The Director’s Cut

When I wrote The Path Not Taken, over four years ago, for The New Atlantis, the original draft had to be cut to meet page-count requirements on the dead-tree edition (and it was also edited somewhat for style and content). I’ve decided to put the original, unedited draft on line for those interested, because it made some points that ended up on the cutting-room floor in the published piece, particularly regarding vehicle reliability.

It’s an even longer read now than the published one, but enjoy. Or not.

6 thoughts on “The Director’s Cut”

  1. Rand,

    Thanks for putting this out – when you told me a while back that the original was longer, I was very interested in reading it.

  2. “Renegotiate or withdraw from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty…”

    I think I must be the only person on the planet who sees the OST as a incredibly beneficial limit on the reach of Earth governments, an outcome that is far superior to any alternatives I can think of.

    I see clear parallels between the OST topic and the launch topic: an excruciatingly slow crawl towards a price that matters vs. a hasty sprint that discards or compromises most if not all lasting benefits.

  3. Rand – having disagreed with you repeatedly on a number of points, I feel compelled to acknowledge when I do agree with you.

    Your essay “The Path Not Taken” is brilliant and directly on point. It’s well-written and reflects the kind of thinking that brought me to this site.

    Habitat Hermit – The OST is fundamentally flawed. Once humans begin traveling to asteroids and/or the Moon in any number, they are going to want to claim territory. I suspect that, in the short term, workarounds will be found, but sooner or later we’ll need to put flags on territory.

  4. Chris Gerrib nothing stops them from claiming territory as long as they don’t do it on behalf of any Earth government; they’ll have to be their own sovereigns with all that entails.

    Fact is all the “bad” parts would be there even if there was no OST, the only thing the OST does is invite (but only invite, one can’t ask for more as the decisions are up to those who go) the good parts (freedom, independence, sovereignty, self-reliance and so on).

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