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Old May 14 2014, 09:58 PM   #31
varek
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Re: how would you build a colony?

A smart raider would try to have one or two of its party infiltrate the colony, to keep them advised of any developments and to disable any defensive systems at the moment of assault.
Defense could be a problem, without sufficient Starfleet support.
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Old May 14 2014, 10:50 PM   #32
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Re: how would you build a colony?

^ And only in the world of comic books and Star Trek episodes is "infiltrate the colony to disable its defenses" even half as easy as it sounds.
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Old May 15 2014, 09:27 PM   #33
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Well, obviously, a professional network of raiders would have their spies in many locations and investigate any interesting--and potentially profitable--leads they heard about. Then, they could gradually infiltrate whatever organization they thought would be most productive and unnoticeably move into positions within those organizations that would give them access (preferably indirectly) to whatever files or switches they needed to access.

One UFO-researching organization was allegedly taken over by nonbelievers who simply flooded that organization, took over the elections and controls, then were able to direct the meetings, website, etc., the way they wanted it to go--away from researching UFO reports. At least, that's the way some people described those events.

Also, I recently read that there were some suspicions that the German scientists allegedly "captured" by various nations at the end of World War II continued to perform their own, secret agenda, rather than assist the nations in which they were living. (That is, they may have done what the host-nation wanted, but also did their own activities.)

My infiltration-strategy mentioned above would be subtler and, presumably, draw no attention to its activities.
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Old May 16 2014, 05:30 PM   #34
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Re: how would you build a colony?

If we could collect enough helium-3, known as "extraterrestrial helium," we could use fusion energy for our colonies. Rich sources in our solar system include the Moon and Jupiter's atmosphere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

There are probably many other sources out there, waiting for us to exploit them.
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Old May 19 2014, 04:53 PM   #35
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Re: how would you build a colony?

varek wrote: View Post
If we could collect enough helium-3, known as "extraterrestrial helium," we could use fusion energy for our colonies.
In the Star Trek universe, they use the Deuterium-Deuterium or Deuterium-Tritium fuel cycle; they would consider Helium-3 to be more of a novelty than a real solution.

In the real world, there has been no significant development in the Helium-3 fuel cycle other than a prediction by theoretical physicists that it would be easier to do than D-D or D-T, and thus it is constantly being mentioned by space exploration enthusiasts looking for a McGuffin to justify modern colonization.
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Old May 23 2014, 05:54 AM   #36
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Interesting discussion, but I still scratch my head about what makes deep-space commerce "profitable" or desirable. I can understand if some uber-valuable resource is only found on certain worlds/asteroids, like dilithium. But just general ores, and other substances? Doesn't make sense to me.

We know that dilithium is needed for power and starship propulsion. We know it is very rare. This, therefore, makes it extremely valuable. So wherever you find it, it is time to mine it and sell it.

But such a valuable commodity could also pose a security risk. Remember this exchange between miner Childress and Captain Kirk in "Mudd's Women":

CHILDRESS: You've got no choice, Kirk. You beam a landing party down, and you won't find one blessed crystal.

KIRK: No deal. You're a long way out in space, gentlemen. You'll need medical help, cargo runs, starship protection. You want to consider those facts too?
So it is logical to consider that even profitable mining and/or manufacturing colonies would need help and protection in the STAR TREK Universe.

The thing that gets me is that there has to be a sustainable infrastructure of space vessels (not just robot cargo ships, but also "starship protection") in order to make trade worthwhile and secure. That means not only do you have to pay for expeditions (the building of ships, trained astronauts, trained colony specialists, equipment, supplies, maintenance/repairs, etc.) but you also have to pay for "starship protection" even once the colony has established itself. All of this sounds very, very expensive to build and maintain.

I'm not saying it never makes sense in TREK; just that it's not the only way.

What if some colonies start out as penal colonies or planetary starbases, or even as research colonies? If these kinds of settlements evolve into "worlds", where people choose to settle because they want to live on "strange new worlds" that are unspoiled, that would tie in with what Picard was saying in "Justice".
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Old May 23 2014, 09:03 AM   #37
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Re: how would you build a colony?

We could argue that star travel simply isn't particularly expensive in the Trek universe: building a warpship may take resources, but operating it could be dirt cheap, with fuel costs approaching zero (hydrogen is everywhere, the Federation turns some of it into antimatter using some kind of free energy such as sunlight, and it is in the Federation's interests to sell the antimatter at very low cost to promote trade).

Similarly, Kirk may be exaggerating the costs of operating a frontier colony. It is only at the extreme fringes that you need support and protection, because the Trek galaxy is so full of worlds that already provide for your every need that even potential pirates just plain don't bother with attacking a colony for its resources; they can get those more easily and cheaply from a world without a colony. (Indeed, we hear of criminal raids on colonies only about as often as we hear of criminals setting up a colony to run a slave mine or the like!)

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Old May 23 2014, 08:52 PM   #38
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Wingsley wrote: View Post
Interesting discussion, but I still scratch my head about what makes deep-space commerce "profitable" or desirable. I can understand if some uber-valuable resource is only found on certain worlds/asteroids, like dilithium. But just general ores, and other substances? Doesn't make sense to me.
What, exactly, makes them profitable in MODERN times?

I think that spaceflight and space exploration have become cheap enough to be comparable to their terrestrial counterparts by that point, so similar economics apply. You're going to have miners extracting gold, iron, silver, platinum, latinum, copper, anything else that can't be easily replicated.

The thing that gets me is that there has to be a sustainable infrastructure of space vessels (not just robot cargo ships, but also "starship protection") in order to make trade worthwhile and secure. That means not only do you have to pay for expeditions (the building of ships, trained astronauts, trained colony specialists, equipment, supplies, maintenance/repairs, etc.) but you also have to pay for "starship protection" even once the colony has established itself. All of this sounds very, very expensive to build and maintain.
Which, again, is already the case in modern maritime considerations. I don't see it being that much more expensive in the Star Trek universe than that, especially since the payoff is potentially much greater.
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Old May 24 2014, 12:59 PM   #39
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Timo wrote: View Post
We could argue that star travel simply isn't particularly expensive in the Trek universe: building a warpship may take resources, but operating it could be dirt cheap, with fuel costs approaching zero (hydrogen is everywhere, the Federation turns some of it into antimatter using some kind of free energy such as sunlight, and it is in the Federation's interests to sell the antimatter at very low cost to promote trade).

Similarly, Kirk may be exaggerating the costs of operating a frontier colony. It is only at the extreme fringes that you need support and protection, because the Trek galaxy is so full of worlds that already provide for your every need that even potential pirates just plain don't bother with attacking a colony for its resources; they can get those more easily and cheaply from a world without a colony. (Indeed, we hear of criminal raids on colonies only about as often as we hear of criminals setting up a colony to run a slave mine or the like!)

Timo Saloniemi
Although you could purchase commodities and raw materials from various traders, you would always be subject to their prices and their trading limitations. If you obtained these items through your own colony, then you possess them and control their availability. If you have more than you need or wish to keep in reserve, then you can trade it and make a profit.
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Old May 24 2014, 04:21 PM   #40
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Re: how would you build a colony?

What, exactly, makes them profitable in MODERN times?
Well, nothing makes it profitable to haul ore in modern times. Which is why nobody does it, not over oceanic distances. (It's only hauled a very short distance to a refinery where it ceases to be ore and becomes, say, iron.)

This is among the most interesting aspects of TOS space trade: the explicit references to ore being moved from star to star. Unless, say, the "automated ore transports" visiting the Delta Vega lithium cracking plant were moving ore from the other planets of the same system (or even from other spots on the surface of that world - perhaps they were crawlers or airships rather than spaceships?) to be refined in the lithium cracking process?

Although you could purchase commodities and raw materials from various traders, you would always be subject to their prices and their trading limitations. If you obtained these items through your own colony, then you possess them and control their availability. If you have more than you need or wish to keep in reserve, then you can trade it and make a profit.
But all the colonies are virtual Second Earths, as far as we can tell. Why would anybody buy anything from another colony? Unless it were something so exotic that only very few would even find a use for it, and then it would require quite a bit of skill to make a business case of it.

OTOH, we know from TNG that there are "agricultural worlds" or "farming planets" that supposedly exist to feed other worlds. ST2:TWoK in turn hints at interstellar problems of food shortage, and at the creation of arable land next to those in need being the solution, again suggesting that dedicated farming worlds at the other ends of trade routes are the default solution. If it's practical to haul grain (and not just seed samples for supergrain, as we could argue is the case in "Trouble with Tribbles" and "More Tribbles"), then it must be practical to haul just about anything, including pretty pebbles.

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Old May 25 2014, 03:03 AM   #41
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Re: how would you build a colony?

Timo wrote: View Post
What, exactly, makes them profitable in MODERN times?
Well, nothing makes it profitable to haul ore in modern times. Which is why nobody does it, not over oceanic distances. (It's only hauled a very short distance to a refinery where it ceases to be ore and becomes, say, iron.)
Which, to me, suggests most of the "ore freighters" of the TOS era would probably be interplanetary spacecraft, not interstellar ones. Refined materials would be shipped by boomers of the cargo service since they are more valuable, but unrefined material probably goes out over short-range robot ships.

This is among the most interesting aspects of TOS space trade: the explicit references to ore being moved from star to star.
I haven't seen many references to that, although I would say that in a system like, say, Alpha Centauri that may not be such an impressive feat as you would think.

Although you could purchase commodities and raw materials from various traders, you would always be subject to their prices and their trading limitations. If you obtained these items through your own colony, then you possess them and control their availability. If you have more than you need or wish to keep in reserve, then you can trade it and make a profit.
But all the colonies are virtual Second Earths, as far as we can tell.
Hardly. I'll again draw attention to the Janus colony, which is described as being very geologically rich to an extent that a "second Earth" could never be. More to the point, Janus is otherwise uninhabitable and isn't very attractive to anyone EXCEPT for its mineral wealth.

I would speculate that "garden planets" that are very Earthlike are probably valuable for mundane reasons (e.g. realestate) in which case the residents would have to purchase almost EVERYTHING from other colonies that actually manufacture things. They'd have to pay for those products probably by work either in the service industry and other intangible goods, or by physically shipping out from the garden world and doing the hard labor in some of those other less hospitable/high value asteroid colonies.

I don't know that "farming colonies" would actually be all that profitable in and of themselves, but would probably be extremely necessary for Federation planning and would probably rely almost exclusively on subsidies.
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Old May 25 2014, 05:39 AM   #42
Wingsley
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Re: how would you build a colony?

It would seem very plausible that a "farming colony" is a planet one would go to if one wanted to live an "agricultural lifestyle". In other words, if you're tired of the planet you're living on and you want to live on a world of nothing but farms and other agro-communities, move to a "farming colony".
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Last edited by Wingsley; May 25 2014 at 05:43 AM. Reason: typo
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Old June 8 2014, 12:16 PM   #43
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Re: how would you build a colony?

If the planet is cold, you could plant southern beeches, which are hardy trees and thrive in colder climates.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothofagus_antarctica
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Old June 8 2014, 02:33 PM   #44
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Re: how would you build a colony?

varek wrote: View Post
Also, I recently read that there were some suspicions that the German scientists allegedly "captured" by various nations at the end of World War II continued to perform their own, secret agenda, rather than assist the nations in which they were living. (That is, they may have done what the host-nation wanted, but also did their own activities.)
Essentially the plot of the resent Captain America movie.

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Old June 14 2014, 02:29 PM   #45
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Re: how would you build a colony?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
varek wrote: View Post
Also, I recently read that there were some suspicions that the German scientists allegedly "captured" by various nations at the end of World War II continued to perform their own, secret agenda, rather than assist the nations in which they were living. (That is, they may have done what the host-nation wanted, but also did their own activities.)
Essentially the plot of the resent Captain America movie.

Hmmm....Very innnnterrresting!
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