December 19, 2017 at 3:53 am by Frank White
My friend and colleague Dylan Taylor wants us to adopt a different way of thinking about space exploration and development. Instead of "Old Space" and "New Space," he suggests we talk about "Goodspace." (1)
To state it simply, Dylan points out that "Old Space" companies can do good things and "New Space" companies can do bad things. So we should look at what happens in outer space the way we look at what happens on Earth: is it good or bad, for humanity and for the environment?
Thus, Dylan's concern is not Old Space and New Space per se, but all false dichotomies that are neither relevant nor essential. In his essay, he says:
"I would like to offer a new term to describe what I do think is relevant and essential, 'Goodspace.'
It represents a way of thinking about the world and humanity. Do you believe that the world is inherently cruel, people are selfish and resources fixed and scarce? Or do you believe that the best of humanity thrives on collaboration, that our best days as a species lie ahead of us, and that we can grow the pie for the benefit of everyone?" (2)
Ultimately, ways of thinking shape ways of acting. Goodspace is an optimistic perspective that we can carry outward into the solar system as we occupy a vastly larger ecosystem than humanity has known in the past. It is an exciting opportunity, but one we can fail to use effectively if we have the wrong worldview.
In Dylan's words:
"Going forward, I would encourage all of us to think of space, not in terms of old and new, big and small, government and commercial. Think of it in terms of mentality. Is it optimistic? Is it visionary for what our potential as a species can be? Is it Goodspace? I believe this is the prism we should evaluate space activities through and this should be the standard we hold ourselves to in terms of our personal allocation of time and resources." (3)
I couldn't agree more. Thank you, Dylan.
(1) Unpublished essay shared with the author, 2017.
Copyright, Frank White, 2017, All Rights Reserved