Re: from 6 billion to 500 million: how?

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Thu Feb 08 2001 - 00:51:04 MST

James Rogers wrote:
> On Wed, 07 Feb 2001, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> > Spike Jones wrote:
> > > As far as I can see, the first person who gets to Mars to stay
> > > owns Mars, all of it. Or at least as far as her gun can fire. Like
> > > it or hate it, Mars will eventually be converted entirely into
> > > private property, immune from hassle from the blue planet. spike
> >
> > It will take a while to build some guns once up there.
> It won't take long if someone actually tries. An AK-47 can be trivially
> manufactured with technology that was out of date when my grandfather was
> a soldier. A literal gun would be on the puny end of what could be
> manufactured in short order assuming some really basic fabrication
> capacity.

Guns are a luxury in this situation, relative to food, air, and water.
Once you land, you have some - unknown - amount of time before you have
to defend yourself. If you knew when the invaders would come and how
much firepower you would need to be rid of them, it would be most
profitable to wait as long as possible before making the guns, and then
only divert just enough of your resources to make the guns in time.
You don't have this knowledge, though, so you must guess - and the
better your guess (in terms of being able to defend yourself while
taking as little away from possible from your colony building), the
better off you'll be. Conversely, build nothing but guns, and you're
dead before the invaders even think you might be worth harassing.

Pluswhich, I'd rather take out the unwanted troops while they're still
in their transport. A rocket to shatter their vehicle, or at least
push it off course until it runs out of fuel, is so much cleaner and
safer than letting them get anywhere near their weapons' range.

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