans exposed in space • Synergies: Bulk materials, autonomy spectrum, economy • Out of left field: Biomimicry and downscaled cyborgs
  8. 8. Where I want to go [was: Saturn] • Background: Space one of four pillars of Transhumanism • Today’s state of play:Value delivery from space to Earth • Barriers: Escaping gravity well, humans exposed in space • Synergies: Bulk materials, autonomy spectrum, economy • Out of left field: Biomimicry and downscaled cyborgs • Into the galaxy: Far edge party, beaming actor updates
  9. 9. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism
  10. 10. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism• Bastard child of PC revolution of the 1980s
  11. 11. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism• Bastard child of PC revolution of the 1980s• William Gibson: Neuromancer—cyberspace
  12. 12. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism• Bastard child of PC revolution of the 1980s• William Gibson: Neuromancer—cyberspace• Eric Drexler: Engines of Creation—nanotech
  13. 13. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism• Bastard child of PC revolution of the 1980s• William Gibson: Neuromancer—cyberspace• Eric Drexler: Engines of Creation—nanotech• H Keith Henson: L5 Society, Alcor—parties
  14. 14. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism• Bastard child of PC revolution of the 1980s• William Gibson: Neuromancer—cyberspace• Eric Drexler: Engines of Creation—nanotech• H Keith Henson: L5 Society, Alcor—parties• Cognitive science phase of digital intelligence
  15. 15. Transhumanism and Techno Optimism• Bastard child of PC revolution of the 1980s• William Gibson: Neuromancer—cyberspace• Eric Drexler: Engines of Creation—nanotech• H Keith Henson: L5 Society, Alcor—parties• Cognitive science phase of digital intelligence• Graphical user interface, hypertext, networks
  16. 16. Today’s value from space
  17. 17. Today’s value from space• Earth observation: weather, mapping, military
  18. 18. Today’s value from space• Earth observation: weather, mapping, military• Telecommunications and geopositioning
  19. 19. Today’s value from space• Earth observation: weather, mapping, military• Telecommunications and geopositioning• Learning from rest of cosmos via probes, Hubble, observatories (not only up there)
  20. 20. Today’s value from space• Earth observation: weather, mapping, military• Telecommunications and geopositioning• Learning from rest of cosmos via probes, Hubble, observatories (not only up there)• Almost all our raw energy coupled with short and long term terrestrial aggregators
  21. 21. Today’s value from space• Earth observation: weather, mapping, military• Telecommunications and geopositioning• Learning from rest of cosmos via probes, Hubble, observatories (not only up there)• Almost all our raw energy coupled with short and long term terrestrial aggregators• Tiny but historically significant infall of matter
  22. 22. • Earth only intercepts one part in 2.2 billion of the Sun’s energy output
  23. 23. • Earth only intercepts one part in 2.2 billion of the Sun’s energy output• It took one stray rock to free future Surabaya from non-avian dinosaurs
  24. 24. Default assumptionsget us nowhere fast
  25. 25. Default assumptions get us nowhere fast• Getting bulk materials Earth to orbit is costly
  26. 26. Default assumptions get us nowhere fast• Getting bulk materials Earth to orbit is costly• Human life support costly, worse getting back
  27. 27. Default assumptions get us nowhere fast• Getting bulk materials Earth to orbit is costly• Human life support costly, worse getting back• Material characteristics limit elevators, combined with hoop stress limit ring worlds
  28. 28. Default assumptions get us nowhere fast• Getting bulk materials Earth to orbit is costly• Human life support costly, worse getting back• Material characteristics limit elevators, combined with hoop stress limit ring worlds• Traction beams and rail guns draw heavy load
  29. 29. Default assumptions get us nowhere fast• Getting bulk materials Earth to orbit is costly• Human life support costly, worse getting back• Material characteristics limit elevators, combined with hoop stress limit ring worlds• Traction beams and rail guns draw heavy load• Given an off-planet economy, launch cost for a human less than cost of living on on Earth
  30. 30. (Semi-)AutonomousRobots, Drones, Cyborgs
  31. 31. (Semi-)AutonomousRobots, Drones, Cyborgs• Faster progress in these technologies will kill incentive for humans to do set up in space
  32. 32. (Semi-)AutonomousRobots, Drones, Cyborgs• Faster progress in these technologies will kill incentive for humans to do set up in space• Achieving bulk material production key step
  33. 33. (Semi-)AutonomousRobots, Drones, Cyborgs• Faster progress in these technologies will kill incentive for humans to do set up in space• Achieving bulk material production key step• Supplement with high value items from Earth
  34. 34. (Semi-)AutonomousRobots, Drones, Cyborgs• Faster progress in these technologies will kill incentive for humans to do set up in space• Achieving bulk material production key step• Supplement with high value items from Earth• Ion engines, solar sails, tractor beams
  35. 35. (Semi-)AutonomousRobots, Drones, Cyborgs• Faster progress in these technologies will kill incentive for humans to do set up in space• Achieving bulk material production key step• Supplement with high value items from Earth• Ion engines, solar sails, tractor beams• Large construction can start with solar farms beaming microwaves to farmland receptors
  36. 36. Synergistic partnershipwith off-planet economy
  37. 37. Synergistic partnershipwith off-planet economy• Indefinite life extension takes social value of each human brain way off sustainability scale
  38. 38. Synergistic partnershipwith off-planet economy• Indefinite life extension takes social value of each human brain way off sustainability scale• Life, the Universe and Everything: collect data
  39. 39. Synergistic partnershipwith off-planet economy• Indefinite life extension takes social value of each human brain way off sustainability scale• Life, the Universe and Everything: collect data• If complex life rare, greater obligation to nest
  40. 40. Synergistic partnershipwith off-planet economy• Indefinite life extension takes social value of each human brain way off sustainability scale• Life, the Universe and Everything: collect data• If complex life rare, greater obligation to nest• Don’t give up on uploading, nor expect soon
  41. 41. Synergistic partnershipwith off-planet economy• Indefinite life extension takes social value of each human brain way off sustainability scale• Life, the Universe and Everything: collect data• If complex life rare, greater obligation to nest• Don’t give up on uploading, nor expect soon• Even if life extension restricted to off planet, still need to get down to 1 billion on Earth
  42. 42. Alternate route to Cyborgs?
  43. 43. Nothing stays the same
  44. 44. Nothing stays the same• Genetic engineering of complex organisms
  45. 45. Nothing stays the same• Genetic engineering of complex organisms• Find neural architecture genes and/or develop neural interfaces for other species
  46. 46. Nothing stays the same• Genetic engineering of complex organisms• Find neural architecture genes and/or develop neural interfaces for other species• Can fly 100 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos for the same weight/supply cost as one human
  47. 47. Nothing stays the same• Genetic engineering of complex organisms• Find neural architecture genes and/or develop neural interfaces for other species• Can fly 100 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos for the same weight/supply cost as one human• Live as long, plastic social structure, vocalise
  48. 48. Nothing stays the same• Genetic engineering of complex organisms• Find neural architecture genes and/or develop neural interfaces for other species• Can fly 100 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos for the same weight/supply cost as one human• Live as long, plastic social structure, vocalise• Instinctive flying a weightless benefit?
  49. 49. Before the heat death
  50. 50. Before the heat death• Why bother to transition beyond human?
  51. 51. Before the heat death• Why bother to transition beyond human?• Eggs in one basket, von Neumann probes
  52. 52. Before the heat death• Why bother to transition beyond human?• Eggs in one basket, von Neumann probes• Interstellar challenge to focus tractor beams
  53. 53. Before the heat death• Why bother to transition beyond human?• Eggs in one basket, von Neumann probes• Interstellar challenge to focus tractor beams• Extrapolate sci-tech changes of last 500 years
  54. 54. Before the heat death• Why bother to transition beyond human?• Eggs in one basket, von Neumann probes• Interstellar challenge to focus tractor beams• Extrapolate sci-tech changes of last 500 years• Mind objects less than 1Gb unique data
  55. 55. Before the heat death• Why bother to transition beyond human?• Eggs in one basket, von Neumann probes• Interstellar challenge to focus tractor beams• Extrapolate sci-tech changes of last 500 years• Mind objects less than 1Gb unique data• Building galactic network for mind updates
  56. 56. Or just to see what’s there? Partying with Keith Henson in the late 1980s was much about Alcor and Keith’s grander plan for a party at the far edge of the galaxy, as Keith described to Ed Regis for Great Mambo Chicken.
  57. 57. In 1987 Keith Henson founded the Far Edge Committee. The Those were Keith Hensons travel plans for the immediategroups sole purpose was to begin planning for the Far Edge Party, future-for the next million years or so-but as extravagant asan enormous gathering of downloaded multiple selves that was to it all was, none of it was in the least impossible, not in thebe held in the far-off future and at the other side of the Milky Way. age of downloading, when every smart person had made and stored away dozens of duplicate selves already. All youHenson came up with the idea after realizing there was no way that had to do was make a number of extra copies of yourself,he personally was going to make a grand tour of the Galaxy if there place them in assembler-made starships, and send themwas only one copy of Keith Henson alive, even if that copy was winging to all corners of creation. Those supplementalsupposed to live forever. He might live forever, but the Galaxy sure downloaded minds would stop at every new star system forwouldnt. as long as they cared to and, in their spare time, would“There are 100 to 200 billion stars in our galaxy alone,” Henson make even more copies of themselves, as well as theirsaid, “and even with nanotechnology to help, it will take a year or spaceships, all of which would then rocket away to the nexttwo per star system, not counting travel time between stars. nearest solar system, where the whole process would repeatVisiting every interesting object in serial is literally impossible, itself. Making new spacecraft wouldnt be any problemsince the interesting places wont last long enough. I dont want to either, not in the era of advanced nanotechnological excess,take such a long time looking over this one small flock of stars that when unending quantities of anything could be had formost of them burn out.” virtually nothing.Plainly there was a problem here: how could a single person see all “So we will sweep across the Galaxy,” Keith Henson said,there was to see if part of your destination went up in smoke while “and converge for a giant party, scientific meeting, and foryou were still in transit? You couldnt, of course, not if you were those who want it, a memory merge, so they can have seenjust one person. But if you were many people—a bunch of parallel all the wonders of the Galaxy.”selves—well, then, that would be a different story. In that case your Naturally, there were a few problems still to be worked out.different selves could visit the Galaxys major hot spots For one thing, a clean sweep of the Milky Way might takesimultaneously, before any of those great cosmic tourist attractions quite some time—a full two hundred thousand years evenhad a chance to evaporate. That way, all of you could see at half the speed of light. How could all the multiple selveseverything. be expected to show up simultaneously after all those“We wont have to make hard choices about which way to go,” years? And where would they meet?Keith Henson said. “We take all roads.” “How do we get them all together at the same place?”Later, after your multiple personalities had collectively experienced Henson wondered. “How do we get back together at a placeall there was to experience, you could get them back together again we cant even see from here? Should we give one party perto communicate and share memories. Each of you would behold galaxy? Or one on the far side of the Virgo cluster? Howwhat every other self had seen and done, so it would be as if a many centuries should we party? How much bean dip willsingle person had in fact done it all. we need?”
  58. 58. Waiting for Andromeda
  59. 59. Questions?
  60. 60. Questions?• Keith Henson on Space Solar Power ‣ http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7898
  61. 61. Questions?• Keith Henson on Space Solar Power ‣ http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7898• Sulphur Crested Cockatoos: the movie ‣ http://vimeo.com/46665891
  62. 62. Questions?• Keith Henson on Space Solar Power ‣ http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7898• Sulphur Crested Cockatoos: the movie ‣ http://vimeo.com/46665891• @ynotds

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