What would the most best way to protect a small colony against let's say a another colony. Or to prevent some natural disaster that you didn't think would be a threat or you didn't know about until months after building. Also if some disease cam with know current way to cure it.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if this question is answerable. You can't prepare for something that you are not aware of. For example if you do not know that you'r building on top of a fault line you won't know that you should build buildings to be able to withstand earthquakes. $\endgroup$ – Dan Anderson Dec 7 '17 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ if the colonies are like 200 people each, they probably gain very little attacking each other. The best and easiest defense is diplomacy. $\endgroup$ – A. C. A. C. Dec 7 '17 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ There are too many possible scenarios to be covered here. The appropriate precautions to defend against men with bows and arrows on horseback are significantly different than those for a seafaring vessel harboring disease-infested rodents or seasonal environmental patterns that produce raging wildfires. Please edit your question to identify the colony's situation and the specific threat you want to defend against. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Dec 7 '17 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ I think that's the point, the unforeseeable. It wouldn't be a tech answer, it would have to be something else. Would a primarily military or scientific or family or individualistic group best handle these situations? Of course you'd want specialists in every category but we are limited to 200 and majority would have to be there to deal with the basic survival systems. Yes, this is much like selecting a crew for long term space mission but by taking it out of the isolated ship scenario it's not tech-centric. Other skills may be just as important like A.C.A.C. mentioned diplomacy. $\endgroup$ – Hebekiah Dec 7 '17 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ The answer to the first question is "Marriage". Once you get to natural disasters and diseases it's too broad $\endgroup$ – paulzag Dec 8 '17 at 12:40

You're asking about "unknown unknowns" (threats they wouldn't be aware of until months after building.)

Game Theory tells us that in a condition of uncertainty, always assume the worst, and make decisions accordingly.

In this conception, building the colony in a bunker, deep in the planet's surface is probably the safest course of action.

But there is also the concept of acceptable risk, and the idea that you don't necessarily make decisions based on highly improbably circumstances.

What is the net benefit vs. the risk of building on the surface?

Really, it's going to depend on all of the known factors comprising the rest of your world/scenario.

  • $\begingroup$ If you are always assuming the worst then you really aren't living your just not losing your ability to live. $\endgroup$ – Braxton Dec 8 '17 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Braxton well, there'a a difference between assuming the worst based on "unknown unknowns" which you raise in your question, and assuming the worse based on "knowns" and "known unknowns". Unfortunately, this is the only possible answer I can provide based on your total lack of detail about the world, the colony, and the conditions. (If you provide some more detail, I could certainly give you a more specific answer--the fact that I'm the only one who upvoted your question should provide some corroboration to the general unanswerability in its current form:) $\endgroup$ – DukeZhou Dec 8 '17 at 18:27

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