Re: from 6 billion to 500 million: how? (was RE: true abundance?)

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Wed Jan 31 2001 - 21:58:03 MST

> Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > Actually, the Mars Direct project could be accomplished by private
> > industry maybe not with Bill Gates wealth, but the wealth equivalent of
> > Microsoft. We could certainly do it with a mere 20% of the national
> > surplus of the coming decade, and leave a permanent presence.
> Samantha Atkins wrote: I agree. But this is a far cry from what was
> proposed by denis, which
> was to have Mars be a backup in case something happened to earth. The
> Mars direct approach would take decades to build up that kind of
> presence and civilization on Mars. - samantha

Of course. What I am proposing is not to reproduce earth civilization
on Mars. This is a long-after-nano kind of task. What I have in mind
is much more modest: preserving an example of earth-based life in
the event that Bill Joy is right: that we get nano and it gets away from
us and slays everything on the planet.

I personally believe that we will eventually get nanotech and it will not
kill us, but I could be wrong. Even if we do escape grey goo, there are
other threatening technologies that we will probably master but perhaps
not. We are a warlike species. There is a finite chance that we will
eventually wipe ourselves out. We need to get someone living on Mars
before nanotech and before the singularity and hope for the best.

We need not preserve civilization. It has been shown that civilization
can develop quickly. Ours did in a few 10 kiloyears, and most of the
real progress happened in the last couple hundred. It could do so
again if need be, but the species needed billions to evolve. spike

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