07 January 2010

Entire World's Population in Montana: Big Sky Living

Josh Hall was inspired by the recent opening of the world's tallest building in Dubai. Josh feels that if 5,000 people could live in high luxury in a tower with a footprint of under 2 acres, then a taller tower (1 mile high) with a footprint of 5 acres could house 40,000 people in luxury.

Now, if you place a mile-high tower inside a square mile section of land, with its 5 acre footprint taking up less than 1% of the land area, you could put everyone currently living on Earth into a land area the size of the state of Montana. Virtually all of the surrounding land would still be available for farming, industry, parks -- or solar and wind farms if you really enjoy wasting money.

The point is that with advanced construction methods, it takes very little land area to house large numbers of people. I admit that it would be a challenge to provide food, water, power, and sanitation to such a concentration of population. But providing broadband communication and high speed rail transport to everyone in the world would suddenly get easier.

The graph above shows the trend in tallest buildings on Earth, over time. Josh suggests that by the year 2065, the tallest building on Earth should be about a mile in height. Read the whole thing.

More on recent large tower construction from Brian Wang

Another great article from Josh compares autogeny to autopoiesis. One goal of nanotechnology is the creation of useful machines that can self-replicate. Another goal of nano is to put a "replicator" in every home -- no matter how humble. Such replicators would be able to turn garbage and dirt into new homes, automobiles, airplanes -- even spacecraft. Tiny nano-tatoos would capture sunlight and recycle waste CO2 in the blood  -- along with the nitrogen and oxygen in the air -- into carbohydrates and protein and fat so you would rarely have to eat -- a multi vitamin / mineral tablet would suffice.  Losing weight would be a snap.  Drinking water requirements would be minimal -- thanks to  super-efficient nano-boosted kidneys.
An autopoietic system is a process,not an object. It can not only make its own parts but does so constantly, replacing the ones it’s made of (“continuously regenerate”). It has an identity that is more like that of the Ship of Theseus than a simple object. You and I are autopoietic on a number of different levels: Our cells constantly rebuild and replace themselves on the molecular level; our minds constantly learn and re-integrate the ideas they’re made of — memories not regularly used and re-remembered tend to fade. _Nanodot
The imaginations of a Josh Hall and an Eric Drexler are immense. Nanotechnology is on the brink of acquiring real traction in the world. Once that begins to happen, expect a new generation of imaginative minds to leap into nano.

It might change the entire concept of economics.

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Blogger yamahaeleven said...

Xmas every day! Be interesting to find out what will be displays of status, since anything would be available, to even the poorest, that the wealthiest would have access too. Might actually have to Work for your status!

Thursday, 07 January, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how much skin you would need to bare and for how long to have a mostly light powered metabolism. No burkas are going to be practical using this technology. But, at the risk of being Islamophobic, who is going to want to see a burka within a hundred miles of a mile high building.

Thursday, 07 January, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of 40,000 people they might devote some of the space to nuclear powered water condensation machines so that less of the water needs to be pumped up.

Thursday, 07 January, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Yama-11: Right. But remember, not everyone understands technology. The tinkers who can get the most performance out the nano-assemblers will be the new kings. A new economy will grow up around great hacks of nanotechnology. The losers will not starve, of course. But they will lack status.

Also consider the question of fertility, when scarcity is no longer an issue. Lower life forms reproduce up to the capacity of resources. A lot of humans are likely to do the same.

Baron: The nano tatoos will be a powerful interface between the person and the environment. Any sort of energy / communications / chemical / thermal port you can imagine. (invisibility, shape-shifting, glow-in-the-dark, human television screens, etc) Most humans aren't ready for it, those who ride the early wave will be somewhat superhuman until everyone else catches up.

Water condensation / collection at an altitude of thousands of feet should work well in warm, humid climates. Especially if a broad net is cast.

Once people start building structures that tall, they will not restrict the building to just residences. And they will not likely separate the giant towers miles apart from each other.

Walkways and railways between the towers would probably be built for convenience.

Imagine a set of such giant towers built on seamounts in international waters. Instant new island archipelago nation!

Friday, 08 January, 2010  

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