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October 27, 2008


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Well, the reason people think living on the Moon means living at one sixth G is because they grow up reading Heinlein's "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" in which all the Loonies live at one sixth G.

Then again people used to think that Mars meant visiting alien kingdoms full of beautiful, barely-dressed people all of whom subscribed to pulp 1912 values (i.e. eternal true love and lots of sword fighting) because of Burrough's John Carter of Mars and sequels. That fantasy world was considerably less likely than anything Heinlein ever wrote.

Rustin H. Wright

Diana, you're great. You've literally got me laughing out loud at that because that's so insane and yet absolutely true. You're right. Everybody "knows" that living in space can mean rotating cylinders. They've seen it in movies all their lives. And everybody "knows" what life on the moon would be because of exactly the stuff you mentioned.

Gawd. Some days I feel like there's no tech work that matters a tenth as much as creating new, improved propaganda for the clueless masses. We don't need better launch technologies. We need more toys, more comics, and more episodes of The Cape and Firefly.



no, we need better fantasy writers.
but there's just no overcoming the main problem than aliens are really not likely to be beautiful, barely-dressed, passionate humans.....


Have you heard about the research suggesting that the dust can be 'baked' by shining (I think) microwaves on it? It would settle the moondust problem, and might provide something of a rigid backing for the track.

Rustin H. Wright

Diana, well, then, whose fault is that? I demand warranty service on the "aliens likely to be encountered" module of this universe.

Rustin H. Wright

Patrick, yeah, I've read about that in a few places. I suspect that once we've got people on the ground there or simply more effective "synthetic moondust", we'll see quite a few promising possible fixes turn up. Though personally, I like the microwave approach since it uses no material supplies. This would be a great job for a mobile robot. Store up electricity, heat an area a few meters wide until the charge is gone, roll onto newly flat surface, charge, heat, etc.

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