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Re: [hackers-il] Is Capitalism the Ideal or the State of the Art?

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  • Nadav Har'El
    ... Yes, as I said you ll need a way to relieve you of the excess entropy somehow. Entropy sewers? Releasing a small part of the air back to the atmosphere
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 3, 2001
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      On Tue, Apr 03, 2001, Oleg Goldshmidt wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Is Capitalism the Ideal or the State of the Art?":
      > "Nadav Har'El" <nyh@...> writes:
      >
      > > So in a steady state you could keep the outgoing mass
      > > (sewage and garbage) within the house,
      >
      > Aren't you running into the entropy problem here?

      Yes, as I said you'll need a way to "relieve" you of the excess entropy
      somehow. Entropy sewers? Releasing a small part of the air back to the
      atmosphere very hot? Releasing hydrogen (you can release more atoms per
      weight, so you increase the entropy)? I don't know.

      > > have manchines that convert sea-water (for example) to air.
      >
      > Sounds like alchemy. Not really, of course, since transformations
      > between elements are one the biggest technological achievements of
      > the past century. However, we are talking about transformations
      > between elements like oxigen and nitrogen (the latter is not present
      > in water IIRC), called "metals" by astronomers. Ask astronomers, and
      > they'll tell you that nuclear reactions involving "metals" -- the
      > so-called CNO cycle -- are exceedingly slow. The only places in the
      > universe where metals are produced are star interiors (no, the Big
      > Bang can't do it). I'll skip the details, at least until the list
      > applies a moderate peer pressure.

      Of course, there are several technical issues I didn't mention because I
      thought that everybody knows about them and they are straightforward to
      think about (but not to actually implement), and also because I thought
      they had no relevance to the capitalism issue. These issues is how to create
      the atoms or simple molecules you need (will you require input of the same
      mulecules, say "cartridges" of oxigen, hydrogen and iron, or will you
      convert any material to the atoms you need? The latter is more flexible of
      course), and how to actually manufacture the object in question (this is
      a seperate issue all together - see for example the best-seller "Nano" about
      nanotechnology).

      > > Perhaps this air can be generated with high entropy (i.e., hot) to
      > > act as the entropy-sink we also need (see my previous post).
      >
      > You need energy for that... A truly vicious circle.

      It's not a vicious circle. Assuming we have the proper "alchemy" technology,
      energy is equivalent to mass, and you can create both of them from any mass
      like sea-water (if you don't like to use the E=MC^2 theory for that, just
      think of converting water to petrol, and then using up that petrol, or convert
      water into Uranium and do some fission :))

      So you if you have mass you have plenty of energy - it's getting rid of all
      that entropy which is the problem.

      Again, think of plants: why do they go into all the trouble of using sunlight
      (which is not available at night, in winter, under trees, etc.) when the
      "obvious" alternative will be to use the warmth of the ground they are on?
      After all, even a frozen ground contains a lot of heat energy (the point where
      it does not contain any more heat energy is "absolute zero" -273 celcius).
      Sounds a good idea? Well, it isn't. The second law of thermodynamics says
      that you cannot move heat energy from a cold place to a warmer place (an
      action that decreases entropy) without investing more energy in making
      something else warmer (thereby increasing the entropy of the system back) -
      so the plant will only waste energy. This is how refrigerators and air-
      conditioners work. A refrigerator indeed pulls heat energy out from the
      objects in it, but far from producing energy - it needs to waste that and more
      energy just to run this refrigeration cycle. Touch the back of a refrigerator
      to get a feel for that energy that goes to waste because of thermodynamics.

      Thermodynamics is actually a very interesting subject, but quite difficult
      to comprehend at first (I still don't think I fully understand it all).

      > Check the subject - we have wandered very far from it, haven't we?

      Not really! We were talking about whether replication machines will relieve
      you of the need to depend on others (i.e., pay others money), and I was saying
      how you still have some unsolved (or at least which I don't know the solution)
      problems that will keep your dependence on others. The thermodynamic issue
      was only one of the issues I raised.

      Certainly it has nothing to do with hacking, but the original question
      didn't either :)

      P.S. If you consider this only as a philosphical question, not a question
      with physical issues, it becomes a pointless question. This is because
      your replication machine can "philosophically" create a whole new planet
      for you, filled with copies of friendly and compliant people that will
      serve you, and an army with a huge arsenal to fend of the attacks of
      lawyers on your planet, so none of the financial issues are relevant any
      more :)

      --
      Nadav Har'El | Tuesday, Apr 3 2001, 10 Nisan 5761
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Why do doctors call what they do
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |practice? Think about it.
    • Oleg Goldshmidt
      Allow me to re-arrange your posting a bit to put the following two statements together: ... ;-) I wholeheartedly agree with both statements. Having studied
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 3, 2001
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        Allow me to re-arrange your posting a bit to put the following two
        statements together:

        "Nadav Har'El" <nyh@...> writes:

        > Of course, there are several technical issues I didn't mention because I
        > thought that everybody knows about them and they are straightforward to
        > think about

        > Thermodynamics is actually a very interesting subject, but quite difficult
        > to comprehend at first (I still don't think I fully understand it all).

        ;-)

        I wholeheartedly agree with both statements. Having studied physics
        for quite a few years, and worked in the area, 10% I tend to think that
        everybody knows everything relevant, and 90% of the time I am baffled
        by things I can't understand...

        > course), and how to actually manufacture the object in question (this is
        > a seperate issue all together - see for example the best-seller "Nano" about
        > nanotechnology).

        By Ed Regis? Is it worth reading? The Amazon reviews are mixed at
        best...

        > if you don't like to use the E=MC^2 theory for that

        No, I don't. I don't know how to handle antimatter that is implicitly
        involved in this formula... ;-)

        > So you if you have mass you have plenty of energy - it's getting rid of all
        > that entropy which is the problem.

        I just mentioned another one, a purre technicality, of course.

        > > Check the subject - we have wandered very far from it, haven't we?
        >
        > Not really!

        I forgot to put a smiley there.

        > The thermodynamic issue was only one of the issues I raised.

        Maintaining income gap as a means of keeping the world's entropy in
        check? [NB: no smiley here]

        > P.S. If you consider this only as a philosphical question, not a question
        > with physical issues, it becomes a pointless question.

        <troll> That's true about any question, isn't it? </troll>

        --
        Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
        "I'd rather write programs to write programs than write programs."
      • Nadav Har'El
        ... Yes, it s by Ed Regis. It s mostly a biography of Eric Drexler (see www.foresight.org), some guy who dabbled in the issues of nanotechnology (mostly
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 3, 2001
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          On Tue, Apr 03, 2001, Oleg Goldshmidt wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Is Capitalism the Ideal or the State of the Art?":
          > > course), and how to actually manufacture the object in question (this is
          > > a seperate issue all together - see for example the best-seller "Nano" about
          > > nanotechnology).
          >
          > By Ed Regis? Is it worth reading? The Amazon reviews are mixed at
          > best...

          Yes, it's by Ed Regis. It's mostly a biography of Eric Drexler (see
          www.foresight.org), some guy who dabbled in the issues of nanotechnology
          (mostly talking, in my opinion). It isn't one of the greatest books I've
          read, I have to admit. A lot more talk and politics than actual technical
          details. You might say it was _slightly_ interesting, not more than that.

          >
          > > if you don't like to use the E=MC^2 theory for that
          >
          > No, I don't. I don't know how to handle antimatter that is implicitly
          > involved in this formula... ;-)

          Ooops... You're right... I forgot about the other laws of conservation,
          like conservation of baryonic number (or whatever it called, you know
          that quantatity that protons and neutrons have 1 of and electrons or
          photons have 0) and spin (bosons like photons have whole numbers, fermions
          like protons and neutrons have half numbers) and charge. So that I guess if
          these laws of conservation are not overruled by the "grand unified theory",
          whatever that will be, you'll need to either keep the same numbers and types
          of elementary particles in your original "raw" material, or be prepared to
          handle the extra matter (or anti-matter).

          Sounds complicated, but seems a lot better than keeping seperate stocks
          of chemical elements lying around. "Damn, I ran out of chloride. Now all
          my food will taste bland." :)

          --
          Nadav Har'El | Tuesday, Apr 3 2001, 11 Nisan 5761
          nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
          Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Early bird gets the worm, but the second
          http://nadav.harel.org.il |mouse gets the cheese.
        • Oleg Goldshmidt
          ... As I said earlier, keep a star around (a yellow G-type would do quite nicely, thank you), point the remote at it, and press the fast forward button... ;-)
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 4, 2001
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            "Nadav Har'El" <nyh@...> writes:

            > Sounds complicated, but seems a lot better than keeping seperate stocks
            > of chemical elements lying around.

            As I said earlier, keep a star around (a yellow G-type would do quite
            nicely, thank you), point the remote at it, and press the fast forward
            button... ;-)

            --
            Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
            "I'd rather write programs to write programs than write programs."
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