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Rats in a Spherical Box: Looking to the Skies


Gregory Benford


Ethical Technology

January 24, 2013

One iconic image expresses our existential condition: the pale blue dot. That photograph of Earth the Voyager 1 spacecraft took in 1990 from 6 billion kilometers away told us how small we are. What worries me is that dot may be all we ever have, all we can command, for the indefinite future. Humanity could become like rats stuck on the skin of our spherical world, which would look more and more like a trap.


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Complete entry


COMMENTS



Posted by SHaGGGz  on  01/24  at  10:55 PM

“In the end, history may resemble a zero-sum game ruled by resources. We can only win such a game by breaking out of its assumptions.”
A great, infuriating idiocy of our time is the fact that we finally have access to technology that transcends this brutal paradigm, while entrenched powers do everything they can to artificially impose it. The incipient war on general computation will prove to be an even bigger squandering than the drug war has been.





Posted by kevinlagrandeur  on  01/28  at  10:10 PM

Very interesting, Dr. Benford, especially the ideas about nuclear drives.  The thing I wonder: who is listening to people like you?  I remember you well from my days at UCI, and have great respect for your ideas, but who can we get to invest in these ideas?  Do you think the future of investment in them lies with private enterprise, like Musk’s endeavors?  Just curious.






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