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#1 2002-03-19 21:02:42

Alexander Sheppard
Member
Registered: 2001-09-23
Posts: 178

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

I would like to make the following comments on Zubrin's idea of the social effects of the frontier.

1. It is fraught with illusions and a general misconception of the real powers behind the American frontier, although makes some points which are at least partially true, such as the frontier being an inspiration to freedom

2. It is correct to say that Mars will give humanity a chance at starting a new, better system, but seems to miss the point that whether this occurs or not is wholly dependent on who colonizes Mars and for what purpose

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#2 2002-03-20 08:24:54

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

1. It is fraught with illusions and a general misconception of the real powers behind the American frontier, although makes some points which are at least partially true, such as the frontier being an inspiration to freedom[/quote:post_uid0]

What are the real powers behind the American Fronteir?

How was the American Fronteir an inspiration to freedom?

How is Mars similar?

2. It is correct to say that Mars will give humanity a chance at starting a new, better system, but seems to miss the point that whether this   occurs or not is wholly dependent on who colonizes Mars and for what purpose[/quote:post_uid0]

You seem to contradict yourself, you state that fronteir provies the opportunity for people to pursue freedom in a very real sense- however, you state that this "freedom" will only be achieved by certain people (you state it is DEPENDANT on who colonizes...).  Who do you see as starting a new, better system- a certain nation, or a certain race, or a type of person?

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#3 2002-03-20 19:21:36

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

I think Alex makes some good points.  I've had trouble myself with the comparison between Mars and the American Frontier.
For one, the romance of the American Frontier was its lawlessness and rugged individualism.  Unless the Anarchists
colonize Mars, I can't see either being the case on a Mars base.  At least at first, people will be closely huddled together and watchable and dependent on each other.  They may not be free to do as they please either economically or personally
just because of the difficulty of surviving on Mars.  But I hope I'm wrong and I probably am.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#4 2002-03-21 03:40:34

AndyM
Member
Registered: 2002-02-20
Posts: 15

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

Isn't it a shame how Hollywood has completely miscolored our perception of the American frontier. No doubt there were certain rugged individuals who lived in lawlessness, but by far the majority were "huddled together and dependent on each other". They might have been free in theory, but in practice their freedom was severely limited by their need for survival.

The case will be the same for Mars for a significant amount of time when resources will have to be supplied from Earth. This will necessitate a very strict society, where resources are rationalized. This doesn't have to be the result of a strict ruling body (government) but rather a natural result of their behaviour and need for survival.

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#5 2002-03-23 20:18:31

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

I think AndyM is right. And I think Dr. Zubrin is largely correct, too.
   Life here on Earth, for at least most of us in the developed world, is relatively safe and uninspiring. And it's mentally and spiritually stultifying to think that almost anywhere you go, you can buy a coke and a hamburger and watch CNN!
   Just knowing that out there somewhere, there are people facing hostile conditions and exploring places where nobody has ever been before, is enough to lift that feeling of bored pointlessness. And, as in the case of the Wild West which was glamourised beyond recognition by east coast journalists, the  Martian frontier will also attain a mythical significance in the minds of Earth-bound "stay-at-homes". But it won't matter that the dream exceeds the reality; it will be enough just to have the dream.
   That's what's wrong with us right now: We don't have a dream.
                                          smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#6 2002-03-24 11:16:41

Alexander Sheppard
Member
Registered: 2001-09-23
Posts: 178

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

You know what, I'm sick of this. I'm sick of constantly comparing the American frontier to the Martian frontier. They may share some qualities, but so do China and America, and they aren't exactly the same. I think this is all ridiculous. In two words, I quit.

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#7 2002-03-28 22:08:57

rgcarnes
Banned
From: In the country near Rolla Miss
Registered: 2002-02-04
Posts: 111

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

Just a brief comment, believing it's appropriate to the present turn of the topic.

If the meek inherit the earth, where do all the bold go?

Rex G. Carnes


Rex G. Carnes

If the Meek Inherit the Earth, Where Do All the Bold Go?

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#8 2002-06-01 23:08:31

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

Phobos wrote:  "I think Alex makes some good points.  I've had trouble myself with the comparison between Mars and the American Frontier.  For one, the romance of the American Frontier was its lawlessness and rugged individualism.  Unless the Anarchists colonize Mars, I can't see either being the case on a Mars base.  At least at first, people will be closely huddled together and watchable and dependent on each other.  They may not be free to do as they please either economically or personally just because of the difficulty of surviving on Mars.  But I hope I'm wrong and I probably am.

*I sincerely hope I'm way off-base on this one, but the word Corporations keep coming to mind in reading this thread.  Sure, there were trade companies pulling strings and investing in the exploration and settlement of the Americas...but they were feeble and puny in power, prestige, and wealth in comparison to today's Corporations -- even for their own time.

I can't help but wonder how much of what-who-where-when-how regarding Mars is going to be decided by Corporate big shots and investors.  Perhaps (and I use that word VERY carefully) this is not an *entirely* bad scenario...but it's not going to exactly be like "packin' yer duds an' headin' down the Oregon trail, pilgrim."  I think it's "a given" that if Mars exploration and colonization is funded mostly or solely through corporate sponsorship, the colonists may find themselves obligated -- or made to feel obligated -- to the powers that be.

I'm for as much NON-corporation involvement as possible.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#9 2002-06-02 14:36:01

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

I can't help but wonder how much of what-who-where-when-how regarding Mars is going to be decided by Corporate big shots and investors.  Perhaps (and I use that word VERY carefully) this is not an *entirely* bad scenario...but it's not going to exactly be like "packin' yer duds an' headin' down the Oregon trail, pilgrim."  I think it's "a given" that if Mars exploration and colonization is funded mostly or solely through corporate sponsorship, the colonists may find themselves obligated -- or made to feel obligated -- to the powers that be.

I'm for as much NON-corporation involvement as possible.[/quote:post_uid0]

I'd be just as wary of government involvement as I would be of corporate involvement.  It really depends on whose pulling the strings.  I'm not sure, for instance, If I'd pick to live in a colony that's controlled by a dictatorial government on Earth or one that's merely controlled by some upstart corporation.  I think you just have to be careful of who has power over the colony.  After all, politicians can be just as rutheless and fanatical in holding power as corporate officers are of maintaining their profits.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#10 2002-06-03 02:56:15

A.J.Armitage
Member
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 239

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

[i:post_uid0]I'd be just as wary of government involvement as I would be of corporate involvement.[/i:post_uid0]

Well, who else is there to fund it, besides governments and corporations?


Human: the other red meat.

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#11 2002-06-16 01:55:49

Ares
Member
Registered: 2002-06-12
Posts: 12
Website

Re: Zubrin's claims about the frontier

[i:post_uid0]I'd be just as wary of government involvement as I would be of corporate involvement.[/i:post_uid0]

Well, who else is there to fund it, besides governments and corporations?[/quote:post_uid0]
The People.  Seriously, enough people deciding to fund Humanity's future, and the cost to each would be minimal.  All contributers obviously wouldn't be able to go in the first wave, but I for one would be willing to give a little to open up a new frontier.
After all, I would expect that once the frontier is opened up by that first group, the cost of access would go down for further groups as more attention is turned to the technology needed.  The same sort of thing that happens with electronic products would apply to a lesser extent to Mars -- familiarity breeds economy.


A non-profit effort to establish  The Ares Concordant
a permanent, human colony     info@aresconcordant.org
on Mars.                                 www.aresconcordant.org

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