wdg3rd on January 01, 2010, 11:49:45 am
Back in the day, there actually were hundreds, even thousands of privately-owned warships. They sold shares, dividing the cost among many people. No reason why we could not do the same. They were driven out by rent-seeking navies.

Who would pay for big, expensive systems in a voluntaryist world? I imagine that people like Bill Gates who own vast enterprises would have an interest in large-scale defense, since their interests are not tied to one particular storefront or factory - it is important to have customers, after all.

Many theorists focus on insurance companies; they'd certainly have an interest in a peaceful environment.

I rather think that wealthier entrepreneurs would organize and provide a lot of funding for militia in their communities. There would be shooting competitions and war games. Think of today's laser-tag / air gun / three-gun matches extended to include exercises with tanks, mortars, IEDs, and so forth. 

El Neil has spoken and written (I think I watched him talk about it before it was in TLE, way back at LFSCon) on things like local SDI.  Yes, county (or smaller territory), depends on how things are disorganized where you live) level ways to take out orbital missiles and other falling debris.  At far less cost (especially in self-esteem and local independence) than the central government models that depend on the USAF or even less competent NASA.  I won't claim that the USAF is incompetent, just basing things on my [four years] experience several decades ago and the recent record (I think the evidence is fairly clear, but even a fucking idiot knows that NASA makes a mud brick look smart [they make landings on the moon boring, when they have pilots who could _land_ a mud brick at Edwards if it had stripes painted on it and then go change pants before meeting the Press]).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on January 01, 2010, 12:13:58 pm

Where's the problem with the kid dating in the back seat of the vehicle he likes best?  (The back seat of an Abrams is safer to screw in than the back seat of a Warthog).

First, the A-10 unlike most attack jets or fighter jets wasn't designed in a two seat version.  A design analyst that I worked with at Pratt had previously worked on the A-10 design and he told me that it was an extremely simple (for a attack jet) to fly.  So simple that if you had gone through basic and advanced flight school that you shouldn't have any trouble flying it at all.  Second, can you imagine the damage that a 120,250 lb (combat weight) M1A1 could do to the neighbor's new birdbath if instead of paying attention to the road Junior was a lot more concerned about getting to second or even third base with Candi from down the street?

wdg3rd on January 01, 2010, 01:40:17 pm

Where's the problem with the kid dating in the back seat of the vehicle he likes best?  (The back seat of an Abrams is safer to screw in than the back seat of a Warthog).

First, the A-10 unlike most attack jets or fighter jets wasn't designed in a two seat version.  A design analyst that I worked with at Pratt had previously worked on the A-10 design and he told me that it was an extremely simple (for a attack jet) to fly.  So simple that if you had gone through basic and advanced flight school that you shouldn't have any trouble flying it at all.  Second, can you imagine the damage that a 120,250 lb (combat weight) M1A1 could do to the neighbor's new birdbath if instead of paying attention to the road Junior was a lot more concerned about getting to second or even third base with Candi from down the street?

Yeah, you're right.  No back seat.  Beautiful frickin' plane to watch (I spent a week TDY at Edwards with a MAC team from Travis to strip a C-5 that made a harder-than-it-should-have landing there and would have no further future than a tow into the desert sands) during the first test flights and that oogly plane was flying circles around the pace car.  I wanted (and want) one for commuting.  (Couple years later, another TDY, they were in service at Eglin, things of ugliness^wbeauty in production).  I _still_ don't understand what "laws" of aerodynamics let it fly (a long way from what I learned as a kid).  I guess it's the bumblebee principle (_they_ don't know science says they can't fly, so let'em go for it).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on January 01, 2010, 09:24:15 pm
wdg3rd:  Check this out if you want to see something that will give every pilot a "I got to get me one of those!"  ;D   www.samsonmotorworks.com  It's called the switchblade.

wdg3rd on January 02, 2010, 05:46:13 pm
wdg3rd:  Check this out if you want to see something that will give every pilot a "I got to get me one of those!"  ;D   www.samsonmotorworks.com  It's called the switchblade.

Yeah, caught the pointer to that reading www.register.co.uk  (I just read the site for the BOFH stories, but other interesting stuff shows up).

Definitely wouldn't turn one down.  La Esposa is a long-time Harley rider and she sometimes mocks me for staying on four wheels.  Though my real dream machines are lighter than air.  (I've been designing zeppelins as a hobby since the mid 70s).

But yeah, I want a flying car or motorbike.  We're nine years into the 21st century and I still don't have one.  When I was a kid (half a century back) I was promised that and hotels on the moon by the end of the 20th century.  Somebody lied.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on January 02, 2010, 06:53:56 pm
.
But yeah, I want a flying car or motorbike.  We're nine years into the 21st century and I still don't have one.  When I was a kid (half a century back) I was promised that and hotels on the moon by the end of the 20th century.  Somebody lied.
That brings up an interesting couple of memories.  I'm roughly the same age as you and can remember watching television back around the very late 50's and early 60's.  The television used to have old films from the 1930's that they would show how life in the distant future of say 1990 was going to be.  We would all live in metal domed houses, everything would be automated and we would only have to work 20 hours a week to have enough money to take care of ourselves and our families.  What happened?  One word- GOVERNMENT.  Back about 20-30 years ago or so I watched a television show that supposedly had interviews with whistleblowers on UFO's.  One individual who was in shadow when he was asked "What kind of government do these gray aliens have?"  His reply was that the aliens don't have a government.  My thought back then (and still is) is "No wonder these guys are so advanced compared to us!!!"

dough560 on January 03, 2010, 02:35:45 am
Heinlein and his flying cars really were ahead of their time.  I remember a backpack helicopter in Popular Mechanics or Science back in the late 60's / early 70's.  The guy who owns Trapper Mufflers still hasn't got his vehicle in production and projected costs are now up to $500,000 each.

I built model moon bases and space stations, under sea cities etc.... for science fairs as a kid.  Used to blow the judges minds.  They had no concept of what I was talking about.

At the time NASA Projections were for a continued investment equal to or greater then the Apollo and Mercury Programs combined, with associated acceleration in technology.  What happened?  The government cut the funding and has acted to keep private industry out of space.  What happens to big oil with beamed power from space.  Orbit a nickle/iron asteroid and start refining steel, with gold and platinum separated as  an impurity.  Materials and processes not possible here on earth.  Who could compete?

Once we're firmly in space and remembering the greedy fingers of government, how long do you think it will take for the people taking the risks and building a future to tell the earthbound governments to pound sand?  Don't thing those good little socialists haven't read at least some speculative fiction.

Rocketman on January 04, 2010, 11:09:52 am
Which fits my theory very neatly that whoever the first colonists are going to be they will have to have a LIBERTARIAN mindset.  Any colony that depends on advice from its home country back on earth is going to be doomed.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 11:19:14 am by Rocketman »

terry_freeman on January 04, 2010, 12:43:44 pm
Regarding "why don't we have hotels on the moon yet", you might find the novel King of the High Frontier of interest.

The basic thesis is that the problem is not lack of funding for NASA; it's that NASA exists at all, and diverts resources from the private sector, which would be much more efficient.

The gov't may have funded some explorations of what used to be the "Wild West", but did they fund the mass migrations, the trains of connestoga wagons? Heck, in many cases the pioneers were actually fleeing government interference.

NASA is a political animal, not an entrepreneurial one. Major decisions are made, not because of sound economics or engineering principles, but because A Congressritter wanted loot for his district. Why is there an expensive control center in Houston? Thank Lyndon Baines Johnson for that one.

The private sector is perfectly able to fund multi-billion-dollar projects whenever it sees the potential for profit. Having a massive government agency claim the field merely displaces private-sector efforts which would probably be more efficient.

Brugle on January 04, 2010, 03:23:14 pm
The basic thesis is that the problem is not lack of funding for NASA; it's that NASA exists at all, and diverts resources from the private sector, which would be much more efficient.

The gov't may have funded some explorations of what used to be the "Wild West", but did they fund the mass migrations, the trains of connestoga wagons?
It's over 7 years old, but How the West Wasn't Won is appropriate and amusing.

Zilabus on February 11, 2010, 06:18:42 pm
I like escape from Terra because it's for the most part a well thought out, well drawn, well done comic that is updated often. In mixes a fair amount of adventure with some bits of comedy and mystery, and it comes out pretty well. The references to our time are interesting, although they often feel joltingly out of place.

I don't like escape from Terra simply because I wish some of the characters where deeper or better done. I'm not trying to say it's not a well written story, I just wish it wasn't so blarringly obvious that A.) All terrans (Running under the socialist government) are evil, bad, corrupt, and in general madmen. These characters feel as though they have extremely little past their face value, which is that they are arrogant, evil, snobbish, brutes that serve no purpose other then to be outwitted or converted by the good frontiersmen. B.) Like I touched on earlier, all of the frontiersmen type characters are good or clever, and even with lesser weaponry or training, they endlessly save the day and outwit evil authoritatian Terran officers. There has yet to be a 'main character that have broken these molds. Is it so impossible to have a terran that's actually a nice, reasonable person that actually manages to stay more then one arc without pulling a heel-face turn to the side of the 'goodguys'?

Maybe I'm asking too much, I'm just saying that as someone who has studied the art of language and storytelling for many years, it turns me off on a story when I see these ultra-simple 'dummy' characters appearing so often.
Bring back the funk.

SandySandfort on February 11, 2010, 08:59:11 pm
I like escape from Terra because it's for the most part a well thought out, well drawn, well done comic that is updated often. In mixes a fair amount of adventure with some bits of comedy and mystery, and it comes out pretty well. The references to our time are interesting, although they often feel joltingly out of place.

Thanks, Mom.   ;D

I don't like escape from Terra simply because I wish some of the characters where deeper or better done. I'm not trying to say it's not a well written story, I just wish it wasn't so blarringly obvious that A.) All terrans (Running under the socialist government) are evil, bad, corrupt, and in general madmen. These characters feel as though they have extremely little past their face value, which is that they are arrogant, evil, snobbish, brutes that serve no purpose other then to be outwitted or converted by the good frontiersmen. B.) Like I touched on earlier, all of the frontiersmen type characters are good or clever, and even with lesser weaponry or training, they endlessly save the day and outwit evil authoritatian Terran officers. There has yet to be a 'main character that have broken these molds. Is it so impossible to have a terran that's actually a nice, reasonable person that actually manages to stay more then one arc without pulling a heel-face turn to the side of the 'goodguys'?

You might recall that Guy started out as a bad guy, but experienced a sea change due to his experiences on Ceres. Also, a fifth of the crew members opted out of the UW navy when given the opportunity. I promise you will see more sympathetic characters in future arcs, but this is a comic. Historically, adventure/action comics have always featured characters that personify good and evil locked in an eternal, epic battle for the hearts and minds of Man. The original prose stories are slightly more nuanced, but they still deal with the reality of evil and the heroes who fight it. The history of English literature, from Beowulf on, is replete with iconic characters--much more so than EFT.

Maybe I'm asking too much, I'm just saying that as someone who has studied the art of language and storytelling for many years, it turns me off on a story when I see these ultra-simple 'dummy' characters appearing so often.

Well, as one who has also studied the art of language and story telling for many years, I can only say, that's why there are horse races... difference of opinion. It was my judgment to establish the relative morality of the main characters early on. We have all the time in the world to round out their personalities, but first we need to know who they are. Certainly, Reggie's outer/inner monologues on Mars hinted at a more complex character with past actions he anguishes over.

Be patient, he and the others will reveal themselves more fully over time. Think about how much you know about the characters already. Then realize that they will grow and change as we all do. The good guys will err, some bad guys will have misgivings. In fact, it has already happened.

In any case, I thank you for your well thought out comments and suggestions. You obviously care about EFT. Hopefully, you will find more nuance as the strip progresses. Please continue to contribute to the forum. You have certainly made a good start.

NotDebonair on February 12, 2010, 02:19:46 am
Which fits my theory very neatly that whoever the first colonists are going to be they will have to have a LIBERTARIAN mindset.  Any colony that depends on advice from its home country back on earth is going to be doomed.

You mean that the first successful colonists will have a libertarian mindset.

Rocketman on February 12, 2010, 08:58:28 am

You mean that the first successful colonists will have a libertarian mindset.
Ya got me Not Debonair.   ;D That is what I mean.  I have very little doubt that statist governments will send out colonies with sheeple controlled by political officiers in the beginning, but when those go belly up even they will realize to really be effective out their you need people who can think for themselves on a moments notice.  If the sheeple are smart, they'll dump the political officer out of an airlock and report back in say two or three years that there has been an unfortunate "accident".   ;D

dough560 on February 13, 2010, 12:45:40 pm
Just like the Mayflower.  The colony started out Collectivist and nearly staved to death.  After the collectivist Mayflower Compact was thrown out , people began working in their own best interest.  With implied self interest and the profit motive firmly entrenched, the colony succeeded.   :)

Just look what we've done with all that hard work and sacrifice.   ::)

I define the nanny minded as those who will not risk their lives or anything else important to them.  They fear the possibility of catastrophic failure and what they might lose.  They value lack of risk and personal safety.  They transfer their fear to others.  If they can not risk catastrophic failure, how can someone else?  They see their fear as reasonable.  They see people who strive and risk, as someone who must be protected from themselves.   At the same time they have an overriding desire for power.  Power used to impose their fears on others.  Power used to control others, trying to make them as small minded as the controllers.  Nanny minded fear someone who despite restrictions and controls, succeeds.  The last thing they want to do is to see themselves as they are.

People died and will continue to die while getting things done.  I'll lay a bet that each of us have successes we value most for what we risked.  I'll also bet we failed at least once, before we succeeded.  That's the way it should be.


 

anything