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RE: starship-design: The Case for Space

> 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 the say in Poland - "Shit, but equally distributed..."
> > [in Polish it is shorter, and with a rhyme].
> > Strange the "equalists" here are still wildly popular...
> Count me not among the number of those who insist upon an equal share,
> instead, grant me only an equal chance to do with as I will. 'Twill be my
> own hand upon my bootstraps, not someone else's however well intentioned
> they may be, that way lies only ruin...
Of course, I did not intend to include you among "equalists" -
my remark concerned the fragment of the article you quoted.
And the phrase '"equalists" here' referred to "equalists" in Poland, 
from where I am writing these letters...

> > 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 (specifically, a leader of an anti-cassini group):
> Ahh, but that was the point of the thread, what good might 
> space do for the planet, not what good it might do for space. 
> I do not deny that it will do as much or more for the 3 billion 
> humans I expect will be living off planet in the next fifty years 
> or so. In fact, I personally would prefer to look at in those terms. 
> However, the case must be made for the benefit of the meek,
> who shall remain behind...
Let them take care of themselves...
To quote your quoting of the quote ;-)) :
> 'Twill be my own hand upon my bootstraps, not someone else's 
> however well intentioned they may be, that way lies only ruin...

> > > The Earth's biosphere was very lucky to survive several
> > > such near-extinctions in the past - the best investigated of them
> > > occuring some 65 millions year ago, when, together with dinozaurs,
> > > above 70% of all plant and animal species utterly perished.
> I do not call this "surviving an extinction" when all higher life forms
> perish and naught remains but insects and rodents, I think it a fair call
> that all that was significant perished.
I wrote "Earth's biosphere", and it goes down to bacteria,
so I have had no other option than to mention surviving of some parts
of the entire biosphere. Also, just because they nevertheless survived,
we have had something to start our own evolution from...

> > > The only chance to prevent an ultimate disaster of this kind
> > > is to spread humankind, and the earthly life as a whole,
> > > to other places except Earth - that is, to other planets,
> > > and colonies in space. This is indeed a very difficult,
> > > and a very risky business - lots of people will perish in the course
> > > of conquering space, but the mankind, and the rest of earthly life,
> > > will get a chance to survive thanks to their noble sacrifice.
> > > It is our obligation, as the most conscious and able species of life
> > > on Earth, to spread life elsewhere in the universe and in this way
> > > to prevent its extinction in some catastrophic accident that may
> > > happen to Earth.
> Ignoring the incredible hubris, 
Sorry for that - I am personally quite down-to-earth in everyday life,
hence sometimes I must compensate with a few ;-) "great words"...
Anyway, the activist with whom I have argued also used such
words for his case, so I tried to outspoke him...;-)

> I agree. There is of course an ethical
> question here of whether we have the right to spread 
> (read infest) the rest of space with our particular form of life, 
And what else that particular form of life had been doing
through all that three or so billion years before?
The very existence of life fundamentally requires, 
and is a result of, that ability to spread/infest,
hence there is no ethical question involved here, I think.

> but based on current evidence, we may be the ONLY life...
But even if we were not the only life, so what?
There is no other, ethical or not, way to decide
which form should spread to/infest other places
except direct competition in spreading/infesting...

> > Sadly, as it was otherwise easy to predict,
> > it did not change his views.
> What did I miss? Whose views? I seem to be missing a post here!
You missed two lines just before my self-quote, which said:
> > Because, as I wrote recently in a discussion with one
> > environmentalist (specifically, a leader of an anti-cassini group):

> > 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.
> Of course you are correct, the near term will look much like 
> it does now, but I think it will be more a matter of the corporate 
> paradigm will evolve to encompass first off-earth and then extra-solar 
> activities. 
Something seems to be missing in the above sentence - 
I do not catch well your intentions. Can you explain?

> Much beyond fifty years is hard to see. 
> Just look at the changes the last fifty have wrought.
Yes, of course. Especially the practically impossible to predict
technology advancec - real start of nanotechnology, for example,
will turn any current predictions upside down.

-- Zenon