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F_x wrote

I've tried searching in the A-transhumanist manifesto but couldn't find anything about it, so I'm really curious about it too.

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

easy, space mining lol

most relevant lit isnt anarcho-transhumanist but regular science journals or regular anarchist answers to this question.

There is no scarcity of resources but a bad distribution. We all-ready produce enough food to feed 1.3 times the global population, yet only 0.7 of us are sufficiently fed. (numbers from memory). And that's with inefficient cattle and meat industries. Artificial meat or at least veganism are legit solutions to increase food efficiency. maybe one day some of us will eat through photosynthesis too lol.

Energy is not a problem, governments have the tools today to go fully green. Also fusion someday hopefully lol.

rare metals: reusing shit instead of dumping it in wastelands in africa. We've probably mined enought allready. Hopefully we'll get carbon-based batteries soon too.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote

So how do we get into space and get the materials back here? How far do we go for them and what 'right' do we have to strip other celestial bodies of materials? Space elevators and frequent use of rocketry are incredibly expensive and have externalities beyond just the raw cost. Since half of transhuman thought comes from science-fiction anyway, what prevents a scenario like Red Mars where the elevator is severed and crashes down, causing horrific destruction in its wake?

There's externalities in production of things like solar panels too. The materials that go into them are highly toxic, things like wind turbines and nuclear plants still need concrete moorings/superstructures and metallic components and a fusion system would still need to have failsafes and containment procedures, wouldn't it? The photosynthesis thing is just silly, as much as I'd love to be a dryad I can't see any realistic way of that happening. We could reclaim materials, but resources will still be expended beyond recycling or reusability, there's no such things as perfect transference.

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

The thing about transhumanism, and is one of the less visible main differences with anprimitivism: we dont know what society will look like: everything I say is based on current technology, but its still a shot in the dark. It's part of why I find @h+ so fascinating.

there are tons of whitepapers on ateroid mining. Its not even necessary thought imo. Cool thought. Some anarcho-rocket-nerd would end up by doing it someday.

by "transference" do you mean recycling?

thermal solar energy is less efficient but easier to do than photovoltaic, and doesnt cost much. Fusion is so hard to obtain that if any problem happens, the reactor will cool down by itself, and the unstable radioactive materials will float up into the atmosphere, becoming harmless: no risk of meltdown.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote

I can't imagine that a system based on technological supremacy wouldn't deteriorate into an unequal and authoritarian one, given the motivation for a lot of advancements has been killing off other people. I don't have a lot of faith in post-collapse world recovering by embracing what brought collapse in the first place.

At the current rate of resource consumption, it takes about four and a half earths yearly to support even a significant portion of the world through a 'western' lifestyle. Stepping up production and exploitation of terrestrial resources, while theoretically 'possible' in the sense that they're there, would still bring untold suffering that would disproportionately affect the global south and communities that are thoroughly uninterested in some techno-utopia, which would make it an oppressive system since you'd be unable to live outside of it. So it seems like asteroid mining'd be our best bet to avoid making things any worse, but I'm still skeptical about our capacity to realistically get up there and back again often enough to make it routine.

I'm definitely with you on adopting cleaner methods of power production, but it can't be whitewashed that they're not completely clean. Fusion reactors and making batteries and solar panels still requires rare earths and toxic chemicals, with the risks of pollution that entails. It's reassuring to know a fusion reactor would be able to shut itself down, but I'm less confident about what would have to go into making one to begin with.

Yes, I do, regarding recycling.

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Just_An_Author wrote

Honestly, I think that the most viable means for large-scale launch capacity from Earth is a hybrid laser launch system. An electromagnetic accelerator gives the spacecraft an initial kick into the air, before a multi-gigawatt laser battery blasts a large block of ablative propellant attached to the back of the ship. This provides more than enough power to shove decently large spacecraft into orbit, after which nuclear-electric drive systems should be more than sufficient to get to nearly anywhere in the solar system.

This system has several advantages over both rockets and space elevators. Compared to rockets, it doesn't necessarily need anywhere near so much excessively combustible propellants, both reducing pollution and making space launches much safer. Compared to space elevators, it doesn't require dubious speculative materials to make a strong enough cable, is a lot less vulnerable to space debris slamming into the cables, and won't have any collateral damage if something breaks. The only things needed are the launch facilities to be built and sufficiently powered.

Anyway, as to the 'right' to disassemble other celestial bodies, if there's nobody living there then they're just inert matter, the same as any other chunk of atoms. True, there might technically not be any need to, but if we wind up with easy enough access to space, people are going to go to space. Maybe only a small percentage of the population at first, true, but it's something of a self-selecting process. Anyway, those people who do go to space are probably going to be rather uncooperative with any attempts to keep them from making use of the resources around them instead of shipping stuff from earth.

Hence, the most likely justification for it will be "my life depends on mining this stuff, and if you try to stop me I will shoot you." Not saying that's a good thing, just saying that it's likely.

As for the externalities of stuff like solar collector manufacture, that's one of the nice things about having lots of space-borne industry. There's a lot of room in space where it's perfectly acceptable to put toxic byproducts, particularly since in most locations there isn't a biosphere that people need to give a shit about. Yeah you'd still need to be careful to keep orbital debris from getting out of hand, but in space free volume is REALLY easy to come by.

In the extreme long term if resources start running low, there's a convenient chunk of matter right in the center of the system that you know as the sun. There are already several theorized ways to remove matter from a star for industrial use, a process which would actually prolong the sun's life. Even if all we could get out of it was Hydrogen (it isn't), with a particle accelerator and enough energy elemental transmutation is absolutely a thing that can be done even with current technology. If we get the hang of nuclear fusion we could even get energy out of it for any element lighter than Iron.

Please note that this isn't even considering possible interstellar resources, since it's hard to say what sorts of technologies will pop up for interstellar travel at this point in time. With relatively sedate (!) nuclear torchships, we're still looking at decades-long travel times between the closest of stars, and starship fuel fractions upwards of 90%. This would needless to say make bulk interstellar shipping a rather unappealing option.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote

My first issue with this is seeing things like stars and planets as resources to be expended, positivism's a deeply untenable ideology and one responsible for the exploitation of billions for the sake of 'progress'. We shouldn't be treating any celestial body as something to be consumed for our desires, and I mean that entirely as a moral argument, as little as positivists like to listen to them.

The 'self-selecting' process, at least but especially early on, will be the wealthy with the resources to be able to afford doing so. The majority of humanity are going to be landbound whether they want to be or not, and it's unreasonable to expect us to be a breadbasket for spacers when large-scale agriculture is already the cause of so much deforestation, erosion and pollution. My life depends on Earth remaining a stable environment to survive in, giving me the same justifications to murder a spacer for exploiting my home so he can go crack rocks a million miles away.

Free volume's easy to come by in dead space, but Earth's orbit is already a cloud of junk. By the period this kind of technology becomes likely, it's entirely possible we'll end up forming a ring of this trash, and commercial/private space access has only exacerbated this problem. Those aussies or whoever shot a giant disco-ball into the sky and it's been causing serious light pollution issues that interfere with astronomy.

It's not an extreme long term situation that resources are running low, it's the current state of consumption and the problem is getting worse instead of better. I have issues with exploiting the sun for the same reasoning I have issues with exploiting the planets or moons, as well as the issue of potential volatility. Until we actually try it, we aren't sure what will happen, and I'd rather not try risking the precarious system keeping us alive when so many other planets are barren and empty. If fusion becomes viable, wouldn't trying to create our own smaller test object in some kind of containment be a better idea than immediately trying it on the only sun we have?

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[deleted] wrote

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ziq wrote (edited )

Honestly, it's not in w/anarchy101 because I don't consider it compatible with anarchy or understand how it could not create devastating hierarchies. Nothing said in this thread has changed my mind.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote

Those are the major criticisms I generally have of transhumanism in the first place. I don't believe there can be an 'anarcho' outcome of hyper-advanced technology, as surveillance and remote methods of warfare and weapons of mass destruction advance and proliferate. Technology consolidates in the hands of the powerful and the more we let it advance the more we surrender our agency to the bourgeois who already exist, while risking their resurrection post-revolution.

The other thing is that transhumanists have zero understanding of history or pre-industrial modes of life, which as someone who spends way too much time actually learning history, kind of pisses me off. They buy into this renaissance/colonial era narrative that everything before a certain period was a horrible dark age, from which no light escaped. We can tell through archaeological evidence that things weren't half as bad as renaissance 'thinkers' (in actuality romaboos) thought they were. There were complex engineering and civics. Plumbing existed in more places than just the great empires. Irish peasantry ate about three times a day and Norse women had rights. The Aztecs had complex city planning and sewer systems, and the Romans knew about herbal contraceptives and employed them to the extent they actually drove their preferred kind extinct. Going back isn't living in mud huts and starving to death, and honestly? Turf halls are pretty comfortable dwellings anyway. It'd beat living in half the apartments I've been in.

I don't think most transhumanists are dumb enough to want to give that kind of supertechnology to the current system, but I think their overreliance and obsession with these hypotheticals will lead to the system finding a way to recuperate them. I'd love to be able to change morphs out, to have a perfectly mutable body holding an immortal soul, digitized or supernatural, whatever you feel like believing in. I'd love to see the stars and other worlds and I'd love to be cured of whatever makes the sun so painful for me to be in or to not feel crippling anxiety and fear of people anymore. But I don't want that if it means more people have to die for my spoiled western ass to get it. If someone as broke as me can get it, what is the rich fuck in the mcmansion down the street gonna have and how on Earth can I defend myself from it? At least when it was swords and bows, enough peasants could unhorse a knight.

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ziq wrote

I'd love to use your comments in a wiki that critiques antranshumanism.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote (edited )

I'm not much of a writer, but go for it I guess. The main angle I want to come from here is that I had to watch my world crumble in a much more personal way than most self-professed transhumanists did, and I really resent them always bringing up trans and disabled people when I feel they don't give any more of a shit about me than anyone else does. I saw the bay I grew up by becoming a festering pool of death and I saw the woods I played in become a garbage dump. I can't go just live the way I want to anymore, because progress deemed my world not worthy of survival. What mountain am I supposed to go live on when you've cut off all the mountaintops for coal and rare metals, you know?

e: also lol at the technofetishists downvoting half of what I say because the token doesn't agree with them. Like, sorry I'd rather take my chances with dying at 50 from a broken leg than at 25 from a hate crime.

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Just_An_Author wrote

Your first point is an ideological one that I'm really not sure how to engage with, so I'm going to ignore it for now.

Anyway, regarding Earth ending up as a breadbasket for spacers, that's highly unlikely to happen. Any permanent off-world settlement will need the ability to grow it's own food period, it's simply too much of a logistical hurdle to ship food to Mars for tens of thousands of people. Hence, that's probably not too much of an issue.

Again, I never said that the spacers defending their livelihood with lethal force was good, just that it was likely.

As for destabilising the sun, starlifting is pretty certain not to lead to any major consequences aside from a gradual dimming (this will necessitate modifications to Earth's orbit to keep it in the temperate band, but the laws of physics do not forbid those). Part of this is because it primarily squeezes matter out of the star's poles using intense electromagnetic fields, part of it is because we have literal millions of datapoints regarding what smaller stars look like, and they're generally very well-behaved celestial bodies.

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GaldraChevaliere wrote

I could see hydroponic solutions working, at least for basic necessities. Kudzu's actually edible, it might be a good solution for long term food supplies.

The likelihood is what's concerning me the most, with traditional ways of life already destroyed in most places and the few that remain under constant siege from industry. If someone decides my hypothetical home in the Amazon is the perfect place for a launchpad and insists he needs to get up there for his livelihood at the expense of mine and my village's, he's getting speared. I don't see an outcome where the conflicts we already experience under colonialism and industry don't intensify with the grapple for access to the stars.

I'd rather not do something as risky as trying to move the Earth in the first place. Well-behaved or not, fucking with the sun seems like one of those things that even a slight risk of a catastrophic outcome isn't worth.

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Just_An_Author wrote

There's a reason I categorized starlifting as extreme long-term; it's the sort of project that only really makes sense in the far future after all the asteroids and outer planets have been tapped out. Either that, or we're at a point where we either need to cool the sun down or Earth is getting fried.

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