11 thoughts on “Dyson Shells”

  1. To get in the way of such a power-beam would probably rapidly reduce whole planets to rock vapour, so controlling distribution will be quite a challenge.

    I might just be on the side of the envirowackos on this one.

  2. Now the next step would be to follow the Puppeteer Strategy and use a portion of the energy generated to turn the Solar System into a giant “starship” to explore the galaxy with, or leave it 🙂

    Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has checked the various “runaway” stars for such a civilization….

  3. “What’s the rush?”

    They’ll be needed to power the ever-increasing number of Dyson vacuum cleaners…

  4. I took slight umbrage at this point, though:
    “Alternatively large real habitats might be constructed, though these rapidly run into materials strength issues as they grow in size.”

    Undeniably true. We might not manage more than spheres 12 miles in diameter.

    I think if I was standing inside of a sphere 12 miles in diameter, I’d essentially be outdoors.

    And as long as we’re talking about multi-lightyear-long energy beams powerful enough to destroy an entire planet, then we might as well allow that the molecular nanotechnology people are right. In which case diamondoid might enable construction of rings about 1/13 the diameter of the Earth which would only need to rotate once each 15 minutes to provide 1G. They wouldn’t even need to be roofed over with glass; you’d just build 100 mile high walls at either edge.

  5. Why is the author bemoaning the idea of losing planets to consumption, when we can’t even reach the planet that’s been pre-cracked for us in the belt? Exploiting all of that is going to take more time than most of us can seriously plan for, so the essay almost comes off as being an argument opposed to space development (I know that’s not what the author probably intended, but that’s the conclusion one can logically come to from his essay).

  6. R Anderson, not my point at all. I’m all for asteroid mining, but what I was arguing against was demolishing planets willy-nilly to make computronium. The Sun has immensely more of the heavier elements we’d need for Dyson Swarms. I haven’t yet written part 2, which discusses what we might do for a lot less mass.

  7. Try to read accelerando by Charles Stoss. He project that turning the whole solar system into computanium is the natural end for a technological society. No one will chose to do so, it just happens as evolution. Just a small small fragment of this mega computer will be needed to run a simulation of earth and all it’s people. Now then, how do we knowit hasnt already happened?

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