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#26 2016-09-03 23:20:17

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Tom,

I seldom see a plan for how you get the giant butterfly.  Isn't there a egg and caterpillar stage?
This is the real show stopper for me.

One other issue is that I am old enough to have read O'neill's book, when it was new.  It was a wonderful thought experiment, but some time after it was pointed out that no matter how good your seals were on such devices, to implement them to the magnitude suggested by the book, the leaks would consume all of the volatile substances in the solar system in a few thousand years.  I actually have thoughts on ways to really make them much tighter.

1) Forget windows.
2) Have at least a double shell.
*The space between the double shells would be a catch-basin kept at a very low pressure, but above that of space, to catch the leaked gas from the inner shell.  Why this might help, is if you keep the catch-basin at a molecular flow pressure and not a viscous flow, any holes in the outer shell would leak gas only when it bounced off the outside of the inner shell, and happened to bounce strait into the hole, or opened seam.  Of course, you would need vacuum pumps to pump out the catch-basin and return the gas into the main pressure vessel.

So, I do think that some diravitive of the O'Neill
concept is good to think of as a useful tool, it should be used sparingly, unless craftsmanship will overcome the leakage problem.

Things that could have value are staging points to planets, such as in Lunar "L" positions.  Cycling spaceships (Sparingly), mining stations.

As for generation ships, it has been calculated that if you sent one out, it would run dry of gasses before it reached it's destination.  Again, if you can design a cactus like method, perhaps you can reduce that risk, but it just shows how many problems there are in reality with things, that you can imagine in a shorter period of time, where they actually have to function for a very extended period of time.

Human nature is a problem as well.  As far as I can see the human compulsion is to start off with a people who build things robust, but then thereafter, those people get pushed out by tricksters, who's mode of operation is to water down the wine so to speak. 

An example is how certain crime organizations get involved in substituting inferior building materials, and running a profit by looting that way.  Often more legitimate companies, even do a lesser evil, where they run a business into the ground and make it look ok while they are looting it.  Later on it collapses, but for the time period of the "Hollowing Out" these people posture as geniuses, who have found a way to cut costs.

So, then having a mega-structure, any failure due to such a thing would be catastrophic.

And then finally we have the example of the Middle East, which I consider to be dry bones.
They have lost the capacity for green growth, and adore rigidity.  So, under those conditions, the underclasses, and the pushed aside, will resort to terrorism, anarchy, and sabotage.  So, again, a mega structure is most vulnerable to those problems from a social perspective.

And we know that such a mega structure would foster hierarchies and tribalism, basically predatory behaviors from the dominants, and that will lead to a response from the underclasses and outlanders which would put such a mega structured "Civilization" into a situation of internal conflict.  You would be dealing with humans after all.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-03 23:44:59)

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#27 2016-09-04 06:01:06

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

The "egg" in Artificial Intelligence, the "caterpillar" is "nanotechnology," This structure isn't something that would be built by "humans in hard hats," it is something built by machines for humans, the structural materials would come out of the backside of the Moon, the volatiles would come out of the asteroid belt. I pick an orbit between Venus and Earth because that space is mostly empty, has more available solar energy, and there would be a ring of solar collectors on the Sunward side of the cylinder. This solar collector ring beams microwaves to the cylinder, and the efficiency of conversion from light to electricity to microwaves to electricity is not 100%, so having more available solar energy than at Earth is a bonus.

The inward turning cylinder ring around the Sun is in the shadow of the Solar Collector ring, it radiates the waste heat into space from this inefficient conversion process. The electricity it receives from the Solar Collector ring it used to generate artificial sunshine in hologram form from the light strips. The light strips are arranged in the same trilateral pattern on the inside of the cylinder as the window-solars are in the standard O'Neill cylinder design, and since this cylinder doesn't have end caps, mirrors are structurally impossible anyway. The only way to approach this cylinder that's bent into a ring around the Sun, is from the side. This cylinder rotates in and out once every 6 minutes for gravity. If you are close enough to see the cylinder, it appears to be straight, you can't see the curve at all, if you pulled out far enough so you could see the entire ring around the Sun, it would appear so thin as to be invisible, you would need a telescope to see parts of it, but the telescope would prevent you from seeing the whole thing at once.

If you stood inside the cylinder, you would see the landscape curve around you, there would be an illumination strip above you with a holographic image of the Sun providing light. The image of the Sun would over time appear to rise in one direction, starting off very red, and becoming brighter an whiter as it climbed in the sky, then it would set, becoming redder until it fades into darkness providing night. If you look in the direction of the cylinder's length, the cylinder appears as a tunnel that seems to diminish into infinity, no apparent curvature is evident, because even at this closer orbit, this curvature is very slight, and imperceptible before the cylinder diameter seems to diminish to nothing with distance. If you looked up in the sky once more, you would see two strips of land above you, to the right and left of the illumination strip above you, both the illuminator and the land strips would run the entire length of the cylinder, which is to say, like the cylinder itself, they go completely around the Sun. To the right and left of the land strip you would be standing on, are two more illuminator strips, that illuminate the two opposite land strips above you. The distance to the center axis of this cylinder is 10 miles, if you were to ascend to that height, the atmosphere would equivalent to that experienced at the top of Mount Everest, in the "Death Zone" in other words, you could acclimatize yourself to it and breath that air without added oxygen for a time, but not for long. There is no landscape that reaches that high in any case. Some mountains may get as high as 5 miles, you would breath the equivalent of the 2.5 mile altitude on Earth, and you would experience one half gravity at the summit of such a peak. So 10 miles is pretty much as wide as such a cylinder can get while remaining inhabitable throughout. (as inhabitable as the summit of Mount Everest ever gets!)

A double shell might be a good idea, but I still need the radiators to regulate the internal temperature, so it doesn't get too hot inside, and we might also want seasons in certain places. There is a lot of land here, might want some places to be the Arctic and over a distance, transitioning into subarctic, temperate, subtropical, and finally tropical, with different day lengths over a seasonal cycle to match. Not all parts of the cylinder would experience daylight at the same time, I'd say at any given moment equal lengths of the cylinder would experience day and night at he same time. During night in a particular section of this cylinder, the illumination strip would either show the stars, or an image of the moon, which could be at various phases depending on the time of the month. the diurnal cycle would be 24 hours long and vary with the seasons over a 365.24 day year just as on Earth. As for the unpredictability of humans, that is why you have police and jails if they misbehave.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2016-09-04 06:01:31)

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#28 2016-09-04 15:23:55

Void
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Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Tom,

I am going to accept your defense, provisionally.  I think you did rather well.

Still, it is a super project.  But it can be discussed.  And as usual, I will have suggestions, but I will try to leave your structure itself primarily alone.  Another one might do, but why not yours.

First, I am going to speculate that by the time an attempt to implement it, was done, people would have augmented brains, and will be able to have "Second Bodies" which are essentially robots with protective reflexes, and the ability to receive though instructions from the human.  I do not so much favor your anti-hardhat slant, as I think it will be important for people to have useful things to do.  They will be able to do them with their second body, in very harsh conditions.

Next, I am going to propose that you place your habitat in a "L" location of Venus.  Probabbly the one behind the planet.  I recall that this is a trick you like.  It will reduce the illumination to similar to Earths.

Next, I propose to build a planetary engine around Venus.  This would be a set of parallel tubes in orbit, entirely surrounding Venus.
Inside the tubes will be a meager amount of CO2.  The air pressure will be very low.  The CO2 can exist as either a thin gas, or as a solid condensate.   The CO2 will condense to a solid in the shadow of the planet, traveling from other warmer parts of the tube to reach the cold part.  The tube(s) will gather mass in this way on the dark side of Venus, and will turn into the sunlight, to evaporate, and so I think this would provide a accelerating spin to the ring(s)/Tube(s).

The rings may also provide a magnetic field, perhaps enough to protect Venus even.  Tethers will be used to harness electricity from the solar wind by hainging from the ring(s) outward.  Tethers hanging down into the very upper atmosphere of Venus will collect plasma of gas substances, and conduct them to the ring(s)/tubes.  A method to condense the plasma into a more useful form wil be needed.  Both collecting electricity and collecting plasma will slow down the ring.  It will also be possible to restrict CO2 flow in the rings, to throttle back the rate of acceleration.

Natural processes where Hydrogen is removed from Sulfuric Acid and water will make Hydrogen available for collection.  Also, it is possible that a magnetic field will collect plasma's from the solar wind to a degree.  Further the plasma collection system may be able to collect O2, and maybe even CO2, CO, and Nitrogen.

For solid materials, it is reasonable to think the Mass drivers could eject mass produced robot spacecraft, which would sail on the solar wind to your habitat to be recycled.   The Moon, Asteroids, and Mercury could be sources for those.

If all of the above could be possible, then you might have the resources you need.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-04 15:28:29)

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#29 2016-09-04 15:33:47

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 2,712
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Being a new product development engineer in defense work for 20 years before I spent another 20 years as a civil engineer and teacher,  I know an awful lot about how to take existing science,  technology,  and materials,  and do with them amazing things that have never been done before.  I did such things professionally.  So,  the flip side of that is knowing whether the science,  technology,  and materials actually exist to do something new. 

These O'Neill habitats,  space elevators,  and other gigantic structures being bandied about on this thread (and some others) have some science behind them,  but no technology,  and no materials.  Which means for now they simply cannot be done.  Later,  when the science is fully fleshed out,  and the technologies and materials actually exist,  these things could be done.  But not in the next several decades.

Sorry,  that's just the realist in me talking.  But that realism has served me very well for over 40 years now.  As has not being a narrow specialist,  in spite of holding a PhD in engineering. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-04 15:34:25)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#30 2016-09-04 17:47:42

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Well you would need a work force in the trillions at least, that work force would be mostly robots, they would outnumber humans at least 1000 to 1 and they would do our bidding. I am basically thinking of projects for them to do before they get out of our control. Having once space colony circling the sun has advantages over millions of them, for one it can't collide with itself, while many millions of smaller habitats can. This habitat would have 160 times Earth's surface area of living space, one can even live underneath the illumination strips, because unlike the giant windows of O'Neill's standard design, the illumination strips don't have to be part of the hull. One can live under them and they can provide illumination both to the opposing valley and to what's under them, so we really are utilizing all of the cylinder's floor space. Also the rotation diameter is only 20 miles, we know of materials that can handle that stress, the really long part is its length, but that just requires a lot o building. We need von Neumann machines to do this work, once that replicate enough times to bring the work force up to the right number to construct this thing. Once constructed the discard the excess von Neumann machines and leave some behind for routine maintenance and upkeep of the structure and we're all set to inhabit it.

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#31 2016-09-04 21:24:22

Void
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

GW Johnson said:

Being a new product development engineer in defense work for 20 years before I spent another 20 years as a civil engineer and teacher,  I know an awful lot about how to take existing science,  technology,  and materials,  and do with them amazing things that have never been done before.  I did such things professionally.  So,  the flip side of that is knowing whether the science,  technology,  and materials actually exist to do something new. 

These O'Neill habitats,  space elevators,  and other gigantic structures being bandied about on this thread (and some others) have some science behind them,  but no technology,  and no materials.  Which means for now they simply cannot be done.  Later,  when the science is fully fleshed out,  and the technologies and materials actually exist,  these things could be done.  But not in the next several decades.

Sorry,  that's just the realist in me talking.  But that realism has served me very well for over 40 years now.  As has not being a narrow specialist,  in spite of holding a PhD in engineering. 

GW

I am completely without emotion in this response.  I will give you credit, for making your points, which I consider good for balancing the discussion.

In reality I don't expect much of anything to come easy, or soon.  However, I decided to use Tom's idea and see where it might go, in part also wondering how much Tom and I could work together.  So, I added a few speculative accessories, and suggested what I think could be a more practical source of resources than from the outer solar system.  So, I did begin to try to apply drift in the direction I thought might be helpful to increase practicality.

I think the key to this whole thing if it were ever to happen would be the 2nd body, a robot body, with telepresence.  I do not think that very smart robots are coming soon, or that we should resort to a slave system where dangerous and potentially rival entities are created, while we let our skills atrophy.  But that's my personal feeling.

And I think it will be quite some time before our skills of making such a telepresence capability (Human enhanced mind <> base brain of a 2nd body), can be implemented in a useful way.

I think that in not a hideously long time, it might be possible to run service robots on the Moon, using a more primitive telepresence.  I think the majority of the operators should be on Earth.  The robots on the Moon would require brain base capabilities, but could also incorporate repetitive task routines.

Having that, (Eventually), a construction capability from extracted materials could be emplaced on the Moon.
That "Base of the Pyramid", could offer support for a skeleton crew of operators on the Moon, who would not have the 3 Second? delay in communications.  They would telepresence to machines on the Moon as well, and do tasks where the 3 Second? delay is a problem.  Having that total capability would then open quite a few options to deliver materials to various locations, using whatever is the best propulsion system for the case.

I do have to say I don't like the process where I mention a special item, because I want to test the reality of it, and it does not get discussed, and instead a summary dismissal leaves the questions unanswered.

But it is OK, that's my problem, I can cope.  It is just an annoyance.  I can and will move on.

You are hardly the most frustrating feature of this site.

Here's a smile for you smile another one smile  I'm not mad, just saying.

Last edited by Void (2016-09-04 21:44:50)

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#32 2016-09-04 21:44:26

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 2,712
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

I have nothing against speculating about what we might do in the future,  as long as it is clear this is speculation.  What I object to is presenting those things as stuff we could do "now" or "soon",  just because it might be supported by some science principle.  Without technology and materials,  the science by itself is worthless. 

Like Void,  I do not put much faith in "AI" in the sense of thinking machines capable of judgement,  and of learning outside their programming.  Not for a long time yet,  and even then a major shift in technology is required from what we even conceive now.  However,  extended versions of telepresence are indeed likely, very soon.  Somewhere in the chain,  some human is making the judgement calls. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#33 2016-09-04 23:06:42

Void
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Fair and decent G.W. smile

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#34 2016-09-05 09:39:53

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Osprey-in-Flight.jpg
You know how we got our idea for airplanes.
jet-airplane-in-flight.jpg
Humans are just another example of something we can build artificially, you would just like to place that development far in the future for your own comfort, because of the change it would represent to society, but sticking your head in the ground and pretending its not going to happen, won't prevent it from happening. Go to a car factory, and as fast as a car is produced is as fast as a robot can be produced, now imagine what would happen if all the humans working in that robot factory were replaced by the robots that were being made in that factory, and imagine those robots building more of those factories, that is how I imagine this O'Neill cylinder being produced. Now I admit there would be dangers to humans. Humans need to do work or else their skills would atrophy, yes I agree with that. We will have to do something to set aside work for humans to do. But if we have those robots and while we control them, we can get them to do fantastic things, like creating whole new worlds for us to inhabit, they could terraform Mars and Venus as well, its just a matter of labor ultimately, and resources and energy. The Sun provides plenty of energy, the Solar System has plenty of resources, we just need to figure a way to get that labor done. Jobs are being automated even as we speak, and I hope that AI is developed quickly rather than slowly, because the disruptions caused by people losing their jobs to machines would be pretty devastating, so I'm hopping it happens all at once rather that gradually, thus prolonging the pain of transition. Afterwards, we can do things we could not do before, feed and shelter the poor for instance. There would no longer be poor, and there would no longer be rich, a person's talent would not matter, so there would be no point in having haves and have nots. he AIs would be competing with each other to serve us, Capitalism would still be operating, but the competitors would be machines, we would then tap into that, and with that we can rearrange the Solar System to our liking and even travel to the stars.

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#35 2016-09-05 17:27:16

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Tom:

In terms of your own politics,  look at the constitutional requirement phrase "promote the general welfare".  How is not managing high-paying job loss in accord with that fundamental constitutional requirement? 

You cannot answer that question.  No one can.  It is absolutely unjustifiable.  Period. 

The way automation has NOT been regulated or managed in this country,  it typically eliminates 10 or 20 manual production jobs while creating only 1 or 2 robot supervision/maintenance jobs.  That is a net 10:1 job loss rate for automating things.  Just what the f**k are all 300+ million of us supposed to do for a living in a regime like that? 

Your propensity to advance automating everything runs dead against every moral principle known to man,  including Christ's admonition to love your neighbor as yourself.  You hypocrite!!!!!

Why is it surprising to anyone (including you) that rust belt city-center ghettoes are hot beds of crime,  when there is nothing else for those folks to do for a living but crime?  Their jobs were destroyed by automation and offshoring. 

Which job destruction-leaving-nothing-but-crime-to-do-to-survive also explains the poor relationships these folks have with police,  and thus all the recent police-brutality protests.  (Note that I do not condone this,  but I do in fact understand why it occurs.) 

The corporate giants have eliminated all their (and most of our) adequate-paying jobs with automation,  and also with offshoring to slave-labor economies,  and thus have no use for these people (or us,  which is why the US middle class is dying).  It is economically impossible for most to leave such ghettoes.  They are expected to kill themselves off or starve. 

Just exactly how is that different from the Jewish ghettoes Hitler created 70 years ago? It's exactly the same population-management model!  Genocide.  This time for profit instead of ideology.  But the same model,  regardless.

So I have to ask,  why are you so obviously dead-set on robots doing everything?  Just what do you expect humans to do for a living in a market economy?  I have never heard you (or any other other arch-conservative) answer THAT question!  Because you cannot.

Over in the middle east,  people with nothing useful to do for a living gravitate toward that corruption of Islam that demands they kill unbelievers.  There I went and explained to you fundamentally where Al Qaeda,  ISIS,  and Wahabbism-in-general came from.  No one in the world has any use for all those millions of folks under the kind of politics and economies we promote. 

No rational person could deny that this is how we created our enemies.

If you deny this,  that is prima facie evidence that you are not rational.  QED.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-05 17:38:12)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#36 2016-09-05 18:34:05

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Tom:

In terms of your own politics,  look at the constitutional requirement phrase "promote the general welfare".  How is not managing high-paying job loss in accord with that fundamental constitutional requirement? 

You cannot answer that question.  No one can.  It is absolutely unjustifiable.  Period. 

The way automation has NOT been regulated or managed in this country,  it typically eliminates 10 or 20 manual production jobs while creating only 1 or 2 robot supervision/maintenance jobs.  That is a net 10:1 job loss rate for automating things.  Just what the f**k are all 300+ million of us supposed to do for a living in a regime like that?

Nothing, your labor wont be required, the people that own the means of production will still pay their taxes, and the people that don't have jobs will still vote won't they. Use your imagination, what do you think would happen if such a thing were to occur? the government has no problem spending money, it can send a welfare check to everyone who doesn't have a job, and it wouldn't be inflationary, because people wouldn't be required to work, the economy won't need human labor, the machines do all the work, the machines grow the food, pick the crops, package the food, put it on a truck, drive he truck to the local supermarket, unload the truck, and then put it on the shelves, you buy the food with your welfare check, take it to he automated cashier and purchase your food, and you automated car takes you home, quite simple really!

Your propensity to advance automating everything runs dead against every moral principle known to man,  including Christ's admonition to love your neighbor as yourself.  You hypocrite!!!!!

If you automate everything, all you really have to do is vote, and the government will send you a check, why shouldn't they buy your vote, with automation, you vote is very cheap, all they need to do is print money and the machines will produce stuff for you to buy with that money, no one needs to work for a living! Automation will come whether you like it or not! The task before us is to make the best use of it for our society! People working for a salary or wage makes things expensive. Machines work for free!

Automation is a godsend, if we automate enough, we can house the homeless, no skills on their part is necessary, we just give them homes, the machines build them at no cost except in raw materials that the machines extract themselves. No need for rich or poor, everyone is rich, no reason why they shouldn't be. with automation we can build O'Neill colonies, giant ones, as large as we like! We can move into space, get off the Earth, the wildlife can recover when mankind's presence is reduced, everyone wins! Who wouldn't want that?

Why is it surprising to anyone (including you) that rust belt city-center ghettoes are hot beds of crime,  when there is nothing else for those folks to do for a living but crime?  Their jobs were destroyed by automation and offshoring.

That's because people still need to work for a living, not all jobs were eliminated, we still need goods and services produced by people, just not as many people as before. So basically you want to keep things expensive by keeping the human labor content. Medicine requires a lot of human labor, that is why its so expensive! I'd rather automate that, the ore humans involved the more expensive it is! Space travel is expensive because too many humans are employed to get a satellite into orbit!

So I have to ask,  why are you so obviously dead-set on robots doing everything?  Just what do you expect humans to do for a living in a market economy?  I have never heard you (or any other arch-conservative) answer THAT question!  Because you cannot.

You need to stop assuming that people will need to work for a living. You ever hear of social security? You can lower the age of social security to 18, and then every adult will qualify, and why couldn't we do that? with full automation, there is no reason why we couldn't. Give everyone a social security check, hat would make everyone equal, why wouldn't you like that?

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#37 2016-09-05 20:54:43

Void
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

So then when kids start school, they will be given robots to draw their pictures for them so that they can take them home to show mom and dad?

Adults want to show things also.  It gives life more meaning.

You worship technology, it should not be your god, but your servant.  If something does not promote the happiness of people, then it is not worth doing.

All we have in this world is time and space for a little while, and a chance to fill that with Experience.
Our actions in the end have a lot to do with what we experience. 

I can't say that most people I see on the street are handling indulgence very well even now.  They seem to have a neurotic tendency to damage themselves, as they have little self control.  A bit of struggle deepens their capacity to understand the cause and effect result of their actions, before it is too late.  So, I have to say, that something else is needed.  Something to occupy their time, with an appropriate level of challenge.  Space could do that.

Suppose you build a super robot which could solve all the mysteries of the universe in 1 second?  What does it then have left to do.  It can't even enjoy an ice cream cone, from what I think you have in mind.

Oh, I have so much more, but really, am I not wasting my time already?

Last edited by Void (2016-09-05 21:12:42)

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#38 2016-09-06 04:51:01

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

To build the thing otherwise would require trillions of human beings in spacesuits. Do you want to terraform a planet and have standin room only? With AI, you can have a lot of room to expand into, because the AIs once their job is complete, do not need to be fed, do not need a place to live, they can be shut down and stored some place out of he way. Humans are always "on" until they die! If you create trillions of human beings to do something, they are still around once the task is completed and you need to do something about them. If you want to build a world with 160 times the surface area of he Earth, it would be nice if you could have a lot of space to expand into rather than having a cylinder that is just big enough to accommodate the crowd that just built it!

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#39 2016-09-06 07:37:41

Terraformer
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Wait. What? Tom wants everyone to be on welfare their whole lives?



...



...


Personally, I'm looking forward to being able to get everything custom made, because of people moving from routine factory jobs back into the craft system. With the glut of labour, and the implosion in the cost of living, it will be very affordable.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#40 2016-09-06 09:25:30

GW Johnson
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

For the sake of clarity,  I will say this:  free market economies are the most powerful engine of creation humans have ever devised.  But they absolutely require enforced rules for fair play,  or they inherently devolve in a slave labor situation controlled by a few giants at the top.  This is because humans inevitably misbehave (usually driven by unfettered greed),  and misbehave far worse in larger groups.  That's been our history for over 10 recorded millennia. 

As to Tom's claim that the giants' tax money will support his welfare state of humans not working when only robots do,  it is already demonstrably false!  Here in the US our democracy has already been converted to what I call a giant corporate welfare state.  This process started during WW2 with the defense companies,  and has accelerated and spread ever since.  The biggest giants now include big pharma,  the health insurance industry,  and the big investment institutions. 

By agglomerating to large sizes,  these outfits have the wealth to buy all the elected and appointed government officials (yes bribery,  whether defined as such or not) to let them operate however they want,  without paying taxes.  This is a spectrum vs size/wealth:  smaller outfits cannot afford the bribery required not to pay any taxes at all.  Individuals and small businesses have no chance at all in this system.  In point of fact,  the middle class tax returns are the largest tax revenue source of all.  This edifice rests mostly on their backs.

Government devolves into a pickpocket service that picks the pockets of the middle class and small business to keep the giants filthy rich.  Government ceases to actually accomplish anything:  infrastructure crumbles,  research fumbles,  and you get do-nothing congress after do-nothing congress failing to do their constitutional jobs.  Sound familiar?

It is unsustainable.  Greed drives the giants to destroy more and more middle class high-paying jobs (white collar and blue collar) in favor of low-paying service industry "jobs",  and then opposes converting the pay of such jobs to a living wage level.  That's just greed.  It is destroying the US middle class:  far more leave the shrinking middle class for poverty than for the wealthy.  Collapse is inevitable.

Drug addicts typically continue to death,  knowing the risk.  Money is more addictive than any drug,  which is why the giants are destroying the middle class that supports them.  Most of them are now internationalized,  better able to survive the US collapse.  But,  the same process will destroy country after country.  It is already happening in Europe, too. 

This is pretty much how Rome fell:  economic collapse leaves you vulnerable to opportunistic invasion,  among other fates.  Have you not noticed how US politics has degenerated into bread and circuses (to divert people from the truth) with completely incompetent buffoons spouting nonsense,  as candidates?  The evidence is all around you,  open your eyes and see it for what it really is.  And the US is not alone in this,  it is just the furthest along. 

Patterns like this have led to collapse of civilizations for millennia.  It happens precisely because large groups of people have even less morality to them than individuals acting alone.  And an awful lot of individuals have precious little morality to begin with. 

The US collapse will take your lives and your descendants' lives.  The giants will survive it,  as long as there is another country somewhere they can take over economically.  The outlook for humanity is grim unless we recognize this evil,  and overthrow it,  before the collapses occur.

It's that simple,  and it is also that ugly.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-06 09:43:36)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#41 2016-09-06 11:07:58

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Terraformer wrote:

Wait. What? Tom wants everyone to be on welfare their whole lives?



...



...


Personally, I'm looking forward to being able to get everything custom made, because of people moving from routine factory jobs back into the craft system. With the glut of labour, and the implosion in the cost of living, it will be very affordable.

What's the harm in that? We already have Social Security, we simply expand it to include every adult, anyway humans couldn't build this stuff, there are not enough humans around to do it, and it would be very expensive to pay people to do it, so it would not get done. the only way to build it is with machines. You want to terraform Mars, you need machines to d most of the work, this is not something humans have ever done before, to entirely and deliberately transform an entire planet! That is an unprecedented scale that's never been worked on before.

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#42 2016-09-06 11:16:11

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

For the sake of clarity,  I will say this:  free market economies are the most powerful engine of creation humans have ever devised.  But they absolutely require enforced rules for fair play,  or they inherently devolve in a slave labor situation controlled by a few giants at the top.

Why only a few? Why can't everyone be at the top? The reason why there are few at the top is because they rely on human laborers to keep them at the top, if you replace those humans with AI machines, then the machines will become our "slaves" and everyone will be at the top, the is no reason why they shouldn't be. You have to adjust your way of thinking when you introduce strong AI into the equation. The traditional assumptions you use about the many poor and the few rich no longer fit the situation. The rich need a lot of nonrich working fr them to support their lifestyle, it doesn't matter how they got rich, the fact that they rely on so many non-rich to support their lifestyle means there is a limit percentagewise on how many people can actually be rich relative to the rest of us, but with AI machines, that percentage can go all the way to 100%, and we can build machines so that they don't mind being laborers, and that they do whatever we tell them to do.

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#43 2016-09-06 13:19:28

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,043
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

If you build a ruling AI, then no one is on top, only the AI is on top. All the rest of us are slaves. For an example, see the Star Trek TOS episode "The Return of the Archons". A former leader named "Landru" build an AI and programmed it with his own voice and image. The AI treated civilization as a single organism, individuals treated as nothing more than cells. If an individual did not fit into "the body" then it was purged. That means troublesome or non-productive individuals executed. Do you want that?

Technology makes wonderful servants, but poor masters. We have already equipped miners, ditch diggers, etc with heavy equipment. Cannals are not dug by hand with pick and shovel any more, now we use graders and front-end loaders. Miners use big pneumatic drills mounted on swing arm to a vehicle to support its weight. Canadian mining companies had developed remotely operated mining equipment, and one was working on a fully autonomous loader. Unfortunately foreign companies bought all the Canadian companies working on this. I haven't read anything on the autonomous loader since. Most factories today use automated equipment with a very small number of workers to supervise/operate. I could go on, but the point is machines are very good a repetitive work. They can work 24/7 without a break, without getting bored, without bathroom breaks, without sleep. But machines have limited flexibility; humans are far more versatile and adaptable.

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#44 2016-09-06 15:17:34

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

One possibility is to set aside one sphere for humans and another for AIs. For example we could let loose a bunch of AIs with instructions to terraform planets wherever they find them (excluding native life of a certain complexity or better) and then construct linear accelerator/decelerators to get us to them as quickly as possible. The lineacs would have shipping containers that are 100 meters wide, and perhaps 300 meters long, we construct ships that fit into them, the Lineacs the accelerate the shipping containers at 1-G if there are living human passengers inside. the ships provide a number of diversions to keep the humans busy while they are in transit, and then they are decelerated, and released from the shipping containers to fly their ships in the destination star system, perhaps to settle on a newly terraformed planet. It would take time to build the lineacs and time to terraform the planets, I'm not sure which could be built faster, as rogue planets would have to be found to build the lineacs out of. The machines would build more of themselves and  terraform planets and build a transportation network of these accelerators all throughout the galaxy, and it would probably take close to half a million years to do all this.

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#45 2016-09-06 22:58:59

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 1,806

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

You are thinking too far into the future.  We have no idea what is to be the prima dona, method to travel between planets just now.  How could we think ahead 500,000 years?  We can propose a speculative future for a technical capability, we cannot expect to know what is really to be in conjunction with the unfolding of reality in the future.

Be reasonable.

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#46 2016-09-07 11:29:17

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 2,712
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

It's time to return this thread to its original topic. 

All I can say about Tom's vision of utopia with its altruistic financial giants that pay the welfare checks for an idled population,  is that it flies in the face of over 10 millennia of demonstrated human behavior throughout recorded history.  Unfettered,  greed and immorality swamp everything.  They always have,  no matter what technologies were available,  and so they always will.  Robots are just another technology. They do not change that fundamental picture. 

As for the status of O'Neill's vision,  I think Void sums it up just about right with "You are thinking too far into the future".  Here’s why:

The notion of gigantic space colonies made of asteroidal materials does not violate any principles of science.  But there is as yet no one alive who can specify exactly how to really turn such space rubble into real engineering materials!  So,  the technology-and-materials knowledge that is definitely required to build such things does not yet exist,  even today.  (Oh,  there are some ideas,  yes.  But nothing has been tried,  much less proven to work.) 

I've seen scientists at meetings,  who know their stuff but do not know anything about technology-and-materials,  get up and propose things similar to these giant space colonies.  The engineers in the audience grind their teeth and clench their fists,  because they know that it cannot be done,  and exactly why it cannot be done,  yet.  The politicians in the audience are too damned ignorant to know the difference between scientists and engineers,  and also too damned ignorant to understand what is really required to accomplish some challenging goal.  That's why so many government programs end up doing stupid things and failing.   

Maybe it's past time to require politicians not be so damned ignorant about science and engineering?  But,  back to topic: 

Near term,  gigantic things like O'Neill Colonies or even the somewhat-smaller Kalpana design, simply cannot yet be built by humans,  because the supporting technology-and-materials does not yet exist.  Once it does,  that picture changes from "cannot be done" to "yes,  it can be done".  Simple as that.

What can be done "right now" are projects that are far smaller,  but still bigger than most folks want to think about,  such as things resembling the ISS.  We have the technology-and-materials to build habitat modules,  launch them into space,  and dock them together to form much larger objects.  This is not limited to Earth orbiting space stations,  these things can be anywhere we want them,  and they can be giant self-propelled spaceships,  too.  I'm talking 100-1000-10,000 ton items within our grasp,  easily. 

And they can be spun for artificial gravity,  if that is designed-in at the outset.  Spin gravity as a retrofit makes for a very poor decision,  because the centrifugal forces likely will tear apart structures not designed to handle them. 

There seems to be a bad taste in everybody's mouth over the hideous $110+B expense we incurred building the ISS.  What everybody seems to forget is that much of that expense is associated with the launch system that was used to assemble it:  our marvelous shuttle,  which really was too expensive to use. It cost just about $1.5B for each launch that delivered approximately 15 tons to the ISS orbit.

That same 15 tons can be sent there today by Atlas 5 for about $90M.  Close to 10 tons can be sent there by Falcon-9 for about $65M.  Once Falcon Heavy is fully operational,  it looks like about 50 tons could be sent there for around $100M or thereabouts.  All of those are an order of magnitude (or more!!) cheaper per delivered ton than was shuttle. 

That bad taste in the mouth over the cost of orbital assembly is just no longer justified!  Time to jettison that attitude.

As for SLS,  it depends upon whose figures you believe,  but the projections for the initial version seem to range from $0.5B to $1.0B per launch,  that delivers about 70 tons.  That's a step back,  not all the way back to the shuttle expense,  but still far too expensive to use,  unless you are absolutely forced to launch a 70 ton item.  Most of the time,  we are not. 

It is with these techniques for building large vessels by orbital assembly,  that we can go out there and retrieve bulk asteroidal materials,  bring them home to near-Earth space,  and start experimenting with how best to utilize them. 

Some of that might be manned,  some of it might be unmanned.  Depends on mission specifics.  But the key thing here is using such vessels again and again;  not building another one for each and every mission.  To do otherwise will prove far too expensive. 

Once we learn how to do those technology-and-materials things with those kinds of asteroidal source materials,  then O'Neill habitats and other gigantic construction in space becomes feasible.

We ain't there yet.  This is going to take a few years.  And it can't even start until everybody gets over that bad taste in the mouth we all got from the expense of building the ISS.  You ain’t ever going to afford doing this with a giant rocket launch for each and every mission,  thinking like Apollo.  What single giant rockets can launch will be too small not to kill a crew.  The voyages are too long for that approach. 

You cannot just say "use asteroids" to build giant structures,  until you have actually gone through the process of turning a science-based concept (utilizing asteroidal mass) into a real set of technology-and-materials items (actual engineering materials with the characteristics and properties we need,  plus all the processes necessary to shape and join them in space).  That’s my point here. 

It's a boot-strapping process.  It takes time to accomplish.  You have to work up to it.  We have not yet started. 

But the only real stumbling block I see is that now-unjustified revulsion for orbital assembly of large objects. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-09-07 11:39:05)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#47 2016-09-07 14:37:05

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,508
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Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

I know a lot of people are desperate to get to Mars, but... I actually hold to the "orbit first" approach. Get a decent station up there, with it's own construction shack and depot, and learn about how best to put together spacecraft (from Terran components, of course) and transfer fuel. Then, we go back to Luna, whilst making plans for Mars, and also look at sending retrieval missions to small asteroids. At some point, we'll want the station to go for at least six months without any resupply.

The two aims would be to (1) learn how to survive long duration spaceflight, testing out spin gravity, radiation protection, repair etc; and (2) to learn how to assemble and manufacture stuff - spacecraft, habitats, furniture,  and other such stuff - in space, ideally using in space resources.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#48 2016-09-07 23:42:34

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Terraformer wrote:

I know a lot of people are desperate to get to Mars, but... I actually hold to the "orbit first" approach. Get a decent station up there, with it's own construction shack and depot, and learn about how best to put together spacecraft (from Terran components, of course) and transfer fuel. Then, we go back to Luna, whilst making plans for Mars, and also look at sending retrieval missions to small asteroids. At some point, we'll want the station to go for at least six months without any resupply.

The two aims would be to (1) learn how to survive long duration spaceflight, testing out spin gravity, radiation protection, repair etc; and (2) to learn how to assemble and manufacture stuff - spacecraft, habitats, furniture,  and other such stuff - in space, ideally using in space resources.

You mean build the station in Low Earth orbit with Mars landers attached and then use a low thrust high efficiency rocket to move it into Mars orbit, and then send a crew there t inhabit it?

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#49 2016-09-07 23:47:16

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

It's time to return this thread to its original topic. 

All I can say about Tom's vision of utopia with its altruistic financial giants that pay the welfare checks for an idled population,  is that it flies in the face of over 10 millennia of demonstrated human behavior throughout recorded history.  Unfettered,  greed and immorality swamp everything.  They always have,  no matter what technologies were available,  and so they always will.  Robots are just another technology. They do not change that fundamental picture.

Let me play the Devil's advocate for a moment, lets say you are a greedy corporation, and you just found a way to totally automate your entire corporation including the management, so you no longer employ anybody, so who do you sell to? How do you earn a profit if there is no one with money who can buy your product because they are all unemployed?

You see without some redistribution, you have no customers, so the government takes a percentage of your profit and gives it to your customers so they can buy what you are selling, problem solved!

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#50 2016-09-08 03:14:17

RobertDyck
Member
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,043
Website

Re: What is the status today of O'Neill's vision today?

Terraformer wrote:

I know a lot of people are desperate to get to Mars, but... I actually hold to the "orbit first" approach. Get a decent station up there, with it's own construction shack and depot, and learn about how best to put together spacecraft (from Terran components, of course) and transfer fuel. Then, we go back to Luna, whilst making plans for Mars, and also look at sending retrieval missions to small asteroids. At some point, we'll want the station to go for at least six months without any resupply.

The two aims would be to (1) learn how to survive long duration spaceflight, testing out spin gravity, radiation protection, repair etc; and (2) to learn how to assemble and manufacture stuff - spacecraft, habitats, furniture,  and other such stuff - in space, ideally using in space resources.

The Mars Society was founded by Dr. Robert Zubrin. He argued strongly for his mission plan. That plan meant no space station, skip the Moon, go directly to Mars. He did have a plan to use Mars hardware for a Moon mission. But his approach was design for Mars, then use equipment on the Moon. If you design for the Moon, absolutely no hardware can be used on Mars. The reason is Mars is hard. The Moon isn't easy, but Mars is much more difficult than Mars.

I tried to update Mars Direct, and address certain weaknesses. The Achilles Heel of Mars Direct is the ERV. While you have artificial gravity and a large hab during transit from Earth to Mars, the ERV has zero-G the whole way and a capsule not much bigger than an Apollo CM. My mission architecture is a tweak of Mars Direct, it would include a reusable in-space hab for transit both ways. That means artificial gravity and a hab the size of an RV both ways.

For the Moon, Mars Direct has another issue. The Mars ERV uses ISPP to reduce launch mass. But the Moon has no atmosphere, so ISPP doesn't work. Landing a Mars Direct ERV on the Moon requires landing it fully fuelled. NASA looked at that in 1959-1961, they idea of landing an Apollo CSM on the surface of the Moon, they found even a Saturn V is not large enough to launch it. So my idea would use a Mars Direct surface hab on the Moon, but instead of the Mars ERV it would use an Apollo architecture. That means park a Dragon spacecraft in Lunar orbit, and minimal LM to act as a taxi for all 4 astronauts. The hab would require SLS block 2B, but the Dragon and light-weight LM could be launched by a single SLS block 1. Yes, I said block 1. Not block 1B or 2B, I said block 1. That is accomplished by using Dragon instead of Orion, LCH4/LOX instead of hypergolics, all composite propellant tanks, and the LM would not carry any science instruments or rover. All science instruments and rover would be on the surface hab.
Moon mission today - Dragon & Mars hab

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