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Re: Engineering Newsletter

> From KellySt@aol.com Wed Jan 17 05:30:37 1996
> > [Zenon:]
> > Horrific and ruthless? 
> > If you send them for such a trip against their will - 
> > then you are possibly right.
> > But if they are willing?
> > There is a good ol' rule of Roman law: ---
> So, If you find someone willing to blow their brains out on camera, if the
> footage will be shone on the evening news.  You don't think the news
> photagapher who says "sure, go for it" has any moral responsibility?
That is quite another story - publicizing somebody's
desire to make a grisly spectacle for no purpose except shocking others...
Anyway, if that someone wills to blow their brains - it is their, 
so let them do it - one fool less will be a service to humanity...
Being the photographer, I would simply say that I'm not interested.
You see, would anybody climb at the window ledge
threatening to jump twenty stories down if nobody
will come with cameras, psychiatrist, negotiator,
fireman's brigade with long ladder and wailing siren?
And 100% of such "desperados" somehow becomes easily
persuaded not to jump (after he is sure all the media
gave enough coverage of his attempt...).
So do not mince matters, Kelly...

> [Zenon:]
> > Besides, everybody must die some time -
> > what is that real & shocking difference between dying
> > in Antarctica and in Sometown, Montana?
> > With the starflight, another important factor is added:
> > the return flight is long (of the order of at least 10 years, say),
> > thus those returning will have only few years to enjoy
> > their medals on Earth, not to say of the boring years
> > on the ship with nothing exciting to do (except betting 
> > if the next ship gear failure will be fatal...)
> > and rather risky - the probability
> > of irreparable failure of the ship during the flight
> > is much larger than the failure of the outpost base.
> > I, frankly, would prefer to stay at the outpost.
> > It might significantly increase my life expectance...
> You have a choice of 10 years in the ship betting on its systems not failing
> on its return flight.  Vs the rest of your life in that same ship parked in
> the system, or a base built out of the ships parts, still better the systems
> don't fail.  Unless your assuming you'll die in less than 10 years of natural
> causes.  I can't see how you could take the return flight as safer.
Return flight is much less safe than living at the base, Kelly.
That collossal engine, with all its terawats boiling inside - 
ready either to blow out or to stall, rather worn out after
years and years of the first half of the flight.
No resources to find in the void, nor means to stop and search...

> In any event its accademic.  No political organization would be allowed to
> support or allow such a flight.  Since such a flight can't be done without
> them in the next 50 years.  The option, ruthless as it is, is closed.
Political organizations (and opinions) are not laws of nature,
but emanations of people's opinions and attitudes.
If they (the people) have such attitudes as you seem to propagate
in our discussion, that it's not surprising that they possibly
will not "support or allow" ANY flight (that's risky, you know -
untested technology, not complying to these mountains of government 
rules and regulations of safety, no guarantee of safe return, 
high probability of accidental loss of life, 
probably far larger than in Kuwait...).
So, if we want to go to the stars at all, 
we must fight off such attitudes.
Not to say of other resons to do so.

I wonder - Lindbergh would be certainly not allowed to cross
the Atlantic - in his personally constructed and build plane,
without all those attestations and safety inspections, completely
on his own, with no detailed progress reports to the government, 
etc., etc. - surely a suicide mission...

If such attitude really prevails, farewell the future of humankind,
either among the stars or right there on Earth...

-- Zenon