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Re: Colony Critical Mass

From: Tony Wilkinson <twilko@o...>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 09:43:42 +1100
Subject: Re: Colony Critical Mass

At 11:47 PM 11/13/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I guess one of the critical points is "What tech level are you talking
>about?"  With a high enough tech level, (or, rather, with the right
>technologies), you can get a minimum colony size in the hundreds.  
>(Genetic Engineering, Food replication technologies, "Simple" power
>generation technologies i.e. 'Cold Fusion' turns out to work after
>all with suitable modifications, that sort of thing.)

	Agreed but what you also need to consider is the type of world
that these
"colonists" are trying to set up on. Somewhere like Mars is going to
problems due to radiation and low gravity. The first you can avoid to
extent but the later is still a problem because of the long term
caused by living in low gravity particularly on a developing feotus.
may have been some work done on this (I know the Russians have had a lot
experience with the effects of low gravity on the body) anyone else?
	If your colonists end up on an "Eden" world (Earthlike) then
group/s of 30
or so could form selfsustaining communities that are stable over the
term (Australian Aboriginies). It might also be interesting to speculate
what would happen if a group of high tech settelers came to live on a
veritable paradise. Might they not take up a primative lifestyle.
>Some parallels could probably be drawn between colonization sizes and
>the Polynesian experience during their Age of Colonization.  (circa
>5-10000BC (?) )  Discover Magazine (Jared Diamond) has a couple of
>fascinating articles on what happens when populations (i.e. colonies)
>are cut off and forced to survive on their own.  (November 1997 has a 
>great example.)

	Great articles. Worth reading.

>Beyond this, it's hard to get more specific without more specifics.
>(8-)  Technology Level, frequency of contact with "Mother" culture, 
>social aspects of colonizing culture, that sort of thing.  Indeed, 
>the numbers I stated above for what I consider a 'typical' scenario,
>are probably just nothing but garbage.

	This would be very important in determining the culture of the
colony. Kim
Stanley Robinson's "Red Mars" had some ideas on this. (I haven't read
two sequels yet.)

	"If all his brains were gunpowder,
	There wouln't be enough,
	To blow his nose!"

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