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Re: RE: starship-design: Infrastructure in space

In a message dated 4/26/00 5:53:34 PM, stevev@efn.org writes:

>KellySt@aol.com writes:
> > I do assume normal rules of economics and colonization will remain.
> You 
> > won't do something that isn't valued over its cost.  You won't settle
> > anywhere unless its economically profitable.  Etc.  These have held
> > millenia of history and vast shifts in social and political organization.
> > (Even across species.)  So they should hold in any reasonble distence
> > the future.
> > 
> > I asume we could technically build interstellar craft, of the types
> > outlined in LIT, in 50 years.  We couldn't afford them without some
> > industrial process changes by then, and much past then the changes in
> > physics knowledge would change the basic designs and economics.
>Well, if you want to look at historical trends, remember that the cost
>of manufacture for any particular thing goes down over time, so
>spacecraft that seem prohibitively expensive to build now will become
>cheaper to manufacture, and quite likely eventually will be affordable
>to organizations other than the largest governments or corporations.

But we can only guess past the next century, and the economics of colonys has 
never been influenced by the afordability of the colony to private groups.  
After all the US was colonized by private groups, not governments (excluding 
prison dumping).  And its data of sucess/failure of city colonies folows the 
trends I mentioned.

>Basically, what I do see you doing is extrapolating _current_
>cost-benefit ratios well beyond their reasonable period of validity.
>It's true that the culture we have now won't go to the stars because we
>would consider it too expensive and unprofitable.  But our culture won't
>last forever, and the cultures that do go to the stars will likely do so
>with lower perceived costs for the effort and different notions of what
>is economically profitable.

But, we have found no profitable reasons to go to the stars, and if the 
economics of star travel is droped, compeating intrests will also be lowered. 
 And again, all technical data becomes invalid after a century due to 
technology changes.  For example if we develope a cheap hyperspace drive, the 
isolation of a colony might be non existent.  Hence no need to set up massive 
self-suficent colonies.