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Sep 2, 2012

Complexity decomplexified (Lifeboat Preprint)

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

Complexity decomplexified: A List of 200 Results Encountered over 55 Years

Otto E. Rossler

Faculty of Science, University of Tubingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 8, 72076 Tubingen, Germany

Abstract

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Sep 1, 2012

Lunar Space Station vs. Asteroid Mission

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, engineering, geopolitics, habitats, military, policy, space, transparency

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48869943#.UELWXqD0SXY

The glacial pace of NASA’s human spaceflight program –even with the glaciers melting- may possibly see human beings leave Earth’s gravitational field in 2025. Possibly.

The missing piece of the puzzle is a radiation sanctuary massive enough to protect a crew from a major solar event on such a journey.

http://www.nasatech.com/NEWS/Nov05/who_1105.html

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Sep 1, 2012

Christian Astronomers

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, climatology, complex systems, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, finance, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, nuclear weapons, open source, physics, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

“The more anxiety one produces, the more the discussion there would be about how real and how possible actual existential threats are.”

John Hunt recently queried me on what steps I might take to form an organization to advocate for survival colonies and planetary defense. His comment on anxiety is quite succinct. In truth the landing on the moon was the product of fear- of the former Soviet Union’s lead in rocket technology. As we as a nation quelled that anxiety the budget for human space flight dwindled. But the fear of a nuclear winter continued to grow along with the size of our arsenals.

Interestingly, at the height of the cold war, evidence of yet another threat to human existence was uncovered in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico in 1981; Chicxulub. But even before the dinosaur killer was discovered, perhaps the greatest threat of all to humanity was born in 1973 when Herb Boyer and Stanley Cohen created the first genetically modified organism. The money to answer both of these threats by going into space continues to be expended by the military industrial complex.

Mile wide rocks in space and microscopic organisms on earth are both threats to our existence, but the third and undoubtedly greatest threat is our own apathy. Why do we expend the tremendous resources of our race on everything BUT keeping it from going extinct?

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Sep 1, 2012

Questioning the Foundations of Physics to Achieve Interstellar Travel: Part 1

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, physics, space

Would It Keep Us Awake At Night?
It is not sufficient to just challenge the foundations of physics just for the theoretical interest. To make the challenge come alive we need a goal that will keep us awake at night at the possibility of new unthinkable inventions that will take man where no man has gone before.

Is interstellar travel possible? I have found that in trying to answer this question, I am forced to challenge the foundations of physics. This question provides a vessel to discuss how to challenge, and if we have found some of the answers, there are still more questions.

The two most important questions in my opinion are, what is force?, and what is the difference between ‘travel’ and ‘arrival’? That is, why do we need to ‘travel’, why can’t we just ‘arrive’?

I started questioning the foundations of physics in 1999. In attempting to answer the question, what is force?, in 2007 I discovered a new formula for gravitational acceleration g=τc2 that does not require us to know the mass of the planet or star. τ is the change in time dilation divided by the change in distance. This is an immense discovery, never before accomplished in the 346-year history, since Newton, of the physics of gravitational fields, as all theories on gravity require us to know the mass of the planet or star.

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Aug 31, 2012

Weaponization to Emigration

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, counterterrorism, defense, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, habitats, lifeboat, military, policy, space, transparency

Four years ago MARCUS WOHLSEN wrote about genetic engineering as a hobby. We are faced with a growing list of pathogens that with a little modification could bring about the end of civilization. It could happen tomorrow.

If you are afraid of guns in the United States, the only solution is to leave. There are millions of guns, many more than estimated, sitting in closets and packed away from when grandpa died. We face the same situation with the Hanta virus, and several others that are in the environment. There is no getting rid of them and no stopping anyone with not-too-expensive lab equipment from playing god and changing them into the end of the world.

The solution is survival colonies in space. Though it sounds bizarre, these colonies should be “manned” by fertile women and maintain sperm banks. 99 men and one woman is the end of the world, while 99 women and a sperm bank is a new one.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/25/do-it-yourself-dna-amateu_n_153489.html

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Aug 30, 2012

The 8 Reasons CERN Upholds for Continuing its Black-hole Onslaught

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

1) Hawking radiation — that the produced mini black holes would immediately evaporate

2) Chargedness — that they would get stuck immediately and hence as everyone can see do no harm

3) Competence — that CERN’s detectors could register them

4) Unlikeliness — that an unproven theory (string theory) was a precondition for CERN’s being successful

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Aug 28, 2012

The Truth about Space Travel is Stranger than Fiction

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, climatology, complex systems, cosmology, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, finance, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, neuroscience, nuclear weapons, physics, policy, space, sustainability, transparency, treaties

I have been corresponding with John Hunt and have decided that perhaps it is time to start moving toward forming a group that can accomplish something.

The recent death of Neil Armstrong has people thinking about space. The explosion of a meteor over Britain and the curiosity rover on Mars are also in the news. But there is really nothing new under the sun. There is nothing that will hold people’s attention for very long outside of their own immediate comfort and basic needs. Money is the central idea of our civilization and everything else is soon forgotten. But this idea of money as the center of all activity is a death sentence. Human beings die and species eventually become extinct just as worlds and suns also are destroyed or burn out. Each of us is in the position of a circus freak on death row. Bizarre, self centered, doomed; a cosmic joke. Of all the creatures on this planet, we are the freaks the other creatures would come to mock- if they were like us. If they were supposedly intelligent like us. But are we actually the intelligent ones? The argument can be made that we lack a necessary characteristic to be considered truly intelligent life forms.

Truly intelligent creatures would be struggling with three problems if they found themselves in our situation as human beings on Earth in the first decades of this 21st century;

1. Mortality. With technology possible to delay death and eventually reverse the aging process, intelligent beings would be directing the balance of planetary resources towards conquering “natural” death.

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Aug 28, 2012

Another Warning from Space

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, defense, engineering, ethics, events, lifeboat, media & arts, military, space, transparency

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/meteor-explodes-…34670.html

What will it take before the public realizes that we are on the endangered species list as long as we have no defense against impacts?

If the “golf ball sized” exploder had been another Tunguska and London was incinerated it might become quite clear that we need to get into space in a big way.

Will it take a major disaster? The unfortunate truth is that a rock or snowball just a little bigger than what might wake the human race up- might also render our species extinct.

Aug 26, 2012

BEO-HSF again

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, existential risks, finance, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, nuclear weapons, physics, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

This essay was posted last year, removed, and is back with small changes. Enjoy.

I became interested in Beyond Earth Orbit- Human Space Flight by way of a college paper I helped my wife research some years ago. Her project for an ethics class was nuclear weapons. I stumbled upon the book “Project Orion, the true story of the atomic spaceship” by George Dyson and was hooked. I had been a science fiction fan in my youth but like most people I thought space operas were only to be realized in the far future. Project Orion changed my worldview. Since then my made up mind has been unmade several times concerning most of the “common knowledge” floating around about space flight in this 21st century. Much of what is generally believed to be true about our space program is made up of recent hearsay used to hype products that further a business plan. When I read these infomercials endlessly repeated as fact I get pretty upset, mostly because exposing these “facts” as false advertising almost always results in vicious attacks. The private space cult fanatics disgust me and I will not apologize for my hard feelings about these people. They mislead, obfuscate, and insult and dogpile anyone who disagrees with their dogma.

It was a slow step by step process but I came to realize the path to the stars is a narrow one. I found the U.S. space effort, described as being on “the flexible path”, to be going nowhere. There is no Flexible Path. The path to colonizing the solar system is narrow indeed due to the laws of physics and materials science. Science fiction movies have conditioned the public to believe such natural laws can be violated and technology that breaks these laws is possible and immanent. This attitude has led to much waste and many tragedies in the past decades and there is soon to come great disappointment over breakthroughs that are far easier said than done. By way of political contributions and backroom deals, the flexible path scheme came into existence as a way of making money for a small group of investors looking to cash in on public ignorance of technology through influence peddling. It is a convoluted and confusing story and perhaps the best way to make the truth clear is to start at the desired end and work backwards.

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Aug 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong and the Space Age are Dead

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, events, homo sapiens, human trajectories, media & arts, policy, space

http://news.yahoo.com/neil-armstrong-1st-man-moon-dies-193954975.html

It was said he was the perfect man to be the first to step foot on another world. He never embarrassed his country and was quiet and reserved. One of his least known yet most famous statements among pilots was in answer to a reporters query at a press conference; when asked if there was anything that was personally very important to him that NASA would not let him take to the moon, he answered, “more fuel.”

As it turned out he landed on the moon with a few seconds of fuel to spare after maneuvering clear of a boulder field. His co-pilot, Dr. Rendezvous, had already crashed the computer by turning a radar on early in the descent. He had shown the same nerves of steel during the Gemini program when his capsule continued to accelerate in a spin after a thruster fired and would not shut down. Nearing unconsciousness he worked the problem almost to the bitter end and finally regained control.

Sadly, the same resolve and crystal clear focus was never to be found in America’s space program after Apollo. With no vehicle capable of carrying astronauts into orbit and nothing but budget cuts on the horizon, the U.S. space program has effectively died with it’s greatest hero. No direction, no goal, nothing is foreseen to be accomplished in the coming decades as the political football that is human spaceflight is kicked from administration to administration. The trillion dollar war and piles of rubble on the other side of the world are the grave of the space age. We have only the past and the people who had a mission to remember.

Good luck Neil.