Books. Bikes. Boomsticks.
Government is simply the word for those things we choose to do badly together.
I myself am hoping the Polywell folks get it right. Then we can take all the Malthusian doomers like James Howard Kunstler, put their heads in jars a la Futurama, and point and laugh while they complain about the strip malls of Ganymede.
Ever read First Cycle by H Beam Piper? It is about the meeting of two alien cultures, one libertarian, the other statist. Makes for interesting reading.
Explaining the Fermi Paradox is easy. Don't even need to be a geek - just need to be from Northwest Indiana.Gary, Indiana has precisely NOTHING to offer the rest of the world. It is dirty, squalid and unpoetic; industrial but unproductive, poor but also lacking in the pathos necessary to attract attention. Tourists don't go there. Anthropologists don't go there. Human rights activists, scholars, National Geographic photographers, celebrities with a cause...all go to places like Gary, but they don't go to Gary. You've heard of Gary but you don't know anyone from there and neither you nor anyone you know communicates with Gary. It's a place so unglamorous their own newspaper, the Gary Post Tribune (which is successful and has a growing subscriber base) dropped the city's name from its masthead about 18 years ago. How's THAT for hatin'?Now extrapolate. You are a being from a race that can travel to distant planets. You're planning a vacation - Are you going to go to a place like Earth when you could go to a place like Jupiter? Is there any cause on Earth that an intergalactic celebrity can take up? Anything worth studying on Earth that isn't more interesting elsehwere? Any resources on Earth that don't exist elsewhere in greater abundance?Probably not.Fermi's Paradox is dashed to pieces on the rip-rap lining the South Shore of Lake Michigan where it abuts the U.S. Steel plant. It is crushed beneath the rails of the Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. and trampled on the floor of the Social Security Office on 12th and Broadway.BTW, I'm back home from Iraq.gvi
GVI got what I was going to say in function if not exactly in form.I think we ought to go out there and have a look for ourselves.Jim
@PolywellThere's got to be something fishy in there. There's tons of money in fusion research in the US, I don't understand why Polywell has to struggle to get several million.. @Collectivism as part of great filter?I think it's kind of parochial, suggesting that ET economic systems are anything like ours. Anyway, where is it written that intelligent species have to spread like cancer? The ones that do probably off themselves on their home planet before they manage to get to the stars. @Strip malls, Ganymede? That's kind of like suggesting main battle tanks armored with chocolate. It's possible, but bloody useless. Humans in one form or another are likely going to live around Jupiter at some point in the future, but by then the whole concept of mall will be more outdated than horse-drawn omnibuses are today.
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