A New Branch of Human Civilization
Continuing on Mars a little bit, one of the interesting long term consequences of exploring and eventually colonizing Mars is the fact that the colonists may be branching human civilization. Zubrin and Wagner don’t go into great depths trying to describe what the civilization would look like but note that it would give a fresh start to part of humanity and it would certainly be a different start as the physical conditions on Mars are radically different than those on earth. As part of mission support in simulations on earth on the arctic and desert stations I witnessed human factors research - however, this research was in essence limited to the workings of small teams in an isolated environment and for short periods of time. There was nothing touching on economy or social order in those simulations, and it couldn’t be as the crew sizes and objectives were completely different.
Now apparently a group of people from Sweden and their supporters are trying to, in a way, create a “new branch”. For completely different reasons - to create a shelter for torrent tracking servers. The group has set up a campaign to raise money to buy Sealand, a former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a ‘micronation’, and claims to be outside the jurisdiction of the UK or any other country. Now in order to raise the money, and this is the catch, they plan to give citizenship to donors. Sure, maybe it’s a great PR move or maybe they mean it but the forum is already full of discussion of topics you rarely see touched in this times of more or less established nation states. On the weak side, if this guys pull the purchase off, will they face sanctions, will they become members of the UN, how will they derive income, what about the constitution, will they be able to plug into the rest of the internet, will they face a military invasion? I am almost sure they would face economic sanctions if not a military strike by a country bought by the RIAA. The discussions are light at best, still I must admit I’ve never seen an experiment like this before. Here’s the link to Buy Sealand and to an article with more info.