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Comment Re:What about other life goals? (Score 1) 86

I used the unpaid example to draw a sharper contrast. A large block of time off is generally unavailable under any terms, except at companies like FB (or apparently everywhere in Europe) that explicitly call out child-rearing.

Since you seem to know of the system: If European democracies have a state system for paying for the leave, did the debate include proposals to allow payments for other avocations?

Europe is a big place and it probably varies to jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but I'd say generally no. I know that here in Norway there are a few other exceptions where the government may step in and pay like if you're giving care to someone seriously ill because you're a de facto replacement for public healthcare but for personal projects you are on your own. It has been suggested though that those who want to be slackers can be employed for a relatively short while, then go on unemployment benefits while making crap applications for jobs they won't get, flunk interviews and in general be unemployable while formally meeting the requirements. For the more serious people though I know some that have gotten 6-12 months unpaid leave to pursue some personal dream in the private sector, in the public sector it's even easier.

I think this very much relates to the use of overtime and wage politics, in Europe you generally have to pay for every hour and to be honest you're usually paying overpaying unskilled/untrained people and underpaying your best people. Which means that if good employees don't get their leave and instead quit thinking their CV is good enough to get re-employed a year later you as an employer lose. They have to deal with similar leaves quite often for the 50% that's female and we also have a shorter paternity leave, so really there's no reason to be a dick about it. I guess it depends on why though, if you're starting a competing business then no.... the one I know who got a 12 month leave sailed around the world. Pretty bold move, but it was also fairly certain he'd be coming back. I think it takes a large company though, the smaller the harder it'll be.

Comment Re:Fantasy (Score 1) 149

No the fuss is there because the USA is trying to claim sovereignty of stuff in space by assigning ownership rules.

Sounds more like you want to benefit from other people's investment, risk, and labor for free (invest in your own damned space mining!). Or that you want to make all resources off the Earth forbidden for anyone to use which is Luddite in nature to the extreme.

I object on the grounds of the USA unilaterally extending its powers into space without reference to the rest of the world.

Nobody is going to declare the Moon or some other celestial body a US Territory or Possession. It specifically says that in the bill that was passed. All the bill that was passed says is that if you extract resources from some celestial body you keep what you've taken risk, invested large sums, and worked hard to obtain. It doesn't stop anyone else from setting up their own operation right 'next door', as it were.

You are objecting to fantasies that reside only in your mind.


Comment Re:Restaining growth (Score 1) 149

The law is based on the same idea as old-fashioned mining claims: Whoever discovers and get their first gets to claim it as their own. It doesn't claim anything in space for the US - it says that under US law objects in space may be claimed as private property.

No I didn't see anything like that,

The Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act gives any American who successfully extracts natural resources from outer space the property rights over the haul.

even one of the critical articles doesn't imply any kind of claim, it's go out there collect some booty and haul ass home; wash, rinse repeat.

Comment Re: The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 149

National ownership and private ownership are two entirely different things. The US has no right to grant or deny access to an asteroid, under the Outer Space Treaty. But once there's property in question within the United States (having been returned to the surface), ownership of that property is a key issue that needs to be decided by law. The US has made clear that it considers that the private property of the company in question. This is in no way "national appropriation by claim of sovereignty" to the asteroid. It's just saying, "Yup, you mined it, you own it, we're not going to confiscate it or anything of the sort"

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 149

First, the UK was trying to encroach on waters already owned; no such ownership claim exists to objects in space.

It's not that simple. In each case Iceland was pushing the boundaries of law on ownership of seas. Remember, there was a time where there was no such thing as coastal waters, and then later when there was no concept of an EEZ. In fact, Iceland was the first country to lay claim to an EEZ for fishing (Britain cried foul, but they helped pioneer the concept by laying claim to ocean-bottom mineral resources a couple years earlier in a different kind of EEZ). Now every coastal state has an EEZ, but back then it was a new concept.

For your other two points I think I may have lost the thread here. Or maybe you did. Either way, my point was that larger states can't always successfully bully smaller states by military might in today's international world. I don't see why that wouldn't apply to space as well.

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 149

. So far as we know the bulk of that material is stuff that's easy to get here on Earth: silicates, sulfides, iron, nickel etc. Judging from meteors found here on Earth there are exotic materials like iridium, but in trace quantities.

Not at all. In a similar thread I linked to a USGS study on the prospects of space mining that showed that for an entire class of asteroids the average precious metals concentration is 28 ppm, with findings as high as 200ppm. In bulk, not concentrates, no overburden. I mean, that's insanely rich deposits. The richest gold mine on Earth is something like 40ppm - with lots of overburden. Most are 1-2 orders of magnitude less rich than that.

The problem with Earth is that most of the precious metals in the planet have sunk into the depths, with the crust mostly containing only that which has been deposited by later bombardments. But asteroids (with the possible exception of large ones like Ceres) are undifferentiated. Look at 16 Psyche, for example - it makes up 1% of the total mass of the asteroid belt and it's an estimated 90% metal. Ever seen anything like that occurring naturally on Earth? ;) Now Psyche itself wouldn't be an ideal target, it's a main belt asteroid, but still, it drives home how much these objects are not like Earth.

The platinum deposits in Canada's Sudbury Basin were delivered by a meteor

I think you're mixing things up. Sudbury is mainly mined for nickel - the platinum is recovered as a secondary product and is not the prime mining target (while not precious, nickel is a rather valuable mineral (nearly twice as valuable as copper), and Sudbury is one of the world's best deposits). And its minerals, while the result of a meteor strike, didn't come from the meteor itself. The meteor (now believed more likely to have been a comet than an asteroid) overwhelmingly converted to vapor and plasma and was blasted into the upper atmosphere and circulated around the Earth. The giant "wound" however, penetrated all the way down to the mantle, which bulged up and diffused with a giant pool of liquified rock and let to melt differentiation mineralization processes, creating areas of very rich deposits. The key issue is that overwhelmingly the minerals at Sudbury are believed to be terrestrial-sourced igneous deposit, even though the concentrations were caused by an impact.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.