An Army of Davids Invades Space
I read Professor Reynolds' buzz-magnet of a new book, An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths (due out in March, but don't tell that to everyone who's been ordering it on Amazon for months) expecting to find everything it in but space.
Well, I was wrong. It has space, too.
What isn't in the book? Professor Reynolds' wisdom on home brewing beer? Lessons from his experience as an indie music producer and distributor? A peek inside eighteenth century coffee-houses? Fascinating insights into everything from say, nanotechnology, life extension, horizontal thinking, terrorism prevention, video gaming, CB radio and blogging, to the approaching singularity? Ten thousand years of technological, economic and societal evolution? Yes, it's there and more, and despite my understandable chagrin that clearly the book is, let's just say, no juicy black letter space law treatise, I couldn't help but love it.
And now I must apologize for all my complaining about what I imagined was Professor Reynolds' complete departure from the subject of his first famous book.
(Although, what were the Professor's long-time admirers to think? Trying his hand every now and again at a touch of harmless blogging can be easily excused. And that stuff is enough of a distraction. But really, a professor with an expertise in a particularly rarefied area of the law might be expected to someday find time to write a follow-up to his acclaimed legal treatise, mightn't he?)
Happily, I can now confirm that all the rumors (which I started) about An Army of Davids neglecting to cover space, are false. And although I sat down with An Army of Davids (somebody at the publisher must have said send her a copy if it'll shut her up) with skepticism, I am delighted to report that among the book's heralded ordinary folks who are creating markets and using new technologies to take on the big entrenched Goliaths and transform work, media, commerce, social life and more, Professor Reynolds does not for a moment forget the high-flying Davids of the space arena.
The professor begins the chapter entitled, "Space: It’s Not Just for Governments Anymore," by noting, "The old government-based approach hasn’t done very well, but fortunately some smaller players, empowered by technology and competition, are stepping up to the plate. They may be just in time."
Indeed. The professor, who supports commercialization of space, settlement of space, and would love to go to Mars, then discusses the state of space and "what to do about the dire situation that the interplay of space development and big government has created." He also considers the X-Prize Foundation, NASA's prize-winning contests and other innovations, and recognizes space advocacy folks who used the Internet to affect space policy and law. He believes we should support space tourism "any way we can, especially through regulatory relief and liability protections." He talks about the role of government in working on research and development to produce cheap new technologies which should quickly be turned over to the private sector. Lots more. And if you're a bit behind the space tech curve, he explains terraforming, nuclear space propulsion, and other cool things. It's enough to get everyone in touch with their inner space David. The professor even breaks out some space treaties, because he can. I was in heaven.
But try not to hurry through the rest of the book to get to the space stuff. I know, at first you will wonder, with all that stuff going on from page one, how is he going to top the first ten chapters? The answer: Chapter 11.
I regret ever doubting.
As the Professor likes to say, read the whole thing.
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(By the way, unless the Professor Reynolds says so, I cannot necessarily assume he accepts my apology. In which case I'll have to make it up to him some other way. For example, by not starting a rumor, right here in this post, that the Professor's next book, after the hot new one, will be a follow-up to his space law text. Sure, I'd be tempted. But I wouldn't do that. You heard it here first.)