Polywell Visions: Food

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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cksantos
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Polywell Visions: Food

Postby cksantos » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:05 pm

2. Food will be farmed at extremely high density in 100% artificial conditions, eliminating many of the current problems of agriculture and creating many new ones.

a.With abundant energy extremely intensive aquaponics using artificial lighting will provide high density production year around. NASA, marijuana cultivators, universities, and backyard inventors around the world are on the forefront of this research.

b. Food will become local and produced year around in a sterile environment solving the problems of pesticides and herbicides, transportation, and bacterial contamination. Meat will be grown in labs etc., and food production will be done in that hands of a few multinational companies that can afford all this equipment.

WizWom
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Postby WizWom » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:07 pm

Any cost is significantly more than free.

Millions of square miles are in agriculture, and we don't need that room. It is not cost effective to provide hydroponics for bulk crops, but vegetables and vine fruits might be practical.
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clonan
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Postby clonan » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:10 pm

WizWom wrote:Any cost is significantly more than free.

Millions of square miles are in agriculture, and we don't need that room. It is not cost effective to provide hydroponics for bulk crops, but vegetables and vine fruits might be practical.


The advantage of an underground completly controlled environment is not necessarily the saved land. The advantage is the ability to provide exactly the ideal EM frequencey, minimizing wasted fertilizer, increasing CO2 levels, almost zero net water usage and all but eliminating pesticides.

Other benifits are the ability to control the source of polination, pefectly standard land (ie Flat w/ 10 ft ceilings) and of course freeing up arable land which is typically the prefered location for people to live.

Hydroponics IS probably the best for vegetables but wheat, corn, potatoes and rice are all but optimized. But by moving them into artificial environments (underground seems ideal to me) you could increase the production of a piece of land 10-fold.

cksantos
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Postby cksantos » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:22 pm

Underground is still 2d thinking. Without the sun you can go vertical, like say an aquaponics sky scraper. I'm thinking trade tower size buildings, AWG on the roof, and polywell the whole show. They only make sense for feeding 1st world cities, but it would allow high quality local organic food some where like Manhatten where the price for organic local produce would fetch astronimical prices.

It will NEVER replace corn, wheat, rice. These are ingredients in packaged foods and are not necessary to consume in an ideal world of food production. Whole foods type stores are going to make these things possible by driving consumers away from Food Inc. garbage. Most likely open space farming will be used for GMO plants/synthetic organisms for the poor and for bio-fuel production.(cellulose ethanol, corn, wheat, rice, algae, etc.).

The rich will isolate themselves and pay for all this. The more I think about the implications more I think that polywell is going to create social stratification "the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer" Eventually it will come to the point where health care lets you live 1000's of years but only the rich get the benefits. Ive been to 15 different countries around the world, and its the same story everywhere. A few smart businessmen extracting the labor and resources of their neighbors for their own benefit at a net gain.

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Postby MSimon » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:53 pm

Ah. The reviled rich.

I know a multi-millionaire who thinks billionaires are greedy.

Definition of greedy: anyone who has more than you do.

OK I'll play. Governments are the greediest bastards on earth.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MirariNefas
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Postby MirariNefas » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:01 pm

clonan wrote:The advantage is the ability to provide exactly the ideal EM frequencey, minimizing wasted fertilizer, increasing CO2 levels, almost zero net water usage and all but eliminating pesticides.


I remember reading a compelling essay to this effect, describing how automation and greenhouses were going to transform the landscape across America within a decade, freeing up resources for space exploration. Then I realized that the article was written in the 80's/90's. Wish I could remember the name so I could share it.

These are good arguments, but they haven't been good enough so far (at least en masse, hothouses do have their place in the present economy). One day I'm sure these forces for productivity will overcome the investment costs of building and maintaining these structures. I'm reasonably optimistic that it could happen even without fusion power. Obviously, cheap power would make it occur much sooner though.

cksantos wrote:Underground is still 2d thinking. Without the sun you can go vertical, like say an aquaponics sky scraper.


For those who want some visuals, check out: http://www.verticalfarm.com/

I hear they're building one in Las Vegas. They figure that even if it isn't cost effective, it'll be good for tourism.

Whole foods type stores are going to make these things possible by driving consumers away from Food Inc. garbage. Most likely open space farming will be used for GMO plants/synthetic organisms for the poor and for bio-fuel production.(cellulose ethanol, corn, wheat, rice, algae, etc.).


This is an interesting perspective. I've been assuming that the Whole Foods type movement would shun artificial environments for not being "natural" enough. This really is the ultimate in factory farming, though clearly also the cleanest farming. No need for pesticides or pesticidal gene modifications in the sealed farmscraper. I think that people are not rational, and this will cause some internal cultural conflict for our societies.

Another issue is the legal landscape. When sealed environments are economical, I expect that restrictions on GMO use will tighten considerably. This may vary from country to country, but most of Europe will almost certainly ban or severely restrict the use of GMO crops in the countryside.

Also, when it comes to biofuel production, I'd like to point out that yields are astronomically higher with sterile environments. The simpler the organism you use, the less energy it devotes to things other than making product. A stripped down algae that does nothing but make deisel and reproduce is extremely productive, and extremely vulnerable to contamination. So I expect bioreactors for fuel production would happen naturally, especially if the electric bills were low and the manufacturing of components cheaper.



I think this ties into another implication for the social environment. I think that, in general, people don't trust technology, and view it as a force for evil in the world. There was a time when antibiotics were first invented, and people thought science would eradicate all disease. They called it the golden age of pharmaceuticals. Then we had the Thalidomide public relations nightmare, when babies were born with flippers.

Right now, people think of pollution, trans fats, global warming, Chernobyl, all the side effects and unintended consequences. They largely shrug it off when a study says that some natural food product like soy raises your risk of cancer, but they eagerly look for every scrap of data that cell phones might possibly raise our risk of cancer by half a percentage somehow, because they simply expect it to be so. Technology must be bad, look at all the bad stuff it's done already, right?

Safe, cheap nuclear fusion might lead us back into another burst of optimism. We'd be able to clearly see the economic benefits associated with the old fear of the word "nuclear". We'd have choices like clean crops from techno powerhouses played against salmonella ridden crops from the "natural" countryside. I hope things would play out this way, anyway.

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:25 pm

". . .I think that, in general, people don't trust technology, and view it as a force for evil in the world. . .

. . .Technology must be bad, look at all the bad stuff it's done already, right?"

In philosophy of technology, we draw the distinction between technological optimism and technological pessimism. What you're describing is the pessimist. Optimists are just as bad. When Roddenbury posited that the bright and brilliant future would no longer include things like money, he was grasping at a utopia created by technology when in fact, human nature forbids such a future.

To be a careful thinker, you need to think carefully. You can't take a general attitude of optimism or pessimism and apply it to every specific situation you encounter. That's a thinking error of generalization that will generally make one foolish. Instead, we have to recognize that when judging a technology, the devil is in the details. To understand the benefits and dangers of say, genetic manipulation; you have to actually look at the details. People who presume modified corn or tomatoes are bad, are just as clueless as those who assume they're good, because both ASSUMED instead of getting the facts.

Turning off the gene that makes a tomato's skin turn brown as it ages is good for the seller, but it's not good for the person eating it, because they've simply been duped into eating old, dead food..
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

cksantos
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Postby cksantos » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:40 pm

I'm not necessarily pessimistic just a devils advocate to the overflowing gush of optimism this site generates. I think its extremely important to have debate. Personally I think the singularity consciousness will take over soon(read Ray Kurzweil Singularity is Near) so we can add to pessimist and optimist, crackpot.

I like your middle path of technological philosophy. Good Stuff, very Buddhist.

I love GMO, I live right next to Monsanto, I steal their opiate producing corn..... JK

For people who don't like GMO's just wait till the synthetic biology revolution.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_biology or visit singularity university and watch all their youtube videos.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:56 pm

Ive been to 15 different countries around the world, and its the same story everywhere. A few smart businessmen extracting the labor and resources of their neighbors for their own benefit at a net gain.


So who is going to organize production? You? The USSR?

And you would prefer dumb businessmen?

And how do you explain that my cheap apartment in a backwater of Illinois comes with central air? Something only the rich could afford in 1900. And no one could get in 1800.

How do you explain my 1.5 TB hard drive that I was able to buy for under $120? Storage so vast that it would have costs 10s or 100s of millions in 1950. Its those fookin greedy businessmen doing these unspeakable things to me. Can we put a stop to it? At once.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MirariNefas
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Postby MirariNefas » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:59 pm

To be a careful thinker, you need to think carefully. You can't take a general attitude of optimism or pessimism and apply it to every specific situation you encounter. That's a thinking error of generalization that will generally make one foolish. Instead, we have to recognize that when judging a technology, the devil is in the details. To understand the benefits and dangers of say, genetic manipulation; you have to actually look at the details. People who presume modified corn or tomatoes are bad, are just as clueless as those who assume they're good, because both ASSUMED instead of getting the facts.


Yet, we live in a complex world with complex technologies. Which facts are you actually getting, and who is interpreting them for you? Do you really know that vaccines won't give you autism, or do you know that an association of individuals who know a lot more than you do on this subject have gotten together and told you that it won't cause autism? Some people don't know either thing; they know that an association of inscrutable people have said on thing and that some other inscrutable people have said another, and then they know that Chernobyl was Bad.

We are none of us such great demonologists that we can handle all the devils in the details. I agree that forward-thinking optimism can be very foolish, but I think we need a degree of optimism and trust when it comes to evaluating the technological establishment of today.

I don't mean that Monsanto or even the FDA should just tell us what to think. I want a future where different professional think tanks argue and we get to filter through their conclusions, but I don't like the present where pessimism is so strong that our populace gets its "facts" from uneducated, nonprofessional crackpots and organizations. If improvement takes a dose of generic optimism from highly positive examples of technology, I'm all for that.

cksantos
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Postby cksantos » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:03 pm

Don't get me wrong I am not anti capitalism. My ultimate wet dream is to mine asteroids privately and become one of the first people worth trillions of dollars. If it were up to me we would have a benevolent cyborg capitalist dictator.

The purpose of my post discuss how the darker (weapons, corporate interest, etc.) aspects of polywell could possible interact with the lighter aspects(abundant power, water, and food). Through our discussion we are writing the polywell vision one post at a time.

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:19 pm

MirariNefas wrote:
To be a careful thinker, you need to think carefully. You can't take a general attitude of optimism or pessimism and apply it to every specific situation you encounter. That's a thinking error of generalization that will generally make one foolish. Instead, we have to recognize that when judging a technology, the devil is in the details. To understand the benefits and dangers of say, genetic manipulation; you have to actually look at the details. People who presume modified corn or tomatoes are bad, are just as clueless as those who assume they're good, because both ASSUMED instead of getting the facts.


Yet, we live in a complex world with complex technologies. Which facts are you actually getting, and who is interpreting them for you? Do you really know that vaccines won't give you autism, or do you know that an association of individuals who know a lot more than you do on this subject have gotten together and told you that it won't cause autism? Some people don't know either thing; they know that an association of inscrutable people have said on thing and that some other inscrutable people have said another, and then they know that Chernobyl was Bad.

We are none of us such great demonologists that we can handle all the devils in the details. I agree that forward-thinking optimism can be very foolish, but I think we need a degree of optimism and trust when it comes to evaluating the technological establishment of today.

I don't mean that Monsanto or even the FDA should just tell us what to think. I want a future where different professional think tanks argue and we get to filter through their conclusions, but I don't like the present where pessimism is so strong that our populace gets its "facts" from uneducated, nonprofessional crackpots and organizations. If improvement takes a dose of generic optimism from highly positive examples of technology, I'm all for that.


I agree completely. The trouble comes when we don't admit when we're relying upon some source we consider authoritative, and when we're just blowing smoke. We have to trust specialists at times. We can't all be our own doctors, lawyers and auto mechanics. However, when we are relying upon specialists, we need to hold our judgments very tentatively. The AGW issue is a perfect example where almost all the "specialists" are not special at all, and yet have people believing they know what they're talking about. The AGW craze is going to go down in history as the world's largest hoax. The evidence is already in, and yet; places like New Scientist are still pushing their political agenda and ostracizing those who don't agree, pretending they know--they KNOW--when in fact, they just accepted what they were told, by others who accepted what they were told, and so on, and so on, and so on. . .

Lets face it, sometimes its best to say "I don't know. . ."
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

cksantos
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Postby cksantos » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:44 pm

GIThruster wrote: The AGW craze is going to go down in history as the world's largest hoax.


whats wrong with air generated water? (AGW)

We use it here in our office to water our plants and stuff, comes out of the AC unit, pretty strait forward. Does not take much to make it bigger, aka giant polywell dehumidifiers. If the air gets to dry we can boil sea water with polywells to replace it.

MirariNefas
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Postby MirariNefas » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:49 pm

Anthropogenic Global Warming.

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Postby MSimon » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:57 pm

I think this ties into another implication for the social environment. I think that, in general, people don't trust technology, and view it as a force for evil in the world.


Until they need a doctor, or want to turn on a computer, or wish to cool their domicile in the summer or heat it in the winter, or heat their food by a microwave, or talk on their cell phone.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.


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