best spot on Earth to restart civilization

2 ogleda
Preskoči na prvo neprebrano sporočilo

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 03:09:4427. 12. 08
do

If one could go to alternate unpopulated Earth (or maybe Earth 50,000
BC but after that big volcano caused 1000 year ice-age), and start
over, either with few families or with million people, with no tools
or lots of tools, where is best spot?

=
=
=

One would want to harvest teaming oceans, would want to use grasslands
for grazing untended herds, would want to be by fossil fuels, would
want to be by minerals, would want OK climate for growing and living.
Sounds like Houston, LA, Iran, have all these. I goal is to repopulate
the fastest starting in Asia to be near good lands would be best. If
one were mean one would force some colonists ahead to do hard work,
then come 100 years later.

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 03:24:2027. 12. 08
do

Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -

If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
moving goods, people, oil, ores?

Or if one could redesign cities would one only use light transit with
no roads, and let factories pay for their own rail connection if they
needed more than a person could cart around on mass transit?


mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 03:33:5127. 12. 08
do
On Dec 27, 2:24 am, mn_mn <alexwilliamruss...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
>

To answer myself a bit about Transportation, suburbs need everyday 1)
water, 2) sewer, and 3) heat or power for heating/cooling, and
everyweek people need to be able to bring in 4) 100 pounds of food and
clothing. Either in ground piping is needed for water or a truck has
to go around and unload water into tanks every month (?), sewer maybe
can be done with high-tech composting toilets or maybe too many septic
tanks, and heating/cooling could be solar electric maybe but also
might require drop-offs of propane each year, , , , , so maybe can't
eliminate some infrastructure either piping or roads. People can cart
in from the 6 block away walmart or mass-transit station enough food
and clothing each week, so that's not a problem.

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 03:39:3527. 12. 08
do
On Dec 27, 2:33 am, mn_mn <alexwilliamruss...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Dec 27, 2:24 am, mn_mn <alexwilliamruss...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
>

Could quickly landing, stopping, and flying planes be used for mass
transit, putting an airport every half-km in a radial pattern from the
city center out to 30 km, , , or are planes just too unsafe or noisy?
Helicopters maybe are better but not sure.

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 04:37:4727. 12. 08
do

To keep talking to myself about how to redesign suburbs from scratch,
from some research it appears heating a big house up north takes at
least 10,000 (9 tons of coal) pounds of fuel a winter, about 50 pounds
a day which is way too much to hand carry in or even easily have
trucks drop off without good roads. I never knew heating was so
heavy... Either roads, electrical transmission cables for heating,
or fuel piping will be needed for any suburb, unless very efficient
solar power for each house is perfected. I would probably just go
with electrical transmission cables and use electricity for lighting
and also heating.

http://www.dailyadvance.com/business/burning-coal-at-home-is-making-a-comeback-326345.html?service=print
= = "Mr. Ridlington said he was typically burning 1,500 gallons of oil
each winter to heat his 3,300-square-foot home. At last year’s prices,
that would have cost about $7,000, he said. This winter, he expects to
burn nine tons of coal at a cost of about $1,400."
http://www.dailyadvance.com/business/burning-coal-at-home-is-making-a-comeback-326345.html?service=print
,,,,,,,,,,,,, This is about 30 chords of wood, or about 2000 gallons
of propane.

harry...@sunderland.ac.uk

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 05:31:4027. 12. 08
do
In article
<b78de860-109a-4604...@w1g2000prm.googlegroups.com>,
mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:

If the interregnum is too long, carbon dioxide concentration drops too
far and we can expect a glacial period to take place--it would have by
now except for that. The problem with a glacial period is that the
climatic record indicates the weather changes too much too quickly in
most parts of the work for reliable agricultural production. So no
temperate zone repopulation if the system goes glacial. That leaves us
with the tropics.

Joel Olson

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 08:07:5227. 12. 08
do

"mn_mn" <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:b78de860-109a-4604...@w1g2000prm.googlegroups.com...

>
> If one could go to alternate unpopulated Earth (or maybe Earth 50,000
> BC but after that big volcano caused 1000 year ice-age), and start
> over, either with few families or with million people, with no tools
> or lots of tools, where is best spot?
> =
> =
> One would want to harvest teaming oceans, would want to use grasslands
> for grazing untended herds, would want to be by fossil fuels, would
> want to be by minerals, would want OK climate for growing and living.
> Sounds like Houston, LA, Iran, have all these. I goal is to repopulate
> the fastest starting in Asia to be near good lands would be best. If
> one were mean one would force some colonists ahead to do hard work,
> then come 100 years later.
>

Millions of people, complete with tools and the technology to support
that culture, is hardly "starting over", no matter where in Earth's geologic
history you choose.

On the minimalist side, with only enough people to provide a large enough
gene pool, I'd suggest reading Jared Diamond's _Guns, Germs and Steel_,
which tries to explain how environmental factors have influenced cultures.
However, I suspect that the most viable option would be to go to
Oldavi Gorge and supplant/wipe out the australopithecenes.


Howard Brazee

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 11:16:0527. 12. 08
do
The places where humans flourished weren't necessarily the safest -
they were the places with lots of water (floods) and thus with lots of
food. There's a reason Bangladesh is crowded.

But if you had technology available, you could have an ocean fishing
society which might fit your wants/needs better.

--
"In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,
than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace
to the legislature, and not to the executive department."

- James Madison

Michael Ash

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 11:25:1627. 12. 08
do
mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
>
> If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
> supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
> building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
> moving goods, people, oil, ores?

Aircraft are extremely intensive in both manpower and energy when compared
to both road and rail. There's a reason air freight costs so much more
than ground freight, and it's not because airplanes "got here late" or are
getting some sort of bum deal, it's because airplanes are inherently more
expensive.

The nice thing about planes is that they're fast and require essentially
no infrastructure except at the beginning and end of the trip. This makes
them good for time-sensitive items and for areas where there isn't enough
traffic to justify road and rail infrastructure. If you're shipping things
which don't need to arrive really fast and which get shipped in high
volume and high frequency (which is nearly everything) then road and rail
win big.

--
Mike Ash
Radio Free Earth
Broadcasting from our climate-controlled studios deep inside the Moon

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 12:55:2727. 12. 08
do

As mentioned Jared Diamond's _Guns, Germs and Steel_, does help show
why some civilizations grew faster - turns out good crops, animals,
and sorta climate are rare to find in one place and then takes time to
develop crops and boost yields, , , Americanindians lacked good
animals and wheats whereas Africans lacked good animals and climate,
etc. It also took a while for crops and animals to be spread, China
for long time lacked water buffalo etc. Strangely chickens weren't
grown by more than gourmands until 1500 AD especially just for eggs
showing how un-innovative people can be. But if one had high-tech to
restart Civ one could bring wide range of crops and animals, so not a
big problem.

Grasslands are good since due to elevation/rainfall/fires? they
naturally have few trees, I wonder if ancient India was a forest or at
least bush-land before people came, same with China. River valleys
have easy access to water, good for rice which has great yields, do
they grow that in Bangladesh mostly?

trigonometry1972@gmail.com |

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 12:55:3127. 12. 08
do

Lebanon, the fertile crescent might be good. Then the population
could expand into to Europe with all its coastlines thus
providing for excellent low tech transport.

Not the tropics as it tends to have too many diseases or too
fat north as that would limit the size of the population.

History is a good guide. The only problem is that
some easy ore deposit maybe mined out.
I'll suggest the American Pacific Northwest,
California would have access to minerals.
Land suitable to irrigation seems to help
civilization which the west has. Though it
maybe too spread out. So I return
to my first suggestion as to where is better and
add in the lower Nile provided the
Aswan dam has failed or filled
up with sand.

Beware of the god-king of irrigation
or of the next Nimrod..............Trig

trigonometry1972@gmail.com |

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 13:12:1227. 12. 08
do
On Dec 27, 2:31 am, harry.er...@sunderland.ac.uk wrote:
> In article
> <b78de860-109a-4604-88a7-9d20a5a43...@w1g2000prm.googlegroups.com>,

That would simply mean that the temperate regions are farther south
in the northern hemisphere. The lower ocean levels would
reveal vast plains in the region of southeast Asia though minerals
deposits available might be less than ideal. The climate
to the south of the Mediterranean Sea should be wetter
though the soils would still be sandy and poor.

For a small population Peru might be good. Growing mountain
glaciers to feed the streams and irrigation plus the coastline
for clams and fish.

Preserving knowledge would be the challenge and it
would be a great source of power if preserved.
Maps of minerals deposits, methods of ore processing
and metal working. Even wood working methods
would be important.

Or perhaps the north island of New Zealand...........Trig

trigonometry1972@gmail.com |

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 13:32:0327. 12. 08
do

Then fishing would be more important or perhaps growing rice in
the newly exposed area in SE Asia would be more reliable. I am not
so sure agriculture has ever been that reliable. One of the merits
of wheat is that it can be stored for years. A point of which the
ancients
were well aware and considered extremely important. A mixed
food culture that includes herding into the steppe lands on one
side and fishing in the nearby seas on the other in addition to
agriculture should be a more stable food base.
Plus this would encourage trade, villages,
and writing to remaining viable. Some places would reduce
man to the level to that of the "digger" Native Americans tribes such
that they would be living little above the animals and not prone
to survive when more advanced peoples expand into
their region.

Trig

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 14:06:5927. 12. 08
do

To guard against civ collapse maybe seed world with 1 billion
stainless steel knives, axes, plows, and maybe even canoes and
trawlers, which maybe costs $100 billion but could be worth it. Or
what small things would make a big difference, tupperware? Ancients
had to make and use not great materials like heavy wood hulls and hard
to refine small metal tools. Best tool would be an indestructable
library, maybe showing pictures of how to make stuff.

Restarting basic civ sounds like hard work. Funner is keeping high-
tech and escaping to Hawaii to fish and eat from herds of wild cows (I
think no wolves and maybe even dogs were on ancient Hawaii). And hope
no tidal wave or volcano happens near.

mn_mn

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 14:11:2727. 12. 08
do

As a practical gov't policy to take right now, what tools should gov't
spread around to fight a collapse ,, ,, warm clothing and blankets
and fire burning stoves, greenhouse material to make through any
nuclear or volcano caused winter, seeds, 1000 pounds of high calorie
lard? But this sounds depressing, sci fi should be fun. Time to work
today.

Alie...@gmail.com

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 14:16:4127. 12. 08
do
On Dec 27, 12:09 am, mn_mn <alexwilliamruss...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> If one could go to alternate unpopulated Earth (or maybe Earth 50,000
> BC but after that big volcano caused 1000 year ice-age), and start
> over, either with few families or with million people, with no tools
> or lots of tools, where is best spot?

Others have pointed to many good places to start but I wanted to
first ask you, what sort of civilization did you have in mind? To me a
civilization is more than its technology and economy, you must
consider its culture; how the people think of themselves and their
environment. Frinst, what sort of people are you going to send, what
sort of environment do they know how to live in, and where will you
send them? Yes, people are adaptable, but sending Sherpas to the Nile
valley, even with massive tech support, doesn't seem optimum to me.

If you just want as large a population as possible in as short a
time as possible, that's fairly straightforward, but you'll need to
concentrate most of your tech resources on massive-scale monoculture
farming, food processing and distribution to feed all those mouths and
manage all the sewage. But this sounds a lot like a feedlot for
humans; would _you_ want to live in such a place? I sure wouldn't.

If you want to replicate a specific culture then plant them where
they started from with the sorts of animals and crop seeds they are
used to, and enough tools to get started and stand back.

If it's an end-of-the-world scenario and/or a Mad Scientist (tm)
wants to play Ant Farm with people, then it really doesn't matter
where you put whoever the 'colonists' are. I mean, given half a
chance, humans have thrived pretty much everywhere on the planet
except Antarctica. Even dropping nth-generation city dwellers butt-
naked into jungles/deserts/wherever will give you a pretty good return
after a few generations. Yes, the attrition rate will be awful in the
short term but after the shock is over people _will_ find a way to
survive.

> One would want to harvest teaming oceans, would want to use grasslands
> for grazing untended herds, would want to be by fossil fuels, would
> want to be by minerals, would want OK climate for growing and living.
> Sounds like Houston, LA, Iran, have all these. I goal is to repopulate
> the fastest starting in Asia to be near good lands would be best.  If
> one were mean one would force some colonists ahead to do hard work,
> then come 100 years later.

Houston has hurricanes, LA and Iran have quakes. No place on Earth
is really "ideal". I personally think that most of the planet is
actually only marginally "shirtsleeve", the evidence being the
prevalence of food gathering/storage and people-protective/sheltering
technologies in all cultures.

Also, how much time is there to do this? If you have that 100 yrs to
wait for the labor to get done there doesn't seem to be any real rush.
If it's an EOTW scenario then just shove as many through to wherever
they end up as fast as you can and let 'em "root hog, or die".


Mark L. Fergerson

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 16:00:2427. 12. 08
do
mn_mn wrote:
> Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
>
> If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
> supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
> building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
> moving goods, people, oil, ores?

It seems very unlikely to me. Air travel requires more technical
proficience (hence why we came up with it last after land and air
travel), is more expensive, and requires more active maintenance (since
if something goes wrong in the air, you end up hitting the ground rather
than simply slowing to a stop).

It seems that you're also overlooking the key feature of transportation
-- it happens at many levels, and must in order to keep everything
running. Even if you changed, say, the main rail lines with
point-to-point air depots (at great expense, as above), you're still
going to need to move things around in between the main terminals,
whether it's simple deliveries or passengers. It doesn't seem plausible
to do that _all_ with air traffic, light or not.

--
Erik Max Francis && m...@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM, Y!M erikmaxfrancis
Only love is worth the risk
-- Oleta Adams

Wayne Throop

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 16:15:2427. 12. 08
do
:: mn_mn
:: If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain

:: supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
:: building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
:: moving goods, people, oil, ores?

: Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com>
: It seems very unlikely to me. Air travel requires more technical


: proficience (hence why we came up with it last after land and air
: travel), is more expensive, and requires more active maintenance
: (since if something goes wrong in the air, you end up hitting the
: ground rather than simply slowing to a stop).

There's a reason the Berlin airlift was a one-of stunt, and didn't really
catch on, even when developing new regions since then. Even if you
have a fleet of Antonov AN-225's, you're not really going to replace
oil pipelines or coal trains. What's the equivalent of a mile-long
train of coal cars in an-225s? And such a train leaves a major coal
mine pretty much every day. Similar things are true of iron ore.
One could argue that the coal and ore mines are wehere you put the power
plants and smelters (and an225 factories), but you still have to move
stuff between resource sites at the very least. Plus, seeing the coal
loading/unloading techniques, airplanes would have a *lot* of trouble
loading/unleading within an order of magnitude as fast.

Might be able to come up with an easier-to-build transportation
infrastructure, but the ground is just sooooooo much more convenient
for supporting heavy loads than mere thin air, it's gonna get used.
But maybe it could get used via ship-sized hovercraft, so all you have
to do is clear pathways of major obstacles and plant a hardy grass or
somesuch. (See Simak's "The Werewolf Principle"; also freight transport
in Alaska irl.) Hrm, that that's actually easier than laying a couple
steel rails, especially absent the ice and snow, is quite unclear.
"The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands." Ahem.

Plus, a bit hard to ship electrical power via aircraft. Sure,
convert it to fuel, but still. Power transmission grids are
*going* to get built, and pipelines too.

Hm. Consider ballistic transport. An EM catapult, an artificial
lake and another catapult every few dozens of miles, might be an
easier deal to build. Not so good for passengers (despite the
bits in Starman Jones), but for some forms of freight, maybe.
Give new meaning to the term "bullet train".


So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

--- Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin

( hm... lighter than air freight... nah, but still,
water and ground is soooo much easier )
( see also the ill-fated attempts by the
Mesklins to use lighter than air craft
extensively in the sequel, "Star Light" )
( plus the uniform failure of proposed heavy-lift
LTA craft IRL, some quite spectacular )

Wayne Throop thr...@sheol.org http://sheol.org/throopw

Steve Hix

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 17:59:3327. 12. 08
do
In article <12303951...@web1.segnet.com>,
Michael Ash <mi...@mikeash.com> wrote:

> mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
> >
> > If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
> > supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
> > building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
> > moving goods, people, oil, ores?
>
> Aircraft are extremely intensive in both manpower and energy when compared
> to both road and rail.

Once those rails/roads have been built. Doing that takes a huge amount
of effort and resources. Doesn't look like so much after they're in
place, though.

Aircraft at the lower end of performance can get by with relatively
small resource requirements.

And in some places, airplanes beat out everything else. They're usually
niche environments; I have friends who have worked in PNG and some areas
of Central and South America, for example. The roads being awful or
nonexistent, and the cargo being relatively light and non-bulky, such as
medical supplies, books, and the like.

> There's a reason air freight costs so much more
> than ground freight, and it's not because airplanes "got here late" or are
> getting some sort of bum deal, it's because airplanes are inherently more
> expensive.

*Big*, fast airplanes are very expensive. (And yet, they are competitive
with other transportation alternatives, depending on the cargo and
things like time to market requirements.)

If you want to move something *really* big or heavy, not much beats big
boats, even after a lot of effort working up alternatives. Hope you have
some patience, it'll take time.

> The nice thing about planes is that they're fast and require essentially
> no infrastructure except at the beginning and end of the trip. This makes
> them good for time-sensitive items and for areas where there isn't enough
> traffic to justify road and rail infrastructure. If you're shipping things
> which don't need to arrive really fast and which get shipped in high
> volume and high frequency (which is nearly everything) then road and rail
> win big.

Which is what makes it possible to eat (reasonably) fresh produce in
upstate Minnesota in midwinter.

Steve Hix

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 18:04:3427. 12. 08
do
In article
<c0661d41-95d6-4132...@z28g2000prd.googlegroups.com>,
mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Why focus on dependence on government?

Various private enterprises/religious groups have been storing and
distributing these sorts of things for a fairly long time, and continue
to do so.

Probably with a good deal less waste than governments usually handle
things.

Might be more useful to encourage shifts in social group behaviors to do
this sort of thing. If the SHTF, they'd be better served to already be
used to thinking in those directions than waiting for FEMA, or whatever
the local equivalent might be, to show up at the door.

Steve Hix

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 18:06:0327. 12. 08
do
In article <h9KdnXeGvaL1CsvU...@speakeasy.net>,

Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:

>
> It seems very unlikely to me. Air travel requires more technical
> proficience (hence why we came up with it last after land and air
> travel), is more expensive, and requires more active maintenance (since
> if something goes wrong in the air, you end up hitting the ground rather
> than simply slowing to a stop).

As strange as it might seem, if the engine quits, the airplane is still
a glider, if not a really great one.

They don't fall out of the sky like a wing-shot duck.

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 19:53:4627. 12. 08
do
Steve Hix wrote:

And many other things can and do go wrong than an engine quietly
quitting while you're within the range of a suitable airstrip.

--
Erik Max Francis && m...@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM, Y!M erikmaxfrancis

Every astronaut who goes up knows the risks he or she faces.
-- Sally Ride

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 19:56:2127. 12. 08
do
Steve Hix wrote:

> In article <12303951...@web1.segnet.com>,
> Michael Ash <mi...@mikeash.com> wrote:
>
>> mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>> Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
>>>
>>> If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
>>> supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
>>> building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
>>> moving goods, people, oil, ores?
>> Aircraft are extremely intensive in both manpower and energy when compared
>> to both road and rail.
>
> Once those rails/roads have been built. Doing that takes a huge amount
> of effort and resources. Doesn't look like so much after they're in
> place, though.
>
> Aircraft at the lower end of performance can get by with relatively
> small resource requirements.

And for the bulk movement of people and material that is required for a
civilization, all that rail and road infrastructure costs _less_ than
just doing everything with airplanes. Which should be pretty obvious
because if it weren't true, then that is what developing areas and
expanding cities would do, but they don't.

Steve Hix

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 23:17:2527. 12. 08
do
In article <UKmdnT5RhbSHU8vU...@speakeasy.net>,

Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:

> Steve Hix wrote:
>
> > In article <h9KdnXeGvaL1CsvU...@speakeasy.net>,
> > Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:
> >
> >> It seems very unlikely to me. Air travel requires more technical
> >> proficience (hence why we came up with it last after land and air
> >> travel), is more expensive, and requires more active maintenance (since
> >> if something goes wrong in the air, you end up hitting the ground rather
> >> than simply slowing to a stop).
> >
> > As strange as it might seem, if the engine quits, the airplane is still
> > a glider, if not a really great one.
> >
> > They don't fall out of the sky like a wing-shot duck.
>
> And many other things can and do go wrong than an engine quietly
> quitting while you're within the range of a suitable airstrip.

Certainly. Also rarely. (Also different to what you specifically
mentioned, which looked an awful lot like an engine quitting.)

Similarly, things can fail in a truck or car, leading to some
uncontrollable state ending in a crash.

Also rare.

Steve Hix

neprebran,
27. dec. 2008, 23:19:2927. 12. 08
do
In article <UKmdnTlRhbQoU8vU...@speakeasy.net>,

Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:

> Steve Hix wrote:
>
> > In article <12303951...@web1.segnet.com>,
> > Michael Ash <mi...@mikeash.com> wrote:
> >
> >> mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >>> Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
> >>>
> >>> If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
> >>> supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
> >>> building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
> >>> moving goods, people, oil, ores?
> >> Aircraft are extremely intensive in both manpower and energy when compared
> >> to both road and rail.
> >
> > Once those rails/roads have been built. Doing that takes a huge amount
> > of effort and resources. Doesn't look like so much after they're in
> > place, though.
> >
> > Aircraft at the lower end of performance can get by with relatively
> > small resource requirements.
>
> And for the bulk movement of people and material that is required for a
> civilization, all that rail and road infrastructure costs _less_ than
> just doing everything with airplanes. Which should be pretty obvious
> because if it weren't true, then that is what developing areas and
> expanding cities would do, but they don't.

Because the road/rail infrastructure has been in place for a very long
time. Leading to further development following those models.

This is what happens when you don't have to start with a clean sheet
approach, ab initio.

Until that happens somewhere...

Michael Ash

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 00:55:0228. 12. 08
do
Steve Hix <se...@nospamspeakeasy.netinvalid> wrote:
> In article <12303951...@web1.segnet.com>,
> Michael Ash <mi...@mikeash.com> wrote:
>
>> mn_mn <alexwilli...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Transportation questions if restarting Civilization - -
>> >
>> > If one had enough money for machines and enough factories to maintain
>> > supply, and assuming no future tech, to restart civ would one skip
>> > building roads and rails and instead use light to heavy aircraft for
>> > moving goods, people, oil, ores?
>>
>> Aircraft are extremely intensive in both manpower and energy when compared
>> to both road and rail.
>
> Once those rails/roads have been built. Doing that takes a huge amount
> of effort and resources. Doesn't look like so much after they're in
> place, though.

Building airplanes and airports also takes a huge amount of effort and
resources. How many miles of rails and roads can you build for the cost of
a single 747 and a pair of worthy airports to operate it from?

I imagine the cost of a road to most places that a budding civilization
would be interested in would be paid by the benefit of having the road
really rapidly, in a couple of years at most, and probably in mere months.
There will certainly be places which are accessed rarely enough that
building a road is not justifiable, but which are valuable enough to use
airplanes. But essentially by definition, *most* of the transportation
infrastructure will benefit enormously from using road and rail.

> Aircraft at the lower end of performance can get by with relatively
> small resource requirements.

But still much higher, especially when you consider price per pound. Look
at the cost of flying 100 miles in a light aircraft compared to driving
100 miles in a tractor trailer. They are probably similar, the truck is
perhaps a bit more expensive depending on what plane we're talking about.
Now compare how much they haul. The truck wins by probably a factor of
100.

> And in some places, airplanes beat out everything else. They're usually
> niche environments; I have friends who have worked in PNG and some areas
> of Central and South America, for example. The roads being awful or
> nonexistent, and the cargo being relatively light and non-bulky, such as
> medical supplies, books, and the like.

Yes, niche. My point is that the *bulk* of transportation will not be by
air. I'm not claiming that air has *no* uses *anywhere*, simply that good
old fashioned ground transport will be the way to go for most stuff even
if you're starting completely fresh.

>> There's a reason air freight costs so much more
>> than ground freight, and it's not because airplanes "got here late" or are
>> getting some sort of bum deal, it's because airplanes are inherently more
>> expensive.
>
> *Big*, fast airplanes are very expensive.

No, *all* airplanes are expensive. On a dollars per pound-mile basis, all
aircraft are *vastly* more expensive that ground transport.

Look at the price of a new light aircraft and compare it to the price of a
new car. Consider that the car will haul vastly more stuff, especially if
you add a little extra money for a trailer. Then look at operating
expenses: the car burns much less of cheaper fuel and requires much less
of easier maintenance. Then if you're actually using a vehicle *designed*
to haul stuff in large quantities on the roads, like a tractor trailer
truck, the advantages become enormously more pronounced. If you go to
trains, even more so. Note that big planes are much less expensive than
small planes, when taking into account how much they can carry. (If you
doubt this, call your local small airport and ask how much it would cost
for a charter flight to somewhere reasonably far away. Then go find out
how much it would cost for an airline ticket to the same place.) But even
big planes can't even come remotely close to competing with ground
transportation when it comes to cost.

Airplanes are *really* expensive. They are *inherently* expensive: the
reason they cost so much is not because of how they're used in our society
or how they're regulated (or at least, it's not *only* because of those),
their cost is due to hard physical and engineering truths. The only reason
we use them for anything is because either they can get to places with
little infrastructure which are unimportant enough not to be able to
justify more, or because for certain things we value time more than
efficiency. (Or because they're fun!)

> (And yet, they are competitive
> with other transportation alternatives, depending on the cargo and
> things like time to market requirements.)

Yes, I've said this. But for the vast majority of cargo that people care
about, these qualities are less important than cost. This will remain true
even in our virgin civilization.

> If you want to move something *really* big or heavy, not much beats big
> boats, even after a lot of effort working up alternatives. Hope you have
> some patience, it'll take time.

Alas, it's unlikely that our burgeoning civilization will have ship-worthy
waterways at every resource they wish to exploit. Ships are a good way to
go when they work, though.

Michael Ash

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 01:07:4628. 12. 08
do

The fact of being a glider after the engine quits doesn't really help all
that much, especially if you aren't flying over a modern civilization with
airports dotting the landscape and are flying a large airplane. Completely
losing engine power is frequently fatal, especially in large aircraft.
There's a reason virtually every modern airliner has two engines, and it's
not because it's cheaper that way or because the engineers can't figure
out how to get by with only one. (And I say this as a rated glider pilot
with several off-airport landings.)

However I think Erik is wrong about why airplanes are more maintenance
intensive. That bad maintenance is more likely to be fatal is certainly a
factor. But there are plenty of maintenance mistakes that can kill you in
a car too. The main reason, I believe, that airplanes are so much more
maintenance intensive is because weight is so much more important for
them. To a first approximation, the reliability and freedom from
maintenance of any given part is directly proportional to how big and
heavy it is. Cars can afford to spend a lot more pounds making sure their
parts can stand up to less maintenance and worse maintenance, whereas in
an airplane it's likely to be cheaper overall to build a part to be
lighter but weaker and require additional maintenance on it.

As a consequence, you can't make airplanes competitive with ground
transportation by simply decreeing that your society doesn't care about
safety and is willing to sacrifice lives in airplane accidents to make
them cheap enough to use. Airplanes will remain significantly more
maintenance intensive even if you sacrifice safety to a great degree.

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 02:57:1528. 12. 08
do

You seem to be stretching this for reasons that aren't apparent. Are
you really suggesting that the set of possible failure modes in airplane
are _safer_ than the set of failure modes in, say, a truck? If so, you
seem to be being deliberately obtuse.

Yes, a total loss of control in a truck will probably result in a crash,
possibly a very bad one. But total loss of control of a plane at
altitude will almost _certainly_ result in all hands killed and the loss
of whatever cargo it was carrying.

If perhaps you're trying to invoke the (true) metric that airline travel
is safer per passenger-mile, then that doesn't really translate to the
scenario we're talking about, where _all_ traffic is handled by airplane.

--
Erik Max Francis && m...@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM, Y!M erikmaxfrancis

War is the father of all, the king of all.
-- Heraclitus

Wayne Throop

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 05:31:3628. 12. 08
do
:: Which should be pretty obvious because if it weren't true, then that

:: is what developing areas and expanding cities would do, but they
:: don't.

: Steve Hix <se...@NOSPAMspeakeasy.netINVALID>
: Because the road/rail infrastructure has been in place for a very long time.

Which part of "developing areas" did you not understand?

: This is what happens when you don't have to start with a clean sheet


: approach, ab initio. Until that happens somewhere...

In what sense hasn't it happened in places the infrastructure
does not reach? The infrastructure has to be built, vs the airplanes
and landing facilities have to be built, same for an empty region
as for on an empty planet. And yet, when there's development to be done
in an empty region, it gets done by plane only for so long as the
volume is very low, and if there's a mine going in, the ores are
never shipped by planes, even if a huge stretch of road or rail
has to be built.

Why didn't the alaskan oil airplane tankers get built, instead of the
alaskan pipeline? There was no infrastructure at all for shipping
oil or anything else on that route, and certainly not a "pipeline",
and there *were* already air services. Why not beef up the air freight
capability instead of building that pipeline? I expect the answer is
simple: the air fleet to move that much oil would be even more expensive.
Either order enough 747s or 777s or an-225s to move it or build a big,
expensive, environmental-impact-statement-intensive pipeline, gosh,
which is more expensive?

And the upthread suggestion was specifically shipping things like coal and
ore via plane. Take how many loaded railcars leave a typical mine per
day, and figure how many aircraft you'll need, what their construction,
maintenance, etc, costs. How many miles of rail, or how many railcars,
can you build for the price of a single an-225? And how many an-225s will
you need to move coal from a coal mine, or iron ore from an iron mine?

Show the numbers. I expect it can't be made to make economic sense
to build an airfreight fleet large enough.

Matthias Warkus

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 09:19:3728. 12. 08
do
Michael Ash wrote:
>> Aircraft at the lower end of performance can get by with relatively
>> small resource requirements.
>
> But still much higher, especially when you consider price per pound. Look
> at the cost of flying 100 miles in a light aircraft compared to driving
> 100 miles in a tractor trailer. They are probably similar, the truck is
> perhaps a bit more expensive depending on what plane we're talking about.
> Now compare how much they haul. The truck wins by probably a factor of
> 100.

And then compare with a freight train and it's not even funny anymore. A
plane that loads as much as a single four-axle gondola railcar is a
respectable beast.

mawa
--
http://www.prellblog.de

Carey Sublette

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 15:11:4728. 12. 08
do

"Wayne Throop" <thr...@sheol.org> wrote in message
news:12304...@sheol.org...
...

>
> There's a reason the Berlin airlift was a one-of stunt, and didn't really
> catch on, even when developing new regions since then. Even if you
> have a fleet of Antonov AN-225's, you're not really going to replace
> oil pipelines or coal trains. What's the equivalent of a mile-long
> train of coal cars in an-225s? And such a train leaves a major coal
> mine pretty much every day. Similar things are true of iron ore.
> One could argue that the coal and ore mines are wehere you put the power
> plants and smelters (and an225 factories), but you still have to move
> stuff between resource sites at the very least. Plus, seeing the coal
> loading/unloading techniques, airplanes would have a *lot* of trouble
> loading/unleading within an order of magnitude as fast.

Thought I would mention the RC-1 (resource carrier one) concept plane
proposed in the early 70s. It would have been the world's largest airplane,
with big detachable pods under the wings or in the fuselage (essentially
aerial freight contaners). It was optimized for the lowest cost for air
freight - slow and relatively low (whatever is the most efficient altitude).

Looking this up would provide a design study of the practical limits to this
idea.

Unfortunately Googling brings nothing on this up, it is simply too old and
the key words too common to find a trace of it on the shallow web now (some
aerospace or popular mechanics type mag may have it in a subscription
database though).

I would note though that the RC-1 would be a techically advanced airplane
due to its scale. No fledgingly aerospace industry would be supporting
something like that.


J.J. O'Shea

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 16:43:4928. 12. 08
do
On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 03:09:44 -0500, mn_mn wrote
(in article
<b78de860-109a-4604...@w1g2000prm.googlegroups.com>):

>
> If one could go to alternate unpopulated Earth (or maybe Earth 50,000
> BC but after that big volcano caused 1000 year ice-age), and start
> over, either with few families or with million people, with no tools
> or lots of tools, where is best spot?
>

> =
> =
> =


>
> One would want to harvest teaming oceans, would want to use grasslands
> for grazing untended herds, would want to be by fossil fuels, would
> want to be by minerals, would want OK climate for growing and living.
> Sounds like Houston, LA, Iran, have all these. I goal is to repopulate
> the fastest starting in Asia to be near good lands would be best. If
> one were mean one would force some colonists ahead to do hard work,
> then come 100 years later.
>
>
>
>
>

The first thing you have to specify is how many people you have. If you have
a few dozen people your options are _very_ different from if you have a few
thousand, and still more different from when you have a million or so.
Frankly, if you have less than about 5,000 you're screwed; that's too small
to prevent significant problems due to genetic drift. If you have less than
about 200,000 you're screwed a different way: you can't run a serious
civilization with that few people. Realistically, you're gonna need around a
million plus. Which means that you may be screwed yet another way: do you
have any idea how much a million people _eat_?

Just to start off, you're gonna need at least the following:

1 good logistics, which means quick and easy transport of various items from
whereever they are to whereever you want them to be. Those items will include
food, fuel, tools, and personnel. It doesn't matter what they eat; it'll have
to be produced and moved around. It doesn't matter what tools and equipment
are in use; they'll have to be built, maintained, repaired, and used... which
means that parts will have to go from place to place, and the tools
themselves may have to be mobile. It doesn't matter what power source is in
use, it will have to go where the work is. And so will the people.

2 this leads to your first basic choice: your location is going to have to be
somewhere which allows quick and easy transport. Historically the best way to
move stuff has been by water, so that means that you're going to have to set
up on a island (a _big_ island, such as Cuba or Britain or Ireland or Ceylon,
so that you have space to put stuff and can move stuff by water to most
places without too much problems; remember that you have a million people,
you're not gonna stick 'em all on Bermuda or even on Manhattan...) or on the
coast of a major embayment (Chesapeake Bay, the Bay of Biscay, the Bay of
Bengal, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound) or next to a major river (the
Rhine or the Danube or the Yangtse or the Nile or the Ganges or the
Mississippi) or an enclosed inland sea (the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the
Great Lakes, Lake Victoria) and whereever it is it will have to be close to
good agricultural land and/or other major resources.

3 which leads to your next choice: how long are you going to take to rebuild
civilization? What are you going to concentrate on, heavy industry, light
industry, agriculture, what? Cuba is splendid for agriculture, not so good
for industry, it's got very little in the way of natural resources and is a
fair distance from places which do. The Great Lakes are close to good
agricultural land and to places with lots of natural resources, but the
weather has problems that Cuba doesn't. (Well, fewer hurricanes, but a lot
more snow...) If your 'fuel' is dependent on solar energy, then Cuba is a lot
better than the Great Lakes; if you can use fusion, you could go to Hudson's
Bay and not really care about power problems. Shelter for your population is
easier in Cuba than by the Great Lakes; properly-built houses can withstand
hurricanes, and can be built cheaper than houses which have to put up with
snowfall. (Accent on 'properly-built'. Houses not built to proper specs will
be death traps, in either place.) If you're a fair distance from resources,
it will take time to do things just because it will take time to move
supplies from point to point. (Logistics again...)

before we can consider your position, we have to know how many people we're
talking about, and how they're equipped, and what they want to do.

--
email to oshea dot j dot j at gmail dot com.

Bernard Peek

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 18:16:3228. 12. 08
do
In message <gj8ru...@news3.newsguy.com>, J. J. O'Shea
<try.n...@but.see.sig> writes


>The first thing you have to specify is how many people you have. If you have
>a few dozen people your options are _very_ different from if you have a few
>thousand, and still more different from when you have a million or so.
>Frankly, if you have less than about 5,000 you're screwed; that's too small
>to prevent significant problems due to genetic drift.

A population that small will certainly cause problems because of
inbreeding but probably not bad enough to stop the colony surviving.

> If you have less than
>about 200,000 you're screwed a different way: you can't run a serious
>civilization with that few people. Realistically, you're gonna need around a
>million plus. Which means that you may be screwed yet another way: do you
>have any idea how much a million people _eat_?

You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
century civilisation could survive. It will be a while before there are
enough spare people to start a video game industry but that's plenty to
run all of the essential industries and have enough slack to invest
man-hours in R&D.

If the starting scenario is a parallel earth it should be possible to
get coal and iron ore from shallow mines and run an accelerated
industrial revolution to get back to today's technology levels before
reaching today's population level. One of the priorities will be to
develop effective contraception. Given effective control of population
it should be possible to create a society that can survive almost
entirely on renewable resources.

>
>Just to start off, you're gonna need at least the following:
>
>1 good logistics, which means quick and easy transport of various items from
>whereever they are to whereever you want them to be.

For a small population canals, ox-carts and unmade roads should be
sufficient.

> Those items will include
>food, fuel, tools, and personnel. It doesn't matter what they eat; it'll have
>to be produced and moved around. It doesn't matter what tools and equipment
>are in use; they'll have to be built, maintained, repaired, and used... which
>means that parts will have to go from place to place, and the tools
>themselves may have to be mobile. It doesn't matter what power source is in
>use, it will have to go where the work is. And so will the people.
>
>2 this leads to your first basic choice: your location is going to have to be
>somewhere which allows quick and easy transport. Historically the best way to
>move stuff has been by water, so that means that you're going to have to set
>up on a island (a _big_ island, such as Cuba or Britain or Ireland or Ceylon,
>so that you have space to put stuff and can move stuff by water to most
>places without too much problems; remember that you have a million people,
>you're not gonna stick 'em all on Bermuda or even on Manhattan...)

For a sufficiently small group coppiced wood should supply enough fuel
and charcoal for smelting iron ore. If the population can be held down
then that might be sustainable indefinitely. If not it will be necessary
to add coal to the mix. That implies a starting location with accessible
coal and iron ore. Britain springs to mind.

>or on the
>coast of a major embayment (Chesapeake Bay, the Bay of Biscay, the Bay of
>Bengal, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound) or next to a major river (the
>Rhine or the Danube or the Yangtse or the Nile or the Ganges or the
>Mississippi) or an enclosed inland sea (the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the
>Great Lakes, Lake Victoria) and whereever it is it will have to be close to
>good agricultural land and/or other major resources.
>
>3 which leads to your next choice: how long are you going to take to rebuild
>civilization? What are you going to concentrate on, heavy industry, light
>industry, agriculture, what?

The first priority is going to be agriculture but with modern farming
techniques it will be possible to spare some people to develop industry.
In the light of what we know now, would we ever need to develop heavy
industry?


--
Bernard Peek
London, UK. DBA, Manager, Trainer & Author.

Joy Beeson

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 20:23:0528. 12. 08
do

Not to mention that to build a road, all you have to do is to mark out
a route that crosses rivers in places where they are easy to ford.
Surveying first is better, but you *can* just follow the first guy who
fumbled through. If traffic is heavy, you'll want to dump gravel on
badly-worn spots. Bridges, straightening, paving, etc. can be done in
installments.

To start serving a remote area by airplane, first you've got to build
an airplane factory -- no first you have to build refineries -- no
first you've got to have mines -- and you need some way to get ore and
coal from the mines to the refineries, and metals from the refineries
to the foundries, and formed metal from the foundries to the
factories.

Fresh start = roads. Maybe we can skip the step where the canal
built beside the road gets a railroad built alongside before its bonds
are paid off. (Makes a gorgeous park, though. I took both the train
ride and the road ride, but the canal wasn't working.)

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net


Bryan Derksen

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 19:28:5728. 12. 08
do
Erik Max Francis wrote:
> If perhaps you're trying to invoke the (true) metric that airline travel
> is safer per passenger-mile, then that doesn't really translate to the
> scenario we're talking about, where _all_ traffic is handled by airplane.

And another thing to bear in mind is that one of the reasons air travel
is so expensive in RL is because of the amount of money spent on
improving the safety of air travel. If you're trying to cut costs to the
bone you'll probably wind up with a far less reliable vehicle.

Carey Sublette

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 21:03:1728. 12. 08
do

"J.J. O'Shea" <try.n...@but.see.sig> wrote in message
news:gj8ru...@news3.newsguy.com...

By use of the phrase "you're screwed", you are clearly suggesting that a
healthy population cannot be established with 5,000 people, although your
explanation "significant problems due to genetic drift" does not support
this contention. Drift in itself is not a harmful phenomenon, and
"significant problems", while a genuine possibility, hardly signal a
population disaster.

Given that the modern Quebecois population is descended from about 2600
individuals, the Hawaiian Islands and Madagascar were settled by no more
than a few hundred individuals, all New World indians are descended from
70-80 settlers, and the entire World human population outside of Africa
seems to have descended from no more than 2000 people (an possibly many
fewer) who left Africa 50,000 years ago, the critical size were problems
come serious is less than 100 people.

If you get to pick the people for maximum diversity, the number that is safe
is probably on the order of a dozen.


Michael Ash

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 21:32:0128. 12. 08
do
Carey Sublette <care...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> "Wayne Throop" <thr...@sheol.org> wrote in message
> news:12304...@sheol.org...
> ...
>>
>> There's a reason the Berlin airlift was a one-of stunt, and didn't really
>> catch on, even when developing new regions since then. Even if you
>> have a fleet of Antonov AN-225's, you're not really going to replace
>> oil pipelines or coal trains. What's the equivalent of a mile-long
>> train of coal cars in an-225s? And such a train leaves a major coal
>> mine pretty much every day. Similar things are true of iron ore.
>> One could argue that the coal and ore mines are wehere you put the power
>> plants and smelters (and an225 factories), but you still have to move
>> stuff between resource sites at the very least. Plus, seeing the coal
>> loading/unloading techniques, airplanes would have a *lot* of trouble
>> loading/unleading within an order of magnitude as fast.
>
> Thought I would mention the RC-1 (resource carrier one) concept plane
> proposed in the early 70s. It would have been the world's largest airplane,
> with big detachable pods under the wings or in the fuselage (essentially
> aerial freight contaners). It was optimized for the lowest cost for air
> freight - slow and relatively low (whatever is the most efficient altitude).

The most efficient altitude would be about 1ft, benefitting from ground
effect, as done with the Ekranoplan. However this severely limits where
you can fly. Past that, the most efficient altitude is *probably* achieved
at the highest altitude you can reach when you've fitted the smallest
engine(s) you can and still be able to take off. This probably depends on
the type of engine though, and I could be wrong.

Do you recall just how low-cost it was supposed to be. Given the huge
difference in costs I doubt such a thing would bridge the gap,even if it
were to lower the costs of air freight quite a bit.

I have to wonder whether it really would have worked, though. Given the
amount of air freight being carried in the world today, a more efficient
freight plane would be highly advantageous. That one doesn't exist tells
me that it may not be as good as envisioned. Of course it could simply be
that nobody wants to take the risk.

Michael Ash

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 21:34:4428. 12. 08
do
Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
> century civilisation could survive.

How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is vastly
*more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society. The
number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
28. dec. 2008, 22:53:3828. 12. 08
do
Bryan Derksen wrote:

Precisely what I was getting at. If you were to seriously start using
air travel to do _everything_, the only way to make that more economical
(though surely still not economical) is by lowering costs, and that
means reducing safety. So in that world, accidents per passenger-mile
(or cargo-mile) go _up_, making that metric of today pretty much
meaningless.

Bryan Derksen

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 00:17:4029. 12. 08
do
Erik Max Francis wrote:

> Bryan Derksen wrote:
>> And another thing to bear in mind is that one of the reasons air travel
>> is so expensive in RL is because of the amount of money spent on
>> improving the safety of air travel. If you're trying to cut costs to the
>> bone you'll probably wind up with a far less reliable vehicle.
>
> Precisely what I was getting at. If you were to seriously start using
> air travel to do _everything_, the only way to make that more economical
> (though surely still not economical) is by lowering costs, and that
> means reducing safety. So in that world, accidents per passenger-mile
> (or cargo-mile) go _up_, making that metric of today pretty much
> meaningless.

Ah, I thought you were just pointing out how the increase in traffic
alone would result in more accidents per mile (caused by congestion, for
example). The sky is big but finite and planes need a lot of room.

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 00:21:0429. 12. 08
do
Bryan Derksen wrote:

Well, there's that too. But the necessary reduction in safety would
certainly have a far greater effect.

--
Erik Max Francis && m...@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM, Y!M erikmaxfrancis

They make it a desert and call it peace.
-- Tacitus

Derek Lyons

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 02:00:1429. 12. 08
do
Michael Ash <mi...@mikeash.com> wrote:

>I have to wonder whether it really would have worked, though. Given the
>amount of air freight being carried in the world today, a more efficient
>freight plane would be highly advantageous. That one doesn't exist tells
>me that it may not be as good as envisioned. Of course it could simply be
>that nobody wants to take the risk.

I suspect that large pure freightliners haven't been developed because
the engineering cost(s) aren't all that much less than they would be
for a passenger aircraft. Might as well develop one aircraft and sell
it in two variants.

D.
--
Touch-twice life. Eat. Drink. Laugh.

http://derekl1963.livejournal.com/

-Resolved: To be more temperate in my postings.
Oct 5th, 2004 JDL

Derek Lyons

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 02:03:3329. 12. 08
do
Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:

>If perhaps you're trying to invoke the (true) metric that airline travel
>is safer per passenger-mile, then that doesn't really translate to the
>scenario we're talking about, where _all_ traffic is handled by airplane.

Not to mention that handling all traffic via airplane runs into the
same problem we encountered towards the end of the era where virtually
all traffic was carried via rail - when a town gets above a certain
size, the last mile problem gets very thorny.

Once it occurs to someone that you can use trucks to carry freight
from one side of town to the other - it *will* occur to someone else
that the next town over isn't too much further away...

Thomas Womack

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 05:29:4429. 12. 08
do
In article <4958751e....@news.supernews.com>,

Derek Lyons <fair...@gmail.com> wrote:
>Michael Ash <mi...@mikeash.com> wrote:
>
>>I have to wonder whether it really would have worked, though. Given the
>>amount of air freight being carried in the world today, a more efficient
>>freight plane would be highly advantageous. That one doesn't exist tells
>>me that it may not be as good as envisioned. Of course it could simply be
>>that nobody wants to take the risk.
>
>I suspect that large pure freightliners haven't been developed because
>the engineering cost(s) aren't all that much less than they would be
>for a passenger aircraft. Might as well develop one aircraft and sell
>it in two variants.

I note that the Airbus A380F appears not to exist as a built aircraft;
FedEx and UPS each ordered ten in 2001, and cancelled the order in
2007. It turns out that, despite being a much bigger aircraft than
the 747, the A380F would only carry ten tons more than a 747-8F and,
combined with the enormous delays in getting it actually built, it was
easier to buy more 747s.

(the Antonov 225 carries 100 tons more than an A380F would have, but
there's only one working example and one 90%-assembled spare, it uses
six engines of a kind made only in Ukraine and used only on Antonovs,
and I suspect the factory in Ukraine would have great difficulty
turning out a dozen for UPS in an at-all-plausible timeframe even if
they had put in an order)

Tom

Bernard Peek

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 05:41:5029. 12. 08
do
In message <12305180...@web1.segnet.com>, Michael Ash
<mi...@mikeash.com> writes

>Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
>> century civilisation could survive.
>
>How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is vastly
>*more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.

Yes, but to an increasing degree that interconnectivity involves moving
electrons and not matter.

> The
>number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
>live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
>ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
>that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
>from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).

I'm certainly thinking of late 21st century technology. I don't see any
reason why a new society would choose to recapitulate the mistakes we
made. That's why I am sure that one of the highest priorities will be to
keep the population density down to the point where communities can
survive without unduly straining the environment.

Erik Max Francis

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 06:01:1429. 12. 08
do
Bernard Peek wrote:
> In message <12305180...@web1.segnet.com>, Michael Ash
> <mi...@mikeash.com> writes
>> Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>>> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
>>> century civilisation could survive.
>>
>> How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is
>> vastly
>> *more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.
>
> Yes, but to an increasing degree that interconnectivity involves moving
> electrons and not matter.
>
>> The
>> number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
>> live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
>> ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
>> that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
>> from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).
>
> I'm certainly thinking of late 21st century technology.

We don't know what that is yet, so you have a bit of a problem there.

--
Erik Max Francis && m...@alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
San Jose, CA, USA && 37 18 N 121 57 W && AIM, Y!M erikmaxfrancis

It comes from inside, and that's what I consider to be soul music.
-- Sade Adu

J.J. O'Shea

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 06:22:3929. 12. 08
do
On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 18:16:32 -0500, Bernard Peek wrote
(in article <Pr94oQOQjAWJFwM$@shrdlu.com>):

> In message <gj8ru...@news3.newsguy.com>, J. J. O'Shea
> <try.n...@but.see.sig> writes
>
>
>> The first thing you have to specify is how many people you have. If you have
>> a few dozen people your options are _very_ different from if you have a few
>> thousand, and still more different from when you have a million or so.
>> Frankly, if you have less than about 5,000 you're screwed; that's too small
>> to prevent significant problems due to genetic drift.
>
> A population that small will certainly cause problems because of
> inbreeding but probably not bad enough to stop the colony surviving.
>
>> If you have less than
>> about 200,000 you're screwed a different way: you can't run a serious
>> civilization with that few people. Realistically, you're gonna need around a
>> million plus. Which means that you may be screwed yet another way: do you
>> have any idea how much a million people _eat_?
>
> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
> century civilisation could survive.

Doubt it.

> It will be a while before there are
> enough spare people to start a video game industry but that's plenty to
> run all of the essential industries and have enough slack to invest
> man-hours in R&D.

There won't be _any_ spare. The thing is that you can't do just one thing;
for example, the same tech which makes it possible to have a video game
industry also makes it possible to have computer-aided-design/manufacturing.
No CAD/CAM, stuff has to be made by hand; that's what 'manufacturing'
_means_. That takes time and warm bodies and makes your logistics problem
_worse_. With CAD/CAM, the 'factory worker' could be sitting hundreds of
miles away from where the work is being done. Without CAD/CAM, he has to go
to the factory. And that applies to many other tasks: no distance learning,
no remote surgery, no remote _anything_.

>
> If the starting scenario is a parallel earth it should be possible to
> get coal and iron ore from shallow mines and run an accelerated
> industrial revolution to get back to today's technology levels before
> reaching today's population level.

Who's gonna dig that coal and that iron ore? You need warm bodies, 'cause you
don't have telepresence waldos! Those warm bodies are gonna need support:
food, shelter, transport to and from the mine (unless you're gonna make 'em
live in the mine, and somehow I don't think that _that_ will go over real
well unless you invest in other warm bodies with whips, chains, and guns to
enforce your will... and that moves the problem back a notch. Where are you
getting the resources to _make_ the whips, chains, and guns in the first
place? Coal ore is bulky and a pain to transport. Whatever it is that you
need to use it for had better be close to the coal mine, or you've just made
your logistics problem worse... _again_. Iron ore isn't quite as bulky, but
it is heavier. More logistics problems. You'll need a chemicals industry to
successfully have an industrial revolution; sulphuric acid, to name but one
industrial chemical, is absolutely essential. You don't want to keep that
stuff too close until you need it, so either you have made for more logistics
problems in moving it around, or you make for more logistics problems in
moving the ingredients around. You're gonna need nitric acid, too. And
chlorine. And, if you're gonna actually make steel, lots of little stuff,
such as manganese... which is _not_ usually available from easy-to-get-to
ores. There's a _reason_ why the Ashanti, not commonly thought of as being at
the cutting edge of metallurgy, made better steel than the British until the
late 19th century: one of 'em had access to manganese and the other didn't...
and didn't know they needed it. Unless you park your new civilization in
Ashantiland, you're either not gonna have access to those manganese deposits
or you've just _really_ messed up your logistical tail. (And, of course, it
should be noted that the metallurgical industry is merely a specialized
branch of the chemical industry, you gotta have a well-developed chemical
industry before you can have a metallurgical industry, if only so you'll know
what the hell you're doing when you're playing with acids and molten metal,
unless you _like_ the idea of doing mix-and-match with chemicals... There are
_several_ reasons why the Industrial Revolution started in Britain.)

> One of the priorities will be to
> develop effective contraception. Given effective control of population
> it should be possible to create a society that can survive almost
> entirely on renewable resources.

Wrong way. You need population, and you need population _fast_. You need the
maximum possible warm bodies in the shortest possible time, just so you have
the personnel to do the required work. You don't want contraception, you want
fertility drugs, and, if at all possible, artificial wombs or some other way
of getting lots of warm bodies really fast without tying down 50% of the
available labor force for nine months! Pregnant women can do CAD/CAM without
a problem; hacking coal or playing around with industrial chemicals might be
counter-indicated while pregnant, but perhaps that's just me. And, oh, yeah,
you're gonna need lots and lots of high-quality medical care or you're gonna
start losing women in pregnancy and childbirth. That's more and different
industries, including more and different chemicals (have you seen the list of
stuff a major hospital uses in the course of a day?) and lots of specialized
warm bodies. You can't do just one thing... and you're gonna need _bodies_.
Lots and lots of _bodies_.

>
>>
>> Just to start off, you're gonna need at least the following:
>>
>> 1 good logistics, which means quick and easy transport of various items from
>> whereever they are to whereever you want them to be.
>
> For a small population canals, ox-carts and unmade roads should be
> sufficient.

Small populations won't cut it. And even with high-quality Roman-style roads
(which were _not_ simple to build...) ox-carts don't cut it for long-distance
transport. After 15-20 days on the road, the oxen and their drivers have
eaten all the grain on the cart. Logistics again. There's a _reason_ why all
major low-tech cities were built near water: you need water transport to haul
the food supply to feed the city! (Roman roads were _military_ roads,
designed to allow for the fast movement of troops from one place to another.
They were used by civilians, but that's not their design purpose. There's a
_reason_ why they had what is now called a soft shoulder; that's where the
ox-carts and horses went, as the hard pavement was bad for their hooves...
but just perfect for the hobnailed sandals of a legion.)

>
>> Those items will include
>> food, fuel, tools, and personnel. It doesn't matter what they eat; it'll
>> have
>> to be produced and moved around. It doesn't matter what tools and equipment
>> are in use; they'll have to be built, maintained, repaired, and used...
>> which
>> means that parts will have to go from place to place, and the tools
>> themselves may have to be mobile. It doesn't matter what power source is in
>> use, it will have to go where the work is. And so will the people.
>>
>> 2 this leads to your first basic choice: your location is going to have to
>> be
>> somewhere which allows quick and easy transport. Historically the best way
>> to
>> move stuff has been by water, so that means that you're going to have to set
>> up on a island (a _big_ island, such as Cuba or Britain or Ireland or
>> Ceylon,
>> so that you have space to put stuff and can move stuff by water to most
>> places without too much problems; remember that you have a million people,
>> you're not gonna stick 'em all on Bermuda or even on Manhattan...)
>
> For a sufficiently small group coppiced wood should supply enough fuel
> and charcoal for smelting iron ore.

Have you ever been near a working iron and steel foundry? Doubt it. You'd
know how much stuff they run through in a single day... and how much waste
they generate in that day.

> If the population can be held down
> then that might be sustainable indefinitely. If not it will be necessary
> to add coal to the mix. That implies a starting location with accessible
> coal and iron ore. Britain springs to mind.

Britain has several advantages, including easily available water transport
(no part of Britain is more than 30 miles away from a major waterway of some
kind, usually the sea) but has major disadvantages, notably a lack of certain
vital ores, such as manganese. During the Industrial Revolution this didn't
matter as they could be imported from Britain's vast empire, and the large
population supplied the warm bodies necessary to do the work. If starting
over from scratch there might be a small problem getting the required
supplies. Logistics again. And then with a small population there'd be a
small problem finding the bodies to do the work...

>
>> or on the
>> coast of a major embayment (Chesapeake Bay, the Bay of Biscay, the Bay of
>> Bengal, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound) or next to a major river (the
>> Rhine or the Danube or the Yangtse or the Nile or the Ganges or the
>> Mississippi) or an enclosed inland sea (the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the
>> Great Lakes, Lake Victoria) and whereever it is it will have to be close to
>> good agricultural land and/or other major resources.
>>
>> 3 which leads to your next choice: how long are you going to take to rebuild
>> civilization? What are you going to concentrate on, heavy industry, light
>> industry, agriculture, what?
>
> The first priority is going to be agriculture but with modern farming
> techniques it will be possible to spare some people to develop industry.
> In the light of what we know now, would we ever need to develop heavy
> industry?

yes, we need heavy industry... for the same reasons as the Industrial
Revolution needed it. We need something to keep water out of mines. We need
something to haul supplies, both by land and by water. We need the tools to
build those items and maintain them and keep them in fuel. Steam engines
powered the Industrial Revolution, and to build and maintain them you need a
lot of support staff doing specialized stuff. You can get around that by
exporting your labor requirements; the United States had exported its
manufacturing requirements to China and India, so they have the nasty
factories and the by-products thereof. A future system could be built using
telepresence systems... but that's not low-tech, and that will require its
own highly specialized support staff.

J.J. O'Shea

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 06:33:3329. 12. 08
do
On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:34:44 -0500, Michael Ash wrote
(in article <12305180...@web1.segnet.com>):

> Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
>> century civilisation could survive.
>
> How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is vastly
> *more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.

Ooh, yeah. 21st century logistics tails are humongous.

> The
> number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
> live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
> ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
> that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
> from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).
>

Historically, the better your tech becomes, the longer your logistical tail
stretches. Compare the logistics of paleolithic, neolithic, bronze, iron, and
industrial age cultures. I see no reason why this trend, which runs all the
way through history, would change.

I suspect that he's got a bee in his bonnet about 'renewable resources'
(which don't exist in the real world...) and keeping the population down
(which has serious effects if you want to build a civilization).

J.J. O'Shea

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 06:34:5729. 12. 08
do
On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 05:41:50 -0500, Bernard Peek wrote
(in article <BCSrSzCu...@shrdlu.com>):

> In message <12305180...@web1.segnet.com>, Michael Ash
> <mi...@mikeash.com> writes
>> Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>>> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
>>> century civilisation could survive.
>>
>> How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is vastly
>> *more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.
>
> Yes, but to an increasing degree that interconnectivity involves moving
> electrons and not matter.

Which requires a major logistical tail.

>
>> The
>> number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
>> live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
>> ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
>> that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
>> from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).
>
> I'm certainly thinking of late 21st century technology. I don't see any
> reason why a new society would choose to recapitulate the mistakes we
> made. That's why I am sure that one of the highest priorities will be to
> keep the population density down to the point where communities can
> survive without unduly straining the environment.
>

Which is impractical as you need warm bodies to do actual work.

J.J. O'Shea

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 06:35:2029. 12. 08
do
On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 06:01:14 -0500, Erik Max Francis wrote
(in article <M7ednW8rraFmMMXU...@speakeasy.net>):

> Bernard Peek wrote:
>> In message <12305180...@web1.segnet.com>, Michael Ash
>> <mi...@mikeash.com> writes
>>> Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>>>> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
>>>> century civilisation could survive.
>>>
>>> How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is
>>> vastly
>>> *more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.
>>
>> Yes, but to an increasing degree that interconnectivity involves moving
>> electrons and not matter.
>>
>>> The
>>> number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
>>> live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
>>> ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
>>> that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
>>> from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).
>>
>> I'm certainly thinking of late 21st century technology.
>
> We don't know what that is yet, so you have a bit of a problem there.
>

He's got at least two problems.

Mike Dworetsky

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 11:00:4529. 12. 08
do
"Joy Beeson" <jbe...@invalid.net.invalid> wrote in message
news:od9gl4l58d152fmga...@4ax.com...

Definitely skip canals if you have steam or IC power.

Why were canals so successful in 18th C. England while at the time roads
could not "deliver the goods"? Because transport was powered by animals
(horses, donkeys, etc) and even if you could build decent roads (back then
it was difficult) the amount of goods to be transported was difficult to
sustain by road when animal-hauled. One or two donkeys could pull a canal
barge all day with ease (low friction, level surface), but transporting the
same amount of cargo by road would require several teams of eight horses.
As long as speed was not a factor, canals were best at transporting bulk
goods cheaply and safely. Coastal ships could be used, but there was almost
permanent war with France, meaning the shipping was not fully secure. Hence
a secure network of canals was developed.

So if you were starting afresh it would be vital to decide if you were going
to have steam or internal combustion engines first. If so, then canals
would be pointless.

Roads with good drainage and gravel surfaces are not that difficult to
build, even the Romans had decent roads not surpassed until the later 19th
C. Many rural areas still have roads without tarmac surfaces.

--
Mike Dworetsky

(Remove pants sp*mbl*ck to reply)

chorned...@hush.ai

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 11:22:0829. 12. 08
do
On 29 dets, 18:00, "Mike Dworetsky" <platinum...@pants.btinternet.com>
wrote:
> "Joy Beeson" <jbee...@invalid.net.invalid> wrote in message

>
> news:od9gl4l58d152fmga...@4ax.com...
>
>
>
>
>
> > Not to mention that to build a road, all you have to do is to mark out
> > a route that crosses rivers in places where they are easy to ford.
> > Surveying first is better, but you *can* just follow the first guy who
> > fumbled through.  If traffic is heavy, you'll want to dump gravel on
> > badly-worn spots.  Bridges, straightening, paving, etc. can be done in
> > installments.
>
> > To start serving a remote area by airplane, first you've got to build
> > an airplane factory -- no first you have to build refineries -- no
> > first you've got to have mines -- and you need some way to get ore and
> > coal

You will not need coal mines.

> > from the mines to the refineries, and metals from the refineries
> > to the foundries, and formed metal from the foundries to the
> > factories.
>

Those do not need to be far from one another.

> > Fresh start = roads.   Maybe we can skip the step where the canal
> > built beside the road gets a railroad built alongside before its bonds
> > are paid off.  (Makes a gorgeous park, though.  I took both the train
> > ride and the road ride, but the canal wasn't working.)
>
> > --
> > Joy Beeson
> > joy beeson at comcast dot net
>
> Definitely skip canals if you have steam or IC power.
>
> Why were canals so successful in 18th C. England while at the time roads
> could not "deliver the goods"?  Because transport was powered by animals
> (horses, donkeys, etc) and even if you could build decent roads (back then
> it was difficult) the amount of goods to be transported was difficult to
> sustain by road when animal-hauled.  One or two donkeys could pull a canal
> barge all day with ease (low friction, level surface), but transporting the
> same amount of cargo by road would require several teams of eight horses.
> As long as speed was not a factor, canals were best at transporting bulk
> goods cheaply and safely.

But the same would apply to pulling the barge by an engine installed
on the barge or travelling on the towpath.

> Coastal ships could be used, but there was almost
> permanent war with France, meaning the shipping was not fully secure.  Hence
> a secure network of canals was developed.
>
> So if you were starting afresh it would be vital to decide if you were going
> to have steam or internal combustion engines first.  If so, then canals
> would be pointless.
>

They would not be - see above. And Panama had a railway first - the
canal was then built nevertheless.

chorned...@hush.ai

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 11:26:4129. 12. 08
do
On 29 dets, 04:32, Michael Ash <m...@mikeash.com> wrote:
> Carey Sublette <carey...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > "Wayne Throop" <thro...@sheol.org> wrote in message

> >news:12304...@sheol.org...
> > ...
>
> >> There's a reason the Berlin airlift was a one-of stunt, and didn't really
> >> catch on, even when developing new regions since then.  Even if you
> >> have a fleet of Antonov AN-225's, you're not really going to replace
> >> oil pipelines or coal trains.  What's the equivalent of a mile-long
> >> train of coal cars in an-225s?  And such a train leaves a major coal
> >> mine pretty much every day.  Similar things are true of iron ore.
> >> One could argue that the coal and ore mines are wehere you put the power
> >> plants and smelters (and an225 factories), but you still have to move
> >> stuff between resource sites at the very least.  Plus, seeing the coal
> >> loading/unloading techniques, airplanes would have a *lot* of trouble
> >> loading/unleading within an order of magnitude as fast.
>
> > Thought I would mention the RC-1 (resource carrier one) concept plane
> > proposed in the early 70s. It would have been the world's largest airplane,
> > with big detachable pods under the wings or in the fuselage (essentially
> > aerial freight contaners). It was optimized for the lowest cost for air
> > freight - slow and relatively low (whatever is the most efficient altitude).
>
> The most efficient altitude would be about 1ft, benefitting from ground
> effect, as done with the Ekranoplan. However this severely limits where
> you can fly. Past that, the most efficient altitude is *probably* achieved
> at the highest altitude you can reach when you've fitted the smallest
> engine(s) you can and still be able to take off. This probably depends on
> the type of engine though, and I could be wrong.
>
I think you are. It is not just the size of the engines you should be
optimizing - it is their type. I suggest that 3 km ceiling is about
appropriate for an efficient plane.

How does the size of RC-1 compare against H-4 Hercules?

chorned...@hush.ai

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 11:33:1629. 12. 08
do
On 29 dets, 13:33, J.J. O'Shea <try.not...@but.see.sig> wrote:
> On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:34:44 -0500, Michael Ash wrote
> (in article <1230518084.887...@web1.segnet.com>):

>
> > Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
> >> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
> >> century civilisation could survive.
>
> > How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is vastly
> > *more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.
>
> Ooh, yeah. 21st century logistics tails are humongous.
>
> > The
> > number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
> > live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
> > ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
> > that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
> > from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).
>
> Historically, the better your tech becomes, the longer your logistical tail
> stretches.

Not quite.

> Compare the logistics of paleolithic, neolithic, bronze, iron,

The huge counterexample.

A bronze age culture depends on long trade routes to acquire scarce
copper and tin. Iron is abundant, so iron age cultures do not need
such a logistic tail.

J.J. O'Shea

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 11:43:2229. 12. 08
do
On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 11:33:16 -0500, chorned...@hush.ai wrote
(in article
<75061b30-8e19-4874...@u18g2000pro.googlegroups.com>):

> On 29 dets, 13:33, J.J. O'Shea <try.not...@but.see.sig> wrote:
>> On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 21:34:44 -0500, Michael Ash wrote
>> (in article <1230518084.887...@web1.segnet.com>):
>>
>>> Bernard Peek <b...@shrdlu.com> wrote:
>>>> You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
>>>> century civilisation could survive.
>>
>>> How do you figure? All the evidence is that 21st-century society is vastly
>>> *more* interdependent and interconnected than 20th century society.
>>
>> Ooh, yeah. 21st century logistics tails are humongous.
>>
>>> The
>>> number of people that you depend on, directly or indirectly, to live your
>>> live is vastly larger than it would have been if you were alive 100 years
>>> ago. Maybe you meant a later 21st-century society with Magic Technology
>>> that changes all of this, but the practicality of such technology is far
>>> from a given (although obviously a lot of SF stories depend on the idea).
>>
>> Historically, the better your tech becomes, the longer your logistical tail
>> stretches.
>
> Not quite.
>
>> Compare the logistics of paleolithic, neolithic, bronze, iron,
>
> The huge counterexample.
>
> A bronze age culture depends on long trade routes to acquire scarce
> copper and tin. Iron is abundant, so iron age cultures do not need
> such a logistic tail.

Except that as iron is so useful, it gets used in ways bronze is not. Which
generates demand, and specialized workers ranging down to the local village
blacksmith. That's one _hell_ of a logistical problem.

>
>> and
>> industrial age cultures. I see no reason why this trend, which runs all the
>> way through history, would change.
>>
>> I suspect that he's got a bee in his bonnet about 'renewable resources'
>> (which don't exist in the real world...) and keeping the population down
>> (which has serious effects if you want to build a civilization).
>>
>

--

chorned...@hush.ai

neprebran,
29. dec. 2008, 11:56:3829. 12. 08
do
On 29 dets, 13:22, J.J. O'Shea <try.not...@but.see.sig> wrote:
> On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 18:16:32 -0500, Bernard Peek wrote
> (in article <Pr94oQOQjAWJF...@shrdlu.com>):
>
> > In message <gj8rul0...@news3.newsguy.com>, J. J. O'Shea
> > <try.not...@but.see.sig> writes

>
> >> The first thing you have to specify is how many people you have. If you have
> >> a few dozen people your options are _very_ different from if you have a few
> >> thousand, and still more different from when you have a million or so.
> >> Frankly, if you have less than about 5,000 you're screwed; that's too small
> >> to prevent significant problems due to genetic drift.
>
> > A population that small will certainly cause problems because of
> > inbreeding but probably not bad enough to stop the colony surviving.
>
> >> If you have less than
> >> about 200,000 you're screwed a different way: you can't run a serious
> >> civilization with that few people. Realistically, you're gonna need around a
> >> million plus. Which means that you may be screwed yet another way: do you
> >> have any idea how much a million people _eat_?
>
> > You can't run a 20th century civilisation with 200,000 people but a 21st
> > century civilisation could survive.
>
> Doubt it.
>
> > It will be a while before there are
> > enough spare people to start a video game industry but that's plenty to
> > run all of the essential industries and have enough slack to invest
> > man-hours in R&D.
>
> There won't be _any_ spare. The thing is that you can't do just one thing;
> for example, the same tech which makes it possible to have a video game
> industry also makes it possible to have computer-aided-design/manufacturing.
> No CAD/CAM, stuff has to be made by hand; that's what 'manufacturing'
> _means_.

True. But look back at the time when computers were being started.
1960-s, 1970-s. The computers were used for databases, design et
cetera. The applications were what was paid for. There were computer
games, certainly. But they were strictly pastimes and exercises for
programmers - no one was paid for producing them.

> That takes time and warm bodies and makes your logistics problem
> _worse_. With CAD/CAM, the 'factory worker' could be sitting hundreds of
> miles away from where the work is being done. Without CAD/CAM, he has to go
> to the factory. And that applies to many other tasks: no distance learning,
> no remote surgery, no remote _anything_.
>
>
>
> > If the starting scenario is a parallel earth it should be possible to
> > get coal and iron ore from shallow mines and run an accelerated
> > industrial revolution to get back to today's technology levels before
> > reaching today's population level.
>
> Who's gonna dig that coal and that iron ore? You need warm bodies, 'cause you
> don't have telepresence waldos! Those warm bodies are gonna need support:
> food, shelter, transport to and from the mine (unless you're gonna make 'em
> live in the mine, and somehow I don't think that _that_ will go over real
> well unless you invest in other warm bodies with whips, chains, and guns to
> enforce your will... and that moves the problem back a notch. Where are you
> getting the resources to _make_ the whips, chains, and guns in the first
> place?

Plenty of small scale coalmines exist.

> Coal ore is bulky and a pain to transport. Whatever it is that you
> need to use it fo