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Metalaw and SETI

Envoys of mankind

9 Jan 2011, 01:24 UTC
Envoys of mankind
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Having discovered them over the holidays, I've been spending some time reading George Robinson's 1986 book Envoys of Mankind and another paper he published twenty years later, in 2006.George Robinson is a retired general counsel to the Smithsonian Institution, and before that was a lawyer for both NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration. He also earned the first doctoral degree in space law, from McGill University.An early critic of Andrew Haley and his early formulations of Metalaw (primarily because of Haley's reliance on the natural law theory of jurisprudence), Robinson later turned his attention to the subject of humanity's future in space, in particular its legal future. Envoys of Mankind and the more recent paper I'm studying concern what legal principles will govern future human space societies. The recent paper also touches upon the need to consider the legal ramifications of humanity's transhuman future, and the impact that converging technologies such as artificial intelligence, bioengineering, and robotics will have on human spacefaring activities. Robinson hasn't forgotten his early interest in Andrew Haley, Ernst Fasan and Metalaw, but seems to have softened considerably in his evaluation of Metalaw compared to his views in the 1960s and 1970s.Robinson's writing, while often densely ...

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