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Fraser
2005-Sep-14, 06:20 PM
SUMMARY: A recent conversation on the Bad Astronomy/Universe Today forum got me thinking. Member "parallaxicity" wanted to know where the next generation of unmanned probes should be sent. Should we investigate Europa, and dig through its icy skin? Or what about building a blimp that could float in Titan's thick atmosphere analyzing the surface in incredible detail? Let me just wipe the drool from my chin; some of these missions would be so cool. But you know, I'll have to take a pass. Right now, I think we need to focus on one thing...

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/lets_find_life.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

TuTone
2005-Sep-14, 08:06 PM
Amen Fraser!

Spacemad
2005-Sep-14, 10:21 PM
Good thinking, Fraser! :) We need to do more about finding "life" in the Universe - well, perhaps we should narrow it down a little - lets begin with our "Milky Way" - quadrillions of stars you say? Well, lets begin a litle closer to home then & search amongst the nearest 100's in our vecinity- using all the means at our disposion.

ioresult
2005-Sep-14, 10:35 PM
SIM and TPF-C together will be able to find life bearing planets orbiting 139 of our neighbouring starts.

So, what are the odds that at least 1 out of 139 sol-like stars can harbor life in their planetary system?

Will we have that answer in 10 years? I certanly hope so.

pyewackett
2005-Sep-15, 12:41 AM
I can't imagine that we're the only life out there. What a waste of space. ;)



Man, just reading over this article makes me excited. Just imagine the possibilities...

Greg
2005-Sep-15, 01:17 AM
I agree that making planet finding and the search for life a priority is essential to pursue to keep the public interest (and funding) in endeavors in space. Still it is important to balance this with efforts in basic science research that have and I'm sure will continue to make our every day life easier once the applications of these discoveries hit the shelfs. The search for things that threaten to end all life on Earth must also be a priority, since there isn't much value in discovering life elsewhere if we are doomed by missing an imminently threatening asteroid or comet that if caught in time we can steer clear of our planet.
I like your bent on conducting cheap but productive missions using remote controlled robots as opposed to a glorified manned mission which will cost so much more per science gained. It is too bad NASA doesn't take such an intelligent economical approach to their long-term plans. A semi-permanent moon base might be within reasonable reach with tangible benefits within the next 30 years, barring the successsful development of something that cheapens getting payloads to orbit, such as a space elevator before that which could make a manned Mars mission more cost effective per science gained.
The ISS is an excellent example of how not to manage a budget for maximum gain, as the original large basic science component has been largely gutted from it in the intrest of saving a few hundreds of millions of dollars over the billions already sunk into the project. It is little more than a field trip for astronauts anymore and a shameful waste of funds that get sunk into it to keep it going as a result. Maybe somebody will wake up and use it for the purpose it was orgianlly intended for: research, research, and more research. But of course this will cost some money which nobody appears willing to spend.

Tinaa
2005-Sep-15, 01:42 AM
Hey Fraser, may I email your rant to my Congressmen/woman? They need to hear it.

Fraser
2005-Sep-15, 03:29 AM
Oh sure, hope it helps. I was hoping for a discussion, though. As Greg pointed out, putting this kind of focus on the search for life would have severe implications on other scientific programs. I think the prize is pretty sweet, though, and worth sacrificing other research.

jhwegener
2005-Sep-15, 07:10 AM
I think a related goal may be to find out the "general rules" if any, for the evolution, origin and end of planetary systems like our, even if we do not find any sign of ET-life.
A question: what consequence will it have, if we find evidence of what is usually called very primitive life, but no more? I guess one will later say that goal should not be our only one, perhaps not even first.In one sense we are not alone; we have millions of different terrestrial species, so there is probably much we can still find out about terrestrial biology.
Last: I would give TPF priority among the "search for ET life" programs.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Sep-15, 07:17 AM
I think Mars is sold to the public the wrong way
and I feel there is a chance that we might never find alien life on Mars.

I'm sorry to say it, but there are others who feel this way about Martian plans because Mars has disapponited astrobiologists and scientists many time before.

I'm all in support of sending NASA probes or European craft to the Red-Planet to answer questions about its history and find possible sites for future manned missions. However many people feel that Mars is a dead world, and perhaps will remain totally uninhabitable except for a few extremeophiles we bring to Mars from Earth.
http://members.aol.com/gca7sky/life.htm
http://www.thespacesite.com/community/index.php?showtopic=853&st=90
http://www.ibiblio.org/astrobiology/index.php?page=interview04
But missions like NASA's TerrestrialPlanetFinder, the SETI project, ESA's Darwin mission, and others might discover alien life long before we ever send people to the Red-planet.

Why concentrate so much effort on the one red-planet when there are billions of others to examine, many of which may lie inside habitable orbits around Suns similar to our own.

Fraser
2005-Sep-15, 02:57 PM
That's a really good point. If I had to choose just one mission, it would be the TPF. I'd even put off exploring Mars.

antoniseb
2005-Sep-15, 03:03 PM
That's a really good point. If I had to choose just one mission, it would be the TPF. I'd even put off exploring Mars.

I would too, but that is in part because of TPF's potential in areas other than finding terrestrial planets. It will also be an incomperable tool for other very detailed observations of things with very small angular dimensions, and will expand the limits of astronomy tremendously.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Sep-15, 03:30 PM
I hate to disagree, but I think that the emphasis should be on space infrastructure. Make space accessible to more people, more scientists, and more businesses. Make launches cheaper. Then everything else should follow.

energyarc
2005-Sep-15, 04:57 PM
Of course there is other life out there in the universe. There is so much life out there we would all be amazed and overwhelmed by the vastness and uniqueness of it all! There is life in the Pleiadian system, there is life in the Sirian system, there is even intelligent life in the Andromeda Galaxy. I've had my share of experiences with beings from all three of these places, and let me say, they exist, they are real, and they are wonderful beings of light and love. There is far more to creation than just us humans. For those who are interested, there is a book by Sheldon Nidle called "Your Galactic Neighbors" where he discusses 22 galactic civilizations, which is only a fraction of the life out there in existence. We will be meeting our galactic neighbours soon, sooner than we might expect. They are here, and waiting for us to awaken. Get ready, Earth, we are about to become a huge part of Galactic Civilization!

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-15, 05:08 PM
Of course there is other life out there in the universe. There is so much life out there we would all be amazed and overwhelmed by the vastness and uniqueness of it all! There is life in the Pleiadian system, there is life in the Sirian system, there is even intelligent life in the Andromeda Galaxy. I've had my share of experiences with beings from all three of these places, and let me say, they exist, they are real, and they are wonderful beings of light and love. There is far more to creation than just us humans. For those who are interested, there is a book by Sheldon Nidle called "Your Galactic Neighbors" where he discusses 22 galactic civilizations, which is only a fraction of the life out there in existence. We will be meeting our galactic neighbours soon, sooner than we might expect. They are here, and waiting for us to awaken. Get ready, Earth, we are about to become a huge part of Galactic Civilization!
Ok ...

Any Chance, we Could Get Proof, on That?

A Picture, Something, Anything?

:think:

Titana
2005-Sep-15, 07:14 PM
Well as far as i know, there is no proof of intellegent life on any other planet besides ours. And i would like to add that i totally agree with Manchurian;
' why concentrate so much on one planet, when there are billions awaiting to be examined '. I strongly beleive that there are other planets somewhere out there containing some sort of intellegent life similar to ours, just waiting to be discovered..........


Titana.............

Arneb
2005-Sep-15, 07:31 PM
Hi everybodey,

Fraser was motivated by a discussion unfolding in the Space Exploration Forum ("Where should the next generation of unmanned Space probe go?").

While it is indeed a wonderful article, I do disagree with the main point: That we should concentrate our resources on the project of finding life elewhere in the Universe. Since the discussion at this corner of the board seems to be a bit more lively here, I repost here what I posted in the original thread:

Dear Fraser, with all due respect to your - as usual - lovely written article,
I have to disagree. Even if we found some - active or fossilized - microbe on Mars; even if we found a life-bearing planet with our TPF probes (if they are mass-produced, that would allow what I called ULBI - vast improvement in resolution); then we are still, for all intents and purposes, alone in the Universe. Maybe not the only sentient species, even within a sphere of, say 100 or 1000 ly - We are, if you like, home alone: No other well-intentioned, friendly species will lift us "off the popsicle" (to quote WilliamThompson), even if it exists.

To become able to do serious exploration of space, we have to learn, learn, learn, be it about the life-bearing parts of the Universe or not. So while to concentrate on mass-producing Mars rovers and TPFs will indeed amount to betting the farm (by the way, who is going to provide all the DSN dishes?) and may well turn up empty (very real possibility), there are still a myriad things to learn about this quaint little system and the world beyond. It doesn't have to be alive to be fascinating, and ultimately we'll have to learn it in order to make use of it, should this species not want to go extinct.

So, no agreement this time. We'll have to keep our interests spread, otherwise one loss (=finding no life) will break the bank. We'll need the non-life-bearing parts of this Universe soon enough. Too important to put on hold, too fascinating not to explore.

Lomitus
2005-Sep-16, 01:58 AM
First let me say that I think this is a wonderful post and topic! Thanks! Also let me take a moment and also say that I have not read thru all of the responses, so please forgive me if I add anything redundant.

While I will be the first to say that I think there should be a much heavier emphasis on space exploration, I'm not sure it should be our primary focus yet as a people for a number of reasons...the first and foremost being that we're simply not ready to meet ET. Yes, if we were to find microbial life on Mars, Titan, Europa, etc., that would indeed be outstanding and I would like to hope and/or believe that it would have a positive impact on the peoples of our planet. However when it comes to actually seeking out other intelligent life, let's face it here; we still war amoungst ourselves over (comparatively) petty issues such as politics, religion and money, we still haven't really learned to take care of our own planet yet not to mention all the species that share it with us and we're still a very primative and paranoid culture as a species. If we can't "play nice" amoungst ourselves and with the other creatures of our planet, how are we supposed to even begin to understand a life form that may be -very- different from ourselves?

With that said, I would also like to think of myself as an optimist. There -are- people fighting to make things better here on our little blue globe. There -are- people who realize the importance of a healthy and diverse ecosystem. Slowly, but surely (most of the world at least) is trying to get away from potentially disasterous things like nuclear weapons. We can learn and we do grow. Space exploration and a better understanding of our universe are critical to that growth. I fully agree that these endevours must be pursued with great vigor!

Now this is really more the meat of my post here...and something I'm a little suprised I have seen more of mentioned. As I'm sure most folks know, NASA isn't the only folks here in the US to put a ship up in space any more. With the advent and success of Paul Allen and Burt Rutan's Space Ship One, they've opened a number of unexplored doors. Of course as has already been mentioned here on UT, Virgin Galactic has already put into motion a concept for a "commecial space tourist industry" so I ask, why does this new industry have to limited to space tourism? While of course NASA is federally funded, dispite problems with money managment, etc., NASA has made a good chunk of change launching satalites, etc.. Why should NASA get to have all the fun here? As I recall there were actually a number of companies/people and of course ships involved in that X Prize competition were there not? I seem to remember reading about one called "The Armadillo" which had been built for something like only $20,000. Could not such a vehical...with some work of course, not be used like the shuttles were for launching satalites and scientific equipment? I think and I desperitly hope that sometime in the future we will see not only the Russian's and the Space Shuttles going to the ISS, but maybe someday they'll have regular if not daily ships passing thru.

Now one of the advantages of all of this is that almighty wheel that makes all business go round...competition! While "mass production" of devices like the Rover's would certainly bring prices down a bit, having companies "bid" for space projects the way contracters might bid for perspective jobs, would certainly have as much, if not more of a profound impact on the revenues involved with space exploration then the mass production of science rovers. I would think most of the millions and millions of dollars that go into the deveopment of such a device is mostly in the R&D department anyways. Granted I could be wrong here, but it's my guess that most of the costs of building something like the Mars rovers goes into figuring out -how- to build it as apposed to the actual construction costs. I would think that a "free market mentallity" would even be benificial here...lets say someone with not only the money, but the interest, wanted to put a probe...maybe even a manned probe, on someplace like Mars and didn't care to wait for NASA to do it....by todays school of thought, whats stopping them? While I think NASA is a great organization, I really think the future of space travel and exploration is going to be more and more dependant upon the private sector to make things more "do-able". If we have to wait for NASA and other "government" organizations, then we're gonna have a -long- wait. NASA, like most government related organizations, has it's problems and they are problems that don't appear to have any easy or long term cures (other then unlimited money and I think they'd still find a way to screw it up! LOL!). If however this can be seen as a "profitable business venture" in the private sector as apposed to simply science and understanding, I think you'd have a lot of folks with way too much money just chompin at the bit to get in on it.

Of course on either side of the issue here it all comes back to that all mighty evil, money. NASA's always had problems because they don't get enough funding (and has problems managing what they do have). The problem with doing this in the private sector -is- making it profitable so that private citizens will feel inclined to invest. I think space tourism is a great place to start, but let's all hope that it doesn't end there :).

Finding life other then our own in the universe (and/or if we are indeed simply alone) should be high on our priority lists, but l also hope we're ready for it when we do! Again, I thought it was a great article and I just wanted to add my $.02 worth!

Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes,
Jim

energyarc
2005-Sep-16, 04:54 PM
ZaphodBebblebrox,

As far as proof goes, the proof will come to you when you are ready and open enough to receive it. Until the time comes that the mass population of Earth is able to interact with the galactic beings already here, you will have to find your proof in more personal ways. Look to the children. Many children are able to see into other dimensions, and lately some children have been seeing a species from the Redoran system, and describe them as having fat heads and skinny bodies. I'm not exactly sure where the Redoran system is, but they have begun visiting Earth. Galactic beings are coming from all over to visit us. There will come a time when we will see them. And the funny thing is, is that we will know many of them because they are friends and Soul Family members. We are One with All.

Yorkshireman
2005-Sep-16, 05:15 PM
Do these Redoran aliens partake in role-playing video games by any chance?

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Sep-16, 06:48 PM
Namely... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrowind_Architecture#Redoran)

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-16, 07:02 PM
ZaphodBebblebrox,

As far as proof goes, the proof will come to you when you are ready and open enough to receive it. Until the time comes that the mass population of Earth is able to interact with the galactic beings already here, you will have to find your proof in more personal ways. Look to the children. Many children are able to see into other dimensions, and lately some children have been seeing a species from the Redoran system, and describe them as having fat heads and skinny bodies. I'm not exactly sure where the Redoran system is, but they have begun visiting Earth. Galactic beings are coming from all over to visit us. There will come a time when we will see them. And the funny thing is, is that we will know many of them because they are friends and Soul Family members. We are One with All.
Ok ...

Wow ....

Yeah ...

That Is SO Misguided, I'm Actually Speechless!!

Greg
2005-Sep-16, 11:57 PM
Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book. I can imagine a statement in it like... Zaphod fox dropped a brox box of pebble rocks in the Bebble babble brook...

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. But in order to be taken seriously on a forum such as this one, one needs to back them up with facts or at least a scientific tradition as evidence. With such a vivid imagination, energyarc would probably make a good author/writer/storyteller, but of the fiction variety of course.

One thought to add to the discussion is what the effect or end result would be for the discovery made. I think that finding microbrial life will generate alot of interest in outer space but probably won't be significant enough to change day to day life on Earth. Finding an advanced civilization would do that, but we aren't going to be finding that in our solar system. Most fundamentaist thinkers in the major religions still feverently defend Creationism despite all of the evidence to the contrary. So we still have a long way to go on our planet to overcome such simplistic and unevolved literalistic thinking.

Fraser
2005-Sep-17, 12:18 AM
So you're asking why we should do this? Well, why do we already search for life, and work to understand life in all its complexities? Basically I'm impatient. I want to know the answer now. It's really just a matter of priority, but there're side benefits to mass producing your scientific instruments. A Terrestrial Planet Finder class telescope would be useful for all kinds of science.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-17, 12:39 AM
Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book. I can imagine a statement in it like... Zaphod fox dropped a brox box of pebble rocks in the Bebble babble brook...

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. But in order to be taken seriously on a forum such as this one, one needs to back them up with facts or at least a scientific tradition as evidence. With such a vivid imagination, energyarc would probably make a good author/writer/storyteller, but of the fiction variety of course.

One thought to add to the discussion is what the effect or end result would be for the discovery made. I think that finding microbrial life will generate alot of interest in outer space but probably won't be significant enough to change day to day life on Earth. Finding an advanced civilization would do that, but we aren't going to be finding that in our solar system. Most fundamentaist thinkers in the major religions still feverently defend Creationism despite all of the evidence to the contrary. So we still have a long way to go on our planet to overcome such simplistic and unevolved literalistic thinking.
True!

I've Actually Considered, Science Fiction Writing, myself ...

But, One MUST Learn, How to Keep Reality and Fiction, Separate, at All Times!!!

:wall:

Greg
2005-Sep-17, 01:26 AM
I am just curious to know what that title refers to, it reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book. My rest of my comments were directed towards energyarc. Plus I thought I'd throw some humor in and then get this thread back on track with a substantive post after we took a sidetrail off the beaten path. I do agree that the Terrestrial Planet Finder should be a top priority. It will generate alot of excitement and daydreaming and yes, probably science fiction books about the discoveries. Perhaps energyarc's abilities could be put to good use in that endeavor.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-17, 01:33 AM
I am just curious to know what that title refers to, it reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book. My rest of my comments were directed towards energyarc. Plus I thought I'd throw some humor in and then get this thread back on track with a substantive post after we took a sidetrail off the main path.
Eh ...

It's from The Book, and Later, The Movie, Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy.

I'm Actually SURPRISED, you've Never Heard of me; I Am, After All, The Ex-President, of The Galaxy, Baby!!!

:cool:

Greg
2005-Sep-17, 02:17 AM
Gotcha. It turns out that I am the illiterate one here. I haven't read the book nor seen the movie. At least not yet.

Spacemad
2005-Sep-18, 12:48 PM
Like Fraser I would like to see more telescopes like the Terrestrial Planet Finder built so that we can search further afield & do much more of it. With all the planets likely to be out there it's going to take more than one telescope to examine them all! ;)

Lomitus
2005-Sep-18, 02:48 PM
"

One thought to add to the discussion is what the effect or end result would be for the discovery made. I think that finding microbrial life will generate alot of interest in outer space but probably won't be significant enough to change day to day life on Earth. Finding an advanced civilization would do that, but we aren't going to be finding that in our solar system. Most fundamentaist thinkers in the major religions still feverently defend Creationism despite all of the evidence to the contrary. So we still have a long way to go on our planet to overcome such simplistic and unevolved literalistic thinking."

As I've said before, we're not ready and this is of course one of the priciple reasons. Without going to much into the religious aspect of it (for which I've gotten in trouble on this forum before), you're absolutly right in regards to the "fundamentaist thinkers in the major religions"...very simply, even if ET made a personal appearance this very afternoon (and I can't understate how unlikely that is, but more on that in a bit) , there would still be -many- people on this small planet on which we all live who would -NOT- believe it. You would have some people claim it's all a hoax or a conspiracy and others who would ignore the facts and evidence all together. There would certainly be people who would bury themselves in things like scripture trying to repent their sins in the face of this evil discovery. Someday day in our distant future we may find ourselves part of a much larger intergalactic community...and I certainly hope that we do, but even then there will -still- be individuals who will despritly cling to improbable ideas such as creationism and other archaeic religious beliefs. I have to honestly wonder...if ET were to make a personal appearence today, how long would it take before someone tried to "convert" ET to their own religious beliefs the way they do to others members of their own species? Could there come a time when a group of people from a specific faith travels around the stars in space ships, banging on other planets doors saying "sinners repent"? Sorry, but to me thats a very frightening thought to say the least!

Many, if not most people seem have this insatiable need to believe in something larger then themselves (as if the universe itself isn't big enough!) and even if faced with all of the cold, hard, irrefutable evidence in the world, they will still choose to make a "leap of faith" regardless of logic and rational thinking. As I've said, we're still a very arogant, petty, primative and barbaric culture as a people who act as very poor stewards of the planet on which we live. Even if a more advanced species did, for whatever reason show an interest in us at this point in our evolution, I don't think they'd be very happy with what they see here on Earth in us humans. Yes, we are capable of compasion, understanding, growth and even greatness from time to time, but unfortunatly we still allow ourselves to be consumed with ideas such as greed and pettyness. I'm honestly quite afraid that they would look at us and say something like "well...lets give them a few hundred more years or so and -if- they don't completely destroy themselves and their planet by then, maybe we'll give them a ring...".

As was also mentioned in this topic, you have to seperate science from science fiction (although I certainly enjoy both!). With books and movies, etc., there is something of a belief that there is alien life -every where- and that they are always going to have an interest in "us" simply because we're human. We tend to think that either they are going to instantly recognise us as some cosmic giants (again behold the arogance!) or that they simply want to destroy us for the riches our planet holds. The cold facts of the situation here are simply that our solar system is way out in the "sticks" of this galaxy if you will, we have a rather ordinary and (galactically speaking of course) uninteresting sun/star, we're still a rather messed up race of beings, we've only been "broadcasting" that we're here for around 70'ish years (hardly enough time for any of our broadcasts to reach other solar systems)...-why- would a more advanced, let alone a signifigantly advanced civilation have any interest in us what so ever, even if they actually knew we were here to begin with? Please don't misunderstand me here...I would very much love to meet an extra terrestrial...I would love to discuss and learn about things like their music, arts, food, their way of life on their home planet...you name it! The problem here is that it's just highly unlikely. Even -if- a more advanced species has found a "way around" physics as we know the science and has developed some kind of "hyper-drive" or hyper-space, "folding space", "worm holes" or any of the other theories that involved fast then the speed of light travel, it could still take hundreds, if not thousands and thousands of years before anyone even realized we're here. No offence to our friend Zaphod or his friends the Redoran's, but to borrow another Douglas Adam's quote, "Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space." In his own rather eccentric way, Mr. Adam's really hit the nail on the head here. It could still be a -very- long time, even if we were ready as a species, before we learn about other "life out there".

Now I do have to add though that if we do find other microbial life in this solar system (you'll note that I avoid using phrases such as "our" solar system and "our" planet...we don't actually own -any- of it!), that would be a good start. It would prove to many at least that life is, at the very least, possible elsewhere other then here on earth. You are correct in that this would not be Earth-shattering news and of course as was already pointed out, there would still be those who would simply choose to "not believe" because their spiritual teachings may differ from the facts, but either way it would still be a step in the right direction.

There (hopefully) will come a time when maybe we will be able to rise above these things...a day when we are all better people then we are now and our sum actually equals more then the collective parts. Until that day though, I hope that ET has the good sense to "let us be" until we're ready...and if they are capable of faster then light travel across the stars, they should be smart enough to know.


Bright Blessings,
Jim

(my apologies to all for my posts being so lenthy)

LurchGS
2005-Sep-19, 04:20 PM
Hmmm..

Well, while I agree that the search for extraterrestrial life is important, and the search for extraterrestrial *intelligent* life is even more so, and the search for 'killer asteroids' more important yet - I think there is a search that's far far more important, and it's not really seriously being conducted.

I speak of a twofold problem. Where else can we live, and how do we get there?

All else, in my opinion, should be placed second to the need to expand our population off this planet.

The star trek universe is all keen and sweet and much to be desired, but realistically, it ain't gonna happen. There will always be people who crave what I have, even if it's only a blue car, compared to their green one. And they'll be more than happy to toss a nuke, or some bio agent, at me to get it.

Even if my neighbor doesn't spread anthrax all over just because I have a new DVD player and he doesn't, there's natural disasters to consider. One of the fun ones that's seen a bit of play on TV recently is the 'super volcano'. If Yellowstone lets go, North America is toast. Most of the rest of the world is in deep kimche from a technological point of view.

The *only* way to safeguard the survival of man as a species is to expand off this planet. Ideally, expand out of this solar system, but I admit that's a hurdle of a different scale altogether.

We *have* the techonology now to set up housekeeping on the moon, and on Mars, not to mention space stations of various natures. We have people willing to go (whether I'm actually suited to - medically or emotionally - is another matter).

But, the only way to ensure our survival is to get out of Dodge, and here we sit - the road's not even built. We can look for neighbors after we are certain we'll be around to talk to them. Or survive them.