Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    My machine of choice for this is the Apple II+, possibly the last machine made with discrete 74 series logic chips and a 6502 processor (which has only around 3000 transistors, in fact you can [and people have] make one...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    I'm not questioning that Musk wants to go to Mars, but I do wonder why he wants to go to Mars. I agree. I think Musk, like many (most) other human spaceflight enthusiasts has grown up reading fiction by...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Thee _will_ be projectile weapons. In an indoor colony on Mars, a projectile weapon that can shoot through walls is essentially a WMD. I expect Martian attitudes to gun control to be so draconian they make Scotland's look like a...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Some reactors use our atmosphere as the heat sink instead of water, and the readily available Martian CO2 is a practical heat transfer medium. Remind me again, what's the atmospheric pressure like on Mars at mean surface level? (Now...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Formula works about as well as natural milk for the most part despite the massive blood and ink spilled over it. I don't se that as a major limiting factor in the health of babies. Formula milk is mostly squeezed...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Question: for those of you paying attention to military aerospace, is there a race to produce a new generation of intercontinental missiles on, by any chance? Not unless Italy and Japan are tooling up for the next Cold War? You...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    I hereby declare a global peace dividend, wherein we use the nuclear arsenals of the world in orion ships (lifting off of the Earth's surface, of course). There aren't enough of them. The best estimate I found was that a...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    So what does Mars make and ship back to Earth to make the whole endeavor financially viable? Elon has no idea! And neither do I. (Hell, I wrote an entire novel in which I tried to hork up a plausible...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    In case I never mentioned it before, I am a NAUI tech diver and PADI divemaster. Paul's message made my jaw hit the desk. IIRC there were US deaths in Afghanistan due to a buggy GPS system. Special forces in...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Where do you get a sterile saline solution on Mars? That's easy. Back when I worked as a hospital pharmacist in the mid-late 80s, we manufactured dialysis fluid and sterile saline in the district hospital aseptic manufacturing suite. All it...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    I think it was you who stated a colony with a population smaller than Germany couldn't survive; could NOT become self sustaining. Germany has a current population just under 84 million. Yes. My yardstick for self-sustaining was "... and with...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Visits/consultations with a GP in the UK are basically glorified triage interviews: if it's something trivial the GP prescribes a fix on the spot, if it needs specialist intervention you get a follow-on appointment with a community health centre or...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    I think by 2070 we're probably seeing exo-wombs as a major factor in reproduction even on Earth, and on Mars it's almost certainly going to be normal if it can be done with any decent success rate for a fetus...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Really? You don't think China or Russia or India will have a colony there? Russia is a has-been: population base like Mexico, economy based on resource extraction. India and China are much more likely contenders in the long term, but...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    You can find answers to most of your questions elsewhere. Space elevators on Mars run into the problem of Phobos: to a first approximation, they seem highly unlikely unless you can build in some kind of resonance so they avoid...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    MRI machines may be too heavy/bulky for a space ship No they're not, at least not automatically: there are really new ultra-small wheeled MRI machines about the size of a microwave oven that are large enough for a limb and...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Whitroth: Someone's mentioned they have ME: I had to ask my SO... oh, another name for fibromyalgia, No, ME is really not fibromyalgia by any other name. Different diagnosis, different treatments (and, more recently, evidence of immune system involvement: it...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Philip Jose Farmer has all of this covered in his Riverworld series. That sounds like he was taking the piss out of Scientology....
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Yes, but nevertheless can we not have that discussion here? THIS IS FOR THE COVID HITS A MARS COLONY DISCUSSION, DAMMIT....
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    The "religious fuckwits" aren't actually serious about the position that life begins at conception, souls, and so forth: they're mostly hypocrites attempting to justify a white supremacist patriarchy based on the oppression of women. This becomes clear very rapidly when...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Do you realize that you are describing a male-only Martian colony? Alaska or California during the gold rush. See also: cribhouses, mail-order brides, and a gender ratio of 4:1 being "normal". Personally I expect the first 10-20 years of Mars...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    If long covid is equivalent to bad M.E, I would not trust anyone with it with any important task Yes, absolutely. I know some folks with varying degrees of ME and it's crippling: not just physically debilitating, but the "brain...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    And assume the colony has no-one who had a detectable significant medical condition when they left Earth, with an average on-colony time of 15 years. Just getting to Mars is going to give every colonist a significant radiation dose. Elevated...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Sign it or stay here on Earth. "We've got more volunteers than we have seats on the Starships. You need us more than we need you." You do know that roughly 70% of conceptions end in a miscarriage (that is,...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Do you imagine they have some shielding force fields, like maybe https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Cloud_City ? No. Turns out that high energy cosmic rays are so high energy that you need a multi-tesla magnetic field to deflect them -- something we normally only...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    On reproduction, two points the (mostly male) commentariat seem to have missed: a) We don't know the prognosis for how safe/viable human gestation will be on Mars. That might prove to be a show-stopper, absent the availability of centrifuge accommodation...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Three is the absolute minimum I'll go underwater with when I'm using a fully closed rebeather. I can't imagine any less than that in a habitat, and probably more. A nuance of life in the Mars colony just clarified itself...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    I'm just astonished that in this day and age pharmaceuticals for injection are still distributed in glass vials with rubber tops in inactive/powder form that need to have sterile saline added and then be loaded into individual syringes for injection....
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    All these chores--suit prep and maintenance, prepping the suit-wearer, and so forth, routinely gets ignored in SFF, but it's an integral part of their use. Yup. This is why my go-to for a Martian-specific job is "robot wrangler". Lots of...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    The factor I think we haven't got in this account is the change in the proportion of healthcare to the overall economy over time, which is relevant because it's universally increasing now. A key factor that most people don't get...
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