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Comment Re: Sure, just add more magic (Score 1) 218

Why would prospecting in the asteroid belt be any more free? You would have about as much freedom as someone living on a oil rig or a submarine. What is it that you would intend to do in the asteroid belt that you would be prohibited from doing on Earth?

"It would be both total servitude and total freedom."

Paraphrasing Orwell is not a good sign

Comment Re:Engage your brain (Score 1) 218

I just responded to the comic you posted, which only implies tourism as a reason to go to Mars. What else is there that Hawaii and Mars have in common? Do you really think will be pineapples plantations on Mars? And why should I be expected to think of arguments for a proposal I think is flawed? Burden of proof lies with those who think sending humans to Mars is justified. But now that you've provided a few more ideas, I'll respond to those.

Science research: going just fine with robots. In fact, we could send thousands of more robots for the cost of one manned mission. Can a single person do more research than a thousand robots? No.

preservation of our species: absolutely irrelevant. There is no plausible scenario where Mars would be more habitable than Earth.

joy of exploration: just a fancy term for tourism

financial gain: additional examples needed.

engineering: engineering is a means to an end, not an end unto itself.

military dominance: huh?

the list goes on and on: no it really doesn't

Comment Re:You needn't go yourself. (Score 1) 218

The are many avenues for adventure, exploration and discovery. What makes you believe that manned space programs own a monopoly on those values? There are still vast stretches of the Earth than remain unexplored. A single drop of ocean water contains more undiscovered life than the entire planet Mars. Fewer probes have been sent to the bottom of the ocean than to the surface of Mars. Even in your own body, there are entire hidden ecosystems that remain unexplored by science. You're the one who is narrow-minded if your only concept of exploration is to stomp boots on a planet where no boot has been stomped before.

As for survival as a species goes: there is no plausible scenario, including asteroid impact, where Mars would be more habitable than Earth. Even when Earth was hit by an extinction level asteroid, 25% of species managed to survive. That's without any benefit of preparation or technological adaptation. Pretty good odds compared to the exactly zero species that thrive on Mars.

If people want to go to Mars and can do so on their own dime, then more power to you. But Musk's total wealth is only a fraction of NASA's annual budget. So there is due skepticism that all of his public announcements are just a preamble to asking for taxpayer funding.

Comment Re:Sure, just add more magic (Score 1) 218

Without extensive human repair and maintenance, Bertha would be dead in the ground after a few feet. That is a fact. It is not an autonomous system by any stretch of the concept. To suggest that Bertha just a software upgrade away from being able to tunnel a habitat on Mars shows a gross ignorance about how these projects actually work.

Comment Re: Sure, just add more magic (Score 3, Interesting) 218

I feel sorry for you. Living on Mars would be the total opposite of individual freedom. You be completely dependent on the grace of your corporate overlords just to maintain the very air that you breathed. You would be under complete surveillance 24/7. Every transaction would be monitored and recorded. A Mars colony would be the ultimate police state because compliance would be necessary for survival. Everyone but Musk would be no better than an indentured servant. If your willing to sacrifice comfort for freedom, you be better off colonizing one of the many uninhabited islands in the Arctic or Antarctica.

Comment Re:You would think science could help (Score 1) 275

There are still substantially amounts of unsettled frontier right here on Earth. From Antarctica to the Gobi desert. There are still hundreds of unoccupied islands. All of theses are far, far more accessible and habitable that anything you'll find on Mars.

If you can't make your libertarian fantasy plan work out on an sub-antarctic island, then its certainly doomed to fail on Mars.

Comment Re:Honestly... (Score 1) 523

You can argue whether Johnson is No True Libertarian or not. But in the last elecion, Johnson received 1,275,951 votes nationally (0.99% of the popular vote), setting a record for the most votes won by a Libertarian Party presidential nominee. He is almost certain to break that record this election. So the one thing you cannot say is that he is driving voters away.

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