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Comment Re:Technology... (Score 1) 431

Thing is though, we're not going to work out how to build a sustainable colony on Mars on paper, then send people (or robots) there to build it sight-unseen. We'd build prototypes here on Earth first, like how we tested out the Mars rovers in Earth's deserts first. The propulsion technology to get stuff to Mars is largely a solved problem by now. What we need to solve is what to build when we get there, and how to get it built, which means developing robots to build sealed "biodomes" or whatnot in inhospitable places here on Earth first -- to test the technology to make sure it will work when we strap it to a rocket and send it to Mars -- and then, by the time we're ready to strap it to a rocket, there's not a whole lot of need to actually do that anymore, besides just "because it's there".

Which is still a perfectly fine reason in the long term, and if romanticism about people on Mars gets the technology funded and developed that's great, but one way or another we're going to be building Earth-bound versions of it first, and those "prototypes" themselves will then have already solved any practical problems that might have motivated the Mars mission.

Comment Re:Self-sustaining civilization on Mars (Score 2, Insightful) 431

The same technology it would take to build self-sustaining colonies on Mars could much more easily build self-sustaining colonies on Earth. Mars is already a desolate wasteland; if we could work out how to survive there, then we could, much more easily, work out how to survive Earth becoming a desolate wasteland, even if we couldn't stop other people from making that happen.

Until we can have self-sustaining cities at the poles, in the middle of the world's deserts, on the seafloor, etc -- all much more hospitable places than Mars -- then talking about building one on Mars is a pipe dream. And once we can do that on Earth, that's much of the existential risk mitigated right there; nuclear winter, climate change, meteor impact, meh, doesn't really make anything worse than they already are underwater/on Antarctica/in the Sahara.

Comment Re:Chinese speakers only (Score 1) 455

fluency in [ mandarin | Chinese ] is a plus

Of course it's a plus. I'm likely to be hiring a group of Mechanical Engineers in the next six months, and I certainly want at least one of them to be fluent in Mandarin to make it easier to work with Chinese suppliers. It would be pretty handy if they speak Korean, Japanese or Hindi, too.

-jcr

Comment It's got to be better than Maps (Score 1) 52

Driving back from Miami using Google Maps, it would show us where traffic was slow...once we got there. But show us congestion in time to choose an alternate route, no way!

My wife was mocking the app. "Traffic is slowing down now," she prompted. Thanks, hon, I never would have noticed traffic conditions out the window.

Comment Re:Accenture (Score 1) 87

After they mismanaged the company for a few years, trashing our corporate culture and making all the employees miserable I found another job and resigned.

If you were an ethical person, you would have bailed as soon as the acquisition was announced.

miserable, judgemental jerk

Why would I be miserable? I don't have the taint of working for a criminal organization on my conscience.

-jcr

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