Friday, March 18, 2016

WORKING on The Moon


Whenever it is that we begin an earnest effort of colonization on our Moon, it will represent one of the few times that a completely new nation has been formed on a geographic region within the legal framework of modern times. 

the trail of tears is certainly one colonial example where the requirements
for qualification were low and the participation rates were high

Historically we can point to many examples of colonization where the consequences have been dire for the native peoples of said lands. All through Europe and Asia scores of peoples, indeed whole cultures, have severally been conquered, invaded and completely subjugated. In modern times there are some glaring examples of imperial/colonial policy as well. Russia, America and others redrew many maps and displaced many peoples throughout the cold war. Today we can see something similar (but uniquely new and different on it's own merits) in the middle-east again, whole peoples being uprooted and moved about. 

All this is just to say that the idea of colonizing lands "without sufficient contract", so that we should feel any need to be bothered with the legalities of the domain we intend to enter - exist already. In fact it might be fair to say that most of todays mass migrations are happening quite in-spite of existing legal barriers, but that is a discussion for another time entirely. 

this map is one example where colonization has proceeded on mass
in spite of native opposition and a lack of legal procedures allowing
it on behalf of those affected. If this can happen here, shouldn't it be
even easier to colonize a place with no such natives or legal barriers
i.e. the moon ?

So what does this mean for The Moon ?

When we look at large migrations historically there seem to be two main streams of action for the exodus'

a) people are sent as punishment (very little licensing is required on the part of the affected, vocational requirements are low. individuals are drafted. of those drafted very few are refused)

b) people go as a reward or to pursue social increase. (licensing and fees are required on the part of those migrating, vocational requirements are mid-upper tier. Individuals apply or volunteer. Of those who fulfill the applications, many are approved)

Military mobilization also seems to follow these lines. When requirements are low - barriers to entry are higher. When the situation becomes desperate more and more qualifications are reduced - up to the point that non-volunteers might even be drafted. 

don't worry kid, you're gonna straighten this whole Nazi's taking
over Europe shite straight out, okay ?

These examples of military recruitment, mass migrations and prisoner deportation are instructional when considering colonization efforts because they represent the maximum in human logistics up to this point. We have not yet engaged any policy or action of mass-exo-planetary-colonization so we must needs look at examples that are similar on our own Earth first. 


There is an obvious correlation between acceptance of applicants and ready demand for said applicants. So herein, let's take a look at two types of demand - and please feel welcome to offer up others in the comments below. 

1) postive - primary:economic incentive // secondary:planetary defence

2) negative - primary:population relief // secondary:aggressive expansion (economic, territorial as a precurson to 1-p

In the positive stream there are a couple obvious paths. One being economic. If the moon had been discovered to be made of silver or "conflict minerals" there would likely have already been some greater efforts at colonizing the place. If we discover that there are minerals in space whose sales can justify the cost of initial exploitation - we are much more likely to pursue it, Under these circumstances there are still several factors that can influence the rates of migration.

-size of commodity stores
-ease of access
-available transit spacecraft
-available demand for commodity

here is one example of a situation with a reasonable amount of need
but extremely minimal colonial effort. cost-effective, but slightly insane.
very high barriers-to-entry at LunarIndustries I'm afraid

If all these can be said to be 'high' then migration restrictions would likely be low. Procedures for access would focus more on training than screening, for example. When we want participation, we are inclined to provide training and create barriers to entry that are the opposite of restrictive. 

If these factors can be said to be 'low' then the processes of selection are likely to be very restrictive. 

For example; in instances of 'high' factoring; only the most basic requirements of 
-functional health
-familiarity with technology
-comfort with spaceflight and operations

would be mandated. A person who is going to spend most of their time working a pick-axe and carrying rocks isn't going to need to be a PhD in human habitation technology. Obvious safety training would need to be completed, etc., still, but on the main, genereal labour jobs in space could be available to the same basic people who they are already on Earth.

In instances of 'low' factoring; requirements can be tightened extremely;

-excellent physical conditioning
-high literacy, numeracy and educational accomplishment
-some accredited medical/chemical handlers training 
-extreme proficiency with technology
-comfort under extreme stress situations

This is only a cursory example, but it is plain enough to see (once considered) that there is a great deal of flexibility in the effort itself. Vocational training is something that is seriously under-appreciated in our present society, but many, many corporations currently operate internal training apparatus that are required for job advancement, etc already. Just to say that someone might study veterinary math in college, but then end up working as a manager in an electronics store - where they will discover that as smart as they are they must still be trained and tested on internal policy - testing which someone without a BS degree might also, reasonable, be able to accomplish as well. 

just another astronaut farmer. barrier-to-entry for
illegal home-based space programs are examples of present-day
low restriction systems (forclosure, imprisonment, death)

Indeed some of the greatest successes in American capitalism already are people who began menial jobs in organizations, but through vocational training were able to rise to the heights of executive management within their domains. 


It is not hard to see that the decision between low and high barriers to entry comes down to two deciding factors. 

1) the NEED for people to go

2) our EFFORT to send them

There are several mixes of these two notions however

a) NEED high, EFFORT low. - let us consider that we are, in the future, facing a severe shortage of H20 on the planet because of atmospheric attrition; let us also assume, however, that because of pre-existing legislation and cost-to-entry problems we are taking little action. In this example, even though there is some significant and legitimate demand, barriers are kept high. Educational (and therefore also financial) requirements are significant on the part of the applicant, low percentages of applicants are even considered, etc.

b) NEED high, EFFORT high - let us assume here that in the future there is a severe overpopulation problem. the effort from the governments of the Earth is high in response. suddenly it is very clear to see how quickly and severely the barriers to entry would be changed. In teh instance of a true biological pandemic the only barrier may be infection (whether we send them or leave them is not herein resolved). Either way it is an example of non-economic incentive and response.

c) NEED low, EFFORT low - this is basically where we are today. In almost all instances where the efforts towards colonization are low the barriers are high. In our present-day situation where no need is perceived as well, the barriered are extremely extreme. Even within the decade-delayed Virgin Galactic program, the financial barrier is still significant. There exists several plans to send some civilians for free through lottery systems, but again this bespeaks the barriers to entry if everyone on the planet can enter and only one is selected - the odds being some 7+Billion : 1 in this instance. 

d) NEED low, EFFORT high - this is similar to the situation in the Apollo era. We didn't really need to go (though some could argue this was plainly not the case as the cold-war demanded escalation of space efforts and I appreciate that position) for any direct practical purpose. We did not, for example, build an American military base on the moon to establish supremacy for the next century over the Soviets (at least not publicly). So while there may have been a military reason that was higher than presented - in general people were told they were going "To do stuff that is extrordinarily hard for no reason - to climb the mountain because it's there". We perhaps forget that the program was so presented as civil and exploratory even if there was an underlying reason in the cold-war. 

Okay, who's excited about their new life in
the beautiful "Australian colonies" ?!
*always read the terms and conditions of cruise-package contests

So what we can see here is that unless the efforts are increased, it does not matter if the need is large or small. Indeed, if learning about the powers of intention has taught me anything it is that our focus can largely determine our reality. So as long as we perceive low need, there will be low effort and thus high barriers-to-entry will remain. 


In the above example, both situations of high need were negative examples that led to much greater effort than we see today. Obvious parallels can be drawn between these examples and the English experiments with colonization of Canada and Australia. Population density-to-resources were high, the laws were very tight, people were sent to colonies for punishment. High need was created, and high effort was provided. 

Some unfortunate examples that can create a high need AND high effort for us to get into space are outlined here:

-predicted meteor impact
-ocean acidification
-disease epidemic
-severe natural disaster (volcanism, techtonic shifting, etc)
-alien invasion
-extreme criminality
-extreme wealth disparity
-technological ascension 
-extreme weather phenomena
-genetic mutation

Some positive examples of high need creating high effort are outlined here;

-golden meteor passing
-educational ascension
-technological dissemination 
-peaceful exploration
-extreme recreation
-planetary over-achievement 
-identification of rare resources
-alien contact / interaction / trade

So we can see that the negative incentives somewhat appear to outweigh the positive ones. Positive incentives being largely restricted to economic increase or population overdevelopment (either in number or success).

When we look at these outlines, we can see that the one, likely, marketable incentive that is positive is the "golden meteor". To my mind, this is one of the largest incentives. The meteor could be water, gold, silver, or something even more exotic; we should be, today, positioning ourselves for this in my opinion. As a follow-up to this article I will provide some numbers and some insight into the current meteor-capture ventures and information that is extant today. 

instead of destroying my world, this meteor will feed my people for a generation,
mwahahahahahaaaa !!

That being said I should also like to revisit the fact that most of the incentives were negative. This indicates that it is highly probable that at some point in the future - if we choose not to pursue easy access as a policy now, that we will one day. If we do not reasonably introduce these concepts to people today they may find themselves woefully underqualified for one of the most needed and productive vocations of tomorrow. We should already be trying to live like we're working to qualify for a mission in space that will save the race or planet, because every day it seems to get a little closer to a time when we just might need a fwe boatloads of people like that. 

When we consider that the people who signed up for a one-way to Mars might be some of the same people who would sign up for a one-way to a meteor on a suicide run to save the planet ala Armageddon... maybe these types of efforts are almost worthy of some serious consideration and financial donation by the people who are responsible for our collective good.  I'm not saying that people who sign up for MarsOne or any of these things should be compensated directly, only that perhaps it's almost time that out colleges and universities all start trying to reasaonble prepare us for lives that consist of more than just taking care of the indigent and needy on a day-by-day basis. Band-aid solutions have become the norm now. Lets begin to aspire again, shall we ? 

In the fictional film armageddon we see that when needs are perceived as HIGH
the response can be astounding, in the film they train a bunch of rag-tags
in a couple weeks and launch two shuttles at once !!!
In real life we scrapped the shuttle because the 1 in 10,000 chance of
another failure was greater than any perceived need. 

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