Hypothetical: terraforming and colonising a planet with Open Empire

Ok, hypothetically speaking IF I could find a habitable / semi-habitable planet to colonise / terraform, and had all the resources required to do so … what would I do & how would I do it?


First of all let me make it clear that part of this is just my personal preference, and the other part is what I’m pretty sure would be the result of the guiding influence of Open Empire … ie – Open Empire doesn’t order you to do anything, it simply provides you with the information to understand which options will result in which other probable consequences, so that you can make an informed decision, and it makes you take responsibility for your choices by using the evaluation of those consequences to motivate everyone else; thus if you’re the cause of a lot of negative ecological & social consequences without enough positive ones to somehow balance it, your own actions will be motivating others to stop you.

Point 1: Quarantine

If you want a planetary civilisation to be as Ecologically & Socially Friendly & Sustainable as it can be, you must quarantine it (for its developmental years / generations) from the deleterious influence of existing Earth cultural “isms”, ie – patriotism, religion, capitalism etc. Meaning that – for a very long time – I wouldn’t even welcome a lot of people as guests, unless they showed the capacity for restraint in leaving their isms at the door, and where I didn’t feel I could trust a person to behave with respect towards this fledgling system, the best they’d get to see is some video, but I’d never let them set a foot on the planet.

This may sound harsh, but the reality is a great many of these people (the more extreme ones especially) will lie not only to you but to themselves, and they are so wholly delusional and out of self-control, that they simply constitute a risk with no appreciable payoff.

Meanwhile the Earth is well established with highly entrenched power structures, ideologies & so on … so it’s just not sensible to allow such a risk without some kind of tangible & quantifiable benefits attached, along with a suitable risk management plan, and contingency / damage control plans.

Any new life is vulnerable at first … so it’s vital to protect it until it’s able to protect itself, and that protection would be signified to me by the establishment of a very strong culture of strong individuals whom are also capable of operating harmoniously as a collective EVEN IF they have divergent view points.

Such an objective may take decades or even generations, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of visiting and colonising another planet, it’s a small price to pay for the risk management.

Point 2: Cultural Visits

There’s plenty of talented secular and moderate religious artists, some of whom may wish to visit but not live on another planet … not to mention family members & friends, so a kind of “tourism” system would need to be set up, but which ensures they don’t bring with them things like:

  • Disposable / non-biodegradable goods & packaging
  • Harmful chemicals & similar products
  • Disease harmful to native life

So the quarantine system would have to also include provisions for this, and for which purpose there’d need to be a kind of customs space-port to give people an induction before entering the planet proper – which may include warnings to visitors about native flora & fauna or geology etc. that may be deceptively dangerous for one reason or another.

Such a space station (& perhaps even a nearby moon base or isolated facility on the planet) could be used as a place for meetings with those who have intruded without invitation and are deemed a risk to the burgeoning local culture, as they’re either an agent provocateur or saboteur or similar (consciously or unconsciously).

As I’ve said previously, it’s a non-hierarchical (aka anarchic) society, so there’s no specific “authority”, but since everyone is a potential authority as motivated by the Open Empire system (to reduce harm & increase benefits in both ecological & social terms), I think it stands to reason that some people may gravitate towards such roles, driven by their interest in teaching, communicating, or protecting in some other way, the culture that is their home world now.

Point 3: Rescuing Others

“Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks” as the saying goes, and life certainly does suck for a lot of Earthlings (human or otherwise), so after a time – and once empowered to do so – I’d return to Earth to rescue cool people & other species that wish to be rescued. In the case of other species, such a desire could be interpreted as such:

  • IF a species is suffering (individually or collectively), it must wish to be rescued from such suffering;
  • THEN IF there’s no alternative local place of safety to deliver it to, a trip to another planet is in order;
  • UNLESS such a journey provides no home due to environmental incompatibility.

Human beings in modern day slavery on Earth could be rescued and at least relocated locally if not interplanetarily;

People with amazing minds and talent whom are fed up with the status quo on Earth could be rescued.

The only problem being the more you rescue, the proportionally worse things become for those left behind with all the dickhead warmongers and other freaks … so I’d want to have a pretty good capacity to rescue people in large numbers and on a frequent basis.

Given how many people are utterly brainwashed, I’d likely have a 2nd terraformed planet for those who deserved rescue, but still count as a deleterious psychosocial influence … and counsellors & teachers could visit that planet to try to help people overcome their brainwashing & other dysfunctions/limitations, until they’re ready to join a more advanced civilisation where they agree to take full responsibility for the consequences of their actions according to the principles of Open Empire. So they’d effectively have their own planet(s), and would be granted access to the Open Empire framework if they choose to have a planetary culture following the same guidelines … they’d receive further assistance in times of natural disaster etc. if & when required, but they’d not be armed with technology that didn’t exist in their own body of knowledge, thus forcing them to actually study learn & develop such technologies, which in turn of course requires them to prove they can work together and function as a stable society.

In other words: all reasonable assistance given, on an ongoing basis, but not past a threshold whereby it constitutes a risk that perhaps psychotic and violent people rescued accidentally would attempt to take control of things.

Such risk exists for the simple reason that IF you’re rescuing people in extreme hardship and exploitation, you don’t waste time doing a full psyche analysis at the time of rescue, that can come afterwards once they’re out of their existing danger.

Point 4: Diet & Lifestyle

I am myself about 95 – 98% vegan … because I do still eat eggs (usually from home kept chickens who are very well cared for & range freely), but you’ll notice again that in a non-hierarchical (aka anarchic) social construct like Open Empire, there’s no authority to tell you what to do … BUT … meat eating would not be prevalent, because – from a non-species-biased perspective – taking an animal’s life (particularly that of a sentient one) is thermodynamically quantifiable as “harm” … which is not to say it wouldn’t happen, but eating animal flesh would be mostly restricted to:

  • Eating lab-grown muscle tissue;
  • Eating non-sentient simple organisms like insects;
  • Eating animals that died anyway through accident or old age.

If there’s minimal loss (as in the case of simple non-sentient organisms like insects), and such loss is balanced by the ecological benefit of controlling their numbers; then the overall consequence is either going to be quantified as marginally beneficial or only marginally harmful (depending on how the equations turn out), and thus even if it is marginally harmful someone may easily be able to make that up in other areas, such that it doesn’t constitute a significant impact on them in terms of personal responsibility.

In the case that you keep a single cow for milk (as an example), and you do not kill the calf of course, simply taking what milk is spare (as the Ayur Vedic farmers do) after the calf has had its fill … OR … if you use alternative methods to pregnancy (physiological/psychological/biochemical) to stimulate lactation … THEN (either way) when the cow is very old and dies anyway, actually eating it’s flesh would likely be quantified as a thermodynamic gain, because you’re helping break it down (which flies, worms etc would do anyway), and you’ve caused no loss that didn’t occur on its own.

Keeping an entire herd of cattle is another thing entirely, as the grazing land comes at a loss to other the ecological possibilities of the potential of that land to support biodiversity.

So I would guess that people – with no other motivation required – would have a diet very close to vegan with much smaller amounts of meat if any, and for those who still eat meat on occasion, they’d appreciate it much more … because it wouldn’t just be “some dumb animal” someone else farmed & slaughtered for them, it would be an animal they’d known & cared for (possibly loved), so only the hardcore meat eaters would likely do it.

Personally in such a scenario, I could probably bring myself to eat a chicken that had died of natural causes (even if I knew it and it had a name) … but I doubt I’d eat a cow, for me they’re just too much like big vegetarian dogs … though I certainly wouldn’t hold it against anyone for doing so IN THIS scenario, especially given the fact that on top of all the things said about the animals living a good life and being well cared for, only eaten if they died anyway, remember that people are also taking responsibility for having done so (including responsibility for the ecological consequences of having the animal in the first place).

Point 5: Pets

It naturally follows to discuss pets. In our present world the pet food industry consumes vast resources, but on an Open Empire planet they’d have to take responsibility for the diet of their pet. If the animal is eating wildlife, perhaps it may do that anyway in the wild, but in the wild it has to contend with so many other things (weather, droughts, bigger predators / competition, fights over territory and mating rights etc.) … so your provision of shelter and supplemental food constitutes the difference in probability for its survival for the pet, therefore you’re responsible for that difference, and for the fact the animal is there in the first place if it wouldn’t otherwise be … this pet owners would be motivated to train their furry friends, restrict their movement if the creature is naturally predatory like a cat (perhaps providing an enclosed outdoors cat run), and to research the animal’s diet to provide the most nutrition from the least ecological harm.

Given that dogs & domesticated cats have an extremely long evolutionary history alongside humans, there’s no further (significant) damage to be done per se by this domestication from their wild origins (that hasn’t already been done) … BUT … to domesticate new species from the wild is something with definitive consequences, and you’d want to be really sure of a proposed benefit (including where possible for the animal in question) and your probability of achieving such a thing, before you’d set out and do it … so which is not yo say people shouldn’t go out and try, but just to THINK and to research beforehand, instead of following some ego driven desire to dominate a wild animal.


If this article makes you curious about how something else might play out on an Open Empire planet, please write to me and I’ll happily extend the article or write a new follow up to cover it.

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