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Thread: Multi Planet Species Pros and Cons

  1. #1
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Multi Planet Species Pros and Cons

    Elon Musk Interview on Colonizing Mars

    ‘If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilisations, and I mean strange in a bad way,’ he said. ‘And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilisations.’
    ‘It’s funny,’ he told me. ‘Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth’s surface. They say things like, “Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around.” They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I’m not in that school,’ he said. ‘I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.’
    Pros and Cons - should humanity invest significant resources into becoming a multiplanetary civilization over the next hundred years?

  2. #2
    Member Bartender's Avatar
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    Yes we need to expand. Increases chances of humanity surviving.

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    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Judging by history, new environments create new challenges that cause new technologies to be developed that are helpful whether or not we end up living there permanently. That said, doesn't seem like the planet is going to be a nice place to live for many more millennia, so having some alternatives set up might be a good idea.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Keep the space exploration program going and keep investigating/researching technologies that would allow us to terraform/colonize. I suspect any sort of colonization initiative is a long ways off though. It's still prohibitively expensive just to get a manned mission to MARS. Considering the tons and tons of material that would need to be shipped to start a colony. Yikes.

    That kind of investment probably wouldn't be politically acceptable until Earthside extinction is inevitable. Which I doubt will happen in the next 100 years despite global warming fear mongering.

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartender View Post
    Yes we need to expand. Increases chances of humanity surviving.
    I'm playing devil's advocate (DA) here because I totally agree with you.

    CONS
    (1) 'Wasting' resources on manned space flight will cause more problems on Earth than it solves. (2) Mars and other planets and moons are so in hospitable to life we could never get mroe than a toe hold at great expense. It would be another expensive expedition just to snap some pictures and pick up rocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by P-O View Post
    Judging by history, new environments create new challenges that cause new technologies to be developed that are helpful whether or not we end up living there permanently. That said, doesn't seem like the planet is going to be a nice place to live for many more millennia, so having some alternatives set up might be a good idea.
    DA:
    CONS: (1) New technologies that would be developed and then indirectly help solve problems on Earth could be more easily developed for Earth application in the first place. Apply the govt. funding directly to research and save on all those rockets. (2) The Earth would have to get very bad (total nuclear war perhaps) before Mars would be better.

    PRO: Instead of setting up humans on Mars, set up everything you need to make humans - a human factory so to speak. (Lots of tech to develop there). Put them underground, put them on the Moon and Mars, put some under the Christmas tree. Each with a label stating 'Open in case of extinction'

    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    That kind of investment probably wouldn't be politically acceptable until Earthside extinction is inevitable. Which I doubt will happen in the next 100 years despite global warming fear mongering.
    On the other hand - if civilization starts sliding off a cliff (slow decline) then our ability to make a Mars colony happen may only be possible in the near term.

  6. #6
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post

    DA:
    CONS: (1) New technologies that would be developed and then indirectly help solve problems on Earth could be more easily developed for Earth application in the first place. Apply the govt. funding directly to research and save on all those rockets. (2) The Earth would have to get very bad (total nuclear war perhaps) before Mars would be better.

    PRO: Instead of setting up humans on Mars, set up everything you need to make humans - a human factory so to speak. (Lots of tech to develop there). Put them underground, put them on the Moon and Mars, put some under the Christmas tree. Each with a label stating 'Open in case of extinction'
    Well, if you ask me, often new technologies are easier to see when you're looking at the right problem. Obvious answers to problems on mars might be unobvious answers to problems on earth... and you won't necessarily think to use them on earth until they already exist. Mars problems might be that "intermediate step" that would otherwise never be traversed...And since we're talking about completely foreign environments, there's lots and lots of potential problems to tackle.

    Human factory would be awesome, but i'm thinking we're not at the point as a society where many people would find that kind of thought appealing.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    On the other hand - if civilization starts sliding off a cliff (slow decline) then our ability to make a Mars colony happen may only be possible in the near term.
    I agree with your sentiment, but if it comes to that, we are probably doomed anyway. What we probably need to really make this happen is a fairly stable (utopian, although that may be too strong a word) civilization, such that we are not busy spending trillions on various wars or other global crises. Then we might have the disposable resources to invest in a major effort like space colonization.

    Some new tech outside of action-reaction fueled rockets would be useful as well.

  8. #8
    I don't see the kind of technology needed in this case (to truly create a self sustaining colony on a planet like Mars, much less moving even a single human being to a more earth like planet around another star) being even remotely plausible without first solving our social and political issues as a planet such that we can focus our resources on the task at hand. The scary part is that even then it's only plausible, not necessarily possible. But let's say we did bring the world together magically under some mystical umbrella of peace, cooperation, and understanding. What then? Would the system needed to accomplish world peace be conducive to the system needed to plow technology forward at such a blinding pace? Can the human being as he has evolved today even cope with the system that would be required to accomplish such a monumental task long term?

    Think about the great technological feats of history and the modern world. The Great Pyramids, Angor Wat, The Great Wall of China, and all of modern technology. Slavery, religious fervour, aggressively competitive capitalism that has yet proved its sustainability. One thing all these accomplishments have in common in my mind is that they were created under a system of casts. What's the human cost? I think the greater challenge is the social challenge, not the technology. The root of the solution, if there is one, is a social political solution. And I'm afraid that solution may be, as a population, analogous to the things we do as individuals to get ahead. We suffer as individuals to accomplish something big. Is the entire world willing to do that without pitching a fit? Should they? Is it worth it? I think we'll have to if we want to survive longer than earth. I don't know if it's right, but I suspect it's necessary. Reality sucks.

    All that said, we do tend to do what needs to be done when it's in our face that we have to. But by the time it's that obvious, it will probably be too late.
    Quote Originally Posted by whatloveihave View Post
    I don't find you a potential threat to human society, you're not crazy. Feces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stigmatica View Post
    I don't see the kind of technology needed in this case (to truly create a self sustaining colony on a planet like Mars, much less moving even a single human being to a more earth like planet around another star) being even remotely plausible without first solving our social and political issues as a planet such that we can focus our resources on the task at hand. The scary part is that even then it's only plausible, not necessarily possible. But let's say we did bring the world together magically under some mystical umbrella of peace, cooperation, and understanding. What then? Would the system needed to accomplish world peace be conducive to the system needed to plow technology forward at such a blinding pace? Can the human being as he has evolved today even cope with the system that would be required to accomplish such a monumental task long term?

    Think about the great technological feats of history and the modern world. The Great Pyramids, Angor Wat, The Great Wall of China, and all of modern technology. Slavery, religious fervour, aggressively competitive capitalism that has yet proved its sustainability. One thing all these accomplishments have in common in my mind is that they were created under a system of casts. What's the human cost? I think the greater challenge is the social challenge, not the technology. The root of the solution, if there is one, is a social political solution. And I'm afraid that solution may be, as a population, analogous to the things we do as individuals to get ahead. We suffer as individuals to accomplish something big. Is the entire world willing to do that without pitching a fit? Should they? Is it worth it? I think we'll have to if we want to survive longer than earth. I don't know if it's right, but I suspect it's necessary. Reality sucks.

    All that said, we do tend to do what needs to be done when it's in our face that we have to. But by the time it's that obvious, it will probably be too late.
    What you describe - a society that is rigidly dedicated to a project at the expense of the freedom of it's individual members - is current China. They are rapidly catching up to the rest of the world when it comes to science. Their R&D spending is projected to overtake the rest of the world in the coming decade. They're way ahead of us in robot technology and are currently hogging resources all over the planet like crazy. They have a skilled, cheap army of labour that is out there making iPhones for everybody right now.

    The world may not be ready to come together to make something huge happen, but 2 billion Chinese are.

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    I'm for it. Too much of a sci-fi fan to not be.

    It’s funny,’ he told me. ‘Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth’s surface. They say things like, “Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around.” They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I’m not in that school,’ he said. ‘I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.’
    Why does everyone assume you can't fix problems on Earth and travel to other planets at the same time? It's not like we don't waste money on other things. Like ethanol as an alternative to oil... what a bunch of bullshit that is. It's just so that a bunch of people in rural areas can receive government handouts. It's certainly not "green", although I think we're supposed to think that because it comes from plants.
    Last edited by msg_v2; 10-02-2014 at 03:20 AM.

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