Here is the script I’ve used for the episode.
This was originally in Obsidian the Markdown editor and I’ve got a v2 of this which is mostly just dot points.

The Episode itself can be heard at

On Soundcloud, or your favourite podcast app like Anchor.fmSpotifyAmazoniHeart RadioPocketCastsCastBox

Or watch on YouTube

You can also download the script in Markdown format from Github.


Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, Good Night or Good flight potential Martians.

I’m your host of this Podcast, Michael Kubler and I’ll be discussing how we could create an Abundant Centered Society on Mars and use the culture change and technology on Earth.

I have a question for you.
How much do you believe that Capitalism is the best economic system we’ve got? Maybe it’s a 4 out of 10, or a 6?

I call it an Abundant Centered Society or ACeS for short, but you might know it as a Post-Scarcity Society or an RBE – Resource Based Economy.

One way of thinking about it is to start imagining that people have access to at least the necessities of life, for free, for everyone on the planet.

I’ll go into more detail later but ACeS is mostly based around Access Abundance, Closed Loop Material Flows / Circular Economy, Automation and a Systems Perspective.

I want to stress off the bat that what I’m talking about isn’t a slightly different form of Capitalism or a different name for Communism but something a lot newer and a lot more different.

I’ll briefly mention that sending things to Mars is going to be expensive and so we have to do things differently.

The first step of Access Abundance is about changing the paradigm from private property to access as you need it. This means that instead of having to buy and maintain a vacuum cleaner, drill and everything else you instead get access to what you need to ensure your house is clean or you can put a hole in the wall. But when you aren’t actively using those tools others can be using them.

Closed Loop Material flows also known as the Cradle to Cradle or the Circular Economy is about tracking the technical and biological nutrients and keeping them in a never ending cycle.

Instead of the current system where we extract resources from the planet, process them, manufacture a product at the cheapest possible price and use it for a short while before throwing it away into a garbage pile. Instead we don’t throw things into the garbage but disassemble them into their component parts and base elements, becoming feedstock for the next product.
We also need to create products which are designed to last to reduce the cycle time.
This means you don’t have to keep extracting more and more resources, instead you keep reusing the ones you’ve already got.
An example would be nylon clothes that can be melted down and respun or unthreaded and remade into new materials a nearly infinite number of times.

We might also have packaging that’s either designed to last or is bio-nutritional and good for the environment. So we might have signs saying please litter here because it’s good for the gardens.

There’s a difference with biological and technical nutrients. They shouldn’t be mixed with technical materials.
For example we shouldn’t be washing paints and solvents down the sink.

Automation is about using robots and computer systems to do the laborious work. So we humans can focus on what matters.

A Systems Perspective is about how you design everything to work together as a whole. Especially working with our ecosystems, social systems and technical systems.

I’ll go into a lot more detail later, but the key thing is that together the application of these concepts means you can easily produce at least the necessities of life, for free, to everyone on the planet.

We can even go a step further and produce such abundant access to resources that humans no longer have a need for money anymore.

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about and just had their eyes glaze over, hang on and over the course of more podcast episodes I’ll explain the terms and theories in greater detail.

In this podcast I want to overview some points around the both the technological challenges and also the cultural and economic changes which could be used to help a Martian civilisation thrive.

Now, you might not be the right sort of audience member who’s ready to hear about alternative economic systems or might want to be 100% focused on Earth and don’t think that building on Mars is worth it and that’s fine. The Internet is a vast place and there’s plenty of entertainment and distractions for you.

But for those who want to continue listening I’ve got so many questions and some answers.

Like what technology and systems are needed for us to thrive on Mars? What major breakthroughs will we need?
What major cultural changes are needed?
Will the people on Mars work better in an Abundance Centred Society, or using Capitalism?

For those who already know of the Zeitgeist Movement, Venus Project and similar organisations which are promoting an RBE or Post-Scarcity Society one question you’ll have is

Why haven’t we transitioned to an Abundance Centered Society already?

Whilst the movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward has over 25 million views, we don’t even have a working prototype village yet.

I know there’s a lot of different reasons why we haven’t transitioned. A big one being inertia, another being fear of change. But it’s also just really hard to build new things.

I’ve been partly involved in two decent attempts at a small scale transition. Earth Communities in South Australia and Koto Coop in Finland. The most we’ve got is a small piece of land and with an old building.

Which is why the core theme of this Podcast is this question:

What if the best way of developing the technology and culture we want for an Abundant Centered Society is by developing it for Mars?

I believe that if we try developing some off-grid, ACeS inspired communities here on Earth, we just aren’t going to be reimagining everything from first principles. We’ll be lazy, partly because we can be.
We’ll use old construction techniques, throw stuff in the trash, buy off the shelf parts from the mall and might end up with a car culture dominated city, simply because that’s what people are used to.

But on Mars we can’t do that.

On Mars we have to track everything.
The Heat
The Oxygen
The Water
The Food
The Steel

All the materials used. Build or tracked ensure that where possible it can all be reused. The digital tracking and resource engine needed will be far more sophisticated than anything we’d try building on Earth.

We’ll be in a completely new and somewhat hostile place and so a lot more open to new concepts. Like the Tao of ACeS which are some suggested cultural norms. Such as being responsibility based, aiming to reduce needless violence, waste and stratification towards zero and other ideas which I’ll explain in detail in the another Podcast episode. Because first I want to I want to set the stage and let you know.

What is Mars like?

Mars is a very hostile environment.

It’s further from the Sun, so is much colder with an average temperature of -60°C (-80° Fahrenheit) and it can get as cold as -128°C.
Whilst it can sometimes get as warm as 21°C, being frozen to the bone seems to be the norm.

The Atmosphere is Unbreathable for humans, being 1/100th as thick as Earth’s and 95% CO2.

The gravity is 3.721 m/s² which is only 38% that of Earth’s

There’s no magnetosphere, so despite getting only 40% as much sunlight as Earth does, it’s sunlight contains a lot of high energy particles which mean it’ll give you Cancer 50x faster than on Earth.
Thankfully we can use things like water or frozen CO2 to protect us. But it’ll take energy and time to create such barriers and most people shouldn’t spend more than a couple of years on Mars until we can get some really good anti-cancer medical tech.

It’s also a fair distance away. The shortest distance between Earth and Mars is 56 million km, at furthest we are 401 million km apart.
This also means there’s a signal delay of
between 3mins and 22 mins. So you’ll be sending YouTube Shorts or Tik Tok’s not doing Skype or Zoom calls.

There’s an alignment that happens every 26 months (2.1 years).

So this means that if we are to go to Mars we’d likely send groups every 2 years and they’d need to be self-sufficient.

It’ll cost a whole lot of money and resources to get to Mars.
Space X is doing a great job of developing the Starship. We might be able to send a ship to Mars in as little as 3 to 5 years. Although sending people will likely take longer.
Of course even with the reusability aspect of such space ships it’s likely the initial costs could be in the order of $1/million a ton, although that can hopefully drop down over time.

The main thing to know is that sending stuff is expensive and you can’t easily get replacements. You certainly can’t order Uber Eats if you forgot to pack enough sandwiches.
Did I mention it’s likely to be a 7 month trip to get there?
It’s going to be an arduous trip.

The humans who get there will need to be kept inside radiation shielded, insulated, pressurised buildings with very minimal trips outside because of the cancerous solar radiation.

This means they’ll need to get robots to do most of the work.

Thankfully there’s a fair bit of frozen water in the poles and some you can extract from the atmosphere.

You can use a whole lot of heat to melt the ice into water and even more to electrolyse it into Hydrogen and Oxygen. The CO2 in the atmosphere is another source of Oxygen and also Carbon. Which together you can use to make the rocket fuel for sending the rockets home.
There’s already a Moxie working on Mars with the latest rover, proving we can make Oxygen for breathing with.

There’s also plenty of Iron in the regolith… Martian rocks.
This makes it relatively easy to make steel as long as you’ve got enough power.

The sun isn’t as strong as we’d want, there’s no flowing water and the wind isn’t strong enough. So Nuclear power plants will be important. Although we can use some Solar PV as a backup. The Solar panels would need some mechanisms for wiping away the dust. But even a windscreen wiper would likely work fine.

The Martian Dust is dangerous to humans. Pretty toxic and corrosive. So that’ll be a pain. You’ll want lots of good HEPA filters in the habitats, Martian space suits and rovers just to be sure.

There’s a lot of challenges about getting to and living on Mars. I’ll go into some of them in more detail in other episodes. It’s something I’m interested in.
Although the main point of difference with this Podcast is around the society and economy we would use on Mars.

Here’s a scenario for you

We send rockets with robots and equipment to Mars. Very few have an unscheduled rapid disassembly. Or as you might say… very few “explode”.
There’s some robots which setup some Solar panels and fuel processing facilities. After 2 years the rockets return.

The OK is given and people get sent. The trip takes 7 months but they make it.
A colony is setup.

We, humanity, start to live on Mars.
The aim is then to setup a self sustaining civilization on Mars. One able to survive without any more space ships coming from Earth, for whatever reasons that might be.

What is the minimum setup required for that to happen? Not just how many people, but how many closed loop systems?

Maybe it’s 10k people, maybe it’s 100k people maybe 1 million, I’ve got no idea.

We’ll need to make not just food and recycle the water. But make our own detergent and toothpaste. We won’t have access to Petrol, there’s no oil in the ground, so making pharmaceuticals and other things will be hard. We are going to have to invent new construction and manufacturing, new chemistry and even new social customs.

When I think about people living on Mars I think more like Star Trek than Star Wars.
I think about how people want to be using good quality equipment which they can fix.
I think about how people might have to deal with all manner of disasters and problems with trying to live on a hostile planet.

I think about how I’d want to give those people the best chance possible to survive.

Which is why I think about them living in an Abundance Centered Society.
One where resources are shared by default and available to everyone. One where the robots are automated instead of people having to manually control them all the time.

Because when I try to imagine us using Capitalism as the primary economic system on Mars, I think about how it’ll be fucked up. Great to watch as a dystopian movie, horrible to live in.

When we send stuff to Mars I’m sure different governments and corporations will likely be sending different parts. Maybe one country sends the Nuclear reactors, a company sends the solar panels and a different country sends the habitat modules, hydroponics system and 3D printers.
Under Capitalism you’ll have to pay for the Oxygen you breath, the food you eat, water you drink, where you live. All the necessities of life and everything else.

Capitalism doesn’t focus on sustainability. This is highlighted by the way corporations aim to maximise shareholder value and often do it at a cost to the society and environment.

The best examples of this are planned and perceived obsolescence.

Planned obsolescence is where things are designed to break down. Imagine having to bring 3 kettles or vacuum cleaners per person because over a 2 year stint they are likely to break down. Apply that to nearly everything people need and suddenly you need to bring hundreds of tons of equipment more per person.
Instead you should be able to have a kettle that directly heats water into a thermos and so doesn’t lose heat and is both robust and easy to repair and the hot water can be shared amongst a group of people. Now it’s from 3 items per person to 1 in 3 people or even less.

The ability to repair things is often not allowed. It’s designed to break down just after the warranty period and be illegal to fix and there’s laws in place to make it so. Checkout most of Cory Doctorow’s work for examples of this. (@todo: the dishwasher that is incompatible with the dishes).
We aren’t going to be able to schedule a technician from Earth to come out and fix the dishwasher because it detected an incompatible dish from a competing company or generic knock off.

Perceived obsolescence is where new models are released which make the old one not worth buying or simply no longer supported. You can’t get parts for it anymore or especially if it’s a mobile phone or something electronic then it’s no longer compatible with newer software.
We’ll want to be able to have any software as open source or at least source available and editable so we can fix up any bugs. Even a bug in a washing machine which makes it use 20% more water than it should could be disastrous on Mars where extracting, melting, using and treating the water is very energy intensive. Whilst such an issue would be barely detectable on Earth.

I want to tell you two stories of someone possibly living on Mars.

Before I go through these two theoretical stories, I wanted to explain a concept of tech innovation levels. This is an example just on the doors.


Different areas will need to be sealed up in case of an emergency depressurisation. For example a meteorite causes a hull breach.. Or some stupid person shooting a gun.
Most likely you’ll have hallways and then doors to a housing unit, be that a small 1 bedroom apartment or multiple story house. It’s the doors between the hallway and house or between the park and the hydroponics centre which would prevent further leaks. Of course you’ll also have a double door airlock system in order to go outside of the habit.
The airtight doors which matter are obviously those that can keep the human breathable, warmed up, oxygenated air on one side and have the cold, low density Martian atmosphere on the other side.

Here’s a few ways we can build such doors:

  1. Air tight but manual doors. If there are parts which need oiling then that needs to be applied manually by humans, possibly with it needing to be pulled apart to be accessed.
  2. Air tight mechanical doors which can automatically close in the event of an air pressure venting. They might also have a key lock for security.
  3. Air tight electronic doors which can open automatically when you want to enter/exit (like at a store) or with a switch nearby. They can also indicate if the other side has human acceptable atmosphere. If they need oiling then there’s an oil reservoir which humans can occasionally refill as needed.
  4. Air tight electronic and network connected doors which can be remotely closed or opened. Be it from your phone or pre-emptively in the case of maintenance or an emergency. If there’s a major fire then doors can be closed and opened as needed to vent it. They can also be hooked up to the security system for access and authorisation to allow for automatic privacy whilst allowing emergency services to access if needed or robots for housekeeping.
  5. Air tight, networked electronic doors with IoT sensors that can detect any stresses and fractures in the material. If there’s stretching or anything which indicate it might need maintenance and repairs and automatically trigger robots to come fix it. If the doors need oiling or something then they have an oil reservoir which is always monitored and when low robots can come replenish it.

The idea is to let you understand that we can build things in various ways and with various human upkeep requirements.

To make this feel more real, I want to tell you two stories.

Jeff’s – Capitalism Story

His wrist watch beeped and vibrated him awake. It was 3am on Mars and Jeff had to get up and take another round of Chemo drugs. He groggily opened his eyes, stumbled out of bed and found the next syringe in the set.
The drugs made him vomit, so he sat on the side of the bed with the trash can between his legs and chundered.
He’d been doing this for a week now, every 6 hours.

His throat was bleeding from all the stomach acid. The only thing that seemed to help that he could afford was drinking from a juice box. He drank it to ease the pain and give his stomach something back in return.
He eventually went back to sleep.
8am and his wrist watch awoke him again. This time he had to get ready for work. He was the primary maintenance tech for the pressure doors to the Mars colony.
There was 50,000 of us living on Mars now.
Like many kids, he’d dreamed of being an astronaut, he’d look up at the stars at night and wonder what it was like out there. Of course that was a very brief phase of his life, but it subtly steered him from being interested in doors to large doors and eventually pressurised doors and air locks.
After brushing his teeth and going down the hallway to shower at the communal bath house he comes back, double bags his trash with all the vomit in it and goes through the main hallway airlock by his apartment, having gotten into in his Martian space suit. Cycling the airlock is both an art and science with trying to interpret the pressure gauges and making sure you weren’t venting much atmosphere outside. The big circular wheels you had to spin to open or close the doors were based on submarine doors, but are hard to use in the bulky space suits. Of course Jeff had perfected the art, using the airlock in a record setting time. Not that anyone knew that, not even Jeff.
The atmosphere outside is effectively non-existent from a breathing perspective, but it was still enough to pickup lots of dust. The sign for the dumpsite is barely visible and except for the new trash most of the garbage has a 1cm thick layer of dust. The stormy season is starting so some dust storms will blow it away. He wonders if he’ll still be alive when they haul the trash off in a space ship back to Earth on an otherwise empty return voyage.
He notices a dust devil whirling off in the distance as he returns. His suit’s internal heater was faltering and he was getting cold.
He didn’t know it but those trips outside and the cracked radiation shielding on his habitat module is why he had developed what the doctors colloquially call cosmic cancer.

his unit, was just a cramped room with a bed, toilet and closet for clothes, but As he returned he got a ding.
His Oxygen bill arrived. He’s burned through his savings, the chemo drugs cost a month of his wages for every day he takes them, and he’s behind on his electricity and housing payments. He won’t be able to afford another 2 weeks of treatment which the Doc said was needed. Hopefully just another day or two will be enough.

When he first was blasted into space it was exhilarating. There was 12 days in complete Zero G as his ship had refuelling payloads and a mass of other Starships collected in a group and waited for the transfer window. A few days every 2.1 years where it’s the fastest trip from Earth to Mars. His ship took off then carefully manoeuvred with 5 others and then tethered together and they all started rotating together, giving an artificial 15% of Earth’s Gravity. It wasn’t much, but it helped the toilet flush and other things work. He felt so much energy and power then, everything was so light and there was so many possibilities. Sure the ship he was on was crammed with 99 other people. But of course after a 7 month trip, even with the basic steroid meds they gave and use of the gym equipment he’d lost some muscle mass, those first steps on the Red planet were a little wobbly, at 38% Earth’s gravity it was still higher gravity than what he’d gotten used to. But after a month he could bound across the open plains with pretty decent 1m leaps. Now, after 18 months on Mars he was so weak he was having issues just walking. His body was riddled with cancer and he had no idea how he’d be able to walk on Earth again.

He realises he’s zoned out for a while, waiting for 9am and looks at his standard issue smart watch to see that the battery has died again. It used to last a week and now it doesn’t even last a day after being recharged. He can’t just install a new battery, the company which built them legally doesn’t allow that, didn’t build it for the battery to be replaceable. They’ve got a new model out but of course Jeff can’t buy one on his wage.

Jeff takes his meds, is sick, drinks a juice box, grabs his oiling gun and tool belt and heads out for another days work.
He’s got to inspect 50 doors and airlocks today. Check them for wear and tear, lubricate them and make sure the gauges are correct.
Sometimes the mechanisms need oil, sometimes graphite powder. The heavily trafficked doors often need new rubber.
He’s got to pull apart a lot of the locking mechanisms no matter just to see if there’s wear and tear or not. He’s been doing this for the last 1.5 years he’s been on Mars and he’s got it down to 5 minutes per door and another 10 minutes for checking the full airlock cycle.

Of course, you can guess what happens to Jeff. He can’t afford the cancer treatment, stops it and dies. He’s taken back in the same space ship that takes back the trash.
Whilst there was another person who was trained in doing airlock and door maintenance as a backup task, they were so busy with their primary role that they didn’t get enough time to do more than repair things which had already broken.

At some point not just one door, but two break their seal and some people still suiting up outside the airlock are killed. Most were in ore processing, but there was a higher up official who was also killed in the tragedy.

Jeff’s Abundant Centered Society Story

Jeff wakes up naturally at 8:22am and checks his phone.
There’s 30,000 people on Mars and whilst there’s only 500 important airlocks to the outside nearly every room has a door which can hold back atmospheric pressure in case of a breach.
With a quick check of his phone Jeff can see the 3 doors which have wear and tear enough worth investigating and there’s 4 doors where the oil wells are needing a top up. Today’s rounds will be quick.
The rest of the doors are all in the green. Their internal mechanisms are working as expected and there’s no pressure holding issues.

Jeff heads over to his table where a glass of freshly squeezed Orange juice has just arrived. The oranges were automatically picked from the Hydroponics system within the last hour and when it was detected that Jeff was awake they were squeezed, put into a glass cup with a silicon lid and a robot sent through the integrated transport tunnels and to the table in his room. Jeff takes the silicone lid off and puts it in the area marked for the robot system, which automatically takes it and will have it washed and it will be reused probably millions of times before being reformed with other silicone into a new object.

He selects what he wants for breakfast. He chooses to have it in the cafeteria where he can meet up with his fellow Martian engineers and scientists. He wants to talk to them about the coordinated doorway, fire suppression system that he’s working on. Allowing fires to be vented out to the Martian atmosphere if needed or to use airlocks to remove the atmosphere. The tricky bit is making sure you don’t suffocate humans, but do suffocate the fire.

Jeff doesn’t have cancer because there’s multiple forms of radiation shielding over his apartment. A thick layer of frozen CO2 which has thermal insulation and the ability to be actively cooled to prevent it turning to a gas on the couple of days a year it gets above freezing outside. There’s also radiation monitors and the potential to enable active EM systems built into the hull on really heavy radiation days.

His watch lets him know that the battery is low. It only takes him a couple of moments to drain and refill the liquid capsule battery with a fresh charge, allowing the watch will last another 3 weeks or so.
The discharged RedFlow battery liquid goes back into the system to be recharged and reused.

He heads over the the cafeteria and pulls out a Martian forged knife and fork from the drawer and knows that within a moment it’ll be reloaded with another clean set.
His meal has already been prepared by the cooking robots and is delivered within a few moments of him sitting down. His fellow engineers will join him shortly.

Big differences

The juice boxes are gone. Those aren’t reusable and were instead thrown away and sent “Away”.

Instead Abundant Jeff gets fresh orange juice that squeezed within the last hour and even the glass it’s in is reused.
His pee and poop are cycled through. Everything is tracked as biological or technical nutrients and reused nearly infinite times.

By default there’s access abundance. Abundant Jeff has what he needs, when he needs it. But in a way that everyone else can benefit and use things when he isn’t.

Capitalism Jeff has to pay for everything.
Capitalism Jeff got to go because his company was selected as the lowest cost option for building and maintaining the system.

Did you notice I said there was 50k people in the Capitalism version and 30k people in the Abundant version? I’m assuming pretty much the same about of resources sent, however yes, there will be more robots and better systems sent, so initially less people for the abundant version, but they’ll be more effective because the vast majority of tasks will be automated or using systems design, simply not needed.
The Capitalism version NEEDS people and for them to work. The economics of money flowing through the system can have perverse incentives.

I’m sorry if I made your eyes glaze over when talking about an alternative economic system.

I’m not talking about Capitalism versus Communism but something dramatically different and a lot newer. However our currently monetary life is so ingrained in us that it becomes a part of people’s identity and it took me months to fully grok the idea of an Abundance Centered Society, so I don’t expect many people to change quickly. It also took over a decade of research to get to this point…
I highly recommend the movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward if you want to understand more of the problems and solutions.

I’ll leave a link in the show notes.

————- Outro ———–

Next episode I’ll go into more detail about an Abundance Centered Societies core aspects.

My aim is to be releasing an episode a month until I’ve covered most of the Abundant Mars proposal I’m currently working on.

I’ll then release the Abundant Mars proposal at the end of what I’m considering season 1. If there’s a season 2 of this podcast it’ll probably be covering certain aspects in more detail, the latest in news on Mars and other related science developments. But hopefully also interviews with people.
Hopefully you’ll want to be a part of the community of people who want to see an Abundance Centered Society in our Solar system, be that on Mars or Earth or preferably both.

If you like the episode then it helps if you can leave an honest review on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify or whatever you are using to listen to this podcast, assuming it has rating or review capabilities.

You can share or download the podcast via where I’ve also posted the script I’m reading from and some imagery created using Midjourney AI.

Some general facts about me:
I am a web developer by day. I’m working on a SaaS startup.
I have been a part of the Zeitgeist Movement since the first Zday, where I created the South Australian Chapter of The Zeitgeist Movement.

I would have gotten my Private Pilots Licence on the day I turned 18, however it was too windy to fly, so I got it a week or so later. I didn’t get my drivers licence for another few months. Which means that for a while I could fly anywhere in Australia, but couldn’t drive myself to the airport.

There’s no sponsors for this show, currently it’s just me doing everything and I’ve got a full time job. Hence it won’t be coming out regularly. But I do have some recommendations.

If you are interested in increasing the access abundance with others then checkout Sharebay which is run by Colin Turner.
That’s and it’s a site where you can offer up items and services to be shared. It’s free to share and such Free Collaboration Networks can be a good. I offer my stock footage to anyone who’s creating content for helping transition to an Abundance Centered Society.

Another Site that Colin Turner runs is the Free World Charter. You can go to or search online and sign the 10 point charter. There’s been 60 thousand signatures last I checked. Also checkout the Facebook page for great content.

For other podcasts in this space the Moneyless Society Podcast is doing gangbusters and they are currently working on a doco/movie which includes Richard Wolff and even Noam Chomsky.

The intro music was The Seed by Aurora and outro music was Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd.

That’s all I’ve got time for now. But subscribe to the Podcast and get notifications for next months show!

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