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Re: starship-design: scoops and sails and something to push against

In a message dated 10/14/98 11:12:53 PM, stevev@efn.org wrote:

>KellySt@aol.com writes:
> > economics is a science with understood laws and rules that
> > even apply across species (where aplicable).  Psychology isn't
> > well researched, but is a reflection of the structure of our
> > minds, which excluding extensive gene work, isn't likely to
> > change in the next few million years, and seems to trace it
> > roots back through most mammals.  Society, culture ignoring
> > trivialities like music art etc falls into a couple major
> > groups (feudal/dictator, democratic) which have existed for a
> > few thousand years.  So were pretty sure some sort of law
> > based, probably democratic society will dominate long term
> > (dictatortships lack productivity to compete long term).
>Perhaps you've heard the saying "The first step to knowledge is
>to know how much you don't know."

Glad I could help you.  ;)

>Economics can't make useful predictions; the models used in
>economics are completely artificial and unrealistic.  

Thats a bit of a stretch.  Economic models do very acuratly predict what they
are intended to predict.  What else were you expecting them to?

>can't make useful predictions either --

Its immature but within ranges its fairly good at predicting responces of
populations, which is what were talking about.

>-- even if it is that
>the human mind will remain unchanged in the future (very
>doubtful, considering the increasing use of automated aids to
>thought), psychology is nowhere near understanding how the mind

If your talking about rewiring the brain, all bets are off.  Past that humans
use of AI's or something is likely to effect our cultures and belifs a bit,
but hardly or isticts, values, or interests given they show a high genetic

>As for social change, any society looks like any other as long as 
>you use a vague enough description.  To say that a future society 
>will share aspects with historical ones is not the same as saying 
>that it will work exactly like any particular historical society.
> > So for the purposes of this discusino, I can't see any major
> > changes that would alter things.
>I think your inability to see such possibilities comes from your
>lack of understanding, not to mention some apparently substantial
>misunderstandings, of fields like economics, psychology, and

Well this conversations taking a turn for the pissy.

> > Actually humans can't live without artificial work.
>This is only true recently, and only because there are more
>humans on the planet than an unmaintained ecology can support.
>In fact, many of our environmental problems stem from a
>fundamental belief that things like air, water, and food just
>sort of fall into our laps, ingrained from times when there were
>less than a few million humans on the planet.

Well technically no homosapieans could survive without some technology.  A
unique aspect of our species is that were and obvious meat eater who lost the
teeth to bite through skin.  So some toolmaking is required for any H. Sap..

Beyond that, for last few centuries strongly agrarian cultures lived with
populations to high to be supported without farm.  A big edge the American
colonists had over the eastern American abbos who (as hunter gatherers)
required tens of times more land for the same pop.

Back to the point however given only developed coutries will go into space,
their culture (used to living in industrial artificial worlds) arn't likely to
weird out inside a L5.

>In space, you don't just have to work to prevent from destroying
>the environment that sustains you; you have to create it from
>scratch and be involved in every aspect of maintaining it, which
>isn't the way things are on Earth.

You see a lot of natural farms, water suplies, sewage treatment, factories
etc?  We live in totally artificial "worlds" called cities.  Moving cities
into space will up the artificiality up a bit in regards to air, but thats not
going to force people to any new political and social structure.  Its only
likely to effect the municiple tax structure.