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Thoughts on the SpaceX Starship program

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hi,

Your glog entry about SpaceX[1] is interesting.
But I have a major disagreement with it.
While I don't dispute there are engineers and employees that are
genuinely enthusiastic about and probably share the view you are
exposing in this piece, I don't think SpaceX is the correct body to
achieve those goals.

Like all "for profit" companies, SpaceX doesn't have human emancipation,
human rights or human survival (climate crisis or #DontLookUp) as its
main drive.
Like all capitalist companies, they are here for the profits.
All of the key points you raise in your glog entry are merely byproducts
or nice PR talking points for SpaceX. (again: here I am talking about
the company, not necessarily the people working there).

I don't think it would be wise nor a great sign, that space exploration
or the first human settlements in the solar system be accomplished by an
entity that -by definition- has capitalistic profits and exploitation at
its core.

Rather, I think it should be an international body, a non- or
anticapitalist organization with scientific and human rights goals.
ie: something that doesn't export nor promote to space all the pain and
drawbacks of the capitalist system we are currently living (surviving?) in.

IIRC, international space treaties[2] viewed space like Antartica[3]:
a place that isn't owned by anybody but more like a Common.
as a proponent of FOSS, I do like this view (which has been, sadly,
greatly undermined by the Obama administration[4]).

anyways, it was a great glog entry nonetheless :)
thanks for writing it.

-s

[1]: gemini://drewdevault.com/2021/12/28/Starship.gmi
[2]: https://wikiless.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty
[3]: https://wikiless.org/wiki/Antarctic_Treaty_System
[4]: https://wikiless.org/wiki/Commercial_Space_Launch_Competitiveness_Act_of_2015
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<CGW1NFMGD86J.21A0N9JJ95D3Q@zoidberg> (view parent)
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On Mon Jan 3, 2022 at 1:39 PM CET, Sebastien Binet wrote:
> Like all "for profit" companies, SpaceX doesn't have human emancipation,
> human rights or human survival (climate crisis or #DontLookUp) as its
> main drive.

There are other valid reasons to do things than these three motivations.
You could argue that corporation == capitalism == profit motive ==
exploitation, but you would have to also apply that logic to, for
example, SourceHut. It is possible for corporations to have other
motivations, and SpaceX at least claims to be one such corporation, and
based on the evidence, I think that it is reasonable to believe their
claim.

> Rather, I think it should be an international body, a non- or
> anticapitalist organization with scientific and human rights goals.
> ie: something that doesn't export nor promote to space all the pain and
> drawbacks of the capitalist system we are currently living (surviving?)
> in.

I may or may not agree, but the fact is that there are no international
bodies working on this challenge. Write to your politicians demanding
that they take it on, if you see fit. I will also point out that the
major governments involved in space are not doing a great job of it
right now.

Like I said in my blog post, I'm a card-carrying socailist, but I'm also
a pragmatist. Just because someone is doing something under the
framework of capitalism doesn't mean that it's not worth doing or that
we should stop them from doing it so that we can do it within a
different framework.
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