Finally here I am with TDF 2/2001! This number was planned for April, but we have realized that, in order to make things professional, as we have at our disposal only a budget of... voluntary hours, more solar time was necessary. You will judge from the result if it was worth waiting for (for you) and working on (for us).
As you will see, we are focusing more and more on two, or a maximum of three central topics, around which each time, we collect articles and interviews from our reporters and correspondents. Obviously a quarterly magazine (probably a four-month one) cannot have a real-time edge, but it unavoidably assumes a character of reflection, though taking cues from news of topical subjects.
As we are going online the fatidical date of July 20th is coming, the date of the G8 summit in Genova, and the previewed contest, with the anti-globalization movement. I can't get away from expressing some thoughts about it.
I start by saying that I do not have much sympathy for the powerful people who will meet in Genova, nor do I trust their good will to find true solutions to the problems of terrestrial people: good purposes are always and regularly balanced by the short-sighted and lame interests of the ones who fear to lose wealth and power if others acquire wealth and power.
Firstly we owe consideration to the ineluctability of protest movements for this importance. Nobody invites people to get information, to discuss and to vote on the great issues of development of human civilization, on how assuring the increase of the economy and of the markets, to which technological and scientific research gives priority. Since people, at least in the post-industrial world, perceive such problems acutely, the will to express oneself and to participate in decisions finds a way of emerging, surely a conflicting way too, if institutions and other parties fail to provide suitable channels.
The second consideration, also due, regards the political smallness of this movement, the vagueness and also the wrongness of its most important keywords. What meaning can it have, in fact, to oppose globalization? Globalization has been happening for tens of years, and through its channels the multinationals move easily. Politics were expressed only domestically, while the economies (of the powerful) float absolutely free and unopposed (and not just for the last twenty-four hours) on a planetary level.
Today, thanks to the Internet (a true supporter of globalization), political debate can get free development among all terrestrials. Perpetuating the old fable of the good wild sage, some would like to make us believe that pre-industrial societies were better, in their relative isolation. Nothing could be more false and anti-historical: only industrial development has allowed the civil and moral increase that has happened in some areas of the planet, though we have also paid the price of alienation and exploitation. In such areas conflicts are not concluded, generally, with the slaughter of the losers, in the pre-industrial areas instead this still seems to be the norm. With multinationals it is possible to reason (look at the Nike cases and many others), however with feudal local members and mafia squires, no discussion is possible.
The electronic age - following the industrial age - creates interfaces between societies and various social terrestrial subsets, the information circulates much more freely, the age of total information begins, and no "movement" could stop this process, even if it was an ethical goal (and it is not). What do the people of Seattle ask for? To erect frontiers everywere? To stop the dissemination of the Internet? To prevent free development of an industrial and electronic market in pre-industrial areas? Do they prefer to see children beg, to prostitute themselves and to commit crimes in the streets rather than to produce footballs? The anti-historical absurdity of such mots d'ordre is evident. I am sorry for the supporters of the movement - to whom goes however my sympathy because they move and engage for an ideal, even if confusedly, humanist and humanitarian - but I am afraid that the more morally correct goals are nearly opposite to their ones. In the meantime they should realize that their movement, once again (like the movements of the end of the past century), still involve, only, persons of the post-industrial world, and not of the pre-industrial areas. They should ask themselves why. Because those terrestrials (inhabiting the pre-industrial world) want industrialization and the increase of the western economy also in their countries: they see it as an opportunity, not as a disaster, and they are not wrong. All the politics of delay perpetrated up to now, while damaging the pre-industrial populations, has been possible, not thanks to the freedom of movement of the multinationals, but to the commercial ignorance in which those people are (guiltily) kept.
What we should demand is that the enormous profits that up to now have been accumulated on the commercial ignorance of pre-industrial terrestrials are now ploughed back in order to disseminate at the maximum level, information and education for all terrestrials.
SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES EVERYWERE, ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION EVERYWERE, MICRO-CREDIT BANKS EVERYWHERE: THESE ARE THE TRUE GOALS!
The above is widely shareable, from anyone who takes care of a true freedom of market and enterprise, and can really favour free development of global markets. Gentlemen having in your hands the economic power, your "godsend" is not finished, it is only requested that you invest in the future of all our children: accept today to earn only what's right from the work of terrestrials, and think what a gigantic market it could be in twenty or thirty years, when generations, newly sent to school, will grow in currently pre-industrial areas! Then you will repay yourselves, with interest, and in the meantime you will surely not fall into misery!
Back to TDF 2/2001, this time there are three central topics.
In "Shuttles forever?" we make a point on the politics of NASA (who canceled the X33 project, and plan to use the shuttle fleet for another 20 years) and on the effective opening of the space frontier, based on the possibilities of realization of a fully reusable launcher (RLV).
"The gold of the Moon" faces the extremely topical energy problem, also relating to the current energy crisis in the US, and to which the Bush administration seems to give obsolete answers, very much below (in every sense!) the technological possibilities of that country.
On the philosophical theme we begin to analyze the differences between Catholicism (the philosophy of a prize for sacrifice, prevailing in Latin populations) and Protestantism (the philosophy of a prize for success, prevailing in Anglo-Saxon societies). Moreover we try to understand how the two different philosophical setups influence social behavior, and also ideological and political guidelines.
Furthermore, You will find: comments on the recent political elections in Italy; the political program that we would like (and that does not exist), on which points you can express your votes and comments; some ideas to begin a discussion on 8 x 1000 of the tax incomes to a fund for scientific research; other articles on science and space matter, and several links to articles on sites of friends of ours, for purpose and mission.
[AA - TDF 2/2001 - 30/06/2001]