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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 3 2013, 04:20 AM   #571
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Re: Ancient Aliens

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfEF3ED9hGg

As a visualization aid.

So if there are ancient aliens somewhere, maybe this is how they're doing it.

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newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Von Neuman machines are even less likely considering they would still have to remain fully functional over a truly geologic timescale in order to be in any way functional. If you had technology that robust, it wouldn't need to be self-replicating because it would basically last forever. It's a Crazy Eddie concept that otherwise serves no practical purpose.

It's mundanely obvious that interstellar travel is perfectly feasible for an unmanned probe that can expect to be discovered intact after a billion years or so by an alien race that didn't exist when it was launched. Travel or transport LIVING BEINGS just isn't going to happen, though, without a space fold or something similar. Or -- as Gary mentioned -- if a civilization evolved near the galactic core or in a dense cluster of stars, in which case interstellar travel only takes slightly longer than interplanetary travel.
Still. greater numbers means two things: You still have more machines out there after falling prey to attrition through disaster, wear and tear, etc. Also more machines means covering the distance at sub-light more quickly, spreading like a virus.
First of all, they wouldn't spread more quickly at all. They would spread more EVENLY, but still take millions of years to do it.

Second of all, even a virus requires a viable host to reproduce itself, as to Von Neuman machines require a source of plentiful and accessible resources to use for self-replication. Interstellar space has no such resources, and even if it did, they are hardly in a form that self-replicating machines would find easily accessible.

Lastly, the concept of the Von Nueman machine is one that is only theoretically viable on a relatively small scale -- say, mining a moon or an asteroid or something. Using them to spread your influence across an entire galaxy is a bit like trying to build a suspension bridge out of legos and superglue: an amusing hobby, but hardly practical.

Yes you can expect organic beings to make it across interstellar distances, but more realistically by the methods i named. Its perfectly feasible to recreate humans once we meet up with our robotic explorers.
You can say that if and when we have discovered a way to keep frozen embryos viable over a span of half a million years.
Well, forget about generation ships, suspended animation or ringworlds – the best way for you to explore, colonize and ultimately rule the Milky Way will be through the use of self-replicating robotic spacecraft – what are sometimes referred to as von Neumann probes.
It would take as little as 500,000 years with Von Neumann probes. A long time for us but minute in cosmic history...no time at all really.

http://www.rfreitas.com/Astro/Compar...proNov1980.htm

http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/...with-self.html

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclo...mannprobe.html

http://io9.com/von-neuman-probes/

DNA: In fact, DNA is a hardy information storing medium, lasting millions of years as well as being hardy when stored. It is now being experimented with as a storage medium for archival use. Sending DNA we can spread humanity through the galaxy, letting us start new civilizations. If we can combine it with "brain uploading/downloading" if such technology is available, then we can even reproduce the same human being.

http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/08/dna-storage.html
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...n=MoreRecently

Interstellar space is not "empty":

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/...stellar_medium
http://www.vega.org.uk/video/programme/64

Outside the Solar System

Looking beyond the Solar System, there are billions of potential stars with possible colonization targets.

The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet. Sooner or later, disasters such as an asteroid collision or nuclear war could wipe us all out. But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe. There isn't anywhere like the Earth in the solar system, so we would have to go to another star.

— Stephen Hawking,[25][26] Physicist
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Old February 3 2013, 08:44 PM   #572
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Re: Ancient Aliens

RAMA wrote: View Post
It would take as little as 500,000 years with Von Neumann probes. A long time for us but minute in cosmic history...
But still a long time for us, and since WE are the ones taking this undertaking, it is OUR timeframe that needs to be considered here.

DNA: In fact, DNA is a hardy information storing medium, lasting millions of years as well as being hardy when stored.
And if we were talking about exporting our DNA to parts unknown, that would be one thing. But we are discussing practical exploration and/or colonization. Exporting stored human DNA and cloning a fresh population at the destination is neither.

OTOH, the moon, Mars and the asteroids could be settled for relatively little expense, in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the expense as an interstellar voyage. If you're going to use Von Neuman machines for anything, THAT is the way to go.
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Old February 4 2013, 02:28 AM   #573
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Re: Ancient Aliens

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Old February 18 2013, 02:00 AM   #574
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
OTOH, the moon, Mars and the asteroids could be settled for relatively little expense, in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the expense as an interstellar voyage. If you're going to use Von Neuman machines for anything, THAT is the way to go.
Hence the Hawking quote I posted...

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Old February 18 2013, 06:25 AM   #575
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Re: Ancient Aliens

RAMA wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
OTOH, the moon, Mars and the asteroids could be settled for relatively little expense, in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the expense as an interstellar voyage. If you're going to use Von Neuman machines for anything, THAT is the way to go.
Hence the Hawking quote I posted...
... is absurd, because Hawking is assuming that there's no location anywhere in the solar system suitable for human habitation and therefore extrasolar planets are the best logical alternative.

Hawking is simply wrong. The moon has sufficient resources for long term (if not permanent) colonization. Mars does also, especially if you project human expansion on a timescale long enough to allow for teraforming. Either location could be made permanently viable by harnessing the resources readily accessible in the bodies of our own solar system, many of which would be cheaper and easier to exploit than the miniscule cache of resources that exist in the Earth's crust. Simply put, with or without Von Neuman devices, if we spent half as much time developing the solar system as we spent on Earth, humanity could expand a fully developed and viable civilization across all eight planets and all 200 moons and dwarf planets.
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Old February 18 2013, 08:51 AM   #576
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Re: Ancient Aliens

You're assuming that humans will remain healthy in low gravity. We already know they deteriorate rapidly in zero gravity.
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Old February 18 2013, 04:17 PM   #577
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Deckerd wrote: View Post
You're assuming that humans will remain healthy in low gravity. We already know they deteriorate rapidly in zero gravity.
Maybe you should change detergents?
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Old February 19 2013, 04:49 PM   #578
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Deckerd wrote: View Post
You're assuming that humans will remain healthy in low gravity. We already know they deteriorate rapidly in zero gravity.
NASA's consensus has been for decades that ANY gravity is better than none. The body atrophies up to a point, but only insofar as it eventually adapts to the minimum fitness needed to survive in its particular environment (your bone and muscle density is reduced to that which is actually needed in that gravity).

The flip side, of course, is that people who are adapted to lower gravity worlds -- the moon or Mars, for example -- wouldn't be able to tolerate full Earth gravity without months or years of physical therapy. People who are BORN in that environment couldn't even do that much. They'd be perfectly healthy right where they are, but they wouldn't survive half an hour on Earth.

Not that's really a problem, since the flow of emigration is unlikely to be two-way.
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Old February 19 2013, 05:02 PM   #579
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Re: Ancient Aliens

The flow of 'emigration' would only be two-way initially. Saying that humans can survive in low gravity is not the same as having a good quality of life. We have no idea how it would affect the heart, the skeleton, muscles, psychology, fertility. I could go on but you get the picture. The psychological strain alone could make settling somewhere like the moon a non-starter. Why live in a tin can there when you're looking at a beautiful blue marble every day?
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Old February 19 2013, 05:32 PM   #580
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Deckerd wrote: View Post
The flow of 'emigration' would only be two-way initially.
Exploring and emigration are two different things. A temporary outpost on the moon is not a permanent colony; the latter has permanent residents who, by virtue of the moon's lower gravity, wouldn't be able to return to Earth if they wanted to.

Saying that humans can survive in low gravity is not the same as having a good quality of life. We have no idea how it would affect the heart, the skeleton, muscles, psychology, fertility.
Considering we spent the last 30 years studying the effects of microgravity and reduced gravity on the human body, we actually have a VERY GOOD idea how it affects those things. We would have a better idea with long-term study in a reduced (as opposed to zero) gravity environment, but the key point here is that reduced bone and muscle density keeps pace with reduced gravity. The effects cancel each other out and quality of life is largely unchanged.

The psychological strain alone could make settling somewhere like the moon a non-starter.
Which is why you don't send people to the colonies who don't WANT to be there.

You've been beating that tired old drum for years, Decky. "Space colonization is stupid because I don't want to live in a space colony." The fact is even if only a tenth of a percent of all humans alive today were both willing and capable of doing so we would have 7 million volunteers, from which we could chose ONLY the most talented and psychologically stable 2%.

Nobody's asking YOU to go. In fact, I think the colonists would all be be alot more comfortable if you didn't.
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Old February 19 2013, 10:30 PM   #581
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
OTOH, the moon, Mars and the asteroids could be settled for relatively little expense, in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the expense as an interstellar voyage. If you're going to use Von Neuman machines for anything, THAT is the way to go.
Hence the Hawking quote I posted...
... is absurd, because Hawking is assuming that there's no location anywhere in the solar system suitable for human habitation and therefore extrasolar planets are the best logical alternative.

Hawking is simply wrong. The moon has sufficient resources for long term (if not permanent) colonization. Mars does also, especially if you project human expansion on a timescale long enough to allow for teraforming. Either location could be made permanently viable by harnessing the resources readily accessible in the bodies of our own solar system, many of which would be cheaper and easier to exploit than the miniscule cache of resources that exist in the Earth's crust. Simply put, with or without Von Neuman devices, if we spent half as much time developing the solar system as we spent on Earth, humanity could expand a fully developed and viable civilization across all eight planets and all 200 moons and dwarf planets.
The excerpt was from a much longer quote, and he's completely right...while we will no doubt make use of our solar system, it makes much more sense to "seed" the galaxy for our survival and as I have pointed out, it can be done in a reasonable time on the cosmological scale.

You could also be a little less conservative and the seeding of other galaxies wouldn't even take much more time than the galaxy...at least in terms of launching the probes, settling would take much longer. Explanation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQTf...e=results_main
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Old February 20 2013, 04:03 AM   #582
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Re: Ancient Aliens

RAMA wrote: View Post
The excerpt was from a much longer quote, and he's completely right...while we will no doubt make use of our solar system, it makes much more sense to "seed" the galaxy for our survival
Seeding the galaxy is not NECESSARY for our survival, thus doing so for survival's sake makes no sense. It would be like moving to a desert island to avoid your neighbor's dog.

Hawking is incorrect. The solar system bodies and their accessible resources are not only a viable choice, they are also a logical first step that would precede any attempt at interstellar transportation anyway. Thus, by the time we are in any position to BEGIN to colonize beyond the solar system, we will no longer NEED to.

You could also be a little less conservative and the seeding of other galaxies wouldn't even take much more time than the galaxy...
On the timeline and scale we're talking about, it would actually be more feasible to refuel the sun than to even ATTEMPT to colonize other galaxies.
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Old February 20 2013, 09:28 AM   #583
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
You've been beating that tired old drum for years, Decky. "Space colonization is stupid because I don't want to live in a space colony." The fact is even if only a tenth of a percent of all humans alive today were both willing and capable of doing so we would have 7 million volunteers, from which we could chose ONLY the most talented and psychologically stable 2%.

Nobody's asking YOU to go. In fact, I think the colonists would all be be alot more comfortable if you didn't.
If we both live long enough to prove the point you can buy me a drink as settlement of the debt. A cosmopolitan in fact. And for that last comment, I have to say it was uncalled for.
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Old February 20 2013, 01:43 PM   #584
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
The excerpt was from a much longer quote, and he's completely right...while we will no doubt make use of our solar system, it makes much more sense to "seed" the galaxy for our survival
Seeding the galaxy is not NECESSARY for our survival, thus doing so for survival's sake makes no sense. It would be like moving to a desert island to avoid your neighbor's dog.

Hawking is incorrect. The solar system bodies and their accessible resources are not only a viable choice, they are also a logical first step that would precede any attempt at interstellar transportation anyway. Thus, by the time we are in any position to BEGIN to colonize beyond the solar system, we will no longer NEED to.

You could also be a little less conservative and the seeding of other galaxies wouldn't even take much more time than the galaxy...
On the timeline and scale we're talking about, it would actually be more feasible to refuel the sun than to even ATTEMPT to colonize other galaxies.
In the long term even if there were no disasters through cosmological timescale in our solar system, I don't see mankind as an exponentially growing species as able to remain self-sustaining, therefore even the solar system will be outstripped.

http://mkaku.org/home/?page_id=246
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Old February 20 2013, 01:52 PM   #585
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Deckerd wrote: View Post
The flow of 'emigration' would only be two-way initially. Saying that humans can survive in low gravity is not the same as having a good quality of life. We have no idea how it would affect the heart, the skeleton, muscles, psychology, fertility. I could go on but you get the picture. The psychological strain alone could make settling somewhere like the moon a non-starter. Why live in a tin can there when you're looking at a beautiful blue marble every day?
I've pointed out ways around this with human settlement of the solar system then galaxy...firstly, in the short term timescale we're talking about: 2030-2040 We're likely to have much more advanced exoskeletons than we have now, which have already made trial runs in Afghanistan. Secondly, nanotech by this period could solve numerous problems with wasting etc .

Psychologically, the human brain can be kept occupied in ways never dreamed of by most people in the 20th century...from interactive virtual realities both for training and socialization, to the simpler method of creating the right size crew and the right chemistry.

Long term...I suggested bypassing space travel altogether, large spaceships might be already obsolete by 2050, carrying DNA and stored humans in databanks would eliminate long duration space travel and be more efficient on many levels.
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