[FPSPACE] Colonization (was: MSR - That which kills...)
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 10 16:39:23 EDT 2005
From: Anatoly Zak <agzak at optonline.net>
>It is just natural thing to do. Colonization is not necessarily driven by
population growth. It might provide new economic and cultural opportunities,
or just a fresh start, no matter how crowded the Earth is.
Migration and colonization have happened for many reasons. Migration was often driven by a desire for better resources (the food ran out where they were).
Colonization, however, could happen simply because people wanted to flee persecution, or because they wanted better opportunities. An example of the former is the pilgrims, who came to North America. An example of the latter is the American expansion into the West.
Currently the people who seem to be most aggressive about space colonization have a strong individualistic/libertarian streak. They dislike current American society and they dream of going somewhere else to create their own, new society. They can be an ornery group, too--not easy to get along with. Then again, I read a recent account of the early pilgrims where somebody claimed that they were not very nice either. So it's not necessary to be polite to conquer a new world (in fact, it might be a drawback).
That said, I think that there is a great deal of wishfulness at work in these groups. They complain about conditions on earth and think that the solution is to colonize the solar system. However, they could easily improve their own situation on earth simply by moving. Go live somewhere where the government is not as oppressive or taxing or whatever bothers you. The fact that they don't indicates to me that their dreams of space colonization have more to do with fantasy than with a real desire for a better world. (Then again, fantasy has caused things to happen as well.)
> Over the history
of human civilization, people adapted to living in rather hostile places. We
just need technologies, which would make it feasible -- here is another
justification for manned space flight.
This is true. When someone claims that Mars is "too hostile" for colonization, one could point out that we could say the same thing about Europe 100,000 years ago. It was a pretty hostile place (darned cold in the winter) until people discovered fire and invented metal tool-making and farming.
More information about the FPSPACE