A Stream in the Desert:

"May Adonai bless you and protect you! May Adonai deal kindly and graciously with you! May Adonai lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace!" (Torah, Numbers 6:24-26) And Jesus said, "Allow the little children to come unto me. Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say unto you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a little child does, you shall not enter therein." (New Testament, Mark 10:14-16)

Sojourning at an Oasis Paradise

My purpose for living this life, and for writing this blog, is to understand the faith that links us to God. I wish to explore and discuss the reality at the heart of all of the world's religions. This is an immense task, but I know that God also has faith in us, trusting that we do desire the truth, as well as freedom, love and wisdom. Thus, as always, He meets us halfway. Even as God has given us individual souls, so we must each of us trace out an individual pathway to God. Whether we reside in the cities of orthodox religion, or wend our solitary ways through the barren wastelands, God watches over us and offers us guidance and sustenance for the journey.

Most of what you will see here is the result of extensive personal study, combined with some careful speculation. Occasionally, I may simply offer some Scripture or an inspirational text. I am a wide reader, and the connection of some topics and ideas to matters of faith and religion may not seem immediately obvious, but perhaps I may spell it out in the end... or maybe, you will decide that it was just a tangent. Anyway, I hope that you will find my meanderings to be spiritually enlightening, intellectually stimulating, or at least somewhat entertaining.

In the coming weeks and months, I intend to transcribe a series of essays that I wrote about 20 years ago in the hope that I might get them published. They represent the nucleus of my spiritual life and the focal point around which my wanderings revolve like an electron in an atom. I hope that they might eventually serve as a springboard for discussions about the common spiritual heritage of humanity. May we come together and embrace each other in peace.

Monday, February 18, 2019

What can we do with "Outer Space"? - Part One

Free Floating Space Colonies

If you think about it, there are several obvious drawbacks to putting your colonial venture on the surface of a large body in space.

1. gravity wells raise launch costs.
2. resource maps are arbitrary.
3. some locations lack value.
4. you don't choose your neighbors.
5. your rivals may locate nearby.
6. the light level and period is fixed.
7. you can't move it around.
8. political toleration is enforced.
9. social experiment is discouraged.
10. local ecology is determined.
11. population limits are inevitable.
12. living space isn't expandable.
13. crime & conflict is unavoidable.
14. terraforming is a challenge.

Just about every one of those problems can be avoided by building a rotating habitat, of which there can be many designs and shapes. It can always be argued that "bigger is better," of course, but that is just a factor of the tensile strength of the material used in construction. If we can learn to manufacture unlimited amounts of graphene sheets and buckytube threads, a cylindrical habitat with a diameter of 1000 kilometers becomes possible, and its length is mostly just a preference. Such a construct would contain a whole continent's worth of territory, to be mapped into land and sea as you will, and be terraformed into whatever ecologies you prefer. It could provide homes for a billion city dwellers, or a million farmers, or even be dedicated to parklands and ecological preserves - or any combination of those.

Of course, you don't have to necessarily build the largest construction possible, and even presently available materials can be used for habitats of respectable size. Steel can make a cylinder 5 or 6 miles across, and 30 miles long, for about 180 square miles of terrain, even if you leave half of it transparent to allow for sunlight. Imagine your own ideal population density. As many people as bees in a hive might not seem overcrowded, and that is enough to avoid any genetic bottleneck. (Note: you would not likely be living up there unless you have a job, which would guarantee your rent, and your eventual retirement.) But steel is not our best material. We could use titanium and kevlar, and make it 5-10 times bigger... and those are currently possible, not extrapolated potential stuff, like graphene and buckytube.

If your objections invoke the "insane" price tag to build such a thing, you might consider that the industrial production of modules for habitat construction may be one of the basic economic foundations of colonies on the Moon and Mars, and drive resource extraction from the asteroids. It will be far less expensive to establish a colony on the  Moon, and give them a few priority purposes, than to launch it all from Earth. And then the space habitats can have other beneficial purposes to profit Earth and the Moon, like solar power, spaceship assembly or materials refining. It quickly becomes less extravagant when you consider the economics of scaling it up by several factors of ten. And the goodwill of the world's citizens can be assumed if you are making it possible for them to participate in a future of abundance and peace.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

How to Live by Faith:

Part 1.
1. Choose Life.
2. Do not be afraid.
3. Extend kindness & mercy.
4. Respect everyone.
5. Share your best.
6. Travel light.
7. Pray without ceasing.
8. Listen to God.
9. Always forgive.
10. Trust in right & good endings.

Part 2.
11. Be not conformed to this world.
12. Work without grumbling.
13. Never lie, cheat or steal.
14. Teach peace and justice.
15. Gather with like-minded friends.
16. Keep attachments few & gentle.
17. Speak for those pushed aside.
18. Nurture Earth and its creatures.
19. Do not grieve your conscience.
20. Be a reflection of Heaven.

Isn't that enough?