Re: [unrev-II] It could have happened...

From: Paul Fernhout (
Date: Thu Nov 16 2000 - 20:57:43 PST

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    Eric Armstrong wrote:
    > The habitats would have earth-normal gravity,
    > then? (Important, given the loss of bone
    > density we now know about.)

    Any gravity you want from 0g to 3G+. In zero G, ways might be found
    around bone loss (swimming in a liquid, or electrical muscle stimulation
    while sleeping, or drugs, or nanotechnology).

    > As a major lifestyle thing, I wouldn't be all that
    > much of a fan. But as a "reseeding station", manned
    > with a large crew that spent maybe 2 years in
    > occupancy, such a thing might make a lot of sense!

    It is always the children raised a certain way of life who are most
    accustomed to it.

    I may not be conveying the scale, both of individual habitats and the
    ultimate number of them (billions and billions) forming vast networks of
    human life in the Cosmos.

    Here's the thing -- in the future, the difference between life in a
    space habitat versus on Earth may be analgous to the difference between
    life in New York City and life in by the beach. There are plenty of
    reasons to live by the beach (scenic, inspirational), and plenty of
    reasons to live in New York City (access to culture). So too there will
    be people who prefer life on a planet (rural, backward, "natural") or
    life in a habitat (citified, varied, "designed").

    Over the next millenia, with trillions of people being born and living
    in billions of self-replicating space cities (habitats), the space
    cities may be where most culture continues to evolve. They will be where
    most people live amidst cheap goods and energy and computation --
    because of self-replicating manufacturing technology that can be more
    freely deployed in space than on a more finite planet. Earth will be
    expensive rural real estate (because ultimately Earth real estate is
    limited and unique). Earth may become a tourist stop for people who can
    afford it who have some nostalgia about their roots. Like visiting say
    the Galapagos now, most people in a thousand years will only experience
    Earth in virtual reality. That will be good enough as people will be
    busy leading their trillions of normal everyday space city lives in a
    more or less human (or trans-human) way, in places without tornadoes and
    hurricanes and volcanoes. Of course, the will have their own dangers
    like radiation and meteorites and life support failures, which
    inhabitants will have grown used to as much as Californians live with
    earthquakes or people accept the risk of an accident everytime they
    travel by car. And like with the Galapagos, if every one of those
    trillions of people visited Earth, they would destroy it just with the

    With billions of habitats, there will be a vast splintering and
    diversity of human cultural experiments. The stable (in a surviving
    sense) ones will survive and prosper.

    I think the biggest issue to be resolved to support such habitats is a
    ordering of knowledge about manufacturing, so a small group can produce
    most of the means of life support (in style) from raw materials and
    sunlight. Right now our economy is a very diverse and unordered thing.
    By understanding people's important needs and how to satisfy them from a
    common and easily maintained manufacturing framework (something useful
    on Earth right now, especially in developing nations) we will be a step
    closer to creating self-replicating cities in space.

    -Paul Fernhout
    Kurtz-Fernhout Software
    Developers of custom software and educational simulations
    Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator

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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Nov 16 2000 - 21:06:16 PST