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ARCHITECTS OF MARS: John Carter McKnight takes on…Martian architecture?

No, it’s more than that — it’s about the rigid application of familiar memes in very different environments. While he uses aesthetics as an example, the same principle can apply to just about any ideas, cultural elements, or social arrangements we take with us to Mars. Early martian settlements will be caught between the desire to pioneer the new and the urge to reestablish the old and familiar in a new place.

It’s an interesting argument, but hardly one that is new to Mars settlement. After all, we in the United States owe our form of government to just such a struggle between experiment and tradition, one which sought to replicate the rights and forms of English governance in the Colonies and ended up as a novel form of government composed from the best ideas the Old World had to offer. And we are today witnessing another instance of this struggle in the ongoing evolution of the internet, where the old forms of information sharing (newspapers, magazines) were stovepiped into the new medium like Midwestern houses in the Rockies, but are gradually being supplanted by new forms, such as….well…blogs, which better exploit the nature of the new environment.

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