10/09/2019 by Rose Eveleth
On today’s episode we take everything we’ve learned so far about the future of crime, and take it to space.
Guests: Loren Grush — senior space reporter at The Verge Michelle Hanlon — associate director of the National Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi and co-founder of For All Moonkind. Erika Nesvold — astrophysicist and developer for Universe Sandbox Lucianne Walkowicz — astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and co-founder of The JustSpace Alliance. Bianca I Laureano — educator, curriculum writer, and sexologist
Actors: Evan Johnson as Mr. Morton David Romero as David Ash Greenberg as Ash Santos Flores as Santos Charlie Chalmers as Charlie Grace Nelligan as Grace Ava Ausman as Ava Sidney Perry-Thistle as Sidney Arthur Benjamin as Arthur
→ → → Further reading on today’s episode can be found here ← ← ←
Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. Special thanks to Veronica Simonetti and Erin Laetz at the Women’s Audio Mission, where all the intro scenes were recorded this season. Special thanks also to Evan Johnson who played Mr. Morton and also coordinated the actors of the Junior Acting Troupe who play the students in the intros this season.
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Listen Date: 2019-11-27 to 2019-11-29
- The kids’ debate about who had resources or not to conduct a trial, or imprison; made me go all MBA-ish and think, “Well, can’t we separate out the processes? Investigation on the moon, trial and sentencing on Earth?”
- It also brings back a memory of Isaac Asimov’s robot stories, and the Spacers sending to Earth for a policeman because they didn’t have the concept.
- I think the kids are taking cultural differences a bit too seriously; plus wanting a jury of your peers is itself such an American cultural thing; though of course the point about different places needing different justic systems is fair enough.
- If only I had listened to this podcast and its description of the Anne McClain case three weeks earlier, I would have got a question in the prelims of the Singapore quiz. Though considering we topped the prelims, this is sending me dangerously into joyless Chennai quizzer territory.
- One thing about the “Why not apply the law of the seas to space?” argument is that the law of the seas has an underlying argument that on the sea, you’re transiting from one point to another, and not based there. So conceptually, the law of the sea is fine for a space voyage; but probably not for a space settlement.
- It was interesting to learn that the current treaty governing the ISS meant that there was no issue of having to decide jurisdiction for Anne McClain.
- The whole riff on “throw them out of the airlock but then you’re short a crew member” reminded me, yet again, of the Mytilenean debate, and on both the prudence and the justice of disproportionate punishment. I think talking to Ashish about that episode has fixed it in my mind.
- Which brings us to the ending, about transformative justice. I had two main reactions here.
- The first was smiling at Rose Eveleth’s enthusiasm that the small scale of space voyages and settlements would make transformative justice mandatory; but it would also provide an opportunity to scale up transformative justice either for settlements as they grew, or for the world back home.
- The second was to think about transformative justice in the context of work. My customers haven’t taken me to court, or resorted to the justice system for delayed deliveries, or quality defects, or anything. They have hit me with claims and demands for discounts. A lot of times, this has helped us to grow stronger and more capable; after initial pain and suffering. So, maybe it counts?
- I suppose in one way – unless my lack of background is sending me on a total misunderstanding – transformative justice is like turning criminal offences into civil offences, and civil offences into commercial disputes. Hmm.