[LMB] ot: tech discussions

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Sat Jan 14 04:27:27 GMT 2017

On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 08:32:06PM -0600, Luke Bretscher wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 5:43 PM, Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 07:58:15PM +0100, markus baur wrote:
> > > even if we would NOT foul our nest, there are enough dangerous things in the
> > > universe where the only way to be safe is to be far away ..
> >
> > Thing is, that strategy is only good for protecting "humanity" or "parts
> > of our civilization".  Most people are going to be concerned first with
> > protecting ourselves: better to prevent disasters on Earth, or make them
> > survivable, than to put people on Mars.  Cheaper, too.
> Again with the false dichotomy. Literally no one is suggesting that we
> explore space _instead_ of trying to prevent disasters on Earth. We
> can do both at once. And in fact, space travel will be absolutely
> essential to preventing one particular type of apocalyptic disaster on
> Earth, i.e. the meteor impact.

Speaking of false dichotomies... pretty much no space skeptics suggest
totally abandoning space.  Satellites are useful, interplanetary probes
are neat, asteroid diversion would be useful.  But there's a big
difference between an automated gravity tug and a human Mars colony.

And we don't actually do much to prevent disasters on Earth, especially
existential risks.  Which makes space colonization for the purpose of
"preserving the human race" pretty unlikely.  People who don't even pick
the low hanging fruit aren't going to climb mountains.

> > > > On the contrary until we fix the "fouling our nest" problem we MUST expand
> > > > or else face extinction.
> >
> > So as to foul more, smaller, nests?
> If humanity dies out because we didn't expand off of Earth, it will be
> pretty cold comfort to look up at Mars (where we could have been
> living) and think "Well, all of human civilization and culture may be
> dying, but at least we didn't put any trash on that lifeless red
> rock!"

If humans die off on Earth because we couldn't avoid fouling the nest,
then the ones on Mars likely won't be living much longer.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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