Re: Right Stuff for the Red Planet

From: Emlyn (
Date: Thu Feb 17 2000 - 22:38:23 MST

Curt Adams wrote:
> In a message dated 2/17/00 0:53:21, wrote:
> >More to the point, can _unmodified_ humans breathe a heavy oxygen/heavy
> nitrogen
> >atmosphere without developing lung cancer, or asphyxiation, or similar
> >unpleasantness?
> Life in general uses more lighter elements; heavy elements have slower
> kinetics. E. coli does fine in heavy nitrogen, but Xenopus laevis (an
> frog) can't do its cortical rotation (an essential developmental process)
> in heavy water.

There's also a temperature problem with living on mars. Maybe people filled
with early generation nanotech to adjust for chemical problems with Martian
atmosphere might also stay warm from the additional heat output of the
little critters.

This thread brings to mind the question of people living in a gravity well.
Not my cup of tea particularly, but then I'd like to be built into a little
starfighter and zoom around fighting aliens, which is just soooo derivative
and unimaginative.

Roberts scenario (chop up the planets and make post-singularity stuff)
appears quite solid to me; there does seem to be a good argument that
nanotech will come before Mars colonies, either because Mars colonies
require nanotech, or because nanotech is easier and will come together more

People are people, however; not all of us will manage transhumanity
immediately. This means you need something familiar, to cushion the impact,
even when coming up with really funky solutions to problems like
overpopulation. Mars colony, while useful for redundancy (backing up
humanity) in the face of an uncertain nanotech future, doesn't seem viable
for easing over-population; it is more likely to be settled by a seed
population (not helping earth overpopulation at all), which would then
develop on its own.

Given nanotech, maybe we could just shrink everyone? Dissassemble, then
reassemble them really little (with attendant changes to anatomy - left as
an exercise for the reader). We could shrink all the biolife, just
reassemble it on a much smaller scale. Then hey-presto, we've got lots more
living space, and we minimize the impact on the confused and bewildered
(most everyone).

No-one mention uploading. How many suburbanites can you fit on the head of a

More on my recent reading: Stats from '96 said 90% of Americans believe in
God. Whatever. But the same surveys revealed that 70% believe in the Devil.
That's a worry.


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