My ‘Mars’ class for Spring 2023

I’m teaching a new course next semester for advanced undergraduates in Mason’s Schar School. At at abstract level, it’s about how humans might go about constructing new government systems (polities) if they were freed from most of the constraints of history and contingency. At a practical level, it’s about the idea of human colonies on Mars along the lines of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy and made realistic by SpaceX’s recent accomplishments. Obviously, such colonies would be practically beyond the immediate Earth-bound geopolitical drivers at some point. How might they decide to organize themselves? How might concepts like rule of law and private property manifest when organized (de jury or de facto) de novo? The course will be completely on-line and will be pretty demanding on the reading side.

And, I’m going to ‘legalize’ the use of ChatGTP! Still working out how that might work (I have about three weeks left).