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Re: starship-design: doable drives

On Wed, 7 Oct 1998, AJ Crowl wrote:

> Perhaps we assume too little by not factoring in nano-assemblers and von neumann
> replicators. PersonallyI can see such being available by 2050, so maybe huge
> solettas won't be unreasonable. I suspect any really high energy system will be
> some sort of thermal generator system rather than photovoltaic. Higher efficiency,
> at least in principle.

Well, i would personnaly VERY MUCH recomend against the use of von Neuman
machines, at least in the forseeable future. Given that you'd esentially
be creating an artificial species, machine or organic makes no fundamental
difference. And given that any spiecies will try to survive and prosper,
there is no guarantee that WE will be in control. 

> > The one thing we did all agree was that we
> > couldn't seriously predict what the science or economics past 2050 would
> > credibly be.
> I doubt it'll be totally alien, though my scenario of Sol Space filled with
> independent CylCits is pretty radically divergent to most [outside of
> space-interest groups.]

What do you mean by independant CylCits. Have you got a description
somewhere? (Website or so...)

> >
> > Unlikely, even more unlikely then Star Trek types.  Flying cities need to pay
> > their way.  You can't just take off with them.  Thats like buying and removing
> > Manhatten.
> It won't be if they're independent.

Well, independance is only posible for those that are strong. (Or have
strong allies.) 

I certanly don't see city-sized independant groups as a stable posibilty.
The Stronger comunities/states will simply consume the weaker ones IMO.
The Strong consuming the weak is one of the few constants in human
culture, always has been, always will be. 

> >
> >
> > Since the resources of this star system could support any conceivable
> > planetary civilization for  tens of thousands of years.
> Millions if it's static.

yeah and probably only a few centuries if can manage to grow
exponentially. (Say a doubling of the resourses exploited each decade
would be nice.)