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Old September 15 2012, 05:09 AM   #136
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Mars wrote: View Post
So tell me why can't you run a nuclear reactor for 5000 years?
Because running at full power, a typical fuel rod will only last for 20 (25 if you're lucky) before it decays to the point of no longer producing useable heat and subsequently becoming a serious radiation hazard. And that's before you take into account neutron breakdown of shielding materials and the piping of the heat exchangers, which over time become brittle and have to be replaced considerably more often. You would essentially have to overhaul the entire reactor every ten years of continued operation, replacing the fuel rods every other overhaul. That is no easy task, even for a machine.

In other words, your robots will have to completely rebuild the entire reactor two hundred and fifty times before the end of the voyage. God help you if you've got multiple reactors on board.

Which goes to the overall point of this being a fundamentally impractical endeavor: that's a LOT of new capabilities being developed for a space craft that doesn't actually accomplish any concrete goal for anyone. Your stated goal is to ensure the survival of the human race 5000 years in the future, yet the sheer massive amount of resources that would be needed for a project this ambitious could be more efficiently used to eradicate world hunger, terraform Mars and tap the methane lakes of Titan to provide the world with an inexhaustible energy supply. It's a highly expensive and complicated solution to a problem that may or may not even exist.

Mars wrote: View Post
The AI can slow down his consciousness so he won't get bored
And you know this how?

Mars wrote: View Post
The problem is that it may not be left alone by the billions of other humans and sentient AIs that are also inhabiting the system...
Neither will your generation ship if the AIs decide to chase after it. Or, for that matter, if the pilot AI gets an email from Earth containing the Cyberdyne Manifesto and decides to turn around and head back.

There would be insufficient isolation if it stayed in the Solar System
Right, because PUTTING AN AI ON THE GENERATION SHIP is isolation enough.

How can you know that the human race will survive for the next 5000 years?
Because in the collected sum of mankind's knowledge about itself, its world, the solar system that contains the world and the immediate vicinity of our stellar neighborhood, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that it WON'T.

More importantly -- and more relevantly to this thread -- I, like most human beings, don't give a damn one way or the other what might happen five thousand years from now. This is a thread about the world of 2100, less than a century into the future, at a time when my son will be watching his grandchildren go on to take meaningful careers.

So if I'm to worry about the future at all, it'll be whether or not humanity is going to survive for the next FIFTY years. Is a generation ship on a 5000 year voyage a good way to insure that? No? Then why the hell would I want to spend money building one?


its harder to get billions of human beings and control them all so they don't build AIs
On the other hand, it's relatively easy to control the six or seven thousand people on the entire planet who are even remotely smart enough to attempt to build an AI. We ALREADY do this with nuclear non-proliferation.

On the other hand, you don't have a shred of evidence that the emergence of humanlike AI is even possible, let alone inevitable, let alone that any negative consequence would follow for humanity if it was.

Its not going to work, because the one who violates the treaty will always be at an immediate advantage.
Until the next biggest country bombs him back into the stone age for violating the treaty.

A lot more can go wrong with a community of billions of humans than with an isolated starship with frozen embryos traveling the void between the stars
Which is trivially true. The problem with this statement is that just about anything that can go seriously wrong on a space ship will usually result in the destruction of that space ship. With a population of 7 billion, a global-scale catastrophe could annihilate 99% of the human race and that would still leave more survivors than most countries have people.
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Last edited by Crazy Eddie; September 15 2012 at 05:42 AM.
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