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View Full Version : Buying land on the moon... peh!



paladinsmeg
2005-Sep-06, 12:59 PM
Hi everyone- this is my first post here, so I hope I am posting in the right place.

Anyway, one thing that has always annoyed me and also something I have never been able to get a straight answer on is:

What rights (if any) do jokers like those below have in selling plots of land on the moon (and other solar system bodies) ?
http://www.planetaryinvestments.com/

(many more can be found in a quick google search)

I would like to know what you all think about this, as it really boils my blood that these people have the arrogance to claim this 'land' and also the fact that they are taking people for a ride with claims of a title deed, etc.

As far as I have read, these companies are exploiting a loophole in a UN treaty which forbids any *government* from owning any extraterrestrial land. Since they are a private company they are seemingly not bound by this treaty.

Any thoughts?

John L
2005-Sep-06, 01:48 PM
According to international law, no one owns the Moon, therefore no one can sell you a plot of land on the Moon. These guys are just like the "Name a Star" people. They sell you a nice certificate and then they publish a list of star locations and names in book form with the copyright office, but this has nothing to do with the International Astronomical Union (the real guys that name stars and planets) and regular astronomers will never refer you that little star named after your wife or sister and Shelly, or whatever. If today you landed on the Moon and started making billions mining titanium from the soil, someone who bought the plot of land you were mining will not have the right to sue you.

Damburger
2005-Sep-06, 01:51 PM
Greedy, idiotic humans claiming that they are the exlusive masters of a celestial body billions of years older than they are.

Did you expect anything different?

If we are arrogant enough to believe we can own part of the Earth, surely you can't be surprised that we are arrogant enough to believe we can own part of the moon.

NEOWatcher
2005-Sep-06, 04:16 PM
I once ran across one of these ads that had a full explaination on why thier claim was valid. The UN treaty is only half the story. The other half is they were equating it with land aquisitions of the old West homesteaders and the laws that relate to that.
Unfortunately, they are mixing international and U.S. laws, and don't have an explaination on why that is valid.:rolleyes:

John L
2005-Sep-06, 05:59 PM
Damburger,

Very communistic response. Of course people can own land. It happens here on Earth and it will happen throughout the rest of the solar system, and eventually the rest of the galaxy. The key is that you must have a physical presence there. If you want to apply the old west homestead rules then you have to go there, stake the claim, and stay. We're still a ways off from being able to do that. I want the Sea of Tranquility. Lots of titanium!

Damburger
2005-Sep-06, 06:02 PM
Damburger,

Very communistic response. Of course people can own land. It happens here on Earth and it will happen throughout the rest of the solar system, and eventually the rest of the galaxy. The key is that you must have a physical presence there. If you want to apply the old west homestead rules then you have to go there, stake the claim, and stay. We're still a ways off from being able to do that. I want the Sea of Tranquility. Lots of titanium!

People get together in governments and threaten violence against anyone who does anything on 'their' land that they don't want, but when it comes down to it, nobody owns anything.

The solar system as a whole is a far less forgiving environment than Earth, and there is no room for selfishness and greed.

Fram
2005-Sep-06, 06:25 PM
People get together in governments and threaten violence against anyone who does anything on 'their' land that they don't want, but when it comes down to it, nobody owns anything.

The solar system as a whole is a far less forgiving environment than Earth, and there is no room for selfishness and greed.

Oh yes, there is room. Right here, on Earth, where it developed itself. The rest of the solar system has little to do with it.

And when it comes down to what, exactly?

John L
2005-Sep-06, 07:42 PM
I have to agree with Fram. Sorry Damburger but greed is one of the engines that has driven human development for the last 100,000 years. "I want" is one of the first phrases a child learns, and they usually cling to that until the day they die. Denying human nature is a foolish path to follow, friend.

Damburger
2005-Sep-06, 07:47 PM
I have to agree with Fram. Sorry Damburger but greed is one of the engines that has driven human development for the last 100,000 years. "I want" is one of the first phrases a child learns, and they usually cling to that until the day they die. Denying human nature is a foolish path to follow, friend.

Lying about human nature is an even more foolish path.

We are more cooperative than greedy by nature, but you can't see that because our species is currently in a state of desperate overpopulation. All animals react differently in such circumstances.

Furthermore, greed does not drive human progress. Einstein didn't come up with the theory of relativity to get rich. You seem to have bought blindy into the randian lie.

ToSeek
2005-Sep-06, 08:28 PM
Let's please try to keep this topic focused on the issue of selling plots of land on the Moon and not get into politics any more than necessary. I will take action if necessary to ensure that the discussion here remains appropriate for this forum.

Damburger
2005-Sep-06, 09:41 PM
Let's please try to keep this topic focused on the issue of selling plots of land on the Moon and not get into politics any more than necessary. I will take action if necessary to ensure that the discussion here remains appropriate for this forum.

I fail to see how that can happen, honestly. The idea of whether its ok selling parts of alien planets is to me inherently political, because it ties into the morality of ownership itself and theres only one way that discussion can go.

If you think its too political you should probably lock this thread.

Gillianren
2005-Sep-06, 09:53 PM
see, I don't think it ties into the morality of owning land. I think it ties into that aforementioned greed that drives humans (and I can give examples much, much older than the last century or two), scamming people to do it when necessary.

here's my question: under whose jurisdiction would prosecuting these people for fraud fall?

Damburger
2005-Sep-06, 10:09 PM
see, I don't think it ties into the morality of owning land. I think it ties into that aforementioned greed that drives humans (and I can give examples much, much older than the last century or two), scamming people to do it when necessary.


What is ownership? Its a person claiming exclusive authority over what happens with a particular lump of matter or area of space. Doing so is exerting a politilcal authority. Hence ownership is a political concept even though you would like to believe it is not.

Greed only drives us to consume resources faster. Its no more a positive or noble trait than entropy. The contrary belief is widely broadcast by billionaires who don't wish to be lynched. The truth is that everything worth doing has been done by someone for motives other than petty material gain.

The idea that greed is 'natural' is also rubbish. Our behaviour in present conditions is not the behaviour of humans existing in the habitat they evolved in.



here's my question: under whose jurisdiction would prosecuting these people for fraud fall?

Whichever juristiction they made the sale in I would assume.

the_shaggy_one
2005-Sep-06, 10:42 PM
As far as owning the moon goes, I think it will end up belonging to the people with the biggest guns and largest pockets, regardless of any amount of radical ideology. I don't think these claims are going to be worth anything but the paper and ink used to print them, in the long run.

However, as a novelty it's brilliant. When put into the context it belongs, with snow-globes and oversized foam fingers, it's a pretty innocuous product.

paladinsmeg
2005-Sep-06, 10:52 PM
see, I don't think it ties into the morality of owning land. I think it ties into that aforementioned greed that drives humans (and I can give examples much, much older than the last century or two), scamming people to do it when necessary.

here's my question: under whose jurisdiction would prosecuting these people for fraud fall?

While it is interesting to discuss the moral side of land ownership, I think that due to the two extremes of communism versus capitalism (and various ideologies in between) nothing can really be settled because a communist will never agree on the capitalists point of view and vice-versa.

I think the core of my question is, as Gillianren alluded to, what is the legal basis for these claims? What will happen when one of these companies gets enough cash to send an unmanned vessel to the moon to claim the land (i.e. does the 'wild west' approach hold up at the international level)? And even though these people buying up lunar plots are not spending a fortune, what will they do when NASA, RSA, NASDA or the Chinese space agency builds a base on their land? (Hopefully they will sue the crap out of these plot sellers! :) )

Van Rijn
2005-Sep-06, 11:05 PM
In regards to the question in the OP: This is a scam. You can buy a piece of paper, but it doesn't have legal standing today.

In regards to the concept of real land ownership on other worlds: Great idea! Let's get to it! One of the best ways to get us moving into space faster. Time to get the laws changed.

Forum issues aside, I have no interest in getting into an argument over capitalism over socialism. Real world examples of market economies versus command economies should be all the argument you need. If they aren't, there is no point in personal argument.

ToSeek
2005-Sep-07, 12:32 AM
I fail to see how that can happen, honestly. The idea of whether its ok selling parts of alien planets is to me inherently political, because it ties into the morality of ownership itself and theres only one way that discussion can go.

Whether it is legitimate to have private property on other planets and whether it is legitimate for these people to be selling private property on other planets are two separate issues, though admittedly if the former is not legitimate, the latter obviously isn't. But the OP is only asking about the latter.

gopher65
2005-Sep-07, 01:27 AM
You mentioned Einstein Damburger. It is a good example, because really, who is more altruistic and noble than a scientist searching for the truth of the universe? But you have to dig deeper. *Why* does a scientist what to know about the universe?

Well, multiple reasons. Obviously they want to know the Truth About Things;), but there is more to it than that. When I look at myself, and analyze what I have done, I find that in the end I don't want money, power, or even fame. What I want is for people to recognize my intellect as Great.

Einstein was the same way. If you read biographies of him, or indeed even his own words, you will see this. But why do I (and others) want people to recognize me as great? Why, to show them that I have worth. To be known for my deeds, my prowess, my ability. Is this any less greedy than a billionaire grabbing money even though they don't need it? It is any less greedy than a priest shouting from the pulpit in an attempt to force people to listen to *their* god? In my opinion it is no different.

Now forget modern life. You mentioned ancient humans in their natural habitat not being greedy. It seems to me that you were implying that it is our current culture that makes us greedy, not our biology. Errrrr… please forgive me if this seems rude, but have you ever seen a group of animals in the wild? They are greedy. Moreso than humans even. Animals steal. Animals kill without need. Animals are damn mean (with a few exceptions. Dogs don’t count because they were purposefully engineered by humans to be the way they are. Offtopic, but I read a study which claimed that small puppies are more social towards humans than humans are to each other LOL). Not only that, but animals are territorial. Why, it’s like they think they OWN that land or something *snicker*.

If you analyze animal behaviour, you will find that most modern human behaviour is descended from these ancient survival behaviours. Everything from our tendency to own land (territorial instinct), to our just plain weird tendency to like the ‘home team’ more than other, perhaps better, sports teams. First comes family, then clan(pack). Your town/city is like your clan. Your province/territory/state is like a bigger clan. Country bigger. Cultural region (AKA, the EU, or North America, or East Asia) even bigger. Size doesn’t matter in this case; we relate them all to us as part of our clan in a layered fashion, like an onion. The larger the region, the larger the clan, but also the less we relate to them. I don’t relate as well to Americans as I do Canadians. I don’t relate as well to people from Eastern Canada as I do to people from Western Canada. Why? Because people in Western Canada are physically closer to me, and my primitive brain thinks that means they are closer “family” than people from father away. For some reason my brain doesn’t take into account that people from Eastern Canada are closer to me in political beliefs, in interests (overall of course), in cultural beliefs, and in religious beliefs. No. Only physical proximity seems to count when setting the parameters of ‘clan/not clan’. It is strange really.

And yet, in the end, there may well be people out there who act in a non-greedy way. When I am confronted with the possibility of such a person, I have to ask myself, “Why? Why does this person act in a fashion that is counter the basic survival programming that is hardwired into our brains?” After much thought, here is what I came up with: It is our intelligence, our culture, and most importantly our *compassion*, that is allowing us to slowly escape our animalistic greediness. Greed is the driving force behind natural life. Only recently have we advanced enough culturally to surpass this built in drive, and to begin supplanting it with altruism. Of course it is a long journey to take, and we are just starting. It will be a long time before we rid ourselves of our base instinct.

This is of course just my opinion on this subject:P. It is sad that I feel the need to add a disclaimer in.

/Ontopic

I think that it is ridiculous that people actually buy plots on the moon. As mentioned, unless they are physically ON the moon they have no claim to the “homestead” act even under American law, never mind under international law. It is just a blatant outright scam:(