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Welcome to What Not To Take To Mars 

We are glad to welcome you here. Since youre new, or youre re-visiting the page, let's get a few things forward! 

The conceit of our project, our core belief, is this: while humanity may never go to Mars, there is currently an industry - from public agencies to private actors -who are currently looking at designing the future of Life on Mars.  While the physical and psychological dimensions of Human space travel and survival are being addressed - such as in future housing and food - the social, institutional, economic, political, and cultural dimensions are being less explored within the Industry. 

We want to understand what kinds of problems humanity might be able to avoid on Mars, and what the process of avoidance would look like. For instance, could we and should we avoid algorithmic advertising, single-use plastic cups, landfills, etc. What would the process of designing institutions and practices to avoid racist power dynamics entail and look like? 

So, what are our early hypotheses? 

1) Independent of whether its good or desirable, humans will in the future be able to travel to and survive on Mars indefinitely.

2) If humanity goes to Mars, there will be physical limits on what can be taken (e.g. we will not be able to take everything from earth to Mars)

3) If humanity goes to Mars, there will be a limited number of people who will be able to go in the beginning generations (e.g. literally not every human will be able to go given capacity constraints in ships and the community, likewise the physical conditions of surviving a journey to Mars initially.)

4) This necessarily means that there will be a selection process on who and what goes to Mars. 

5) The limitations on physical items, conditions of living, and number of people will have social, cultural, economic, political, and philosophical implications. 

6) Different beliefs systems have under-examined and competing claims on these implications. 

7) Asking what kinds of problems different people, communities, and belief systems frame as avoidable can help us to understand these implications better than asking what their ideal, utopian version of Mars. 

How can we understand, critique, evaluate, and make explicit this selection process? What do different social, economic, philosophical, political, and cultural frameworks tell us about the implications of different selection processes, and the implications of what we take and do not take to Mars?

And further, if there is such a moment of choice on institutional design and selection for Mars, what should the process look like to make those choices legitimate?

So, to the FAQ! 

What is this project? 

This is an unaffiliated research project.

What is this project about?

Our core argument is that all people, philosophies, and ideologies have a claim on what kinds of problems are avoidable and the conditions of avoiding those problems. What is unclear is whether all these people, philosophies, and ideologies agree - and further, what each of these positions tell us about what kinds of earth problems are avoidable on Mars. 

Why are you doing this? 


Does this project believe going to Mars is necessarily a good thing and inevitable? 

No, and No. 

Is this project funded by any program or institution?

Not currently. If it is, we will update. 

Does this project make any money? 

This project is currently un-monetised. 

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