Cloud Cities

Cloud Cities

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This, episode, is sponsored by brilliant. They. Say the three most important, things about real estate are location, location. Location and. One, of the best locations in the future will be the sky. So. Today we return to the earth 2.0. Series to, continue our look at various ways we might reshape, our ward if we wish to we. Spent a fair amount of time in this series discussing, places, humanity, might occupy like. The oceans deserts tundra, or underground, but, for the most part we've, been looking at what they had to offer in, terms of resources or how we could make them more livable, because we were low on space often. We've noted that while you'd probably get a fair number of folks live email fundamentally. Such places don't have a strong motivation, to live there in and of themselves, to. Be sure some, folks would love to visit the ocean depths or go, live on the north pole or underground, but. By and large you, wouldn't have big queues of people fighting for the privilege when. We start looking at living up high though our topic, for today it's, a different story people. Like living on the upper floors of tall buildings or on hills for the view and looking. At human history we tend to glorify, our deities, by preening them up above on Olympian. Heights more, often than underground, looking. At that same history we have to acknowledge a pragmatism, to it as well, building. Up high protects, you from floods, and invasions, and gives, you a longer range of file and sites and to. Be seen as well palaces. Or temples built on a hill in or near a town are always, in sight and looming, and there, is a reason water, towers tend to be popular, targets, for graffiti people. Seem to like building, tall but, there is pragmatic, reasons, to do so too of course. The big problem, is how you get something out there without a coming back down again and, it behooves us to remember, that every, structure we make has, this issue many. Times we discuss new tech especially. Things like orbital, rings that just hang overhead, people. Worry about them crashing, down as well, they should but. Folks can sometimes, get stuck in an avalanche of potential, disasters, and safeguards. And forget, that we already have those issues with modern buildings which are very vulnerable to accident, or sabotage. Themselves, we, want enough safeguards, to make the cloud cities, we discussed today, safe or safer than modern, homes and. We'll discuss those too but, avoid the or -, what. If someone shot one down with a missile, without, force asking, what, would happen to your own town if someone, lobbed a missile at it - it's. Important, from the outset, though to note, that as we discuss the various ways for holding, these places up in the air one, of the best contingencies. Is to use multiple methods and, as, an example you, might make a big L ship or plane rely. On buoyancy. Or lift or, you might make something that did both and, which had its sewers and water was always ready to be dumped at a moment's notice to lighten the load this. Would make you very unpopular, with, whoever you wore but at the time but. It is presumably, a better alternative than dropping a city on them we. Also could incorporate pure, safety, features like parachutes, which, as we mentioned in orbital wings can, potentially, be made very light using, the same ultra, strong materials, so, many of these structures would need to be viable anyway, of course. Living among the clouds doesn't. Necessarily, mean you are floating you, might live on top of mountains, or a very, tall skyscraper. You, might be up on stilts, you might be hanging down from a tether in orbit and you, might simply be in orbit, many.

Of These can be mixed and matched to create hybrids, that are even safer, but, let's review each of these by themselves, forced, and, we may as well begin with our corn methods. Prior. To modern times if you want to be high up you, need to start by finding someplace high to build on the. Tallest, structure for most of human history was, the Great Pyramid, of Giza and it's not very tall or high above sea level needless. To say if you just want raw height above sea level you go find a place that's high and build, there will. Mostly bypass, the approach of just building a normal, but tall building, today a super. Scraper, as we, discuss those more in the space towel and arcology, episodes, and I'd rather save discussion, of them for, another day where we can give them their own whole, episode, but, building, on a mountaintop is a different. Approach and, also, gives us a good chance to look at some logistical, problems, that most of our other poachers will also have to face, conceptually. Building. A city on a mountaintop is easy enough UI, they'll cut the top off or hollow the peak out doing. The formal approach you'd, probably build a good retaining, wall around the top and flatten, it out or, do several layers like this to create a tiered city possibly, all the way down to the ground, you'd. Presumably, use a lot of rail lines to carry Freight and people up there but, you'd probably want to have some fairly impressive systems. For water and waste processing too because. Pumpy water to the top of a mountain is very, energy, expensive, of course. This all assumes you, all given your supplies from lower down but, you might actually be getting them from higher up one. Of the most obvious reasons, to build high is for easier space access, and as, the centuries, wore by it's, quite likely that most people won't live down on earth and not even necessarily on, other planets, you, could easily have a lot more real estate in orbit around Earth then down on earth and ultimately. Mountaintops, will, always caught a slight edge on places, lower down for, guinea into space but, we don't do that now because building facilities, up there is an expensive, pain and a logistical, nightmare one. Of the things that, makes them appealing as launch size is because, the Ale is thinner, up there which, is one reason you, might opt to hollow out a mountain, peak and live in there possibly. With large windows to let the light in and maintain, the view you. Can of course also dome, the place but. You don't necessarily have, to even. On the top of Mount Everest the Ale is breathable, if Bailey and most. Mountains, aren't nearly so high we. Also have options that will let you bypass, domes by using cybernetic, so genetic engineering, or even, outright supplementation. By building, huge air pumps, that just ran constantly. A dome. Seems preferable but, I could imagine a spaceport, where, everyone is already used to low pressure and breathing equipment having, buildings, that were kept at oval pressure and higher oxygen, rates and people. Strapped their breathing mask on when going out and the parks and gardens had genetically, treat plants, that the lower pressure medal and the, whole place had a constant, outward breeze as you pumped up warmer, higher oxygen, hail and just let it spill out this. Is, a fairly energy, heavy approach even on more modest mountaintops, where the pressure differential, isn't, as high and would, give you a constant, outward, wind but. You don't actually have to match north normal, pressure as, we don't require that and, might, use it as a minor supplement, diode, up just enough to provide a comfortable, outward, breeze and some warmth more. To the point some, of our designs for keeping places afloat would, involve using huge amounts of energy and AO, to keep the thing aloft in, which case this might be a natural, byproduct if.

You Have a city simply being held aloft by lift like, a helicopter you'd, have a higher pressure underneath, we. Think of living on top of whatever was floating but, you don't have to especially. The thing above is mostly transparent, like, a dome presumably, would be so. As mentioned oliel for most of all history, if we want to be up high we, either had to find a high place or build a big Tower as we, hit modern, times, long before the Wright brothers we found we could float up there by heating a uh so. It was a lower density and thus would float we. Also laid alone that some gases, like hydrogen and helium would, have this same effect what, we call a lifting, gas, now. We discuss, the physics of this more in the episode colonizing. Venus so, we'll skim that today but, as we mentioned throughout the series many, of our tricks for altering our planets might, come from those developed, for use on other wards, and vice-versa, sometimes. An idea we discuss here isn't, something we'd actually want to do on off Oh childhood. Home with nostalgia value, but, might on other wards. Loosely. Speaking lifting. Gases only gets you about a kilogram of weight per cubic, needle which, means you need something the size of a house to, lift even a couple people and indeed, you have to give over a lot of your mass to, whatever was holding that lifting gas in or insulating. It so it doesn't cool. Fortunately. Leakage, of gas or heat both relate to surface area while, buoyancy, is all about Valium so, we can benefit, from the square-cube law to, make thicker frames, that our story or better, insulated, leaked less and take, up a smaller percentage, of our mass budget, and. You will need to build big because, you really need a lot of valium to make something heavy float again. Your typical cubic, meter of a lifting gas is, only giving you about a kilogram of weight to walk with if, you wanted something like a ton or a thousand, kilograms per square meter of living area the, big balloon you are living on top or underneath of needs, to have a depth of kilometres. We. Shouldn't discount it just for that though because, there's nothing necessarily stopping. Us from having this balloon or lifting frame be transparent. Or have, yet spread out more the. Main objection, to a floating city passing, overhead would, be at blocking light, or folly, on them if, most of it's transparent, that force concern is removed and a, buoyant balloon doesn't really crash especially. If it's got membranes, inside partition. It so one compartment blowing, doesn't, instantly vent them all and such. Internal membranes, don't, need to be very thick and heavy since, they can leak between each other you just don't want them leaking very fast. You. Also don't actually need, soil, for plants to grow we, have both hydroponics. And aeroponics, but. Even if we did need soil a lot, of plants only need a few centimeters, of it especially if they had some web mashburn, eath to attach roots to picture. If you would a very, large disk or hexagonal, plate with, a large lawn, of thin soil or fake, soil for roots to attach to and get nutrient, baths the. Houses, and frame don't actually have to be very heavy if their bulk is made of things like graphene, packed with a low gel or some, other lightweight ultra. Strong substance, you. Could also make that frame out of something like a layered, fabric which. In an emergency, could blow out to create a parachute, a floating. City is cool but, a floating, house complete, with a yard is pretty neat too and, we suggest the hexagon, shape because, as we mentioned in our see studying episode at the start of the series when, we will floaties on water not AO you. Have cities that were made of lots of interlocking, plates, each, one it's our home that can connect or disconnect to. Migrate, elsewhere or, to rearrange the city's layout, easier.

Here Too since someone near the middle of such a big sheet of connected, floating habitats, can, disconnect, by floating up or down rather, than needing everyone, outside them to move, there's. Another thing though too as, we, said all of these would need a lot of depth to them and, cities don't have to be flat and indeed, have been moving, away from that we, already employ, a lot of sky ways to connect upper floors of buildings to, each other so, you don't have to descend all the way to the ground level to move around, whether. We're talking floating, cities or ones on mountains, you'd expect to see a lot more emphasis on three, dimensions, in layout you. Might build mini concentric, tiered rings around a mountain you might build homes more like balconies, around the edge of a spherical balloon or lifting, frame if. You're assembling a bunch of individual, floating, structures, into, a potentially, ever-shifting cloud, city there's, no particular reason why they all need to be the same height nor. Do they have to be interlocked, requiring. Either square or hexagonal, layouts. They. Might just be tethered, together tether. Travel, might be fairly normal, to since. You need a way to reach the ground you. Might want to tether it to the ground to avoid being blown around and, you, obviously aren't keeping a cow up there of course. Portion or vehicles, might be planes or helicopters not. Calls and we, do have planes and very large ones at that we. Run these aren't fuel and fuel, is heavy but we can keep a plane aloft indefinitely by. Midday, over fueling and multiple. Engines so, that one or two can be shut down for maintenance if need, be key. Thing bail fuel, is heavy but, only chemical, fuel is heavy and these, oh not rockets the, propellant, pushing the thing can, be ill you just, grabbed from in front of you it's, not really a huge amount of power either especially, if you don't have to carry heavy fuel, needless. To say if you've got compact, fusion, not only do you need very little fuel by weight but since that fuel is in very old light stuff like hydrogen deuterium tritium. Or helium-3, it, also would, be a lifting, gas indeed. Hydrogen, is quite, a good chemical, fuel too so. A civilization. That's energy, rich from fusion but, can only make big and heavy plants, on the ground could, mass produce hydrogen. By electrolyzing, in water to use a mixture, of fuel and lifting, gas for such structures, you, can mix powered, flight and buoyant, flight we, just don't very often unless you count the engines, on blimps, how. Much energy it takes to keep something aloft through, lift is rather variable, to its speed and height but. A Boeing 747, bones, about a gown a second, while cruising, for instance while, smaller helicopters. Might use less than a gallon of minutes and only, about an order of magnitude more fuel, than a coal however. This, is perfect, for something like radioisotope. Thermoelectric. Power. Constantly. And if you just float around at low speeds all the time that's, pretty much what you want many. Things that wouldn't work well nowadays because, of the sheer cost aren't. Necessarily, bottlenecks, in the future same as aluminum used to be more expensive than gold but, is now treated as nearly disposable.

An Energy. Rich society, can get away with things we can do now on paper but can't afford to do a floating. House with a big lawn its, own power plant and, water recycling, facility, might, just be viewed as only somewhat, luxurious, a century, or two from now rather. Than something only an eccentric billionaire could, contemplate of course. On board power or power beamed in from orbital, satellites, aren't the only way to get power there and there, are other ways to lift stuff up if you have access, to a lot of energy, a tether. Running down to the surface to let you move back and forth could also be used to kill you electricity, and something. Running on solar power and buoyancy might, anchor, at night times or cloudy days by, dropping a big story power line down to the ground indeed. It might tend to have multiple power lines constantly, shooting down to grapple, onto power junctions, and just, pull itself around, way like, a big spider. Such, a line might be thinner, than your arm too even, for very large floating, cities so. From a distance they'd appear invisible except, for navigation, hazard lights like tall towers, have and in, the future such things might tend to be in wavelengths, outside the normal visual range to, avoid the visual, clutter and light pollution we. Talked about that in colonizing, Venus two big. Spider cities that mulch around the sky by shooting, tethers or using, thin stilts, you. Could potentially make very, big thin stilts, to materials. Like graphene rely, on tensile. Strength, great, for hanging things far more pooling with but. Most buildings, will lie on compressive. Strength and we, can turn to act to support systems, like, those we discussed in space, towers they. Are energy, hogs unless, you've got warm temperature, superconductors. That you can magnetically, shield but, if you have that or a huge, cheap energy supply you. Really could sit cities Massey in the gigatonnes on top, of some very thin support, pylons, a single.

Pylon Even, if it could hold the weight is, kind, of dangerous so. You must construct, additional pylons, for safely. And. These, could be used as stilts, for walking, your city to plenty. Of other options as well we, can beam power up to one or beam, it down from orbit and bounce it back up and possibly. Build the city at the top of a big transparent. Dish where, any energy, loss to atmospheric, absorption or, conversion. Is heating the air under, the dish up and providing. Lift or even thrust you, can make a spaceship, or airplane, that gets its energy beamed, in and this, approach relying. On size and heat, is less, vulnerable to a break in that beam and would, just drift down if power, was cut like. A hot air balloon and parachute, mixture, handy. Too since, if that dish is very strong anything. It lands on is basically, getting a lid put over it not crushed, we've, also got the ionic, wind approach like, mi t--'s new plane that has no moving parts that can break and is virtually silent and could, walk very well, when secured up in size for, this sort of slow drifting. Craft or building, another. Way to create lift is by induced, air flow like the commando effect using. Jet surveil on a surface, to pour Moyo around, a surface or wing some. Helicopters, use this to counteract, a voto talk instead, of a tail vote or to avoid the danger of a spinning blade at ground crew level, a floating. Body could create its own lift this way moving, air of out itself, instead, of moving through the air we. Can hang things to either, by very long tether of neo geosynchronous, orbits, and abridge space elevator basically, or the less cumbersome, and safe approach of the chandelier, city we discussed, in colonizing. Neptune where. You hang off an orbital, ring such. Things can be built stationary. Or to, move over, a track there. Is a question of why you'd want to move regularly. But at slow speed and as, we noted in seasteading, there, are a lot of cases where you might a floating. Stadium, or carnival or museum, money up and down a coastline, was an example they are and would, walk just fine he'll - we. Also mentioned, solar-powered, ones need to tether to the ground at night and, another, approach on motion, might, be ones that bobbed up and down over the course of a day but. It is worth remembering that physical, location, is likely, to be much less relevant, for things like walk and school in the future even, assuming, we don't eventually get all have a calls that sci-fi has been promising, us for around a century now or personal. Helicopters, or quad copters, in an energy-rich civilization. Speaking.

Of Bobbing, I could, imagine buoyant, reefs for, growing plants, on that, floated around growing, and slowly. Descended, to the ground when they got too heavy with plants, and crops which. You then harvested, and let drift back up sort. Of like a big cloud sheep you shield I doubt. That would be practical but it still sounds cool and when, dealing with civilizations. Numbering, in the billions and very prosperous, you, can support a lot of impractical. Things that, all needs simply for tourism and. Floating. Garden parks tripping around or, floating, restaurants, might, be a regular, feature of bigger cities or something, most nations had several, of a city. Is not synonymous with some, giant megalopolis. Like New York or Tokyo either. Definitions. Vary but, here in Ohio and most the Midwestern, u.s. a city, is defined, as any incorporated. Miss county with more than 5,000. People a village. One of less than 5,000. People and a, town simply, anything not incorporated. My, specific township, of Geneva actually, includes, the village of Geneva, and the lake where I live, the, city of Geneva and the unincorporated, spaces. Between, keep. That in mind a place, like New York City with millions, of people could, easily have several, cloud cities and villages that, will pop your for tourism combos. Or luxurious. Private residences, same. As they might have many coastal, artificial, islands, or subterranean, cities, and might, have large structures, drifting, in and out floaties, on sea or AR while. We're going to save a more extensive discussion of, just how far you can go with hanging things from space or suspending. Them by active, support for another day there. Is one last structure, I want to mention today that is kind of neat that relates to space launches, we. Discussed the notion of a skyhook or rotavator, back, in the Upward Bound series, and, its uses can be fairly similar to what we'd use for hanging towers, from orbit one, version, is a long tether whose low end hangs down into, the atmosphere and, which, can orbit fall slower than normal because of this the, top is in a fall higher and slower orbits and the net speed gets averaged, out those. Are handy, because they allow hypersonic. Planes to fly up and attach, to them and crawl, up into space and, they, can regenerate, the momentum, they lost to that plane and the thin ale by, electro dynamic tethering, you. Can make a floating city this way though, the tether needs to be very long if you want it moving slow and this, is one of the ways we might use magnetics. For floating things but. The more popular, portion is the vote a veto skyhook, that spins, around so. That it's tip descends, and is moving even slower while, its other tip is moving, faster, than normal at the top like, a big slingshot for spacecraft, this. Along, with the notion of floating cities bobbing, up and down got, us thinking about another approach to moving up and down which, we decide to call a sky, wheel for. Conceptual, purposes, imagine. A very big carousel, we all possibly. With the bottom floating just over the ground, possibly, with the whole thing floating fall up in the sky very. Stripped down Holland. And large, versions, might, be handy for reaching space but. A more modest form might, simply connect the ground to a floating city and be, a fun way to reach them and the, various carousel, cults might, be parks, or businesses, or homes or, on larger, ones entire. Neighborhoods, they. Needn't be circular, they could be elliptical, for instance and they, needn't be exposed to open air either and one, could imagine big, forms of these which Ward around fill a metropolis, cloud city neighborhoods, all the way down to its subterranean, ones, not. Very practical compared, to an elevator or tram line but, as with a lot of things we discuss in this series. Practicality. Is not, always what matters most very. Prosperous, and high-tech, societies, might, tend to make such things for the same reason, they have parks, and gardens they're. All practical, uses though even if we don't need them in this case any more than a beach resort needs industrial. Uses we. Mentioned, space ports, but airports, can be an option to a lot, of fuel is expended, climbing, up to speed and altitude and, a, floating airport can help with that and while, floating aircraft, kirio like the shield Helicarrier, has a lot of downsides, the, greater speed of an airborne one compared, to a naval ship seriously. Housed with power projection which. Is one of the major purposes of a kirio group, we've. Also often, talked about using orbiting, meals and shades to help cool or warmer planets and for. The most part one, floating high in the sky can, achieve the same effect somewhat. Diminished but, also easier, to build and maintain. But you might also use such, things especially, those using ionic, propulsion to. Help with something like ozone, farming, ozone. Layers are important. And can, be artificially generated.

You. Might also use them for sucking up lighter than air pollutants or greenhouse, gases, or, distributing, fertilizer, or even, moisture one. Could imagine genuine. Cloud cities that, helped with weather control, it's. Hard to imagine how many these things will have in the future or what specific, methods will be employed, to keep them aloft there's, just too many variables and. We, might get better with magnetic levitation, for instance who, invents, something like the classic, artificial. Or anti-gravity, fields. Science fiction loves so much, but, I am confident, one day and maybe, not to fall off we. Will at least have some civilizations. In the skies and, what. A great view they'd have. So. We were discussing how to keep enormous, objects, aloft today by, buoyancy, or by lift or even, by active, support, or orbital, mechanics, these. Are all examples of classical. Mechanics and when, it comes to practical knowledge there, isn't much more practical, than, classical, mechanics, and few. Topics that truly change a way of looking at the ward more than mastering, this topic, to. Master it though it takes more than just hearing the ideas you, have to get in and practice it and if, you're looking for a great way to do that with clear explanations. Visualizations. And, interactive. Quizzes try. Out the classical, mechanics courses on brilliant, we. Often discuss the future of education, of how, important. That interactive. Aspect, is especially. For the maths and Sciences, and brilliant. Incorporates, that into every, course they make they, also include, daily problems. Which, are an excellent way to get introduced, a fun new topics, which you can take expanded, courses on if one ceases your interest, if. You'd like to learn more about that topic and, others, and do, so at your own pace go. To a brilliant org, slash Isaac, author and sign, up for free and also. The force 200 people that go to that link, we'll get 20%, off the annual, premium, subscription. Next. Week we'll be returning to the alien civilization, series to look at the popular concept of aliens, visit us regularly, and covertly. In secret. Aliens, and we'll, take a look at allowed conspiracy. Angles and see, what sort of motives, aliens, might have for such things the. Week after that we'll stop mulch off by, taking a look at how a person, might make their way around a colonized, galaxy, in, hitchhiking. The galaxy, for. Lords when those and other episodes command make, sure to subscribe the channel and hit, the notifications. Bell and, if you enjoyed this episode hit, the like button and share it with us until next, time thanks, for watching and have a great week.

2019-02-23 16:03

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I hust had a thought of when we will have flying cities that makes scheduled landings in certain countries so that city has international holidays that you can get to experience in person!

Real cool but sadly I have vertigo.

ANYTHING is "possible" if you handwave away the technological requirements.

What a beautiful german dome :)

Small correction: The air at the top of mount everest is breathable in the short term (~1 day), afterwards you die of oxygen deprevation. Highest permanent human settlement is, as far as I know, soemwhere at ~ 5 km over sea level.

Isaac, I know this is off-topic, but I have an urgent announcement! In the war against T-Series, which is a major front in the war between individuals/independent content creators and soulless power-hungry corporations, fromer gamer and present-day resistance leader Pewdiepie needs our help! If we don't do everything we can, in less than two hours he'll be overtaken, and it'll be the beginning of the end of the Youtube we all know and love! If anyone is reading this, spread the word! This is a fight we can't afford to lose! And as a long-time fan of Isaac, I hope he notices the situation too.

One question that not enough people ask and even fewer people try to answer: *How are we going to pay for all of this?* Please hit me with your best interplanetary commerce & funding ideas, I would really like to know.

Construct additional pylons, lol.

Really liked the music track that was playing at 2:00 :P

17:00 I KNEW IT!

17:11 Listen closely to that

I like your videos but we will all be dead or wishing we were in 2 years. Keep up the good work.

You'll never make a GTO again , or Oldsmobile or Mercury Cyclone, so whats the point.

I understand the want to live up high, but I am troglodyte at heart, I want live underground. In the Earth's (or Mars's, or Luna's) embrace.

Pyramids are molds!!!

Never going to happen.

Ever read Eric Vinicoff's "Maiden Flight"? His "windrider" aerostats are hot air balloons that use electric heaters (charged by solar cells during the day) to stay up at night. People live in tropical warmth inside the balloon.

En Taro Adun!

Well, cities in the sky are a lot more practical on Venus or the gas giants. Then there was the whole orbital ring thing I was so excited of and I guess I am somehow still. This episode can't compare to previous which expressed those great ideas first.

The Jetsons.

Another good esp. what do you think about doing a video of a self contained doom Cott thank about New York city cover with a doom having no streets to take up space how many people could live there with all the building 100 stories

Wow, I was just writing about Skyhooks last week and didn't know it was called a Rotovator Skyhook when its pops in and out. I'm really surprised that you never mentioned Star Wars in this episode. Bespin had a huge amount of Scify lore behind it. Starting to pan out with the discovery of Boson Higgs particles. If you can change the state of Air by heating it up to make it less dense its theoretically possible to do the same to any type of matter. I think in the future we are going to find ways to make lighter then air metals forged on an atomic level much like you see glass being re-sequenced in Prince Rupert's drops.

One minor correction- life at high altitudes is not necessarily okay. Some of the deaths on Mt Everest are believed to have been caused by sudden and extreme drops in barometric pressure. I could not find the article I read a few years ago, but as I recall at least one death is known to have been the result of this phenomenon that exposed the peak to near vacuum. The phenomenon is also related to some airliners that crashed. Fortunately, not many humans have had the misfortune of encountering this, but that's mainly due to us not spending much time at that altitude. Moral of the story: we might want to keep these cloud cities below 30k feet, and if we are going to market these as billionaires' sky yachts, we might want to keep them pressurized for comfort too. Here is the only link I could find referencing the phenomenon. I would have more luck if I remembered what it was called.

So... on the subject of buoyancy, what about the mythic vacuum balloon? Unlike antigravity, you don't have to break/bend the laws of physics for a vacuum balloon to work conceptually. It is beyond our current engineering capabilities, but so far the approaches I have read don't stray to far out of the box. If we could substitute the balloon fabric with a plasma window, for instance, we could address part of the weight issue. Since these plasma windows (at least in my limited understanding of them) require a magnetic field, might it not be possible to use that field to replace the structural supports too? Granted, not one part of that idea represents the current technology, and may not be possible in the end. I suppose the real question in the end would be whether that ultimate vacuum balloon as described would provide enough added buoyancy to revolutionize what we can put into the sky.

had to stop when the Protoss showed up

I was waiting for a Zardoz reference but didn't get one.

Two problems that I see. Wind and helium is scarce.

I'd throw empty bottles and poop off my 4 kilometer high balcony. Soon after it would be illegal to have windows or doors that could open in your cloud city because of dangerous falling debris like anonymous poop flying. In Oblivion the clones of Tom cruise lived in those tall home 500ft off the ground.

The music in the background in the beginning is ultra annoying as it has words and you are talking. :)

It's been awhile since I've watch your channel, Our house burnt down in the "Campfire" of Paradise. Ca. We"re alright and safe. Just nice to go deep into thought again about "Everything else" that you are proposing for humans ...our potential future in Paradise is there also.

love your videos, Issac! Thank You so much!!

2:39 BFR spotted.

Anyone else hear a low repeat of Isaac at 17:10?

Always a great view, Isaac. Thanks! My brain won't stop trying to figure out how to get my old StarCraft install to run again now... Protoss forever! I can't help but wonder which would come first... An orbital superstructure that would support these cities or these cities to act as a staging area for the construction of the rings?


HAN No. Well, wait. This is  interesting. Lando. LEIA Lando system? HAN Lando's not a system, he's a man. Lando Calrissian. He's a card player, gambler, scoundrel. You'd like him. LEIA Thanks. HAN Bespin. It's pretty far, but I think we can make it. LEIA (reading from the computer) A mining colony? HAN Yeah, a Tibanna gas mine. Lando conned somebody out of it. We go back a long way, Lando and me. LEIA Can you trust him? HAN No. But he has no love for the Empire, I can tell you that.

Thoughts- 1. Sky cities on earth seem harsh economically until Graphene becomes the building material of choice. 2. I am also going to throw in nuclear fusion as an obstacle, and this, unless its cheap, and abundant. We can cover this if solar is somehow made to substitute somehow. 3. Its cold upstairs, people! Think Siberia up there at 4 kilometers. Frozen! Freaking Ice Palaces. You step outside and unless properly, walled in, you go flying, in the c-c-cold!

OM F'ing G. I apologize for this being my first ever comment on your channel after watching I don't know how many of your videos. But you have no idea how much of a happy dance I did in my head after hearing "YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS"! Keep doing what you're doing with science journalism/theorist future science, as well as the witty, nerdy humor, I always look forward to your videos every week!

yeah sure just "put a lid" on some skyscrapers lol crazy thinking tho if its on not so large buildings

I hope people in the future aren't afraid of heights.

I think the cities need more vespene gas.

Lando would be proud

Omg! All the comments appreciating starcraft, warms the heart! Nice touch Arthur

Cloud cities. Ha ha. Say hi to Landau for me. Jeebuz....

Can you tell me where that is? 1:32

Happy to share out great content. Especially of course when its so easy to get caught up in small scale short term drasma that fills our lives day to day. Taking a few moments to look up with curiosity and imagination to ask what if...?

Steel Starship woooh

fck! i always love your futuristic scifi topic, voice, graphics, images, story telling etc. fcking awesome!

On Venus you could hang a long tether down towards the surface into denser hotter air and use it as a heat exchanger that could bring heat up to warm your lifting gas. Free energy for power and greater bouncy!

More references down here to Star Wars than Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise :(

The great thing about Isaac’s videos is that i get 2x the use of each one! Once to fall asleep to, at night or for a nap and another time where i actually listen, while working or walking the dog

Hey Isaac, thanks for the amazing videos! Could you do something like a timeline on what humanity should build or where to colonize first? Would be interesting and a good recap of the outward bounds series. Thanks and greetings from Germany! :-)

New subscriber here. I just discovered your channel a couple of days ago, Isaac, and I can't stop plowing through your videos anytime I have the chance.

Has he made an underwater city?

Cloud cities on Venus was an idea I've heard from way back.

So, nothing to do with this video ( I think), but constant fans will follow; I am only ok with Mankind existing in a pure digital form if we have already 100% confirmed that there are no other Universes and that we cannot create new ones. Otherwise if the Digital move is a temporary need to answer a specific problem. My issue with digital existence is that its not physically real. What I mean is digital would be perfectly adequate for learning, living and social needs, but we would not actually go to the places or create the things we simulated. My main bullet point is we should not exists in only digital forms until we have nothing left to build, and no place left to go. I dont enjoy the Idea of my entire species existing on a hard drive(s), not while external forces still exist to harm us, or benefit us.

The weather??! I can't imagine one of these lasting long floating around my region of the world without getting caught up in a vicious storm and being torn down or dragged way off-course. I imagine it'd also bring a lot of legal issues, what with ownership of land and airspace. Imagine all the problems you might encounter just trying to get permission to fly your town over an area. Nobody would really want to live directly beneath that. Even if the risk of falling is minimal, it's often fear more than actual danger that puts people off. That'd no doubt have an effect on land value too, and make for some upset residents who've lived there long-term without a city parked overhead. Even if it is held up by a transparent balloon (will it pop?! or freeze in winter?), buildings aren't transparent because people like privacy, so you couldn't completely avoid blocking some light. This brings to mind images of futuristic multi-level cities where the 'ground floor' hardly saw any sunlight, often becoming abandoned/unsavoury/poor neighbourhood, due to the decreasing value of the land. And even though you mention energy-rich societies being able to do this easily, you usually also mention that the problem is more often heat. Besides a few select purposes (space/air travel, solar power), it only seems to serve the purpose of novelty. So I doubt it'd ever be very common, what with the safety and economic issues, energy use and heat generation, and few practical uses that would offset the cost. Interesting idea, but one I think is much more suited to places like Venus than here on Earth.

I imagine something like the rules we have for road traffic might be adapted to govern floating structures like these. Lanes where they can travel, speed limits, rules for overtaking, parking, right-of-way at intersections and so on. I always laughed at the traffic jams of flying cars in the Jetsons, but we might end up needing something similar with designated routes and the like for managing floating traffic in the future.

I like the idea of buoyant platforms powered by solar because I think technologically we're already there and I think it's relatively earth-friendly. I like the idea of dirigibles whose tops are papered with solar cells shuttling supplies back and forth from terrestrial airfields and ports to black-sky stations where space launches could take place with less gravity and air-resistance to overcome and I wonder if spacecraft couldn't be catapulted rather than blasted from that altitude. I think it would make supplying orbital projects much more economically and environmentally feasible. Thanks for the video Mr. Arthur, I loved it.

This episode had a lot of, see this or that episode. Could have had more content idk

I love your videos but I have one tiny observation to make about this one, Alexander de Seversky demonstrated a controllable flying model of an ionocraft in 1964 but MIT (and apparently Star Trek) gets the credit?

It really is funny how through all SFIA you keep calling the third isotope of hydrogen trinium. Active lift would be economy with fusion, doesn't seem highly efficient using beamed down solar power.

+Isaac Arthur as you know the third isotope of hydrogen is tritium but in this video as in all with the mention of fusion, your pronunciation is tritium. This is about the only time I really notice your speech impediment and it just seems a bit funny.

You'd have to explain the bit on tritium, I'm not getting it

Could these structure "float" above storms? Maybe even hurricanes? Like airplanes sometimes climb above turbulent winds? What happens way up there weatherwise? Would jetstreams be a serious problem?

Great video! It's amazing the scene in the movie 'Interstellar', when the spaceship is flying around big solid floating clouds :O

What about a vacuum balloon? Wouldn't that be superior to a bar filled with lifting gasses?

Isaac has watched Alita Battle Angel!


maaaan, it looks like a whole new level of graphics in the show, that's my opinion after 3 minutes

Perfect application for a space elevator,wind turbines that move around to keep in the jet stream .I find the La Grange points very interesting for stationary objects .Tks for the future thinking !!

23:00, I picture a wheel surrounded by a park of elegant homes which can be rolled into position for the wheel to catch and lift them, drawing the home up from the ground to the sky-city so the home-owners can relocate from the ground to sky without so much as having to pack a toothbrush. It's a form of air travel which even an acrophobic homebody like your namesake Isaac Asimov might have found comfortable (provided he didn't look out the window until his house was settled into place aboard _Laputa_ VII).

Your cover art is fantastic here. I saw that you linked to the artist, I'm going to have to check him out.

*Protoss* "You must construct additional pylons." Nice Touch!

The movie Elysium had it right at the start. Separate the productive people from the sludge of humanity and survive in a self-sustainable ecosystem.

+Cuvtixo D The premise was good, but then the movie started.

Whooosh!!!! Did you fall asleep during the movie?

Not everything is about pragmatism, we may end up building cloud cities just because we have the energy surplus to do it and it seems like a fun thing to do. A good many things in human history have happened for those sorts of reasons, the pyramids of Giza are a notable example of a large investment of resources and manpower into something extraneous.

I do very much hope we're nearing an end to that endless, useless resource dump that is war.

Various wars can be said to be the same. If cloud cities have military applications, I think they will be much more likely.

Higher Altitude = higher winds more power (turbines) and fewer clouds =higher solar efficiency

Can we also use this cloud cities to create shade on surface to reduce global warming effects?

+Cuvtixo D 1. I do realize. 2. At night this clouds actually would mirror infrared radiation, hence make place warmer at night . 3. It can be spotted in right, precalculated position, according to future more accurate climate model. 4. They can be movable. 5. This whole channel about brutforce, presumably if in the future this type of cloud cities will cover significant area, with consequences. It was just speculation, hoping for intelligent response, preferably Isaac's.

not anywhere near large enough (or high enough). And it would not help weather patterns. From your question I'm not sure you realize most places will get more extremes of both heat and cold. Even if it could provide needed shade on a single city in summer, in winter the same shade might deep freeze large areas. In desert areas, it might exacerbate severe cold every night. People would be terrified of the dark cloud floating overhead for more than one reason. Orbital mirrors focusing light (or providing darkness) are different. Easier to turn off and on. They could move shade or light quickly across the globe, but that's only because they're high enough to be in orbit. Even so, they're probably mostly science fiction.

Do you visit the cloud district often? What am I thinking of course you don't

That Starcraft quote. I love this channel so much

1) You and your team make some of the best quality videos for Youtube. 2) This means the old joke "I can see my house from here" will be use when looking up from now on.

1:20 Where's this place?

Captain Scarlet comes to mind

"you must construct additional pylons" starcraft sound brought back memories. Hopefully I will forget all about it by tomorrow. If it gets stuck in my head I will install starcraft and waste dozen or more hours playing it until it gets boring... many more important boring things that must be done.

I wanna start the first Cloud City Cannabis Dispensery. It will be called "Cloud Nine"

so in the rare occurrence of a solar flare and the earth being hit by FRB's so much so that our electric grids would have to be redesigned to function under the rain of FRB's wouldn't living underwater on the sea's floor be one of the safest places to live? given the fact that spacex are considering storing their water in the walls of their vessels to protect the crew from radiation from the van Allen belts surely 2km of water would completely eradicate the radiation from the FRB's

The best way to get and keep a cloud city afloat would be to use derigables, preferably ones designed to not leak.

It’ll be figurative and literal white-flight ;)

17:07 - certainly plenty of pylons will be required when colonizing Aiur.

maaaaan you make my week. Thanks again dude!

FINALLY THIS EPISODE! Edit:Only 4 minutes in and I'm immersed.

"building high is an other story".. I love those unintended puns

in the future everyone will be hooked up to a computer and live in virtual reality

I know this is about a mega structure, but would it be possible to do this at a smaller scale? Im assuming its been tried before? having a launcher that far up and dropping it down for logstics sounds like a solid plan, and might be the first " hex" in cloud city. Also I know that the US airforce attempted to make aircraft carriers out of 747s in the past, seems they might be returning to the idea but with drones instead of manned flight.

Weather would be issue enough, but for small structures much more so. Although I think none of it is feasible with today's tech, who knows the nature of tomorrow's.

Mohr pylons!

This deal is getting better all the time! ... wait, that's not how that quote goes... Oh well, drink and snack ready! Let's go!

Great video brah. Very interesting.

1:39 That castle is my wallpaper right now.

Bwilliant dot owg

I love this series, and I'd adore floating cities ... but I'm not thinking this works, for Earth. Show us a planet where ground level is all sulfuric acid at Hellish temperature, (cough venus cough) and then we'll get serious about how to live in the sky.

17:12 neat

..Xi Jinping joins the chat. XD ( No really.. if someone will make cloud cities it will be Chinese. )

Mass producing hydrogen might also be used to scrub CO2 from steel production, and perhaps a bunch of other industrial procedures, and really we shan't wait for fusion for that either, fission fits the bill.

Sky cities are very impractical. We'll have O'Neill cylinders first.

Always awesome. Thanks Isaac!

0:53 "such places (oceans, deserts, tundra, underground), don't not have strong motivation to live their in and of themselves" is wrong from an enlightened philosophically perspective. If you want the details, it is like this: the motivating reason to populate all environment is Broader Survival, which in turn affects your prospects for continued individual survival. One of the three Lower Strategies of Broader Survival is Population Dispersal, the other two being Population Increase and Population Diversity - three strategies that all of life uses, right down to microbes, as opposed to the three Higher Strategies that emerged with higher consciousness - Extended Reason, Proaction, and Higher Technology, all three of which would be employed when struggling to pursue the three Lower Strategies, such as disperse populations to any and every habitat, which serves the Ultimate Goal of Life - to secure enlightened higher consciousness (which is the Ultimate Value of Life), and then all of life, in a harsh and deadly universe, and then to engage in the Great Struggle (struggling to perpetually exist in a infinitely harsh and thus eternally deadly universe). Any lower goals are sub-goals, unless they are evil, which is born of cluelessness, then they are counterproductive (or at best idle) goals, such as vanity, envy, hate, xenophobia, prejudice, wanton (usually fashionable) ignorance, war, crime, injustice, the three mental pathologies of greed, domination, and manipulation, and the consequences of a lack of self-worth, aimlessness, depression, and suicide, along with blind destruction, which is the key feature of cluelessness. Note that having discovered the 'Ultimate' goal of life gives us the 'ultimate' determining factor between Good and Evil, and it enables us to quickly and clearly identify it (since good and evil are goal-driven) (another discovery I made when developing the philosophy, which was a reaction to Continued Universal Human Cluelessness, of which the opening statement illustrated (sorry, Isaac).

If a cubic metre of lifting gas gives enough force to lift a kilogram, then a cubic kilometre would give enough to lift a million tonnes. If we say 10% of that force is needed to cover just keeping the gas contained and providing supports for buildings to be attached to, that leaves 900,000 tonnes to actually build with. What exactly could we build with that 900,000 tonne mass budget?

let the autism begin

17:08 You must construct additional pylons.

My life for Aiur.

If you dump your sewage tanks on me, I will bring you down, beat you down, and plant a tree in your ass.

Also, thank you so much for what you do! You make Thursdays cool again.

Isaac, can you please do using planets as interstellar ships sometime? The Chinese movie "Wandering Earth" is making a splash right now and it's a fascinating topic to look at in depth. Like, where and how will people live, what kind of propulsion, can the planet hold together, etc.

A lot of people kinda still think of floating cities in the context of star wars like antigravity or gravity shielding. I kinda hoped Arthur would put in the pretty firm physics disclaimer of general relativity, which I often call the theory of impossibilities, that antigravity is realistically unfeasible even thousands or billions of years from now. Gravity cannot be reversed, shielded from, have a charge or pseudo magnetized.

Great video! I always dreamt of living in my own blimp house. On a rainy night, I would grab my megaphone yelling below : "A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!"

Currently, it is assumed that the Human Race will eventually be able to build a Dyson Sphere around a Star. If this were to be true we should also assume that it would have been possible to have built a Dyson Sphere around a Moon or Planet first and then transition to the final structure. The outer surface would be for Energy collection, the Shell would be for human Habitation. The support legs to the surface could be used as a space elevator. The surface would then be reserved for resource extraction or food production. This would allow the efficient use of any planet or moon in any Solar System to support Human life.

I never miss one of your videos.

*up has entered the chat*

Airborne nuclear fission reactors would make active propulsion via lift plausible. You can use your lifting gas as coolant for the reactor and get much lower densities at the same pressure, as well as using atmospheric air jets for propulsion.

WE must construct additional pylons!

The problem with hanging things down from space is they will create voltage so high it will melt. perhaps this effect can me used in the future if we can over come the extreme friction that would be created.

Isaac Arthur! Always have your head in the clouds don't ya :-D

As always, pure isaac quality for the hard sci fi fan. How about autonomous vehicles for a video?

One issue I worry about with floating cities above Earth or Venus is turbulence. Droping a couple miles in a Venus downdraft would be fatal. Doing so from earths floating cities could get you in nasty weather, or mountain tops as well. Any idea how big a issue this could be? Oh. As to the air on earths mountain tops being breathable. That's a bit of a exaggeration. Climbers call it the death zone. You don't drop over from lack of oxygen. But you are suffocating slowly. Unable to extract enough O2 to sustain organ and brain functions. FYI

I'll say Columbia and even not going to look down the comments because I know that nobody mentioned it before me.

Very nice ideas, just need to take into account events like the Eyjafjallajokull eruption.

Must construct additional pylons

Interesting weird voicing/rewind around 17:10 :thinking:...

I must build additional pylons... I must build additional pylons... I must build additional pylons...

Interesting accent!

In more temperate areas with variable cloud cover like the Midwest, how practical would floating solar or wind farms be? Assuming an upward trajectory of efficiency and power output and lowering costs, of course.

Paragliding in a Cluster of Cloud Cities must be epic I mean u could literally jump out your window to visit a friend

I think that airships and, by extension, floating cities will become more popular once we can build vacuum airships. No expensive helium, no highly flammable hydrogen (except to the degree it's used for fuel of course). An airship-house is a fascinating idea. Using ionic propulsion they move almost silently at up to 50 KmPH (31 MPH). I imagine the actual house underneath, for stability and for the views, and a yard with grass, trees, a water feature and, if you have kids or are a kid at heart, swings and a slide. This yard might be a hectare or two (2½ to five acres), because it *has to be* to carry everything around. Domed over or not, depending on how much altitude you're going for. The house part would probably be 186 sq. metres (2,000 sq. ft.) or less. Companies get rich competing for the airship-home business. They provide anchoring facilities and also restaurants, water parks, theaters, etc. Some of these anchoring points are at sea, starting off as prettied-up off-shore rigs but growing into seastead towns. Only for the super-rich at first, airship-homes gradually drop in price (but not in altitude!) until the merely rich can afford them, and then the upper middle class, and eventually average people can rent them for a few months, if they're willing to save hard for a few years.

you must construct additional pylons!

Was that the BFR at 2:30?

What if instead of your floating solar city coming to the ground at night, you circled the earth once every 24h staying at noon?

So basically, first contact could be with the alien equivalent of backpackers wanting to visit a pre-interstellar civilization...

6:28 This Dome is on the Reichstag seat of the Bundestag in Berlin. Grüße an alle deutschen Fans von Isaac Arthur aus Berlin

Not enough minerals !

Great video as always! I couldn't help notice that your speech impairment(?) is becoming less and less pronounced for every video. Looks like the narrative work is helping :)


Secret aliens??!! AWESOME!

Don't forget to line them with silver.


Which Isaac doesn't do. He does assume things like learning to make huge sheets of graphene or a single carbon fiber long enough to reach from the ground to past geostationary orbit but there was a time when flying and communicating around the world in real time was the stuff of high fantasy.

Despite not being too knowledgeable in this field, I'll try to propose some ideas to finance this. First, as Issac has said nuclear fusion this would grant humanity an almost infinite power source. Second, space mining would give us all the resources we could possibly want in resourcing a project like this. And last of all, private entities, we already in this day and age have dozens of companies with revenue higher than alot of countries. Companies like Space X and Virgin are pushing and creating and environment similar to that of the Cold Wars space race, striving to unlock space as a new market. What stops an eccentric billionaire or in the future a trillionaire from attempting this? This is the mpst likely way a project like this would be financed in my opinion with possibly combinations of the two i suggested prior to this.

17:11 Did your brain implants malfunction?

Hi Isaac!I love the content that you create, and I would like to share them on another platform because my home country has no access to YouTube, it is not for profit so I was wondering if you could give permission. Thanks!

The air on Everest is only breathable by those who are in shape and have acclimated to such low oxygen levels.

I really enjoyed the starcraft meme

Why fill the balloons with gas? If you make them a vacuum they would weigh even less than the gas. Has this been ruled out or just not considered?

I really appreciate that you used Marcus Warners music for this video. This man needs deserves more attention!




Both acid and "toxic air" are resources to the entrepreneur and scientist.

Why not use a rigid airframe and vacuum out the interior for lift? That would be more efficient than hot air or helium.

What do you all think future machines of war would look like? Issac mentioned in a video that as cool as he thinks giant mechs would be, the humanoid shape is not suited for warfare. Would it have many appendages with a larger degree of flexibility similar to an octopus? Or would it be more likely that drones wouldnt be used in the future in this way?

Liked for Skysheep you can shear. What an image!

A Douglas Adams reference as the title of an SFIA episode? I can't wait for March 7th!

Give these towns sovereignty and they'd be complete!

Cloud colonies, taking the phrase " The sky's the limit " to new heights and levels!

How about cities under the water

If we have cloud cities, could we achive ecunopolis?

As long as humans are so stupid that we require "do not eat" notices on Tide Pods, and unopenable skyscraper windows because people jump out so often, I suspect Cloud Cities would lead to a fairly constant rain of people. Raining cats and dogs? No, it's raining 5th graders today, some dumbass wrecked the sky-bus this morning...

Wow, worrying about cities chasing you on wheels, like in "Mortal Engines" is bad enough. Now you have to worry about flying cities chasing you. :P

Where dies he get all his digital art clips? :0

The power requirements would be astronomical.

"You really need a lot of Valium to stay up there"

I always dreamed about this sort of thing as a kid. Hopefully it's something that I can see it in my lifetime.

I gotta head with wings

Why cant we use cloud cities at the bottom of space elevators?

*Insert generic Lando and Han joke*

As mentioned in Isaac's Facebook group by Es Sen, "Pumping air up to a cloud city need not consume very much energy, despite the implied pressurization of the delivered air, because 'used air' can also be expanded back to ambient (at altitude) to recover PV work done earlier, or returned to ground level in another hose, which accomplishes the same thing."

The animations in this episode were incredible

Space elevator over a moon base...

A non-floating city getting shot by a missle isn't as bad for the same reason your car running out of gas is much less of a problem than a plan running out of fuel.

Only 14% more efficient, even if you could make a negative pressure vessel as light as a dirigible, and you can't.

His statement stands. All your arguments for occupying generally unpleasant environments, apply equally to pleasant environments. Your arguments for occupying every environmental niche are, by definition, NOT "strong motivations to live there in and of themselves", that is they are extrinsic, not intrinsic, to the peculiarities (for most people).

*up has entered the chat* Edit: why tf would you want a hover car?

+Digital Nomad Yeah, it's going to take some advanced materials. If we can get vac tanks which weigh no more than the gasbags of the 1930s, we're there. But that's a tall order. I think we're already there in tensile strength, but not compression.

Vacuum airships are problematic, only 14% more lift per volume than helium and with any known engineering the vacuum chamber would weigh more than the dirigible.

I know I'm late, but this already (Feb 24, '19) has a happy ending, right?

Helium weighs only 14% of what air weighs at atmospheric temps/ pressures. Hydrogen only 7.5%. It is silly to speculate about unobtanium engineering to get only 14% more lift per volume. The only advantage would be that with a vacuum pump, you could "get more vacuum" anywhere you had energy, whereas helium is hard to come by. For hydrogen you need energy and water. Edit: Just thought of another advantage of your force field vacuum chamber, you could vary lift at will by changing the volume of the vacuum chamber.

I can see these things catching on as luxury homes more than anything. I just feel that's where manufacturers of floating platforms would make their money.

As with the floating cities, I can see these concepts used to expand existing, ground-based cities where real estate is at a premium. I can definitely see some rich people paying to live in a floating neighbourhood tethered to the Hollywood hills. It would be taking the concept of a gated community to the next level. It would also allow areas of ground too steep, rough, etc. to be used for conventional development to be utilized. You could also add floating floors to the tops of conventional skyscrapers to build higher than normal construction methods would allow. Basically, you could add a floating penthouse or restaurant to the top of a normal building, with rigid beams holding it in place, but buoyancy holding up the extra weight.

Vacuum cities whose sole purpose is to collect farts that accumulate at high altitudes. Those farts can be sold at a premium on the ground for heat and seed funded by a tax on animal farms that don't have a reclamation system. The profit from this endevour can be used to bulldoze volcanoes. Bam. You just solved man made global warming. I wouldn't be surprised if this was in the green deal we see on the news.

god: i shall give him all the wisdom and charisma of a great youtube commentator...! also god: I shall make him talk like a silly cartoon character...

17:04 is now the first time I've audibly had to say "God dammit Isaac" :P

geneva? are you from Switzerland?

Nice video, but I'm a bit sad you didn't mention Buckmister Fuller's Cloud Nine concept. Would've been nice to hear what you have to say about it.

Do a video about wandering earth please

Forgot to mention vacuum balloons :(


Isaac could you do a video on how the earth would handle having less sunlight on certain spots if atmospheric improvements occurred such as in your Orbital rings episode . I like all the ideas you speak about but also have thoughts on what the consequences of such engineering projects would cause

i never liked and subscribed just from the title of a video before :)

Buckminster Fuller describes a floating city. Essentially his idea is a geodesic globe at least a mile across. The interior atmosphere is warmer then the exterior. This creates enough lift because the mass of the entrapping structure becomes lighters than the lift created by the air mass entrapped.

You must know I Asimov has a short shaggy dog story that involves a floating sky city called Atlantis.

great video, as always

Like for SC1 Additional Pylons :D

Some interesting options for buoyancy, but I'm not sure I'd want to live on a huge floating balloon of hydrogen. Oh, the humanity!

@ 12:30 - 2 cars parked on a floating helipad @ 12:45 - " you obviously arent keeping a car up there" .......apparently youd keep 2 cars up there....

I think that the internal pressure of the hydrogen, the need to segment the balloons, the human waste weight and processing issues (and making sure there is enough mass budget to have a city in the sky hold all human waste until it can be processed into dirt and drinkable water to be used again) and the perceived waste of airspace will largely eliminate the use of cloud cities relative to chandelier cities hanging from orbital rings as once a couple orbital rings are built, a city can be built in small evenly placed pieces starting from agricultural production then putting in water and waste treatment, then people building houses. Plus the nature of how weight must be generally evenly distributed around a planet in an orbital ring will make people feel better as their waste is far further away than it would be in a hexagonal cloud city. Plus a chandelier city can more easily justify pylons to the ground as an orbital ring can avoid being moved relative to the Earth even by the largest storms whereas a cloud city, by being built from the atmosphere, is basically guaranteed to move. Also chandelier cities could be built all the way out to geostationary orbit, and, by not moving relative to the Earth, can be very easily connected.

17:08 Brilliant!

no one is commenting on this guys speach impediment? it's really distracting

You won a like at 17:10 ! I would suggest we reach 200/200 for better safety ;)

Perhaps the most credible qualifying statement on the internet. "It may not be practical, but it still sounds cool."

I’d like to see you expand on how an electric universe could power everything imaginable with free electrical energy. See Thunderbolts project for a alternative theory of the cosmos.

Cars are built to an entirely different standards than aircraft and how many residents are served by the one pad? Apartment living and all that.

Go listen to his early videos and quit being an anal orifice.

By the standards of horse and buggy the power required to cruise along at 120km an hour in air conditioned comfort is astronomical.

So like he said breathable but just barely.

Before you can say not possible you need an understanding of the mechanics of how gravity works; not just the effects.

+Lexington73300 Neither is there anything indicating that they are not feasible in the real world. When Einstein worked out the math that culminated in E=MC2 he thought it was essentially meaningless because the was nothing indicating that the energy was available for human use in the real world.

+calvingreene90 Sounds like "handwaving" to me. Nothing indicates these technologies are feasible in real-world terms.

The only channel i go through the sponsor ads. Live long and healthy Isaac !

see also: Buckminster Fuller. Cloud Nine (tensegrity sphere). re floating cities . Originally found in his1981 book "Critical Path".

+calvingreene90 ok??? im not sure what your point is... but mine is that the animation, shows 2 cars on a helipad, but the narration contradicts it by saying you wouldnt park cars there.

+calvingreene90 years ago read some ways even with limitations of relativity to kinda magnetize gravity, but it doesn't realitistic be feasible cause it involves running micro black holes around unobtainium coils at near lighspeed.

Every time Isaac mentions fusion power, take a shot ;)

Yeah, I am actually surprised he did not mention those. Gets around the lifting gas problem neatly. No super tech required either, which is usually right up Mr. Arthur's alley...

Pewr swwqure mewemetewr. Haha Fix your fucking speech

This reminds me of Kami's lookout.

Cloud cities could exploit the five planets with earth like gravity

I saw a mountaineer once say water boiled at 20C high up on Everest, so, while the air might be breathable, it would still present practical issues if the structure is not airtight.

Dude..! The StarCraft reference was awesome!

I am amazed by everything in this video. How do we keep the cities in the sky, how do we prevent them from falling down?

Monkeys like tall places too. People like pictures of spacious panoramas shot from above

Your videos are just mindblowingly captivating! YouTube linked it to me randomly and I got hooked immediately, and I want to say thank you for your effort in making these. They're both enlightening and inspiring your imagination at the same time.

17:11 That did make me jump not gonna lie.

Not too many facts or theories, just blah blah.

All of this with technology within our reach


Unrelated, but... Is it me or that's a very _Starship Super Heavy_ rocket there at 14:14?

cloud cities and move and prohibit people from the earth most precarious living environments ( earthquake, flood, coastal, deserts ) in interest in recreating the earth environment prior capitalism

17:10 what was that?

"You must construct additional pylons." When you started that sentence I was hoping you'd do that, and you did not disappoint.


There seem to be even some health (and definitely sport-performance )benefits associated with prolonged exposure to high-mountain-like atmospheric conditions. So many people may actually go to such places just to "get exposed to the climate" as the old doctors used to prescribe.

i hope we do get better with magnetic levitation, since if we want cloud cities without big balloons the coolest method without anti-gravity, which might not even be possible, is magnetic levitation


Is that picture that is facing the sky and surrounded with buildings taken from Singapore?

This is great! I'm actually developing a TV series about living in sky cities! | :)

me: RTGs would be great in that applicatio isaac a second later : this is perfect for radioisotope thermal generators

I can't do it any more your voice is killing me

How tall pyramid structure it would be possible to make with conventional materials and tech, if the foundation would be something like 1000 x 1000 kilometers and top of it a couple hectares? Gigantic greenhouse pyramids acting simultaneously as an escalator assisted high altitude launch platforms could make deserts green again while making more food, power and make space flight a lot cheaper!

Hitchhiking the Galaxy... I wonder what the book of the Month will be for that video...

Great presentation. Unfortunately there was no mention of the Woodward Drive, also known as the Mach effect thruster.Very promising research currently being conducted, and well within established scientific principles.Once operational this would likely be a very promising candidate for all kinds of levitational applications including cloud cities.  Like other technologies however it would require considerable power generation, but combined with a fusion reactor (which is also not that far off) would become very doable.

Thank you for the additional definition of ground-based communities. Karl Themel, B.S. (Zoology), The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Building cloud cities is possible using current and future technologies. Cloud cities will exist 100 to 200 years in the future.

Land o Cal(ifornia) Risien

@calvingreene90 ok??? im not sure what your point is... but mine is that the animation, shows 2 cars on a helipad, but the narration contradicts it by saying you wouldnt park cars there.

@calvingreene90 years ago read some ways even with limitations of relativity to kinda magnetize gravity, but it doesn't realitistic be feasible cause it involves running micro black holes around unobtainium coils at near lighspeed.

I was literally playing starcraft while listening to you. Thanks!!!

I enjoyed this its fun to think about my problem thought about sky living is the situation of falling objects of any type would make ground living hazard to the max lol love your work

_You must construct additional pylons..._ *Fabulous!*

2050 countries will be fighting with flying structures WW3

Sea levels rising (Civilization goes up) Earth: OOOHHH aren't you a fiesty one

I was waiting for a Bioshock Infinite reference

this is pretty disorganized video

It's like listening to Kripkee

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