Friday, May 27, 2016

Ignorance and nonsense

My stepdad had a saying [many actually] when he was alive...

"A wise man can learn even from fools".

Rand has called me a ignorant nonsensical fool when I asked him to name one thing we are ignorant of that would prevent us from colonizing mars. He named nine, eight of which I will respond to in other posts so I can concentrate on just the first: gravity.

Before I start I'd like to point out a few things. Rand claimed (and argued) that I said: "you said there is nothing we don’t know about colonizing Mars" What I actually said was, "Everything we need to colonize mars we’ve already done in other programs." Which is not the same thing at all. My position is there will always be things we are ignorant of until we are not, but that the things we don't know in no way prevents us from starting the colonization process, which will in turn lessen our ignorance. Perhaps there's a better way of saying that, but in no way am I discounting what we don't know. I'm saying we shouldn't ignore what we do know either. We're not exactly entirely clueless about mars. We've been sending landers there since the 70s (almost half a century!!!)

Do we need all the answers up front before we go? That would be impossible so the only reasonable answer is: no. So here's what Rand thinks prevents us from starting mars colonization...

"The long-term effects of partial gravity on human[s, animals and plants.]"

Of course we don't know the long term effects (until we do.) How does that prevent us from starting a mars colony? Humans have experienced long term zero g and had only minor problems (frankly less than my current medical problems, including some like those of zero g, which haven't stopped me.) Then he goes on to say...

"We have zero experience with conception or gestation in free fall, and we have zero experience with anything in Martian gravity."

That's only true of humans. We do have limited studies of other animals in zero g which is why we know gestation could be a problem but not conception. As for martian gravity, he is right so I ask the question again. How does that prevent us from going to mars and learning while starting a colony for others to follow? Can we just not conceive until we're ready?

We will always have questions. Are those questions barriers we dare not cross? Then Rand cuts with this...

"This sort of thing is why no one takes you seriously."

Taking somebody seriously is a choice. But here he presumes to speak for everybody.

I do speculate which is a reasonable thing to do when you only have some of the facts. There is a huge difference between zero g and some g. Some g makes some things possible that are not possible in zero g, even when the g force is tiny. Of course we may need to discover the threshold where some things go from impossible to possible or probable (which is usually more often the case.)

Just to make my position clear: "Mars gravity does not prevent us from starting the colonization process or prevent us from learning more by actually going." I believe this is self evident. Saying this is not true is ignorant. Foolish or nonsense is a subjective issue.

Colonists will have to earn a living

It seems I can no longer post at the space review {connection times out} so I will make my comment in this post.

So many good points brought up here, but I'd like to address only one...

Real colonists will have to earn a living somehow.

I can't see how you could disagree with this point, so let's consider it. Let me ask [what appears to be] a stupid question. How do people earn a living anywhere?

They provide products and/or services to others. Also important is each person serves a different market, some quite humble. So we don't have to imagine some silver bullet. Some will get along just fine providing their own special product/services to other colonists. Colonist will need things and will not do everything for themselves. They will specialize in what they do. Some of these might be big things like construction. Others may provide consumption goods like life support (food, water, oxygen, power, liquid methane, etc.) Food in particular will have no end of trade possibilities.

Where does the money come from to pay for these products and services?

A subset of the colonists will get their income from earth. What services?

Just go down the list of things people sell on earth that doesn't involve transportation of mass. Entertainment comes to mind. About one fifth of TV is reality show entertainment. This is paid for by commercial advertising which is completely independent of where production occurs. These reality 'stars' earn quite a bit more than the average salary which would be quite sufficient engine to power the entire local mars economy. This isn't even close to the only possibility.

People get substantial money for research. Do you suppose some martians would be in a unique position to be paid researchers? The research itself may be carried out on earth, such as we do now with rovers, but humans already on mars provide more capability at less cost for any new research that comes along.

I could do this all day long, but will not belabor the point. Martians don't have to invent some new way of making money. The existing ways will continue to work fine.

Monday, May 23, 2016

In a funk

Gotta snap out of it. I lost Sunday somewhere. Now three days 'til I have some money. Good news is my rent decreased by $31 and this month I will pay less due to over payment. Yaaay!. I've been nursing my last sixteen dollars for two weeks so today I think I'll spend it.

Rand has been more insulting than usual. Trump really seems to have affected him. It will be an interesting four year at Transterrestrial. I may be banned. I'll live should that happen. I have no TV or radio and would be fine without internet as well. There is just nothing new under the sun and it really is all just vanity. Rand would likely call king Solomon ignorant. I am so disappointed. I really like Rand. His gift is to gather such great people to his site. I think of them as friends but Rand may be right in calling me delusional with respect to that. Friends prove themselves.

Life goes on.

Update: I have $5 left. I couldn't make it into the store so I asked a stranger to go in for me. I was able to make it back to my apartment. So now I'll just spend a few days here resting.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Try, try again?

My Amazon order for Rand's book is overdue so I checked my email to find the order canceled. It seems the new card they sent me has not been activated??? I'll figure it out, but it is such a pain.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Will of the people

Isn't that a conservative principle?

Internet and the new apartment

The provider in this area, Frontier, says they can't provide service to my apartment. Apparently everybody in this building steals wifi from the senior center next door. When in Rome...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Anne Sorock

"Clinton is but a comparatively familiar veneer on a frothing, violent left that has completely departed from America’s values. Our American culture is now a fractured one, without the unifying appreciation for freedoms that used to connect us across shallower divides. We face coming generations, indoctrinated in the public-school and university systems, who seek radical, destructive revolution and dissolution of our national sovereignty. Reversing their gains begins with leadership that unapologetically declares that our American story is a good one, that our people’s sacrifices for freedom, for others, and for principle make our story different and worth cultivating anew. Any pundits who claim there is little difference between Trump and Clinton are wholly removed from what is occurring in America’s universities and schools, the tenor of what is happening in the protest movements, and the destructive aims of the left."
Makes sense to me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

SLS Unjustified

Thank you Hop.
it would take between 8 and 12 launches of an augmented SLS to get a fully fueled manned Mars vehicle into space and prepared for departure to Mars.
Only if they do it wrong. This is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 billion for a single mission. This is never going to happen since it would be following a much better plan.
Human missions to deep space destinations require large amounts of mass in LEO because we need to protect and preserve the lives of the crew, take all consumables and fuel for the journey, and carry the equipment and supporting machines needed to carry out the mission objectives.
No. We only need enough mass to get the job done. More mass is more cost. Most equipment should be sent ahead and waiting. Nothing need be stationed in LEO.
No existing commercial launch vehicle (nor any anticipated in the near future) has the launch capacity of the SLS.
The SLS doesn't have any launch capacity yet. Other vehicles with greater capacity could actually become reality sooner.
as no Falcon Heavy has yet to fly, we have no idea of what its cost would be.
$90m already published.
[FH] would consist of 27 engines, all of which must burn for the same duration and thrust level.
Not exactly. The central core, with crossfeed will burn longer and engine out is part of the design. The N-1 failures means nothing.
[The purpose of SLS] was to make sure that the vehicle would be built and to assure that our national capability in this area would not be lost.
You have just entered the spin zone! Translation, it's about old space jobs over new space jobs.
[SLS] exists and it will provide a capability that we can use to go back to the Moon and to the planets beyond.
No it doesn't exist. No it doesn't provide a capability without new equipment they haven't even started. Orion can only splash down on earth and perhaps not even then from some sources.

Dragon 2 exists and can land anywhere including on mars. FH is made from existing cores and will be flying soon. It has been delayed by other priorities but that situation has drawn to a close.

Zubrin reviews Spudis.