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The Prime Directive - Or Not?

By 1stladytech ·
I have been enjoying the posts and discussions here, although I generally don't have time to add to the fray. So I thought that it might be interesting to see what you guys think about one of my favorite topics to discuss over a few beers in the backyard on a summers eve.

The setup is this: A planet has been found in a close galaxy (not ours) that has been determined habitable for humans. You have been selected to head the mission to that planet. As luck would have it, you have complete control over the type of mission that you want to accomplish. In this first part, we will focus on what it is that you are going to try to do when you arrive.

The constraints (you knew that there had to be some) are as follows:

This is a one way trip - no way to make it back again. Although you will be sending data back to good ol' earth so that we can learn what you find and do. Travel estimations are that it will take approximatly 35 years for your ship to arrive at the destination. Whether the crew members can be placed into suspended animation during the trip so as to not age has not been determined yet. Don't count on it.

You have to decide what it is that you want to do when you get there. Explore and document, but do not disturb. Explore and exploit for profit (assuming that space travel will improve so that round trips can take place). Colonize and setup for expansion of Earth culture and population, or something else that you think up.

This is the beginning, after we determine the mission, then we will begin on the crew makeup and everything else.

What about it? Do I have any adventurers that would like to take the challenge?


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by road-dog In reply to The Prime Directive - Or ...

If this is a one way trip, then immediate survival is the first concern. Survival science should occur in parallel with setting up defensible and climate resistant shelter for the initial party. Immediate threats are identified and countermeasures planned. Food is an immediate concern due to lag time in production, so agriculture is a priority, along with efforts to identify safe indiginous sources of nutrition.

After that, then exploration and documentation begin. If intelligent life is discovered, then diplomacy ensues. Should there be no competition for resources, the existing resources should be researched and exploited.

Obviously, the colony would need to move from the martial law and rigid command structure of the first arrival to a more democratic government for the long haul.

A smart colonial party would create a self sustaining colony with marketable products manufactured locally. With successive missions to follow, the colony may want a less colonial relationship with the home world, meaning that an independence plan should be thought out for when the home world wants to exert control over the new world.

I think of it as similar to the colonization of the Americas. We might want to avoid communism as was tried in the Plymouth colony, a little known fact about Thanksgiving.

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by Oldefar In reply to The Prime Directive - Or ...

Life is parasitic to whatever environment it is in, and rule one for any good parasite is to find the next host. To do otherwise is suicide for the species - your specie life expectancy cannot exceed that of the host.

So I go to colonize. However, I do not go with any expectation of a follow on group. Like a good planetary sneeze, I assume my team is it. No going back, nobody coming along later. For my team I want generalists from the most diverse gene pool possible. Who knows what traits will prove most important in generations to come?

I believe 200 is now viewed as the minimal size population for survival of a species. If suspended animation is not an option, then I am thinking children so that breeding is still an option when we arrive. Maybe a 10:1 ratio of babies to adults so that the real colonists (the kids) have a source of learning while enroute.

Forget about specialists. This being a one way and assumed one shot deal, all technology will have to be "home grown" from materials at the new planet. In America, the Indians were defeated by artifacts of a different culture which they could not create for them selves. Knowledge is something else. I want our math and our physics, our knowledge of medicine and biology, and our music. These need to be on plates of gold since I have no expectation that any electronic media will last or that other physical media won't deteriote over time. Thanks, but I think I will leave our politics and religion behind and see what develops.

As a 35 year trip, I think loss of communications with Earth will be appropriate about 2 years out. Since the trip is assumed as one way, there is no advantage in keeping ties with our old home.

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Here's my mix

by Oldefar In reply to Colonize

I am sticking with the one way, no return, and no expectation of a following ship.

My mix of 200, with a 10:1 ratio of children to adults, also holds. I am expecting a space generation born along the way, so I am starting below the 200. Eight adults, gender balanced. All recruited from educators. One PJ (para-rescue) with experience teaching survival skills. One music teacher. One science teacher. One math teacher. Four generalists with mentoring skills. Eighty children, gender balanced, age balanced from 1 to 5. All participants at least seperated genetically by three generations. This gives the colony an initial 88 people. During the 35 year journey I expect between 90 and 120 births. This approach will buy us another couple of years once we arrive on the supplies we carry - 36 years for 200 people.

Personally, I am not concerned about screwing up another planet. I intend for the colony to thrive and populate the whole place.

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Sick, selfish attitude ...

by jardinier In reply to Here's my mix

Please offer some logical and humane reason why the colonists should not share the planet with the existing inhabitants. What a great karmic start it would be for the colonists to summarily eradicate the alien population from its home.

With this mentality, the colonists would eventually split into groups and try and kill each other off.

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by Oldefar In reply to Sick, selfish attitude .. ...

Funny how everyone brings their own perspective into a discussion.

Thirty-five years in a closed self-sustaining ecosystem will bring with it an entirely different mind set than what is typical among people today. Keep in mind that the people aboard the spaceship will be constantly living on the edge of survival - no new resources, total recycling, a reliance on the success of other species from bacteria to plants and possibly animal life, all to survive. Failure to recognise that humanity has to fit within this web of life will be fatal.

Now we arrive on a new planet to colonize. Assuming an existing ecosystem, the first step will be to find out how to integrate with that web. This is the mindset that will be brought, developed with the adults and lived as a natural condition with the new generations enroute.

And you consider this a sick and selfish attitude? Or did you assume that a lack of worry about colinization indicates an desire to exploit and destroy? Every successful parasite "learns" that host destruction is suicide unless another host is readily at hand.

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"screwing up another planet" ...

by jardinier In reply to Here's my mix

"Every successful parasite "learns" that host destruction is suicide unless another host is readily at hand."

Well I certainly was unaware of this bit of wisdom. However if the space travellers are appropriately briefed in this regard, they may proceed with my blessing.

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by Oz_Media In reply to Here's my mix

First of all, why only take one teacher and one scientist? I think that several of each would be more effective as they could discuss and debate findings to hopefully find a common answer. With a single mentor from each group, how would the population be assured of learning the correct information or discovering anything at all with only one scientist? It takes many great minds to discover, learn and teach, not a single opinion.

"Personally, I am not concerned about screwing up another planet. I intend for the colony to thrive and populate the whole place."

Now this is assuming of course that YOU are the most intelligent race or can gather enough resources to reduce your opponent before being wiped out completely.

As I've said before, we can't be arrogant enough to assume that we will be the more intelligent being or that we are the only intelligent lifeform in the universe.

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Firstly I think you mean star system not Galaxy

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to The Prime Directive - Or ...

But leaving that one alone for the time being I'd have to go with the colonise as it would be the only viable option as this is admitted to be a one way trip there has to be selective breeding on the way as the people who start the expidetion will not be the ones who finish the expidetion sure most will still be alive when they make planet fall but they will all be very old and be a drain on the scarce resources that will be available so some form of youthinasia would have to be impelmented for the good of the society. And this would be the beginning of the end as while the older people are unnecessary at thebeginning they will be required latter on when things get easire but the procedure once established will continue if only because that the way we do things here attitude.

All the available knolledge will need to be taken with them as well but not on any form of technology as we know it but writen down on some form of material that is not possible to corode away or be considered as usefull like most forms of metal that could be melted down for other needs.

Long before we even begin to chose a crew we will have to solve these very basic issues and then have a suitable ship that will be self sustaining for the trip and the begining of the settlement when they arrive on the planet that is providing it is habitable in the first palce and then they will need some form of computer system to run the ship perhaps a "HAL 9000" would fit the bill nicely particuarly after giving it a lowlevel overriding comand to finish the mission no matter what but not alow the crew into the secret.

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Ok, lets colonize

by 1stladytech In reply to The Prime Directive - Or ...

Since the consensus so far seems to colonize to further spread the parasitic beings that we are, here are futher constraints and allowances. The ship that we will be traveling in is capable of holding 200 persons, plus enough supplies, etc for the trip and a very short period of time afterward. You have to choose, at least by profession, what type of people that you are going to bring along. As well as ages, etc as mentioned earlier. Specifically, what professions / mixes of professions would you select and why?

I would personally lean more towards exploration and information gain, rather than colonization. Obviously, we would have to develop shelter, procure adequate food supplies, etc in order to continue our own existance, but the most important thing to me as a leader would be to discover and document the planet with as minimal impact on existing order as possible.

I guess I figure that we have been a scurge on our own planet - what makes us think that we should do it to another?

(Col Luck, sorry about the confusion on galaxies and solar systems, it was late and I have already put in over 100 hours so far this week. I plead tiredness.)


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Colonization, not a cuss word

by road-dog In reply to Ok, lets colonize

Every animal on earth consumes resources and creates waste. Mankind simply has been able to use superior intelligence to increase survival rates. Other species have reached sizable numbers but not been as successful at adapting to nearly every environment on earth. We are not parasites, we are the dominant species.

I find it ironic that some would say that we have "defiled" the earth.

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