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Re: Colony Critical Mass

From: Binhan Lin <Binhan.Lin@U...>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 15:57:32 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Colony Critical Mass

On Wed, 19 Nov 1997, Tony Wilkinson wrote:

> At 11:47 PM 11/13/97 -0500, you wrote:
> >I guess one of the critical points is "What tech level are you
> >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 of
> 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
> 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.

One problem with the Aborigine example as a minimum size is that the
aborigines of any locale have already adapted to their environment and
working in harmony with it.  Another question is what kind of technology
could you sustain with a community of 100-200 people?  Unless there is
some way to transmit college or technical information to the community
is too difficult to maintain a technical data base and skills needed to
maintain fusion reactors/computers/vehicles/cell phones etc.  Are
colonists willing to do away with electricity, communication, and
time?  The type of colony will determine if the colonists are willing to
do that.  Frontier types are going to colonize because they want to be
there.	They want the challenge of homesteading / freedom of lots of
space.	Penal colonies will have lots of unwilling people who will do
they have to to survive, not because they want to be there.  BuReLoc
colonists will be similar to penal colonies but will probably have even
fewer skills than colonists found in the penal colonies.
	The other extreme might be a high tech society that can afford
drop entire floating cities into the seas with an instant population of
100,000 per city.  This could be rapidly expanded a la Millenium Society
plan - Using electrolysis and conducting mesh to make "seacrete"
blocks for additional cities.  Metals are extracted from sea water and
power is derived either from fusion plants or Ocean Thermal converters.
>From the ocean bases expansion into land areas could then progress with
large technology and industrial foundation in place.  Additional
of colonists would be integrated into existing cities and old timers
get to populate the newer cities.  

Some ideas,


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