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Guest: Jim Keravala; Topics: Modifications to previous lunar development plans, Off World AI, terrestrial markets for cash flow, space investment, global changes in economic systems, benefit sharing. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Jim Keravala for updates to his space development work. For the first segment of our two part 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Jim started out by explaining the challenges his programs have had in the past, why they have had to be modified, and their new approach. In addition, he is directing the company and venture, Off World (see www.offworld.ai). Jim spent a good portion of the first segment taking us through his previous plans and explaining why they did not work. Next, he explained what they learned from the past problems to create their new program going forward. I cannot properly summarize this discussion so listen to it carefully as there are lessons there for us all. Jim's new program with Off World is to develop AI and robotics for terrestrial market segments, mining for example, develop a terrestrial economy cash flow and use that to help finance their space development plans. Jim explained this program and approach in detail during the first segment of our show so I suggest you listen carefully to what he said.
Our guest also talked about economics and how that played into their decisions and to doing costly space projects. For the most part, he explained scarcity economics which is essentially what we have working for economic theory today. Jim talked about the need for a new economic system not based on scarcity and in sharing the wealth of space development with all nations and people. He wants to see scarcity economics changed into something more fair and beneficial for humanity and believes the commercial space industry players and leaders can lead the way on this, with Off World at the head of the pack. When asked about timelines and what the new economic system might look like, that part was still open ended as he did say we were not yet ready to move in this direction but that it would prove mandatory to do so and the private space companies will either move forward or be left alone or fade from view. At one point during the discussion I suggested his ideas were Kumbaya type ides but he assured me they were not. Please listen to his discussion on this topic as it was very important and I do believe it will gain in traction over time. Furthermore, I think it will be a topic on many future Space Show programs as Jim also talked about robotic and AI job displacement.
We took several email questions from listeners during both segments of the program but for this segment Jack in Tucson wanted to know the terrestrial industries or markets Jim was working at this time. The mining sector was one Jim mentioned. Then Linda asked Jim for his current lunar goals given his now working a different type of program than what he has described on his earlier Space Show appearances. We talked about Jim's company being a private sector contractor, government contractor or both. Don't miss what he said in response to this question. Jim then suggested listeners go to their website and download their pdf Master Plan. Here is the link for that document: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/3823cc_71d3cdd3ba8a4b958d3eea7a15bd8ef8.pdf.
For the second segment, Ted in San Diego asked Jim about the Scott Pace speech at Galloway that was brought up on a recent Open Lines show by Michael Listner. Dr. Pace suggested that the OST Article 6 space for humanity, a global commons and such did not apply to US space policy. For a more accurate report on what Dr. Pace said, read the Space Policy Online article about it here: https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/pace-outlines-trump-administrations-approach-to-space-development-and-law. This topic took up most of the second segment. Jim's detailed response to Ted's question and purported comments by Dr. Pace might surprise you so I urge you to listen carefully. He also talked about how scarcity economics played into this approach being talked about. I urge you to not miss what Jim said. Hint: Timelines for moving forward are important.
Beverly in Boston sent Jim a note suggesting he quit focusing on a new economic model for space development which was likely pretty far off in our future and instead focus on a new economic model for medical services and RX medications for the people. Beverly referenced earlier Space Show discussions on this topic. Jim addressed the concerns though he said this was not an area of expertise for him but he agreed with Beverly. He offered suggestions but the medical distribution problem in the US and elsewhere is a huge challenge. The cost of development for new, targeted genetic drugs is huge and just recently a potential cure for an eye disease was discussed in the Wall St. Journal and other publications for gene editing at $1 million! Here is an article about this from Fortune: http://fortune.com/2017/12/19/fda-luxturna-spark-therapeutics-gene-therapy. I mentioned to Jim my direct firsthand knowledge about this having recently attended a CF gene editing workshop with researchers from Bay Area institutions and asking the question about drug delivery prices. I was told no new models existed, it would be whatever the market would bear and that cure treatments might very well cost $1 million or more. Nobody answered my question as to how such high prices would be paid. We already know insurance companies and the government balk at paying much lower drug prices for people now. The bottom line to this arm of our discussion what this was a challenge and yes, new financial models were needed for terrestrial market segments right now. Both Jim and I thought there would be overlap with space. I agreed with Jim that on the long run with his theories, even on benefit sharing down the road, but I have no idea how any of this might work or what it might look like. That said with a world population of 7 billion and growing and the uneven and often unfair distribution of resources as well as access, personally, I don't see how it can or will continue. I believe space will be a huge wealth generator and I suspect there will be demands on the space industries for wealth and benefit sharing. Some may volunteer for some test of creative programs to do this, others will resist but down the road in our future, I suspect this will be an inevitable evolution of some sorts. Our economic systems are centuries old, tried and tested, but the world is so much bigger with so many more complexities I think our economic systems will evolve too. Before the segment ended, we talked about progress with his company, its expansion in industrial AI and modular robotics, and the continued public and private relationships they are developing.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Jim through me, his website or the address he gave out on air.