Sunday, April 27, 2014

Maybe It's the Birth of Something

I'm working on a paper for a space conference in June. The title I have in mind is, "Toward a Spacefaring Civilization: An Entertainment-based Approach to Creating a Consensus for Space Frontier Formation."

It describes a way to establish a spacefaring civilization without government intervention by turning space technology development into a popular form of entertainment linked to sustainable living on Earth. We start with the romance of the American West and its premise that the most fundamental freedom is the freedom to leave. Political philosophy does not today acknowledge this truth. Instead, the common wisdom insists that “someone”  impose beneficial change, ultimately in a zero-growth environment. That line of thought produces an emphasis on austerity. In the proposed ethic, SpaceFarers Corporation maintains that competition for population is good because individual departures will force change, as in commerce. Our research indicates that creating a market for the good behavior of Terran civilization will produce sustainability with prosperity on and off the earth. It requires that some of us leave so that the rest may know that they can. The customary way to leave a civilization as recently as 124 years ago was to head for a frontier, defined as an isolated region of “resources without proprietors” and anonymity for new arrivals. The absence of frontiers is termed enclosure, manifesting as a constellation of symptoms in common with “isolated confined environment syndrome,” including depression, anxiety, and anger. We hypothesize that nothing happens on the required scale unless a large segment of society views space frontier formation as fun. We propose, and are implementing, a test case involving what we hope will be a masterful blending of science, technology, craft, and performance art.

The test case has a steering group called "League of the Brick Moon" on Facebook and on LinkedIn. The group is public. Feel free to participate. Of course, you can also ask questions and offer criticism right here.

Maybe it's the birth of something.