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Thread: Dyson swarm or interstellar colonisation — which would logically be done first?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    A Dyson swarm would take a very long time to build. But you don't need to harness the full resources of a system just to defend it!

    Well, "very long time" is subjective, but starting with one Dyson object, and doubling every 50 years (not implausible), one can go from 1 object to 1010 in about 1700 years. What may be a problem is if the objects form independent polities: they'll start fighting for resources within their solar system.

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  2. #92
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    ""No," said Slartibartfast, "that's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.”

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Energy is important to all known living things. Plants get it from light, animals get it from food, our ancestors learned to get more of it from fire. High technology life uses more energy that anyone else.

    A star is an excellent energy source. A high-tech life-form might well, at some stage, expand to the vicinity of another star to access its energy.

    It’s true they'd have to invest big amounts of energy to get there, but the return on the investment might justify it.

    But why would you do so, if the energy of your home star were not yet fully tapped? Would it not be more logical to build a Dyson swarm first, and embark on interstellar colonisation later?
    Apples and Oranges, exemplified by the open question wondering what the motivation would be for doing something different. If it's about energy balance only, then they might not leave. If they leave, then you can conclude it wasn't about energy balance.

    As for reasons, consider GRBs and wandering blackholes, neutron stars, magnetars, etc. There are system-level calamities that can happen and can't be defended against by having a Dyson Swarm. Fleeing isn't a defense, it's a survival strategy. But if you want to consider it a defense, then sending interstellar colony ships (or allowing them to be sent) is merely one of many pre-defense strategies that achieve that goal.

    Besides, any life form that grows so large so fast that the local star cannot produce a surplus of energy is so environmentally dangerous that they will destroy/convert/consume/excrete the galaxy in short order.

    As for how much energy it takes, depends on a lot of assumptions. Some may think it's far fetched, but we're basically doing both right now. We have solar orbiting objects collecting solar energy AND we have objects on trajectories beyond our star system. It's merely a matter of scaling it up.

    As for the social aspects, developments in interstellar travel will probably allow, if not require, people to sleep through the voyage.

    As for war, people will fight over anything. Even at distances of lightyears, locally programmed AI avatars that play video games as a representative of a star system will cause resentment for the losing team. War will always be a possibility because people are ridiculous. "They said our star is fat? Lase them!" Pew-pew.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  4. #94
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    Funny, what if one group went through the motions of making a dyson swarm just to make an opponent go through the actual trouble of building one? "See you in x number of centuries."
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Funny, what if one group went through the motions of making a dyson swarm just to make an opponent go through the actual trouble of building one? "See you in x number of centuries."
    Space race?
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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