What if Mars and Venus were habitable?

Orionblamblam

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I don't think humans deliberately set out to make the world very hot. If you don't intend to do something how can you do it intentionally?

Humans didn't intend to alter the climate of Earth. But we could intend to alter the climate of Mars. See how easy that is?

Equally I don't think it's possible to make Mars have more gravity without adding more mass, which would be a prerequisite for humans to live there.

There. That, right there, assumes facts not in evidence, a flaw in rhetoric so egregious that there was no reason to read further.

Please go ahead and post the factual basis you have to support that terrestrial life cannot survive in 3/8 G. While you're at it, tell us all what the cutoff is. 1/2 G? 2/3? 9/10? The world is *dying* to know. And dying to know *how* you know.
 
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Kat Tsun

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I don't think humans deliberately set out to make the world very hot. If you don't intend to do something how can you do it intentionally?

Humans didn;t intend to alter the climate of Earth. but we could intend to alter the climate of Mars. See how easy that is?

Yeah negative externalities are great because you do them when you're trying to do the opposite of that. People driving their cars to the store in Oregon are not intentionally trying to warm up the Earth and reduce crop productivity growth in Kazakhstan. They just happen to be doing it.

You changing a word in a sentence is not really comparable to intentionally altering a atmosphere, which is infinitely harder than unintentionally altering it, as of typing.

Equally I don't think it's possible to make Mars have more gravity without adding more mass, which would be a prerequisite for humans to live there.

There. That, right there, assumes facts not in evidence, a flaw in rhetoric so egregious that there was no reason to read further.

Yeah it's an open question with some good evidence backing it. Embryos grown in microgravity in clinometers have reduced fertility when transplanted into mice models compared to 1g controls. What the cut off line is? Who knows. Maybe there's no "cut off" maybe it's just reduced fertility that manifests as true speciation at some point down the road, at which point fertility picks up. The centrifuge that would be able to test carrying to term full size mice was defunded by NASA because of Shuttle launch slot conflicts.

So we'll need to wait to actually test it all the way, but the current evidence is rather dour, at least until blastocyst stage (they still develop the proper ICM bulge despite improper differentiation) or so.

Venus wouldn't lead to speciation anymore than living in the equator and living in Canada does though. People from Venus would just be swarthier than Earth normal due to higher insolation and probably shill for solar power and algae shakes a bunch. So Space Californians.

It's not something people are researching because they don't care about going to Mars though. As I said, it's a religious belief: If someone found out humans couldn't have children on Mars it would destroy the religion and its clout. If someone found people could actually reproduce on Mars, those people would have to actually make good on trying to colonize Mars. Both of those are bad in different ways: one destroys some clique's social clout on Twitter and the other requires actual work. Neither are cool in the 21st century.

Those all are probably more important than finding out if people can actually live on Mars, because we can't even get there yet lol.
 
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Orionblamblam

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You changing a word in a sentence is not really comparable to intentionally altering a atmosphere, which is infinitely harder than unintentionally altering it, as of typing.

*INFINITELY* harder.

Riiiiiiiight.

Sigh.

Equally I don't think it's possible to make Mars have more gravity without adding more mass, which would be a prerequisite for humans to live there.

There. That, right there, assumes facts not in evidence, a flaw in rhetoric so egregious that there was no reason to read further.

Yeah it's an open question with some good evidence backing it.

Really? Where are the baby-making and baby-raising studies in 3/8 G? Since, *obviously,* microgravity studies are as irrelevant to partial-gravity issues as are full-gravity studies.
 

publiusr

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Titan helps Musk more so than Mars as the fuel is right there...and you have a potential of massive plastics. Carlo Rubbia' Am242 drive...but back to retro world building...we have Venus and Mars habitable-throw in Forward's Pluto gift-how about Gliese 710 as giving us a 'When Worlds Collide' situation?
 

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Justo Miranda

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Titan gives new life to petrochemicals though-and if "Planet Nine" winds up being a grapefruit size black hole...those together might be more of a boon to humanity than jungle Venus or Old Mars. Now to look at Miranda's open pit quarries :)

If you have to mine Titan for petrochemicals you should probably stop using them.

You can make most petrochemical products from seawater, trees, and a lot of electricity. Which Earth has in abundance. We won't because it's pointlessly expensive but it's a plausible production chain if you're really bad at industrial policy.

The word colonize is already meaningless, if humanity had in the future a good reason to leave its home planet, there are much better and infinitely cheaper options: Orbital stations with 1G, clean air without insects or pests, regulated temperature, without earthquakes or tsunamis, or volcanoes. It makes no sense to colonize because in the future there will be no surplus population, nor will the possession of land be the cause of wars because we will have access to the infinite resources of asteroids and we will be able to create food from solar energy. Only religious fanaticism and terrorism will remain to torment us.

The vast majority of historical wars were probably caused more by personal insults, national slights, and financial debt than by resources i.e. non-tangible concerns that cannot be settled by increasing tangible access to hypothetical mineral deposits.

No one invaded Crimea or Afghanistan for its vast mineral riches or great financial wealth. Caesar didn't invade Gaul because it was super rich or because the fur wearing, half naked, bearded Germanic barbarians were culturally or economically more advanced than Rome. More land will absolutely cause more wars in the future because I own this side of the fence, you don't own that side of the fence, and I'm going to build a thing on it. No your surveyor is wrong, the land ends here, fight me. Pretty simple stuff.

There are tons of wars over ambiguous legal language or land ownership rights. There's even somewhat obscure ones, and oodles of family blood feuds. "War" is just a family feud or village dispute taken to large scales after all. Infinite hypothetical resources are kind of irrelevant at the end of the day. Only a limited quantity of resources is available at any one time, after all; there are so many hours in the day, and people can only work so hard, which ultimately don't change how people feel. Even Kazakhstan is sitting on hypothetically infinite LNG reserves and yet its gas prices just tripled (and their entire automobile economy is built around methane).

Anyway there's a finite number of asteroids, they are hardly infinite.

Infinite land or oil or whatever only exist in comic books and poor macroeconomic models. It's not a useful assumption to make. It's a lethal one if you're trying to predict outcomes of wars I suppose.

Resource availability, access, and distribution (all separate things) doesn't predict wars very reliably either.

The Soviet Union didn't fight a war with itself in 1930. The Chinese didn't fight a war in 1960. The British didn't fight a war during the entire rationing period. The Soviets just increased grain production by improving irrigation and distribution methods were improved with more trains. The Chinese peacefully deposed Mao after he went on a law and order populist binge post-Great Leap Forward by inviting Deng back to rule the country. The British didn't even vote the Tories out so literally nothing happened. Clearly resource shortages aren't a good universal cause of wars because there are plenty of options available to not do wars, like just not fighting.

Generally wars tend to be caused by cascades of prior failures, occasionally going back decades, of which famine or resource limits are a trigger rather than a root cause.

But that's a complex subject that requires examining individual wars in isolation, and not a neat and tidy theory that explains all history in the Marxist vein, so there's probably some deeper underlying thing that has yet to be discovered. But Marxism has a good and intuitive appeal, much like its Whig antecedents, so it's forgivable that pepole try to find universal laws and meanings where they don't exist to try to neatly explain greatly disruptive and ultimately unrelated historical events that look similar on the face of it.

No, I'm not. What I'm doing, and you're not, is understandign that humanity is smart enough, and could reasonably soon be *powerful* enough, to take a shitty sandbox and make it bloom.

Humanity is so smart that it can't figure out how to ration petrochemicals

Yes we can, and we've been doing so for well over a century.

Rest pretty much ignored. Too many errrors and false assumptions.

Strange how you never actually point these errrors out.

I guess I'm the only guy posting links to stuff about trying to grow soybeans in Martian regolith simulants with large quantities of salt, pointing out that Mars was probably a planet-wide (and broadly lifeless due to apparent lack of limestone) brine lake in its ancient past, and that the former marine seabed of the Atacama Desert in Chile approximates Mars in terms of insolation and adaptibility to plantlife (it's rubbish, much like the Salt Lake desert, but that place is hot and not cold) but without the calcium deposits from all the dead fish. Which is important to grow plants. Plants love calcium.

But sure, I'm the one making false assumptions. Not the guy saying "you can give Mars a magnetic field" as if it's as simple as erecting a shed or putting up a fence, in a hypothetical situation where Venus is breathable and liveable without a pressure and heat-resistant spacesuit...

Okay. Yeah, I'm sure people would flock to Mars if Venus of all places had a breathable atmosphere with liquid water (which is naturally necessary to have a breathable atmosphere) and probable calcium deposits as carbon fixation into limestone is a universally good method of absorbing excess CO2.

Now that I think about it I suppose if you swapped Venus and Mars's orbits then Venus might actually be breathable without any significant intervention. It's big enough to sustain a geological dynamo so it wouldn't lose all its water or atmosphere, like the runt Mars did, it's just too close to the Sun so it's constantly hot and never cracked the tectonic plates. By now it's already lost all its water so it will need an injection of a few comets worth (maybe) but it's still a better candidate for colonization even with the hellish atmosphere.

If it's breathable there's no contest. No one would visit Mars unless they were some space marine biologist studying ancient seabeds.

They probably wouldn't find anything but it would be interesting I guess if you really like digging in long-dead marine seabeds.
On the contrary, I believe that ALL wars have an economic origin, or strategic circumstances derived from the economy, such as the protection of trade routes, food shortages due to the Small Ice Age or a migration of savages fleeing the drought, although in some cases it is not too obvious.

Crimea was the Gibraltar of the Black Sea, Afghanistan had opium, Gaul had slaves.

The resources of asteroids may not be exactly infinite but more than enough to maintain the needs of our technology for centuries, maybe in the next century we will no longer need so many exotic metals, maybe there is a technology that does not need them ... something like 3D printers.

And we will also have the resources of the Kuiper Belt, the Oort Cloud and ... who knows what we will find further?
 

Kat Tsun

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On the contrary, I believe that ALL wars have an economic origin, or strategic circumstances derived from the economy, such as the protection of trade routes, food shortages due to the Small Ice Age or a migration of savages fleeing the drought, although in some cases it is not too obvious.

Marx and Engels believed that too so I guess it can't be helped.

It's a pretty intuitive idea that ignores icky things like local socio-economic conditions, interactions of the individual leaders, and cultural histories that tend to be unique to geographies and political ethnic interactions. It's much better for the human brain to think that things are a result of some "laws" of macroeconomics or great historical theories than the result of something much more banal. It also allows people to make sweeping declarations like say entire swathes of the Earth and groups of people are "savages" based on their geographic origins or some similarly broad brush. The human brain is incredible in its intellectual laziness that we have entire disciplines of philosophy built around it, after all.

Crimea has no resources, neither does Gibraltar, which are great examples of why economics doesn't matter for wars as a universal rule.

The worth of either is purely social motivations, as there's nothing tangible or worthwhile in either place. Russia has no need to be a Black Sea fleet except that it was in the past, because Russia's most immediate concerns are on its land borders with its trade partners in Central Asia, and with its own population pyramid, with everything else being a distant secondary or tertiary concern. Likewise the UK has no need for Gibraltar except that it clapped Spain's cheeks a long time ago and took it.

This is probably true of all wars, with economics being either a post-hoc rationalization of future historians (certainly Russia lost more than it gained in the Crimean invasion in economic terms), or an excuse of the prime movers. Plenty of wars have been started over slights, insults, and insinuations after all. You can compare something like the imperial conquests of Britain, Spain, or Japan, which were absolutely about acquisition of economic wealth, to the war in Afghanistan or Pancho Villa Expedition, which were punitive campaigns for a national slight by a bad hombre.

3D printers also aren't really suitable for large, space faring civilizations. They're slow, error prone, and not particularly good at producing high fidelity or polished products. They are okay for prototyping a thing becuase they're flexible, but you'd be better off stamping spaceships' bulkheads in giant presses, like how airplanes are made.

You changing a word in a sentence is not really comparable to intentionally altering a atmosphere, which is infinitely harder than unintentionally altering it, as of typing.

*INFINITELY* harder.

Riiiiiiiight.

Yes, something that has never been done before is infinitely harder than something that has been done. Just like how zero fits into every number infinitely. It's infinitely hard because the difficulty can span from "less difficult than the Apollo program" to "impossible due to biological factors related to reproduction that are beyond human control" or anything in between. Thus, "infinite".

I doubt colonizing Mars is particularly easy, though. I don't think it's totally impossible, as you can build a giant space colony in a big donut shape in a lava tube and have it spin. This would create 1g and allow reproduction in a normal method, and prevent osteoporosis and solve all the issues relating to foetal development. But at that point why not just make it in space? Or build a dome city on the ocean floor? Both of those would be easier and less involved.

If Venus is breathable then Mars has literally no chance at being colonized because it's kinda cringe. Venus is easier to get to, similar to Earth in almost all respects, and generally a better habitat for humans once you count up all the things Venus has going for it vis-a-vis Mars.

It's fiction, but reading this, a novel about eight luckless partcipants in a Biosphere 2-like experiment, cured me of all urges to participate in something similar.

Biosphere is pretty much the entire reason why I think that any successful space colony would need to be a very spartan communist dictatorship. Centralized leadership, management, and resource distribution/work allocation would be necessary to avoid the political squabbling that doomed the OG thing, since there's no way to ship food or oxygen across interstellar distances. There's an old quote in a letter to the Continental Congress that talks about this:

"Whilst the ships sent forth (...) by Congress may and must fight for the principles of human rights and republican freedom, the ships themselves must be ruled and commanded at sea under a system of absolute despotism," - John Paul Jones

Just have plaques with that quote embossed and lithographs of JPJ on them absolutely everywhere to remind star sailors of their duty.
 
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Justo Miranda

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On the contrary, I believe that ALL wars have an economic origin, or strategic circumstances derived from the economy, such as the protection of trade routes, food shortages due to the Small Ice Age or a migration of savages fleeing the drought, although in some cases it is not too obvious.

Marx and Engels believed that too so I guess it can't be helped.

It's a pretty intuitive idea that ignores icky things like local socio-economic conditions, interactions of the individual leaders, and cultural histories that tend to be unique to geographies and political ethnic interactions. It's much better for the human brain to think that things are a result of some "laws" of macroeconomics or great historical theories than the result of something much more banal. It also allows people to make sweeping declarations like say entire swathes of the Earth and groups of people are "savages" based on their geographic origins or some similarly broad brush. The human brain is incredible in its intellectual laziness that we have entire disciplines of philosophy built around it, after all.

Crimea has no resources, neither does Gibraltar, which are great examples of why economics doesn't matter for wars as a universal rule.

The worth of either is purely social motivations, as there's nothing tangible or worthwhile in either place. Russia has no need to be a Black Sea fleet except that it was in the past, because Russia's most immediate concerns are on its land borders with its trade partners in Central Asia, and with its own population pyramid, with everything else being a distant secondary or tertiary concern. Likewise the UK has no need for Gibraltar except that it clapped Spain's cheeks a long time ago and took it.

This is probably true of all wars, with economics being either a post-hoc rationalization of future historians (certainly Russia lost more than it gained in the Crimean invasion in economic terms), or an excuse of the prime movers. Plenty of wars have been started over slights, insults, and insinuations after all. You can compare something like the imperial conquests of Britain, Spain, or Japan, which were absolutely about acquisition of economic wealth, to the war in Afghanistan or Pancho Villa Expedition, which were punitive campaigns for a national slight by a bad hombre.

3D printers also aren't really suitable for large, space faring civilizations. They're slow, error prone, and not particularly good at producing high fidelity or polished products. They are okay for prototyping a thing becuase they're flexible, but you'd be better off stamping spaceships' bulkheads in giant presses, like how airplanes are made.

You changing a word in a sentence is not really comparable to intentionally altering a atmosphere, which is infinitely harder than unintentionally altering it, as of typing.

*INFINITELY* harder.

Riiiiiiiight.

Yes, something that has never been done before is infinitely harder than something that has been done. Just like how zero fits into every number infinitely. It's infinitely hard because the difficulty can span from "less difficult than the Apollo program" to "impossible due to biological factors related to reproduction that are beyond human control" or anything in between. Thus, "infinite".

I doubt colonizing Mars is particularly easy, though. I don't think it's totally impossible, as you can build a giant space colony in a big donut shape in a lava tube and have it spin. This would create 1g and allow reproduction in a normal method, and prevent osteoporosis and solve all the issues relating to foetal development. But at that point why not just make it in space? Or build a dome city on the ocean floor? Both of those would be easier and less involved.

If Venus is breathable then Mars has literally no chance at being colonized because it's kinda cringe. Venus is easier to get to, similar to Earth in almost all respects, and generally a better habitat for humans once you count up all the things Venus has going for it vis-a-vis Mars.

It's fiction, but reading this, a novel about eight luckless partcipants in a Biosphere 2-like experiment, cured me of all urges to participate in something similar.

Biosphere is pretty much the entire reason why I think that any successful space colony would need to be a very spartan communist dictatorship. Centralized leadership, management, and resource distribution/work allocation would be necessary to avoid the political squabbling that doomed the OG thing, since there's no way to ship food or oxygen across interstellar distances. There's an old quote in a letter to the Continental Congress that talks about this:

"Whilst the ships sent forth (...) by Congress may and must fight for the principles of human rights and republican freedom, the ships themselves must be ruled and commanded at sea under a system of absolute despotism," - John Paul Jones

Just have plaques with that quote embossed and lithographs of JPJ on them absolutely everywhere to remind star sailors of their duty.
Marx and Engels believed that too so I guess it can't be helped.

Ours is ours and what others are negotiable: Every time a trade unionist says that, another European company moves to China.
 

Orionblamblam

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Yes, something that has never been done before is infinitely harder than something that has been done.

I have never written this specific sentence before, including the slepping errors and added gibberish 3jhv43 ᚹᛏᚣ ᛖᚱᚣᚻᚷ ᚠᛞᚻᛖᚱ. Since it was never done before and it was infinitely difficult to pull off, it was impossible to write that last sentence. Therefore it wasn't written, and if you believe you read it, it's because you're hallucinating the impossible. The alternative explanation is that I have achieved the impossible, *multiple* *times,* and you must therefore assume that I am God.

Bring on the tithes.


I doubt colonizing Mars is particularly easy, though. I don't think it's totally impossible

Just "infinitely hard."

Venus is easier to get to, similar to Earth in almost all respects, and generally a better habitat for humans once you count up all the things Venus has going for it vis-a-vis Mars.

Colonizing Venus has never been done before, therefore by your reasoning it's infinitely harder than, say, going to McDonalds or curing cancer or landing men on the moon. Plus, the gravity on Venus is about 10% lower than Earths, and your contention is that that will make reproduction possible.

Biosphere is pretty much the entire reason why I think that any successful space colony would need to be a very spartan communist dictatorship. Centralized leadership, management, and resource distribution/work allocation would be necessary to avoid the political squabbling that doomed the OG thing, since there's no way to ship food or oxygen across interstellar distances.

The problem with Biosphere was that, like communist dictatorships, they determined *in* *advance* what would work, what would be needed. When shit started going wrong, they refused to openly and honestly adjust. It was bad science on par with intelligent design, which is the constant problem with communism. Good science, like capitalism, adjusts on the fly.

Biosphere probably would have worked had they actually gone at it scientifically: instead of launching into a "mission" on day one, they should have just started the damn thin and run it and brought in things as needed. That and ditch the mandatory liberal arts theater bullcrap.
 

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Centralized leadership, management, and resource distribution/work allocation would be necessary to avoid the political squabbling that doomed the OG thing, since there's no way to ship food or oxygen across interstellar distances. There's an old quote in a letter to the Continental Congress that talks about this:

"Whilst the ships sent forth (...) by Congress may and must fight for the principles of human rights and republican freedom, the ships themselves must be ruled and commanded at sea under a system of absolute despotism," - John Paul Jones

Just have plaques with that quote embossed and lithographs of JPJ on them absolutely everywhere to remind star sailors of their duty.
Up to a point. Things inevitably go bad if a ship's captain rules by fear, and stops listening to the crew. The trouble with an interstellar colony as opposed to a ship - crew cannot abscond in port, which leaves the crew nothing but mutiny if the captain breaks bad.
 
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publiusr

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Biosphere...could that be scaled up for plant only greenhouses hooked to plant exhaust...some microbes produce oxygen in the dark, as per phys.org.
 

Kat Tsun

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Centralized leadership, management, and resource distribution/work allocation would be necessary to avoid the political squabbling that doomed the OG thing, since there's no way to ship food or oxygen across interstellar distances. There's an old quote in a letter to the Continental Congress that talks about this:

"Whilst the ships sent forth (...) by Congress may and must fight for the principles of human rights and republican freedom, the ships themselves must be ruled and commanded at sea under a system of absolute despotism," - John Paul Jones

Just have plaques with that quote embossed and lithographs of JPJ on them absolutely everywhere to remind star sailors of their duty.
Up to a point. Things inevitably go bad if a ship's captain rules by fear, and stops listening to the crew. The trouble with an interstellar colony as opposed to a ship - crew cannot abscond in port, which leaves the crew nothing but mutiny if the captain breaks bad.

For sure, selection of captains would be the most important thing. OTOH you want to make sure people are going to work and you are going to want to centralize resources so that you can distribute them equitably among workers. A space colony is small enough geographically and demographically that totally centralized resource distribution works fine, like a push-based logistics system does for a tank battalion, or naval task group, so I don't think there would be any of the issues you run into with really big economies.

Centralized resource management works quite well on aircraft carriers and ballistic missile subs at least. Even if they can dock in port, they're still at sea for long periods of time, and broadly isolated. Perhaps a Mars ship could come around every 4-8 months or so, but that would require more infrastructure being built up in the Earth-Moon system to ensure timely rendezvous with the ship and offloading/onloading of cargoes. And sufficient redundancy built in that missing a cycle or two isn't a dealbreaker.

Venus might make this easier since it's lower in the gravity well than Earth though.

The problem with Biosphere was that, like communist dictatorships, they determined *in* *advance* what would work, what would be needed. When shit started going wrong, they refused to openly and honestly adjust. It was bad science on par with intelligent design, which is the constant problem with communism. Good science, like capitalism, adjusts on the fly.

Biosphere probably would have worked had they actually gone at it scientifically: instead of launching into a "mission" on day one, they should have just started the damn thin and run it and brought in things as needed. That and ditch the mandatory liberal arts theater bullcrap.

The problem with Biosphere was that they kept changing management and had internal fighting over what they were doing, but okay. Biosphere would have worked if they had one dictator saying "do this", a publicly funded mandate to dissuade private investors from taking over, and a willingness to let people suffocate to death. That would accurately take the closed cycle habitat to its natural conclusion with the state of the art technology of the day and be honest to the hypothesis of "can people live in a isolated habitat".

You don't change your experimental method halfway through unless you're p-hacking.
 

Orionblamblam

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Biosphere would have worked if they had one dictator saying "do this", a publicly funded mandate to dissuade private investors from taking over, and a willingness to let people suffocate to death.
r35gdg4prcz11.jpg


The way to make Biosphere work? Adjust. If you find that there is something missing? Add it. Is there something there that shouldn't be? Take it out. Need more people? Add them. Need *different* people? Swap them out. Tinker with the thing until it works. THAT is how progress is made. Communist dictators decreeing how things will work with immutable Five Year Plans? Yeah, that's a good way to fail.
 

Kat Tsun

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Biosphere failed precisely because they kept adding things to it but okay.
 

Orionblamblam

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Biosphere failed precisely because they kept adding things to it but okay.

They failed because they *failed* to add things in a rational fashion. They tried to smuggle things like snacks and oxygen in in relatively tiny and irrational quantities, rather than admitting to certain failures. They did not openly adjust as conditions required. They also found that they were probably too few, in too small a space, for reasonably stable interpersonal dynamics. They should therefore have adjusted to a larger facility.

Their concept of a "mission failure" was to change *anything* from the initial conditions. In that circumstance, the only thing being tested is that one specific set of conditions, *not* "can we make a sustainable self-contained ecosystem."

And they tried to put on plays, which was bugnuts.
 
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