Re: Space Colony Issues

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 11:55:28 MDT

"Chen Yixiong, Eric" wrote:
> This assumes a worse case scenario that other societies change slower
> than us. For most issues, it would hold. However, for military
> issues, I think we will find no lack of motivation, creativity and
> funding.

Agreed, *but*...we also find no lack of inertia, beauracracy, and
excessive secrecy strongly throttling back the potential use of
research once completed (to the point where it must be done over and
over again, at much wasted cost), that basically negate the advantages
the military sector of a society may have. I submit the modern
American military as a prime example (since that's the one I'm most
familiar with). If we can get the same advantages without these

> > > How do we know whom to attack in retaliation?
> >
> > Actually, refusing to retaliate will probably work wonders as far as
> > convincing most of the world not to attack (or keep attacking) us.
> You will set yourself open to attack, because unless you demonstrate
> your superiority, they will assume that your reluctance means you
> have weaknesses you do not want them to know. Merely not retaliating
> will simply encourage more attempts, unless you demostrate your
> relative superority (such as by defeating the enemy without taking a
> single life). underestimate the value of diplomacy and PR:

* Earth nation attacks
* We fight the attack off
* Instead of counterattacking with our own military, we broadcast to
  the nation's press agencies, "Call your dogs off! We're the good
  guys here!"
* Eventually, popular support for any such offensive will wane in the
  face of this. Only the most dictatorial countries can continue to
  attack for long under these circumstances...and with their efforts
  focussed on us, their neighbors may well be tempted to invade,
  especially if they've been seeing the same broadcasts from us and
  thus have popular support to stop the war.

> > You seem to have slightly misunderstood my point here. In any
> > society, there will be some societal conditioning (norms, commonly
> > held beliefs that sometimes get coded into law, et cetera). I'm
> > saying, shape those beliefs so that no one would want to go back.
> I think no rational person would want to leave this colony and return
> to crazy Earth. However, we should always prepare for the unexpected.

Agreed...and in such a situation, we should strive to make sure that no
rational person would indeed want to leave. If it ever gets to the
point where rational people start leaving, especially in significant
quantities, that's a very visible symptom of a problem that probably
needs to be fixed ASAP. (And directly halting emigration won't help:
see East Germany during the Warsaw Pact years. If rational people want
to leave badly enough, they'll find ways.)

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