X-Message-Number: 11303
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 12:44:24 +0100
From:  (John de Rivaz)
Subject: Re: Fermi's paradox

In article: <> Crevier 
<> writes:
> because I believe that interstellar travel can happen. 

The Planetary Report <http://www.planetory.org> carried a relevant article 
in the current issue, and one which is relevant to all futurian 
extrapolation, our own included.

The moon trip happened less than 100 years after the Wright brothers, but 
their Wright Flyer took two guys with a bicycle repair shop to build. Apollo 
11, was two guys with $200 billion and 10,000 scientists and engineers and 
the mandate of a beloved assassinated president.

NASA spent $1,000,000 developing the astronaut pen (which writes in zero 
gravity and upside down on earth). The Soviets used a pencil.

Economic and freedom (from taxation) consideratiuons may keep homo sapiens 
with its feet on the ground for a long time yet. 

The article concluded that maybe the answer is wormholes made in a garage 
(like "Sliders") or some similarly fantastic and unlikely technology. 
Pickover and others have written about how to make wormholes, time machines 
and so on, but the energy requirements and technology is well beyond even 
governments for way beyond the forseable future.

Another solution, arising from this thread, may be uploading into systems 
that are orders of magnitude smaller than evolutionary lifeforms. Tiny 
grains of "sand" could be launched into space by laser beams for costs of 
the same order of magnitude as the present space program. If these grains of 
sand could contain useful intelligence and the ability to manipulate matter, 
maybe they could create man-sized bodies the other end. But again that is 
fanciful and could only happen beyond the time horizon of practical science 
and engineering.

Sincerely, John de Rivaz
Homepage:         http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JohndeR
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