Help support TMP


"How Long Before The Government’s Off-World Settler Program?" Topic


22 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Modern What-If Message Board

Back to the Horror Message Board

Back to the SF Discussion Message Board



626 hits since 25 Dec 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 3:30 p.m. PST

A lot of interesting talk on another thread about populating colonies and spreading to other moons, asteroids, planets and space stations.

TMP link

Seriously? Off-World Colonies? What colonies? I just don't see it happening. Ain't no money for that! Robots will do all of that off-world mining work cheaply, with perhaps a handful of "human" or human-ish android caretakers.

Oh, wait. Maybe the visionaries are referring to the controlled depopulation program? Yes, the so-called "colony ships" or citizen "exchange" shuttles that will ferry people to processing plants just a few miles away:

YouTube link

Face it, Humanity will not go with a bang or even a whimper. Just a few surprised screams and then a loud deafening grinding sound. The powers that be will probably name it the U.R.I.T. (Ultimate Recycling Implementation Technology) Program. But, fear not, it will all be for the good of the Planet. :)

The BIG question is … how many decades from now will this happen? Any idea? A couple of decades? Half a century from now? A century?

Dan

picture

picture

28mm Fanatik25 Dec 2017 4:22 p.m. PST

Who knows? Depending on who you're listening to, the time we have left until that day when earth can no longer sustain the population can vary greatly.

There will be no giant spaceships relocating the majority of earth's population. If there's an ark it will only include the best and the brightest few to reseed humankind off-world. Only a few hundred people maybe.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 4:25 p.m. PST

How long? Never, I hope. What a dumb way to waste money.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 5:58 p.m. PST

We will be sending out nothing but robots. There won't be any cash set aside to colonize with actual people.

And if people are shipped anywhere at all, it will be to the canneries right here on Earth. And my guess is that the human recycling could start happening in a generation or two.

Dan

Mobius25 Dec 2017 6:37 p.m. PST

You might need humans to actually claim something. Still mining it with robots is 9/10ths the law.

JSchutt25 Dec 2017 7:10 p.m. PST

Sometimes I think my neighbors are the beneficiaries of some other planet's "Off world settler program."

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 7:34 p.m. PST

JSchutt

Ha! I've got a couple of neighbors exactly like that.

Dan

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 8:02 p.m. PST

Did somebody eat too much on Christmas? For that seems to be the only reason to be contemplating such gruesome images
on what should be a day of hope and peace.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 9:33 p.m. PST

No. But I did watch a lot of Futurama today. Maybe a bit more than usual.

Dan

Lion in the Stars25 Dec 2017 10:09 p.m. PST

@CC: ugh. There's the problem.

There will be no giant spaceships relocating the majority of earth's population. If there's an ark it will only include the best and the brightest few to reseed humankind off-world. Only a few hundred people maybe.

They're in for a really rude surprise. That's not a sustainable colony size for anything more than (maybe) medieval tech. It's more likely Bronze Age, if not outright stone age hunter-gatherer.

Go read Plato's Republic.

You need a minimum of a million people to maintain 1970s technology; 900,000 to maintain 1890s tech.

Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2017 11:00 p.m. PST

Wouldn't that depend on the robotic backup ?

Mobius26 Dec 2017 4:22 a.m. PST

They're in for a really rude surprise. That's not a sustainable colony size for anything more than (maybe) medieval tech. It's more likely Bronze Age, if not outright stone age hunter-gatherer.

So the replicators will be spewing out spears, bows and arrows instead of phasers and medical scanners?

Garand26 Dec 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

So the replicators will be spewing out spears, bows and arrows instead of phasers and medical scanners?

No, the colonists will be, after the tech that maintained the replicater gets space fever & dies, and they run out of spare parts…

It's not about what technology you can take with you, but about what technology you can reasonably maintain.

Damon.

Legion 426 Dec 2017 7:00 a.m. PST

It appears that governments and humans in general are currently having a hard time with our "on world" situation …

And of course there is the ever present, "No Bucks … No Buck Rogers …" paradigm … Or "Money Don't Grow on Trees !" …

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

People will leave, but they'll be the troublemakers. Think of the Mayflower. Or the Arabella. Think of Mormons taking off into the Great American Desert and setting up in Utah/Deseret. Think of Israel. If there had been extraplanetary settlements to go to, surely the White Russians would have gone to them after WWI, instead of ending up in France? Or the non-Communist Poles who wound up in Britain following WWII?

The trick will be maintaining a government weak enough that letting the troublemakers exile themselves is an easier option than exterminating them.

Sargonarhes26 Dec 2017 8:58 a.m. PST

Even if the troublemakers could exile themselves a government would still want to be in control of said exiles. Remember this is what eventually led to a rebellion in the North American colonies.

Simple extermination of a population isn't going to be as easy thing, there are a large number of people that just don't go along with edicts from up on high. History seems to have a nasty habit of repeating itself. A lot.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

I am with Robert. For the foreseeable future space flight will be along slog that will be attractive only to the truly committed. Involuntary Transportation of misfits would only work with some form of wormhole drive – and would still be an unlikely solution

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

Sargonarhes, I only wish you were right. People sometimes point out that we now know that nuclear weapons can work, and, really, they're getting to be old technology. I worry more that anyone literate enough to read a history book potentially knows more about wiping out a population--physically or culturally--than anyone knew prior to Stalin and Hitler--in fact, more than they knew starting out.

If you nuke someone, you not only risk retaliation, but you have to live with a destroyed city and fallout. But you can exterminate a population of hundreds of thousands in a matter of months, and when you're done have nothing but a farm or a housing project on the site. You can pretty well wipe out a culture in a generation or two, if you're ruthless enough, and mankind does not suffer from a shortage of ruthless leaders.

So I do all I can to encourage partitions and exile. The alternatives are often worse--and sometimes easier.

But none of this paints any castings.

Zephyr126 Dec 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

There are cheaper options. Like a zombie apocalypse… ;-)

Lion in the Stars26 Dec 2017 3:42 p.m. PST

Garand answered for me. (Thanks!)

You really do need a huge population to maintain modern technology. You need enough people to farm to feed your population. Then you need enough people not involved in farming to make the other stuff we all use today. With a million people, you can get away with only 5% of them (which is still 50,000 people) farming, because the rest of the population is making the things to let those farmers feed everyone. Like fertilizer and mechanical planting/harvesting equipment.

At very low populations (low hundreds), you don't have enough people around to make the things that make farming super-productive. Nobody can make basic fertilizer, for example. The only guy who doesn't have his own farm is the village blacksmith, and he still has a personal garden!

Even with relatively large populations, tens or even low hundreds of thousands, you're looking at 80% of the population being directly involved in agriculture. What's the remaining 20% doing? Well, those are the blacksmiths, hunters, fishermen, woodcutters, merchants, etc. Well, and you usually end up with somewhere around 4% of the population as the ruling/warrior class. Because to be most effective warriors, they need to be training to be warriors all day, not working the fields (granted, this is talking pre-gunpowder for the most part, once you get firearms it takes a lot less training to be a basically effective warrior).

If you don't have those warriors, someone who does will take your stuff and kill you. Or worse, take your stuff and make you a slave.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Dec 2017 5:23 p.m. PST

Lion, I don't think we know that. Mind you, it could be true, but I haven't seen an estimate in a long time--if ever--on how many people you need at a minimum to maintain a given level of technology. Just because isolated populations used to exist at a low level of agricultural efficiency doesn't mean they have to today. Is someone going to wipe out knowledge of crop rotation, and demand they use less productive seeds? I'll grant you my guess would be only a little lower than yours--maybe a couple hundred thousand instead of a million--but I know it's a guess.

I'd be interested in current estimates and the reasoning behind them.

Mobius26 Dec 2017 6:58 p.m. PST

You do not need a large population base to continue a high tech society. Provided a certain level is reached. Once the proper and sufficient infrastructure is installed. With 3D printing of machinery and goods the society and food, energy and raw material cycle established it can last indefinitely. Of course if there are not a lot of people there may not be much of a technological advancement. If they started with 8-track technology they still may have only 8-tracks after 100 years.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.