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Thread: Motives for colonization of space

  1. #31
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    It is probably worth noting which of these motivations can be satisfied by the much less expensive and much less risky seasteading. I have some wealthy libertarian acquaintances that are pretty enthusiastic about this idea.

    If you have lots of money, and want to avoid persecution as a group. build a city on a floating island... don't go to an asteroid.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    It is probably worth noting which of these motivations can be satisfied by the much less expensive and much less risky seasteading. I have some wealthy libertarian acquaintances that are pretty enthusiastic about this idea.

    If you have lots of money, and want to avoid persecution as a group. build a city on a floating island... don't go to an asteroid.
    I'm sure some will do that; and I'm equally sure that for some, merely going to another wetter part of the Earth won't be enough distance between themselves and the various governments' means of control.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm sure some will do that; and I'm equally sure that for some, merely going to another wetter part of the Earth won't be enough distance between themselves and the various governments' means of control.
    Don't you think the restrictions in any space habitat would be much bigger than any government control would be?
    Don't get me wrong, I am a space enthusiast since I saw the pictures of the first moon landing in TV at the age of 5. I also remeber my Daddy explaining me with sketches about the problems of the reentry window for Apollo 13 (the deflected or burned up problematic). It is only that this is more than 40 years ago and not much has happened since then. By the age of 10 I thought I would see a manned mission to Mars during my life time. Now, at almost 47 I do not think so anymore.
    I just became a bit disillusioned and pessimistic when getting older.
    Last edited by AndreH; 2011-Oct-25 at 09:42 AM. Reason: typos

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    Don't you think the restrictions in any space habitat would be much bigger than any government control would be?
    I think they would. The question is whether those who decide to leave Earth due to the motive of more freedom will see it that way. It will depend on what their definition of "freedom" is.

    There will be stringent physical and environmental restrictions, just because you'd be basically living in a large spacecraft, as far as keeping everything running. However, social freedom will be whatever the inhabitants establish for themselves. As Motive #3 says, they'll have the potential to make their own society with their own rules. Some experiments of this sort will no doubt fail. Others may get by or even thrive.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #35
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    The motive to leave earth must be to survive or of economic character at present time.
    Investigation of space comes out of human curiosity, but still have to be financed. Leaving it permanent wont be the same scenario.
    Noone have the economics to "just leave" because they want to be closer to god, or independent of earthly guverments ect.

    Maybe in 20-100 years rich coorperations will have the ability to launch habital crafts in earth/moon orbit for economic reasons, that later on
    will be used for temporaly survival.
    I have a really hard time to see what other reasons may be realistic.
    Leaving earth for good is a massive step, we arent able to do at the moment.

    So survival will be the 1st and only reason to leave earth permanent while people at this forum is alive
    is there a possiblity that some rich nutcase builds a habital buble where he can survive for many years and the name of
    eternal fame be the 1st person to live in space, and die there as a space settler???

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Milky Way View Post
    is there a possiblity that some rich nutcase builds a habital buble where he can survive for many years and the name of
    eternal fame be the 1st person to live in space, and die there as a space settler???
    Possibility? For certain individuals, it's a stated goal!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    It is probably worth noting which of these motivations can be satisfied by the much less expensive and much less risky seasteading. I have some wealthy libertarian acquaintances that are pretty enthusiastic about this idea.
    Still, Freedom Ship seems more like a scam to take the money from foolish libertarians than a serious project.

    If you have lots of money, and want to avoid persecution as a group. build a city on a floating island... don't go to an asteroid.
    Of course, in today's world and in the foreseeable future, those with lots of money are rarely persecuted and there's no shortage of extremely pleasant places on land which eagerly welcome the wealthy to blissfully wallow in posh decadence.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Hmm, if anything I'd think the environmental restrictions would be far stricter in a closed ecosystem.
    In an environment you have built yourself, you can set the environmental parameters to whatever you want. A large rotating habitat could have a different gravity, a different atmospheric composition, a different temperature and pressure to Earth; if you want to live on a half-gee world, or a two-gee world, make one. Space habitats don't have to be completely closed, either- they can import oxygen, water, carbon, nitrogen and so on, and increase or decrease the energy throughput as required.

    Want to recreate the environmental conditions of the Eocene/Jurassic/Carboniferous? I'm not saying it would be easy, but it could be done.

  9. #39
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    It would take a lot of trial-and-error experimentation to find a nonstandard balance that humans and an entire supporting biosphere could survive in. Many of these alt-environment colonies would fail, maybe more than would succeed. Not saying some won't try, but they will be the wilder and more reckless ones (especially after the first few failures drive the more sensible types back to established bio-arrangements)-- and in space, wild and reckless are rarely survival traits.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
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    Freudian, sexual wish-fulfillment fantasies.

    The real reason people think space colonies would be cool is because they grew up watching shows like Little House On the Prairie, while at the same time watching their own families fall apart. See, the key on LHP is that Michael Landon's nameless woman was held captive: out on the prairie, the female can't leave even if she wants to because her very survival depends on her manly man.

    That's the problem with modern society: women are empowered these days, so they can bail any time they want. Even if they have no money, there's always the welfare system willing to take care of single moms.

    But in space, it would be very difficult for the female to leave. The means back to Earth would be controlled by the men, and would be very, very expensive in any case. Indeed, that's the true virtue of the 1-way Mission to Mars concept. The very idea of crossing that interplanetary Rubicon and then burning the spaceships once you get there is considered a virtue of the plan--not a con! On Mars, one never need fear again that Mother will abandon you! There, the women will have no choice but to make babies to their men's heart's content.

    How do I know this to be true? Because none of the pathetic reasons offered above make any rational sense. Therefore, the explanation must be a deep-seated psychological one.

    Ever notice how the advocates for space colonization are, as a rule, uniformly males? Go ahead and point out the odd female exception--it will only prove my point that women are smart enough to know that space is a crappy and unethical place to raise children. Men who advocate space colonies aren't thinking with their heads.

    Or are they?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    The problem is cost. When the American continent was colonized. People typically could do that by selling everything they had, buying a wagon two oxen and supplies. And ofcourse they had to take the risk.
    There are two big main differences between that and colonizing space:

    First: Selling everything you have will not even buy you a ticket to the ISS for 10 days. (That is at least true for 99% of the population of this planet).
    Second: Given the technology we have today, there will be no water, no air and no food available on the way. Even there (where ever "there" is) you will find no natural recources. The next place for that is the Asteroid belt, I guess.
    I see absolutely no chance that people looking for a new kind of freedom will go there if not someone needs them as workers. Those who could afford it, can buy themselves the freedom they want here on Earth, already.

    Bottom line:
    I don't say freedom is not a motivation, but as long as no one finds a way to make money out there, nothing will happen. So we are back to #4 again.
    In the case of my great-great-great grandparents it was a string of mules that powered them across to the US west coast. Certainly any modern pioneers of the rest of the solar system are going to need a lot of backing in a way that wasn't necessary in the past, but when you consider the consequences of continued large scale resource extraction and consumption here on Earth I think it's inevitable we look to other places for our material needs.

    I was thinking more of the Asteroid Belt and the kind of social structure that might develope there if large scale mining, processing is ever attempted. But then again maybe IsaacKuo and some others here are correct and most of that will be done by drones. It would be a little sad to not have manned colonies in other places besides Earth I think.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    It is probably worth noting which of these motivations can be satisfied by the much less expensive and much less risky seasteading. I have some wealthy libertarian acquaintances that are pretty enthusiastic about this idea.

    If you have lots of money, and want to avoid persecution as a group. build a city on a floating island... don't go to an asteroid.
    You're thinking of Peter Thiel's Seasteading day dreams?

    I think seasteading will occur before colonization of space. Efforts to exploit ocean resources are already advancing the state of art for telerobotics.

    Since I see better telerobots as a prerequisite for moving to space, I regard seasteading as a good preparation for space settlement efforts.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    But then again maybe IsaacKuo and some others here are correct and most of that will be done by drones. It would be a little sad to not have manned colonies in other places besides Earth I think.
    It's often cast as man vs robots -- a false dichotomy.

    Charlie Stross, Tom Murphy et al assume humans as well as all their consumables and life support must be lifted from the bottom of earth's gravity well.

    If robots are able to extract propellant and life support consumables from local resources as well as construct habs, the foundation of their argument is destroyed.

    Robots will enable a human presence.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    How do I know this to be true? Because none of the pathetic reasons offered above make any rational sense.
    Survival of the human race, and making money, are goals that make no rational sense.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    Freudian, sexual wish-fulfillment fantasies.
    I thought every thing was?
    The real reason people think space colonies would be cool is because they grew up watching shows like Little House On the Prairie, while at the same time watching their own families fall apart.
    A premise easily refuted. 1) There are plenty who thought it would be cool long before Little House On the Prairie ever aired. 2) A lot of them didn't watch it. 3) A lot of their families didn't fall apart.
    Michael Landon's nameless woman
    Ma. He was Pa.

    Actually, Caroline.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Survival of the human race, and making money, are goals that make no rational sense.
    Goals aren't sufficient. You must also have a plausible way to carry them out.

    One game plan: You can try to ensure survival of the human race by making burnt offerings to a statue of Cthulhu. You might also offer him sacrifices hoping he will endow you with wealth.

    Given the status quo, trying to placate Cthulhu is a better strategy for making money than asteroid mining. The former I would lose the money invested in incense. The latter I would flush hundreds of billions down the toilet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    It is probably worth noting which of these motivations can be satisfied by the much less expensive and much less risky seasteading. I have some wealthy libertarian acquaintances that are pretty enthusiastic about this idea.

    If you have lots of money, and want to avoid persecution as a group. build a city on a floating island... don't go to an asteroid.
    I've seen this mentioned in a couple of threads and I hate to play environmentalist but there is a question of just how much more human intervention can the oceans take? Between overfishing, chemical pollution and other effects of human activity the ocean environment seems to be considerably degraded already. Big plus for space, whether you build orbiting habitats or colonize planets is that there is no ecosystem to mess up.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    or colonize planets is that there is no ecosystem to mess up.
    Ecosystems typically include air, water, earthsoil, etc, with which organisms might interact.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    Ecosystems typically include air, water, earthsoil, etc, with which organisms might interact.
    Well a quick look at Wiki:

    An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving (abiotic), physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight
    Suggests your not quite right. Since currently we know of no other, maybe biospheres is a better word, I think my point stands. Not saying it is so, just a factor you have to work in.

  20. #50
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    Bear in mind that we're still not sure about life on Mars. It may be widespread underground, where the pressure is high enough for liquid water conditions.

    So maybe Mars will be off limits due to the scientific desire to study Martian life before we extinctify it.

    But I'll go out on a limb and assume that Venus is devoid of life. Or if it isn't, then it could bear us scooping a bit of CO2 from the upper atmosphere.

  21. #51
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    No, I'm right. Once we get there, it's an ecosystem.

    To mess up.

  22. #52
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    The good thing about colonization, especially orbital habs, is that we'll have multiple ecosystems, with some serving as backups for others.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    Freudian, sexual wish-fulfillment fantasies.

    The real reason people think space colonies would be cool is because they grew up watching shows like Little House On the Prairie, while at the same time watching their own families fall apart. See, the key on LHP is that Michael Landon's nameless woman was held captive: out on the prairie, the female can't leave even if she wants to because her very survival depends on her manly man.

    That's the problem with modern society: women are empowered these days, so they can bail any time they want. Even if they have no money, there's always the welfare system willing to take care of single moms.
    Really? Freud and Little House on the Prairie in a thread on space colonization? In any case, the entire post is needlessly inflamatory and seems wildly either off-topic, socio-political, and/or ATM. This will earn you an infraction.
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  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    Freudian, sexual wish-fulfillment fantasies.......
    But don't forget sometimes a cigar is only (just?) a cigar.

    BTW: AFAIK The first colonists in the far West of todays US were very often trappers, miners....very often male singles, no families at all.

    And last: AFAIK according to Freud everything we do is motivated by the above wish full filling fantasies. So it does not matter.

    Because none of the pathetic reasons offered above make any rational sense
    Maybe Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs (RIP), Bill Gates or allike would like to (would have liked to) discuss about #4. As I said before: If someones find a way to make money out there, and given for that way he found human beeings are needed out there, it will happen. If not, I have great doubts

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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post
    In the case of my great-great-great grandparents it was a string of mules that powered them across to the US west coast. Certainly any modern pioneers of the rest of the solar system are going to need a lot of backing in a way that wasn't necessary in the past, but when you consider the consequences of continued large scale resource extraction and consumption here on Earth I think it's inevitable we look to other places for our material needs.
    I agree that total consumption of all natural resources would be a good reason. But I do not see that for the near future. And if so, it would again be #4 that drives us out there.

    I was thinking more of the Asteroid Belt and the kind of social structure that might develope there if large scale mining, processing is ever attempted. But then again maybe IsaacKuo and some others here are correct and most of that will be done by drones. It would be a little sad to not have manned colonies in other places besides Earth I think
    I agree it would be sad. But still it might be it will never happen.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It would take a lot of trial-and-error experimentation to find a nonstandard balance that humans and an entire supporting biosphere could survive in. Many of these alt-environment colonies would fail, maybe more than would succeed. Not saying some won't try, but they will be the wilder and more reckless ones (especially after the first few failures drive the more sensible types back to established bio-arrangements)-- and in space, wild and reckless are rarely survival traits.
    Given thousands of self contained, large-scale space habitats, I would expect some of the experiments to succeed. The failed experiments can then be replaced by the results of the successful ones, since the infrastructure will still be there.

    Experimental ecopoesis could become one of the most important activities in the deep future.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecopoiesis
    Eventually the Solar System could be filled with millions of habitats and thousands of different environments, some familiar, some entirely novel. There is plenty of energy and CHON out there to use; we need not confine ourselves to the surfaces of planets alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hop_David View Post
    It's often cast as man vs robots -- a false dichotomy.

    Charlie Stross, Tom Murphy et al assume humans as well as all their consumables and life support must be lifted from the bottom of earth's gravity well.

    If robots are able to extract propellant and life support consumables from local resources as well as construct habs, the foundation of their argument is destroyed.

    Robots will enable a human presence.
    Or if you want to take it to an extreme, genetic and cybernetic modification of humans could result in "people" that are much more suited to living in non-terrestrial environments.

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    I'm sure that there are a lot of people who think they'll find paradise if they can only evade the horrid tendrils of government. They could move to Somalia for some practical experience in the matter.

    A couple of other people have brought this up, but any closed system with rigidly finite resources will, by necessity, be regulated. Of course, the system's elites may be largely immune to regulation, so they're in their libertarian paradise, but this does not mean that the non-elites will not live extremely tightly controlled lives. There are most certainly historical precedents for this, and several quite large civil wars were fought because a small elite had a definition of "freedom" that explicitly included the suppression of large portions of the population.

    In general, though, space colonization won't occur until it makes financial sense for it to do so. If corporations colonize space, the people who occupy the orbital, lunar, or martian habitats will be employees. Why would a corporation send up non-productive children to space? Indeed, why should a corporation permit people to have non-productive children once they're up there? Other groups, such as religious separatists (in US history, these people were called "Pilgrims."), would be much more likely (if they could get the money) to actually colonize space. Do note, again, that many of the successful colonizations throughout history have been into areas where there was a native population: this most certainly was the case for all the waves of European colonization throughout the New World. It was probably true for Australia (I am not very knowledgeable about the European settlement of Australia).
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Do note, again, that many of the successful colonizations throughout history have been into areas where there was a native population: this most certainly was the case for all the waves of European colonization throughout the New World. It was probably true for Australia (I am not very knowledgeable about the European settlement of Australia).
    All of the successful colonization attempts, and all the unsuccessful ones, were into land with a pre-existing population, unless you count Antarctic stations as colonies. People were already pretty widespread before the Age of Sail. Even deserts had some native people thinly spread.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    All of the successful colonization attempts, and all the unsuccessful ones, were into land with a pre-existing population, unless you count Antarctic stations as colonies. People were already pretty widespread before the Age of Sail. Even deserts had some native people thinly spread.
    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.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

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