www.sponsorastarship.com - Me Versus Rocket Scientists


Me versus the Rocket Scientists!

Why should they get all the money? Rocket Scientists are great at receiving millions from governments. Then what do they do - bloody big firework parties!!!

Okay, so the Rocket Scientists will all gather together and chorus "but, it's more complex than THAT!!!" Of course they will, after all - they're Rocket Scientists, they've got Big Government and Big Corporate money behind them!

Well, let me tell you a little about history - Big Organizations always miss out on the next Big Idea - they're institutionalised, they're stuck in the past - big budgets, big projects, big pay packets, big laboratories, big, big, big!!!

Did I say it would be a big rocket? Did I say it would be a giant rocketship? But you can already hearing them shuffle into line for that great chorus, all together now: "but it's more complex than THAT!!!"

There is a problem with the way space science and engineering has been carried out in the last few decades and I aim to solve it. All major space projects in the past have been carried out by Big Government, so they all believe that all projects in the future will be carried out by Big Government. They think that the only way to conduct such a project is with the following ingredients:-

    1. Political Oversight.
    2. Audit Teams.
    3. Accountability.
    4. Procedures.
    5. Practices.
    6. Performance Analyses.
    7. Committees.
    8. Working Parties.
    9. Bureaucrats.
    10. International Bodies.
    11. Inspectorates.
    12. Group Hug Sessions (also known as Conferences/Conventions and usually held in nice tropical islands like the Bahamas).
    13. Oh, and occasionally, an engineer or two.

Notice anything? Do you really think anything's going to get done with all those meddlesome, time-serving officials? Do they really dream of man in space, or a nice office, perhaps with a potted plant in the corner.

There is a way to achieve the dream, it's based on the lesson of history - keep the bureaucrats and politicians at arm's length, have good, professional management, but not The Pod People From The Cubicle Of Doom (read Dilbert, I used to work there!!), and let the innovators and inventors loose with the resources they need.

I'm not an engineer, but I love the achievements of the great engineers of the past - Brunel (railways), R.J. Mitchell (Spitfire), Barnes-Wallis (geodesic airframes, bouncing bombs, supersonic aircraft), Frank Whittle (jet engine), etc., etc. They all had to struggle with indifference and stupidity in their time, but they'll eventually achieved great things. The pity is that the world of Big Government and Big Business still doesn't seem to have learnt the lessons of history (they all took Literature and the Philosophy of Classical Art at university).

As long as the Big Government Rockets Scientists are allowed a free reign we'll always have the "experts" advising the authorities, (deep breath now): "but it's more complex than THAT!!!"

The Official's Dilemma

There is one reason why the bureaucrats and big managers can't accept new outside ideas, and one reason why you can help me break the deadlock: the Prisoner's Dilemma.

You may have head of it, but here's my variation - The Official's Choice:-

Imagine an Official, let's call him Larry, has to make a decision. The outcome of his decision will effect his career up the path of The Organization (government, business, church, mafia, etc.). Before him is a decision tree, he can choose "Yes" to support and idea or "No" to reject it.

Here am I with my great idea - I want to build a starship. Does Larry say Yes or No?

There's a problem - Larry works for The Bosses. If he gets it wrong he's in Big Trouble (reassigned to a minor department, sacked, crucified, assassinated, etc.), but if he gets it right he's rewarded (a bigger pot plant for his office and Knighthood, promotion, sainthood, becomes a "made man", etc.). Unfortunately each choice can have two outcomes: Success or Failure, so now how does he choose?

Let's map this out:-
Choose Yes - Outcome Success
= GOOD for him
Choose Yes - Outcome Failure
= BAD for him
Choose No - Outcome Success
= Good for him
Choose No - Outcome Failure
= Good for him

Hold it! I know what you're thinking, why should Larry have three outcomes that are "Good" for him?

Look at it this way - Larry's first job is to AVOID RISK. If he chooses "Yes" and the project fails he's punished because he made a bad mistake, if it succeeds he's rewarded; but if he chooses "No" then he's avoided risk and either way he's safe - because if the outcome IS a success later he can always say "Well, I wasn't properly informed" - so he doesn't have the responsibility of making the wrong mistake if he says "No" and the plan comes true, he just "didn't have all the facts".

As you can see from this Larry faces a 100% chance of personal career success or safety if he chooses "No" and only a 50% chance of career success or safety if he chooses "Yes".

Alternatively you can see that if he selects "No" he has 0% risk, but if he selects "Yes" he faces a 50% risk of career damage.

This is why it's so difficult to get a good idea up the organizational ladder.

There is a solution

You by-pass the organization. That has been the method for thousands of years, and until civilization evolves it's likely to be the way forward for the foreseeable future (there is hope, we can create better methods of government and leadership, but that's for later...).

Your support will allow me to make progress on my dream and perhaps change the world a little without being dependent on the Officials of the world, it's a way to break the deadlock that has trapped us for decades since the success of the moon landings (1969 for all the children out there, and "not yet" for all the conspiracy theorists and paranoids really far out there).

Or do we have to wait another thirty years?

"It's NOT that complex!"

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