Saturday, June 23, 2012

THIRTY-FIVE: slowage

I got slowed down by life the universe and everything. I lost my steam that made me spam space.com or make this blog.

I feel like my usual normal lazy self. Woohoo!

So now with my enthusiasm out of the way I can look at things more level headed.

Freespaceships is never going to work.

I realised that if I can't sell myself the idea and make myself to put 1 dollar/day away for this cause, I will never be able to convince anybody else. At the moment I have a financial shortage, which I assume happens to everybody who spends more than what they can actually afford. This is the main reason why I cant make myself start putting money away for this. I keep thinking once this period is over I will start doing it. But what if it will never be over? What if I will always find something else to spend money on?

And if that is the case with me who really would love to go, and who can clearly see the long term importance and advantages of going, then there is no way large chunks of the population can be convinced to voluntarily give up their money for such a cause.

Then there are other issues like competition.

We would have to compete with other charities of all sorts, then also with the normal market of all sorts of shit people want to buy. How could we compete with temptation that is right in front of people? And I definitely don't want to compete for money that they would spend on usual charities but that is what will happen because people probably have some sort of limit of how much they feel is a right amount to give away per year.

I myself suck at giving away money. I do it too easy if asked on the street even when I know I am being scammed. They probably know this because I keep being asked for coins all the time. :)

But when it's up to this cause I still haven't managed to put more financial commitment to it than buying a domain name for a year.

Then there are legal issues like ITAR . If we wanted to do open source hardware development that might be a major issue when governments like the US consider such projects a safety risk.

I have been looking at legal organisation types to see how our organisation would fit into the big picture of the corporate world. It seems a not for profit organisation would be the best choice. It basically leverages external law systems to govern the internal operation. The most important bit is the profits disappearing in pockets of individuals. By law a not for profit has to spend its profit on itself and its own operations, so the profits will always stay within the organisation to further our cause.

So that is why it sounds good to me. But I have no further insight into such things because I am not well versed in law or just business in general. I can cut trees, and even that not very well. :)

The obvious advantage of starting it up as early as possible is probably the trust factor. If you are a legally registered organisation people will take you more seriously than if you were just a group of people who want to do something. On the other hand it does take a lot of work to set one up, and it also needs a lot of stuff written down and figured out.

On that website there were more resources to go through and guidelines to follow. Here is the simple list I already posted as a comment in the business plan section, I will add some notes to each point to share where I am at at the moment.

A set of goals and strategies:

I keep thinking about goals. I wanted to start out with the lunar x prize, but then I thought the N-prize would be cheaper to have a go at. But at the same time I am thinking there are plenty of people doing all that, so why not do something else. So I thought maybe we should start working  on ISRU, and let others sort out how to get up there. Maybe we should do all of them. My mind is too easily distracted by cool things I see. I have also been thinking of focusing on trying to organise the collective voluntary involvement of people across the globe into something clearer. So anybody who wants to get into the field can easily find their spot. This all means we don't really have a set goal yet. I kind of find it hard to find a goal for an organisation that was supposed to have millions to figure out goals. I guess our first goal is to build the organisation to find goals.

A management committee:
Well we have me, and people who talked to me so far. :) That is my friends, family, colleagues, and random people here on the internet who were kind enough to interact instead of ignoring. I would love to set up a system that has a management committee that is as numerous as the members of the system. I don't want to limit the "thinking" to a handful of brains when we could have millions. I know there is a controversy between having a small expert board or a crowd making a decision.


A constitution:
I have read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress a while ago, and since then I think I am a fan of anarchy. So in the spirit of that we shouldn't need a consitution, however it seems it makes sense to write down something like a "pirate code" that is used as a guideline to follow rather than a set law. The problem with set laws is that they are expensive to keep track of, expensive to abide by, and can still be changed anyway to fit the needs of the people on the top, or to please the people on the bottom.
We still will have to abide by the law of the lands we operate on however, so this means we probably still will have to write down a constitution. Our hands are tied down here. Our freedom lies above. :)

But just think for a second about all the resources we spend on making sure we interact in an orderly fashion. If we just did it all without the need for laws, we could save a whole load of man hours, and other resources for more useful activities like figuring out how to build an antimatter factory in a close solar orbit for our antimatter rockets to go to other stars. 

A computer:

Well I have one. Anybody who is reading this has one, or can access one. This is least of our concern. :)

An accounting system:
This is one of the hard ones. Is it possible to do open source accounting? How?
For starters I was thinking of a program that would go check the online account balance and transactions and then just posted it online for anybody to see. This is on short term that we could implement to help anybody see into the money side of things. Security is a major issue, so I don't know how to actually implement it apart from somebody checking and then updating a webpage.

In my head the large system would simply connect sources of funds and other kinds of resources with people who can use those funds/resources to do actual work. So accounting in our case would mean more than just seeing where money comes from and where it goes. We should probably monitor other resources like man hours, electricity, processing time etc. But overall I am really interested to see actual figures on the world wide voluntary efforts/resources spent on space related activities.

So the actual large scale system would monitor the movement of money from every individual involved to every organisation/company involved, and then would hopefull allow for anybody to see where it got spent within those organisations. That depends on how open these organisations are about their internal operation.

I imagined a profile system would allow for displaying such information, and a database would allow for closer analysis and response to changes. For instance if we think that  "in orbit food production systems"  research is underfunded, we can start campaigns to get people send some of their money that way. 

A budget:
Very hard to do when you don't have a set goal and also a plan to reach that goal. But it is easy once other kinks are worked out.

A risk management plan:
This is an interesting one, I have no idea what it entails. Risk of what? Failing? Somebody getting hurt?

A fundraising plan:
This is also something hard to work out without a proper goal and plan to reach said goal. I guess I am already doing activities regarding this with my blog here. I have the new poll up that is to guage how much people would be willing to spend on a space program of their own. And I guess we are already trying to get the word out there and pull people in. I suck at it but it is still happening. :)

It actually surprised me that the first person to fill out the poll after me actually chose the "more than that" option, which means they would be able to contribute more than 1 dollar a day. I never expected that. :) Anyway I hope more people will fill it out by the timer runs out, I am really interested in what you gals and guys think about all this.

So this was my rant for the week, it had a little bit of everything in it. To sum it up, I have lost steam, yet I still want to keep pushing for this. I am slowly looking through things, and I am still trying to work things out in my head. I am still quite unsuccessful at forming an actual product out of all this crap in my head, but hopefully I will get there in a year or so.



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