Eric Hunting is a technical writer, small business owner, and active member of the Living Universe Foundation (originally First Millennial Foundation), for at least 15 years. He is also an early member of the Space Renaissance Initiative as well as the Lifeboat Foundation and P2P Foundation. He is an avid space, alternative architecture, and technology enthusiast and active participant in the Open Manufacturing, Peer-To-Peer, and general Post-Industrial cultural movements. He has been working on the revision of Marshall Savage's Millennial Project, known as TMP2, for 5 years along with related projects such as the Utilihab building system and more recently the nascent International Open Space Initiative." (http://spacefellowship.com/news/art25628/this-week-on-the-space-show.html)
"He is futurist with particular interest in alternative and sustainable architecture, renewable energy, information technology, marine and space development, and post-industrial technology and culture.
He has written extensively on the subjects of non-toxic and high-tech alternative housing as well as literary computing and next-generation computer design and has worked with a number of IT ventures and developers of modular component home building products.
He is a senior member of the Living Universe Foundation — a space advocacy group — and principal author of the TMP2 Wiki project — an evolving contemporary revision of the marine and space development program The Millennial Project originally devised by Marshall T. Savage.
He is also on the board of science/technical advisors for the Lifeboat Foundation "
It was originally planned that TMP2 would produce a book, or perhaps a documentary film. I even sought to develop a portable exhibit, based on a walk-through maze made from trade show displays. The original TMP may be the last of a class of literature that doesn’t really work anymore in our much more visual culture, which is why so few books of the sort are published today. I think that many of the concepts are still viable, but the overall concept of an international intentional community pursuing space as a cultural endeavor may not be. That demanded a space advocacy movement with a vitality I don’t think exists anymore, if it ever did. The space enthusiast community of today isn’t a demographic of makers, entrepreneurs, and creatives. When, as LUF president, it got down to the point where I was proposing projects on the level of Boy Scout crafts and people thought that too much to handle, I realized it was time to give up. It’s now a fandom that is more than happy to be cheerleaders for oligarchs and wait for the future to be served up on a silver platter. I’m nobody’s fan. If there’s no way for me to actually participate, I’m not interested. That seems to be a very unconventional point of view. My motivation for joining TMP was always rather different. Yes, I’ve always been interested in space and futurism. But I was the one member with a truly practical interest. Disabled by chemical sensitivity, I have always needed low-toxic places to live. Aquarius offered the prospect of participating in the creation of my own home —a pollution-free city.
TMP2 started with a series of articles in 2007, when I had lost my old home and my remaining relatives there and had just moved alone from New Jersey to the high desert of New Mexico. Frankly, I was using the writing project as a means to fight anxiety and depression. I worked on it for roughly 10 years, part time, as I was developing my home business as well. The wiki site was originally intended to become a kind of Sourceforge/Github for project development. I was laying out the seed material on which others would build specific projects. Only no one else ever contributed much to it, other than some web housekeeping with the help of Jamal Willis and some 3D images by Jonas Allison. No one would actually read any of it, or even ask any questions about it. They just complained it was too advanced, too difficult.
I still have an avid interest in space and futurism. I’m still a member of Space Renaissance Initiative, Lifeboat, and recently I tried participating in Space Decentral. But, frankly, they depress me. It’s the same old cargo cult and no one is ever able or interested in actually doing things. It’s just sitting around the faux runway, debating doctrine, staring at the sky, and waiting for Elon Musk’s mothership to land.
I’m hopeful for an imminent space industrial entrepreneurial boom. But I don’t think it will come out of the space enthusiast community, the old space establishment, or the New Space cabal. Rather, it will come from the Maker and amateur robotics movements —as is being demonstrated by things like Made In Space. The essential bottleneck of space development is not the ‘tyranny of the rocket equation’ but the ‘tyranny of the reliability equation’ that revolves around our fundamental lack of a practical means to make, build, and repair things in space. The rocket equation doesn’t drive launch costs. Payload value drives launch costs. And the logical solution is to make value out there instead of sending it there. Payload values are extreme because everything we send to space has to be sent whole, ready-to-run, and capable of operating decades out of reach of any human intervention. And so the systems that transport that must likewise have extreme engineered reliability to insure that value, which has costs in dollars, complexity, and mass. EVA doesn’t really work, and never did. Even in Wernher von Braun’s time it was understood that the heavy lifting was going to have to be done with machines. But that never suited the Space Adventure Narrative. The cultural vision of space as a mythic landscape where state heroes engage in feats of daring-do for our presumed collective benefit.
I’ve been working to cultivate a new amateur space program built on telerobotics and the idea of the Internet-linked telebase as both a model for the practical space settlement and a new take on the idea of the community model train layout. I’ve used the example of MIT’s legendary Tech Model Railroad Club ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STVdCJaG0bY ), which was the origin of the concept of ‘hacking’ and where many of today’s principles of digital systems control got their first trials. I think amateur robotics desperately needs a way to portray the robot —to kids especially— in a cooperative and constructive rather than competitive, destructive, militaristic, context. But, despite going back all the way to von Braun, the concept of space telerobotics remains very alien, and very difficult to communicate. We can no longer explain new ideas in this culture. They always have to be shown, visually. Illustrated. Demonstrated. Demo or die. And I find my isolation out here in the desert —not to mention the loss of my home business— an obstacle to getting this to critical mass. I’ve recently been studying Visual Novel platforms as a possible new futurist media, though that still demands artwork does have to overcome the baggage of its Japanese traditions. But it’s a pretty cheap medium for self-publishing by virtue of is recycling of modular media assets in its storytelling. I’ve long had an interest in its cousin Literary Hypertext.— Eric Hunting, email@example.com, private correspondence with Michael Currie, 18 Aug 2018
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