Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Idiocy of Lunar Ownership


This is where the notion of ownership becomes retarded. We're going to commit the same acts of stupidity on the Moon that we do/did on the Earth if we don't change our ways. Territorial disputes account for what...over half of all wars in history? Yeah, those are great parts of our history, where we killed each other over dirt (or the resources on or below said piece of dirt). Of course, that's no better than killing each other over fairy tales, mythos, or faith I suppose.

Sure, let's do the same stupid things on another solar system body by establishing property, ownership, false borders and selfish nonsense...idiotic.

No one owns the Moon, just like no one owns the Earth. And the notion that it's human nature to assume control and fight for 'things' is asinine. We are TAUGHT those values, they are not born into us. You can teach people to share and get along just as easily as you can teach them to be selfish and fight for pieces of dirt. Unfortunately humanity isn't civilized enough to teach the former of those two...yet.

I'd like to assume we would learn from our mistakes and not take our negative baggage with us when we start to expand humanity into the stars. I guess that's too much to ask once you bring lawyers into the mix.


Benacor said...

I hope you're not hating all over Richard Garriot's tongue-in-cheek remarks...

That being said, I don't necessarily think it's the concept of outer space property rights that's idiotic, I think it's the concept of Earth-bound governments controlling assets they aren't able to enforce law over. I wouldn't be surprised if the first space colony pulled an America and gained independence from whatever government or corporation put them there.

Also, even though the Moon treaty exists in the UN, none of the important players in the space game have signed it, meaning space IS a frontier, just like the wild west. We just happen to be playing nicer because it's easier to see shenanigans in space from the ground.

For more information, you should check out Virgiliu Pop's blog and books. He's an ISU classmate of mine and a space lawyer who specializes in lunar property law.

Douglas Mallette said...

I'm not really hating on Richard's comments, because I know he was just being humorous, but it does spawn a serious debate.

I could definitely see a space colony separating itself as its own island and employing its own government system, but only after it becomes fully independent. If they require supplies and such to exist, it would be difficult to bite the hand that feeds you.

I still think the notion of adopting the same ownership practices we have on Earth for any heavenly body is stupid. Have we not learned ANYTHING from history, that such actions easily invite conflict?

We will end up creating the same messes we have on Earth, just in different locations. With a clean slate and a chance to do better elsewhere, why the hell would we use systems that show such negative ramifications?

Oh right, I guess ego, arrogance and selfishness aren't terrestrially bound. :(

Emory Stagmer said...

I dunno Doug - If I create a company that invests $40B to create a mining center on the moon, do I then have the RIGHTS to the minerals I've just spent those $$ to acquire? Can I sell them at a profit? Can somebody else come up there and get minerals out of my mines and sell them without compensating me? Do they have the RIGHTS to do that? Do I have the RIGHT to stop them? Does anybody?
RIGHTS to land and mineral exploitation create vast wealth and opportunity, are you saying these should be verboten on the moon for private citizens and/or corporations? That seems to be what you're advocating, and if I understand you correctly, well, you and I will just have to agree to disagree on that...

Emory Stagmer (aka VAXHeadroom)

Douglas Mallette said...

Emory - Your points beautifully illustrate the reasons why I'm sick of the Monetary System. I'm not hating on you because of your comment by the way, because you are absolutely right, and I was hoping someone would go down that road.

The moment this becomes a money issue is the moment we lose our humanity focus and return to self interest, which is exactly what's wrong with the world right now. Profit over humanity. See how easy it is to go down that road in the current system?

The moment an endeavor becomes all about money and less about doing the right thing, is the moment the endeavor is broken.

How about this: Whatever we do on the Moon should be in the best interest of all humanity, else we drive down the same road of selfish, profit motivated exploitation.

"RIGHTS to land and mineral exploitation create vast wealth and opportunity..."

-- Only for a select few, while the rest toil and slave under the false notion that they too could sit atop the financial mountain. That doesn't happen, the rules are set so that it doesn't.

Shall we take all our negative baggage with us when we venture into space? God, I hope not.

Norman Copeland said...

Its a simple issue of who has put the honest work into a place they care about...

My family line from my mother owned carolina, the Earl of Salisbury {Cooper} established trade in Carolina in the 16th century, it is still legally owned, but, hey...

It's loved...


Norman Copeland said...

CORRECTION {Earl of Shaftsbury}.

Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury PC (22 July 1621 – 21 January 1683), known as Anthony Ashley Cooper from 1621 to 1631, as Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Baronet from 1631 to 1661, and as The Lord Ashley from 1661 to 1672, was a prominent English politician during the Interregnum and during the reign of King Charles II. A founder of the Whig party.