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Re: starship-design: The Case for Space

> From: KellySt@aol.com
> In a message dated 10/14/99 11:00:20 AM, zkulpa@zmit1.ippt.gov.pl writes:
> >> From: "L. Parker" <lparker@cacaphony.net>
> >> =======
> >Still that longing for impossible "equality",
> >whose only effect is stifling all development,
> >and leading only to equality in misery.
> >As they say in Poland - "Shit, but distributed equally..."
> >[in Polish it is shorter, and with a rhyme].
> >Strange the "equalists" here are still wildly popular...
> Generally rich countries who feel guilty for succeeding 
> where others around them failed.  Dumb!
The mankind has no future... 
[if that tendency prevails, that is].

> >[...]
> >> 
> >> This may be the most serious problem facing the planet -- not how much 
> >>is being taken away from it, but how much is being dumped back into it.
> >>
> >Pollution is essentially the problem of recycling technology only -
> >until we are only here on Earth, we really do not either take away 
> >or dump back anything - we only change the distribution of elements 
> >between various places...
> I have wondered why noone notices that!  ;)
Me too...  ;-)

> >> =======
> >It seems to me that you all think in this thread only in terms of
> >"what profit space operations can bring to people living on Earth".
> >Generally I must say it is a wrong perspective - space operations
> >will be mostly directed at, and bring profits (and sustenance)
> >to people living OFF EARTH. Because the real rationale for
> >going massively into space is to install a self-sustaining
> >populations of people living out of Earth. And it is not 
> >the matter of profit or building a comfortable paradise
> >for growing amounts of people on Earth, but the matter of survival.
> >Because, as I wrote recently in a discussion with one environmentalist
> Here we disagree. No one will build space colony, to build space colonies; 
> and it will take generations - to centuries for them to develop a really 
> autonomous economy. Cities and settlements are built for profit of 
> the builders. If they fail that measure, they become ghost towns.  
> We have many current Ghost towns / former idealistic colony. 
> in this country.
Generally you are right, but not exactly.
Towns become ghost because there are other, compareatively near
places where the inhabitants can go for better living,
whatever that means. When the move is hard or costly,
it may be more reasonable to stay and work hard to built 
a better place just here instead.

Also, you should distinguish the case when the builders
wanting the profit stay back home and transfer the profits
form the colony back too, and the case when the builders
stay in the built colony and eventual profits remain there too.
Colonization usually starts from the first type of a colony,
but soon - especially when the colonized land is far away from home -
the second type starts to prevail and shortly after that
the colony becomes more or less self-sustainable and
(economically) independent.

> >
> >Of course, the way to the really spacefaring civilization
> >most probably will lead through an earth-bound civilization 
> >profiting from space exploration, but it will be a comparatively 
> >short, transitory phase only.
> Define short? North America was originally a profit center for Europe  
> for centuries after settling started.
Things run much faster nowadays...
For space colonies, it will however depend critically 
on the technology advances, so it is hard to predict. 
However, let me play a seer for a while: 
with nanotechnology - some 50+ years, 
without - 150-200. OK?
It may be still too conservative, I think - 
for North America it was about 200+ years only...

-- Zenon