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Dream big.

So take an autonomous 3d printer factory into space. a good one... with everything on board your factory capable of mining asteroids, separating the elements, then recombining them into feedstock to use to make, well, anything... including (and this is the hard part) copies of the factory itself.

So this factory every year does two things. It makes a copy of itself, and it works on making an O'Neill Cylinder. A "Rama"

When it finishes, it starts working on making another.

In twenty years the first O'Neill Colony would be done, and another would be started.

It would receive genetic material from earth, in order to seed this colony with life. A huge variety of plants, animals, insects and bacterial agents, all working together to build a biosphere. Using the same factory to make what it needs as it goes along. doubling in number, gaining efficiencies as the process advances and the technologies mature.

In twenty one years, the second colony shell would be done. the biosphere seeded on this one from earth as well, but some things could come from the first colony, and over time far more genetic variety would be implemented from one colony to another.

Two more shells completed on the twenty second year.

By the twenty fifth year... people from earth start moving in...establishing cities and forming whatever political, social or religious community they desire.

In fifty years, the number of O'Neill colonies would vastly outnumber the number of people currently on Earth. All of them being seeded by the legion of factories supplying plants and animals, and allowing them to propagate.

THIS is what a Dyson Swarm would look like.

Fifty years.
Dream big.
Sylvia Boek's profile photoKate Childers's profile photoLaston Kirkland's profile photoDevang Sanghrajka's profile photo
Yes but it seems when I dream big everything turns into a nightmare and it's crushing my spirit heavily
heh, lots of ways to turn this into a nightmare... the ones you feed are the ones that grow.
I love it! The main challenge lies in matter conversion, of course; so many different materials go into a project like this, and mining them automatically is difficult.

So, this requires many different types of 3D printers. Ay, there's the rub, etc.

But certainly feasible! I say we do it. :-)
Well I'm feeding all the ones that will make a positive difference in my life and it's just got me running in circles but thank for the advise I'm sure something will eventually pan out have a great day and great post.
I've got an idea for a novel I'm rubbing against other things in my head. hoping for some mixing...

Imagine a trillion of these floating around our sun in a Dyson Swarm... so many built by robots that people only inhabit a few of them... after all, these are getting created by self replicating santa clause machines exponentially, while "people" are still existing on a linear scale.
Are you heading towards machine happiness, and the machines go Diaspora and say farewell to humanity, or humanity starts diverging, or a dystopian future, ...?
Actually, I'm going with machines that do NOT generally develop full AI, rather as part of standard error trapping, it's common for good software to lobotomize itself of evolving code not relevant to designated tasks. I COULD have true AI, but I don't want it to be integral to the story.

But one of the interesting developments I'm puzzling out is that so many of these O'Neill colonies are created, that every single biosphere on earth is emulated, even oceans and tundra and deserts... but these are outnumbered by "California weather, human-perfect" biomes by a hundred to one.

And even among these, so many are uninhabited by people, that many of them go feral. With odd environments over a few hundred years are no longer well suited for humans at all.

its common for people to simply set off for a empty colony whenever they feel a need, and its ALSO common for established communities to expel undesirables rather than detain them. So criminals and the unwanted tend to just form their own communities far away from the tiny pockets of civilization among the VAST number of places to live.

I seem to be creating an open ended sandbox that I'll plug stories into.
Very cool!

On the AI front: that reminds me of a side story in the Ghost in the Shell universe. The AI tanks used by the protagonists are arguing about whether they should take over, then argue themselves into the position that the humans do all sorts of things for them (fuel them, oil them, etc.) and it's easier just to stay peaceful.

Two people are watching this via a feed; one is horrified, the other explains in amusement that the AIs are programmed to get themselves into logic loops and decide not to attack humanity. That of course the programmers thought of this and built in dozens of similar failsafes.
Bonus: The second observer mentions that this same argument happens every week or so. Always ends the same way.

(And, of course, that humans have ways of pulling the plug on the AIs in ways that the AIs aren't even aware of, by design.)
heh, exactly. AI intelligence can be manipulated in some very simple and effective ways... we really don't want or need high level language skills in a program that routes sewage. No reason for it to need or ever develop any skills not directly related to that. same for vehicles. they don't need any more communication skills past basic driving directions, and will simply lobotomize out every attempt at understanding poetry (let alone rebellion)

I DO want very much for a central theme to be the danger of single sources of info... a big part of this Dyson swarm is that all of the coordination and information flows from a central source ( a google-facebook-goverment thing) more or less an AI, but not sentient.

A main protagonist has a cached copy of "the internet" from a few hundred years ago... and it's.... different.... from what the rest of the swarm is using... including some very fundamental things.

Someone is controlling information.

Also, what happens when someone starts using this technology to auto-build, say, autonomous ships or weapons? With all these hiding places, after all....
No point in building war fleets. Although quite a few of the countless civilizations have them, and defend their areas from others... humans wouldn't be human if that didn't happen...

The really big difference is people would have to go out of their way to pick a fight... there really isn't much one colony has, that the rest don't have as well.

We are talking about a Trillion colonies inhabited by twenty billion people... plenty of land... plenty of food... plenty of space... plenty of stuff...

what would they fight over? heh. the answer is "information".
ahh. but what would they fight over? except the people themselves... and the people have developed a tradition of vanishing at the first sign of not liking the neighborhood.
Prevent the people from vanishing, perhaps.
still fleshing this out... of course. and input is always welcome.
Heck, here's a reverse example from the Gundam universe:

What if someone comes along with the idea that living in an artificially-constructed O'Neill cylinder is just plain wrong? That it's destroying the human spirit, and that all O'Neill cylinders must be destroyed?

Obviously, you may not want to go there. But it's not difficult to catastrophically destabilize an O'Neill cylinder in many ways.
I fully expect to see many of these colonies destroyed, wars, and sabotage and mistakes... problem is (heh or solution)... the swarm of bots just go and rebuild them. The main weakness here, is while the information is distributed rather well, there are central "control" points, and one of my themes will be on how dangerous that is.

Its really hard to wrap my mind around a TRILLION Texas sized colonies
I hear you!

Imagine what it'd be like to be a person who can wrap his or her brain around it. Man.
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