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mark211Design your own space colony!2015-07-19 09:48:01
mark211I invite you to imagine that somewhere out there in the vast depths of the cosmos is a habitable, very Earth-like planet and that you - yes, you dear QM reader - are completely free to choose the kind of society you wish to be there. But first a few details ...2015-07-19 09:50:18
mark211... the planet you are about to settle on has something of the climate and landscape of Canada - vast swathes of virgin forest, mountains, rivers streams etc. with hot summers but deep cold winters. The fauna are largely recognisable equivalents to those on Earth - wolves, dogs, horses, elk, deer etc. but there are no life forms with an intelligence on a par with human beings. You arrive at the head of a community of 2,000 people. You have modern machinery and technology from your ship, but as yet there are no houses, farms, cattle or anything similar - just the tents you brought with you. So then, that's the set up - what kind of world do you want this one to be? 2015-07-19 09:55:15
r.tornellooops, snowball planet all of a sudden, all gone!2015-07-20 05:56:33
mark211I see you're an optimist ; - )2015-07-20 16:44:30
r.tornellono pizza, no pasta, screw it says the population, they leave for NY.

You talk to wolves

you eat the supplies. You have no love life,

It scucks

You go to Camden New Jersey, another form of Hell

2015-07-20 19:02:40
Pippin91Interesting setup, Mark! My initial thoughts are that the first generation will have to deal almost exclusively with survival issues - what edible plants grow in this environment? Which of the fauna might we domesticate? What materials are available to build sturdier structures to survive the brutal winters? Where are sources of fuel to drive the modern machinery, etc etc. So, the society would be cooperative, perhaps organized like the New England town hall model. But with 2000 people, factions are bound to develop. Most probably there will be breakaway groups going off to do their own thing within a few years. These are human beings we're talking about, after all! So to answer your question directly, the society will have to be highly pragmatic, focused on survival goals, and cooperative, or they will all surely die. The other possibility is that they are like Pilgrims or the various utopian societies of 19th century America. In that case they'd arrive with a common purpose or religion, and they would probably be organized on a religious model with the church being the center of life and religious leaders also being political leaders - at least at first. Religion could be used not only to hold people together but to keep discipline. In fact, if I were a leader of such an expedition, I'd try to establish some religion or guiding set of principles depending on the makeup of the 2000. Without that, the group would splinter rapidly and probably all die.2015-07-21 06:58:32
r.tornellohere's and even better idea: Forced migration as in a penal colony, you know like early North America and Australia. There would be no way to escape and you wouldn't have the problem of it becoming an independent nation or planet. Just make sure there are natural resources that the mother planet requires so as to make the colony productive in a profitable manner. Keep the technology allowed on the colony to a low tech level and, ta da!!!... two birds with one stone, rid the population of undesirables, and resources for the mother planet. 2015-07-21 09:29:01
r.tornelloOn a totally different note not completely related to the subject proposed, I read the news paper most every day, both the NY Times and The Washington Post, the internet BBC and a variety of other news Sources RT, Chinese News,news from Japan, and more.

One thing that strikes me: why would any Civilized Planet ever want to contact this mad house? Seriously folks, this planet is an insane asylum. We still kill people for witchcraft, mythological deities, philosophical certitude, and more.

It's all so stupid. maybe as we over populate the planet there is an internal mechanism that makes us even more devolved and insane so that the possibility of mass destruction or at least a drastic reduction in population resource demand occurs, whether by war or microbial infection, and is the end result.

I've been on the planet 65+ years and I see no changes, only better ways to do it. I'm waiting for the mother ship.

2015-07-21 09:47:47
Ironspider"CROATOAN"... But on a more serious note - I read an interesting journal article many years ago that suggested a process whereby a small colony would evolve through a number of stages into a stable society. I was interested as I was working on a new world setting and wanted to fill-in some backstory for the settlement process. I can't remember the details, but it posited that a small group would go through a number of distinct changes - equating to the upgrading of their technology and ability to produce food with an increasing crop yield - that would enable a stable societal structure to form. However, this was a good few years ago and it didn't address the idea of having advanced technology available from the get-go. My personal opinion is that the societal fracturing suggested by Pippin91 would probably occur, unless the settlers were from an existing society that consistently acted toward a single purpose. Also, you'd need to employ a stringent process to weed-out psychologically impaired individuals, otherwise the colony could find itself prey to an individual whose instability was exacerbated by the seclusion of the new world and the knowledge that there was no going back... Which was the plot I was working on at the time!2015-07-22 00:39:25
Michele DutcherThis is almost too large a question to answer. The number of people is too large. 2000. 2015-07-23 11:23:00
micheledutcherSorry, had to step away. With 2000 people it's almost impossible to feed them without having a complete colony with farming capabilities. Of course you could have them in hibernation and then send down 20 at a time - waking up the next group annually. That could also be a good way to insure that any danger was reported and could be countered by the next group going down. It would take 100 years for the complete group to get onto the planet, but that wouldn't be unthinkable. At some point the ones on the ground might want to be the 'last settlers' and might attempt to cut the cord by sabotaging the ship - so the others continued to sleep. but surely it would be a one way ticket. Sorry - I can't set up a colony - I can't even get everyone on the ground without some mutiny occurring. 2015-07-23 11:54:17
IronspiderAs part of a background for a deep space series I've been working on, I've addressed the concept of colonisation. My take is that you'd need staged phases, that go from an initial ground-breaking stage where the basic infrastructure is put in place, through numerous expansions phases until the 'first settlers' are all in place. As has been mentioned, you'd need an altruistic bunch to do all of the really hard work, to make the place habitable for the rest. Assuming terran plants would grow in the new biosphere, how long before your fledgeling colony is self-sufficient? Would you take any livestock? Can they digest the native flora? It was thinking through some of these basic questions that threw up one obvious plot and led me to think of several others. And then there's the initial scientific proving study to be considered...2015-07-24 00:11:21

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