Author Topic: Let me............... Tel-e-port you!  (Read 41022 times)

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Offline Kosh

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Yeah, since there are no other Earth like planets in this solar system, colonies would generally be interdependant, not just on each other but also interdependant with the Earth as well.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
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The ISS cannot function without constant repair and resupply from groundside.


Because it has no capability of growing food by itself? It was never intended to be that way. You're comparing two completely different situations.

Precisely - the ISS cannot function on its own. We do not have the capability to build a facility that can. The ISS' constant system failures are emblematic of why we cannot.

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We do not have the capacity to create an environmental system capable of supporting a long-term colony on another world or in a hostile environment without outside support.

I also don't recall saying it would be 100% self supporting, just mostly self supporting. Spare parts would be imported, and as I already said meat would also be imported. Mineral resources get sent to space bound refining and manufacturing facilities, also whatever low g research that get s completed would go back to Earth.

At least that is the way it work initially.

We have no practical way to 'import' anything to a Mars colony at the moment.

This is all irrelevant, though; the point is that we are a highly adapted niche species and that our very need to go to such great lengths to drag our habitat around with us is kind of farcical.

 
Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Adapted is the wrong word.

Specialised is the correct one.


It's easy to use the word adapted, especially when talking about evolution because adaptation is where you get your specialisations from.
However, the (a) species ability TO adapt is what rates it as a success, if you had to give evolution a 'goal', rapid/successful adaptation would be it's aim (in actual fact the logic behind what would be argued as evolution is the reverse of this, but nevermind that).

Adaptation is something we're actually slightly less good at than most, currently speaking we're the most complex form of life on the planet, perhaps the most complex in it's history.

The argument would be that a more adaptable specie, perhaps something along the lines of what we may become (if we survive long enough) with advanced genetic engineering, for example;
Being able to glow in the dark in lightless environments (interior of asteroids/barren worlds).
Being able to breath different mixtures of gases.
Being able to survive without 1/3 the nutrients we currently do.
Being able to survive without bone or muscle degradation in lower gravity environments.
Being able to survive without support devices in high gravity environments (and honestly, this really only means .5G-2G, I would find any more in either direction to be unrealistic for us, even with bioengineering).


The idea that technology and our ability to think can do the job for us is flawed, it actually shows just how badly adapted and just how badly off we are in terms of evolution.

We're specialised to take almost full advantage of the current state of things, although this is the purpose of the biology of our species it is entirely luck that we as a species arrived here and not some other specie.
We are not special and it is not our manifest destiny to survive and colonise, we will have to make that happen and a true understanding of our we effect and control our environment would be a great start towards that, eventually however the only realistic way to make it happen permanently is either advanced in the extreme (genetic engineering), or total cyberisation.


The idea that we are the pinnacle of evolution (ever) is a complete joke.
The idea that evolution has a pinnacle is also likely to be seen as a joke.

The Earth is not our cradle, and we are not rulers of it, in fact we do not get along with more than the majority of the earth and more than the majority of the earth does not get along with us (talking biosphere).
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 03:40:38 am by QuantumDelta »
"Neutrality means that you don't really care, cuz the struggle goes on even when you're not there: Blind and unaware."

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
On the contrary; our lack of adaption to our environment is our only real strength.

Take the dolphins as an example. They're widely believed to be borderline intelligent. They're as old or older than we are. But dolphins have never explored the land as we have explored the ocean. Dolphins don't fly. Dolphins haven't been to the Moon. Dolphins don't even make or use tools, despite ample evidence they are intelligent enough to do so.

About the closest to being human dolphins get, sadly, is lynching porpoises.

The fact we are not adapted to most of our environments well is why we have had to create what we can create. Were we to encounter some other species that was better-suited to a wide range of environments or even their own home environment, we could reasonably expect their development in comparison to be stunted. Because they don't need it, and we do. A perfectly adapted intelligent species is one without a reason to do anything in regards to technological development. Posthumanism is the great trap, then, and ultimately the death of the species. When we no longer need to travel, why will we even try?

Also, Quantum and others here are drawing a strange, non-functional distinction between being able to accomplish something biologically and being able to accomplish it technologically. I would argue that, if you can accomplish one, being able to do it the other way is completely irrevelant. Explain to me, if you can, why it is not so?
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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
As I stated in close, cyberisation would be fine for a final conclusion in adaptability, because a robot can survive virtually anywhere.

However, currently speaking we need to prepare for where we're going, if you get to the desert and haven't bought the ****e with you needed to survive, you're gonna die.
= Evolutionary failure.

If you're going to colonise space you need to build what ever you're going to use HERE and transport it there (in whatever form).
If you're going to live underwater you still need to build the technology first.


Tech is something you can use proactively, and that's lovely, but evolution is reactive, and in order for it to be reactive the first few generations have to be able to survive the environment in the first place.
Ergo, we fail at adaptability.
And ya know what? our technology is likely to make it worse, not better, significant evolution tends to only happen as a necessity.
If you remove that necessity the same way the dolphins have; by never leaving the water (read; taking your environment with you where ever you go) you're only going to damage that adaptability further.
"Neutrality means that you don't really care, cuz the struggle goes on even when you're not there: Blind and unaware."

"We still believe in all the things that we stood by before,
and after everything we've seen here maybe even more.
I know we're not the only ones, and we were not the first,
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Offline TrashMan

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Yet we can't build our own self-sustaining biospheres. In the future we probably will be able to, but the fact that we need to is itself a major handicap.

Indeed. It is a handicap of a sorts. But compared to WHOM?

Bob, the Singularity thingy doesn't exist..and probably never will.
Coakroaches will die with this planet - at least we can leave it and hopefully colonize. Not easy, not cheap, but we can spread beyond Earth by ourselves. Now we just need to discover subspace and we're all set.
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Offline The E

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Yet we can't build our own self-sustaining biospheres. In the future we probably will be able to, but the fact that we need to is itself a major handicap.

Indeed. It is a handicap of a sorts. But compared to WHOM?

That question is beside the point. WE are handicapped. The existence of a hypothetical non-handicapped species does not have an impact on OUR condition.

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Bob, the Singularity thingy doesn't exist..and probably never will.

And you are sure about that? How would you determine "This point in time marks the Singularity?"

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Coakroaches will die with this planet - at least we can leave it and hopefully colonize. Not easy, not cheap, but we can spread beyond Earth by ourselves. Now we just need to discover subspace and we're all set.

But unless we discover that sort of sufficiently advanced technology, it is still next to impossible.
Let there be light
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Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
And yet the means for taking the environment will be adapted and evolve. And if they no longer need to evolve, what else is there left for us to deal with? What will we have not conquered?

You argue a distinction that does not actually exist. Yes, we have probably substituted technological development for evolutionary development...but this was not a bad choice, as we have managed to adapt ourselves in so doing to environments no other organism we know can survive. We have, today, the means to leave our little planet and travel to the stars. Slowly, true. Dangerously, true. That we would not do it now, without some massive reason to invest in the means to do so, true. But we know how to do it, and much ink has been spilled on the means to abandon this island Earth using the means at hand. No other organism on this planet can do that, and if we are honest, no biologically adaptive organism we can realistically concieve of could.

We do not need to be biologically adaptable if we can make our technology meet the challenge instead. Indeed, technological adaptation has proved the better path. If you doubt this, look to the past, to the bones of species that have lived and died upon our own planet and never breached the barrier at 10,000 feet. They litter the world. You cannot put down a foot without stepping on something that was once part of them.

We did. We found a better way.
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Offline TrashMan

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable


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And you are sure about that? How would you determine "This point in time marks the Singularity?"

The whole concept of such a creature is redicolous.
If you belive in it, then let me introdue you to my pal, Joe, the rock-creature. You see, he's a perfect survivor. He doesn't breathe, doesn't eat and can endure all sorts of conditions. You attack him and you only get more Joe's. What a perfect survivor.



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But unless we discover that sort of sufficiently advanced technology, it is still next to impossible.

We can always terraform Mars...
Nobody dies as a virgin - the life ****s us all!

You're a wrongularity from which no right can escape!

 
Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
The cessation of evolution is a dead end that leaves vulnerability on any scale, and we're always dealing with the unknown in a debate like this.
"Neutrality means that you don't really care, cuz the struggle goes on even when you're not there: Blind and unaware."

"We still believe in all the things that we stood by before,
and after everything we've seen here maybe even more.
I know we're not the only ones, and we were not the first,
and unapologetically we'll stand behind each word."

 

Offline Kosh

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Quote
Precisely - the ISS cannot function on its own. We do not have the capability to build a facility that can. The ISS' constant system failures are emblematic of why we cannot.

You've missed the point entirely: At best we only need something that is semi-independant, not completely independent. The ISS was a test bed for a lot of these new systems, so of course it is going to have problems. You can't expect something to work perfectly that first time, since it usually doesn't. You're panning the ISS for not doing something it was never supposed to do to begin with.

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We have no practical way to 'import' anything to a Mars colony at the moment.

That we don't have a Mars colony at the moment either kind of makes that a moot point. Even if it wasn't do you seriously believe that wouldn't be factored into colonization plans? And do you also believe that this wouldn't spur innovation to create faster and better propulsion systems? The reason we don't have anything better in place is because of a total lack of vision by our leaders until recently to invest the proper amount of resources into making them. That being said the VASIMIR  made a major breakthrough recently, theoretically it can go to Mars in just 39 days, and there's also various proposals for nuclear rockets that would also be significantly faster that proposals with conventional rocketry (Russians have made progress with that too).

The entire basis for your agrument is "we can't do it now therefore it can never be done", which has been disproven over and over again throughout human history. Most of what we have today was certainly science fiction in the early 20th century.
"The reason for this is that the original Fortran got so convoluted and extensive (10's of millions of lines of code) that no-one can actually figure out how it works, there's a massive project going on to decode the original Fortran and write a more modern system, but until then, the UK communication network is actually relying heavily on 35 year old Fortran that nobody understands." - Flipside

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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Did any of you guys see that episode of the outer limits with the Nanobots?
The guy who used them ended up covered in jellyfish stinging cells (gills too?), he had eyes in the back of his head and lost his humanity, couldn't go out in public. He got a bit down, and every time he tried to commit suicide the damned things pulled an M Bison and revived him.   
 
Relevance, maybe none but I still like the story. :)
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Offline TrashMan

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Actually, we could probably do it now (mars colony).

Sure it would be horriby expensive, slow and not very efficient. But we could do it.
But why do it now when we can wait till we have the means to do it faster, cheaper and more efficient?
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Because there's no necessity, no drive or overwhelming need. Look back through history and perhaps even your own lives. When it boils down to an absolute do or die incentive mankind can pretty much as a collective achieve it's targets. World wars, crash survivors, or playground fights. I'm not by nature violent at all and i'm betting no-one here is either. You'd never willingly punch an innocent. (cept a zod) but you've probably had moments in your life where you've kicked arse because you had to.
 
What i'm saying is, is that if something like twenty twelve was gonna happen and we had some warning you can guarantee that (hollywood aside) government would get off their arse and at least save themselves.
But at the moment there's no need.
 
Looking back that was a marginally relevant ramble to GBs mars post. :s
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Wow, this turned into an odd political debate.  :wtf:

It's simply an incontrovertible fact that we have no idea whether our current survival strategy is a good one in the long term. We might do a great job with it; we might not.

Everyone seems to be interpreting the OP as 'humans suck', when I'm not sure that was the point being driven at at all. Everyone's arguing that we could go colonize Mars or whatever, that we just have to try hard enough, but...well, the fact that we have to try so hard is kind of the point.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 10:47:35 am by General Battuta »

 

Offline Ziame

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Well, best Polish S-F writer Stanisław Lem wrote about years ago. It was about Iyon Tichy, astronaut who was invited to an university on a planet, far away. The topic of the lecture was "Why isn't the Planet Earth habitable" and said something along the lines of too rapid changes, low temperatures, lots of water and so on
Rabbinic Judaism had a good start with the Old Testament but kinda missed the point about 2000 years ago

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Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Lem was fantastic. Years ahead of his time in terms of the ideas presented. Invincible was a fantastic story about human egocentricity: the crew assumed that the creature they were facing had to be intelligent due to its behavior, but it was simply very alien.

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In particular, [Invincible] is an imaginary experiment to demonstrate that evolution may not necessarily lead to dominance by intellectually superior life forms.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
The cessation of evolution is a dead end that leaves vulnerability on any scale, and we're always dealing with the unknown in a debate like this.

But it never stopped. It just took a different form, one that's actually much more rapid in changing, much more adaptable. Technological evolution, biological evolution; they're not seperate things in effect. And technology does it quicker, better, because it's directed.

Everyone's arguing that we could go colonize Mars or whatever, that we just have to try hard enough, but...well, the fact that we have to try so hard is kind of the point.

Screw Mars. We could launch our first interstellar mission in ten years, if we wanted to. And how hard we have to try is irrevelant. We can. Nothing else on this planet, and nothing else we can reasonably describe with our knowledge of life, could. The argument is not about the difficulty; it is about the raw capablity.
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Offline Snail

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Sudden realization, it's all relative.

In comparison to all other known planets Earth is the most hospitable.



I'm slow don hurt me plees.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The Earth is uninhabitable
Screw Mars. We could launch our first interstellar mission in ten years, if we wanted to. And how hard we have to try is irrevelant. We can. Nothing else on this planet, and nothing else we can reasonably describe with our knowledge of life, could. The argument is not about the difficulty; it is about the raw capablity.

Well, how hard we have to try is relevant in that the probability of success would be close to zero, whereas the probability of success for another hypothetical organism might be higher.

What I drew from the article was the very real and relevant point that we should be very grateful for our technological adaptability and very aware that we need to drag our ecology everywhere in order to survive. As explorers, we have a really big logistical tail.