macsnafu on March 21, 2012, 09:06:21 am
The interesting part is that *some* people have no problem with extended (which currently means 215 days) stays in zero G.  Most people, on the other hand, get "idiopathic intercranial hypertension", which is a serious condition.  Resistance to zero G is apparently genetic.  So not everyone will be able to mine asteroids - unless medical science can come up with a cheap and effective treatment.

http://jewishworldreview.com/0312/space_colony_snag.php3

That's disturbing, although I suppose it should really be no surprise.  Humans weren't made for zero g.
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

dough560 on March 22, 2012, 04:53:30 pm
Not everyone has the same tolerances.  Some have no tolerance for extremes of heat or cold.  Altitude is another example.  What this does demonstrate is our species is adaptable.  For some, space will always be a bad idea.  For others, it'll be a homecoming.

PT on March 29, 2012, 12:15:31 am
Strange crew. If I were organizing a colonizing expedition that would never return, and probably not be resupplied or increased for decades, I would think that after survival, the colony's main objective would be to have children. Lots of them. I'd take more than two women, and I certainly wouldn't take a couple of gay men.

mellyrn on March 29, 2012, 02:44:18 am
Quote
I certainly wouldn't take a couple of gay men.

I certainly would.

I agree that I'd take more than two women, if I thought my initial crew was likely to be the ONLY source of new citizens ever -- not sure what the minimum would be for even decent genetic variation.  Still, if we can create a viable settlement at all, we will be such an inspiration that I'd expect there to be an outright race to follow us.  Maybe Tobi (how old is he, anyway?), or bureaucrats needing to save face ("we totally had a colony in the planning stage, look!" <rush job>) AND chase us down for back taxes (heh, or try to).

I'd take gay people in a colony ship because I've been home alone with three (only three!) little ones.  Honest to all the gods, having a slightly higher adult-to-child ratio than you'd get if everyone were reproductive, would seriously increase the survivability of those slightly-fewer children you'd have with gays included.  The point is NOT "number of children", the point is "number of children that survive to reproduce themselves."

Andreas on March 29, 2012, 06:03:21 am
Quote
I certainly wouldn't take a couple of gay men.

I certainly would.

I agree that I'd take more than two women, if I thought my initial crew was likely to be the ONLY source of new citizens ever -- not sure what the minimum would be for even decent genetic variation.  Still, if we can create a viable settlement at all, we will be such an inspiration that I'd expect there to be an outright race to follow us.  Maybe Tobi (how old is he, anyway?), or bureaucrats needing to save face ("we totally had a colony in the planning stage, look!" <rush job>) AND chase us down for back taxes (heh, or try to).

I'd take gay people in a colony ship because I've been home alone with three (only three!) little ones.  Honest to all the gods, having a slightly higher adult-to-child ratio than you'd get if everyone were reproductive, would seriously increase the survivability of those slightly-fewer children you'd have with gays included.  The point is NOT "number of children", the point is "number of children that survive to reproduce themselves."

How many prefertilized embryos do you think you can pack? Granted, we don't know how to copy the womb in vitro yet, but "the oldfashioned way", while fun, isn't practical for a crew this size. Genetic variety begins to suffer with closed-circuit populations when they number in the thousands. A handful is risking prohibitive inbreeding inside just a handful of generations. Not to mention, lack of food. In theory you can have hydroponics up, but if you're growing your population by breeding (as opposed to importing people - with the resources they bring), you'll need to do some heavy duty materials production on-site.

Killydd on March 29, 2012, 12:49:04 pm
IIRC, the tipping point genetically is about a hundred people, although being able to screen for abnormalities might reduce that a good bit, and simply insuring a broad spectrum of genetic backgrounds can also lower it.  Having people related to eachother, like the families that are likely to go together, increases the number needed.  In this case, the intent is probably to set up a proof of concept first, then in a couple of years when the orbits line up again hope to attract some pioneering spirits.  He almost certainly has some press releases canned and filed to attract people even if the government tries to hide things that he sends after departure.

As far as the Boys from Brazil, they seem a prime choice just because of the ability to already have people on the station and familiar with it, apart from anything based on lifestyle.  Also, how many gay people here on Earth have had children for various reasons?  I'm sure that if necessary, they would contribute to diversity up there.

Azure Priest on April 04, 2012, 08:11:08 am
Well, the "space nut" is right. If you own a land in Texas, Arizona, or Georgia, or pretty much anywhere in the South East, don't leave your garden hose running, or the federal government could find a puddle and declare your home a "wetland," and you'll be lucky if you can even mow your lawn without having to go kowtowing to the EPA.

As proof, a cattle rancher in Oklahoma dug a well to water his cattle. Brine shrimp settled in that well, and NOWHERE ELSE on his land. Now he can't have a ranch at all because he might "harm an endangered species." Never mind that brine shrimp ARE NOT ENDANGERED. Further, California had a judicially mandated drought hit their most fertile farmland. Why? Because the water supply had some minnow that was supposedly a marker for "global warming."

Sadly the US government is packed with people beholden to radical "environmentalists" who hate business and just love throwing the monkey wrench into any big endeavor.

Killydd on April 04, 2012, 10:52:52 am
Unfortunately, said environmentalists have a point as well.  We are living through the second greatest mass extinction ever.  We are still seeing entire habitats falling apart because a couple of species were more sensitive to the pollutants being put out nearby, let alone intentional destruction.  You say "well, if the market isn't large enough for sustainable practices, just let the companies make the quick buck and get out of there" but that view is the cause of this backlash.  I guess one of the differences is that I still believe in some "natural commons," such as air, water, and light.  The reason that there is such a concern over wetlands is because it was common practice to drain a marsh, build on in because it was now fertile, arable land, or close to a natural water source, and damage the neighbor's property downstream. 

Andreas on April 04, 2012, 01:50:00 pm
Do you remember that one time, millions of years ago, when almost all marine life died?
That could happen. It happened without human interference back, so it's not even that unlikely that we can speed that along, or tip the balance that last millionth of a percent that sets the ball rolling...

That would F all our SH up. As in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHDdqubE7zQ

myrkul999 on April 04, 2012, 01:55:28 pm
Evolution is the result of environmental change. Survival of the fittest. Life will adapt.

Don't believe me? clicky.

I'm not particularly worried about the wildlife, at least at levels of pollution that won't harm humans, and of course, at levels that will, people will stop, for the same reason that they won't hurt the neighbor's property, if they don't have government protection and immunity.

Andreas on April 05, 2012, 05:49:49 am
Survival of the fittest does not ensure survival of humans. It also doesn't account for one-time events, it only actually counts for periods of environmental stability.
Also, a catastrophic cascade is a one-time event. Adapting to it is pointless.

And people won't know that they've triggered a catastrophic cascade until it's too late to do anything about it. That's the unfortunate fact of the matter.

Not that being worried will do a lot of good, since nowadays you have to have scientific proof of the harmfulness of something to get it stopped, and even then some nutbag on a corporate payroll will be happy to release research to name that proof "controversial".

Science cannot compete with mammon.

mellyrn on April 05, 2012, 07:27:04 am
Quote
at levels of pollution that won't harm humans

Which would be what?  Company X produces new chemical x in the environment at 1/10,000th the amount that could possibly harm humans.  Company Y produces y at that same inconsequential level.  And so do 200,000 other companies with all their strange new stuffs, for a net dose of -- ? 

And do any of them do the unanticipated-drug(like)-interaction thing?

Hey, we're all lab rats here.


Quote
Do you remember that one time, millions of years ago, when almost all marine life died?

Oh, I say, I'm not that old -- !  :)

Azure Priest on April 05, 2012, 08:28:36 am
Survival of the fittest does not ensure survival of humans. It also doesn't account for one-time events, it only actually counts for periods of environmental stability.
Also, a catastrophic cascade is a one-time event. Adapting to it is pointless.

And people won't know that they've triggered a catastrophic cascade until it's too late to do anything about it. That's the unfortunate fact of the matter.

Not that being worried will do a lot of good, since nowadays you have to have scientific proof of the harmfulness of something to get it stopped, and even then some nutbag on a corporate payroll will be happy to release research to name that proof "controversial".

Science cannot compete with mammon.


Until, of course, it's your home, that looks overgrown because the EPA forbids you from clearing the brush because you "might harm some kangaroo rat." Then there's a fire, goodbye home, and look at all those nice toasty, kangaroo rat corpses.

myrkul999 on April 05, 2012, 12:20:47 pm
And people won't know that they've triggered a catastrophic cascade until it's too late to do anything about it. That's the unfortunate fact of the matter.

That right there is very true. As is the point that survival of the fittest will not ensure the survival of humanity.

Have you ever considered that maybe, if humanity is not the fittest, we should not survive? George Carlin (Rest his commie soul), made a fine point, which I will paraphrase here: The environmentalists are not afraid of destroying the environment. The Earth can and will find a new equilibrium. They are afraid of destroying humanity, or perhaps civilization. They're afraid of changing the status quo.

Quote
at levels of pollution that won't harm humans

Which would be what?  Company X produces new chemical x in the environment at 1/10,000th the amount that could possibly harm humans.  Company Y produces y at that same inconsequential level.  And so do 200,000 other companies with all their strange new stuffs, for a net dose of -- ? 

And do any of them do the unanticipated-drug(like)-interaction thing?

Well, unless they're all in the same city, there's not going to be a significant concentration anywhere, just a sort of low-level contamination everywhere. And what happens when the environment changes slowly like that? Adaptation.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think we should probably be careful about what we toss into our environment, I just want people to stop the misdirection, worrying about the purple-breasted slug or some BS, and say it like it really is.

Killydd on April 05, 2012, 01:03:23 pm
Indeed, the Earth will survive and Nature will survive, pretty much regardless of what we do to it.  If we all just packed up and left, in a thousand years it would be hard to tell we were here in most places.  However, while we're here, we are certainly changing things.  The assorted minor increases in environmental factors such as co2 and ch4 have caused notable property damage, in increased drought and storms in various parts of the world.  Even scarier are some tipping point scenarios where, for example, methane hydrate deposits under the Atlantic become warm enough to sublimate into the atmosphere and greatly accelerate global warming. 

And of course, every species that does become extinct or too rare to efficiently study is another potential lab experiment destroyed.  http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html shows how much we can learn from nature, and use it.

 

anything