Democratic Norms and the Settlement of Iceland

Iceland today is a small island of roughly 300,000 people in the North Atlantic, often credited as the oldest functioning democracy. Iceland was originally colonized by Norse migrants leaving Scandinavia in search of land in the Ninth Century. Except for a few monks, the Norse settlers found an uninhabited island and began claiming tracks of land. Due to a remarkably high degree of literacy among the earliest Iceland Settlers, substantial and detailed records exist of this of this settlement period. We can use these settlement records to understand how the people of Iceland interacted with each other, developing elementary government.

Again, I am Going to Mars…

Society’s 2016 Convention. Following up on the principles I outlined in my talk from last year on governing future Martian colonies, this year I will be outlining the complexity of funding public works projects on Mars. Here’s my abstract, for the technically inclined: A mission to Mars, manned or unmanned, requires substantial infrastructure in place to accomplish. This infrastructure is composed of communications, flight, and other components necessary to support a mission. A permanent outpost on Mars, or the Moon, also requires infrastructure for communications, water, power, and other things we consider public utilities on Earth. Financing such infrastructure is

Iceland on Mars

Last summer, when I spoke at the Mars Society Convention, I used Iceland as one of three comparison points for the expected evolution of self-governance on Mars. Today, the Mars Society posted an older link about a 2014 conference on establishing a bill of rights for Mars: How to create a bill of rights for Mars colonies Importantly, at the International Extraterrestrial Liberty Conference1, delegates used Iceland as the basis point for developing a governance strategy, though for slightly different reasons: [Iceland] is in a relatively isolated location with a low population. And, as on Mars, inhabitants also face a