Talk:Lunar Settlement

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The term "Settlement" is usually preferred over "Colony" to avoid association with the excesses of the colonial period on Earth.

The technical argument is that there are currently no inhabitants of the Moon so it does not meet the historical description of a colony.

Another distinction is that Colony refers to "people who settle in a distant land but remain under the political jurisdiction of their native land." I do not think a tie back to a nation state on Earth will be the defining element of a lunar settlement.

I could be wrong on this. If the US and China get into another Moon race, we could see two colonies (not settlements) on the Moon with strong ties back to Earth. Recently NASA has placed technical information about the Saturn V under ITAR making it illegal to export this 1966 technology. I guess they do not want to give China any help in the design of the Long March 6.

I support the sole use of "settlement" and feel we need to standardize on it. Having two phrases can split up inquires unnecessarily and make information had to find.

--Jriley 12:12, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the update

Thank you for the updates on the "Lunar Settlement" entry.

I am currently working to update the short stories based on this settlement to reflect the new lunar data.

I am also working to build a progressive argument for lunar settlement. The approach cutoff last fall, Constellation, was very conservative and we did nothing to make the idea attractive to the new administration so of course they canceled it.

Please let me know if any of these ideas are of interest to you.

Thanks, --Jriley 22:14, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

The reasons for Moon Colony as a title

There are differing points of view to be considered, some facts not presented in the previous comments and ill considered statements that were made opposing [[Moon Colony]].
First, the offenses of European colonists in the past were their own faults not faults of the English language. The English language should therefore not be punished by forbidding the use of the word colony. It is simply false that describing the Europeans that came to America as settlers made them any better at respecting the rights of aboriginal Americans. At this history article of Bristol, Road Island is a description of the war of Wampanoag Indians against settlers. In Minnesota Sioux Indians accepted a treaty with the white men whereby they moved to a reservation and would be provided with food to make up for the smaller amount of food they could find in the less productive area. When the white men failed to perform their treaty obligations, the Indians left the reservation and killed some settlers. The Indians were no match for the army that came to kill them in battle and later hang many of the Indians that surrendered as a public demonstration of the futility of Indians fighting white men. If the evils committed by colonists were reason to expunge the word colony from the language, we would need to expunge the word settler too. Settler was a word used to distinguish farmers in America from the hunters, trappers and traders. Many settlers in America treated Indians little better than they treated the weeds in their fields. Yet people suggest that we should pander to the generations old resentments of people who considered that their forebearers suffered at the hands of colonists. If you can respect Christian sentiments, you should think this is wrong. If you are not Christian you might learn from your Christian neighbors. Otherwise you should learn from history. See the harm that was done by communists in the Soviet Union. For more than seventy years the communists fought against not only Feudal overlords, but anyone they thought might be associated with the former overlords. The Czar's whole family was executed. Shop keepers and factory managers were worked to death in labor camps because they were seen as representing capitalism. The communists did poorly making up economics as they went along and all of Eastern Europe suffered with Russia. They learned nothing. When the Soviet Union came to an end communist managers and the communist system was kicked out and capitalism was supposed to provide new wealth. After a shocking failure, Russians found out that one cannot just keep blaming some oppressor. One must actually work according to a good plan and use the skills of educated people who have proven their worth. In Zanzibar, after convincing the British to grant independence, the African population fought a bloody war against the Arabs, who they thought were getting an excessive share of wealth. The result was decades of extreme poverty. If we cannot convince people in South America, and Africa to give up these pointless and self-injuring grudges, at least we should keep them from damaging this web site.
Second, Jriley claims that since there are no inhabitants on the Moon it does not meet the historical description of a colony. That would only be true if one were to grant that a colony must be defined as a system of oppressing the local inhabitants. I do not grant that definition. That is not the dictionary definition and that has not been the case of all historic colonies. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition (c)2007 does not define a colony as an immigrant group oppressing the natives. It states that a colony is a group of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with their motherland or individuals or things grouped in a place with a common purpose or a particular population of some species such as ants. Artists' colonies never oppressed a native population.
Third, the term settlement in not necessarily preferred over colony. On Wikipedia the article about [[colonization of the Moon]] is called just that and [[Lunar settlement]] is just a redirect to the article. This is a further demonstration of the fact that people do not in general consider oppression of a native population part of the definition of the word colony.
Forth, historically colonies were not always governed by the motherland. Carthage was a self governing colony of Phoenicians. Syracuse was a self governing colony of the Greeks. As Jriley states, he "could be wrong on this."
Fifth, we should use the word colony in our article to keep open the possibility of a robot colony. The dictionary definition of colony explicitly allows for colonies without human colonists, groups of animals or things, and robots are things. The only way robots can be involved in settlement without settlers is in the settlement of robots on their rusting joints in a scrap yard. A robot colony is necessary for the economic ground work necessary for human colonists. Every profitable activity in space so far has used robots, not people. Exploration at the bottom of the ocean is done with robots because the extremely inhospitable environment makes them more economical than people in mini subs. In that characteristic the Moon and outer space are like the ocean bottom. They are extremely inhospitable to human life. We can build an environment on Luna that is hospitable to people, but if we want to do it economically, we will build it with robots. Those who want to explicitly rule out a robot colony by the name of the article should give some reason that this a good plan. Failing that, we should rename the article: [[Moon Colony]] --Farred 04:09, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, but I did not make up this distinction. NASA is careful to use "Settlement" over "Colony". Also most major academic writers in the field use settlement. For example:

David Schrunk, Burton Sharpe, Bonnie Cooper, Madhu Thangavelu, The Moon, Resources, Future Development, and Settlement, (Springer, Second Edition ,2008)

I am afraid that I have farther bad news. The Moon is metric. Under international treaty, to which the USA is a signature, any equipment intended to be left on the Moon must be made using SI (System International).

--Jriley 23:22, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

This is not a NASA web site. You and whoever else wishes can follow NASA's example in word use, but I doubt it is their intention to forbid people in general from using the word colony or in any other way making war upon the English language. Why do you think a requirement for using the SI units is bad news? Even the inch is defined in SI units exactly. Is that supposed to be related to the topic under discussion? How would you refer to a robot colony on Luna? Perhaps it will be the only kind of colony that can be written about on Lunarpedia, if the consensus is finally to not refer to human colonies on Luna. I do think you ought to reconsider your opinion on restricting the use of the word colony. If one is an authority on a subject one should be able to give rational reasons for ones opinions that subject. What reasons does NASA give for preferring settlement to colony? If a few non native English speakers think the word colony refers to a system of oppression, that does not mean that dictionaries should be changed to reflect their opinions. Exactly who are the people who suffer from this misconception? Can you name an authority? There is just no factual basis for believing that settlers in general were better than colonists in the matter of dealing fairly with aboriginies. Is there any authority on the English language that you can cite that states that colony means a system of oppression? --Farred 06:05, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me that the word settlement emphasizes a place to live in a settled way. Colony is more appropriate for a group gathered to accomplish a purpose. If we want to sell this to people on Earth we should concentrate on what a lunar colony can accomplish for Earth. It can be a sort of moon mining and manufacturing colony, a 3M of the sky that would be more involved with mining than the 3M of Minnesota ever was. I do not generally act on just my own feelings so I did a search on Yahoo for "space mining colony" and for "space mining settlement". Yahoo came up with 23,900,000 results for space mining colony and only 1 result space mining settlement. The results were mainly games attracting a young audience. If the Moon Society wants to attract imaginative young people, Lunarpedia should describe dynamic Moon Colonies. If the Moon Society wants to attract staid NASA administrators who worry about offending some people who are intent on misunderstanding English in order to take offense, then Lunarpedia should describe settled Moon settlements. --Farred 09:01, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Jriley wrote that having two phrases for Lunar Settlement can split up inquires unnecessarily and make information hard to find. On the other hand, failing to use [[Moon Colony]] will cause people searching for that phrase to miss Lunarpedia entirely. I used Yahoo! advanced search for the exact phrase: "space mining colony", updated any time, any domain, HTML format, filtered out adult Web sites, any country, English language only. Today I came up with 25,200,000 results. By changing only the phrase to "space mining settlement" I came up with only 1 result today. This indicates that a considerable potential audience could be excluded by eliminating the word colony from Lunarpedia.
In summary, Jriley made a number of points in favor of using the word settlement instead of colony. In numbered points 1 through 4 I refuted most of what Jriley argued. Jriley then responded not by defending any of the points I refuted but by disowning his arguments and writing that it was because NASA used the word settlement and the authors of a scholarly book did likewise that Lunarpedia should. He gave no reasoning from NASA or the academicians. This is like saying one should believe in God because it says so in the bible. Without some reason that these sources should be considered authorities on good word choice, there is no reason Lunarpedia should follow their example. I respect NASA's authority on the composition of Mars' atmosphere and the day/night temperature range for Luna's equator. In a policy matter like this, it seems just another case of NASA being way off beam; just another worthless idea that someone proposed which was repeated by others without anyone having the sense to question it.
There is nothing written here that is a convincing argument, from authority or on any other basis, that the word colony should be excluded from Lunarpedia. --Farred 19:07, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
One final statement to take the air out of inflated argument for banishing the word colony from Lunarpedia. No policy statement from NASA was quoted indicating that colony should not be used. There are grave doubts that such a statement exists. Consider this quote from a NASA web site: "Such components could make space operations as well as human colonization on the Moon possible."Lunar Geology The most that argument in favor of substituting settlement for colony seems to have been able to establish is that if you happen to be an academic determined to use the word settlement to the exclusion of colony, NASA will not disown you simply for this folly. There will need to be other compounding failures before you are shown by a series of incrementally stronger hints the way to the door. --Farred 15:50, 28 November 2010 (UTC)