What would your ideal socioeconomic structure for a space colony be?
A lot of people in space-oriented Facebook groups get into arguments about what their preferred socioeconomic structure would be. I think some of them get into an idealistic, fantasy-ish La-La Land that would be completely unrealistic for a space colony. I want to smack them in the head and tell them to be realistic because outer space isn't going to care about your ideals. It's just going to care about whether you're capable of making important decisions that actually work for a space colony. Because the only really unethical thing to do is deliberately make choices that are going to get people killed or worse. If you say that you'd rather die or you'd rather watch your entire colony die than compromise your ideals, you just flat-out aren't fit to join a space colony. Barring that, I don't think there are very many wrong answers about socioeconomic structures or the reasons why someone would want to join a space colony. What do you think?
I think the reasons why someone would want to join a space colony would differ from person to person but at this point in space exploration and talks about colonization, I think that everyone would have some kind of ideology or some idea they think is the best way to do it. I can see how many discussions and arguments could come to be as not everyone's idea will be the same.
The first thing that comes to mind for me is safety. Safety first, and any decision that could bring a space colony in danger would have to be dismissed immediately. While I think that some people would be such ideologists that they'd be willing to give their lives to make space colonization happen, any danger that can be avoided should be avoided.
We don't know much about space colonization yet, and we only have a vague idea of what kind of dangers we getting ourselves into. It's like going down a river, one says we should swim, the other says we should take a canoe. Each could be right. Wading down the river, if we're not familiar with it, there could be giant leeches for all we know, or super sharp rocks, but take the canoe, and you might get into [arts of the river where the water isn't deep enough for a canoe, and you'd damage it.
What I'm trying to say is, some decisions that need to be made, we might not know whether they are the right decisions or not.
^^IamGroot does make a good point. I blistered some of the people that he described, the La-La Land types, mostly because they can become an actual danger to the entire colony if they try to force their ideas against the wishes and the best interests of the other colonists. One thing I could definitely see is a model where we have several different colonies, each using different socioeconomic models and making the decisions that they think would work best for their colony, and the only truly dumbass decision is one that a colonist makes knowing full well that it's going to get people killed or otherwise be detrimental to the colony in some way. In that National Geographic Mars series, the commander of the Mars base should not have gone against her instincts and experience when that botanist chick wanted to make some modifications to the power generator right when dust storm season was about to get into full swing. But the botanist chick did sort of bear part of the responsibility because she arrogantly assumed that she knew better because she'd been through the same training as everyone else, and then she complained because nobody would look her dead in the eye or even interact with her very much afterward. That much was pretty realistic because a colony can suffer from arrogance, inexperience, and inability to face reality on the part of the colonists.
That much was pretty realistic because a colony can suffer from arrogance, inexperience, and inability to face reality on the part of the colonists
This is why I think that there should be a lot more projects like biosphere2. It's one thing to imagine how things will work in a space colony, but to really be there and experience it might not be as easy as thought. There are many factors that come into play. One is the confined space. It won't be possible to wander out and go on vacation, people would be there 24/7.
Another thing is human nature. It might not be as easy for space colonists to get along, especially when two leader types each become convinced that their method of doing things is the only good method. This could become a problem.
Preparing the technical aspect of space colonization is one thing, but preparing the mental aspect could prove to be much more difficult.
Heck, it will take months of living in a super confined space, just to get to Mars.
Preparation is the secret, really good preparation, and from reading up on space colonization, we already know that there are a lot of different opinions out there 🙂
Sometimes I have a feeling that we still have a very long way to go before we can even think about getting into the space craft on our way to Mars.