Re: My Supertanker right or wrong

Forrest Bishop (
Sun, 01 Mar 1998 02:06:31 -0800

>From: GBurch1 <>

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.

>...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
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...

>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
of current nation states who may attempt to ban key technologies. IF
it's a big "if") an offshore base were crucial for such work, then
of a terrestrial extra-national enclave could be important. This would
obviously be important only in a very brief transitional period, as
such efforts off-planet would be a much, much safer course of action:
factors that made submarines important strategic technology in the 20th
century will make spacecraft much more so in the next.

Greg Burch

I think this, along with the need for new frontiers, will be the primary
motivation for human space colonization in the next few decades. Robotic
facilities can only do so much, certainly not conduct high tech lab
research. A mass of under 100 US tons launched from Earth seems to be
enough to establish a self-replicating colony using current tech,
including provisions for biological life. A private venture, using one
the new breeed of commercial launchers, might be able to put this
for a few G$. The people that move to this place (Moon, Mars, Asteroid)
can still access current science on Earth via radio, while living in a
defensible high ground.


Forrest Bishop
Interworld Productions, LLC
Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering