CURRENT STATE OF DEVELOPMENT
Most of Poseidous’ population of 19.4 million is distributed on just 13 of the 102 major islands (islands larger than 100,000 square kilometers).
Cities on Poseidous tend to be small. Over 66 percent of the population are considered to be city dwellers, even though 73 percent of the people depend directly on industries in and around cities for their livelihood. The largest city, New Washington, houses a permanent population of 830,000 yet 1,500,000 hold jobs in it. About 15 percent of the population lives on very small islands not shown on the maps. Most of these lie near enough to larger islands so that one or more of the family members can commute to work there. A few small island dwellers live self-sufficiently, or nearly so. Their needs can be totally satisfied by things they produce themselves from materials of the island and the surrounding sea, though many do enjoy the convenience of power generators and communications service.
Industry and Technology
Poseidous, the second oldest of the Human colonies, possesses all the advantages of an industrialized world, not only basic necessities, but physical comforts and conveniences as well can be purchased by most people. Poseidous no longer depends on Earth for any physical goods. Even the ship’s spires for housing new immigrants are no longer supplied. Poseidons still depend heavily on information from Earth, though many of Poseidous’s basic industries use techniques which have been modified slightly to suit the needs of the planet.
Rice forms the staple crop for most of the islands, with wheat a distant second. Climates ideal for growing most types of fruits or vegetables from Earth can be found on the various island communities, and a vigorous interisland produce trade insures the widest possible variety to all. For historical, rather than technological reasons,
Poseidons consume more fish in their diet than meat. Currently two-thirds of the fish consumed is produced in aquaculture preserves from species imported from Earth. The remaining portion comes from native species caught in the open ocean. Consumption of native fish has risen sharply in recent years and may surpass maricultural consumption by the end of the century. Poseidon cuisine partakes heavily of its Asian origins, but the dishes based around native seafood taste unlike anything cooked on Earth.
Poseidons have coped effectively with the most fragmented geography of any colony planet. A ring of communications satellites link the remotest islands to a comprehensive communications network. Competing services offer news, entertainment, shopping, libraries, interpersonal communication, and money exchange with the same high efficiency found on Earth. When electronic communications can’t fill their needs, Poseidons flit between islands on high-speed levicars. Many of these are personally owned, though high-speed busses offer the fastest and cheapest links between the large islands. Poseidons lead all colonies in levicar technology. Because they must cover large distances, most cars can travel very fast. Fully automatic guidance, coupled with a continuous link -to guidance satellites, insures that collisions won’t occur at sea, and that malfunctioning vehicles will be quickly identified and aided.
Poseidon housing falls into two categories: single- story, modular, prefab houses from the overwhelming majority of personal shelters, although large, Earth-type complexes can still be found in cities. Because of the mild climate on most islands, house construction tends to be very light. Manufacturers make extensive use of glass and field walls which can be completely opened to the outside. Most Poseidons locate their homes on hillside sites with views of the sea. Because housing is cheap to build, more than 85 percent of Poseidon families own homes.
Education and Health
Provisions for children’s educations, medical care and other essential services vary radically from island to island. On some islands, governments control all of these services, while on others, all such services must be purchased in an open market. The methods preferred by individual colonists are major factors in determining which island they chose to live on.