X-Message-Number: 28381
Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2006 11:58:44 -0400
From: Keith Henson <>
Subject: Re: Nanotech, space elevator and wealth (and the cost of LN2)

This got bounced on low reputation.  Let's see if it bounces again.



At 09:00 AM 8/30/2006 +0000, dss wrote:

>On 29 Aug 2006, at 00:14, Keith Henson wrote:


> > You didn't read the article.
>No, because it isn't the right field of knowledge to deal with this

If you didn't read the article, how do you know it isn't in "the right 
field of knowledge"?

> > The people who build up the memes to start
> > wars are not the ones with bright prospects.
>And the concept of 'memes' isn't based upon any science in this area.
>If you want to be taken seriously, you have to use scientific
>concepts from the correct field.

I know a good number of researchers in EP and memetics.  As far as I know 
none of them have a problem with my articles such as "Sex, Drugs and Cults" 
which has about 12,000 links to it.  If you can find anybody who will argue 
with the model presented in "Evolutionary Psychology, Memes and the Origin 
of War," please let me know.  (It's in a reviewed journal now.)

> > I.e., the US economy had very little to do with 9/11.  The 75% drop
> > in per
> > capita income in Saudi Arabia did.
>If you read 'Armed Madhouse', you will discover that the attack was
>motivated by the presence of US troops in SA, by the continuing
>torture and murder of Palestinians, and to promote the reopening of
>Jerusalem as their capital. And you could have heard it first from
>directly from Osama bin Laden, if the US press had functioned as
>something other than a propaganda instrument.

You are making a level error between proximate cause (good list of them) 
and ultimate cause.

Ultimate cause for wars is population (adjusted for economic 
conditions).  If plague wiped out 90% of the population there the Mid East 
would be a peaceful place till the population built back up.

Applying the model leads you to *expect* the US press to function as a 
propaganda instrument.

It makes other predictions, for example you should expect war leaders (all 
of them) to be mentally impaired.


> > It really does not matter if peak oil or global warming is real or
> > not as
> > long as people are concerned about it.  It it the perception of future
> > prospects that sets up the conditions for war.
>Right, and if you promote these faulty hypotheses, you are
>contributing to the chances of war.

You are certain peak oil and global warming are "faulty hypotheses"?  90% 
certain?  99% certain?  100% certain?


> > That's been true since the mid to late 1970s.  What space elevators
> > offer
> > is a reduction in cost to GEO as high as 10,000 to one and an energy
> > payback that's 100 to 1000 times better.
>As the recent pouring of close to two trillion dollars down the Iraq
>War / corruption scandal rat hole has illustrated, it is political
>considerations which dominate these type of decisions. The entire
>space colonization / industrialization endeavor could be kicked off
>for 13 billion (1972) dollars. This is a month or two of the Iraq War.
>The space elevator is, in itself, a major undertaking. That expense
>would probably add to the cost of starting space industrialization,
>since most of the materials would be coming from the moon.

As you might know, I was right in the middle of the space colonization 
movement, testified before Congress even.  In the power satellite context, 
moon mining was seen by investors as an excessively risky complication to 
add on top of all the other risks.  And done by a government . . . well, 
consider the shuttle or the space station.

Incidentally, it is fairly easy, especially if you are in power, to get 
vast sums of money spent on wars.


" . . . but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the 
bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they 
are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and 
exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

I take it a bit differently than Herman Georing.  For reasons rooted in the 
stone age, I think the population has to be economically stressed or 
anticipating stress for leaders to pull such stunts (or even for this class 
of person to rise to leadership).

On the other hand, it is hard to get government money spent on economically 
sensible projects.  Look up the history of Grand Coolie Dam for an example.


However, if the cost can be brought down to the level of developing a large 
offshore oil field, that might be funded by rational investors.

And, as a side effect of the wealth so generated, a power satellite project 
should reduce the probability of war (or at least keep down the price of LN2).

Keith Henson

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