RE: Humans doomed without space colonies, says Hawking

From: Colin Hales (
Date: Tue Oct 16 2001 - 17:30:59 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> In a message dated 10/16/2001 1:30:16 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:

> Colin >>
> 4 Cheers for space colonization, Colin. Although there are
> several bright people who see human space colonization as merely "moving
> apes into space" and see uploaded, posthumans as a more reasonable
approach. I see the 21st
> century personality/memory upload as a technological wildcard. This
> will almost certainly happen but happen later, in my view.
> So where to set up shop, Mars or the Asteroid Belt, L-5
> Colonies, or the
> Moon? How will be fund this? Can we get better technology,
> quickly enough to make a difference in the human condition?

At this stage I see it as an insurance policy with an attendant marketing
excercise. Heads have to be faced to the sky and know that's where we're
headed. I, too, do not believe that the creatures that head from Earth to
the stars will be humans as they are now. We're just too flimsy.
Innappropriate packaging. The journeys should be as natural as a walk in the
park to us future humans. Either that or the packaging should be
disposable/renewable. By the 'near vicinity' I regard as earth

Meanwhile what has to happen, I believe, is that the present mindset of
regarding the exploration and habitation of our near vicinity as *optional*
when it comes to budget time, be eliminated. We could do with a little less
military and a little more focus on making access to space easy across a
range of fronts. From basic research to aerospace vehicle production. Here
in OZ, for example, we have a perfect place -and a history(woomera)- for
this kind of development - what happens? Beancounters and Lawyers and other
historians sail the ship of state towards a shopkeeper culture. This is
changing as the old guard die off - not quickly enough, however.

Perhaps I should have classified urgency - I mean 'generational' urgency.
Not geological urgency or car crash urgency. It is up to people like those
in this group to publicise the need. The urgency, I believe, comes from
items (please add/detract, as I'm sure you will!) like:

1) We are overdue for serious vulcnism/tectonics events
2) We are overdue for a magnetic pole reversal.
3) We are about due for a medium sized asteroid/comet event.
4) We are about due for another ice age.
5) We exterminating species as if 1/3/4 were actually in progress.
6) We are messing with the environment/weather with unknown outcomes.
7) We are messing with DNA with unknown outcomes.
8) We are messing with our bacterial/viral environment with unknown

I am a optimist, I think the future will be an even more amazing place than
now. I am also a realist and pragmatic enough to know when insurance makes
sense. And that is now.


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