What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

What if there was a forum for discussing these?

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Lopsidation
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:29 pm UTC

What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Lopsidation » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:15 pm UTC

Loneliest Human
What is the furthest one human being has ever been from every other living person? Were they lonely?

Bryan J. McCarter


Surely this one is easier than Randall makes it out to be. Just take the first human being1. Then the answers are (1) infinity, and (2) probably not.

The astronaut quotes were interesting, though. I wonder, for how long were they separated from every other human being? Minutes, hours, days?

1Sure, argue about what counts as a "human being". Still, no matter what your definition is, there was almost certainly a first one.

User avatar
rhomboidal
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby rhomboidal » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

Astronauts understand that sometimes you just need to put thousands of miles of deadly, radiation-permeated, blood-boiling/blood-freezing vacuum between you and your coworkers. It's so refreshing.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3477
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:34 pm UTC

Lopsidation wrote:Loneliest Human
What is the furthest one human being has ever been from every other living person? Were they lonely?

Bryan J. McCarter


Surely this one is easier than Randall makes it out to be. Just take the first human being1. Then the answers are (1) infinity, and (2) probably not.

1Sure, argue about what counts as a "human being". Still, no matter what your definition is, there was almost certainly a first one.


Why argue about what counts as a human being when your claim is much more vulnerable to arguments about whether only humans can be people?

The first human probably had a bunch of proto-human buddies to hang out with and wasn't very far away from other people at all...

chris857
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby chris857 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:43 pm UTC

Why is the forum so slow and struggling to load?!?! I feel so lonely...

Anyway, this guy is pretty lonely --> http://xkcd.com/505/

User avatar
mojacardave
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby mojacardave » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:53 am UTC

Presumably the last surviving member of the Soyuz 11 crew was briefly the furthest from any other living human. That entire crew died in "outer space". The Wikipedia article suggests that Georgiy Timofeyevich Dobrovolsky was still warm when they broke the landing pod open, so I'd peg him as the last to die, and presumably he was temporarily further away from other living humans than 3000 km. I doubt he was feeling particularly lonely at the time though, as he was probably unconscious.

EDIT. Nope, ignore that, turns out my vague estimates for the distance to outer space were woefully optimistic. He was only about 100km above the ground when he died. Barring a lucky coincidence in the flight path, he won't have been as far from humans as the lunar mission pilots.

idanz
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:52 am UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby idanz » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:57 am UTC

Maybe I'm missing something - but what about the first humans in space? For the best of my knowledge, only Yuri Gagrin manned the first manned orbit in space. Shouldn't he qualify for the record? (Also, what about the astronauts who came after him? John Glenn etc.)

Edit: forget it, really idiotic scale mistake. And to think I've joined the forum to post that. *sigh*

barbertje
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:06 am UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby barbertje » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:23 pm UTC

Robert Scott or one of his two companions at their last camp, was about 300 km away from the base camp on the coast at Mc Murdo sound, wich the expedition occupied for two years. Team members where probably closer than that. See the wikipedia article about the Terra Nova expedition under "Final Relief Effort"

User avatar
Red Hal
Magically Delicious
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Red Hal » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

Everybody gets one. Welcome to the fora!
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."

User avatar
Bloopy
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 9:16 am UTC
Location: New Zealand

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Bloopy » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:41 am UTC

mojacardave wrote:Barring a lucky coincidence in the flight path

I think even if they passed over a remote location such as Antarctica or Ile Amsterdam, there'd have been fishing trawlers and whalers scattered around.

Intropy
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:31 am UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Intropy » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:00 am UTC

If the Toba catastrophe hypothesis is correct, then the eruption of Toba about 70,000 years ago caused human populations to collapse to the neighborhood of 2,000 to 10,000 people living in Southern Africa. There's evidence that people had migrated as far as Southeast India by that time (there's also some evidence that populations in India did manage to survive at least for a while after Toba). If this is true then the last person living in India would have been in the neighborhood of 7,000 kilometers from the nearest person. Sounds lonely to me.

bclark
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:26 am UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby bclark » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:28 am UTC

Can everyone in a large portion of the Earth just leave so I can break the record? I wonder how hard this would actually be.

nigenet
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:27 am UTC
Location: Sunny Buxton, Derbyshire, UK (Where the water comes from)
Contact:

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby nigenet » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:50 pm UTC

While we have a permanently crewed Internation Space Station, I suppose it is now very difficult for anyone to be more than approx 270 miles from another human for very long...
"Your mother ate my dog!"
"Not all of him..."

Demki
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:29 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Demki » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:08 am UTC

bclark wrote:Can everyone in a large portion of the Earth just leave so I can break the record? I wonder how hard this would actually be.

It would be easier if you're near the south pole. You will have to stop boats from entering your disk of loneliness, but a few torpedos should do the trick.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Klear » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

Demki wrote:
bclark wrote:Can everyone in a large portion of the Earth just leave so I can break the record? I wonder how hard this would actually be.

It would be easier if you're near the south pole. You will have to stop boats from entering your disk of loneliness, but a few torpedos should do the trick.


And if there is some retaliation, you'd have to hope for unmanned drones.

Kanti
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:55 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Kanti » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:26 pm UTC

Lopsidation wrote:The astronaut quotes were interesting, though. I wonder, for how long were they separated from every other human being? Minutes, hours, days?
I was interested too.

The Apollo Command Module orbited the moon every 2 hours; 45 minutes of which was spent behind the moon, out of radio contact with every other human in existance.

Ron Evans, the pilot for Apollo 17, spent approximately 38 orbits alone while the other two astronauts landed on the lunar surface. A total of about 28.5 hours of complete solitude over those three days.

Just something to think about.

User avatar
Red Hal
Magically Delicious
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby Red Hal » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:41 pm UTC

It's a helluva way to make sure you *absolutely* don't get interrupted.
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."

CalRobert
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:37 pm UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby CalRobert » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:49 pm UTC

" ... Scott was a British explorer who met a tragic end. Scott's expedition reached the South Pole in 1911, only to discover that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by several months. The dejected Scott..."

Amundsen didn't beat him by several months, he beat Scott by 34 days. Also, the journey to the South Pole included several groups that split off from the party and returned north along the way. The last group to do this was one consisting of Tom Crean and others (their names escape me), so once Scott's reached the pole and headed north they were both going the same direction.

JenBurdoo
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:15 am UTC

Re: What-If 0072: "Loneliest Human"

Postby JenBurdoo » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:19 am UTC

There were actually seven men alone in an Apollo command module behind the moon -- the seventh was John Young of Apollo 10. The LM on that flight did not land as it was a dress rehearsal for 11, but Young was alone for three orbits.

Also, while Apollo 13 was farthest from the surface of the Earth, 10 was the farthest from the crew's families, as at one point Houston was on the far side of the Earth while they were orbiting the far side of the Moon.


Return to “What If?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 34 guests