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Mars Colonization Discussion Thread

What are your opinions about colonizing Mars?  

111 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think Colonizing Mars is a good idea?

    • No, its not really usefull and will have negative consequences
      8
    • Yes/No its not that usefull but will have no negative or positive outcomes
      13
    • Yeah its a good idea! It will have positive outcome.
      52
    • Hell yeah lets colonize Mars it fun!
      30
    • Other
      8
  2. 2. Do you think we are going to colonize Mars one day

    • Yes, soon!
      39
    • Yes, but in the far future.
      48
    • No, but it could be possible
      12
    • No, never.
      5
    • Other
      7


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Still, it's a fun thought experiment, and heck, people with more money than me want to do it, so...

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1 hour ago, said:

the spacesuits are almost impossible to clean so they would probably have to dock on the outside of the base.

1. ... to keep getting covered with more and more dust, until a marsman looks like this.

Spoiler

sandman_by_wielkiboo-d9dih53.jpg


2. ...to have the joints dusted in between, causing the suit malfunction at any time.

3. How to service the spacesuits if they are staying outside?

4. How to get the wounded persons inside through the tiny suitport?
(They will be off-road driving, drilling, mining, TNTing, and working with dangerous substances, so the wounds are inevitable daily)

That's why I insist that those suitport spacesuits are absolutely sick and unviable thing, even when they were proposed by NASA.

At least they will have to have the airlock cleaning chambers.
At least once you have gotten inside the airlock, and stand properly

Spoiler

thefifthelement-police-029.png?resize=76thefifthelement-fhlostoncircles-006.png?


a strong flow of filtered CO2 from outside should be first blowing at you from nozzles, blowing away the dust.

Then you get from the spacesuit (through the spaceport, yes, but inside the dome) avoiding touching its surface.
The suit stays in the airlock.

The space is toxic, they will be living in a nuke vault.
The land outside of the vault is toxic and sometimes full of radiation.
A Mars settlement is from Fallout, not from Skyrim.

55 minutes ago, tater said:

Still, it's a fun thought experiment, and heck, people with more money than me want to do it, so...

Not just a fun, but a problem whose importance is not in "to be solved", but in "to be being solved", as almost all other other space problems are first reduced to the "Martian settlement".

Edited by kerbiloid

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4 hours ago, said:

colonizing mars should be on the top of the to - do list.

Should it? Most civilization-ender scenarios are overhyped, whereas economics of space settlement in general are disfavourable. The one inevitable scenario means the to-do list is a couple million years long.

 

Edited by DDE
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7 hours ago, DDE said:

Should it? Most civilization-ender scenarios are overhyped, whereas economics of space settlement in general are disfavourable. The one inevitable scenario means the to-do list is a couple million years long.

 

What's most interesting about the "backup for humanity" rationale for space settlement is that developing the capability to colonize other planets (or build orbital colonies) gives us the ability to mitigate most such planetary risk without actually doing any colonization.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

What's most interesting about the "backup for humanity" rationale for space settlement is that developing the capability to colonize other planets (or build orbital colonies) gives us the ability to mitigate most such planetary risk without actually doing any colonization.

Well, the calls come from the same camp that sees space colonization as a way to export billions of excess population, and without causing an ecological disaster to boot.

Edited by DDE

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3 hours ago, tater said:

What's most interesting about the "backup for humanity" rationale for space settlement is that developing the capability to colonize other planets (or build orbital colonies) gives us the ability to mitigate most such planetary risk without actually doing any colonization.

I think Jeff Bezo's rationale (or at least what it was some time ago) made a lot more sense.

If our energy use continues to grow then eventually we may have to cover the entire planet in solar panels. If we get fusion power or use advanced fission or space power satellites, you still get the problem of our civilization's waste heat rivalling the energy the planet gets from the Sun. For now it doesn't, but if our energy consumption continues to grow it will eventually. And if our energy consumption continues to grow even further we'll have to leave the planet just to keep ourselves from being uncomfortable due to our own waste heat. Or we'll have to devise a method of radiating away that waste heat more efficiently, which will likely involve large amounts of space infrastructure to increase the radiating surface (maybe using orbital rings somehow, if that technology is ever developed). 

Essentially, if our civilization keeps growing (not necessarily population but other factors) then we may outgrow Earth. 

Of course that's centuries away at the least. There's no rush to colonize space or build that massive infrastructure.

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Yeah, I'm more of a Bezos person vs Musk on this issue, though both seem to mitigate risks as a side effect of even trying them.

Regarding power vs pop growth, most estimates show world pop increasing to ~9 billion, then falling off.

World wellbeing is at an all time high, and the trends are in the right direction, and people who are better off have fewer kids.

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27 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

I think Jeff Bezo's rationale (or at least what it was some time ago) made a lot more sense.

If our energy use continues to grow then eventually we may have to cover the entire planet in solar panels. If we get fusion power or use advanced fission or space power satellites, you still get the problem of our civilization's waste heat rivalling the energy the planet gets from the Sun. For now it doesn't, but if our energy consumption continues to grow it will eventually. And if our energy consumption continues to grow even further we'll have to leave the planet just to keep ourselves from being uncomfortable due to our own waste heat. Or we'll have to devise a method of radiating away that waste heat more efficiently, which will likely involve large amounts of space infrastructure to increase the radiating surface (maybe using orbital rings somehow, if that technology is ever developed). 

Essentially, if our civilization keeps growing (not necessarily population but other factors) then we may outgrow Earth. 

Of course that's centuries away at the least. There's no rush to colonize space or build that massive infrastructure.

As a corollary to this, moving industry off-planet where possible would reduce the waste heat produced groundside. Extra bonus of not polluting the planet, especially for resource extraction. For example, it's getting harder and harder to even get a mining permit in BC (and likely elsewhere) due to  resistance from environmental and aboriginal groups, and there have been two instances (BC and Brazil) in the last decade where tailing pond dams have collapsed, devastating local rivers and forests..

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What’s the waste heat associated with all our raw materials having to reenter?

(Really just “enter,” I suppose since they never left first)

Edited by tater
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2 hours ago, tater said:

Regarding power vs pop growth, most estimates show world pop increasing to ~9 billion, then falling off.

World wellbeing is at an all time high, and the trends are in the right direction, and people who are better off have fewer kids.

Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that...

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2013.2561

Quote

We present a model of the fertility transition as a cultural process acting on new lifestyles associated with fertility. Differences in parental and social influences on the acquisition of these lifestyles result in intergenerational correlations in fertility. We show different scenarios for future population size based on models that disregard intergenerational correlations in fertility, models with fertility correlations and a single lifestyle, and models with fertility correlations and multiple lifestyles. We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time. However, present low-fertility levels may persist if the rapid introduction of new cultural lifestyles continues into the future.

Quote

A slightly less well-known but related phenomenon is that the correlation between parent and child fertility has increased from insignificant levels prior to the fertility transition, to moderate and increasing levels in contemporary societies. This correlation may be genetic, cultural or some combination of the two. The increasing intergenerational correlation suggests that cultural or genetic inheritance has become an increasingly significant determinant of fertility.

Quote

Given that variation in fertility has become associated across generations, the basic premises of evolution suggest that the frequency of individuals with relatively more children will increase, and hence the overall level of fertility must also increase (a logical implication recognized by several studies). This raises the possibility that the recent global decline in fertility might be reversed. This reversal will occur regardless of whether intergenerational fertility is the result of cultural or genetic factors, provided intergenerational fertility correlations persist. Researchers have shown that even moderate intergenerational fertility associations could increase population size.

https://jasoncollins.blog/2018/10/11/an-evolutionary-projection-of-global-fertility-and-population-my-new-paper-with-lionel-page-in-evolution-human-behavior/

Quote

One of the most high profile forecasts of fertility and population comes from the United Nations... These projections contain an important fertility assumption. For countries that have undergone the demographic transition to low fertility, the assumption is that their fertility rate will oscillate around a long-term mean. While there has been some debate around whether this long-term mean would be the replacement rate or lower, the (almost theory-free) assumption of oscillation around a long-term level dominates the forecasts.

Quote

And here are a few charts showing the simulation results: grey is the base United Nations simulation, black the evolutionary simulations, the dashed lines the 90% confidence intervals.

Spoiler

 

900pop.jpg?w=620&h=620

908pop.jpg?w=620&h=620

 

 

 

Edited by DDE
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The median age of population makes sense, neither the average age, nor the instantaneous value of fertility.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_median_age

(Rearrange by clicking on "Total (year)")

Where the median age is < 30..35 (when humans usually make additional humans), most of people will have a pair babies in a decade.

World average of median age is ~30.

So, the world population itself at the moment tends to stop expanding, but local population of some regions tend to overwhelm the world statistics and grow locally.

(Like on the charts mentioned by @DDE)

Edited by kerbiloid

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The fertility rate is ~2.5 (world average) right now, but has been on a steady downward tread for decades. It was 4.97 in the '50s. It's headed towards a value under 2. and not every pair of new humans makes it to reproductive age.

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10 minutes ago, tater said:

The fertility rate is ~2.5 (world average) right now, but has been on a steady downward tread for decades. It was 4.97 in the '50s. It's headed towards a value under 2. and not every pair of new humans makes it to reproductive age.

"for decades" = "for a couple of generations"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_pyramid#Youth_bulge_phenomenon

So, it's just the calm before the storm. 

Edited by kerbiloid

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Nope. I quoted fertility rate. That accounts for the age distribution, because it only counts childbearing years. The replacement rate is 2.3. The world is barely above replacement rate now.

Poor countries have higher fertility rates, affluence = lower fertility rates (along with the empowerment of women, which of course cripples certain parts of the world where they are defined by magic as lesser beings). To the extent the global trends improve the lives of people in general, rates should continue to drop. the % of people who live in extreme poverty has literally dropped by an order of magnitude in the last 100 years, all while the population was growing massively. More people, and in less poverty.

It's also fair to note that the replacement rate is substantially above 2.3 in countries where the birth rate is really high for a number of reasons.

I don't buy carrying capacity arguments for space colonies, but if resource extraction and manufacturing in space can become a thing, that certainly can't hurt things.

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51 minutes ago, tater said:

I quoted fertility rate.

Fertility rate is highly volatile.
When your population has median age over 30, only some of them will make children in close future.
When your population is under 20, most of them will do it, nevertheless how great is fertility rate at the moment. They just have no choice.

51 minutes ago, tater said:

To the extent the global trends improve the lives of people in general, rates should continue to drop.

1. In limit. When they have unlimited supplies. The supplies are not unlimited. Especially, water.

2. Many cultures prefer local conservation even by the cost of economical success. You can always take the richer neighbor tribe's goods if you have a lot of more hungry people.
They motivate their members stay hungry but angry.

3. The goods are not distributed uniformly between the society members. And the tendention is pessimistic.
And this is not about the rich capitalists. In a so-called "traditional" society of poor regions all goods belong to the family, and the head of the family distributes them.
Even bed linen. The wives of the sons every evening take it from the big house and carry to the personal huts, then every morning return it back to the big house (where the chief with his wife lives).
And if you suggest them to "improve the life" by the cost of the lifestyle of ancestors, the most probable answer would be a stone. (Stones, because a village.)
Then the chief will accumulate the money to arm the men of the family against the neighbor family. They just measure the "quality of life" in another units, the big family is the first.

4. The mass production of a good makes it cheaper, so several largest manufacturers and resellers inevitably occupy the market.
This inevitably eliminates small and medium manufacturers (the big ones sell same goods cheaper, give a warranty, and you have a less risk if buy from them, not from a "Local Pinkie-Winkie Workshop").
This eliminates and concentrates in biggest cities the places where you really can apply your knowledge to raise your quality of life.
So, the education helps here, but just while the industry is not overconcentrated in several hands.
Then even in the rich and industrially developed US you have 80% of people working in so-called "service sector" (i.e. manufacturing no goods) and iirc 4% of farmers feeding others and still having a lot of excessive food to export.
This means, that in the nearest future, when the concentration will be finished, and the industry, the office, and the road traffic will get automated, most of people will just have no place to apply their knowledge except just for fun (like we do on this forum, lol).
This will limit the influenceof the education, so the eucation is not a panaceia at all.

51 minutes ago, tater said:

the % of people who live in extreme poverty has literally dropped by an order of magnitude in the last 100 years

People in extreme poverty rob each other. People enough rich to rob the neighbors are attacking the neighbors. So, this is a counter-proof.

***

But anyway extraterrestrial settlements will not solve any economical or demographic problems at all, just because they will take much more time that the mundane problems will give.

Edited by kerbiloid

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6 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

So, the world population itself at the moment tends to stop expanding, but local population of some regions tend to overwhelm the world statistics and grow locally.

Oh, it's worse. Even the currently declining populations are likely to be propelled upwards by a fecund minority.

And I'm not talking about immigrants from less developed societies.

5 hours ago, tater said:

affluence = lower fertility rates

No, as my citations show, to a certain slice of the population. The theory goes that that slice didn't use to stand out because having many kids was useful. It's not now, but this same slice of population keeps breeding.

And simple Darwinism means they'll form greater and greater share of the population.

5 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

This means, that in the nearest future, when the concentration will be finished, and the industry, the office, and the road traffic will get automated

And this is where we arrive to the more terrifying part of the prediction.

Fertility correlates negatively with IQ. IQ is also significantly heritable.

Which means that this growing slice of the population is also of below-average intelligence, which will create a draw on the human capital of developed nations.

So technological development will likely hit a major snag just when human resources become more plentiful, and cheaper.

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13 minutes ago, DDE said:

And this is where we arrive to the more terrifying part of the prediction.
this growing slice of the population is also of below-average intelligence

Terrifying? No way! They will have no need to worry about LES for 100.

 

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1 hour ago, DDE said:

Fertility correlates negatively with IQ. IQ is also significantly heritable.

Which means that this growing slice of the population is also of below-average intelligence, which will create a draw on the human capital of developed nations.

While I agree that IQ is partly influenced by the complex interaction of over 500 genes (the actual mechanisms are not well understood at this time) external factors also seem to be significant. 

A lot of the material I am reading on the subject is highly controversial and may be biased by testing that concentrates too much on either; crystalized IQ (defined as the ability to use learned knowledge and experience), fluid IQ (defined as the ability to solve new problems, use logic in new situations, and identify patterns) or spatial IQ (spatial judgement and the ability to visualise information to solve problems) to determine Fullscale IQ (overall IQ).

While it is true that the Flynn Effect seems to be reaching a plateau, some researchers argue that this is due to saturation of education, health, 'cultural loading', nutritional values, new technology and global connectivity in the developed world (Flynn only used data from; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Denmark, East Germany, France,  Israel, Japan,  Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America, and West Germany Flynn, 1994), the actual global rate is likely continuing on an upward trajectory when these additional factors and the developing world are taken the into account.

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