WE ARE GOING TO MARS.

This is an inevitability.  It's not a question of if, but when.  It won't happen in this decade and probably not the next, but someday, we're going.

We are going because we can learn things there that we can't learn anywhere else.  We're going to develop new resources and technologies that will propel us through the coming century.  We're going because it's a big, scary universe, and the species that survive over the long run are likely the ones that don't keep all their eggs in the same fragile basket.  We're going to see if we're truly alone.  But mostly we're going because it's what's next.  It's what we do; we're an explorer species. And when we go, common sense dictates we should go to stay: settlers, not tourists.

Like all colonists, the Mars humans will live differently than their relatives back in the homeland.  They will become something other; no longer Homo sapiens, but Homo martialis.  They will develop their own customs, their own idioms, their own holidays and rituals, their own art and music and literature-- even their own cuisine.

These are a series of speculations and thought experiments with a single underlying goal: to help provide the foundations for the first human culture on another world.