Re: My Supertanker right or wrong

GBurch1 (
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 08:06:21 EST

In a message dated 98-02-23 00:58:42 EST, John K Clark wrote:

> Even if these economic problems could be overcome we'd still only exist at
> the whim of the superpowers, if we were not good little boys they'd send a
> torpedo up our ass and sink the ship so fast it'd bounce off the bottom.
> I think countries suck and there are too many of them already, and I think
> David Musick got it exactly right when he said:
> "Aren't we *beyond* thinking of countries in terms of land area? Is't it
> more realistic to think of countries in terms of organization,
> communication and resource movement? [...] I see the idea of a "country"
> as a relic from a dying age, as global economics blurrs and erases
> national
> borders."

I couldn't agree more: My post was simply an attempt to throw a little data at
the discussion. In particular, as I've written here before, my experience as
a ship's agent and admiralty lawyer has given me an acute appreciation for the
vulnerability of ships and other maritime engineering constructs to the
"forces of wind and wave" (as the cliche of admiralty jurisprudence puts it),
to say nothing of the acts of intentional aggression. It is hard to imagine a
more vulnerable position than lying afloat on the open seas. A big boat is an
easy, high-contrast target. The term "sitting duck" comes to mind. A fixed
platform is obviously worse.

However, as Admiral Rickover realized, a stealthy mobile submarine is a pretty
good place to stash valuable assets. Detection technologies right around the
corner, though, may make this current fact obsolete.

Beyond this, the only importance to the transhumanist agenda I can see to
formation of terrestrial extra-national enclaves in the near term is the
potential need of a secure base for research and development beyond the reach
of current nation states who may attempt to ban key technologies. IF (and
it's a big "if") an offshore base were crucial for such work, then development
of a terrestrial extra-national enclave could be important. This would
obviously be important only in a very brief transitional period, as getting
such efforts off-planet would be a much, much safer course of action: The
factors that made submarines important strategic technology in the 20th
century will make spacecraft much more so in the next.

Greg Burch <>----<>
Attorney ::: Director, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
"Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must
be driven into practice with courageous impatience."
-- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover