Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Right Tool...

I want us to expand throughout our solar system.

The difficulty of a given task is modified entirely by the tools available. The right tool assures success and the wrong one simply delays it. Leaving Earth is the most challenging thing that we will ever do. Choosing the wrong set of skills is choosing delay, anxiety and lost opportunity. There is no way to expand human presence beyond earth without a robust tool box of industrial, social, martial and scientific skills all accessible and properly engineered.

Regarding social skills, our master over economic forces is the most tangible of all imaginable knowledge. No other sector of our society has such an immediate and absolute impact in the modern era. We will need the right economy to get to space and we will need to optimize it to stay there.

There is no room for absolutism when it comes to great endeavor. The magnitude of an accomplishment is directly proportional to the acceptance of diversity since it is diversity that spreads the weight of necessity across backgrounds and world views. Economically, absolutism is unacceptable for a society able to maintain itself in space.

Capitalism does not provide the incentive for us to leave Earth. Communism does not provide the resources and socialism tries to compromise but does neither very well. Socialist societies are either bogged down with bureaucracy or autocratic. Instead we will need to let each do what it does best.

The space industry should be socialized. All necessities should be as well. Power, water, food, information networks, education, defense, law, health and habitation all should be provided for. There is no rational market force that determines the cost of these in our world today, only the extortion of fear and desperation. Government needs to be responsible for providing for its people because government is the people. No other interest can accomplish this task.

Capitalism and unregulated markets are the best systems ever devised for distributing luxuries. I cannot imagine any network more capable of delivering what we want to us when and where we want it than the free market capitalist system. Whoever it fails to provide for in necessities, it so over-provides with luxuries that they hardly seem to notice.

Communism is the best system for regulating work environments. In this sense, we currently employ the ethos of communism in modern corporate America to distribute responsibility and accountability. This needs to be expanded to advising and consultation to decision makers to a large extent, and compensation to a slightly lesser extent. Currently, workers are encouraged to believe that their actions are relevant to the success/failure of the company and that they should take ownership of problems in the system and work to correct them. However, they are not to expect similar compensation and input in policy formation to higher ups. The rational is that ability comes at a price and is rare. This is too self serving to be an acceptable reason and needs to be rejected.

Plainly, it is foolish to deny the overwhelming pressure for us to leave our home. Attempts to color space industries a wastes of time and money are so wholly incorrect it is shocking to hear them. Accordingly, we must learn that we cannot dismiss economic ideas that have survived hundreds of years of academic scrutiny. We must accept, inspect, and properly apply any idea that is valid.

There is no greater goal than the continuity of our species; we owe ourselves only that. We need a way beyond Earth. We need a way forward.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The trajectory of our civilization has always been towards increasing complexity and specialization and there is no reason to believe that is changing now. It is generally unwise to value what you used to know more than what you are currently required to learn; they are of the same value. We can't expect to only learn during the first 20 or so years of our lives and then coast on "experience" until we die. The value of experience only carries you to the point where it can further your education. Education is only helpful if it allows you to expand and attain experience. They are connected and dialectical.
Our minds should be open to education. Weather it is learning how to change the channels on our T.V., picking up a new instrument, or finally learning a little bit of math, education is what allows us to apply our experience to our lives. An old person should not be discarded because they have the experience of a live time and a young person should not be ignored because they are closer to their education. We need to embrace both. We cannot fall into some elder years hubristic trap.

Everyone is talking about what we can do to get back to the way things used to be... before the economy crashed, before 9-11... before Hanson. The answer is we can't go back. There is no going home again. But we can go forward. The first step is to set goals involving increasing our domestic energy production. All technologies should be utilized, expanded, and optimized. Energy is the unit value of our endeavors; increasing our ability to harness and store energy is the first step in creating a unique and diverse economy that could stand as an example to any observer.

We should continue to expand our ability to produce energy year over year, however that should not be our only goal. Local infrastructure should be streamlined and well maintained. Local means exactly that. Government should offer up a city center full of amenities; if a person chooses to live outside of that designated area they should pay for 100% of their services including water, power, roads, trash, schools, police and hospitals. We cannot afford sprawl and it is killing us. I live way too far from downtown Detroit. The power and water companies have to spend way too much money sending me their products. The state pays way too much maintaining my roads. We can't expect everything to be provided to us regardless of where we live.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The delicate interface between where we live and how we live needs to be carefully planned and processed as legitimate. Presently, the cheapest method is the favored one. Human factors are not quantifiable and are discarded. Any sort of organized planning is seen as tyranny while the caustic effects of winner take all market outcomes are readily accepted. We need to consider how we will get what we want and need to where we live. We need to make this the first aspect of our lives that not saturated by the market.

Belief in market forces alone will eventually lead to a new serfdom. Prices must constantly fall for the market to ultimately succeed and since we all thrive on inefficiency we will price ourselves out of the market. With this in mind I propose the market not be the only driving force in our economy. No one would argue that a planned economy is for the best. Yet, we cannot let the market, robotic and short sighted by design, deem us inefficient.

The solution is to create a system that delivers what we need to each other with out a lowest cost component in the decision making process. Luxuries are best provided through market forces. Necessities are best provided.

Monday, October 26, 2009