One Finite Planet

Lessons from SciFi: Future Expansion

By Monomorphic at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Elvis using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4353656The actor Morgan Freeman has declared he is determined to produce a movie based on the novel ‘Rendevous with Rama’ by Arthur C Clarke.  Great Sci-Fi writers like Clarke are renown for their insights in to the possible future and this novel is no exception.  After again reading this novel I realised the insights into possible future with regard to the human population is extremely thought provoking.

The bottom line is that the full analysis is that this solar system does cannot offer a lot of accommodation for human beings beyond earth.

There are four rocky planets. Earth is already occupied, Venus is a superheated hell completely and it is beyond even Clarke’s imagination that it could be made habitable. In the universe of ‘Rama’ a 100,000 humans can live on a the small most hospitable area of Mercury but really Mars is the best possibility.  Without Earth’s magnetic shield the Radiation the radiation is a killer, average surface temperatures on even in summer at the equator have a daily minimum of -70 degrees, there is no oxygen and at Mars atmospheric pressure water boils at only 10 degrees above freezing.

That leaves moons.  Arthur C Clark has people living on the larger moons from Earth’s moon all the way out to Triton (a moon of Neptune). Still, even in the wildest dreams of science fiction,  all these colonies combined have a population insignificant compared to Earth.

During the 2oth century, the population of Earth more than tripled.  There is simple nothing even close to the equivalent of even one more Earth of space in this solar system in our wildest dreams.  The scope to repeat the 20th century is a far greater challenge.

The lesson here is that to find real room for expansion, humans will either have to construct their own planets, or live inside planets/moons,  or that ultimate dream, travel to planets around other stars.  All of these bring many complex questions, but the clear fact is that finding significantly more real room for expansion in term of where we can live, is very far in the future.

 

 

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Ghost cities and ghost homes: housing finance crisis?

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”

Attributed to Kenneth Boulding in: United States. Congress. House (1973) 

This applies to not just to population growth, but just maybe also to the growth in value of housing.

This page is a look at ‘ghost cities’ and ‘ghost homes’, and the window they provide into how distorted investment can become in the pursuit of growth.

The end result of the distortions can be overvalued assets funded by highly leveraged ordinary citizens. If that is the case, not just with ghost cities but beyond, the correction will clearly present a financial crisis.

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Can Peter Dutton repair the democracy ‘loyal opposition’.

Democracy is under threat, and a significant part of the problem stems for the distortion of the current model of ‘opposition’. While the politics of division and polarisation of the USA Trump republicans vs Biden democrats attracts most attention on the world stage right now, what happens in Australia following the recent election which saw democracy strike back (page coming soon), has the potential to provide the world with an alternate blueprint for the role of the opposition party, which could reinvigorate democracy and spread to the US and elsewhere.

Is there an alternative to the current Republicans vs Democrats style, where ‘opposition’ is about each party demonising the other?

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the surprises hiding in life expectancy numbers.

The main surprise is that life expectancy reveals very little about how long people typically live. From the 1500s till around 1800, life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 30 and 40 years of age, and it was only as recent as the 20th century, that life expectancy rose from 49.2 to 80.3 years. Yet famous historical figures from 2,000 years ago, typically lived to around 70 or longer.

Looking far back as we can know, a full lifespan has always been around 70 years or longer. The biggest change has not the length of a human lifespan, but instead, the dramatic increase in percentage of people who get to enjoy that lifespan. How ancient people lived was nothing like life expectancy suggests, and we have not yet extended lifespans to the extent you may think.

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Exploring The Roles Of Employment In Society.

This is an an examination of the roles of employment in society. This a reference page as background to deeper explorations on the impact or robotics, the arguments for a ‘living wage’ or basic income, and other topics.

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