Can the project be staffed by volunteers?


The computer software industry has created something called "open source" product development.

The idea is that software programming is made available for anyone to work on and improve. The goal is continuous improvement, and the method is to allow every creative talent to enhance the whole.

I believe we should use this model in the thruster project. Anyone who chooses to contribute can take any page and add, delete, or modify the content to make it better, richer, or more valuable to readers. Everything I have written is meant as a starter page and it is intended that eventually none of the pages will be as they are today.

Wise, knowledgeable, and creative people will add; clarity to the muddy, knowledge where there is ignorance, and creativity to the mundane. Research oriented people will find better and richer links to the underlying material than I have found.

So, the intent is that this site will evolve and continuously improve. Initially, I will decide when a proposed page will replace an existing one. If I can't decide, I'll offer both for future readers, and they will tell us which they prefer and recommend for those that follow them.

No one will own the material on this site. It is meant to be shared with everyone on earth who cares to read it. It is meant to be free on the Internet, with no one gaining financially from his or her contributions. From time to time, we will publish a hard copy of the site as it is at that moment for distribution to people without web access. The revenues from these sales will be used to pay for costs of the site, such as web hosting, and other site necessary costs that aren't contributed by supporters.

Perhaps soon, we'll have a self-directed work group that takes on the task of evaluating new contributions, and I will be relieved of that work.

Anyone is free to translate the site into any language they choose. Hopefully, any such site in another language will stay current as this site evolves. If you seek to represent the site as a certified site, please submit it for peer review, and then one and one only site will be certified for each language or dialect. This will help to eliminate competing sites, which might confuse new readers with information, or concepts that have become obsolete or discredited.

I hope we'll attract enough interest to have a self directed work team that takes on the task of protecting this site from dishonest or biased copies of this site purporting to be this site or identical to it.

Anyone who borrows parts of this site, or uses these pages on their site, may ask for certification from the thruster project. If granted, then they will be given the right to say that they are a certified copy of the site.

So, this site is yours, and everyone else's, who chooses to contribute. We hope to keep it the one true and honest place to keep track of the progress of the thruster project.

Our intention is not to pay contributors. Our hope is that the best and the brightest will contribute their knowledge, skill and talents to making this site better solely for their own sense of self satisfaction.

Every page will have the name of the last person who improved that page. Another page will have a historical record of every person, who contributed a page, long after that page may have been superseded.

Where there are different views, multiple views will evolve with legs of their own, so the project will not be limited to one point of view, or one project direction. Honest differences will be given room to evolve and grow. We hope that it will never necessary for anyone to start a competing project because their view was not given space for others to examine their ideas.

For example, let's say a consensus has been building to use fossil fuels to fuel the thrusters. Now, Mr. X wants to argue that using plutonium driven steam generators, would be a better idea. We will include that argument, and Mr. X's page or pages. Readers will be asked to read both legs, and rate each leg. The ratings will be added to the branch where the reader is given a choice. If, in reading this site, you reach a branch where 2000 people have rated a given leg highly, and 12 people have rated an alternative leg poorly, you probably will skip the poorly rated leg, and go with the more highly rated leg. But, Mr. X's leg will be there; at least until it is clear that leg has no reader support. If opinions are divided, readers will have to read both legs to make their own choice.

The question on this page is "can we count on volunteers to staff the thruster project?"

The answer is, at this point we don't know. But, we are proceeding on the assumption that we will use volunteers without payment to add, enhance and continuously improve this site.

Who will we seek to attract as contributors?