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Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:14 am
by SilverFeathers
Volair wrote:Cassini did find methane rivers and seas. Of course, Titan's actually a pretty dreadful place to colonize, except perhaps if you want hydrocarbons, which literally flow like water there. The atmosphere is not only freezing cold, but flooded with vapors that'd ignite on contact with any air humans could breathe. But with all that... churning around... one can't help but wonder... could some collection of chemicals have figured out how to live in such a place?


Well, there's life in Delaware... and Newark... and in the East River. So stranger things have happened. //]

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:17 pm
by Thilia
Cassini did find methane rivers and seas. Of course, Titan's actually a pretty dreadful place to colonize, except perhaps if you want hydrocarbons, which literally flow like water there. The atmosphere is not only freezing cold, but flooded with vapors that'd ignite on contact with any air humans could breathe. But with all that... churning around... one can't help but wonder... could some collection of chemicals have figured out how to live in such a place?


There is a body of science that believes this is EXACTLY how life first formed on the earth, which could easily have resembled Titan in those early days.

As we have discovered under the oceans, not all life on this planet requires oxygen. And despite what they taught many of us in school, petrochemicals exist throughout space. They don't have to be run through a dinosaur or fern, as Titan shows us.

So let's assume there's a buttload of petroleum on the earth at the start. Life can easily take energy directly from this goop without even using the sun. One byproduct of this kind of life cycle is oxygen. Little bits of it are exhaled by these early little lifeforms. Naturally, when enough of it gathers in one place, there's going to be an amazing and rather explosive reaction which will eat up more of the goop by setting it on fire. That releases more carbon dioxide, which doesn't burn. Eventually, there's a large enough pool of carbon dioxide that some lifeforms find it advantageous to use it in their life process. Maybe only a few of them, but probably enough that when their forebears have devoured most of the loose petroleum on the surface, they can continue to exist. And if some of those carbon dioxide users have processes sped up by sunlight rather then converting the petroleum, they're going to be in a good position to survive when the petroleum is mostly gone from the surface. And they might even be able to devour their petrol-based neighbors during the slow transition period.

All of this change in the life cycles is going to have a massive effect on the atmosphere. Free oxygen leads to not just fires, but other kinds of life forms that use oxygen. Since it's in the air, they don't have to wallow in a pool of goo to exchange it with their cells. And free carbon dioxide makes lower level plant life possible, similar to what we have to day. More life means more changes to the atmosphere and the surface of the planet. Eventually the methane and other noxious gases in the atmosphere give way to nitrogen and oxygen. And the planet eventually becomes hospitable enough for critters like us.

So I'm hoping to live long enough to see a nice life form evolve on Titan.

-Thilia

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:19 pm
by macksting
Wizard CaT wrote:Also, Venus has 100% cloud cover no? People might tend to go insane without seeing the sun.

Mitsukara wrote:I think people could adapt to a 100% cloud cover, but it would certainly bother some people when it was still a new thing. If it were plausible, I'm sure they'd take trips off the planet just to see the sun now and then.

Sun domes. From Bradbury's The Long Rain. Sorry, just came to mind.
I'm with Mitsukara. As a Willamette Valley person, I'm used to months without sun. Tacking on a few more months... Hell. I don't really even like sunlight. It's bright and unpleasant.

Quaeras wrote:Second, terraforming is unethical! We'd be polluting a planet that was never meant to have the types of life we'd be bringing. Tales abound of interplanetary contamination. We'd be imposing our presence on a planet that may have life we cannot detect- How long did it take us to find the deep-sea life we now know exists? How recent are the Hydrothermal vents that Alvin just discovered less than 25 years ago?

I hope you understand if I find it difficult to mind this. Many of these planets, if they have life, has small ecosystems which I'm not sure I could be paid to give a damn about except if I were specifically a xenobiologist or somesuch. Study for science, learn and explore, but if we can get off this rock and develop terraforming technologies, we might be able to bring those technologies home. And use them here.

Volair wrote:When Cassini launched in the 90's, I was paying attention. I waited for it to reach its destination. Truly. I WAITED.

And waited.

And WAITED.

I'm gratified to know I'm not the only one. I was also waiting tensely on Galileo. These were very long missions; Voyager is history to us, especially now that the receiver has been defunded, but I can only imagine the first few years waiting for those probes to hit Jupiter.

Anyway, so we don't settle Titan. We settle Mars and rocks. (Why rocks? Because they're more predictable than the weather patterns of Mars.)
Again, I can't care about the ethical issues if the colonization and terraforming process make the masses (and there will be masses, no exodus for us! We're too dumb for that) on Earth live better with their world.

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:35 pm
by Volair
macksting wrote:
Volair wrote:When Cassini launched in the 90's, I was paying attention. I waited for it to reach its destination. Truly. I WAITED.

And waited.

And WAITED.

I'm gratified to know I'm not the only one. I was also waiting tensely on Galileo. These were very long missions; Voyager is history to us, especially now that the receiver has been defunded, but I can only imagine the first few years waiting for those probes to hit Jupiter.

Anyway, so we don't settle Titan. We settle Mars and rocks. (Why rocks? Because they're more predictable than the weather patterns of Mars.)
Again, I can't care about the ethical issues if the colonization and terraforming process make the masses (and there will be masses, no exodus for us! We're too dumb for that) on Earth live better with their world.


Rocks are great places to live! You can find energy there (hydrogen, petroleum, etc), building materials (iron, silicon, carbon), and with a few bore holes they make cozy houses!

I actually can imagine a future where the Earth even DIES but mankind scrapes by on Mars and the Belt until we figure out how to put things right on Terra again. One neat thing we might try (given a few lucky hacks) is moving the Belt down into the "goldilocks" orbit or closer to get better solar power. Imagine! Rocky fortresses spinning around around the sun, hundreds, thousands of them, all inhabited by varying critters and beings, able to navigate between them as easily as one might go on a cross-country road trip!

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:17 am
by macksting
And all of us living in tiny cubicles of 5' x 5', spending most of our day in VR because that's where all the work gets done (safer than spacewalks, better for handling minute materials) and envying the next guy over because he his 5' x 5' room has better ventilators.
Meanwhile, the guys on top screw us over from their 6' x 6' cubicles, and we thank them for it because they're what protects us from the browner people in the next fortress over, and we all know they're wasteful and evil and greedy because we just know (we're told every day) they live in 6' x 6' cubicles every last one of them, and we should have those cubicles.

You'd think I'm not very hopeful about humanity or something.

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:06 pm
by SilverFeathers
*muttersulks....* I like my cubicle. It has pictures up and everything....

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:23 pm
by Mitsukara
If your whole life is VR, what does it matter how big your cubicle is, so long as it's not health-impairing?

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:36 pm
by SilverFeathers
Mitsukara wrote:If your whole life is VR, what does it matter how big your cubicle is, so long as it's not health-impairing?


Red pill, blue pill.... I want the pretty sunshine yellow one! YAY!

There is no spoon... but there is a spork. With which we may eat cake.

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:40 am
by Volair
SilverFeathers wrote:
Mitsukara wrote:If your whole life is VR, what does it matter how big your cubicle is, so long as it's not health-impairing?


Red pill, blue pill.... I want the pretty sunshine yellow one! YAY!

There is no spoon... but there is a spork. With which we may eat cake.


The cake has had an alarming tendency to be a lie.

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:44 am
by SilverFeathers
Volair wrote:
SilverFeathers wrote:
Mitsukara wrote:If your whole life is VR, what does it matter how big your cubicle is, so long as it's not health-impairing?


Red pill, blue pill.... I want the pretty sunshine yellow one! YAY!

There is no spoon... but there is a spork. With which we may eat cake.


The cake has had an alarming tendency to be a lie.


...does that mean it has no calories?

YAY! We can eat as much lie-cake as we want and never get too fat to fly!
C*

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:42 pm
by macksting
I imagine coming out of VR really would happen fairly often, and unpleasantly so as we step out to do our daily tasks, although the fams we would wear would allow us to appear to eachother any way we pleased.
It wouldn't be that bad, though, 'cause we'd have Pen Fields to keep us sane.
Want to enjoy a walk? Dial the pen field to "enjoy walks."
Want to enjoy sitting in a cubicle? Dial the pen field to "enjoy sitting."
Want to meditate? Dial the pen field to "meditate."
Want to stage a rebellion? Besides the fact that there's no dial setting for that, the pen fields are externally controlled, and the fams report back to a hub.

Oh yeah. What a great fun future.

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:43 pm
by Mitsukara
And when the power goes out..?

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:07 pm
by strange_person

Re: Mars vs. Venus

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:26 am
by macksting
See also Dean R. Koontz' "Wake Up To Thunder" (1973)
But when the power gives out, people do repairs in person, as must occasionally occur. However, this would have meant multiple failed backups, so if nothing conclusive or even implicative can be found in evidence, they'll have to have a witchhunt or start a war with the people on the other colony who have darker skin.

Of course, the Penfields will help significantly in stirring up that sentiment.