February 07, 2007

Project Orion by George Dyson

"A universal library, whether of books, genotypes, or technologies, forms an expanding cloud of possibilities in a multidimensional space. The laws of nature form an outermost bound. A smaller cloud, condensed out of this atmosphere of possibilities, represents the organisms of technologies that can be assembled from available parts. Finally, a small central core - where we live - represents the books, organisms, or technologies that exist at the present time. Instead of building outward by small increments, Ted (Taylor) sought to develop Orion the other way around: start with the laws of nature; delineate the bounds first of possibility and then of practicality; finally, trace a path backward to existing technology so as to advance not by increments but by leaps and bounds." -- quote from pp. 98

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