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Thread: getting off this ball of rock

  1. #1 getting off this ball of rock 
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Hawking is credited with saying that the most important task to ensure the survival of the human species is to establish ourselves off the Earth. Do you agree? What form should these colonies be and how can we best encourage the project?

    I favor free moving artificial environments, big space ships, since the easiest way to avoid being hit by a "big rock from the sky" is to move out of its way.


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  3. #2  
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    Yes.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    2 points for brevity.
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    Thanks.
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    No. No matter how bad it gets, the earth will still be the best place to survive of any place we can reasonably get to. At least until the sun turns into a red giant, but that's too far in the future to worry about.
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  7. #6  
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    One hit from a comet or other "big rock from the sky" and the human race is done for. If something like what is believed to have hit Mars, blowing the lithosphere off of one hemisphere of the planet, were to hit Earth, not even modern technology would allow us to survive. Earth can't dodge an incoming strike, and we might not be able to block it.

    As it is all humanities eggs are in one vulnerable basket.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    It would be nice to think that by removing humans from this planet would be the way to ensure their longevity but there's a whole lotta stuff outside our atmosphere that can and will kill humans. Radioactivity, micro meteorites, solar flares, food, water and oxygen just to name a few so just by leaving one problem humans will encounter many more. I guess Hawking just didn't think about the facts about the dangers of space travel. Then there's money to build a transport vehicle then maintain it as well for there's no spare parts in space.
    Last edited by cosmictraveler; April 19th, 2013 at 08:19 AM.
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  9. #8  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    I guess Hawking just didn't think about the facts about the dangers of space travel.
    Tut!
    I'd suggest that he did think about the facts, and "assumed" that the technological problems could/ would be overcome. I tend to agree with him: given sufficient incentive 1 we can do it.
    It's a question of balancing 100% certain annihilation for the species if we don't go versus the dangers of making the trip.
    Being callous/ rational ALL we need is to establish ONE off-planet self-sustaining "colony" (which can then go and set up more - the problems having been solved) to survive as a species.
    Survival isn't about who dies but who lives to propagate.
    Yes, we're not frogs, laying sufficient eggs to let some live while the majority (?) die, but it IS a method of survival.
    Individuals (even in vast numbers 2) dying off don't matter, at the species/ evolutionary level, provided that there are enough left to continue.


    1 Whether that incentive is profit, curiosity or anything else is largely irrelevant.
    2 And, especially in the early, testing stages of any travel/ colonisation technology the numbers won't be that high.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No. No matter how bad it gets, the earth will still be the best place to survive of any place we can reasonably get to. At least until the sun turns into a red giant, but that's too far in the future to worry about.
    I see your point but I think your point is based on our current level of progress. We cannot currently travel far or fast or terraform planets...

    I say yes, because we will progress much further by doing- by facing the actual acts of moving about in the Solar System. We will learn a great deal. If we say "no," now, and as a species opt to not bother... When it comes a time when that ability may be needed we won't have developed it.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    To go anywhere in deep space you'll need a fast ship say at least half the speed of light or faster. Then you'll need to be able to repair the ship and that gets a little problematic since you do not have any way to manufacture all parts needed in order to maintain the ship as time goes by. So the nearest place , that we know about today is many light years away from Earth and that will take many years and many medical problems that would need surgery, medicines and care not to mention operating rooms, doctors and equipment.

    So many things to deal with once you leave Earth that it would seem better off just to try and save the Earth by deflecting anything that might be coming this way. It would be more prudent to at least have somewhere that humans can and do live rather than sending them somewhere they might not be able to survive.
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  12. #11  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    To go anywhere in deep space you'll need a fast ship say at least half the speed of light or faster.
    Nope.

    Then you'll need to be able to repair the ship and that gets a little problematic since you do not have any way to manufacture all parts needed in order to maintain the ship as time goes by. So the nearest place , that we know about today is many light years away from Earth and that will take many years and many medical problems that would need surgery, medicines and care not to mention operating rooms, doctors and equipment.
    See above.

    So many things to deal with once you leave Earth that it would seem better off just to try and save the Earth by deflecting anything that might be coming this way.
    Including the Sun when it finally decides to go "pop"?

    It would be more prudent to at least have somewhere that humans can and do live rather than sending them somewhere they might not be able to survive.
    Again: we're balancing "might not survive" (going) against "definitely will die" (staying).
    If we stay it is guaranteed that we will ALL die.
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    I'm going to go ahead and double post after cosmic for having neglected the point I meant to make in the first place.
    "No matter how bad it gets" - I can think of many scenarios that are bad enough to make Earth inhospitable. That is why I made my post.
    But those scenarios, while numerous, are also very catastrophic. Many could be detectable with plenty of time to spare if leaving Earth was necessary.
    Chances are that Harold is correct in saying most anything we'll face, the Earth is still the best place to survive.
    My vote is that is not a good bet no matter how far off the odds are stacked because the development we would need must begin as soon as possible.

    On a side note:
    "When Worlds Collide"- I'm sure many of us have seen that old movie... let's wax hypothetically.
    In that situation, I would like to believe that I would stay on Earth- knowing what was to come. I have my reasons why and I won't bother at this moment to spell them out- maybe some other time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    As it is all humanities eggs are in one vulnerable basket.
    Homo sapiens is bundled with its environment, the earth. If something is traveling space, just to get from Point A to Point B, it is not Humanity, it is Travelers.

    If they intend to escape earth permanently they HAVE to bundled themselves with enough of their environment, to still be human (from intestinal microbes, to chicken, lice included (and recursively (chicken need worms etc etc..).

    Now do that. Build a ship at least 100KM wide, with a faked weather system and a faked gravity.

    The result can be seen has earth/life spawning spores into the galaxies. This has nothing to do with human survival. Any colonies will diverge genetically and after any few dozen millenia, would became separate species (lice included), humanity will died with certitude.

    Human has no more importance, in this schema, than the chicken. Not from life perspective.

    If the death of humanity scares you (for whatever strange reason), you'd better start thinking about actual local problem (like pollution/overpopulation), than the coming of the next meteor.

    The answers are not written in the starts, fleeing won't do.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Again: we're balancing "might not survive" (going) against "definitely will die" (staying).
    If we stay it is guaranteed that we will ALL die.
    We all die someday.

    I'd like to remain on Earth and try to make it a better place to live for as long as I can rather than trying to escape into the vast unknowns of the universe where the same problems will arise as humans find on this planet. Instead of leaving why not solve the problems we face like trying to find ways to keep the sun going by adding "fuel" into it? Or by moving the entire Earth out of harms way if that happens? Why is the need to leave more important than trying to save our planet?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=HPcgM1MnDnI
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  16. #15  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    We all die someday.
    Yup.
    Why not now?
    Let's have one big party then kill ourselves off - as soon as possible.
    After all, death is gonna happen anyway.
    Life "tries" to continue.

    I'd like to remain on Earth and try to make it a better place to live for as long as I can rather than trying to escape into the vast unknowns of the universe
    You're staying anyway. We're not inviting you to come with us!

    Instead of leaving why not solve the problems we face like trying to find ways to keep the sun going by adding "fuel" into it? Or by moving the entire Earth out of harms way if that happens? Why is the need to leave more important than trying to save our planet?
    Several problems here.
    Even if we could keep the Sun going eventually we're going to run out of materials, for everything.
    We'd have to go to other stars to get stuff to make other stuff. Why pay all the costs to bring it back here? Sentiment?
    If we all stay here the our numbers are forever limited.
    There isn't room for everyone to have children.
    If we stay then, at some point, someone is going to have to say "Right guys, no more breeding randomly, the new law on who can have kids, and how many, comes into effect tomorrow. And by the way, we're reducing the family allowance from two bicycles per household to one. After all the "good old Days" of one car per street are long over, it's time to take another long hard look at what manufacturing materials are left".
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  17. #16  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Noooo, let's stay here.
    Going anywhere else is too dangerous.
    We don't have the technology, and people will die developing that technology.

    What if the ship gets holes?
    What if it sinks and people drown?
    How can new settlers live properly since we can't take all the horses they'll need for farming on the boat with them?
    There's not enough room on the boat for all the food the colonists will need to feed them the rest of their lives....


    On the other hand we have this.
    And people are prepared to go: Thousands have already signed up for a one way mission.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    There isn't room for everyone to have children.
    But with education, family planning and organizing humans have shown they can live on Earth without overpopulating. It has only been recently in human history that overpopulation has become a major problem but humans can find ways to overcome this problem through birth control, education and family planning which can and will resolve problems not induce them. It will take great effort on everyone's part to overcome the problems that face humanity but by running away to outer space , to me, wouldn't be a positive way in trying to solve those problems.
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  19. #18  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    But with education, family planning and organizing humans have shown they can live on Earth without overpopulating. It has only been recently in human history that overpopulation has become a major problem but humans can find ways to overcome this problem through birth control, education and family planning which can and will resolve problems not induce them.
    Yes, I said that.
    Draconian laws will be required.
    Extreme measures.

    It will take great effort on everyone's part to overcome the problems that face humanity but by running away to outer space , to me, wouldn't be a positive way in trying to solve those problems.
    There's your problem: you see it as "running away", we see it as ensuring our survival as a species.
    Regardless of ANY measure brought in control (oops - control, that's a nasty word) population, consumption or anything else WE WILL DIE AS A SPECIES IF WE STAY.
    You're advocating "Let's be comfortable 1 until the end, because it's coming regardless"
    The rest of us are saying "Let's do our best, give it a shot because whatever happens is better than the inevitable alternative".

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    1 And that "comfort" will increasingly become less comfortable as time passes.
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  20. #19  
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    average lifespan of a species?

    I suspect that the "we" of we
    won't be "we" within a few hundred thousand years(if that long)
    our descendents then will be another species with their own peculiar wants and needs and abilities

    how can we possibly plan for them when we don't know who they are?
    Hawking is a nut, and fairly crude in the bargain

    within the past 10kyrs or so, our predecessors invested great time and labor building monumental archetecture,
    for which we have no use
    except as archaeological curiousities

    see ozymandias
    or the movie, "silent running"
    .......................................
    plan for tomorrow
    but
    live for today
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  21. #20  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    average lifespan of a species?
    Irrelevant.

    I suspect that the "we" of we
    won't be "we" within a few hundred thousand years(if that long)
    our descendents then will be another species with their own peculiar wants and needs and abilities
    Also irrelevant.

    Hawking is a nut, and fairly crude in the bargain
    How so?

    within the past 10kyrs or so, our predecessors invested great time and labor building monumental archetecture,
    for which we have no use
    except as archaeological curiousities
    Not even close to being a comparison.

    plan for tomorrow
    By not planning for tomorrow?
    Or is that planning for tomorrow but not next week?
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  22. #21  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    jeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    duck,
    yer in a foul mood today
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  23. #22  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    duck,
    yer in a foul mood today
    Well duh!
    I'm awake.
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  24. #23  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    personally i prefer to make of this world a better place
    if you'd prefer to leave "this rock",
    don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out
    or
    don't leave mad, just leave

    that being said:

    We do not even know the interplay of all the earth's systems.
    even simple things like climate and weather remain obscure

    skipping merrily o'er the details
    some seem to think that we could build something better somewhere else
    (the blind leading the ignorant?)

    and don't seem to understand just how insane that really is

    jeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    But with education, family planning and organizing humans have shown they can live on Earth without overpopulating. It has only been recently in human history that overpopulation has become a major problem but humans can find ways to overcome this problem through birth control, education and family planning which can and will resolve problems not induce them.
    Yes, I said that.
    Draconian laws will be required.
    Extreme measures.
    Draconian measures will still be required for those who remain on earth. The space travelers will be living under draconian conditions during their voyages. Their descendants may not be required to live under draconian conditions, assuming they find a suitable planet, but that will hold true only until they overpopulate that one.

    It will take great effort on everyone's part to overcome the problems that face humanity but by running away to outer space , to me, wouldn't be a positive way in trying to solve those problems.
    There's your problem: you see it as "running away", we see it as ensuring our survival as a species.
    Regardless of ANY measure brought in control (oops - control, that's a nasty word) population, consumption or anything else WE WILL DIE AS A SPECIES IF WE STAY.
    You're advocating "Let's be comfortable 1 until the end, because it's coming regardless"
    The rest of us are saying "Let's do our best, give it a shot because whatever happens is better than the inevitable alternative".

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    1 And that "comfort" will increasingly become less comfortable as time passes.
    If you are referring to the red giant scenario, that will be a few billion years off. If we manage to find a means of interstellar travel within the next billoin or so years, it probably won't have anything to do with next year's NASA budget. There will probably need to be scientific advancements which we can't even foresee. Political and sociological infrastructure which enables such advances will probably be far more important than our pitiful attempts to send a ship to Mars, or any such fooling around.

    Are we concerned with an inhospitable environment on earth due to pollution, metorites, or whatever? It will be nothing compared to the hostile environments on other planets. Better plan for how we survive those conditions here on earth.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    We do not even know the interplay of all the earth's systems.
    even simple things like climate and weather remain obscure
    Um, so what?

    skipping merrily o'er the details
    some seem to think that we could build something better somewhere else
    (the blind leading the ignorant?)
    and don't seem to understand just how insane that really is
    It's not a case of "something better": it's survival, regadless of (initial) comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    If you are referring to the red giant scenario, that will be a few billion years off. If we manage to find a means of interstellar travel within the next billoin or so years, it probably won't have anything to do with next year's NASA budget. There will probably need to be scientific advancements which we can't even foresee. Political and sociological infrastructure which enables such advances will probably be far more important than our pitiful attempts to send a ship to Mars, or any such fooling around.

    Are we concerned with an inhospitable environment on earth due to pollution, metorites, or whatever? It will be nothing compared to the hostile environments on other planets. Better plan for how we survive those conditions here on earth.
    Yes, it's 5GY away.
    Does that mean we shouldn't even think about it now?
    The sooner we start considering (even if that "considering" is just talking about it) the better we'll be prepared to do it when, not if, it becomes necessary.
    It's not like the species ever managed to concentrate on just one subject: thinking/ talking about moving away/ on doesn't preclude working on the current problems. Nor even necessarily hinder/ slow them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    But with education, family planning and organizing humans have shown they can live on Earth without overpopulating. It has only been recently in human history that overpopulation has become a major problem but humans can find ways to overcome this problem through birth control, education and family planning which can and will resolve problems not induce them.
    Yes, I said that.
    Nope you said :
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Draconian laws will be required.
    Extreme measures.
    Which is kind of the opposite of education and family planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    There's your problem: you see it as "running away",
    Actualy it's yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    we see it as ensuring our survival as a species.
    Who is we ? Define species

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Regardless of ANY measure brought in control (oops - control, that's a nasty word) population, consumption or anything else WE WILL DIE AS A SPECIES IF WE STAY.
    How so ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    You're advocating "Let's be comfortable 1 until the end, because it's coming regardless"
    Actually he argues the opposite "great effort"
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    The rest of us are saying "Let's do our best, give it a shot because whatever happens is better than the inevitable alternative".
    Explain "inevitable alternative".

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    1 And that "comfort" will increasingly become less comfortable as time passes.
    What is uncomfortable is the way you quack utter non-sense
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Yes, it's 5GY away.
    Does that mean we shouldn't even think about it now?
    The sooner we start considering (even if that "considering" is just talking about it) the better we'll be prepared to do it when, not if, it becomes necessary.
    It's not like the species ever managed to concentrate on just one subject: thinking/ talking about moving away/ on doesn't preclude working on the current problems. Nor even necessarily hinder/ slow them.
    How do you know this? You are trying to predict what will happen billions of years in advance. It's ridiculous. Maybe the best thing to do now is have a nice big nuclear war. You don't know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    How do you know this?
    What "this" are you referring to?
    The Sun going?
    I'm working on the scientific consensus.

    You are trying to predict what will happen billions of years in advance.
    Really?
    You deny the Y5G problem?
    And, in point of fact, what I'm actually advocating is considering alternatives/ possibilities.
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    poor draco
    I think he got a bad rap

    (If I remember my history correctly---??)
    assigned to unify and codify the laws of the various tribes that made up the polity of athens(during the 39th olympiad?)
    in an attempt to end the almost constant riots and blood feuds he proceeded, and came up with a fair system derived from the various oral laws
    no body was satisfied
    finally tired of the constant nit picking and bickering, he rewrote the codified unified laws by choosing the worst possible punishment for each and every crime in an effort to show the citizens just how uncivilized they were being
    (probably hoping that this would displease them even more, and they would find compassion and a better law code)

    and yet
    we remember him for the simplest insanity
    "many crimes, one punishment = death"
    (just in case you thought aristotle unbiased---"laws written in blood"

    poor draco

    ..................... oops , sorry about the divergence
    back to the "rock"?
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    ..................... oops , sorry about the divergence
    I was wondering...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    How do you know this?
    What "this" are you referring to?
    The Sun going?
    I'm working on the scientific consensus.

    You are trying to predict what will happen billions of years in advance.
    Really?
    You deny the Y5G problem?
    And, in point of fact, what I'm actually advocating is considering alternatives/ possibilities.
    What I mean is, how do you know that considering it now will make us better prepared a million years from now? What you and I are considering now will probably be totally irrelevant. Or maybe it could be counterproductive in some way that we cannot predict.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What I mean is, how do you know that considering it now will make us better prepared a million years from now? What you and I are considering now will probably be totally irrelevant. Or maybe it could be counterproductive in some way that we cannot predict.
    Right. Because it's not like current science/ technology has any basis whatsoever in any previous speculation/ findings, is it?
    It's not like "pointless", "probably-not-going-to-be-of-any-use-to-anyone" thinking ever came up with any useful ideas, is it?

    On the other hand it's an incontrovertible fact that NOT thinking about possibilities always results in useful ideas/ technologies/ discoveries/ spin-offs.
    That's how innovations arrive: nobody is allowed to speculate, and Bam! stuff just appears. All on its own.
    Because, as we all know, completely ignoring a known problem is the best way to solve it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Right.
    Yes right. How can it be you could see it ?
    Ho, you didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Because it's not like current science/ technology has any basis whatsoever in any previous speculation/ findings, is it?
    What speculation is this ? The sun, the meteor, or the intergalactic by-pass of the Vogon are going to build...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    It's not like "pointless", "probably-not-going-to-be-of-any-use-to-anyone" thinking ever came up with any useful ideas, is it?
    Who said that ? And what is the idea ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    On the other hand it's an incontrovertible fact that NOT thinking about possibilities always results in useful ideas/ technologies/ discoveries/ spin-offs.
    And deadly ones. Your point is ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    That's how innovations arrive: nobody is allowed to speculate, and Bam! stuff just appears. All on its own.
    Define innovation. One of the best comes when nobody is allowed to speculate, it is called civil revolution, freedom, liberty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Because, as we all know, completely ignoring a known problem is the best way to solve it.
    I don't think you have any idea of what the problem is. Maybe you should try to articulate it.
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  35. #34  
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    maybe it comes down to serendipity?
    plan for the stars, and accidentally find something to improve our understanding of this "rock"
    (I prefer "shared co-evolutionary biom")

    ...............
    reported just yesterday:
    NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered three new "habitable zone" planets that are close to Earth's size, even if they're not all that close to Earth.

    NPR's Joe Palca reports, the trio of worlds is about 1,200 light years away and are thought to lie in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" — where it's not too hot and not too cold for liquid water.

    Just as important, the planets' moderate size — less than twice the mass of Earth — bolsters the chances for life on them, scientists says.
    ...
    synchronicity anyone?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    synchronicity anyone?
    It's a sign from god!!!
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  37. #36  
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    Rod actually
    Big R, little od
    vs
    GOD
    big G, big OD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    As it is all humanities eggs are in one vulnerable basket.
    Any colonies will diverge genetically and after any few dozen millenia, would became separate species (lice included), humanity will died with certitude.Human has no more importance, in this schema, than the chicken. Not from life perspective.If the death of humanity scares you (for whatever strange reason), you'd better start thinking about actual local problem (like pollution/overpopulation), than the coming of the next meteor. The answers are not written in the starts, fleeing won't do.
    Humanity will undergo genetic changes over the millennia regardless of location (terrestrial or extraterrestrial), but expanding into new areas is an excellent survival strategy for the long term survival of the species ( and any species we give rise to).
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Humanity will undergo genetic changes over the millennia regardless of location (terrestrial or extraterrestrial), but expanding into new areas is an excellent survival strategy for the long term survival of the species ( and any species we give rise to).
    I don't know of a reason why people should be concerned about the survival of the species, or more particular about a species we give rise to, which may be an obnoxious species by current standards. It would only be an excellent survival strategy if it actually works. That's an assumption on your part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanthonywayne View Post
    Humanity will undergo genetic changes over the millennia regardless of location (terrestrial or extraterrestrial), but expanding into new areas is an excellent survival strategy for the long term survival of the species ( and any species we give rise to).
    Beside Harold's comment, you are absolutely right, moving or not does not change anything, except of increasing the odds to have divergent genomes. And this is good, not for human, but for life in general. Human's perspective/motivation does not count.

    Strategies of (long term) survival is not something you can toy about in your dream. Some are known, like random mutation to "prepare" for the unforeseeable.

    The fact that human want to fill the universe with its clones is one of this mutations. We will see eventually what will happens (like a pissed-of alien races deciding that cancerous meme cannot be allowed, or a universe filled with Human poo)

    Again Homo sapiens is of no concern, they decide nothing, it is the other way round. Life in general is, gene/meme "decides", helped by random event will sort it all out. Sentience does not mean prescience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    personally i prefer to make of this world a better place
    if you'd prefer to leave "this rock",
    don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out
    or
    don't leave mad, just leave
    The basic idea is both. Why are you pretending it is one or the other? We cannot go colonizing the Moon, now. We must try to preserve and take care of Earth Now, as well as progress and advance in space, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    as well as progress and advance in space, too.
    Accountability comes to mind.

    As the average geek, I am a fan of space adventure, and aeronautics in general. And I will still go a huge kick just by watching "The right stuff"

    But when you pass the your 14th birthday "purpose barrier", you normally realize the difference between carefully planning and suicidal pissing contest.

    Spaces "hero's" are things of the past, especially now that our decadent technology cannot event match our obsolete sate of mind.
    While some are still playing transformer on Mars, and the others greedy entrepreneur render the future of space impossible it is time to make a stand:

    -All military budget must be reduce by 80%, 20% of it may be allocated to public accountable agencies like NASA Eurospace and the like, for following purpose.
    -Clean up the pollution that is now the lower orbits
    -Build a space elevator
    -Deploy an external solar energy ring so we could harvest energy without destroying the earth.
    -Deploy the minimal set of satellite needed for communication, and scientific experiment, and eventual meteor interception

    All these do not need to by done now, but yesterday. So we may need to also invent a time machine.

    Meanwhile, those who would still wants to leave the earth surface, may as well jump into an abyss, or get lost.
    Afterward, those who still want to leave the earth will get lost anyway, with a huge farewell.
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    i'd imagine it'd be a lot easier to deflect an asteroid/comet than to colonize an entirely different planet long long away. but then you have the whole sun becoming a red giant thing...if we even make it that long
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    I think it's 99% fantasy. Yes, ultimately having the whole population confined to Earth leaves the human race vulnerable but the biggest known, foreseeable and immediate dangers are not big asteroids but failures of human economics, ethics and organisation. And bunkers are more practical and buildable than space stations if we are determined to have some kind of final fallback option for a select few to ride out global catastrophes.

    I have serious doubts that permanent habitation of space can be achievable except as outlying elements of a large, wealthy, capable and fairly stable economy centred on Earth - something more capable and stable than the teetering jury rigged accident we currently call civilisation.

    Getting from the circumstance where all the really high tech stuff can only be achieved within such a large and diverse economy based on the enormous resources of a planet to one where colonies - with minimum technological requirements far beyond those our current situation depends on - can be both autonomous and more stable and secure than Earth is an enormous leap.

    It won't be a case of humanity depending on space for it's future but that the dreams of living in space won't eventuate without a viable, vibrant and sustainable global civilisation emerging here on Earth.
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    i don't think it is worth worrying about our sun becoming a red giant and life on earth dying, that is too far in the future and by then we'll already be dead or somewhere else.

    in the near future, next couple of centuries, mars is most probably the best place to consider as a refuge if earth become inhospitable for whatever reason. within that time frame we should have the tech knowledge to build suitable habitats and have enough time to build up a self sustaining colony.

    i think generation ships to be a bit further away before we have the tech.
    Sometimes it is better not knowing than having an answer that may be wrong.
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    We will not establish colonies because we want to survive a disaster on Earth. We will establish colonies and when the disaster happens to Earth those colonies will provide a fall back position for humanity.

    Initally I forsee space going "factory towns", "orbital farms", "energy farms", mining and manufacturing space stations. These enterprises would all involve populations of humans living most of their lives off planet. They would not be ecconmicly, socially or politically independent of Earth. For the next several thousand years the bulk of the human race will be living on Earth. The bulk of the wealth will still be here but that wealth will be fed by off world enterprises. An orbital energy supply system could be constructed involving solar collector space stations beaming energy to collection points and then down to a receptor on Earth. The crews would need R&R facilities that did not involve dropping down into the gravity well. Inturn theses R&R facilites would need food. Orbital farms would supply food to the orbital population. Asteroid mining would supply materials to space based manufacturing facilities that would make spare parts for the space craft and space stations of the off earth community.

    Eventually the off earth community would involve all the solar system. There would be hundreds of thousands of space going habitats engaged in various ecconomic enterprises. Since the population on these vessels would be permanently living there, not travelers going somewhere, the length of the voyage is not a big issue. At some point the ort cloud mining and manufacturing group will notice that the nearest star is no longer Sol, and interstellar colonization will have begun. All that without requireing a major scientific break through.
    Initially all this would still be in the inner solar system and connected ecconomicly to Earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    We will ...
    This is a common SF scenario, well resumed here. And one that will never happens (read post #43).

    The classic mistake is extend of failed paradigm here on earth, and magically transposed it in space. Mining space has an enormous negative return on investment (and no purpose at all). Only SF authors or computer game can play with those ideas. Farming int space is an oxymoron.

    We are more likely to discover a cheap way of transmuting matter than to discover efficient space technology. Mining is more like to be done by robot, that by armies of zombie miner adapted to the hellish condition of living out of gravity feeded with tooth-paste protein juice.

    Then we are more likely to discover then we have all we need on earth, and that renewable balanced interacting diversity is success (and not that greed-growth-mining-aftermecomestheflood failed mind-set)
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    anyone know if mars would still be in the habitable zone when the sun goes red giant? i could see making mars a habitable place for us being more plausible than going to planets hundreds to thousands of light years away. there's already some water there in the ice, too, right?

    edit: this is a few years old but it supports the idea http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/...worlds_prt.htm
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    Mars is a dusty little rock with no air.

    I say we go for Venus. She has curves in all the right places. And she's HOT. But with the right treatment, she could be a cool babe.
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    Yay, let's spread the human blight all across the universe!!! I imagine that the human species is destined for dissolution via evolution, rather than destruction from cosmic catastrophes.
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    Why not? It doesn't have a lot else going on. Let's shake things up.
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Why not? It doesn't have a lot else going on. Let's shake things up.
    And go about the universe contaminating it with our viruses, pollution, greed and other bad things we do here on Earth. Yes, lets show the universe just how ignorant we are for we are destroying our own planet while trying to locate another one to do the same thing to. I'd think waiting until humans can get themselves and Earth in better condition would be more prudent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Why not? It doesn't have a lot else going on. Let's shake things up.
    And go about the universe contaminating it with our viruses, pollution, greed and other bad things we do here on Earth. Yes, lets show the universe just how ignorant we are for we are destroying our own planet while trying to locate another one to do the same thing to. I'd think waiting until humans can get themselves and Earth in better condition would be more prudent.
    If you guys are just going to stick with the habit of ignoring what's said- I may as well go along with it.

    YES- let's go see if we can Globally Warm Europa.
    Pollute Mars.
    Let's mine Encleadus 'til it explodes.

    Screw the Earth. Let's not try to fix anything here. I know what I said earlier... but I retract that now because destroying eveything is so much more fun.

    In fact, let's destroy weird things, too. Like English. What good is language, anyway?

    Hikijnx pluree wirglefurg menstaofpa creul signipa gorp.
    Reading that is as good as reading anything else. You get the same effect from the content.

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  54. #53  
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    we can treat the earth as respectfully as possible, it's not going to stop the sun from engulfing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    we can treat the earth as respectfully as possible, it's not going to stop the sun from engulfing it.
    no

    but

    in the meantime

    it just might make liveing here a tad more pleasant
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    yes, i agree. we should try to keep the earth habitable for as long as possible, but ultimately we can't do anything about it.
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    I think it's a bit of a catch 22 for space colonies - an enormous investment over a long time has to be made, here on Earth, and I think for something like asteroid mining to be viable the minimum threshold for infrastructure remains quite high. I know that people think it can be done incrementally, robotically, but I remain dubious that even a very modest space mining operation could be achieved that way. Mining is energy and equipment intensive and I suspect the thought of how "easily" big masses can be moved around in space distracts from considering how useful and valuable gravity really is - and how much harder a lot of the basic mining processes like moving, crushing and separating raw material are in it's absence. Just keeping equipment and materials securely in place - something basic and taken for granted with gravity - becomes a significant engineering challenge.

    For the Moon or Mars the added requirements for landing and launching cheaply and reliably in gravity wells adds a big infrastructure burden. You get the advantages of working with gravity but at significant burden of costs.

    Energy? The Moon could see use of solar power being of good use but not for Mars. Plenty of solar power in Earth orbit but I can't imagine there'd be enough at and beyond Mars orbit - I think nuclear power would be an essential requirement. It's a technology I don't think can be done except with materials from Earth - fissionable materials in any quantity in asteroids would be a remarkable find - the ore bodies on Earth exist because of hydro/geothermal processes concentrating them and creating the conditions for natural enrichment to occur. In asteroids those conditions can't occur and those radioactive elements have long since decayed. I'm not sure there will be any accessible sources of Uranium, Thorium or any other potential nuclear fuel that isn't on Earth. Anyone think otherwise?

    I just don't think the optimism that it is all readily achievable, and soon, is warranted; I think that the difficulties of establishing self reliant space enterprises are being underestimated and glossed over, simultaneously with the underestimation of just how much value human civilisation gets from the unique environmental capital - as well as abundant natural resources - of this planet. Without those absolutely everything people require is made much more difficult and expensive not cheaper and easier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    we can treat the earth as respectfully as possible, it's not going to stop the sun from engulfing it.
    Ho but the sun is predicted to cook the earth well before that (in arround 1.1Billion)

    Lets start the count down now. Meanwhile a mad scientist will have injected a black hole into the sun, or a race of giant red panda will take over the U.N. or maybe will run out of oil.

    It is funny to worry about thing that won't ever append
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    If we all stay here the our numbers are forever limited.
    There isn't room for everyone to have children.
    If we stay then, at some point, someone is going to have to say "Right guys, no more breeding randomly, the new law on who can have kids, and how many, comes into effect tomorrow. And by the way, we're reducing the family allowance from two bicycles per household to one. After all the "good old Days" of one car per street are long over, it's time to take another long hard look at what manufacturing materials are left".

    A good reason to start getting those reproduction laws into effect as soon as possible instead of waiting.

    Yes, I know that "educated" people tend to breed less on their own. However non-compulsory reproduction limitation has the same fundamental flaw as most anarchy theories, only with one more added complication. The main problem is it only works if everyone arrives at the same opinion about what is "right". If anyone disagrees, they won't follow suit.

    The added complication is that, if/when a cultural group disagrees, no matter how small a minority they are to start with, their numbers will grow exponentially until they're not a minority anymore.

    In other words: natural selection guarantees that there will never exist a majority of people who choose voluntarily not to over-reproduce. Or if that majority comes into existence, it will only last a brief time.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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