How to build a Dyson Sphere in 5 easy steps (lol)

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by RAMA, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    NJ, USA
  2. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    I can do it in one step:

    1. Do it.
     
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    In your head, doing stuff...
    ^Should that be "1. Make it so"?

    One problem would be how much of the gathered solar energy would be required to provide station keeping for the swarm of energy collectors. I suspect that the natural tendency would be for them to tend to clump together under their own gravity. Otherwise, it would only take small perturbations in their orbits to start the process of the collectors colliding and forming a new planet.
     
  4. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Given the aim of the project, it seems pretty safe to assume that more energy would be collected than needed for course correction.

    Hell, a simple thrust system on each station designed to fire automatically after a predefined amount drift should be something easy enough if we get to the point where we could under take a project like this. Much more difficult would be ever convincing enough people to do the whole thing in the first place.
     
  5. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    In your head, doing stuff...
    The collectors might be able to use mirrors to deflect sunlight to give them enough thrust for station keeping. Otherwise, they'd eventually run out of propellant mass - although I guess they could trap protons and electrons from the solar wind for that purpose, which process would give them a slight kick through momentum transfer anyway.
     
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    Similar to the five easy steps for creating world peace.

    Step 1: Cure every disease known to man
    Step 2: Resolve every international/intranational conflict in the wold
    Step 3: Eliminate poverty
    Step 4: Eliminate crime
    Step 5: Eliminate all forms of prejudice and discrimination everywhere.

    It's as easy as bending a spoon with your thoughts.
     
  7. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    World peace is actually doable in one step. Just accelerate the moon towards the Pacific.

    Thinking about it, that might take care of the Dyson sphere, er, ring as well.
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    Well, world peace is actually pretty easy to achieve as long as you're willing to eliminate the root cause of global unrest (i.e. human beings). Otherwise, it gets a lot more complicated.

    I think a Dyson sphere is similarly easy to build, so long as nobody has to live on it.
     
  9. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    One prerequisite for a real Dyson Sphere might be to rid humanity of it's petty shortsightedness, inwardness, and yes world peace of course...fair chance to do this? Well evolving into AI just might be the trick...and its not far fetched at all.

    Recalling one good scifi show...Outer Limit's The Sixth Finger: an evolved, some might say transhuman David McCallum is intent on avenging himself on the backwards town that gave birth to him, but in the end, gained enough knowledge to evolve past the point of violence.

    RAMA
     
  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    By the same token, wouldn't humans evolve beyond the need for a Dyson Sphere?
     
  11. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    NJ, USA

    Eventually, yes! Stephen Baxter's Timeships is a good example.
     
  12. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    That was a great sequel to The Time Machine, plus it also had instructions on how to actually build a Dyson Sphere!
     
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Stop popping prescription drugs like they are candy and only use drugs in emergency situations for a short period of time if no alternative is present.
    Eliminate 'money' from the industry and actually implement proper science and scientific methods towards CURING people and not merely treating symptoms with drugs that can (and probably will) produce high toxicity in peoples bodies ending in damage of internal organs and nasty side-effects (one of which can easily be death - oh wait, that already happens).

    Eliminate a monetary based economy (communism btw HAD money) which is a primary source of conflict.
    Instead focusing on our differences, focus on common grounds and encourage global cooperation with competition being limited to games only.

    In order to do that, people need to be educated that there are alternatives out there (and there have been for some time now).
    And for 'eliminating all forms of prejudice and discrimination everywhere' - how about we try focusing on what we have in common, global cooperation, sharing, giving, helping, etc. and actively encouraging those aspects?
    New systems (or system) will probably require different levels of thinking and numerous forms of 'outdated traditions' (although probably not all of them) will have to be discarded by many if we are to move forward.
    Encouragement of tolerance of others should probably be a priority in such a case along with the premise of 'live and let live' (to name a few), along with education, etc.

    Money and financial inequality are actually a major factor in regards to poverty and crime (not to mention greed and a lot of other problems we are facing today).

    Eliminate monetary based economy by slowly replacing it with a resource based economy where there is no notion of 'value', 'money', 'private ownership' or any ridiculous forms of governments or 'isms' that have always had 'money' or some type of currency as a common medium.
    Distribution of resources should be fully automated in this case and equally available to all humans on the globe according to their actual needs (and not the wasteful usage of resources to create useless things based on advertisements that make people buy things for the sake of generating profits) - to be done in an efficient/intelligent way that doesn't do damage to the environment we live in.
    Its possible though, and no, its not 'perfect' (nor is it 'utopia)... plus it would be sustainable in the long run and provide a high quality of life for everyone because of the following:

    Recycling technologies for converting trash into alternative energy or usable resources existed since the early 20th century (before 1920).
    By then, automation was already incorporated on a relatively large scale industry-wise and could have been used to replace majority of menial based work - it is something we do today in large quantities (though it could be done on a global scale).
    We also had the ability for decades to recycle radioactive waste into plutonium (which could be used as an energy source) - but in a monetary based system, it is cheaper to simply dump it into the ground and pollute the environment and an 'excuse' was made that it allows for proliferation of new weapons - which is absurd because we already have weapons capable of decimating Humanity as we know it several times over.
    The US alone is wasting ridiculously large amounts of food that could be used to feed starving nations (Europe and other developed countries do the same), which doesn't include the ability to grow crops in deserts, or out capabilities of creating clean water via technological means, or ability to desalinate water.

    Energy issues are a problem based in common sense and largely hampered by energy and oil companies, not the actual technology or resources needed for execution.
    We had the technology since 1950's in case of solar power (despite their low efficiency - which would have provided MORE than enough power for a single home and the excess could have been shuffled to others), and in case of Geothermal power, we could have used it since the early 1930's.
    That of course, doesn't take into account tidal, wind and other sources of power which by today were augmented since their initial inceptions.

    And those are but a few suggestions.

    Not necessarily 'easy' due to the monetary system we live in and the mentality majority are brought up to live by (which is usually the problem that prohibits people from taking into account other possibilities which are immediately discarded as 'impossible' - simply because they can't help themselves but think along those lines) - but it is possible.
    In the end, if we want to make a better world, we can't do it by giving up without trying.

    Options exist. A monetary based system inevitably incites greed and competition for resources which are SAID to be scarce and is based on 'survival of the fittest' (and such a system is outdated) - in reality, Earth is pretty abundant in resources and there would be enough for everyone IF THEY ARE DISTRIBUTED EQUALLY and INTELLIGENTLY - a monetary based approach and endless/wasteful consumption of resources will inevitably lead to exhaustion - by which time, it might be too late (and in the meantime will create more unemployment, starvation, homeless people, probably wars, etc.).

    And whoever starts by saying that it would be 'impossible to alter human nature' ... for all accounts and purposes, its a learned behavior - you are a product of a system/society/culture you grew up in.
    By that same token, a person that was brought up by amazons or barbarians would probably grow up to adopt the values of that particular culture.
    Also... to those who ask 'why would people have an incentive to work' if all of their needs are met - the answer is simple: even today you have ample amount of people who work because they LIKE doing it (a lot of them are doing it on a voluntary basis even) - the thing would be that its a fundamentally different perspective on life.
    Its not fantasy or science fiction regardless of how many would like it to be.

    And I conclude with the premise that a lot of people might actually find a way to completely and utterly shoot this argument down because it is likely that to them it will inevitably seen as something that 'simply cannot work', or as 'fantasy' (that the world and people are too different, and that no economy can work if there is no central government or someone who runs the entire thing - given the computing power we have today [not taking into account the things we could have done over a decade to enhance it by a factor of up to 50 or more in both power/speed/efficiency if 'money' was never brought into account] it could been used by humans to program automation to such a level where it would be possible to use existing technology for ascertaining the amount of resources we have at our disposal for intelligent distribution of the said resources).

    I also wonder... when was the last time humans at large asked themselves if we can do something from a resource/technological point of view, and not a monetary one.
    Ah yes, during WW2 when the US was able to churn out over 90 000 planes per year (they didn't have the money or enough gold to make it happen - but they had enough resources/technology/manpower to pull it off).
    Such a practice is only considered in times of war.

    I'm sorry, but whenever I look at history and the problems people endured in a monetary based system (communism btw DID have money and there was also a notion of state, borders, etc.), I didn't think it was something that 'benefited' people or was 'the best system devised'.
    Most of the systems previously attempted failed because they were perverted into something they were not - and all of them used money in some way.
    Resource based economy doesn't have that - because its based on an entirely different premise.

    Think what you will...
    But if you are interested... google up Venus Project for details (and for the sake of this discussion - I already reached similar/same ideas before becoming acquainted with the Venus Project and RBE in general - as did many other people actually).
     
  14. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    ^ yeah... sure. That's doable alright.
     
  15. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Taking into account we had the technological ability for nearly a century to get things going, not to mention the resources and manpower... yes, I would argue it IS doable.
    I can understand why people would say its not though.
    The concept itself seems 'utopian' or 'perfect', even though its neither (and I personally like none of those terms). Perfection is a premise subject to individual interpretation, but from a biological/technological point of view, we can only continuously STRIVE for it - improving on what we have.
    Perfection implies you created something that doesn't need to be further improved upon... a resource based economy is DESIGNED to be continuously improved upon but by keeping the ecology/world/environment we live in, in balance.

    As a species, we have the mental capacity for intelligent and efficient distribution of the worlds wealth/resources and the technological means to provide for everyone's needs (and not idiotic wants - which btw would also be met to a large degree even though you have numerous people today - myself included who are pretty content with having what they NEED) without harming the planet (and even help it recover from the damage already induced).

    I'm hardly opposed to going into space and using those resources to help us expand and eventually even explore the solar system and the galaxy possibly (or see what we can do in space)... but seriously, this wasteful approach we have now is idiotic at best and we stand to lose a LOT more at the expense of the majority (even though it can be avoided).
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Your Mom
    About as doable as building a dyson sphere, basically.

    The really sick thing about this discussion is that, even if you were 100% correct in your long-winded breakdown of the problem and that was literally all we had to do, they would be mind-bogglingly difficult even if there was no opposition to them.

    That's like striving to create a dyson sphere by putting a small space station into orbit of the sun every other decade. I suppose by some definition of the word, that too is "doable."

    We also have the mental capacity to put our collective heads together and pick one random ethnicity to unilaterally exterminate just because we don't like them.

    Using history as a guide to human nature, which of those is easier to pull off?

    You expect any different from a species descended from apes? Our closest genetic cousins on this planet spend much of their time throwing feces at each other or murdering rivals over the possession of fruit tress. As far as I can tell, the key difference between humans and chimps is that we've found more sophisticated things to throw at each other.
     
  17. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Much simpler than making a dyson sphere actually.

    I apologize for being long-winded, but it was necessary to illustrate what could and should be done. As for the difficulty... I'm hardly saying it would be 'easy', but current cities (as outdated as they are) could be modified from a technological point of view with renewable energy sources, heavy recycling methods, full automation, etc. within a time frame of about 10 years (most of which would be spent on maglev trains infrastructure) - less if you fully ramp up automation and have it replace 90% (if not more) of repetitive jobs that humans do - which has been possible for some time.

    No, because on Earth, you already have an existing infrastructure and decent levels of automation that can be used to mitigate most problems in a relatively short amount of time. In order to create a space-station that could be moved into sun's orbit, you would actually need to create a building infrastructure in space itself (and we can use asteroid mining along the way in addition to heavy recycling and efficiency to reduce the amount of extracted resources) if you want to be efficient about it - automation would have to be used whenever possible as it can get things done inherently faster/better than a human could.

    Taking into account that your example is based on culturally learned behavior (cultural propaganda if anything which is also rooted in lack of education) which is NOT universally shared anyway, education would be paramount. Exposing people to different ways of thinking, removing the dependency on money for survival, etc.
    A lot of our issues stem from the inability to afford proper education/exposure, and a lot of the worlds population at large was able to stop picking on one ethnicity to exterminate it just because it's not liked by others exactly because of proper exposure and education.
    Which is easier at this point in time? Not necessarily easy to tell because awareness/exposure has been on the rise globally via many methods of entertainment such as movies.

    Apes show collaborative competition and collaborative cooperation in a lot larger amounts though - along with peaceful resolution to conflicts.
    Many humans also have a tendency to treat dogs better and provide them with a higher standard of living than they do with other humans.
    Main reason why humans go to war is money, profit and to get the other nations resources (causing needless destruction, death, etc.) - instead of using invested money for war efforts to meeting people's needs around the globe.
    I always tried resorting to diplomacy in terms of conflict resolution - with some humans it didn't work because they were so thick-headed to the point where they didn't want to listen - it wasn't a product of their 'human nature' though, but their upbringing after I dug around to learn more about them - a same/similar behavior was exhibited among many other inhabitants in my country as a child - there is a distinctive and recognizable pattern to the problem - learned behavior.
    And, I was also able (after a time) to get through to some of them, and once we joined together to help each other in a collaborative effort, a lot of other things became easier - much more so than hostile form of competition ever did - this was repeatable throughout multiple countries - and studies today back this up.

    Results? High probability that human behavior can be altered - in a non-forceful capacity no less, resulting in a level of cooperation that benefits all parties involved.
    Logic and reason doesn't work on many though - you need to be able to approach them on their own level of thinking (know a bit about them) to get things going though.

    As I said, a concentrated effort would be needed to encourage collaboration instead of competition via education, exposure and other methods.

    And again... I apologize for the answers being a bit large.