Mars & Virgle: Making it Sustainable

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M. Thyer

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Apr 4, 2008, 1:18:38 PM4/4/08
to Project Virgle
Ok folks,

The joke has been sitting for four days now and messages continue to
pour in. This is good news! It means that the spark that was struck
by rubbing Google and Virgin together has resulted in something that
may burn for a while. However, when making a fire its important to
control the fuel and air that is let into the blaze. Too much of one
and the spark will go out, too little and you've smothered your spark.

At this point we need to redefine certain aspects of this site in
order to avoid loosing focus and ultimately the project's long term
goals. The good news is that Google has provided anyone who is
interested this "mission control" space which allows us to come
together. The bad news is that Google has provided anyone this space
which allows for un-moderated discussions, SPAM, disingenuous and
derogatory remarks, and whole collection of the ridiculous. I'd guess
that many of the posts that are on this discussion site are made with
the intent of making fun of the project as a whole.

As a temporary solution I'd suggest we all re-organize in a new space
which we can self-moderate. I've created the following social network
on Ning as this service allows the above. You can join by clicking
the link.

http://virgle.ning.com/?xgi=cvjqs7e

Additionally, let me suggest that participation is the key to driving
this kind of collective effort forward. Its not that I wouldn't like
to use Google Groups for this kind of activity, but without even the
most basic of controls its nearly impossible to get value from a tool
like this. I've sent mail to the Project Virgle group owner
requesting moderation.

Next, I suggest we find existing organizations that are interested in
sending people to Mars. Much work has already been accomplished
toward this end, however, much remains to be done. You could posses
the critical skills necessary to get the ball rolling again. I've
included a short list of organizations that I know of that are
presently working towards colonization of Mars.

http://www.marssociety.org/
http://www.marssociety.org.uk/
http://www.marsdrive.com/
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/

Finally, we must all realize that Google and Virgin Galactic are
businesses. Business will not open up its pockets to any project that
does not show a mechanism toward profitability. Wouldn't it be great
if this joke was transformed into the single biggest business venture
in mankind's history? The BoDs of these companies will only be
motivated by project proposals that demonstrate an ability to improve
the bottom line.

M. Thyer

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Apr 4, 2008, 1:57:38 PM4/4/08
to Project Virgle
Letter sent to Project Virgle owners:

Hello Project Virgle Owner,

As you can see the joke has been hijacked. That said, I'd like to
propose some changes to the manner in which this group site is
organized which will ensure the following:

a) That Google resources will continue to be used to facilitate global
discussion and task organization necessary to push the original aims
of Project Virgle forward. It may be important to note that no one
believes that Google or Virgin will send a 20 member crew to Mars
within the next 100 years. However, there is sufficient interest
aroused by the April Fool's joke which can be harnessed to drive
additional value into existing Mars exploration and colonization
efforts.

b) That the membership remains focused and well organized over the
long haul. Many of the world's nationalized space agencies (NASA,
ESA, CNSA, JAXA, etc.) have Mars exploration missions planned or
underway. Some of these planned missions include the shift from
robotic telemetry to manned operation. None of these mission plans
are far reaching enough to include the possibility of long term
settlement of the Red Planet. As such, private enterprise may be able
to provide the mechanism long before governments of this planet muster
the drive to consider these efforts. The private sector needs
dreamers and thinkers who are inspired by such a mission, and these
dreamers and thinkers need a place to organize.

c) That value can be realized from the site. A quick reconnaissance
of the posts to date to the Google Groups Project Virgle site will
demonstrate that the greater majority of those posting have nothing
constructive to add. This increases the complexity of organization by
an order of magnitude because anyone interested in improving or adding
constructive comment must first sort through and discard many posts
that at best posses limited or skewed potential. Moderation is
necessary, especially it seems, when the genesis of the project in
question came from an April Fool's joke.

d) And that licence is preserved. Original content is critical to the
future of any manned mission to Mars. That said, freely organized and/
or contributed content needs to be licensed under, at a minimum,
Creative Commons license agreement. This will ensure that the
volunteer nature of the project maintains value in the face of
commercial and governmental competition.

Thanks for your time and effort, there are many individual
contributors who are ready to aid in the success of Project Virgle.
> http://www.marssociety.org/http://www.marssociety.org.uk/http://www.marsdrive.com/http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/

M. Thyer

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Apr 4, 2008, 4:36:15 PM4/4/08
to Project Virgle
Good news,

The owner of this Google groups has responded. We're working out
details ...

M.
> >http://www.marssociety.org/http://www.marssociety.org.uk/http://www.m...
>
> > Finally, we must all realize that Google and Virgin Galactic are
> > businesses.  Business will not open up its pockets to any project that
> > does not show a mechanism toward profitability.  Wouldn't it be great
> > if this joke was transformed into the single biggest business venture
> > in mankind's history?  The BoDs of these companies will only be
> > motivated by project proposals that demonstrate an ability to improve
> > the bottom line.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Doram

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Apr 4, 2008, 5:34:44 PM4/4/08
to Project Virgle
I would like to add that a number of more serious minded individuals
have also made a new home for those who wish to properly move this
project forward. This consists of both a Google Group and a Google
Code Project (which allows for programming, wikis, and more technical
content than the group allows).

They are both under the name OpenVirgle
OpenVirgle Group - http://groups.google.com/group/openvirgle
OpenVirgle Code - http://code.google.com/p/openvirgle/

If the owners of Virgle would wish to assume responsibility/control
over these projects, or work out some other collaboratory agreement, I
am sure that we would be open to that discussion. Please feel free to
contact myself, or one of the other spearheads of OpenVirgle -
mike1937 and Paul D. Fernhout

Doram

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Apr 4, 2008, 5:52:24 PM4/4/08
to Project Virgle
Sorry, forgot to credit OpenVirgle Group founders Alejandro and Kalesh

On Apr 4, 5:34 pm, Doram <DoramBaram...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I would like to add that a number of more serious minded individuals
> have also made a new home for those who wish to properly move this
> project forward. This consists of both a Google Group and a Google
> Code Project (which allows for programming, wikis, and more technical
> content than the group allows).
>
> They are both under the name OpenVirgle
> OpenVirgle Group -http://groups.google.com/group/openvirgle
> OpenVirgle Code -http://code.google.com/p/openvirgle/

Paul D. Fernhout

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Apr 4, 2008, 7:31:53 PM4/4/08
to vir...@googlegroups.com
>> On Apr 4, 10:57 am, "M. Thyer" <wonko.s...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> As you can see the joke has been hijacked.

Har Har! I've never been called a "space pirate" before, but Isaac Asimov
did once call me a "rotten kid". :-)

>>> That the membership remains focused and well organized over the
>>> long haul.

Some ideas:
http://www.chaordic.org/characteristics.html
"Characteristics of Chaordic Organizations
# Are based on clarity of shared purpose and principles.
# Are self-organizing and self-governing in whole and in part.
# Exist primarily to enable their constituent parts.
# Are powered from the periphery, unified from the core.
# Are durable in purpose and principle, malleable in form and function.
# Equitably distribute power, rights, responsibility and rewards.
# Harmoniously combine cooperation and competition.
# Learn, adapt and innovate in ever expanding cycles.
# Are compatible with the human spirit and the biosphere.
# Liberate and amplify ingenuity, initiative and judgment.
# Are compatible with and foster diversity, complexity and change.
# Constructively utilize and harmonize conflict and paradox.
# Restrain and appropriately embed command and control methods."

>>> Moderation is
>>> necessary, especially it seems, when the genesis of the project in
>>> question came from an April Fool's joke.

That's what search engines, killfiles, and Google Code Wikis are good for:
http://code.google.com/p/openvirgle/w/list
Plus the initial flurry has dropped off. Moderation also takes a lot of work
and creates other issues.

>>>> Finally, we must all realize that Google and Virgin Galactic are
>>>> businesses. Business will not open up its pockets to any project that
>>>> does not show a mechanism toward profitability. Wouldn't it be great
>>>> if this joke was transformed into the single biggest business venture
>>>> in mankind's history? The BoDs of these companies will only be
>>>> motivated by project proposals that demonstrate an ability to improve
>>>> the bottom line.

RedHat and Google both already profit using free technology
(GNU/Linux etc.).

--Paul Fernhout


Alejandro

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Apr 4, 2008, 8:18:02 PM4/4/08
to Project Virgle
I did not found the group. I merely saw the clogging of this one, and
suggested starting with a clean slate.

I am just a kid on spring break with extra time on my hands, using
that time to attempt and fan the sputtering flames of this idea until
more fuel for the fire is procured. I have no expertise in web
programming, although I am working on a few games in C#. Think of me
as a passerby, who saw the momentous mural of a project being started,
and said "you missed a spot" a couple times.

Good luck, OpenVirgle.

Doram

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Apr 5, 2008, 12:43:42 AM4/5/08
to Project Virgle
Sorry Alejandro. I saw your name up as one of the first two members,
and I mistook your role. I will remove you from my "responsible
parties" list. Thank you for the help you have given, though, and I
hope to still see you pop in from time to time.

kalesh

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Apr 5, 2008, 3:49:06 AM4/5/08
to Project Virgle
As the owner of OpenVirgle group I am more than willing to work with
virgle group on this.
It would certainly do great to have google in on this.
Lets see where this goes.
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