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Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the pyramid-power dept.

Power 107

LoLobey (1932986) writes "Scott Adams has proposed a pyramid project to save the world via energy generation and tourism. Basically build giant pyramids, miles wide and high, in the desert to generate power via chimney effect and photo voltaics with added features for tourism (he's planning ahead for when robots take over all the work and we'll need something to do). He's had a few "Big Ideas" lately (canals, ice bergs, ion energy)."

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Gentlemen! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125485)

Perhaps you could 3D print yourselves to Egypt and deploy your 3D printers to "make" (gag) this pyramid over the weekend?

Surely it is a brave new future for the species, so it should be easy?

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125773)

I think we should create a wormhole linking the bottom of the ocean to a turbine on a floating platform and we could generate nearly unlimited energy. We could 3D print the platform and the turbine.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 5 months ago | (#47125883)

Don't forget carbon nanotubes and the cloud! Everything worth anything in the future will require both.

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125997)

Only if they're privately space touristed to 3D printed nano orbit! ... For the SPECIES!!!

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126909)

in the cloud of course

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47129551)

EXCELLENT! You could stack another neckbeard fetish into this fraud by claiming you're 3D printing these "powermids" out of sequestered carbon!

Re: Gentlemen! (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 5 months ago | (#47126297)

Don't forget the fishing net

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126817)

A 3d desert printing project was posted in the past [inhabitat.com] which was able to make a glass bowl from available sand. The same concept could be used on a much larger scale to keep construction costs low. The idea should be a lot better than the typical ones that money is chasing now.

Qualifications? (0, Troll)

MrLogic17 (233498) | about 5 months ago | (#47125505)

So a bored guy who draws jokes for a living is telling the engineers of the world that they are doing everything wrong.

Sure, let's give him more attention!

Re:Qualifications? (3, Informative)

luckymutt (996573) | about 5 months ago | (#47125675)

oh, *that* Scott Adams...I thought it was the guy who made the text-based adventure games in the 80's

Re:Qualifications? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#47127751)

oh, *that* Scott Adams...I thought it was the guy who made the text-based adventure games in the 80's

I was hoping more for Terry Pratchett's space/time warping pyramids, myself.

Re:Qualifications? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 months ago | (#47127855)

Djelibeybi was my first thought, too. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Qualifications? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#47127953)

Djelibeybi was my first thought, too. What could possibly go wrong?

Solves the energy problem, too. Every morning you haul barrels of oil out of the pyramids and burn them. Every evening, you roll them back. No need for drilling or fracking! Oh wait...

Re:Qualifications? (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 5 months ago | (#47129459)

Rincewind will set things right.

Re:Qualifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47129911)

I don't care how you make them or where as long as they keep my razor blades sharp.

Re:Qualifications? (2)

tomlouie (264519) | about 5 months ago | (#47128433)

You have: no tea.

Re:Qualifications? (4, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 5 months ago | (#47125761)

I've never seen an example of him telling the engineers of the world that they're doing it all wrong where he hasn't been right.

Re:Qualifications? (1)

Truth_Quark (219407) | about 5 months ago | (#47126029)

You didn't follow his Electricity from air [dilbert.com] stuff then?
I'm familiar with him looking like a gargantuan idiot and pathetic narcissist [scienceblogs.com] , but not being right about a paradigm shift in engineering. Do you have an example?

Re:Qualifications? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47126063)

He's reporting about other engineers talking about electricity from air, and that's an example of him telling others they are wrong? Your logic doesn't work.

Re:Qualifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126445)

Some engineers are like beta nuclear engineers...Then out of the blue a Alpha like PV Engineer comes out with PV Pyramids tends piss them off...

Re:Qualifications? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47126499)

What happens when the gamma engineers come around? Are they all green with envy?

Re:Qualifications? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#47126075)

This isn't exactly a new principle he's proposing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

It's even been talked about on /. before

Re:Qualifications? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 5 months ago | (#47130441)

To be fair, it's a lot easier to tell people they're doing it wrong than to tell people the right way to do things.

Qualifications: thinker and visionary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125881)

Anyone can be an effective visionary if they have an analytical mind and aren't stuck in the mental rut of dogma. Authors, including authors of cartoons, tend to spend most of their time thinking, so they're a fairly good profession for spawning visionaries quite regularly.

Engineers make things, and they're very practical and pragmatic about it --- they make things that actually work, and as such they're the creators of everything technical in the modern world. Having both feet well anchored on the ground is almost the opposite of thinking about the distant future though --- if they do become visionaries, it's not so much a result of their profession but because they also enjoy pure science and futurism.

I'm an engineer, but I wouldn't poo poo Scott Adams just because he's not. If he (or anyone else) comes up with some interesting designs, I'm sure that many skilled engineers and scientists will sanity check them before the detailed design begins.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 5 months ago | (#47126081)

the sad part is there is a huge market for pv and concentrated solar thermal, and we don't need to build pyramids to do it.
'solar roadways' are far fetched yet they exist and we can turn broken beer bottles into them. but more interesting is a omnidirectional solar concentrator that channels all the solar and moon light with a magnification of up to 10,000 times the concentartion of available light. which then makes solar thermal and solar photovotaics that run in moon light and on cloudy days.
in fact there are so many solar concentrator tech available i don't know which one to link to, perhaps the solar roadways also use a concentrator i don't know, but if we can build 10 billion cars why can't we build all the solar concentrators and pv to power our cities and electric vehicles?
i know this doesn't fix a lot of problems with our society, but having energy that doesn't require the production of greenhouse gasses is something every society needs, reguardless of if they are ready for it or not.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 5 months ago | (#47127541)

In my opinion concentrated solar will continue to lose out, it's raison d'etre is the high price of PV cells ... but the concentrators themselves are never cheap, generally require tracking and can't efficiently handle diffuse light.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 5 months ago | (#47126515)

Authors, including authors of cartoons, tend to spend most of their time thinking, so they're a fairly good profession for spawning visionaries quite regularly.

IMO he should have spent more time thinking about his cartoon strip, which (back in the day) had one that was funny, interesting, or insightful out of every few hundred.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (0)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#47127161)

There's no value in being a visionary. Most people have a thousand and one save-the-world ideas before breakfast; what matters is figuring out which ones actually work and dismissing the ones that don't, something Adams has shown no particular aptitude for. Nikola Tesla may be remembered for a bunch of fantastical ideas that never came to pass, but he's respected for the ideas he pulled off.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | about 5 months ago | (#47127653)

Intelligent, informed speculation has a place and purpose. I remember Larry Niven's essay, "Bigger than Worlds" in this respect. He goes off into some metaphorical and literal deep-space territory here, but he's trying to constrain speculation in terms of the laws of physics. How would we build artificial worlds? He discusses Dyson spheres but can't figure out where the gravity comes from, so comes up with a compromise where you have a ring the diameter of Earth's orbit and spin it. This lead to the novel Ringworld; some engineering students later pointed out the structure's orbit was unstable, so in the sequel he adds in motors to stabilize the whole thing... obviously Niven's essays haven't led to any major, useful advances in building artifical worlds (although it did help give us the Halo franchise). But this sort of speculation- wondering what is possible, given the constraints of the real world, what is impossible and what is possible but just not realized yet- has led to major, useful advances. Arthur C. Clarke, another hard sci-fi author, was the first to sketch out the idea of orbital communications satellites. We don't have any cloned dinosaurs yet, but arguably Crichton's Jurassic Park helped spur people to do things like sequence the neanderthal genome. Virtual worlds are probably more advanced than they would be if Snow Crash hadn't sketched out what those worlds might look like and how they would function. Star Trek got people to think about how future computer interfaces might work. Perhaps more importantly, Star Trek got people to speculate about how future social and political structures might work in terms of sex, race, economics, and political boundaries. And soforth.

That being said, I don't think Adams really falls into that camp of informed speculators. He says at one point "If you put some scrubbers in the device I think there's a way to deal with pollution and climate change too. I saw some sort of tube-to-the-sky concept that was supposed to do that but I'm too lazy to search for the link." He's just screwing around. He's having fun playing with ideas, but can't actually be bothered to do the math or even Google something before saying it. It just comes across as self-indulgent and vain, not insightful or intelligent. For someone who spent so much time deriding people for being stupid or intellectually lazy, he's showing a lot of intellectual laziness himself.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (2, Insightful)

donaldm (919619) | about 5 months ago | (#47127265)

I'm an engineer, but I wouldn't poo poo Scott Adams just because he's not. If he (or anyone else) comes up with some interesting designs, I'm sure that many skilled engineers and scientists will sanity check them before the detailed design begins

As a Professional Electrical Engineer I have always enjoyed Scott Adams Dilbert cartoons and looking at his education he is no layman having attended Hartwick College and the University of California, Berkeley where he received an MBA in economics and management.

While his proposal seem to be the stuff of Sci-Fi the principles are valid although I personally doubt with our current technology that it would feasible in our lifetime and taking a few pages out of his Dilbert books the amount of management (includes private and governmental) cooperation would be staggering.

Taking a simple example: What has happened to the Space Elevator?

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47127643)

We're still trying to make a material that's strong enough, and in sufficient quantities. Then there's a bunch of other issues, like how you tether it. It's a perfectly good idea in principle, but the engineering problems make Adams' Pyramids look like a doddle.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47127665)

Taking a simple example: What has happened to the Space Elevator?

The materials don't exist that could build it. When / if they do, I'm sure it will be built - the savings compared with rocket launched payload delivery would be staggering.

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (1)

Barbarian (9467) | about 5 months ago | (#47128215)

It was 10 years-from-now technology in 1995, and it's still 10-years-from-now tech. I imagine that in 1000 years it will still be just 10 years away.

Hint: Investors aren't going to go for an outlandish idea if it won't pay back in their lifetimes or a reasonable period.. So the maximum window stated is always 10 years,

Re:Qualifications: thinker and visionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47130795)

>I imagine that in 1000 years it will still be just 10 years away.

No: that's controllable fusion reactions for commercial energy purposes. ;*)

Re:Qualifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47129055)

FTFY:

So a bored guy who draws the Dilbert comic for a living is telling the engineers of the world that they are doing everything wrong.

meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125569)

Will the food stands sell dilberitos?

But (4, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 5 months ago | (#47125575)

He doesn't have the pointy hair necessary to manage the project

Re:But (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#47125933)

He doesn't have the pointy hair necessary to manage the project

And I, a DBA who took a little extra math in college wonder why people don't take me seriously when I pontificate about World Affairs.

You know, it's the same thing with rock stars and famous actors, they start thinking that they are the smartest people in the world who can bring civilization into a uniform fold of unbridled love...

Johnny Depp, "Bono", many others with way too much money and platoons of Latino housekeepers...

Re:But (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#47126011)

And I, a DBA who took a little extra math in college wonder why people don't take me seriously when I pontificate about World Affairs.

Oh, I take you seriously.

So do the cops watching your house.

Re:But (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 months ago | (#47126805)

So do the cops watching your house.

Only because they drink at the same bar I do, so they know me and look out for me.

How about you?

Re:But (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 months ago | (#47126721)

Bono was instrumental in pusuading Clinton to clamp down on IRA funding coming from Boston, which eventually lead to the downfall of the IRA and the start of the peace process. Bono (and Geldof) also managed to get the crippling cold war debt that was foisted onto Africa written off the books, a clean slate for billions of impovrished people. When you start accomplishing selfless good deeds of that magnitude maybe people will listen to you too.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126843)

I'm sure you can cue yourself at Bono's door to give him blow jobs.

Re: But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47128413)

"queue"

Re:But (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 months ago | (#47127777)

Bono was not as influential in either of those issues as you seem to think he was.

Re:But (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47128725)

He also worked with George Bush on African AIDS relief. Don't make the same mistake the Hollywood idiots make of lumping people together because of their professions or geographical locations. I wouldn't put him in the same truck with Depp, or Paltrow. Bono actively works for the causes he believes in and has shown a williness to work with people across the political spectrum to actually get things done. How influential is he? More so than your self-indulgent average west coast Hollywood liberal.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47136849)

Has it occurred to you that Bono may be nothing more than a posturing asshole.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47130187)

aaaaand they immediately ran that debt up again. Because now the tinpot dictators had a clean slate to work with .

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47131635)

He also co-founded ONE, (RED), and Data, which together have had measurable impact on sub-saharan poverty, AIDS, and other issues. I'm not sure why people can't respect his activism, he clearly isn't doing it for the money or fame.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125999)

Sent pyramid plans to Elbonia for manufacture, came back as a cube.

Pyramid power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125625)

Does he not know about the four corner time cube? Pyramid power isn't just less efficient, it's evil!

Giorgio Tsoukalos, Consulting Manager (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 5 months ago | (#47125647)

Someone's got to Hire and Manage the Engineering Team from the Pleiades.
What? You think mankind possesses the technology to build a pyramid?

Make a Biosphere out of it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47125691)

Rainwater can be collected and recycled fairly easily. Crops of hydroponic vegetable gardens can be grown using robots. One level could be set aside for chicken and cows. Wind power can be generated on the top levels. A few levels can be set aside for humans. I would think that making the base with steel and upper levels with aluminum beams would be the most practical. It would have the best balconies ever! I can't wait to move in!!

Re:Make a Biosphere out of it (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 5 months ago | (#47125893)

You could call the prototype "Biodome," and I bet you could make an amazing comedy about it.

Re:Make a Biosphere out of it (1)

Muros (1167213) | about 5 months ago | (#47127843)

Rainwater can be collected and recycled fairly easily. Crops of hydroponic vegetable gardens can be grown using robots. One level could be set aside for chicken and cows. Wind power can be generated on the top levels. A few levels can be set aside for humans. I would think that making the base with steel and upper levels with aluminum beams would be the most practical. It would have the best balconies ever! I can't wait to move in!!

If you started of with the center of many modern large cities with skyscrapers, you already have the support structure for a massive hollow pyramid in place. Of course, few of those cities happen to be in hot deserts.

Not another Pyramid Scheme (4, Funny)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 months ago | (#47125723)

Nothing to see here folks, the joke is in the subject line.

Re:Not another Pyramid Scheme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126397)

It's not his first one. "Pyramid of Doom" was Scott Adams Adventure number 8.
(I know, I know...)

"free" solar energy (1)

muhula (621678) | about 5 months ago | (#47125907)

Let's math: Assuming that the miles high pyramid uses free sun power to melt sand and we only need PV to power lifting the glass blocks The great pyramid of giza is 455' tall and has 10^12 joules of potential energy (http://what-if.xkcd.com/95/) A 2 mile high pyramid with the same dimensions is about 12x taller if you scale up the pyramid by 12, that's 12^4x more energy (using this formula: http://www.physicsforums.com/s... [physicsforums.com] ) 12^4*10^12 joules=2e16 joules = 5e9 kWh wholesale price of electricity is 5 cents per kWh 5e9 kWh * .05 dollars/kWh = 250,000,000 dollars This could easily triple depending on motor losses and other energy costs. So you could make your giant pyramid with "free" energy or you could sell the energy on the open market for almost a billion dollars

Re:"free" solar energy (3, Interesting)

muhula (621678) | about 5 months ago | (#47125941)

(sorry, lost formatting)

Let's math:

Assuming that the miles high pyramid uses free sun power to melt sand and we only need PV to power lifting the glass blocks

The great pyramid of giza is 455' tall and has 10^12 joules of potential energy (http://what-if.xkcd.com/95/)
A 2 mile high pyramid with the same dimensions is about 12x taller
If you scale up the pyramid by 12, that's 12^4x more energy (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=428636)
12^4*10^12 joules=2e16 joules = 5e9 kWh
Wholesale price of electricity is 5 cents per kWh
5e9 kWh * .05 dollars/kWh = 250,000,000 dollars

This could easily triple depending on motor losses and other energy costs. So you could make your giant pyramid with "free" energy or you could sell the energy on the open market for almost a billion dollars

Re:"free" solar energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126149)

a billion dollars would not even be a decent deposit on such a project. making a great pyramid that big would likely be in the multi trillion dollar range. The estimated modern day build cost for even something like Giza is in the 5-10 billion dollar range and when you scale up by a factor of 12 you will be paying more than a 12 fold increase in price.

Re:"free" solar energy (3, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 5 months ago | (#47127431)

The issue I see is not "Lifting the blocks is energy expensive, therefor wont work!", the issue I see is "Clearing the sand down to bedrock is expensive, and therefor wont work!"

Here's the deal:

Sand grains in the desert are small, and are carried by wind. Wind is powered by solar induced thermal exchanges. Wind energy routinely creates and moves humongous piles of sand around, and the formation of those piles of sand can be controlled by building or placing obstacles to redirect wind flow/speed/pressure. A nearly entirely passive process can be used to deposit the sand, even up on top of the pyramid while it is being built. The only thing you need to lift manually is the sintering system.

However, by the same token, you MUST place the pyramid directly on bedrock to avoid having the sand get blown out from under the pyramid by said wind patterns.(Unless you WANT your pyramid to break in half!) Clearing out several feet of sand is a non-trivial task that is energy intensive. Getting the wind to do this for you is not very feasible.

Once the pyramids(s) is (are) made however, you will have the undesirable consequence of their being made from glass, in an erosive sand environment featuring wind. Glass is substantively "softer" on the mohs hardness scale than is raw crystalline silicon dioxide-- the primary component of sand. The pyramid will get abraded HARD, and will require very aggressive maintenance.

Re:"free" solar energy (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47128513)

The lighthouse of Alexandria was build with bricks made of GLASS.
It lasted over 1000 years, survived several earthquakes (needed repairs ofc) and was in operation as a lighthouse nearly 600 years long. Untill the top of it was finally converted into a mosque.
I would wager using glass for a modern pyramid is the least of the concerns.

Re:"free" solar energy (1)

userw014 (707413) | about 5 months ago | (#47130953)

I'm not savvy enough to throw numbers at this, but I'd wonder about the large scale aspects of this.

How tall can can you build a pile of glass bricks before the ones at the bottom fail?

What effect does on-site manufacture of glass have on it's reliability? What about local impurities, etc.?

What additional stresses (sheering, etc.) will occur to the glass because of daily and seasonal thermal changes?

What are the effects of mile (or kilometer) distant heat source/sink differences on a Stirling Engine (esp. as regards to heat transport.)

What might the weather effects be?

A pyramid full of heat tubes suggests that most of the tubes will be of different lengths.

What effects will the weight of a mile-high structure have on the underlying bedrock, esp. in terms of quakes, shifting, etc.

The pyramid design is trying to optimize direct exposure of some of the surfaces to sunlight - what of the other surfaces? Don't forget seasonal effects (summer vs. winter)

I like speculating about this (in this non-quantitative way.) Without any serious thought about this proposal, it seems unlikely - but likely enough to be worth giving it more thought than I can.

Re:"free" solar energy (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | about 5 months ago | (#47133955)

you MUST place the pyramid directly on bedrock to avoid having the sand get blown out from under the pyramid

Hah!
They told me my pyramid would sink into the sand, but I went ahead and built in anyway.
And it sank into the sand.
So, I rebuilt it from scratch!

And it sank into the sand...

Re:"free" solar energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47127637)

Well, then don't make a solid stone pyramid 2 miles tall... Using the same proportions as pyramid of Giza, a 2 mile tall pyramid would have about 40 km^2 of surface area on the top. Assuming we use 2 m thick of solid steel for the faces, that would change the energy required to about 5e15 J. Since it wouldn't be made of solid steel and would use some proper design of girders and tubing that would have similar strength to naively brute force construction, this is probably over estimating by a factor of ten at least. So while you might still be looking at ~$4 million for just making the potential energy, you would still need something on the order of 50 million metric tonnes of steel which would cost at least $10-20 billion, plus the actual PV panels and labor and making the steel into useful shapes.

Of note, the potential energy in such a structure is on the order of 100-1000 kiloton of TNT, so don't screw up the design...

Re:"free" solar energy (1)

Muros (1167213) | about 5 months ago | (#47127867)

The Giza pyramids are solid structures with a few tunnels and rooms. The power generation pyramid idea would use a hollow pyramid, so you could be talking about something that weighs the same or less, even though it is so much larger.

You're assuming it's solid. (4, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about 5 months ago | (#47126675)

Presumably it would be just a hollow shell, and thus vastly lighter in weight than the pyramid of giza.

Re:You're assuming it's solid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47128025)

The necessary passage way for the Pharaoh's soul to the afterlife would increase the need for additional support structures, though.

You're assuming it's solid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47130193)

If it is vastly lighter in weight than the Pyramid of Giza, it will be even easier for a certain Gates look-alike to steal. Watch for a great increase in incidents of Chinese soldiers shooting down doves and pigeons should this pyramid scheme come to pass.

But what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126107)

Instead of being like a giant battery to power the city, instead it is a evil giant CAPACITOR?

Re:But what if (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 5 months ago | (#47126621)

Instead of being like a giant battery to power the city, instead it is a evil giant CAPACITOR?

...or if we build it and a sexually ambiguous Jaye Davidson shows up?

Arcologies (2)

Fencepost (107992) | about 5 months ago | (#47126143)

The concept is nothing new, and in fact there are active and semi - active attempts at building some or at least exploring some elements of them. Notable (per Wikipedia) are Masdar City near Abu Dhabi, many Las Vegas hotels, and Arcosanti in Arizona.

Scam (2, Funny)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 5 months ago | (#47126253)

Great, just what the world needs, another pyramid scheme.

Why build a pyramid? (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 5 months ago | (#47126261)

Why build a massive pyramid, why not just use an existing object that is miles high and adapt it for the chimney effect...a mountain?

Re:Why build a pyramid? (1)

Muros (1167213) | about 5 months ago | (#47127875)

You want the air inside to be heated by the sun so it will rise. Mountains are pretty good at blocking sunlight.

Re:Why build a pyramid? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47129295)

Roof over a slope, cover it with PV, build turbines at the top, kiss your money goodby. Still orders of magnitude cheaper then a pyramid.

Re:Why build a pyramid? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 5 months ago | (#47130167)

A steel-frame pyramid in a desert has three advantages over a mountain. First, the chimney effect is better when there's more air heated. Second, it gets hot in deserts and there's a lot of sun, vs. snow-covered and cloud-draped mountains. Third, heavy precipitation and forests don't cover deserts and serve the surrounding areas with abundant water and oxygen.

Re:Why build a pyramid? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47137877)

There are no southern facing steep slopes in deserts?

Pyramids having a lower surface area/volume ratio vs slopes is a disadvantage of pyramids. To say nothing of the cost of framing up that tall.

If the slope won't work the pyramid certainly won't. All three of you 'advantages' are wrong or based on wrong assumptions.

Grammar (0)

LordNimon (85072) | about 5 months ago | (#47126279)

It's Adams', not Adams's. How could you not know that?

Re:Grammar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126377)

That's utter nonsense. His surname's not a plural.

Re:Grammar (1)

funkylovemonkey (1866246) | about 5 months ago | (#47126415)

Both are correct, although s' seems favored over s's, either one can be used and be considered correct. This particular rule is one that is of style, not grammar, which might be surprising. The only rule suggested in style manuals is that you remain consistent and stick with one or the other in whatever you're writing.

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126799)

If you say /adamz/, one syllable, write: Adams'

If you say /adamziz/, two syllables, write: Adams's

Here in the UK, almost everyone would pronounce the latter, so they should write the latter.

The only exceptions are certain classical names used in fixed expressions.

I have no idea what the US pronunciation is. Can someone tell me?

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47127175)

It's 'fuck you'

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47126471)

Actually, both Adams' and Adams's are acceptable. The Oatmeal has a nice summary of how to use the apostrophe [theoatmeal.com] and covers this.

Don't believe The Oatmeal? Google it. You'll find plenty of style guide references citing one or the other as the correct form.

Re:Grammar (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 5 months ago | (#47126507)

So what's the possessive plural for "glasses"?

Re:Grammar (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 5 months ago | (#47128561)

Isn't it " glasses' " at least in the queens english?

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47129535)

"Queens english" must be what is used in a borough of New York City. Perhaps you meant "queen's english"?

What a disappointment! (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#47126687)

Just an updraft tower?

Here I thought we were going to see something along the lines of Siva! [amazon.com] .

Somewhere there is a Muzzy futurist (-1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#47127197)

Somewhere there is a Muzzy futurist working out how to destroy all these "idolatrous" structures. Unmaker bots are on their way.

Re:Somewhere there is a Muzzy futurist (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 months ago | (#47127813)

You do realise when you post these inane remarks using such words people don't think "oh, I should research what's happening in the Muslim world", they think "this guy needs some professional help; his world is tiny and cold, and he's scared of people who look different, and lacks the ability to ascertain what's happening in the world at even a very basic level"? In short, the only person you are hurting with your comments is yourself.

Re:Somewhere there is a Muzzy futurist (1)

stdarg (456557) | about 5 months ago | (#47129715)

people don't think "oh, I should research what's happening in the Muslim world"

The public knows exactly what OP is referring to, no need to go do research. This isn't 1989.

they think "this guy needs some professional help

You're giving too much weight to the comment. When most people read something like that, they think "Heh, +1 sad but true" and move on. Even if someone dedicated their lives to posting anti-Muslim comments, most people would only see one of them, ever, and would not conclude "This guy needs professional help!"

The apocalypse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47127551)

En Sabah Nur! En Sabah Nur!

This is almost an Archology idea. (1)

Jonathan Hart (2984995) | about 5 months ago | (#47127609)

Didn't ideas like this used to be really popular in the 90's? Where everyone was trying to design buildings, sometimes called archologies, that could serve all of life's needs in a sustainable way. Technically, I think Adams was talking about more of a utility plant, but for a structure of this size, why not make it a fully sustainable community? Extract water from the air, build some green houses, and then you don't even need robots, you've got people to do the maintenance. Frank Herbert would probably take it a step further and make all the people wear still suits.

How would the Mirrors reflect down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47127995)

Wouldn't mirrors mounted on the surface of a pyramid reflect light back up?

Mountains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47128813)

Why not just find a suitable mountain for the job?

My Scheme (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47130469)

My scheme was to use convict labor to build great pyramids by hand. Escape would not be likely as the desert spots would be way to far from the first water holes. Give convicts a credit for each good work day put in. That way instead of a ten year sentence we could give a 3,000 work day sentence. If the convict chooses not to work diligently he auto converts his sentence to permanent imprisonment. A few years of hard manual labor in the sun will tame almost anyone.

This will work. I have read the work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47130939)

Each pyramid can generate enough energy to power over 2 households.

Prophetic ! (1)

Latinhypercube (935707) | about 5 months ago | (#47131535)

The Religion War by Scott Adams: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

"Global Information Corporation (GIC) (an all-encompassing, worldwide future sort of TIA created out of fear of terrorism) to analyze GIC's massive databases using software. Also, people's phones are, in the name of preventing terrorist communications,"

I'd never heard of a TIA
TIA wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org] "TIA was the "biggest surveillance program in the history of the United States".[8] The program was suspended in late 2003 by the United States Congress after media reports criticized the government for attempting to establish "Total Information Awareness" over all citizens.[9][10][11] Although the program was formally suspended, its data mining software was later adopted by other government agencies, with only superficial changes being made. According to a 2012 New York Times article, the legacy of Total Information Awareness is "quietly thriving" at the National Security Agency (NSA).[12]"

Power To The People (1)

jman.org (953199) | about 5 months ago | (#47141005)

Solar Tower, anyone?

http://www.enviromission.com.au/ [enviromission.com.au]

I believe California is building one of these in Arizona, and (at least the paperwork part of) another just got started in Texas. At a kilometer in height, one would generate around 250 megawatts.
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