[Server-sky] Demandite - machines versus biology

Michael Turner michael.eugene.turner at gmail.com
Sat Jul 20 04:56:35 UTC 2013

"When we need a chemical element, we will not dig for it, we will send
bacteria and ants after it, incentivized by the chemical rewards and
cues they evolved to pursue."

To paraphrase a certain person I otherwise don't like very much: "You
go to space with the self-replicating nanotech you have, not the
self-replicating nanotech you'd like to have."

Hm, I need to put that one in the Project Persephone wiki somewhere ....

Michael Turner

Project Persephone
K-1 bldg 3F
7-2-6 Nishishinjuku
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 160-0023
Tel: +81 (3) 6890-1140
Fax: +81 (3) 6890-1158
Mobile: +81 (90) 5203-8682
turner at projectpersephone.org

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward
together in the same direction." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 5:15 AM, Keith Lofstrom <keithl at kl-ic.com> wrote:
> A response to a friend's email, perhaps worth sharing with the list:
>> ...
>> Recalling D.R. Criswell, and his 'demandite' papers from the 1970s;
>> ... [more about the mass spectrometer mining of arbitrary rock]
> The only thing that really costs money is human attention.
> Nature is not uniform;  ore bodies occur by beneficiation, which is
> driven by heat, gravity, oxygen and water chemistry on a planet with
> plate tectonics operating over deep time.  Earth has perhaps 20 times
> (WAG) as many mineral types as Mars and 100 times as many as the moon.
> The machines we build are also subject to all those effects and require
> continuous attention;  maintenance and optimum operation in a varying
> environment are two attention sinks that limit the size our machine
> collection can grow to.
> Software can multiply productive human attention.  Some software
> (like facebook and twitter) multiply attention by a factor much
> smaller than one.  Television, very close to zero.  Other software,
> like adaptive machine control driven by CAD, multiplies attention
> by two to ten, computable from the dollar income of those buying
> the tools and the people they hire to operate them.  Data mining
> operations at Google are probably the most productive multiplier
> in the world, but Google restricts access to the data needed to
> estimate their multiplier.
> I don't think we will get to the attention multiplier factors needed
> for macromechanical demandite processing without better software,
> and organizations and hardware platforms optimized for using it.
> That might come with time, but there are shortcuts we will use first.
> I was thinking about balloon hydrogen generators, information, biology,
> and working with nature, and came up with this:
> http://server-sky.com/RWS-Microballoon
> Still tweaking on it, getting feedback.
> We are passing from the machine age and entering the information and
> biology age - there will still be lots of machines around (there
> are still people hunting with pointy sticks), but information-guided
> self-replication is the future.  When we need a chemical element, we
> will not dig for it, we will send bacteria and ants after it,
> incentivized by the chemical rewards and cues they evolved to pursue.
> We are already using water mining to extract most of our uranium and
> methane.  Some friends are studying artificial xeolite molecules for
> element extraction in toxic waste ponds.  Paying attention to nature,
> instead of fighting her, can be very rewarding.
> Think galacticly, act microscopicly.
> Keith
> --
> Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> --
> Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
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