[LIBFUT] cassini

Anton Sherwood (dasher@netcom.com)
Wed, 8 Oct 1997 19:04:46 -0700 (PDT)

(Hi Libfut. I'm copying this to the Extropians list where
there have been at least a few related posts recently.
Otherwise I'd snip it. I hope you don't mind.)

(Hi Extropians. This is from the Libertarian Futurist list.)

: From: zsero@IDT.NET (Zev Sero)
: Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 02:40:11 GMT
: Organization: argenTech Pty Ltd
: On Mon, 6 Oct 1997 23:41:46 -0400 (EDT), you wrote:
: >The question is, could Cassini and it's plutonium
: >engine get insurance on the free market?
: If Cassini were being launched by a private company
: it certainly could get insurance againt the risk of
: loss (launch failing, etc). As for insurance against
: the possibility of causing massive harm to others, this
: risk is so infinitesimal that there's no point in
: insuring against it - it would just be a waste of money.
: Certainly no libertarian society could *demand* that a
: private launch venture insure itself against such a
: risk, any more than we can demand that a cruise liner
: be insured against the possibility that a large meteorite
: might splash into the ocean just in the vicinity of the
: ship, causing the ship to be splashed out of the ocean
: and crash into a skyscraper, thus causing the skyscraper
: to fall down, causing the radio tower at its top to fall
: into a swimming pool and electrocute anyone who happens
: to be swimming there at the time.
: > This is
: >a govt. project and we are all forced to put up
: >with the dangers--and to carry the costs of any
: >settlements the feds might have to pay to those
: >affected should there be a breach of plutonium that
: >makes private property uninhabitable or clearly
: >leads to illness and death. Those are the
: >relevant *libertarian* issues.
: No, the relevant libertarian issue is that there is
: a concerted campaign by the enemies of the human race
: to retard any hope of human progress. It is vitally
: important that we get off this planet before something
: happens to it (as these very same villains keep trying
: to convince us is far more likely than it really is),

This is not a libertarian position as such - this is a
position that some things (a threat to the survival of
humanity) are important enough to override libertarianism,
i.e. to justify spending the taxpayer's money.

: and these nature-worshippers have taken it upon
: themselves to dowhatever it takes to make sure that
: the `disease' of mankind does not spread. To this end
: they do not hesitate at spreading the most ridiculous
: lies, such as the bizarre claim that `plutonium is the
: most toxic substance known to man', and that some small
: amount of it `if properly distributed' could wipe out
: the human race. As the late Petr Beckman pointed out,
: so can a few kilos of pins - if distributed one into
: every person's heart.
: The fact that some libertarians, such as Carol, have
: been taken in by this propaganda is a sobering
: reminder that while we may be tempted to laugh at these
: people, they can be very dangerous. 65 years ago they
: gained enough of a following in Germany to take power,
: and dragged the whole world into disaster while they
: pursued their religious fanaticism to such extents as
: drilling a shaft in an attempt to prove that the earth
: is hollow.
: It is no coincidence that the German Green
: party is composed largely of former Nazis,

... interesting ...

: and those
: who would have been Nazis if they had been born in time.

not so interesting; in fact, content-free. How on earth
do you identify "those who would have been Nazis"? Or even
define the set? If I were born in a different place and
time, I might be a slave-owner!

: Nor is it a coincidence that former Hitler-Jugend member
: Sid Spindler represented the Democrats (a radical green
: party) in the Australian Senate. When Yehudi Menuhin
: can compare the felling of old-growth trees in Tasmania
: to the Holocaust, it becomes clear that the above is not
: some paranoid fantasy.

Agreed. One of the tragedies of our time is that Jewish opinion
leaders have learned nothing. From the particular statement "it's
evil to persecute Jews," you or I might infer the general statement
"it's evil to persecute anybody"; instead, apparently, the proper
general statement is "it's evil to do anything of which Jewish
opinion leaders disapprove."

: When little kids come home from
: school with artwork that says `the Earth does not exist
: to serve us, we exist to serve the Earth' (I am not
: making this up - I saw this exact slogan on display in
: a restaurant last week, evidently the work of the
: restauranteur's young child), it is time to stop worrying
: about the Christian Coalition and the Promisekeepers,
: and start worrying about the anti-human nature-worshippers.
: Rand warned us about these people 30 years ago; it's time
: we took her warning to heart.