futurism

Nuclear War

I used to believe, that a horrible nuclear winter would come after the nuclear World War IIIin which almost everyone dies. Then there would be so much radioactivity around, that almost every survivor would die. And then, that in a nuclear winter after, almost every double survivor would perish. It was a standard Cold War view and I was also stupid enough to believe it.

I don’t believe that anymore and I have several good reasons. Here’s a few. How come, people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki live normal lives? Why is no atomic desert in Japan where those atomic weapons were actually used? I acknowledge the horrific fate of ten of thousands and even hundred of thousands of people caught there in August 1945. But no nuclear desert there in the aftermath. How so, if the whole Earth would become a nuclear desert after using 10 thousand times more nuclear  material on one million times greater area? How that could be? And then, after so many nuclear tests, when at least a few percent of the nuclear arsenal was already spent in the wild, how is that we can’t see something nasty happening as a result?

Frankly, I believe Carl Sagan was full of shit with this “nuclear winter” propaganda. Of course, we don’t want a nuclear war, but it wouldn’t throw as back to the stone age. Albert Einstein was often full of shit as well.

We had some sobering suggestions even back then. If the nuclear bomb is 1000 stronger, they told us, its killing radius is just 10 times bigger. Good to know, thank you!

And the radioactivity per Mt of TNT ratio falls if you use bigger bombs. Also good to know.

And then we have learned that a sub-kilometer wide asteroid outperforms all the nukes we posses – many, many times over.

I think, that there will be a nuclear war, if everything stays basically the same as it is today. Only a technological breakthrough may prevent it.  This technological breakthrough may result in a swift victory without much fus, but it may also result in an even more horrific war than a nuclear one would be.

But  if everything stays the same, there will be “some nuclear war to end all nuclear wars”. Except there will be sooner or later another nuclear war, a much greater one. This mess may go on for quite a long time, if everything stays the same.

And this stability of circumstances will not happen. The opportunity window for a nuclear war is closing, because of AI at least. Which by itself may trigger one, as Schwarzenegger in Terminator taught us decades ago.

Standard
futurism

The Earth-Moon Tunnel

Is the most natural extension of the Space Lift. This idea is based on the fact, that looking from the Moon, Earth is a seleno-stationary satellite. On the Moon, there is a point, that has the Earth in the zenith all the time!

Therefrom, we should build a chimney, about 340,000 kilometers high, and wide enough to accommodate a cruiser ship. Modern carbon based materials are already strong enough for this purpose.

Then, we should build another chimney, much like the one on the Moon, only 8 or so times shorter, from any equatorial point on our planet. Just another model of the Space Lift.

Both chimneys are slightly  curved at the top. The domestic one to the west, the lunar one to the east. Both ends meet once every day. There are thousands of kilometers of empty space between the tops at the the closest point.

They pass by each other with the speed of a ultra fast jet, relative to each other, several Earth radii high, somewhere above the Earth’s geostationary satellite  area.

I would like those chimneys to be two transparent electromagnetic rail-guns. With some barely visible Faraday cage on the outside, for protection against the Sun’s weather.

Now, take this large cruise ship and eject it with this cannon, precisely enough that the Moon space chimney will catch it, decelerate it and lead it safely to the Luna.

The journey would take a few days in each direction, just as it took the last time we were on the Moon. Only the ship is much bigger now, transporting thousands.

This is what I mean by an Earth-Moon Tunnel. There should also be 24 space chimneys here on Earth, for a ship leaving port every hour.  There could be several lunar chimneys as well. Maybe of varying height, to shorten the open space traveling time to a minimum. A minute in a three days voyage, perhaps.

Standard
futurism

Conservative Radical Futurism

They say, that change is the only constant. Well, that’s about to change!

We cannot afford eternal all encompassing change, since everything we want is going to disappear after some finite amount of time. Therefore we must freeze at least some. Or better, we must control everything to minimize the probability of being overrun by something. Be it an alien invasion, a nearby supernova, a wandering black hole or anything else.

We, or at least some of us, don’t want this.

We are facing the following list in descending order:

N0>>N1>>N2>>N3>>N4>>N5 (Where “>>” stands for “hugely larger than”)

N0 = number of all mathematically possible permutations of the smallest particles inside this space, whatever its dimensions.

N1 = number of all permutations permitted by physics.

N2 = number of all permutations obtainable from here onward.

N3 = number of all desirable permutations of the above number (N2)

N4 = number of all stable or dynamically stable permutations that don’t decay

N5 = number of future permutations that we are going to start someday in a not so distant future.

N5 is still a very large number, the number of all our future moments. They ought to be good, since this is our destiny and we prefer good over bad.

It has to be said loud and clear, that the finite-ness of this number has some inescapable consequences. The most important one is this: there is no way, we could “progress forever”, no matter how large a space we conquer, an optimal situation is quickly reached and the final frontier is here.

Some argue that we can indefinitely progress in virtual space. Which is nonsense, since every virtual configuration corresponds to some physical permutation, whose number is finite.

The eudemonic life according to Bostrom is out of the question. A big cyclical(?) party is the best you can possibly get out of this world.

Could be unimaginably good, though.

 

Standard