# Re: Ginger discussed on Today Show?

From: kragen@pobox.com
Date: Sun Apr 01 2001 - 04:00:38 PDT

Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de writes:
> kragen@pobox.com wrote:
> > I'm not sure how you could even make it walkable. Suppose that ten
>
> Hey, I live in a ~1 Mmonkey city, and it's almost walkable (4..6 hours
> to cross it). Don't tell me I need more than 15 min to cross it on
> foot on a leisurely stroll, if it's packed in 3 dimensions instead of 2 1/2.

5 hours is not walkable. If walking to work took you five hours, and
you worked a normal American 8-hour day, you'd have six hours per
weekday to do other things, such as sleep. If walking to the grocery
store took you five hours, you could spend all of Saturday to get two
bags of groceries.

> > flights of stairs is the maximum you consider "walkable". Then 10^9
>
> Stairs? Why stairs? I don't consider stairs walkable.

Because they're the easiest way to walk vertically. Other
alternatives such as ladders and ropes tire you out sooner.

> You would have to keep some for the sake of emergencies, but most
> long range traffic would be in form of automatically routed matrix
> bus cabins (3d lifts).

Being moved around in automatically-routed matrix bus cabins is not
"walking".

> > square feet (1000 square feet per person) becomes a hundred million
> > square feet per floor, which means that your building is on the order
> > of two miles square --- which would be four miles of walking down
>
> If you're not an American, you consider 2 miles to be quite walkable.

2 miles, sure; 4 miles, maybe not. As an American, I consider 2 miles
to be moderately walkable.

> > rectilinear corridors to get between adjacent corners. You could make
>
> I'm not sure whether hexagonal or orthogonal is better. It's a difficult
> question. Also, you typically don't walk N, N, N, N, N, N, N, W, W, W, W, W.
> You go zigzag.

Zigzag isn't any faster or shorter. Hexagonal would save some
distance, but at five or ten stories, it's still too large to be
walkable.

> All you have to have is linear traffic ducts in cross-free
> grid arrangements, to reduce pointless braking (though you can use regen
> braking on linear motors just fine).

When walking, you don't need to brake, pointlessly or otherwise.

> > If you're willing to depend on public transit for vertical
> > transportation --- which means giving up on walkability -- you could
>
> No, it doesn't mean giving up walkability. In our part of the world
> we don't call it public transit, we call it "elevators".

Riding elevators is not walking; and riding an "elevator" that moves
you 200 stories in a reasonable period of time is a lot more like
riding a subway than it is like riding a 2-story elevator.

> > I'm not sure how you get from "monkeys are too dumb" to "you're saying
> > quality of life is scalar", but I'm not sure how Eugene gets from
> > "arcologies are stalling" to "monkeys are too dumb" either, so I'll
>
> Arcologies are an attempt to increase monkey/volume concentration
> while creating a liveable result. While it's a hard engineering
> problem (you don't want to be the first inhabitant of such a thing,
> prior to considerable burn-in), it's doable in principle. Arcologies
> are not going anywhere, because they require a higher degree/scaling
> up of cooperation.

That's one possibility. Another is that they require a higher degree
of foresight and understanding of social systems to design correctly
than anyone actually possesses.

> > If I could get all the cultural, artistic, and economic benefits of
> > living in a large city --- while being able to get to all of them with
> > a fifteen-minute walk and five-minute elevator ride, and
> > simultaneously cut my heating and air-conditioning bills to nil ---
> > I'd do it in a minute. Especially if it meant that gorgeous parks
> > were a twenty-minute walk away, right outside the arcology, instead of
>
> You're supposed to integrate the greenery (aquariums, etc, but mostly
> 3d video projectors) into the structure, using appropriate lighting.
> Metal halides would do today, solid state light sources would in future.

The difference between a 3-D video projection of a tree and an actual
tree in a park is more than a matter of rendering resolution. The
actual tree is there because it grew there, not because a human being
crafted it. An actual tree is there in spite of humanity; fake trees
are there because of humanity.

I want to be around actual trees.

> > What are the numbers on ventilation? I'm not an HVAC technician, but
> > a million people will turn oxygen and sugar into heat at the rate of
> > 100 megawatts or so, and they'll likely use a few hundred more
>
> You'll never have to heat, all you have is to cool. In most parts of
> the world, this means one hell of a cooling fluid flux (air, water).
> In few parts, you'll require active air conditioning.

In most parts of the world, you'll need to cool below ambient air
temperature some of the time, but there is no place on Earth where the
air temperature never gets cool enough that you'd need active air
conditioning, given a sufficiently large and well-controlled heat
reservoir.

> > megawatts, if not gigawatts, for things like manufacturing, lighting,
> > transportation, vacuuming, refrigeration, and laundry. Every joule
>
> Of course, such things are not a given, nor do they need to be
> executed on a constant energy footprint. Some ways are more energy
> efficient than the others.

Yes, but it's better to redesign one or a few things at a time.

> > converted to heat must be exhausted to the outside world. How hard is
> > that? Would it cause "thermal pollution" after the manner of nuclear
> > power plants?
>
> The thing is supposed to be capable of surviving on photovoltaics/biomass/
> hydrogen/rectennaed microwave from LEO falling upon the structure itself
> and the panel parks in the surrounding area (panel shading useful for
> crops in more arid parts of the geoid). If you can't get hydro, you
> *could* augment it with nuke, but I don't like primates handling hot
> isotopes. See above.

Yeah, well, I don't care about how to get power to it --- you can buy