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The case for Autointerdiction.
(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: It's really hard for me to see how these points you believe you're making are relevant. I'm sorry if you think I haven't addressed them, but I don't know what addressing them would consist of when they have so little to do with what I was talking about.

To me they are quite obvious - it's unfortunate you don't see that.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: Yes. The question is not what people who believe there is a net positive to be gained would do. The question is whether anyone will believe that there is a net positive to be gained. This isn't 'dismissing' your argument. This is simply pointing out the logic that your argument implies. People will consider benefits. But if they consider the risk to be greater, they will not see a net benefit, and the colony effort will never exist.

Yes, this is true. However, you are jumping from this to the assumption that they will consider the possibility (possibly quite remote or long term) of negative consequences or outcomes to outweigh any possible benefits. Stating with any confidence what people even decades in the future will consider a positive or negative thing, or how they will weigh such things, let alone centuries in the future, is an iffy proposition at best.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: I can scarcely conceive of a colonization effort having a near-term, low-risk, concrete benefit. Colonization efforts take decades or a century of very high levels of commitment and investment, and run very high risks to the investment before they potentially become profitable.

That would depend on the circumstances under which the colony effort is being undertaken. If it is a matter of resource extraction or processing efforts, a colony effort could grow out of wanting to make bases or facilities self-sustaining to reduce costs, wanting to allow for workers to bring out their families so they are happier and therefore more productive, etc.

Or it could be an ideological thing about wanting to spread humanity around or 'out of the cradle' or whatnot. Or something we haven't even imagined yet.

As far as the level of effort involved, that would depend on the technology available at the time an actual colony effort begins or that is invented as the colony develops. High levels of automation for example could reduce the LOE, cost, and time frame required, considerably.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: The potential hazard on the other hand goes hand-in-hand with that risk of political independence and the difficulty of reliably extending the period of productivity before it happens. If a lot of effort goes into preserving the investment's value - ie, preventing the kind of political independence where the colonists stop sending you return-on-investment - then the struggle is likely to turn violent. And getting into a violent struggle while you're at the bottom of a large gravity well, with people who are not, is a losing proposition with enormous downside. Whereas spending less effort to preserve the investment's value amounts to abandoning the investment as a near-total loss.

You're making some major assumptions here:

1) that the colonists will want political independence (for interplanetary colonies - interstellar colonies would presumably be independent and then some from the get go) - which is not a given any more than individual states in the US all want to secede from the Union.

2) That the only path to independence involves warfare or the threat of same. There are examples of things not working that way - Canada comes to mind. For that matter US states are semi-independent in various ways yet are also part of a larger whole.

3) That the governments or investors in same must be 'at the bottom of a gravity well'. If the people sending out/creating the colonies are living in space habs then they are no more at the bottom of a gravity well than the colonists.

4) That the colonists will not be at the bottom of their own gravity well. Space habs or asteroid colonies would not be, but colonies on Mars, or in the gas giant systems are at the bottom or low end of a considerable gravity well in their own right.

5) That political independence automatically means economic independence. If the colony is providing resources or products to people back home (whether 'home' is on a planet or a hab or some combo of these) it is likely to be in the colony's interests (or possibly necessary to their continued survival) to have someone to sell their stuff to. Which means that blowing up potential markets would not be in their best interests.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: I believe that the situation is not at all similar. In the first place those governments did not exist at the bottom of a gravity well where they would be instantly destroyed by the simplest and easiest means the colonists could use to assert their independence.

So, what you are arguing is that:

a) if the colonists are treated as full citizens of whatever government sent them, they will be fine with committing mass genocide to gain independence.

b) They will be fine with killing all the friends and relatives that they presumably have still living back on Earth.

c) They will be fine with killing millions or billions of innocent people who have no argument with them and may have nothing to do with the countries or companies or whatever that sent the colonies in the first place.

d) That Earth can fairly quickly field the tech and resources to create independent and self-sufficient colonies elsewhere in the solar system that have the means to divert asteroids but that it can't detect or defend against a diverted asteroid.

Sorry, but these all seem more than a bit of a stretch to me.

You also seem to be making some assumptions about just what the colonists will be doing that makes whipping up a mass driver something they can do all that easily or would be doing anyway. While it's possible they might be doing that kind of thing, it's not a given. Asteroid mining/moving might as easily be an industrial process run by various companies/governments on Earth.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: It does in fact happen. But it very rarely gets a very large amount of resources invested in it.

And by the time we have the means to field interplanetary (let alone interstellar) colonies, it might take no more resources - comparatively speaking - then it took the Vikings or the various early colonial powers as a percentage of their overall economies.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: Worthy of note, those buildings were specifically designed to be able to take the impact of a 747 flown directly into them without collapsing. They did in fact consider that risk, and those buildings did in fact stand up to that impact with the loss of only a few floors worth of offices. The fact that they did not consider the effects of a full load of jet fuel on fire and melting the structural members was an oversight.

In this case you seem to be providing evidence in support of my position for me. Rather than suggesting that passenger jets should never be built or that the buildings should never be built, you instead describe efforts made to prevent or mitigate the results of a worst case scenario and then (when that scenario emerged anyway) further efforts to prevent a repeat - while still retaining the presumed benefits of both skyscrapers and the civilian air transportation system.

I see no reason why equivalent efforts of various sorts could not be made when it comes to the subject of interplanetary/interstellar colonization.

(01-22-2017, 05:30 AM)Bear Wrote: This is absurd. The risk is specifically the risk of a colony in rebellion. A colony in rebellion is a hostile power, by definition, or there would not be wars of independence. The bean-counters do not love the citizens of a hostile power as they do their own people. Did I really need to explain that?

At the time a colony is being planned or set up it is not a hostile power, but an extension of the parties doing the planning/setting up. Fellow citizens, basically.

Therefore, the simplest option would be to continue to treat said colonists as full citizens, including giving them representation in whatever government is in play. So the incentive to rebel is negligible. Beyond that, having some sort of peaceful mechanism for the colony to mostly run itself or eventually phase over to independence if it so desires could also be an option.


Messages In This Thread
The case for Autointerdiction. - by Bear - 01-17-2017, 07:01 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-17-2017, 07:50 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Bear - 01-17-2017, 02:36 PM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-17-2017, 03:26 PM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Bear - 01-18-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-18-2017, 12:33 PM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Bear - 01-22-2017, 05:30 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-22-2017, 07:42 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Bear - 01-18-2017, 06:42 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-22-2017, 02:36 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by selden - 01-22-2017, 07:19 AM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-22-2017, 12:56 PM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Bear - 01-22-2017, 05:04 PM
RE: The case for Autointerdiction. - by Drashner1 - 01-23-2017, 07:31 AM

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