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Transfer Functions for Lunar Economic Model


After reading the Task List for the APTC, you may have several questions in your mind about "Transfer Equations." To put it simply, the word equations are ingredients in a recipe. Put them all together, and you've got your cake!

Basically, we want a "state matrix" which shows how everything relates to everything else. For example, in the production and selling of strawberries you must account for several variables. You must first think of the initial cost, needed chemicals, land, how many people needed, etc. So an equation in a model for strawberries could look something like this:

           n_humans_reqd = 0.32 * live_plnts +
                           0.25 * n_pkd_strbr +
                           0.26 * n_strb_produced_per_square_meter + etc. + etc.

This list could go on and on. However, take a look at the first line: live_plnts. This could be broken down to:

           live_plnts = 0.37 * n_km_land +
                        0.25 * n_plnts_bought +
                        0.13 * n_ltrs_pesticide +
                        0.10 * n_plnts_planted + etc. + etc.

And some of the above variables could be broken down further as well. Anything can be a variable. And, when making models for the moon, you've got to be careful to remember non-human organisms when calculating things like oxygen needed. For example, if we set up some sort of arboretum on Luna, not only will "tons_of_oxygen_needed" depend on "n_humans_total", but it will also have to take into account "n_plnts_total" (plus anything else needing oxygen on the moon)

Some other things to keep in mind, when using dollars, use "d" rather than "$"; seeing that dollar sign will make most compilers choke. Calculate all money transactions in constant-year 1994 U.S. dollars. Use a standard time interval of one day when possible.

Once we finish the economic model, and we launch and start our Lunar Community, we can use the model to see if the community is successful or not. If the work is done in less than 1/4 of the adult human population's time, we know that the people up there have free time. However, if it's more than 2/3 of the adult humans' time, we can conclude that they aren't getting enough rest and the community will collapse.

Naming Variables

When naming variables for the model, it's a good idea to follow the following system:

           System - Item - Level of Derivative - Units

Example: "beef-ls-lbs-pppd" translates to: "ls", which is life support, and, as noted in the Task List, "lbs-pppd", which is shorthand for pounds per person per day.

Another important note, the chairmen will be maintaining a list in the APTC web space for variables other people are using. When making variables, please send them to the chairmen so we can post them. Plus, before making variables you should check this list to make sure there are not duplicates. If there are (e.g. "ls-oxygen-lbs-pppd"), you may wish to talk to the other people using those variables to find out what they are doing. You may be able to incorporate each other's variables.

One last note (this can be a hard concept to grasp) if you need any further help, please don't hesitate to email us.

Lunar Base Advanced Planning Tech Committee

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