March 12, 2009

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If you want to keep something in orbit around the Earth, you need it to be flying parallel to the surface at speeds exceeding those of bullets. Get high enough above atmospheric drag, and stuff will continue to orbit as long as the moon does.

The moon has been around for 4,530,000,000,000 years, give or take.

Humans have been throwing junk into space, and occassionally blowing orbiting crap into countless smithereens, for about fifty years. As a result, the risk of impact to large objects such as shuttles, observatories and space stations is one-in-a-few hundred.

Or, in the case of the International Space Station, one-in-what? Today the ISS was evacuated, just in case.

#iss tweets.

Since it’s obvious that it’s a bad idea to fill the orbital environment with junk that’s damn near impossible to get rid of, why do we keep doing it?

Because every species operates in its own flawed self interest, I guess.

Kathy Moran has a great line — “Blogging about productivity began to feel like drinking about alcoholism” — that somehow comes to mind as I point to The Free Beer Economy, which I just put up at Linux Journal, in advance of SXSW, where I’ll moderate a panel titled Rebuilding the World with Free Everything. The panel will happen next Tuesday, right after the keynote conversation between Guy Kawasaki and Chris Anderson, whose book Free: The Future of a Radical Price is due out this summer, and who will join our panel as well.

The gist:

So we have an ecosystem of abundant code and scarce imagination about how to make money on top of it. If that imagination were not scarce, we wouldn’t need Nicholas Carr to explain utilities in clouds with The Big Switch, or Jeff Jarvis to explain how big companies get clues, in What Would Google Do?

More to the point for us blogging folk, I’ll add Dave’s How I made over $2 million with this blog.

His point: He made money because of it. As I have with mine. Neither one of us, more than coincidentally, has advertising on our blogs. Neither one of us burdens our blogs with a “business model”. Nor do we feel a need to hire some outfit to do SEO for us. Good blogs are self-optimizing. That can go for their leverage on income as well, even without cost to one’s integrity.

As with so much on the Net, it’s still early. Much future is left to unfurl. The millipede has many more shoes to drop. So there is much fun left to be had, and much money to be made, even in a crap economy.

But hey, I’m an optimist. What else can I say?

Look forward to seeing many of ya’ll in Austin. I fly down tomorrow, back on Wednesday.

[Later...] I tweeted a pointer to the post earlier, and did something I’ve never done before, which was ask people to digg the piece. It’s kind of an experiment. Curious to see how it goes.

I’ve only had one post dugg to a high level before. It was fun for the few hours it lasted, but I’m not sure it did anything substantive (other than drive traffic to Linux Journal, which was more than agreeable). What I mean is, I’m not sure it drove a conversation about its subject. Hence, the next experiment. Applied heuristics, you might say.

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