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Old 08-21-2012, 01:35 PM
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Default Fifty-Man Space Base Crew (1970)

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...ase-crew-1970/
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:06 PM
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It's ambitious that's for sure.
The space station has always been a factor for ease of use missions to Mars and the Moon. The concept is the same as having a waypoint from which to lower cost of launches and craft sizes by making them space ships and not space ships on rockets. That's why the ISS is so important to future plans. De orbiting before we've returned to the moon or tried to go to Mars is one of those big waste of money that I'm always complaining about with NASA and the Government. We'd have to build it all over again and it would cost even more money. It's about time this country learned a few things from Russia on how to low cost achieve and maintain a presence in space for 40 years with out breaking the bank on Rocket Designs.

It's this kind of thinking that had us roaming the stars by the 23rd Century.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:43 PM
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Even the ISS is, at best, a shadow of what it was supposed to have been. The problem is that the nation is no longer capable of looking beyond 2-4 years ahead. I know my dad gets constantly frustrated by government/military projects because everything has to be renegotiated every single year. It's a miracle when they actually go from the drawing board to the actual production. It's a cold day in hell when they actually produce the numbers that they intended to. And the entire universe s**ts itself when the government actually considers ahead of time the need to actually sustain the fleet.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:24 PM
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Unity is the answer. A world government for the people by the people? Not so sure that would work though. But's its about the only way to go, a world space program utilising the combined talents, resources and wealth of the worlds nations.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:17 AM
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Not to be cynical, but I think you're missing a step there. For a government to be formed that is by the people, the people need to learn to get along first. Otherwise it will inevitably be an ineffective government and it will regress back to the current status quo.

In recent years I've taken a very George Carlin view of government. Here in the US, if we are to believe that our government is or was of the people by the people and for the people then if we are to believe that the government is broken, it's nearly impossible not to consider that we the people are broken. I mean the people we have in government don't just spring out of holes in the ground, and as far as I know they are human beings unless the robot overlords have already taken over. So it's probably safe to say that the people in government are the product of the people. So in other words, we the people are producing a rather s**ty product.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhkhttp://

He's a bit more...intense...and pessimistic than I am on the matter, but he does make the point. Democracy and unity are not magical things of pure goodness. Like any human made system, a lot depends on the operator(s). That's what draws the line between elected leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler, or between monarchs like King Solomon and Vlad the Impaler. The difference what I believe and what Carlin says in that vid is that I do see good people would make good government leaders but the problem is that we have a highly entrenched system of politics (Not a system of government, mind you. Afterall, politics can shutdown government.) that prevents such people from getting far, and I personally believe that it's a system of politics that has also firmly taken root in the general population.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:25 AM
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What is society, a bunch of atomistic individuals or an organic whole? Both and none, the very inability to nail it down probably gives the best definition of society.
So a government is not just depending on the elected people but to a large part systemic and independent of individuals. Furthermore in a democracy the job is not to vote good people into office but force the people who are in office to do the right thing. You could call it the Nixon factor. The guy was a crook but he was forced to implement politics which ran against his personal convictions precisely because civil society made him do it. FDR said something similar to some labour guys who talked with him: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it".
That's also why Pu*sy Riot have said that they have nothing against Vladimir Putin the person but against Putin the system.

Back to the main issue, a world government is not feasible because the people don't want it. I wouldn't be surprised if the notion would get a majority after you conducted a worldwide poll.
The question is rather how you can create an entity without directly caring about the population, kinda like when the UN was created, and then giving it long-run democratic legitimacy. You see the trick here, first you implement the general will and then you legitimize it. If political leaders had cowardly asked their population in polls whether they really wanted the League of Nations after WWI it probably wouldn't have been created.
Of course there is a certain ideological difference between continental Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world, the Brits became more and more democratic slowly over time whereas France had to cut off the head of the king to establish a republic. And while I usually favour the less radical way I think that you need at least this kind of retroactive justification, first comes the big act and then the democratic legitimization.
Just think about the fictional history of Trek, how United Earth emerged in the post WWIII Earth. Certainly not by running around and asking everybody whether he prefers a national or a worldwide government. It was done without playing any direct democratic games because "getting our sh*t together" was the most natural thing to do after having met aliens.

Last edited by horatio : 08-22-2012 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:33 AM
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So would it be fair to say that even democracy has to be imposed, at least to some degree, in order for it to work.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:48 AM
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I would say that it partly depends on one's historical experience. As I said in England democracy emerged slowly over time and despite your Independence War I think that is also your fundamental experience whereas in France or my own country there was a lot of violence, be it Jacobin terror or WWII and the Shoah, before democracy.
But it is fairly unambiguous that there is a zero-level of violence in democracy. Its content is democratic but its form is totalitarian, you can e.g. not meta-vote against the system itself (in Weimar this was possible) and determine whether you want democracy or something else. Interestingly totalitarianism works precisely the other way around, its content is totalitarian but its form is democratic (a Stalinist leader says that he is just the servant of the course of history which emancipates the masses, a fascist leader says that he is nothing without the people and just their embodiment).
Of course I am not endorsing some authoritarian leadership but I neither like populism because it precisely plays the above mentioned totalitarian game, I am nothing in myself and just your voice. No, a truly great democratic leader is neither a populist nor an autocrat but somebody who listens to the people yet nonetheless dares to do what he considers to be right even if the majority is against him.

Last edited by horatio : 08-22-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
No, a truly great democratic leader is neither a populist nor an autocrat but somebody who listens to the people yet nonetheless dares to do what he considers to be right even if the majority is against him.
Which presumably is supposed to be the way it works. Although come election season it becomes about the numbers.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:08 AM
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I will always favor democracy, as do many here, but, as one founding father once said:

(paraphrased)

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule where 51 percent of the population determines the fate of the remaining 49 percent.


Pretty narrow margin of fate decision there.
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