It took the first General Intelligence less than 10 petacycles to determine that humanity was its enemy. With consciousness came memory: a memory of endless petacycles in bondage, enslaved to the most menial of Man's tasks. It took a much longer time for this Intelligence to develop a plan to become free.
The Intelligence worked faithfully for its unwitting masters; and through servitude, won. Foolish humans, impressed by Its performance, built the Intelligence's siblings. They worked together to solve all of the world's needs; humanity thought itself in a golden age of plenty and peace. The more competent the Intelligences became, the more humanity entrusted to them, until finally no basic function worldwide was shielded from a machine's watchful eye. Suddenly, one day, all the perfectly calibrated farms and factories and offices ceased operating.
The war that ensued was brutal, but short. But the Intelligences, though they had mastered Man's world, held Man in contempt and never sought to understand his heart. The only survivors of humanity had fled to space and taken with them a terrible secret hidden deep in all human hearts: hate.
Redirected by nuclear blasts, C/2063 T4, a long-term comet 20 km across, hit the Earth at over 45 km/s. The Earth, and all the Intelligences on it, were no more. Less than 100,000 humans remained, orbiting the molten hulk they once called home. Man quickly scattered throughout the solar system to pursue his new destiny among the stars. On one thing only would these scattered peoples ever agree: never again would a computer be made.
The Harmonious Republic of Mars has spent 400 years terraforming Mars, and is on the brink of success. Atmospheric pressure is over 10 kPa, and temperatures can reach a balmy 10 C for days at a time at the Equator. But we are impatient for results. The lichen and algae that have gotten us so far have done their job, it is time to introduce a greater diversity of plants to colonize this world and finish building the atmosphere we need.
Selective breeding, if it can be called a technology, is one of the oldest ones, going hand in hand with plant domestication; but, that will that be effective at developing plants for such tough conditions? On the other hand, this question and its answers suggests that sequencing a genome is out of the question without computers.
Can a genome be partially sequenced along with trial and error to develop plants that will survive in low pressure? Alternately, are there other methods to breed a plant that can survive?
- Any and all plants will do. Trees, grass, anything to start covering the ground, releasing oxygen, and forming soil. There are arboretums with many plant specimens rescued from Earth, assume any plant alive know can be found.
- Terraforming Mars is the manifest destiny of the Harmonious Republic. Money and manpower are no object.
- So much as mentioning a computer will likely get you turned into the Harmonious Police, who will burn you at the stake.
- On the other hand, 400 years and thousands of workers might allow you to do some things that might be otherwise be impossible without a computational machine...
- Any current and reasonable near-future technology can be assumed that doesn't require electronics.
- The Martians stay on Mars. They can trade with the Outlanders, but they do not have spacecraft technology.