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Feedback from Kate Jones (8-20-07):

Moving people out into space without first sorting out the fundamental values and principles of human communities will just spread the poisons of dissent into yet a further dimension.

Getting space settlements started will involve the greatest of discipline, cooperation, scientific precision and observation of rules, since the safety margins of survival are so close that there is no room for error. There is no place for any actions not working towards the agreed-upon goals. Every step is planned out, even what to do in emergencies.

"Freedom" in this context does not include anything you might want to do when the mood strikes. It means the ability to choose whether to accept the space assignment or to stay on the ground. Accepting it includes, as part of the contract, getting all the necessary training and following the protocols, just as on Star Trek.

These pioneers may open new territories where the hardy settlers may start new colonies, but since distances are so huge and ready-made earths unlikely to be there waiting, extensive journeys, perhaps even generations-long, may be necessary. Every individual's participation counts, where every team member's existence depends on the reliability of all the others.

Notice that this is not a case of the group's taking precedence over the individual — it's a voluntarily chosen participation of each individual, agreed upon beforehand. The necessities of reality dictate the actions each member performs, identified before the trip into space even begins. Even the ruling hierarchy is set in advance, from captain down to the technicians.

Going into space won't be a cakewalk like crossing an ocean and taming a continent. Where every molecule of air and water has to be provided by human intelligence, it's not like releasing a boatload of convicts into the wilderness to fend for themselves. Technology is a product of organizing human knowledge and purpose.

If your theory is that we need to move excess human populations into space because we can't get along here, or are running out of life support here, then I respectfully submit that we need to work out our kinks here on earth first — identify the qualities and principles of life by which each individual can achieve the products of the golden rule.

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