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nebularain
2002-Sep-07, 01:01 PM
That's what is says!

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20020902/moon.html

David Hall
2002-Sep-07, 02:46 PM
Yeah, good luck to them. I hope it helps to spark a renewal in lunar missions in general. It already seems to be happening in space circles. There are several probes and whatnot planned, and the Chinese are aiming for the Moon with their manned spaceflight program. I also think it's a good sign that the commercial sector is interested. Maybe if we do it right we can stay for good this time.

(BTW, TransOrbital was mentioned before in the loonyhoax forum: http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=2117&forum=3&61 )

David Hall
2002-Sep-07, 02:52 PM
Here's the TransOrbital homepage:

http://www.transorbital.net/index.html

nebularain
2002-Sep-08, 01:18 AM
But it's interesting from this article to see what they paln on doing with it:


TransOrbital, Inc. received permission from various government agencies last week to send a probe back to the Earth's little sister. That probe, dubbed Trailblazer, will orbit the moon for 90 days, filming portraits of Earth as it rises over the lunar horizon and mapping the moonscape in unprecedented detail — as small as one meter in diameter.

"We're also looking to verify Apollo and other landing sites," said TransOrbital President Dennis Laurie. He said "verify" because there are still a few people out there who believe the Apollo program was a hoax. The last part of Trailblazer's mission will be to crash land on the lunar surface, taking "barnstorming" videos the whole way down.

Hey, if they get the pictures of the landing sites, do you think the Hoaxers will finally be satisfied?

Duh! What am I thinking? They'll probably claim the new pictures to be faked, too, won't they? Sigh.

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 12:20 PM
One more link

http://www.nature.com/nsu/020902/020902-8.html

The question of government authorization...

Who/what has jurisdiction over the Moon?

If I build a space craft in my backyard, must I ask for a government's permission to go where I please? Are we jailed on Earth? Which government should I ask permission to?

It's kinda strange for me, and I don't like this. I don't like governments telling me where to go and what to do.

The same happens with sending messages to ET.

I just don't want to ask anyone to get in contact with whosoever I please in any planet of the universe.

traztx
2002-Sep-10, 01:26 PM
On 2002-09-10 08:20, Argos wrote:
If I build a space craft in my backyard, must I ask for a government's permission to go where I please? Are we jailed on Earth? Which government should I ask permission to?


If you managed to secretly build a starship in your backyard and took it for a ride to Sirius, I doubt anyone would be able to chase you down and write a citation for speeding.

Just be careful not to fry any endangered spotted owls or scare the neighbor's cows on your way out, or they might not welcome you home upon your return.

And try not to take any pictures of Earth from space, for instance if Israel is in view. People with big guns get freaky about that.

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 01:56 PM
You didn't answer my question...

SpacedOut
2002-Sep-10, 02:30 PM
Go to the BABB thread David Hall provided - The roll of the U.S. Government was discussed there.

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 03:03 PM
On 2002-09-10 10:30, SpacedOut wrote:
Go to the BABB thread David Hall provided - The roll of the U.S. Government was discussed there.


Unfortunately I don't have the time to peruse it in search of this specific info.

But how about the role of other governments?

Whom should I ask a permission to go to space by my own means?

Putting in another way:

What would happen if TransOrbital didn't ask US government to go to the Moon? What would happen if it just counted down and fired to orbit?
What would happen if the launch was from the middle of the ocean, outta the jurisdiction of whatever nation?

Who the hell has jurisdiction on Moon's affairs? Who's got the final word on what can and cannot be done there?

This has implications to your freedom.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-10 15:34 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Sep-10, 03:56 PM
Outer Space Treaty:
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/space/outerspace.html

Moon Treaty:
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/space/moon.html

Main page with a list of space-related treaties (including the above):
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/spacelaw.htm

As I seem to remember from some long-ago discussion, there's still some debate as to whether these treaties allow the ownership of private property on the Moon.

And last, a page on the historical preservation of the lunar landing sites:
http://spacegrant.nmsu.edu/lunarlegacies/historic_preservation.htm

AgoraBasta
2002-Sep-10, 04:29 PM
On 2002-09-10 11:03, Argos wrote:
Who the hell has jurisdiction on Moon's affairs? Who's got the final word on what can and cannot be done there?

This has implications to your freedom.


Lauching a big rocket bears huge "implications" on your safety and international security.
Every sane government must down "unsolicited" rockets.

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 06:36 PM
On 2002-09-10 12:29, AgoraBasta wrote:
[quote]
Every sane government must down "unsolicited" rockets.


Every sane government should not introduce itself in private affairs. Period.

For the sake of not engaging ourselves in sterile political discussions I stop here. It's been too much for this old anarchist heart of mine. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-10 14:46 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 06:57 PM
On 2002-09-10 11:56, David Hall wrote:
Outer Space Treaty:
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/space/outerspace.html

Moon Treaty:
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/space/moon.html

Main page with a list of space-related treaties (including the above):
http://www.iasl.mcgill.ca/spacelaw.htm

As I seem to remember from some long-ago discussion, there's still some debate as to whether these treaties allow the ownership of private property on the Moon.

And last, a page on the historical preservation of the lunar landing sites:
http://spacegrant.nmsu.edu/lunarlegacies/historic_preservation.htm



I don't remember to have signed any of them./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif I'm here guessing if an African, or Middle eastern or soviet citizen recalls having granted permission to their "governments" to sign any of them. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

But as I just said, no more politics...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-10 15:10 ]</font>

Thumper
2002-Sep-10, 07:38 PM
Argos wrote:
But as I just said, no more politics...

Hopefully this is not politics and your heart can take this. I'm also hoping that this doesn't violate any BABB rules but here are excerpts from another page on the Lunar Conspiracy board addressing why TransOrbital would need approval from certain US agencies. First were JayUtah's comments:

Q:since when did the United States of America own the Moon, and have to be consulted for approval to fly there?

Jay's Answer: Well, I think the answer to this and your next question lies in the fact that it's a U.S. company. It's not so much the fact that the U.S. asserts global ownership of the moon, but that a U.S. company wanting to do certain things that have international implications must get the approval of the U.S. government.

In leiu of mutual-support treaties, it could be that reciprocity exists between various space agencies and governments -- operations approved by one are honored by all. I really don't know if that's the case. But I don't believe the U.S. government is trying to exercise control over all space operations dealing with the moon.

Ilya wrote: State Department approval is needed to take the spacecraft - any spacecraft, - to Russia and Kazakhstan.

NOAA (why that particular organization, beats me) must approve all photos of the Earth, particularly of Israel, even incidental ones. It also must certify the spacecraft as not presenting an orbital debris hazard.

Neither organization is concerned with Moon per se.


Now that I think about it, NOAA's responsibilities make an odd sense.

Until a few years ago NOAA was the only entity in the US which routinely released large numbers of satellite photos to the public. Consequently it has had a mechanism in place to ensure that photos which compromise national security are NOT released. Pentagon and NRO have not need for such mechanism, since their satellite photos are not released by default. So when private operators taking and selling photos from orbit came to be, NOAA was tasked to ensure they do not leak sensitive information either. AFAIK, it is not a matter of looking at every photo and censoring them - all satellite operators have agreed simply not to photograph a few sensitive areas in the first place. TransOrbital must have signed a similar agreement.

As for the orbital debris, NOAA already deals with maritime pollution and hazards to shipping. When orbital debris became an issue, it must have fallen into their lap by default.
_____________________________

Helps that helps. The entire topic is on Lunar Conspiracies: Moon Hoax Should Go Away Soon. This is from page 1.

-Thumper







<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Thumper on 2002-09-10 15:39 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 07:39 PM
On 2002-09-10 12:29, AgoraBasta wrote:

Lauching a big rocket bears huge "implications" on your safety

Not on mine's /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



and international security.


Anyone capable of launching a rocket would make things right. Remember: you're in the middle of pacific. Eight minutes and there it goes, quietly into orbit.

Something went wrong? Push the abort button.



Every sane government must down "unsolicited" rockets.


Hope that it won't extrapolate to : Every sane government should open your mail. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-10 15:40 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 07:51 PM
On 2002-09-10 15:38, Thumper wrote:
Argos wrote:
But as I just said, no more politics...

Hopefully this is not politics and your heart can take this. I'm also hoping that this doesn't violate any BABB rules (...)


Thank you Thumper. This adds too much.

This is a serious matter. But I can't refrain from some childish criticism. I was raised in an individualist environment. The slightest hint of "government control" makes my blood pressure hit 18/10 and takes away my good sense. A legacy of youth times.

Best regards.

Argos
2002-Sep-10, 09:10 PM
Been thinking...

Had Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, Von Braun, followed such strict rules on not launching “unsolicited” rockets perhaps we would still be crawling on Earth’s surface.

We need freedom for breaking through.

It’s funny how the governments (or more exactly, the “social superstructures”) take possession of human’s creativity and block further developments, by imposing “controls”. Goddard was free to launch his rockets, in his homestead. Now we have to beg bureaucrats to do the same. And you’d better have big bucks, case contrary your plea will fall in moorish ears.

As to responsibility, safety and security, I don’t think there’s a reason to believe that a government will display more responsibility than a trusted commercial firm. We are sick of hearing of “rogue” states. I myself trust more my telephone company than any government on Earth (and you should better do the same, for the simple reason that there’s no such thing as a “sane government”).

I just hope they don’t forbid me

a)Pointing my scope to the stars: astronomy is a dangerous science. It enlightens. It makes you think. Governments don’t like that. It ultimately raises serious questions on international security.

b) Flying my model airplanes: It’s a dangerous activity, that “bears huge implications to your safety and international security”. How will the government know if your beautiful vintage Spitfire model is not carrying a couple of kilos of semtex?

mallen
2002-Sep-12, 02:05 AM
Argos,

There are some very good reasons why the government would/should want to know if someone were going to launch a rocket (ignoring any sort of control-freak reasons):

1) Since the rocket has to travel through the airspace, the FAA really should know about it. A rocket suddenly shooting up from the ground would scare the begeezus out of many pilots, especially with the state of alert the world is in now.

2) Large rockets and ballistic missiles look remarkably similar. Your rocket might light up the Russian missile detection system, and their nukes might light you up.

3) The exhaust from a rocket (depending on the fuel) can be some pretty nasty stuff. It's generally considered rude to rain toxins down on your downwind neighbors.

4) The chance of a mishap is not necessarily insignificant. Even with an abort mechanism, a failed launch would still rain debris all over the place.

And of course, there are the national security paranoia reasons, but we won't bother with them.

In short, notifying the government and relevant agencies is just a nice thing to do.

- Mike

Thargoid
2002-Sep-12, 04:41 AM
Didn't Kesler get squashed by the feds? IIRC, they wouldn't give them permission to launch the roton, causing investors to run away.

Argos
2002-Sep-12, 01:42 PM
On 2002-09-11 22:05, mallen wrote:
Argos,

There are some very good reasons why the government would/should want to know if someone were going to launch a rocket

Ok, Mike. Thanks.

Of course I know all objections.

But sometimes a rebel spirit takes possession of me and I lose my senses.

Consider my rantings as a "speak out" by a romantic ex-hippie (not that i'm *too* old. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)sitting before a computer screen on a sleepy afternoon.

OOps, excuse-me. I hear a toc-toc. Reality is knocking on my door...

Argos
2002-Sep-12, 01:52 PM
On 2002-09-12 00:41, Thargoid wrote:
Didn't Kesler get squashed by the feds? IIRC, they wouldn't give them permission to launch the roton, causing investors to run away.


This is an example of what I mean with "begging bureaucrats". Goddard didn't need this...

SpacedOut
2002-Sep-12, 03:58 PM
While Goddard might not have needed permission - much simpler times from todays crowded skys. A number of years ago a few HS kids in a nearby town launched a small rocket that pierced the wing (and fuel tank) of a small plane on approach to a local airport. Fortunately, the pilot was able to land and the authorities didn't press charges because they believed the kids weren't trying to hit the plane.

Now imagine what a rocket capable of orbital flight would do to a commercial air liner.

Rich
2002-Sep-12, 07:17 PM
Goddard et al also didn't live in an era in which national governments (not to mention potential independent international groups, like terrorists) own and are meticulously aware of launches of vehicles capable of delivering nuclear, chemical, or biological devices.

I, for one, would be very concerned if my government failed to attempt the shootdown of an unauthorized ballistic launch from their own territory... especially in this age of global terrorism.

The Shade
2002-Sep-13, 02:13 PM
On 2002-09-12 15:17, Rich wrote:
Goddard et al also didn't live in an era in which national governments (not to mention potential independent international groups, like terrorists) own and are meticulously aware of launches of vehicles capable of delivering nuclear, chemical, or biological devices.

I, for one, would be very concerned if my government failed to attempt the shootdown of an unauthorized ballistic launch from their own territory... especially in this age of global terrorism.


Well said. With the right technical know-how, it wouldn't be that difficult to convert a rocket into an ICBM. That really makes me a bit queazy.

Just imagine on October 4, 1957. Everyone is marvelling at Sputnik. But a few military officials were probably wondering: "What if they'd put a high-yield explosive device in the nose cone of that rocket?" The same scenario could be conceivable with today's terrorists.

Kaptain K
2002-Sep-13, 02:34 PM
Just imagine on October 4, 1957. Everyone is marvelling at Sputnik. But a few military officials were probably wondering: "What if they'd put a high-yield explosive device in the nose cone of that rocket?"
Just where do you think those big rockets (both the Russian's and the American's) came from? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif The boosters used to lift satelites into space were originally designed as IinterContinental Ballistic Missiles for lobbing nukes around the world.

The Shade
2002-Sep-13, 02:45 PM
On 2002-09-13 10:34, Kaptain K wrote:

Just imagine on October 4, 1957. Everyone is marvelling at Sputnik. But a few military officials were probably wondering: "What if they'd put a high-yield explosive device in the nose cone of that rocket?"
Just where do you think those big rockets (both the Russian's and the American's) came from? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif The boosters used to lift satelites into space were originally designed as IinterContinental Ballistic Missiles for lobbing nukes around the world.



I meant that the USSR could have put something else in the nose cone. I'm glad they put Sputnik in there and that the world did indeed marvel at the feat.

To keep this on-topic, sure, I would like to see a commercial trip to the moon by an independant, private organization. But, with the reasons previously stated, it would still be quite difficult because of securiy reasons.

Argos
2002-Sep-13, 05:56 PM
On 2002-09-13 10:45, The Shade wrote:

To keep this on-topic, sure, I would like to see a commercial trip to the moon by an independant, private organization. But, with the reasons previously stated, it would still be quite difficult because of securiy reasons.



So i would.

The problem is that the trade-off between liberty and security will end up leaving us with almost nothing.

To be enchained in a safe, gilded cage...Is that living?

Rich
2002-Sep-16, 02:06 PM
The choice between liberty and security is a false dichotomy fobbed-off on us by people who reap political profits from you believing it.

That aside, it is a huge leap to say that regulation of launches falls into any liberty/security argument. It's just common sense that someone should be checking and certifying not only the safety of your launch vehicle but also that it delivers its payload where you say it will and that the payload won't just end up crashing into someone else's payload. We follow this common sense logic when inspecting commercial airline operations and planning flights. Why should a flight who's destination is outside the atmosphere be any different?

It wouldn't take too many improperly planned deliveries to set-up a situation that could destroy billions of dollars worth of other people's hardware. Worst possible case, you could have the debris cascade scenario occur, in which a series of collisions create an increasingly large cloud of debris that destroys more satellites, which create more debris, and so on. In the end carelessness and lack of coordination could render it nearly impossible to get a vehicle out of NEO with any reasonable chance of success.

Then you have catastrophic failures during launch. Do you want some half-baked creation exploding in a haze of burning rocket fuel and flying chunks of metal over your house? Not me. What if the payload is dangerous? I'd like someone to perform a safety check and ensure a safe flight path for a payload containing, oh let's say... a plutonium power source. Yes, I'd definitely want someone looking into that.

What if the Russians or Chinese see a launch they were not previously notified of and think it could be a hostile missile launch? It's happened before and we narrowly missed a nuclear tragedy.

Now all of the above examples could be looked at from a safety perspective, I suppose. IMHO, we'd be much better served to look at them from an economic perspective; what are the potential gains of unfettered launches, what are the costs of managing all launches, what are the potential costs in the case of launch failures or poorly planned deliveries? Obviously, my position is that the cost of providing oversight of all launches is not all that high, and has negligible impact on the profits or other potential benefits of groups seeking cheaper access to space... whereas the potential costs of failure are very high indeed.

Argos
2002-Sep-16, 03:04 PM
On 2002-09-16 10:06, Rich wrote:
The choice between liberty and security is a false dichotomy fobbed-off on us

Not on me.

And I don't think it's a false dichotomy either.

I don't know what degree of liberty (or lack of) satisfies you. But this is the West. You are (still) free to keep believing what you like. But don't take this freedom for granted.

AgoraBasta
2002-Sep-16, 03:45 PM
Argos,

It's quite safe to launch a toy rocket from your backyard - granted. Now start scaling the experiment up - at some point the magnitude of event's failure consequences becomes dangerous to your family, then to your neighbours, then to your town/city whatever. At certain point the probable consequences turn strongly irreversible and impossible to compensate for by an individual. Hence, some public authority must interfere in order to share liabilities. A perfectly private scheme is also possible - you could try get an insurance against probable adverse consequences. Now try to estimate the cost of such contract and degree of interference from the insurer's officers into your project... And how would you feel about the people whose lives you endanger? And how should they act upon you?

Rich
2002-Sep-16, 05:23 PM
Argos,

One simple question that puts the lie to that dichotomy: Can you name a single civilization, in any point in history, that was both more free and more secure than ours?

Rich
2002-Sep-16, 05:36 PM
Or to put it another way, by someone infinitely more eloquent than I:

"Meanwhile, they are spreading a poison. A noxious assumption -- completely without basis -- that we must decide between two fundamentals of modern life.

Let me reduce it to a deeply personal loathing.

Nobody makes me choose between freedom for my children and their safety!

This is abhorrent. A complete non-starter that demonstrates nothing but mental rigidity and lack of imagination by fools trying to foist an odious dilemma on the American people. The rigidity of zero-sum, inside-the-box thinking. It is completely unworthy of a civilization that has grown accustomed to positive sum games -- having our cake, eating it, watching the cake grow larger, while aggressively sharing slices with the poor!

I refuse to accept this vile 'devil's dichotomy,' and so should you.

In The Transparent Society I talk about how the very notion of a tradeoff is disproved every day by this very society that we live in. One in which people are simultaneously both safer and more free than any of their ancestors ever were. Indeed, these two desiderata appear to go hand in hand.

They had better. For I do not intend to live without either." - Brin

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rich on 2002-09-16 13:37 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Sep-16, 06:36 PM
On 2002-09-16 13:36, Rich wrote:

Nobody makes me choose between freedom for my children and their safety!

[i]This is abhorrent. A complete non-starter that demonstrates nothing but mental rigidity and lack of imagination by fools
I should say that I had a much more positive idea about myself. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


trying to foist an odious dilemma on the American people.


I'm American too. In fact we're all Americans by now.

I'm no "obnoxious" entity foisting an odious dilemma on anyone.

I'm just trying to defend what I think to be the hallmark of the Western Civilization and the American Way of Life: Liberty.

Of course i'm pushing my arguments to the limit. I think that's what a board like this is made for.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-16 14:38 ]</font>

SeanF
2002-Sep-16, 06:39 PM
On 2002-09-16 10:06, Rich wrote:
The choice between liberty and security is a false dichotomy fobbed-off on us


Let me see . . .

1) Your neighbor being allowed to launch Saturn V rockets from his back yard is detrimental to your security.

2) Your neighbor not being allowed to launch Saturn V rockets from his back yard is detrimental to his liberty.

Which of those two statements do you consider to be incorrect?



On 2002-09-16 13:36, Rich quoting Brin wrote:
Nobody makes me choose between freedom for my children and their safety!


But what about the teenager who wants to rape your children? Aren't you choosing between his freedom and your children's safety when you decree he's not allowed to do that? And, since your children aren't allowed to do the things other people aren't allowed to do, doesn't that mean their freedom as well?

As long as other people can do whatever they want, you can not be secure. The only way to protect your security is to restrict their liberty.

Argos
2002-Sep-16, 06:41 PM
On 2002-09-16 14:39, SeanF wrote:


On 2002-09-16 10:06, Rich wrote:
The choice between liberty and security is a false dichotomy fobbed-off on us


Let me see . . .

1) Your neighbor being allowed to launch Saturn V rockets from his back yard is detrimental to your security.

2) Your neighbor not being allowed to launch Saturn V rockets from his back yard is detrimental to his liberty.

Which of those two statements do you consider to be incorrect?



On 2002-09-16 13:36, Rich quoting Brin wrote:
Nobody makes me choose between freedom for my children and their safety!


But what about the teenager who wants to rape your children? Aren't you choosing between his freedom and your children's safety when you decree he's not allowed to do that? And, since your children aren't allowed to do the things other people aren't allowed to do, doesn't that mean their freedom as well?

As long as other people can do whatever they want, you can not be secure. The only way to protect your security is to restrict their liberty.





Clapping hands... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Argos
2002-Sep-16, 07:06 PM
On 2002-09-16 11:45, AgoraBasta wrote:
Argos,

It's quite safe to launch a toy rocket from your backyard - granted. Now start scaling the experiment up - at some point the magnitude of event's failure consequences becomes dangerous to your family, then to your neighbours, then to your town/city whatever. At certain point the probable consequences turn strongly irreversible and impossible to compensate for by an individual. Hence, some public authority must interfere in order to share liabilities. A perfectly private scheme is also possible - you could try get an insurance against probable adverse consequences. Now try to estimate the cost of such contract and degree of interference from the insurer's officers into your project... And how would you feel about the people whose lives you endanger? And how should they act upon you?


Fires on me... I feel like Galileo. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Dear AgoraBasta.

Our civilization is based upon a contractual arrangement: we tranfer a bit of our freedom to the state, which in turn give us back a little security. It seems perfect, and has been working well for two centuries now.

It is a zero-sum game, as long as it's not possible for one to have both unlimited freedom and security.

My point is that excessive security concern will necessarily lead (at the limit) to the censorship of ideas and the blocking of initiatives. I see the security portion of the pizza taking over the rest. There's a disturbing move of several governments towards monitoring the scientific research. Even branches of research not directly linked to strategic defense, as genetics, are going through difficult times having to deal with all kinds of monomaniacs and creationist lunatics (generally on the government's side), who are taking advantage of the emotionally disbalanced atmosphere of present times, trying to deter every aspect of science they deem as "dangerous". And as you know, *every* aspect of science is dangerous, depending on your intentions.

That's where I have my eyes on. And I fear for my freedom much more than I fear for my life.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-16 15:14 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Sep-16, 07:24 PM
And, AgoraBasta, I think that your last post has more to do with safety. And safety is something that a trusted company can perfectly deliver. Why the hell should the the government be the only entity to
know how to launch a rocket in safety(*)?

And on liberty: why some companies are not allowed to launch space vehicles? Why only certain companies are? Is there any transparency on such processes?

(*) The statistics indicate that governmental activities display less efficiency and less safety than any other activities taken into affect by other economic entities.

Rich
2002-Sep-16, 07:25 PM
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif Now that we're getting way off the astronomy topic (taking my share of credit there)...

The problem with your examples is that they are also false examples. In your backyard launch example you typically already recognize the fallacy of the argument in many other walks of life. You neighbor can launch a rocket, no one is prohibiting him from doing it. The circumstances in which he does it are definitely regulated though. The when, where, and how are regulated. You probably acknowledge similar concessions in little things everyday. You are at liberty to engage in almost any behavior you wish with another consenting adult in the privacy of your own bedroom. Move that behavior onto a bench across from a children's playground and you'll have the cops on you in a jiffy. You have total freedom to do what you want, the time and place are somewhat restricted... but that's the price we pay to live with other people. We have an obligation to respect the liberties of others, not just to have our liberties respected.

Which is where your rape example falls down. Your freedoms always end where mine begin. Your freedom to walk around plunging a butcher knife in the air ends where my freedom to not have butcher knives plunged into my body begins. You respect these little rules everyday, it doesn't make you any less free... at least not any less free than you could be in any kind of lawful society. Sure we could have total liberty, doing whatever we want whenever we want, that's called anarchy. The basic problem there is that some are free to terrorize others. When we reach the point you can do whatever you want to me at any time am I really free? Isn't that how we basically get tyrannical despots etc. which is the ultimate end result of anarchic systems and a total lack of order.

You are free to launch the rocket, just realize there are rules put in place to ensure your freedom to launch doesn't interfere with my freedom to live.

But feel free to answer this question, which you neglected to answer before: Can you name a single civilization, in any point in history, that was both more free and more secure than ours?

I'll make it easier: Can you name a single civilization, at any point in history, which was either more free or more secure?

If freedom and security are mutually exclusive, how is it our society has become increasingly secure even as it has become increasingly free?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rich on 2002-09-16 15:29 ]</font>

AgoraBasta
2002-Sep-16, 07:32 PM
On 2002-09-16 15:06, Argos wrote:
That's where I have my eyes on. And I fear for my freedom much more than I fear for my life.

Argos,

Can you grasp the idea of dynamic equilibrium? There are interests, parties, ideals, good and evil, life and death, yeas and nays in dynamic interaction. By choosing one of the extremes one becomes a narrow-minded fanatic, that's hardly a laudable achievement... Flipping sides frequently is no better... Making educated choices dynamically is optimal, yet error-prone...

Rich
2002-Sep-16, 07:44 PM
Our civilization is based upon a contractual arrangement: we tranfer a bit of our freedom to the state, which in turn give us back a little security. It seems perfect, and has been working well for two centuries now.

I'll reiterate that this contract also extends between individuals. I agree to respect your liberties and in exchange you agree to respect mine. It's one of the main pillars of common law.

And if you are determined to use your liberty to impose on the lives and freedoms of others... Well, that's why I vote for elected officials and pay taxes into a common fund to hire police officers to protect our shared liberties from those who disregard the social contract.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rich on 2002-09-16 15:44 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Sep-16, 07:45 PM
On 2002-09-16 15:25, Rich wrote:

I'll make it easier: Can you name a single civilization, at any point in history, which was either more free or more secure?

If freedom and security are mutually exclusive, how is it our society has become increasingly secure even as it has become increasingly free?


Dear Rich.

Freedom and security. Two abstract categories.

More freedom? Perhaps. At least formally.

But i'm not sure about security. In this exact moment a gas cloud is poisoning Asia. There's a poverty time bomb ready to explode. Economic uncertainties are looming on the horizon. And a war is expected to start any moment, and you know what a war means in terms of freedom and security.

Tell me frankly: Do you really believe our liberty is safe right now?

And I propose abandoning this argumentation. Phil won't like what's going on here./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-09-16 15:49 ]</font>

SeanF
2002-Sep-16, 07:51 PM
Rich,

Aren't you arguing my point? The liberty to launch rockets is restricted in order to protect security - because the "security" and the "liberty" are mutually exclusive.

We may be both the most secure and most free society ever, but we're not absolutely free because to be so would necessarily restrict our security. And vice-versa. In that sense, they are mutually exclusive.

Why don't you see how many real-life "before-and-after" situations you can come up with where you increase or enhance security without restricting liberty? I bet they'll be few and far between. Especially if you take our current society as the starting point. Do you believe we could become more secure without limiting freedoms?

Ah, enough off-topic. Protecting my security means limiting your freedom, and protecting my freedom means limiting your security. End of story.

Rich
2002-Sep-16, 08:02 PM
Probably not, but you dodged the question. Has there ever been another civilization, in the entire known history of the planet, that was more free or more secure than ours? (I'm talking about Western Democracies here, when I say civilization.)

Even with threats of terror attacks, looking back across all of history has there ever been a time of more general safety from immediate and unexpected harm from known and unknown sources (security)? Even with concerns of ratcheting down liberties to get terrorists, has there ever been in human history a society more free to speak, act, associate, or believe as they choose?

Remember that for most of human history we've had any number of bandits, despots, or feudal lords ready to break down the cottage door and do pretty much whatever they wanted to us and telling us exactly how they think we should behave. Unless you happened to be at the top of the food chain, which statistically would make you about as lucky as becoming a highly paid starter in the NFL by today's standards. I for one wouldn't like to count on being that lucky.

Sean,
Still dodging the problem with your argument that Western society has become both more secure even as it has become more free. It's a pretty hard fact to explain away.

But, it would be great if someone was able to find a cheap and safe way to get to the moon... OT! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rich on 2002-09-16 16:08 ]</font>

SeanF
2002-Sep-16, 09:21 PM
On 2002-09-16 16:02, Rich wrote:
Remember that for most of human history we've had any number of bandits, despots, or feudal lords ready to break down the cottage door and do pretty much whatever they wanted to us and telling us exactly how they think we should behave.


Yup, so what did we do? We enhanced our security by restricting their liberty.



Sean,
Still dodging the problem with your argument that Western society has become both more secure even as it has become more free. It's a pretty hard fact to explain away.


Look at your example from above. In those days, some people were obviously more free than we are today (you can't go around breaking in doors and telling the peasants what to do, can you?) and others were not. By the same token, some people were more secure than we are today and others were not.

You say we're the "most free" and "most secure," but the truth is we're just the most equal. We have deemed that all laws should apply equally to all people, and therefore no-one is more free than anyone else. Before that, it was possible to increase my security without decreasing my liberty because I could restrict others without restricting myself (but still, increasing my security meant restricting somebody's liberty). Not so anymore.

The bottom is line is that security and liberty have always been at odds and still are. All that's different in America is that we're all (ideally) equally free and secure, and we can't restrict "the other guy's" freedom without restricting our own.



But, it would be great if someone was able to find a cheap and safe way to get to the moon... OT! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


Wouldn't it, though? I'd love just to go to into space . . . I'm at least as qualified as Lance Bass, ain't I?

David Hall
2002-Sep-17, 01:55 AM
On 2002-09-16 17:21, SeanF wrote:

Yup, so what did we do? We enhanced our security by restricting their liberty.


Not exactly. We enhanced the security of many by restricting the liberty of a few.

This I think is the heart of the false dichotomy argument. I think everybody can agree that there is a relationship between the two, that security and liberty are generally at odds with each other.

The false dichotomy is when we consider them exactly equal to each other. It's a very simplistic argument to say that -1 unit of liberty equals a +1 unit gain in security, or vice-versa.

No, the relationship is more complex than that. Small changes in one can lead to large changes in the other, and vice-versa. The trick is to find the balance that leads to the greatest benefits on both sides. Sometimes reducing liberty just a little can have a gigantic gain in the level of security.

This is the case with most of society's laws. We place a few reasonable restrictions on the people and things that are most likely to cause problems for many. That way the vast majority of people are free to pursue their lives without fear that some other individual will capriciously interfere. Maximum liberty and maximum security at the same time.

So, there is an inverse relationship, but there isn't a dichotomy, per se.

_________________
<font size="-1">PLEASE NOTE: Some quantum physics theories suggest that when the consumer is not directly observing this product, it may cease to exist or will exist only in a vague and undetermined state.</font>

<font size="-1">(making lots of errors today)</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2002-09-16 22:01 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Sep-17, 02:12 AM
Here's yet another consideration. Restrictions in liberty are not always detrimental. I may be restricted from stabbing other people with kitchen knives, for example. But is this a bad thing? One, it keeps me from doing something foolish and dangerous (I may get killed in retaliation), and two, it also protects me from being attacked by others.

Considering I'm not likely to ever need or desire the freedom to stab someone else, I think that's a very good trade-off for the protection from being stabbed I get in return. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

The restriction benefits me more than a lack of restriction would.

Rich
2002-Sep-17, 03:42 AM
I see where you're going Sean. Let me put it another way that fits with exactly what you are talking about: The net liberty is greater than it has ever been.

As you stated in your counterpoint, a few individuals with pretty much unlimited liberty can have a major detrimental impact on the liberties of a great many. The key here is that by restricting the liberties of those few not only do you get greater security for those they formerly oppressed, you also get a net increase in liberty. The thousands formerly terrorized by a local warlord and his cronies are now free to enjoy many small liberties.

As a dedicated pragmatist there is nothing better than a net increase in something good. I can't trust that in an unequal situation I will be one of the fortunate... so I will always opt for the solution that leads to the greatest net value of liberty, incomes, security (since the example above does clearly show a situation wherein both a net increase in security and liberty are attained), or what have you.

As such I will always support options that increase the net liberties of the entire population and will be very suspicious of options that tend to only support the liberties of a narrow minority.

Anyway, enough prattling on socio-politics... any other independent moon mission info? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Nightfall
2002-Sep-18, 10:00 PM
Hey, if they get the pictures of the landing sites, do you think the Hoaxers will finally be satisfied?

Duh! What am I thinking? They'll probably claim the new pictures to be faked, too, won't they? Sigh.



I wonder if TransOrbital would not mind taking up 250 lbs of dead weight with them on this trip. But I'm not sure how much the TransOrbitial astronauts would like listening to Bart Sibrel all the way there. And the astronauts might try to leave him there, although that might not be a bad thing . . .

traztx
2002-Sep-18, 10:15 PM
On 2002-09-18 18:00, Nightfall wrote:
I wonder if TransOrbital would not mind taking up 250 lbs of dead weight with them on this trip. But I'm not sure how much the TransOrbitial astronauts would like listening to Bart Sibrel all the way there. And the astronauts might try to leave him there, although that might not be a bad thing . . .


He won't make much noise if he is "dead weight" /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

discovery1
2002-Sep-19, 01:02 AM
I think the probe is to be launched from Russia, so they would need an export permit. It true that they also needed a permit to photograph the Earth, even from lunar orbit.
And the only a handfull of nations signed the Moon Treaty, which makes private ownership of the Moon, or part of its surface, illegal.

Doodler
2002-Sep-23, 05:41 PM
I just read something that tells me TransOrbital is going to have company up there. Have a read. Seems a few lightbulbs went off at the highest levels of NASA.


http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/moon_next_020923-1.html

heusdens
2002-Oct-20, 06:11 PM
On 2002-09-16 16:02, Rich wrote:
Probably not, but you dodged the question. Has there ever been another civilization, in the entire known history of the planet, that was more free or more secure than ours? (I'm talking about Western Democracies here, when I say civilization.)



Well, since your definition restricts civilization to be that of a form of "Western Democracy" I am quite sure you would not mean any non-western form of democracy here.
But what is this definition worth?
Have you ever digged into the issue of what the burden (in respect to liberty and security) of the so-called democracies were in relation to other type of democracies?
As for example the effects on the democracy of Chili on the 11 september of 1973.
To call western democracy a standard for civilization, and to not just exclude other kinds of democracy, but simply wipe them out with brute military force, is in no way an acceptable position, you seem to take in.

To call western capitalist states or imperialism a form of civilization, and in the same time excluding other societies to be called civilized, is entitling the so-called civilized countries to conquer the countries which are thought of not being civilized.
Would you for instance call Iraq a less civilized country as Saudi-Arabia, because the latter is more or less supposed to be in the camp of western democracies.
There is a constant threat put on Iraq as to bombard the country back to the pre-history, because of it's supposed oppression of their population and their supposed aspirations to dominate the region, while the connections between the US and Saudi-Arabia are more or less based on normal relations.
But what kind of country is Saudi-Arabia, in which rich people are literally swimming in money, and in which immigrants from for example the Phillipines are working there in slavery like conditions to serve the rich.

For the US, such human rights violations are all right. Saudi-Arabia serves the interests of the US, whereas Iraq is not.
This is not based on human rights issue, but only on the oil interest.

The world itself can hardly be called civilized, as long as there are no rights for so many people on all what is basically needed to have a decent standard of living, like clean drinking water, food, healthcare, housing, etc.
There is no absolute lack for such goods, just an unequal and unfair distribution mechanism, that serves the rights of some people better then that of others, and which is protected by the imperialist states, as it serves their interests. In cases necessary, even with the help of military force, or by invoking brutal dictatorships.

----
Even a debate about astronomical issues in the field of space exploration can call upon a political debate


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: heusdens on 2002-10-20 16:29 ]</font>