It astonishes me—but then I’m beginning to suspect that I am easily astonished—how many young people think that they are going to go to Mars, or even live there.
Many are probably just deluded: living in a fantasy world. But what explains the others? I can only presume that the problem is the “new math”. People just can’t do ‘rithmetic anymore.
Doing the math(s)
It’s not really mathematics. It’s just arithmetic.
There are currently a little over eight billion humans on Earth. That’s a lot. Too many.
So let’s assume there’s a big die off. Maybe a few billion, and only five billion survive. Wow. That’s a lot of dead bodies. Where will we put them all?
(Note how, like you, dear reader, I immediately assumed that I would be among the survivors. It is this optimism that keeps us from doing anything to avoid catastrophe—we assume that it will happen to someone else. So who cares?)
Most humans have no concept of numbers. We can maybe get to seven. On a good day. And a billion is a very big number, although still not big enough for the über-parasites who want everything for themselves and nothing for anyone else (cf. “vile maxim”). No, they need hundreds of billions.
So let’s put it in perspective, as they say.
Suppose your job is to count to a billion. You count seconds. And you count eight hours a day, five days a week, fifty weeks of the year. Boring job, I know, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Let’s see. Arithmetic. So, 3600 seconds per hour, 40 hours per week is 40 × 3600 = 144,000 seconds of counting per work week. How long until we reach, say, a million?
It will take you 1,000,000 ÷ 144,000 ≈ 6.94 weeks. Easy peasy, no? So you’ll reach a million in just under seven weeks of work. Whew!
Still with me, or did all those numbers scare you off? Now… how long to reach a billion?
Again, I am astonished by how few people can answer this simple question at all, let alone without having to think about it. We should be able to do this in our sleep as we already know the number for a million: 6.944.
A billion is a thousand millions, so it would take a thousand times longer than it took to count to a million. 1000 × 6.944 = 6,944. See how we moved the decimal point three places to the left? Is any of this coming back to you? No?
Now, 6944 ÷ 52 weeks/year (approximately) is approximately 134.
If you count seconds for forty hours per week, then you’ll reach a million in under two months. But to count to a billion would take you two lifetimes. And a million was already a very big number.
Is this starting to sink in?
About those people
So we’re down to five billion humans on Earth, thanks to some big die-offs (coming soon to a planet near you). But we don’t care because we’re going to live on Mars!
So what are the odds? Let’s see.
If we’re really lucky, then in the next few decades we might manage to get a few dozen people to Mars after a whole bunch have died trying. Or died on Mars. Or died trying to get back from Mars.
And then it will take decades more to create a livable habitat on Mars, if that is even possible (don’t bet on it). And how many humans will that habitat support say, half a century from now, if we get there at all? (And how old will you be?)
A few hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?
Let’s be generous and take that ten thousand number. So what percentage is that of the five billion remaining humans on Earth? Oh, for fuck’s sake! Now we have to do percentages? Will this arithmetic never end?
OK, fine, I’ll do it for you. 10,000 ÷ 5,000,000,000 × 100 = 0.0002%.
Ooo. Wait. That can’t be right can it?
Oh, yes it can. It is. That means for a population of five billion on Earth, putting ten thousand on Mars (seriously, no fucking way that’s ever happening) means that precisely one person in half a million (500,000) gets to go to Mars, with probably less than a 50/50 chance of surviving the trip and the first year on the planet.
Two people out of every million. Those odds sound familiar. Oh, right. That’s not far from the odds that you’re going to win the Megaturds lottery and live richly ever after. In short: zero. I hate to break it to you, but we are never going to win that big lottery. Someone might. But not us.
We’re not going to Mars, either.
Star Trek is a FANTASY
Star Trek—and its kissing cousin, Star Wars—is a fantasy. It is not even science fiction. I know this comes as a terrible shock to, well, everyone, but stop wailing “no, no, no!” for a moment and just think about it.
The masturbatory dreams of emotionally-retarded physicists aside, there is no—zero—scientific or rational basis for any of that shit. There simply isn’t. Just try explaining the transporter, for example (at least Star Wars avoided that goofiness).
Well, it breaks the body down into some kind of instruction set (does it hurt?), sends that to a remote location where there is no receiver and then constructs a new copy of the person from, hmm, available materials, I guess. Which doesn’t account for why they can “beam” people into the vacuum of space. Fantastic, right?
Or how they jump start the life functions on the other end. Or how it works without a receiver. Or, oh, a million other things. At least Altered Carbon got this part right!
But that’s only the half of it. Not even half. If we can store people as instruction sets and then create a new copy of them anywhere we want, then why can’t we create two, five, ten, a thousand copies?
Oh, they’ve explored this in the show, of course, but then promptly forgot about it when it no longer served the plot.
For that matter, why is it that anyone ever dies in Star Trek? Can’t you just make a new copy from the back up in the transporter? What? They never thought of that?
Well, again, they did. But only when it served the plot line.
And why is it that their “replicator” in the galley—a device that can create not only organic compounds suitable for consumption by humans, but also plates, utensils, etc.—is a worthless piece of shit when they desperately need new “dilithium crystals”? Or any other item the plot requires them to do without temporarily?
For that matter (heh), why can’t it create a new heart, or kidney, or brain?
Star Trek and Star Wars are insults to science and rationality. Insults! Unless, of course, we recognize them as fantasy—wish-fulfilling flights of fancy with zero relationship to the real world and the laws of physics. Or common sense.
Please remove your head from your rectum
But people don’t see them as fantasy. They really believe, although they’ll often deny it, that all this schlock, and boy is it schlock, could be real. Galaxy Quest was a documentary before it descends into pathetic, albeit hilarious, wish-fulfillment.
That’s bad enough, but the titans of tech are now manipulating this disease to get large numbers of humans to look away as they complete their rape and pillage of Earth. Yes, the entire planet. Well, technically our rape and pillage after which we give it all to the parasite class because they can’t be arsed to get their own hands dirty.
And we do it for them joyfully! Thank you, sir! May I have another?
By the time we humans wake up, it will be too late. The über-parasites will be “safe” (they think) in their walled estates and on their private islands, guarded by robots and drones (humans would overthrow them first chance). And they’ll be laughing at us. At the rubes.
“Fancy thinking they were going to live on Mars!”, they’ll chuckle. “Idiots! Do the math.”
We’re here on Earth and here will will remain, for better or worse. This is our lifeboat in the vast and pitiless emptiness of space. We will either make things work here, or we will be swept aside so that some other species can have a go.
Tech is not going to save us. Tech is what is killing us. AI will kill us. Robotics will kill us, too. And gene manipulation, and nuclear power, and biological weapons research, and so on.
All because we are stupid infants who can’t be trusted with these weapons of mass destruction.
As a red-blooded ‘murikin male, I love tech. But I am not stupid.
Every generation has had its doomsayers, but only recently has our technology evolved to make our planet-wide autogenocide not only possible, but certain unless we change course right fucking now.
Every day that we dither thinking “just a little more tech… just a little more tech…” the door to a future—any future—closes that much more. Soon it will close completely and forever, and nothing we do will save us.
How embarrassing! Not even an asteroid. Just our own stupidity and selfishness.
Tech could be a tool used to make life better for every living thing on Earth. But that would require wisdom and maturity—two qualities virtually non-existent among homo sapiens sapiens [sic].
We are not going to Mars. Not now. Not ever.
Now put your toys away and help clean up this mess.
To be fair, you and I along with everyone else alive is the result of winning the sperm Olympics. The odds of getting to the uterus end zone is slim to none. Any non zero probability of getting to Mars and extending our collective existence is worth a shot.
That said, I do agree that it should be further down the list of humanity's priorities. Coincidently you're not the first person that has described a planet as a life boat. I watched a TED Talk years ago and the lady giving the talk said "Making Mars our backup planet is like the captain of the Titanic telling us the party is on the life boat".