PILLARS ON MARS:
LINKING THE DESTINIES OF ANCIENT GREECE AND FUTURE MARS
When one looks over the various great civilizations in the past, the Greeks stand out as representing an unusually great flourishing of new ideas. There are many theories as to why this is so. Some historians claim that the harsh countryside of Greece molded the Greeks into creative and enterprising people. Others attribute it to a few great men, such as Plato and Aristotle. However, some speculate the primary source of this great flourishing of ideas was the Greeks fundamental government structure, that of the independent city-state, or polis. The nation of Greece was really a collection of thousands of independent governmental units known as poli. Each polis was free to do as it pleased, and therefore many pursued and developed different ideas on a multitude of topics, and the net result was a great flourishing of knowledge.
It is known that a great expansion of knowledge took place
in ancient Greece, and it is also pretty firmly understood how and why this
took place. However, the real question is what will be done with this
knowledge? Is it possible that this example from the past could be used to set
up another great flourishing of knowledge in the future? Humans will have just
such an opportunity as the Martian frontier is opened up for settlement. The
situations of future Mars and
ancient Greece have many similarities, including harsh terrain, limited resources and relative isolation. These features led to the development of the polis in ancient Greece, and ultimately, to a great flourishing of knowledge. Is it possible that these same features of geography and situation could once again lead humankind to a great blossoming of knowledge...but this time on Mars?