Re: Colonize Atlantis!

Anders Sandberg (
05 Mar 1999 17:18:48 +0100

"Billy Brown" <> writes:

> A possible antagonist:

Thanks! This is exactly the stuff I was looking for. Of course, at the time the scenario takes place this is old history, but it will definitely have added some style to the setting ("You're just an Ericsson, keeping those poor asimoved AIs locked in!").

It is fun coming up with all the groups that would colonize or emerge on a planet like Atlantis. One of the favorites are the Rand monks up in the mountains, and another is TRI - Transhuman Research Institute. In 2350, they are the largest competitor to the University of Galt's Gulch.

> I assume that mass will be at a premium on the colony ships, but robotics
> are good enough to make it feasible for a few thousand people to set up some
> kind of civilization. I also assume that the colonists are in cold sleep
> (so they live long enough to benifit from their plans).


> So, we start with a rich guy on Earth who sees this as a chance to set
> himself up in style. He hires a small security team and pays for their
> passage, with the announced intention of forming a PPL provider on Atlantis.
> He also takes along medical equipment (including cloning gear), a small
> medical team (including a geneticists or two), a couple of teachers, and a
> large library of genetic material.
> On Atlantis they operate a clinic and a PPL service to stay afloat in the
> short term. The PPL's rules take the concept of self-ownership to its
> logical extreme: signatories have the legal right to sell themselves, either
> permanently or into indentured servitude. It also provides that children
> are covered by their parent's PPL service until age 16.
> In the nice version of the scheme, he grows lots of clones, educates them,
> and puts them to work building the colony. They are all employees of his
> company, and get paid just like anyone else. In theory they have the right
> to quit, and to sign up with another PPL, but ordinary social factors will
> ensure there is a strong bias in favor of staying put.
> In the unpleasant version, he grows lots of clones, educates them, and bills
> them for services rendered. A 'company town' scheme ensures that they are
> stuck in indentured servitude their whole lives. This gives his company a
> cheap, fast-growing labor force, which is a significant competitive
> advantage. The clones can't escape unless some other PPL service decides to
> make a concerted effort to give them the opportunity - which may not happen
> for quite some time in a frontier setting.

Interesting. I think that this is unstable in the long run, and quite possible not very economic. Cloning takes just as long as norma birth, so it will take a while. It all depends on whether the clones can provide enough revenue, and of course how much the rest of Atlantis will trade with him - he might simply be boycotted by most others. Not to mention what happens when the company town is influenced by ideas from the rest of the planet. But regardless of that, this character would have made an impression on the colony for good or ill, and that is what interests me.

More suggestions?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y