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THE SPACE SHOW AND OLD SPACE CADET RESPOND TO MATT’S APRIL 28, 2009 POST REQUESTING WHAT POSITIVE ACTION CYNICS AND OTHERS CAN TAKE IN SUPPORT OF THE NEWSPACE INDUSTRY June 2, 2009

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THE SPACE SHOW AND OLD SPACE CADET RESPOND TO MATT’S APRIL 28, 2009 POST REQUESTING WHAT POSITIVE ACTION CYNICS AND OTHERS CAN TAKE IN SUPPORT OF THE NEWSPACE INDUSTRY

On April 28, 2009, Matt Colborn responded to the April 22, 2009 Cynics post entitled “Well Said, Dr Griffin” with the following comment:

3. Matt Colborn – April 28, 2009
Hi — I’ve read the ’space cynics’ blogs for a while, and also listened to your arguments on the Space Show. I think that there is much truth in your arguments, and that the new space people need a reality check. You detail well what we should NOT expect from the space program in the near future.
However, once one has accepted this, where do we go from here? The subtext to much of your writing seems to be;
1. To give up on space entirely, especially human space, and do something else.
2. To pour scorn on those poor fools who refuse to do (1).
You’re very good at telling us what is not plausible, but what SHOULD we do? What IS realistic? Is space a lost cause, forever? Is that what you’re saying?
I think that you should write a little more about the *positive* action people should take, even if this means giving up on human space and concentrating on something else. Endless negativity just pisses people off eventually, even those of us (like me) who are sympathetic to your arguments….
Puzzled, Matt

The Old Space Cadet replied to Matt and his reply can be found at the top right of the Space Cynics page using the tab “old space cadet’s view.”

The Old Space Cadet, Dr. John Jurist, was then the guest on Sunday’s Space Show program (see the direct URL to the program above) where he discussed his posting and a comprehensive reply to Matt’s good question. Our show today is described as follows:

Dr. John Jurist returned to The Space Show to offer a response to a Space Cynics comment posted on the Space Cynics blog on April 28, 2009 by Matt Colborn. Matt asked what the positive action people should take regarding pushing towards our becoming spacefaring. Dr. Jurist responded to Matt’s question and you can read his response at https://spacecynic.wordpress.com/old-space-cadets-view/ . Our discussion proved stimulating and challenging as listeners not only asked questions about the Jurist action plan/view, but they also wanted a good definition of NewSpace, wondered why the term exists at all, and suggested other terms to represent space development activities. One caller, Thalia, asked what the NewSpace dogma was. You will want to hear how both Dr. Jurist and I answered that one! Dr. Jurist offered concrete suggestions ranging from stopping several negative and personal attacks on people who put forth different views, analysis, or bring different perspectives to the table. We also talked about the possible differences between NewSpace advocates and NewSpace businessmen and businesswomen. This is an important discussion you will want to hear. One of our callers, Jack, an economics student in Texas, talked about markets, the killer application for human spaceflight, and the economics of the launch rate. Don’t miss this discussion, it’s a good one. One listener asked Dr. Jurist for a reasonable test by a NewSpace participant regarding putting forth a positive impression with accurate rhetoric of say a particular project. One idea put forth by John was to more openly discuss issues by submitting papers to reviewed conferences and mixing it up idea-wise with peers that may not always be part of the church choir for NewSpace. I urge you to read the full article written by Dr. Jurist on Space Cynics at the URL above. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Jurist, please post them in the comments section after John’s Cynic’s article. Any comments or questions sent to me here at The Space Show will be posted on Cynics on the Old Space Cadet tab as I am asking you to do.

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1. Matt Colborn - June 8, 2009

hi —

Wow, never thought I’d get this level of a response! Firstly, many thanks to everyone who have obviously thought about my comment seriously.

I’ve read through ‘old space cadet’s’ piece, and will consult the rest of the material soon (it busy at mo).

Some thoughts;

1. I agree about the name calling, lack of respect bit completely. I’ve been involved/lurked on a number of internet sessions on different topics, and the one thing that they have in common is that when the name calling starts, you are in a ‘dialogue of the deaf’ and thus wasting one’s time. At the same time, maybe this signals the need for a more orderly form of forum (maybe, gasp, face-to-face) where people work through their differences and come up with coherent plans rather than just slagging each other off. (Please forgive me if this already exists, as I’m a relative outsider to the Newspace scene. (My interest in space stems largely from astronomical/space art in the UK).)

2. There seems to be little consensus about just what constitutes realistic steps and what do not. This is probably a hard issue to judge in general. What *is* realistic in a given time frame? Depends on resources available and a lot on collective will. For instance, the US made it to the Moon in less than ten years because the political will existed, but then remained stuck in low Earth orbit for the next four decades because the said will evaporated. One might guess that the situation will remain the same — but see Taleb’s ‘black swan’ argument, which suggests that unexpected events can radically change the historical course. ‘Wild cards’ can work for and against space settlement. All I’m saying is that projections about what is realistic are harder than is appreciated, even if tech issues are solved (which they are often not).

Anyway, thanks again for your very significant responses, and I will msg again after I’ve consulted the rest of the material!

Matt.


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