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Thread: Motives for colonization of space

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    The group I was specifically thinking of was the Polynesian peoples, who seemed to have spread through much of the Pacific. On the other hand, I don't know how many of their successful colonies were successors to earlier, unsuccessful attempts.
    But they kept on coming, looking for new homes. I'm not sure if failure of early space colonies will discourage attempts, or if they'll make people more stubbornly determined to try again and do better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But they kept on coming, looking for new homes. I'm not sure if failure of early space colonies will discourage attempts, or if they'll make people more stubbornly determined to try again and do better.
    I think that will very much depend on their motives for colonization. The Pilgrims had much different motivation than the English who settled in the West Indies to run sugar plantations. Of course, there is also the possibility of using space to get rid of dissidents or other undesirables, as was done by the British with Australia and the Russians with Siberia. I don't think this is likely to be cost effective, but a government that combines oppression with a desire to minimize bloodshed may think it worthwhile. In this case, the settlers' lives are of minimal importance.
    Last edited by swampyankee; 2011-Oct-26 at 08:32 PM. Reason: I've got to proof read before submitting the post
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I think that will very much depend on their motives for colonization.
    Well, lots of people have lots of different motives, that's what this thread's about.

    It will depend on what changes happen to various parts of society over the next several generations, a thing which is very hard to foresee.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Well, lots of people have lots of different motives, that's what this thread's about.

    It will depend on what changes happen to various parts of society over the next several generations, a thing which is very hard to foresee.
    I agree wholeheartedly. I just think that the colonists who will risk everything, especially their lives, won't be members of the elites, who will risk other people's lives.
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  5. #65
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    Getting back to listing new motives:

    How about reality TV? You could have a family or small group of East coast ex-pats living in a space station, living off of promotional products shipped from Earth. Endless comedic value as they fumble about using products designed for Earth in zero gee.

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    @swampyankee:
    I have said this before, but I feel predictions about the future often tell more about the authors of said predictions than the future itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Getting back to listing new motives:

    How about reality TV? You could have a family or small group of East coast ex-pats living in a space station, living off of promotional products shipped from Earth. Endless comedic value as they fumble about using products designed for Earth in zero gee.
    You think TV will still be around by then? We'll have to go with Space YouTube instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Getting back to listing new motives:

    How about reality TV? You could have a family or small group of East coast ex-pats living in a space station, living off of promotional products shipped from Earth. Endless comedic value as they fumble about using products designed for Earth in zero gee.
    Why East Coast expats? Why not West Coast or Midwestern expats?
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Why East Coast expats? Why not West Coast or Midwestern expats?
    The Jersey Orbit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Why East Coast expats? Why not West Coast or Midwestern expats?
    Because mankind decided Antarctica still wasn't far away enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Because mankind decided Antarctica still wasn't far away enough.
    Far away from what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Far away from what?
    From anything breakable, or vulnerable to communicable diseases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly. I just think that the colonists who will risk everything, especially their lives, won't be members of the elites, who will risk other people's lives.
    Look at the examples of idle rich who go mountain-climbing or drag race or drug themselves stupid or who try to balloon around the world. They take plenty of risk. There's variety among the elite, just as there is among poor folks.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    From anything breakable, or vulnerable to communicable diseases.
    If you're insulting us East Coast natives, I'd be very upset.
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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    If you're insulting us East Coast natives, I'd be very upset.
    No, just a specific small group, who you already inferred.

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    I wasn't inferring anything insulting, I was just referring to a popular reality show. I happen to be Italian-American and from New Jersey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I wasn't inferring anything insulting, I was just referring to a popular reality show. I happen to be Italian-American and from New Jersey.
    As Governor Christie likes to point out, they aren't (well, most of them aren't). What they are is an international embarrassment. Whereas most reality TV stars are merely national embarrassments. So I expect them to be first in line for export to outer space.

  18. #78
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    Let's drop the specifics, please. The concept of "reality show in space" can be discussed in general terms without treading on toes (or turning this thread into a pop-culture discussion).
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  19. #79
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    I would recommend that you word your comments a little less broadly, then. "East coast expats" covers a lot of people who are not idiots on TV.

    ETA: pzkpfw beat me to it. I'm dropping the subject.
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    Now this one's a stretch, but since we were talking about tailored ecologies before, a possible motivation could be to save endangered species. It's based on a SF short story I read years ago (can't recall the title). Creating animal sanctuaries in space is one I'd definitely consider a low-probablility goal, unless we're talking extremely easy space access and a definite post-scarcity society. On the other hand groups like PETA have often gone to extremes in their efforts to save animals, so I suppose someone might decide to fund something like this eventually.

    An offshoot of this idea would be to create ecologies for new species; being able to genetically engineer anything you like without worrying about it escaping into the wild and throwing off the natural ecology.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I've suggested (on this board and elsewhere) that space habitats might be useful as sanctuaries for indigenous species found on colonisable planets.

    If we go to Mars and find bacteria there, we could either
    1/ leave Mars as a nature reserve for alien bacteria
    2/ sterilise the planet and live there, (a pity about the microbes), or
    3/ sterilise the planet and live there, and relocate the microbes to orbiting habitats configured to replicate Martian conditions.

    A fourth option, trying to coexist on Mars with exotic microbiota, seems inadvisable.

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    I've suggested (on this board and elsewhere) that space habitats might be useful as sanctuaries for indigenous species found on colonisable planets.

    If we go to Mars and find bacteria there, we could either
    1/ leave Mars as a nature reserve for alien bacteria
    2/ sterilise the planet and live there, (a pity about the microbes), or
    3/ sterilise the planet and live there, and relocate the microbes to orbiting habitats configured to replicate Martian conditions.

    A fourth option, trying to coexist on Mars with exotic microbiota, seems inadvisable.
    But if you can build closed ecologies in space, why bother with the planet?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  23. #83
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    Just thought of a motivation that probably overlaps with several of them: for the challenge. "Not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    But if you can build closed ecologies in space, why bother with the planet?
    By removing the indigenous lifeforms to a few small artificial reserves, you could gain large amounts of habitable planetary real estate. However I'm pretty sure that future civilisations will be mostly, or almost completely, based in space.

    It may be the case that they are also exclusively electronic in form as well, so won't need planets at all except for sources of raw materials.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    It may be the case that they are also exclusively electronic in form as well, so won't need planets at all except for sources of raw materials.
    Assuming that's possible, and assuming it applies to all space-based societies, a planet at the bottom of a deep gravity well and atmosphere still doesn't make as much sense as asteroids as a material resource. You can get the same raw materials for far less expenditure of energy.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    I've suggested (on this board and elsewhere) that space habitats might be useful as sanctuaries for indigenous species found on colonisable planets.

    If we go to Mars and find bacteria there, we could either
    1/ leave Mars as a nature reserve for alien bacteria
    2/ sterilise the planet and live there, (a pity about the microbes), or
    3/ sterilise the planet and live there, and relocate the microbes to orbiting habitats configured to replicate Martian conditions.

    A fourth option, trying to coexist on Mars with exotic microbiota, seems inadvisable.
    Why is it inadvisable?

    If humans are going to live on Mars, they have to either terraform it, or remain in pressurized habitats. Terraforming would accomplish your choice 2 pretty much by definition. But considering that any native Martian lifeform has to be anaerobic, conditions humans have to maintain in pressurized habitats would be lethal to these lifeforms. It won't take much effort to keep them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravens_cry View Post
    @swampyankee:
    I have said this before, but I feel predictions about the future often tell more about the authors of said predictions than the future itself.
    Here is a discussion about "what it says about authors" -- specifically about space enthusiasts:

    I'd hate to have his email inbox right now ...

    Warning: this is Charlie Stross' blog, who is extemely skeptical of space colonization (at least within next few centuries), as are most of the commenters.

  28. #88
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    Well, there's another potential motive; to prove naysayers wrong.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Getting back to listing new motives:

    How about reality TV? You could have a family or small group of East coast ex-pats living in a space station, living off of promotional products shipped from Earth. Endless comedic value as they fumble about using products designed for Earth in zero gee.
    That would be #4 again (making money).

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Just thought of a motivation that probably overlaps with several of them: for the challenge. "Not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
    I think this is what others in the thread had already named "desire". I think this works only in very special contexts. The early 60'ties with the total optimistic view of the future and the political conditions of the time made it possible.

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