Re: biological changes to make humans able to adapt to space
Sat, 4 Dec 1999 10:31:14 EST

In a message dated 12/4/99 9:20:24 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

> I'm giving strong consideration to submitting papers/talks to the

> Mars Society 2000 convention discussing nanotech applications for
> creating a Mars atmosphere, terraforming, nanomedical enhancements
> for explorers, etc. If I get to do a talk, I'd finish it up with
> something like -- "Now if we all work towards the ideas I've
> outlined it is likely that we could be implementing them during the
> 2020 to 2030 time frame, however that really makes no sense
> at all since the the time required to entirely disassemble Mars
> is on the order of 180 days, so by the time our colonization effort
> reached the planet, it is likely that it would no longer be there.

Having now been subscribed the Mars Society's "Law and Governance" mail list for a few months, I can predict a couple of things about the reception of your talk. First, most of the folks in the audience will be astonishingly ignorant of nanotech, so you'll be doing good work in introducing the basic concept. However, you should assume that you are starting from "square one" and that most of your audience will still be digesting the basic concept of an assembler when you're off and running about nanomedicine.

Second, talk of dismantling Mars will turn that group against you: Expect the "peasants storming Frankenstein's castle" reaction. The Mars Society is HEAVILY influenced by Kim Stanley Robinson's books (they are considered as a kind of scripture among the group's founders and activists) and there is a lot of "Martian Spirituality" talk amongst this crowd. I know it's hard for you, Robert :-), but PLEASE go easy with those folks

      Greg Burch     <>----<>
      Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know 
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another    
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                           -- Desmond Morris