Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Worth a Look

Elon Musk has released his vision for colonizing Mars. I'm a skeptic but he does make some interesting points. Musk has plainly done a lot of homework. I, like most of us, have done virtually nil.

Musk wants to make humans a multi-planetary species. He admits it's a long shot with grave risks but argues that the alternative is eventual extinction of humanity on Earth. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

As long as we do not export current thinking in politics and societal justice the idea has merit.
Life on earth , as far as I can see, has a best before date that is rapidly approaching.
By that I do not expect immediate doom but a world that is quite unpleasant by our current standards.


rww said...

Wondering what applying that money and brain power that would cost to solving the world's problems could accomplish

Anonymous said...

@ RWW.
I cannot imagine any amount of money controlling the population.
Overpopulation is the curse of our times.
We now talk of 'three parent' childbirth for those that cannot fertilize or be fertilized!
Test tube babies and designer children are not far away.


Dana said...

See - rww doesn't want to be part of Musk's experiment and I guess we should be grateful for that small mercy.

But why does Musk think humanity would behave differently on another planet than we have on this one? I'd really like someone to ask him that question and not let him charm his way out of answering.

If there actually is a superior intelligent life form out there (which I strongly doubt) they would do well to prevent this particular life form from getting off their home world. We're an asshole, destructive, consumptive species with unlimited appetites and a very limited capacity for tolerance or co-existence.

Hugh said...

Average temperature is -67C so bring long johns and a sweater.

Northern PoV said...

Nick Taleb's Black Swan theory (often misunderstood ... hope I'm doing better), posits that huge 'unexpected' events happen that we cannot plan for...
Beyond building robustness into our civilization to withstand the negative Black Swans and then
Prepping ourselves to be in a good position to take advantage of positive Black Swans. (sounds like 'luck is when opportunity meets preparation' eh?)

Will we survive our self-imposed race to extinction?

Musk is very focused on creating the conditions to take advantage of positive Black Swans. (His space exploration stuff.)

And he has a broad vision: the Tesla solar-collecting roof shingles will likely disrupt two industries (roofers and electric suppliers) and be part of the robustness we will need to survive long enough to get off the planet or learn how to 'terra-form' the earth back to the pristine cradle that nurtured our ancestors.

Terra-form is a Science Fiction meme about massively geo-engineering alien planets to make them habitable, btw. The optimistic SF writers predict we will survive and make it off the planet. Kim Stanley Robinson has written excellent Cli-Fi and I highly recommend his latest "New York 2140" in which we are surviving (so far) on a drowned planet.

Nice post, Mound.

BJ Bjornson said...

Admittedly I only skimmed the article, but it seems to me he’s missing a really important component to the whole venture. Namely how the people he’s planning on transporting to Mars are going to survive there without massive shipments of food and other resources from Earth. Creating a closed-system (or virtually closed) biosphere capable of supporting human life over the long term is not something we’re even close to figuring out and would appear to be a prerequisite for a successful colony of a million people on another planet. Effectively, any off-world expedition is going to remain hugely dependant on the home planet sending massive aid packages to keep the people alive for any length of time. Meaning that whatever his vision for the future, keeping Earth a habitable biosphere for the coming centuries remains goal one.

Anonymous said...

The Martian!!
He lived on potatoes!