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Rand Simberg, Tuesday, 5-15-12 May 16, 2012

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Rand Simberg, Tuesday, 5-15-12


Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  Space Frontier property rights and risk aversion.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed back Rand Simberg to discuss his research paper on space property rights, Homesteading the Final Frontier (http://cei.org/sites/default/files/Rand%20Simberg%20-%20Homesteading%20the%20Final%20Frontier.pdf).  In the second part of the program, we discussed his next project focusing on our being too risk averse.  Our property rights discussion addressed many areas including land claims, the Outer Space Treaty, the Moon Treaty, English Common Law, royalty payments, commercial space development & enhancement, government regulation, marketable space real estate, both the Antarctica & Arctic models,  & the Law of the Sea Treaty.  Issues about launch country liability/responsibility were discussed & several listeners commented to Rand on his ideas, both for & con.  I also strongly recommend you read his paper per the URL above as he does a good job of laying out his idea and why he believes it to be both viable and important.

In the last segment, we switched topics to his newest project dealing with risk aversion.  He said the working title of his new project would be “We Are Not Killing Enough People.”  When I questioned him about the wisdom of such an inflammatory title, he said it was meant to get attention.  Listen to the discussion and see what you think.  Rand & listeners cited many examples of what is believed to be excessive regulation that either already does or has the potential to limit our choices as to what we can and cannot do.  I also cited examples from my own life about choosing risky things to do without having to be concerned about government regulations at the time.  But Rand kept the topic focused on space as much as possible & put forth a strong case for individual choice as long as it does not impact third parties & he made a strong connection with choice to economic growth, development, & resource expansion/utilization.  He also talked about the need to be free to fail and that frontiers have never been settled throughout history without the loss of life.  Near the end of the program, one listener said to Rand that “life without risk is a fantasy.”  Our congress was a big part of the focus of the discussion & here, Rand suggested that since most in Congress don’t care that much about space & most people don’t either, that when we write to our representatives, our letters have more impact than usual because they so seldom here from space supporters other than those in the industry lobbying for this or that policy.  Rand received lots of agreement on his risk conclusions & his idea that more people need to die to develop the frontier, but he also got strong opposition to his ideas.  Bill was one who opposed Rand’s ideas from a marketing & adverse publicity perspective.  Jim suggested that Rand & others needed to convince the public & Congress that space was a frontier and that it was actually worth dying for in settling/taming it.  For the most part, there was strong support for being less risk averse & for settling & economically developing the space frontier.  When Rand’s new project is published, I will be sure to call your attention to it so you can read & evaluate it for yourself.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Rand can be contacted through his own blog, Transterrestrial Musings at www.transterrestrial.com.  You can also comment on his Space Show appearance on his blog in addition to our blog.