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Official Armadillo Q&A thread

Posted by: John Carmack - Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:01 am
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Official Armadillo Q&A thread 
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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:36 pm
Darn!! (or words like that)

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:13 am
If you kill someone, you should be punished severely - whether or not it was an "accident". The fact is, if you don't feel that you can do something safely, you have no business doing it. Responsibility doesn't just mean doing something in a responsible manner, but realizing your limits.
It is incredibly easy to kill people, even many people, if you really set your mind to it. Regulations will not change that. Regulations simply put the responsibility to know your limits on the government, not on yourself, where the responsibility truly lies.

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:48 am
SuperShuki wrote:
If you kill someone, you should be punished severely - whether or not it was an "accident". The fact is, if you don't feel that you can do something safely, you have no business doing it. Responsibility doesn't just mean doing something in a responsible manner, but realizing your limits.
It is incredibly easy to kill people, even many people, if you really set your mind to it. Regulations will not change that. Regulations simply put the responsibility to know your limits on the government, not on yourself, where the responsibility truly lies.


Almost no-one actually knows their limits (hence we have businesses failing, cars crashing etc). So there needs to be an external agency to ensure that some limits are maintained. No point in punishment AFTER you've dropped 5 tons of propellant and LOx in the middle of Jerusalem.


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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:59 am
JamesHughes wrote:
SuperShuki wrote:
If you kill someone, you should be punished severely - whether or not it was an "accident". The fact is, if you don't feel that you can do something safely, you have no business doing it. Responsibility doesn't just mean doing something in a responsible manner, but realizing your limits.
It is incredibly easy to kill people, even many people, if you really set your mind to it. Regulations will not change that. Regulations simply put the responsibility to know your limits on the government, not on yourself, where the responsibility truly lies.


Almost no-one actually knows their limits (hence we have businesses failing, cars crashing etc). So there needs to be an external agency to ensure that some limits are maintained. No point in punishment AFTER you've dropped 5 tons of propellant and LOx in the middle of Jerusalem.


You see - all these things have to do with morality. If you ignore the effects of morality on space, you are ignoring a very important aspect that is, in and of itself, a part of how space is funded and how it should be dealt with.

The point of punishment isn't to prevent damage - people have free will, and the only way to prevent damage that way is to lock people up their whole lives, or even better, kill them. The fact is, we are all human, and there is no way of completely preventing us from doing the wrong thing all the time, through punishment. The only way of doing that is to make people responsible for their actions, and that is the only purpose of punishment.

The purpose of punishment is to condemn people's actions publicly, and shame their actions (as opposed to the people themselves) publicly, thereby allowing people to not have the bad actions affect them, and thereby allow them the free will to choose between good and evil. Also, by allowing them to take responsibility for the negative effects of their actions, it frees the sinner from his or her guilt, and allows them to take their place in society again, as a respected, free individual. That is why the punishment must exactly fit the crime - no more, and no less.

By the way, how would an external agency, full of bureaucrats whose performance is not directly related, if at all related, to their profits, going to not only know better than you your limitations, but have the will to work hard to decide exactly what regulations should be imposed, and the humility, discretion, and saintliness, not to use that power for their own purposes?

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:24 pm
That all sounds nice, but I still do not want the guy next door creating his own rocket and have it come crashing thru my roof at terminal velocity because his shute didn't deploy properly. (sorry AA) It would be nice if we could all live in a world where every one did the right thing, but we don't, so we need regulations. It is just unfortunate that we have to deal with a system that didn't have to be so stupid.


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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:52 pm
stracer wrote:
That all sounds nice, but I still do not want the guy next door creating his own rocket and have it come crashing thru my roof at terminal velocity because his shute didn't deploy properly. (sorry AA) It would be nice if we could all live in a world where every one did the right thing, but we don't, so we need regulations. It is just unfortunate that we have to deal with a system that didn't have to be so stupid.


And in this wonderful world of regulations, everybody does the right thing? Of course, there will always be danger, with or without regulations. But the best way to minimize that danger is to place the responsibility on those who should be responsible, not on others.
Of course, I guess it also depends on how you define "regulation".

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:51 am
SuperShuki wrote:
And in this wonderful world of regulations, everybody does the right thing? Of course, there will always be danger, with or without regulations. But the best way to minimize that danger is to place the responsibility on those who should be responsible, not on others.
Of course, I guess it also depends on how you define "regulation".


In our wonderful world of regulations most people are idiots.
The regulations are there to stop them from hurting others.

People can't build a car of their own from junk just put it on the highway.

People can't build a rocket or an explosive device and try it out.

People can't start broadcasting all over the radio spectrum, disturbing essential services.

People can't sell medicine that wasn't properly tested.

People can't make their own guns (above a certain level of lethality)

Technically, people *can* do all these, and some do, but then they are arrested and punished, hopefully *before* they kill someone with their stupidity/malice.
It's not about shame, it's about trying to prevent danger.

You can build a car of your own. You can build a rocket. You can develop medicine. You can do amateur radio. All you need is follow the procedures and receive the permits from the responsible agency.

Sure, the agency procedures are often stupid and bureaucratic, but the alternative is complete chaos.

(Off topic, but writing the list I noticed how the American freedom to buy and own a gun for no particular reason seems to contradict the public safety vs personal freedom policy)


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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:01 am
SuperShuki wrote:
JamesHughes wrote:
SuperShuki wrote:
If you kill someone, you should be punished severely - whether or not it was an "accident". The fact is, if you don't feel that you can do something safely, you have no business doing it. Responsibility doesn't just mean doing something in a responsible manner, but realizing your limits.
It is incredibly easy to kill people, even many people, if you really set your mind to it. Regulations will not change that. Regulations simply put the responsibility to know your limits on the government, not on yourself, where the responsibility truly lies.


Almost no-one actually knows their limits (hence we have businesses failing, cars crashing etc). So there needs to be an external agency to ensure that some limits are maintained. No point in punishment AFTER you've dropped 5 tons of propellant and LOx in the middle of Jerusalem.


You see - all these things have to do with morality. If you ignore the effects of morality on space, you are ignoring a very important aspect that is, in and of itself, a part of how space is funded and how it should be dealt with.

The point of punishment isn't to prevent damage - people have free will, and the only way to prevent damage that way is to lock people up their whole lives, or even better, kill them. The fact is, we are all human, and there is no way of completely preventing us from doing the wrong thing all the time, through punishment. The only way of doing that is to make people responsible for their actions, and that is the only purpose of punishment.

The purpose of punishment is to condemn people's actions publicly, and shame their actions (as opposed to the people themselves) publicly, thereby allowing people to not have the bad actions affect them, and thereby allow them the free will to choose between good and evil. Also, by allowing them to take responsibility for the negative effects of their actions, it frees the sinner from his or her guilt, and allows them to take their place in society again, as a respected, free individual. That is why the punishment must exactly fit the crime - no more, and no less.

By the way, how would an external agency, full of bureaucrats whose performance is not directly related, if at all related, to their profits, going to not only know better than you your limitations, but have the will to work hard to decide exactly what regulations should be imposed, and the humility, discretion, and saintliness, not to use that power for their own purposes?


Sorry, but much of that post, to me, is complete nonsense.


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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:20 am
This whole discussion should be in the spaceflight cafe, and not on the Armadillo forum, so if an admin could move the posts, it would be great. I didn't bring up the subject of regulations, by the way . . .

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Sorry, but much of that post, to me, is complete nonsense.


That's fine with me - it's good that you have your own opinion. I'd be happy to hear why you hold that opinion - and I'm happy to show you why you are wrong. :D

Quote:
Technically, people *can* do all these, and some do, but then they are arrested and punished, hopefully *before* they kill someone with their stupidity/malice.
It's not about shame, it's about trying to prevent danger.


That's a nice theory, but the fact is, despite your hope that they will be arrested before they murder someone, if someone is going to murder someone, they really don't care whether or not they are going to be arrested for a much lesser crime - violating a regulation.

The flip side of this, is that people who wouldn't knowingly break a regulation, are responsible enough to make sure that they won't harm other people. Do you really think that John Carmack, or Masten, or Elon Musk, are so incompetent that they need someone else to tell them how to operate a rocket safely? These people are experts at what they do - and they don't need someone else babysitting them.

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:28 am
SuperShuki wrote:
Do you really think that John Carmack, or Masten, or Elon Musk, are so incompetent that they need someone else to tell them how to operate a rocket safely? These people are experts at what they do - and they don't need someone else babysitting them.


This is correct.
Responsible people are careful and try not to hurt others. Without the regulations they would be using their judgement of danger, and their safety might be be less than those dictated by the regulations, but still perfectly adequate.

There are also irresponsible or responsible but mistaken people.
They may think that what they are doing is perfectly safe, while endangering themselves or others. The point of regulation is to force them to submit to (maybe too) safe practices, whether they agree with them or not. Better be safe than sorry.

If someone is determined to murder someone - either by shooting a gun or dropping a rocket on a populated area - no regulation nor law can stop that.


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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:55 pm
Quote:
There are also irresponsible or responsible but mistaken people.
They may think that what they are doing is perfectly safe, while endangering themselves or others. The point of regulation is to force them to submit to (maybe too) safe practices, whether they agree with them or not. Better be safe than sorry.


First of all, if someone isn't capable of knowing when they are going into an area that they aren't competent, and as a result, putting other people in danger, it is their responsibility not to do it. Responsibility isn't just knowing how to do something safely; it is knowing not to do something that you can't do safely.

Second, when that responsibility is placed on other people (government beurocrats), people generally stop being responsible for it - after all, if someone gets killed, it must be because there wasn't the right regulation, and not because the people involved didn't take responsibility.

Third, there is the issue of freedom. It is incredibly easy to grow government, and incredibly hard to decrease it. A regulation's cost isn't just the people it affects directly, but the concurrent decrease in the ability of people to be free.

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:35 pm
Please take this "regulators are bad, no they're not" discussion to any of a wide variety of general politics discussion boards, as it has very little to do with Armadillo specifically anymore.


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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:46 am
Quote:
Please take this "regulators are bad, no they're not" discussion to any of a wide variety of general politics discussion boards, as it has very little to do with Armadillo specifically anymore.


Good point. Except that I asked already if a moderator could move this discussion to the spaceflight cafe. And I didn't bring up the subject of regulation. And this whole government/private sector discussion is crucial to space, and the burgeoning new space industry cannot be talked about without dealing with the government/private sector issue.

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:22 pm
Okay, so anyone wishing to continue that discussion, please start a new thread over in the Perception, Barriers and Regulation forum where it belongs. This discussion here was sparked by the announcement that AA had obtained a license for a launch. I think we've discussed the AA and licensing, so let's move on to the launch.

AA have launched a couple of high-altitude rockets now, resulting in one partially successful recovery and one video of a rocket coming down as fast as it went up. Now they're going to launch another, bigger rocket. From the short term entertainment point of view, spectacular failure would be fantastic of course :-) - as long as enough footage survives - but I hope that they nail it this time around. Armadillo could really use a spectacular success, and in my opinion they deserve one as well after all the hard work.

Still, will they make it to 100 km? Down again safely? Opinions?

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Post Re: Official Armadillo Q&A thread   Posted on: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:57 pm
Lourens wrote:

Still, will they make it to 100 km? Down again safely? Opinions?



Yes.

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