#92 February 1996
Section 184.108.40.206.092.of the Artemis Data Book
[cf. MMM #91 DEC '95, p.6 "Personnel"]
Sometimes, when I'm musing about the mechanics of lunar settlement, I wonder if we can avoid the "lawless" element that was so much a part of Earthly frontiers. On Earth, while life on the frontier was not easy, one generally could live off the land in isolation from others. On the moon, the frontier physically is much more deadly. I would hope that this very real danger would cause a much more highly developed sence of teamwork, partnering, brotherhood, or, in a word, family amoung those that would dare to venture out from mother Earth.
The physical constraints of early lunar settlements will require a constant monitoring and vigilance by each team member of the others supporting technology to ensure survival. Most all endeavors, especially those related to "outside" will have to be two or more person team efforts for safety reasons. Hopefully a culture will develop from this where each member's behaviour is guided by a sensitivity and concern for the welfare of each member of the community at large. Crime, at least the personal, violent types of crime should be realitively rare. Not because of some rigid, police-state mentality, but because we recognize that we are individually weak against a powerful and hostile nature. Our only hope of survival is in viewing each other as part of ourselves and caring for each other as we care for our own flesh.
- David Graham
[cf. MMM #87 JUL '95 p.10, "The Brass Spittoon"]
[from a post ll/19/95 to firstname.lastname@example.org]
And at the Artemis Ireland reunions we can sit around the turf fire screen saver and sing old songs like The Rising of the Earth? And declare it a bohdran free zone?
But there is a serious side to this. In the earliest days it will be more like a wartime military post. But as it grows into a frontier outpost, a good pub will be important to sanity. And thought will have to go into the design of it so that a good tension-releasing bar brawl will not leave anything damaged that is either irreplaceable nor will it risk the integrity of life support.
A frontier settlement has a psychology to it. And although I don't want a bunch of social engineers trying to apply academic theories to "designing" the people and society there, I do think it is necessary to apply common sense that any expedition head, military leader or old time US sheriff would have. People who go to frontiers have cut a lot of ties and will have a burden of memories of things left behind; they will be in an unforgiving environment in which a slip on their part or that of another, or a random failure in equipment or procedure can maim or kill; there will be little to do but work and it will seem like there is so much to be done that it is a hopeless task; people you have grown to despise can not be avoided; relationships that failed can never be completely left behind... in general it will be a high stress environment. This is not to say that people will be going around frowning. Frontiers are also exciting and fun. But the invisible stress still builds and there must be socially acceptable outlets for it. Otherwise we'll end up with a town full of coronaries, neurotics and axe murderers.
So when I said "a good tension-relieving bar brawl," I meant just that. Anyone who has ever lived in a seriously tense situation will understand all. People in Northern Ireland are particularly familiar with the both coping strategies and the results of failure to do so.
- Dale Amon, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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