Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Mon Aug 4 22:09:21 2003
Cancellations and Reversals

Two meetings got cancelled this week! Today,


, and there was also an Email committee meeting that was scheduled for later this week that also was dropped. *sigh*

Mars will be coming very near to Terra on 27 Aug 2003. The closest point will be around 05:00 (AM, for you 12-hour folk) I might get myself a telescope for the event -- it's really a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It's supposed to be nearly as big as the moon in the sky on that night. NASA's launching some probes. So, cancel your plans for that morning.

So, I just told some of my friends on AIM about this (maybe 6 or 7). 4 of them talked about telescopes, and 4 of them (not entirely overlapping the first set) talked about the cost of NASA. In a pretty stunning reversal, Dubin suggested that private corporations manage space exploration. I suggested that space colonization would be a good thing for the government to be involved in, and he suggested that that too be initially private. I couldn't disagree more, and this touches down on ground that I recently have broken while talking about politics with Woody last week. Firstly, I think that corporations make pretty horrible guardians of human rights, just about as bad as religious leaders. Secondly, if the corporations begin to colonize other parts of the solar system, suddenly there's an actual corporate-run, in the most literal sense of the word, settlement, with its own governmental forms. Woody might think this to be a good thing. As for me, I find it deeply disturbing and scary, perhaps as scary as a theocracy. Theocracies suck, in my eyes -- drop me in Iran and I'm either very quiet or very dead. However, they're also not as ruthlessly efficient as corporations, and so they probably pose less of a danger of spreading. I fear corporations, and although communism holds little appeal for me, the invisible, superefficient hand scares me as well. Privatized police, property rights being asserted over suddenly scarce air, *shudder*. In sum, I fully endorse space research, and so I disagree with my more Lassiez-Faire friends.

Ahh, here's a quote from me with someone I'm talking with IRC right now on that topic..

(22:49:04) Improv: Capitalism is like fire -- you need to keep an eye on it, although without it you're kinda screwed.

Oh, a note.. I guess there's been a bit of a feature regression with my BLOG -- google won't archive my blog because it's URLs look too much like CGIs (which they are). So, I really should move to mod_perl so I can do directory mappings so google will log again. mod_perl is cool anyhow.