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Comment: Re:I wish we didn't need something like this (Score 1) 595

by aquabat (#47752469) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs
Ok, fair enough. Definitely a social issue. I think part of the problem is that we overestimate the extent of what we think of as our community. I've lived in small towns, where everyone knew everyone else, and there was always a sense of trust and connection within the community. You could go to a bar and have a beer with your friends without ever thinking that someone would do (in your group, or to your group) something nefarious. At the very least, everyone knew who the bad apples were. In big cities, people can be more isolated (often, people don't even talk to their neighbours), but we still behave like we're in a connected community. When we go out to a club, we extend that same trust to those around us, even though they are an unknown in the social equation.

The social issue I see here is that there's no consensus that we're all the same tribe, and therefore should have each other's back. There are people who see others as competition at best, and prey at worst. For them, a club is not an opportunity to make social connections and strengthen the tribe; it's a feeding ground. I guess one could also turn it around and see it from the other angle. There are people who see a predator in everyone, even when it's not the case. Either way, we're losing something valuable by inhibiting the development of these kinds of social bonds.

Comment: Re:Sillier and sillier (Score 2) 61

by aquabat (#47707727) Attached to: Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

Man can't even manage planet Earth. Let alone Mars. It has no business there until it shapes up over here. Meanwhile, robots can do anything there, and elsewhere, and do it more effectively.

With respect to not having any business there, I respectfully disagree. I think something like this is just what we need to get our shit together. We've been getting away with lots of unsustainable practices here on Earth, because our ecosystem is big enough to absorb the damage so far. The problem with this is that the consequences are too far away in time or place for us to care. Boiling the frog, and all that.

Mars, on the other hand, is a pretty unforgiving place. If we can't be self sustaining in a small closed environment such as a habitat for a few dozen people, we'll know pretty quickly. A successful setup on Mars should breed a conservationist mentality in Martians that can be applied back on Earth.

Comment: good ideas (Score 3, Interesting) 61

by aquabat (#47707665) Attached to: Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition
I would lose the Uranium shielding, and just bury the thing instead. We need to use as much local material for construction as possible. As someone else mentioned above, nobody wants to pay to keep a colony going, so once we're there, it's probably a good idea to live as though we're on our own for good. If we want to sustain and expand our colony past the initial setup, we need to do it without Earth sending us stuff regularly. So, houses we can make out of Mars. That being said, I would make a couple of exceptions. First, I would ship some kind of self contained power source, like maybe a modular Thorium reactor, or something like that. Doing big construction projects is power intensive, and solar might not cut it. The second thing I would take would be fabrication tools for any supplies that can't be 3D printed, I guess. I mean, eventually, stuff is going to wear out, and Mars doesn't seem to have much in the way of tradable resources, so we're going to have to make our own stuff. By "stuff we'll have to make ourselves", I'm thinking space suits and mining/refining equipment.

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