Closed Loop Recycling

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:12 am

drmike wrote:I think the East is going to mix things up a bit. The West may have hit a wall, but the East is starting to stir. Again. It will keep "innovation" moving along in different ways.


The East (East Asia, India both) are mature civilizations. They're piggybacking on the mindsets of Western science. Once the scientific & technical potentials of the West's unique cultural perspective are exhausted, innovation in both the Orient and Occident will wind down.

drmike wrote:There's just too much we still don't know, and have yet to ask "why" about. I can't see that changing for another 1000 years at least.


Certainly many questions will remain unanswered. But once our civilization hits "exhaustion," our descendants will not bother to ask them. They will be satisfied with a less or more effective "final" model of science, the odd unsolved problems being written off. Note how Classical astronomy simply kept adding more and more epicycles to their models instead of asking the truly fundamental questions, or how they were satisfied with self-obviously flawed models of ballistics.

The unanswered questions are for the next civilization.

Duane
Vae Victis

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:28 am

ravingdave wrote:We may have contantly improving technology, but I dare say what motivates us humans has hardly changed as far back as archeology takes us. We are doubtlessly evolving, but compared to our ever improving ability to kill each other faster and more cheaply, human evolution is essentially non moving.


Yup. We are out of the era of evolution, and into the era of provolution. Still, the systems dynamics processes of evolution can be consciously applied to our benefit. The catch being that parsimony fails and the complexity of the evolved product or intellectual tool/insight passes the comprehensible. It works, but we don't quite know why, and assurance of fail safe reliability is a matter of faith, not quantitative study.

ravingdave wrote:One of the safeguards from despotism in this country is the plain and simple fact that so many people (the armed forces) would have to agree to it that it simply can't happen.

With sufficiently advanced artificial intelligence, the dynamic changes. It actually becomes easy to kill anyone who disagrees with you (including other members of the armed forces) and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. At this point, individuals would want to be on the winning team, which is fine for you if the winning team wants you.


With a faber society, anyone can build those technologies. And BFRs should provide plenty of energy for crude pre-nanotech fabers. At that point, the question becomes why have large societies at all? The primary justifications of large societies are efficient access to resources on a large scale, division of labor, and defense through scale. If fabers can make small scale access to resources efficient, mostly destroy the need to have division of labor, and allow every small cult compound and AnCap libertarian commune to manufacture milspec weapons in quantity, what purpose or legitimacy does the state possess? The result would be techno-hunter-gatherers. Clan scale social organization at most. Larger societies would be too vunerable to attack by innumerable smaller entities.

ravingdave wrote:In any case it's not "SkyNet." It's human controlled "SkyNet!" A kinder gentler terminator service.


Surveillance society. The only way out of that is a Transparent Society, and its probably too late for that now.

Duane
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MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:10 am

But once our civilization hits "exhaustion," our descendants will not bother to ask them. They will be satisfied with a less or more effective "final" model of science, the odd unsolved problems being written off.


Science will go back to being the province of interested amateurs with funds in that case. Thing 100 million billionaires.

Since the available funds will be so much greater science will continue to advance. Since the tools will be so much better and cheaper things will keep moving. Briskly.

Epicycles happened because Newton hadn't invented the calculus. Sun centered planetary systems had already been invented. There was also the problem of wealth. Few could devote their life to science.

Think of what DaVinci could have done with access to modern technology. Today we have thousands of DaVinci.

BTW the asst. dean of NIU engineering school told me that art is the key to good engineering. He is right.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:17 am

It works, but we don't quite know why, and assurance of fail safe reliability is a matter of faith, not quantitative study.


The answer to that is testing.

Think about the genesis of the ASME. Boiler explosions. They figured out how to test in reliability. Not the most efficient but it got the job done until the knowledge base was sufficient.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Betruger
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Postby Betruger » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:30 am

MSimon you took the words right out of my mouth.. Especialy the bit about art and engineering. I think engineering is art constrained to reality.

Jeff Peachman
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Postby Jeff Peachman » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:56 pm

Since you guys are talking alot about the law of accelerating returns and life extension, I was curious.

Has anyone else here looked at the Orion's Arm website?
- Jeff Peachman

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:42 am

Jeff Peachman wrote:Since you guys are talking alot about the law of accelerating returns and life extension, I was curious.

Has anyone else here looked at the Orion's Arm website?


That site is SERIOUS kewlness. :)

Duane
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MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:17 pm

Jeff Peachman wrote:Since you guys are talking alot about the law of accelerating returns and life extension, I was curious.

Has anyone else here looked at the Orion's Arm website?


How about a link. Or did I miss it up thread?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Jeff Peachman
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:47 pm

Postby Jeff Peachman » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:38 pm

http://www.orionsarm.com/

It's a collaborative sci-fi worldbuilding project. Takes a lot of ideas from kurzweil (though over a larger timeframe), an idea of multiple singularities (defined as discrete levels of ai intelligence), and it expands nanotechnology into pico and femtotechnology.

No FTL, except wormholes. I believe there is a mention of polywell in there too but they try to stay away from really specific designs for technology.
- Jeff Peachman


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