[hackerspaces] DARPA Selects Hackerspace Space Program for contract negotiation

Tim Miller timmillertech at gmail.com
Tue Apr 3 23:57:10 CEST 2012

Those of us that are not strongly against military or those who remember
that the space shuttle was funded largely by the military to carry weapons
and spy satellites. Maybe we fully support getting support from DARPA and
all you that curse the name of anything military are passing judgement that
maybe you are not warranted to give. The formation and success of NASA was
largely because of military money.  It seems people forget where that money
really comes from, it comes from our paychecks and if it has to get
funneled through hell and passed out by the devil to get to where we want
to go, maybe that is our choice as hackers.  Defense doesn't always mean
bigger badder space lasers. Defense can also be making sure that the skills
needed to maintain a country's infrastructure are intact and keep and
expand the country's manufacturing and continue to grow the skills methods
and facilities. We have already seen what happens when you put all of a
type of manufacturing ability in an one region.  The new
grand experiment is if we can do better in our distributed community shops
and if you have a problem with working with people with the same goal as
yours so be it, go join that group and sit back while the rest of us
succeed in an awesome manner or fail miserably knowing we tried something.
And the next time your city is decimated by a natural disaster go up to the
National Guard member doing everything they can to help and tell them go
away you don't want anything to do with the military.

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 4:43 PM, Marc Juul <juul at labitat.dk> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:31 PM, Jerry Isdale <isdale at gmail.com> wrote:
> > My Fellow Hackers...
> >
> > Today I got an email from DARPA stating that they have selected our
> > "Hackerspace Space Program" for contract negotiation.
> Interesting / Congratulations? What does that mean exactly? How
> certain is it that you will get funding?
> > Those who want to flame about taking government money can do so.. We just
> > wont pass any $ your way.
> While I am very happy to see more interest / funding for space-related
> hacker activities I think there are some important issues here that
> you may be ignoring. One is that by calling yourselves the
> "hackerspace space program" you are associating hackers, the
> hackerspace movement and specifically everyone working on
> space-related projects in hackerspaces with DARPA and the military.
> Knowing that there are many who are strongly anti-military, it would
> make sense to call name this project something else, perhaps something
> less general?
> This is not just government, this is military funding. That is an
> important distinction for many.
> If is of course your decision who you fund, but starting out by
> calling any criticism of your decision to apply for military funding
> using the hackerspace name "flaming" seems itself fairly inflammatory.
> The term hacker is for many associated with a strong sense of ethics,
> and it is always a good idea to be mindful of the people who disagree
> with your actions on ethical grounds, even if you end up not acting on
> their criticism.
> As you are obviously aware there are people who will be unwilling to
> work with you on this project once you accept this funding. I wonder
> if you have done any research to estimate the loss in expertise,
> manpower and ideas, or how much of a rift this will cause in the
> hacker/maker community?
> This news comes close to the news that the Maker Faire has accepted
> DARPA funding, so when I mention a rift in the community it may be
> bigger than just this one project.
> For those who are suspicious of military involvement but not outright
> unwilling to work with a DARPA funded project, it would be really
> useful to have a summary of the extent and terms of this project and
> funding: What are the strings attached from DARPA? Are there any
> countries you will not be allowed to work with and do any of them have
> DIY space groups or hackerspaces that will be excluded? Will you own
> the copyright to anything copyright'able you produce and will you
> control licensing / patenting? Where is the project description (can
> we read the proposal you sent to DARPA)? Who will control the funding
> and how will it be divided between project participants?  How much
> funding did you apply for and how certain are you that you will get
> it? Who are involved with this project already?
> --
> Marc Juul
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