Author Topic: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home  (Read 9529 times)

Offline blasphemer

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #20 on: 05/08/2017 08:33 AM »

No extinction event could render Earth less habitable than Mars or other places in the solar system.

So even if one believes the doomsday cultists (which I don't, I think they're all bonkers), it's no argument for colonizing the solar system.

Sun turning into a red giant certainly will. In the long term (more than a billion years), Earth is doomed and space is the only way for humanity (and life in general) to survive.

And in order to colonize space, we need to have an advanced technological society. Merely surviving on Earth is not enough, or it will be our tomb. Now, can you guarantee that current advanced technological society on Earth will be a norm, and not just a temporary exception? You cannot. Therefore we should seize the opportunity while it lasts and attempt to expand into space now, since we may not get another chance.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2017 08:35 AM by blasphemer »

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #21 on: 05/08/2017 08:46 AM »

No extinction event could render Earth less habitable than Mars or other places in the solar system.

So even if one believes the doomsday cultists (which I don't, I think they're all bonkers), it's no argument for colonizing the solar system.
But could it render the Earth less inhabited than Mars?

Or, a reasonably common Sci-Fi theme: Something happens on Earth like a nuclear war or a biological agent which destroys the level of technology people on Earth have. A few billion people survive in poverty as global supply chains collapse.

People from Moon / Mars / L5 colony keep technology and civilisation and get Earth back up and running again.

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #22 on: 05/08/2017 08:51 AM »
The other point that could be driving Hawking's concerns:

Civilisations have to expand or stagnate and contract. We see this with many "Empires".

If "Earth" stagnates, with a rising population, and declining living standards, it could lose the ability to expand and colonise other places. Especially if falling living standards are reinforced with the occasional small nuclear war.

It's perhaps a Dystopian view. The kinds of societies we see in many sci-fi movies could not support space travel, let alone colonisation. 

Offline IRobot

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #23 on: 05/08/2017 09:13 AM »

Actually Siberia is better than Mars because it is warmer and ACTUALLY HAS OXYGEN. 

I read some of the comments in the WP article.  Best comment was (paraphrased): why attempt to create a whole  new world so very far away... just clean up what you've got.  Can't take this article any further than just trying to sell a newspaper for a day.
Space exploration will be mostly decided by economic reasons. And later for ecological reasons. At some point, asteroid or even perhaps Mars mining will be much more profitable and eco-friendly than extracting materials on Earth.

Same thing happened in the oil industry. When cheap oil was not enough, oil companies just spent billions into offshore drilling.


 why attempt to create a whole  new world so very far away... just clean up what you've got.
Actually the easiest way to clean up Earth is to move mining and industrial production to space.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2017 09:13 AM by IRobot »

Offline Oli

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #24 on: 05/08/2017 10:30 AM »

The worst we can expect is massive climate change due to nuclear war or an impact event. E.g. a 8į drop in global temperature. That might kill billions, but it would still leave Earth infinitely more habitable than Mars.

a reasonably common Sci-Fi theme

The Fi in Sci-Fi stands for fiction. Most Sci-Fi is nonsense.

Offline mme

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #25 on: 05/08/2017 04:56 PM »

No extinction event could render Earth less habitable than Mars or other places in the solar system.

So even if one believes the doomsday cultists (which I don't, I think they're all bonkers), it's no argument for colonizing the solar system.
This is a non-sequitor.  An asteroid strike on Earth could result in the deaths of billions of people and the collapse of our technological society. Maybe we survive as a species, maybe we don't. Maybe we eventually rebuild to our current state of an "almost spacefaring" species, maybe we don't.

Less habitable is irrelevant as long they are self-sufficient. This isn't about the ability to host microbial life or having an atmosphere, it's about maintaining knowledge and capability.

The total collapse of modern civilization is unlikely but not impossible.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Oli

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #26 on: 05/08/2017 06:21 PM »
Less habitable is irrelevant as long they are self-sufficient. This isn't about the ability to host microbial life or having an atmosphere, it's about maintaining knowledge and capability.

That makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to maintain "knowledge and capability", build bunkers and data vaults here on Earth, it's infinitely cheaper.

Offline mme

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #27 on: 05/08/2017 08:14 PM »
Less habitable is irrelevant as long they are self-sufficient. This isn't about the ability to host microbial life or having an atmosphere, it's about maintaining knowledge and capability.

That makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to maintain "knowledge and capability", build bunkers and data vaults here on Earth, it's infinitely cheaper.
Maybe.

A pre-existing self-sufficient "colony" on Earth that can handle all potential eventualities (including nuclear fallout, biological weapon, extinction of large photosynthesizing species and all animals larger than a mouse do to an asteroid or mega-volcanos, etc?) And of course armed to fight off any "unwelcome" survivors needing food, shelter, medical supplies, etc. Do people live there before the unexpected disaster occurs? How do they get there after? Seems pretty difficult and expensive build.

I think self-sufficient colonies off of Earth, created for other reasons, are more likely to occur than a survivalist Earth based bunker/colony that actually works. Off world colonies will be motivated to be self-sufficient for basic survival and for financial reasons.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2017 08:15 PM by mme »
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline bad_astra

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #28 on: 05/08/2017 11:06 PM »
but it would still leave Earth infinitely more habitable than Mars.


We don't need gravity wells to settle the solar system. If anything they seem to be an idea that keeps getting in the way of getting started.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #29 on: 05/09/2017 01:44 AM »
@QuantumG:  you have to see the movie "They Live".  Best line in the entire history of Hollywood.... "I've come here to chew bubblegum, and kick buttocks.  And I'm all out of bubblegum".  People could see aliens with the right pair of glasses.

Ya don't say.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #30 on: 05/09/2017 01:44 AM »
That makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to maintain "knowledge and capability", build bunkers and data vaults here on Earth, it's infinitely cheaper.

We're not doing that either.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline tdperk

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #31 on: 05/10/2017 12:17 AM »
The official score is:
   Earth surviving an apocalypse: 5
   Species visiting Earth seeking refuge from their own apocalypse: 0

Well, that we know of.

Offline tdperk

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #32 on: 05/10/2017 12:17 AM »
That makes no sense whatsoever. If you want to maintain "knowledge and capability", build bunkers and data vaults here on Earth, it's infinitely cheaper.

We're not doing that either.

Where'd you get that idea?

Offline tdperk

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #33 on: 05/10/2017 12:22 AM »
Large scale manufacturing in space is pure fantasy.  There are red herrings such as the supercollider and bridges to nowhere.  Total buttered unicorn fantasy.  The funding to do this is better spent on Earth. 

Think about it from an economic perspective.  A venture capitalist puts their largess down on a facility with an expectation of a return on inestment near 7x the original investment.  Net present value is buried below zero.  It's a no go.

For taxpayers to fund this is immoral. 

The worlds economy is standardized off of oil, not precious metals such as gold/silver.

No, it's standardizing on watts, as stored in differing petrochemicals for now.  It will be standardized on watts beamed in from solar power satellites, precisely because of their ROI.


Taxpayers won't thank you if you were to prevent them from getting in on the "ground floor"*.

*I apologize for the pun, I could not resist.


Offline QuantumG

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #34 on: 05/10/2017 12:26 AM »
Where'd you get that idea?

It's not the 1950's anymore?

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline tdperk

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #35 on: 05/10/2017 12:31 AM »
I believe the leading contender for explaining the Fermi Paradox is that something/someones are very quiet, careful, deadly, and jealous--and they go around stomping on emerging civilizations prophylactically.

The next leading contender is that in our ability to observe space, we happen locally to be first.

Next leading explanation is that the fraction of a technological civilization's lifespan that is spent caring about such things and being observable to us is so short, that many have "ascended" and watch us no more interestedly than most people do fungi.

I do kind of hope it's that second one.

Anyone else feel impressed by "The Toolmaker Koan" by McLoughlin or "Star Child" by Hogan?
« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 12:44 AM by tdperk »

Offline tdperk

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #36 on: 05/10/2017 12:33 AM »
Where'd you get that idea?

It's not the 1950's anymore?

And what's your point?

Just from my library the better part of the industrial, chemical, and electronics industries could be re-created--and a book with a bullet-hole in it is still a book.  And there are a lot of libraries.  That leaves alone my machine shop and woodworking tools.  I believe the Wayback Machine is saving most of YouTube deep underground, as well as most of the rest of the Internet first surface.

There is the artic seed bank, and the like, the salt mines filled with records and data.

I'm not sure what you are looking for that you aren't seeing.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 12:36 AM by tdperk »

Offline kch

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #37 on: 05/10/2017 01:25 AM »

I believe the leading contender for explaining the Fermi Paradox is that something/someones are very quiet, careful, deadly, and jealous--and they go around stomping on emerging civilizations prophylactically.

"Pest Control", eh?  That might qualify as Community Service, in the wider view -- after all, we know what humans are like ... ;)

Offline DAZ

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #38 on: 05/10/2017 01:50 AM »
I believe the leading contender for explaining the Fermi Paradox is that something/someones are very quiet, careful, deadly, and jealous--and they go around stomping on emerging civilizations prophylactically.

The next leading contender is that in our ability to observe space, we happen locally to be first.

Next leading explanation is that the fraction of a technological civilization's lifespan that is spent caring about such things and being observable to us is so short, that many have "ascended" and watch us no more interestedly than most people do fungi.

I do kind of hope it's that second one.

Anyone else feel impressed by "The Toolmaker Koan" by McLoughlin or "Star Child" by Hogan?

There is speculation of dozens of possible answers to Fermiís Paradox.  Some of them are very wild and extreme while others are more pedestrian.  There are a few leading contenders for the more probable answers.

One of the leading contenders that are the more worrisome in this regard has to do with the unknowns.  Almost all the speculation about what could end an advanced technological civilization has to do with something that is foreseeable.  An asteroid strike, nuclear war, or some kind of self-induced environmental damage.  The problem with these kinds of scenarios that if you know about them then obviously there foreseeable and being foreseeable this said civilization shouldíve avoided the problem.  So this implies that whatever caused the end of this civilization must not have been foreseeable and thus unknown and unknowable.  We could speculate on what it is that tends to make it unknowable and thus unavoidable.  For example, you could say it was the rise of AI or the creation of some biological agent through advances in CRISPR technology but again this would seem to be foreseeable.  So maybe there is something about the rise of a technologically advanced civilization that un-foreseeably creates its own end.

This is one of the more worrisome possible scenarios but there is another possible scenario that I personally subscribe to as being more probable.  These advanced technological civilizations just naturally go quiet through advancements in their technology.

The scenario goes something like this.  They advanced technologically to the point where they can generate radio waves.  These 1st radio systems are things like CW, AM, FM, and pulsed radar.  These 1st radio systems are loud, noisy and easy to distinguish from the background noise.  But even being easy to distinguish it has been calculated that detecting these broadcasts out past about 40 to 50 light years would be difficult.  Even using large mile diameter antennas, you would still need to be pointing exactly at us to see us.

As we are advancing our radio technology the systems we are using to modulate the radio waves becomes much more wideband, broadband, and naturally, starts to resemble noise.  In addition, we are starting to using lower and lower powered systems.  When these legacy radio systems that we are using now fade away the range at which we may be detectable might be down to only a handful of light-years.  If other advanced technological civilizations follow a similar trend then there might be only a period of 100 to 200 years that these civilizations might be detectable at all.  So it might not be that the civilizations have a short lifespan, only that there is a short span of time that they can be readily and easily detected by the type of technology we are using.

If the answer to Fermiís Paradox is something along the lines of the 2nd scenario then we have nothing to worry about.  The problem is that we really donít know that the answer to the problem is not the 1st scenario.  If it is something like the 1st scenario then just spreading out to other habitats (whether self-created or not) might be enough to mitigate most of the possible bad scenarios.  Just by going into space we might find the answer(s) to any of these problems and never actually see the worst-case scenarios happen.  For example going into space gives us the technology to see and divert an incoming asteroid.  Learning how to create self-sustaining environments might help us save our existing environment.  If you look at the history of the colonization on our own planet most of the answers to our past problems were found due primarily to the colonization of these new locations.  It would seem most likely that the same thing would happen when we colonize these new locations as well.
 Others have suggested that we should stay on earth and concentrate on solving our present problems.  This could be a catch 22 that might be the 1st scenario.  That is if we stay and try to solve our present problems we quite likely would never develop the tools to solve these problems unless we do go out and colonize.

Ultimately, this space colonization is such a small infinitesimal expenditure of resources that it is an extremely cheap way to hedge our bets.  So colonizing space is where the smart money is.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Stephen Hawking Says: 100 Years to Find New Home
« Reply #39 on: 05/10/2017 03:34 AM »
The species != the whole population.

Personally, I think people who concern themselves with saving humanity need to find a new religion, but let's not misconstrue what they're saying.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

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