Do you ever wonder what it is like to do this? Consider the interaction of peer grouping, territoriality, and a fringe person's handiworks

Science Fiction writers had stimulated others' imagination, resulting in real action in the physical world. Rival nations saw the Earth's moon as a potential base from which to launch missiles at the other. The resulting race to the Moon was a tense and sometimes glorious one, stimulating some of the best skills of a people; fame and fortunes made by individuals and corporations in the process. The Moon was then declared off-limits for missile launch platforms, and they all went back home, problem solved, game over. But dreamers, adventurers, wealthy corporations, still felt the echoes of the wealth, power and glory of the space race, and sought more. Struggling to maintain the space technology expertise level, commercial ventures used the reaction engine launch technology to put small communication and navigation satellites into Earth orbit, a couple of tiny space stations, scientific instruments sent to curiously look further out into space, and also nations put cameras into space to fearfully peer at the doings of their supposed rivals.

Then someone comes along, a fringe person almost unknown (a very unwelcome somewhat paranoid almost-old man by then... yes, me) who claims he knows how the skills of a world could be crafted into a way to expand civilization mightily into Earth orbit in the near future, hopefully quickly enough to save humanity from its own resource consumption and civilization's waste products, and to enable saving the Earth's ecosystem from their terminal entropic wastage. The powerful peer groups who had established control over the space endeavor territory, character assassinated and hid the old man's ravings from the world, methodically cutting off his contacts and preventing new ones (especially with potentially mate-able women) from being formed, while they covertly learned all they could from his handiwork, preparing to control this potentially great new game field on which for them to continue to irresponsibly powerfully romp; instead of responsibly tending to the needs of an expanding human civilization and of the wonderfuly diverse fragile ecosystem of life upon which they unwittingly depend.

How dare a non-college graduate pretend these things can be done?!

Peer group members, whose skills and competancy have been honed and refined to the level of expertise in a field through the process of competitive drive to excel over others, polishing up each other's skills by rubbing against peers while each striving to do better than the others, compulsively ever ready to aggress against another yet by the rules;

Territories, not just territorial areas of ground on the Earth's surface, but also territories of intellectual effort, territories of licensed business, territories of almost any endeavor, as established by the peer groups which establish themselves to operate within them;

And a fringe person, (yes, me again) whose potentially very pivitol hobby-created technological conceptual design product, result of a lifetime of fascination with science and technlogy and imaginative re-assembly into new forms of potential new uses, resulting in a perhaps final grand handiwork, yet a mere college dropout struggling to pay bills by working as an electronic technician, who has little upsmanship skills of rivalry, has slowly been surrounded by the territory-establishing process of rivalry-trained peer group members who resent the possibility of Rocket Scientists being replaced by mere Civil Engineers. Not a popular thing to do! Guess what happens!

This is the scenario in which I now discover myself. This is what it is like. Being in the uncomfortable, somewhat dangerous, and very unpopular position of the fringe person who has assembled a potentially extremely valuable thing: a conceptual design that could change the course of history, for better or for worse, depending on the skill, resources, and wisdom of the designers and of the doers.

Jim Cline

on 2000 09 24

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