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102 votes
Accepted

Earthborn Inferiority

To shamelessly crib an answer from Isaac Asimov: The ones who went to the stars were the best humanity had to offer. Those left behind were not; therefore to be 'Earthborn' is (in the eyes of the ...
Joe Bloggs's user avatar
  • 66.4k
44 votes
Accepted

Can a human colony be self-sustaining without sunlight using mushrooms?

NO: The problem here is that there are no calories going into the system. Plants extract calories from the sun, but fungi extract calories from whatever they live on. The mushrooms must have fewer ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.9k
32 votes

Garlic as staple food for colonies?

This is a Frame Challenge Garlic would be a poor staple food. Consider the following nutritional facts about garlic (Source) and Wheat (Source): Nutrition (100g) Garlic Wheat Calories 150kcal ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 126k
31 votes
Accepted

Would a kingdom allow creation of new settlements?

Historical context of population growth Population expanded significantly in the middle ages, between the low after the ravages of the Justinian Plague of 541-542 to the high middle ages peak of ~...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
21 votes

Colonies on Jupiter

I wouldn't put colonies in Jupiter's atmosphere. The gravity down there is too high... it'll be quite unpleasant for normal humans to live in, and you'll need an awfully powerful rocket to get back ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
20 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

The sins of the past still haunt us. During the early decades of space exploration, before the abundant wealth of the Belts (and later the outer planets) made star-born life safe and prosperous, we ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
  • 69.2k
19 votes

What is the minimum human population necessary for a sustainable colony?

I'm going to ignore genetic diversity because the necessary population to sustain a technological environment will always demand enough people to satisfy that requirement. Assumptions: Maintenance ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 126k
16 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

Earthborn people are of lesser value because they were born on a planet that's almost depleted its resources leading to less genetic modifications They may be similar to Starborn people, but their ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 17.7k
15 votes

What is the minimum human population necessary for a sustainable colony?

As well as the biological, social and genetic diversity issues of maintaining a viable population you also need to consider maintaining technology. Clearly a small colony on another planet is going to ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 3,005
15 votes

Could a city be built out of Balloons?

You could do this. Inflatable building elements are real. http://www.buildair.com/our-company/our-business-model/ BUILDAIR STRUCTURES ARE USUALLY IDONEOUS FOR MOST OF THE AVIATION (AIRPORTS, ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
15 votes

Could a city be built out of Balloons?

Using only balloons that permanently hold helium could a city be built in the sky? No, because helium just doesn't lift that much. According to https://science.howstuffworks.com/helium.htm a liter ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 17.6k
13 votes
Accepted

In a world where money and currency were never invented, and never will, how is international trade different from our world?

People traded internationally before the invention of currency The pop idea of barter prior to the introduction of currency is an invention, and it has little to do with how people actually traded. ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 7,690
13 votes

Can a human colony be self-sustaining without sunlight using mushrooms?

There are no perpetual motion machines. The usable energy recovered through each cycle is lower than 100% and the lost energy must be replaced somehow from an outside source or else your usable energy ...
DKNguyen's user avatar
  • 11.1k
12 votes
Accepted

Which factors determine how far a government can expand without losing control?

There are two major factors that limit the ability of central government to exercise control: Speed of communication Frequency and dependability of travel Fast and frequent travel makes it easy for ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 42.3k
12 votes

Garlic as staple food for colonies?

If the purpose is food, then the best crops by far are: Corn (maize) for warm regions with just enough water Rice for hot and very wet regions and potatoes for cooler regions. All three of these also ...
PcMan's user avatar
  • 26.3k
11 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

Old war. Consider white southerners in the post civil war US. In the North (the victors) there was and is tremendous prejudice against southerners, the losers in this war, and this continues to this ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
10 votes

Would a kingdom allow creation of new settlements?

Depending on the kingdom, they might actually welcome the creation of a new town. Towns don't just appear on their own. Normally to create a new town, a kingdom must sponsor or subsidize it, build a ...
Marky's user avatar
  • 4,686
10 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

Three tangible factors I can immediately think of: humans who left Earth in the first wave were the best and brightest, their genetic base has had a lasting influence, Spaceborn are just plan ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 46.4k
10 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

Humans really don't need a beneficial reason to do this to people who are different. Given something to be tribal and insular about, we will be tribal and insular about it regardless of how stupid ...
smithkm's user avatar
  • 4,907
10 votes

Which factors determine how far a government can expand without losing control?

Alexander's answer is, IMHO, the best answer and should be upvoted and accepted. I am only adding to it. That list of "other factors" he mentions is, as a whole, equally important when compared to ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 126k
10 votes

Could a city be built out of Balloons?

Buckminster Fuller had this idea many years ago, but instead of helium, he had an insight into geodesic domes that suggested when built large enough, they would become hot air balloons. Calling it a &...
Thucydides's user avatar
  • 97.7k
8 votes

In a world where money and currency were never invented, and never will, how is international trade different from our world?

An alternate system of currency would probably evolve. There are several examples of alternate currencies in the past where either currency didn't exist or lost all its value. During the time of ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 15.8k
8 votes

Where would pirates go to operate?

Anywhere With A Friendly Harbor: Inevitably, there will be a place that either encourages the pirates to attack enemies, permits pirates and has "neutrality" to take advantage of their ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.9k
7 votes

How can waste be disposed of in an isolated system?

Well, lets start with some clarification...first, in a completely closed system by definition you can't gain or lose whatever it is that is in the system. While waste disposal is one issue in your ...
James's user avatar
  • 32.9k
7 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

It might be for the same reason that someone with a home, good job, and family, might feel superior to someone who lives in the ghetto. Earth is the birthplace of humanity, but in this future it's ...
AndyD273's user avatar
  • 34.8k
7 votes

Could a city be built out of Balloons?

So like jumping castles made of PVC and nylon? RonJohn is right that this probably wouldn't work on Earth, you could get a building-like structure in the air and it could stay aloft with some people ...
Cognisant's user avatar
  • 4,880
7 votes
Accepted

What would make an atmosphere green?

The reason our sky is blue is a mixture of 2 phenomenan called Rayleigh scattering and blackbody radiation. Rayleigh scattering says that shorter wavelengths of light (blues and purples) are more ...
Nyra's user avatar
  • 2,018
7 votes

Are horses better than rovers on a habitable planet with a small colony

Horses' needs don't scale down very well, which would make them a liability for a small colony. A larger one could get more use out of them and better mitigate the problems. Problem one is getting ...
Cadence's user avatar
  • 38.5k
6 votes

How do I figure out how many people my domed city on a hostile planet can support?

Paolo Soleri, the Italian architect who pioneered the idea of Arcologies: cities in a bottle, ie: Domed cities, calculated that maximum habitation in an ultra-urban setting wih all necessary services, ...
Wes Miley's user avatar
6 votes

Earthborn Inferiority

The most obvious answer is wealth. Orbital habitats would be man made paradise for the ultra wealthy and nothing gives the feelings of superiority than money. See Elysium Dirt is for the peasants.
Thorne's user avatar
  • 47.4k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible