There’s an ancient saying among managers: 80% of your problems will come from only 20% of the population. It doesn’t matter if the population is springs that go boing, or people writing programs in your application department.
The latest FBI statistics I saw indicated that about 80% of the crimes were being committed by a regular 20% of the population.
In the movie Casablanca, the Chief of Police tells his captain to round up the usual suspects. In truth, that’s not a bad strategy. Those people might at least know something, even if not being guilty outright.
Here’s the deal. Once you get enough people together, anywhere, there’s going to be a small number of “bad apples” who create a bunch of mischief for the “good apples.”
The key word here is — anywhere.
No matter what kind of great people we send to the moon, there will be a few who turn out to be troublemakers. Why? Because it’s human nature.
The problem is that the first moon colony isn’t going to have the resources to keep that person in line all the time. There certainly won’t be someone free to watch them all the time, and if they do something naughty and have to be put away, where will that be? There won’t be any room for a jail.
So what happens?
In short, there won’t be room for these people. The early settlers are going to have to make some very tough choices. Down here where the air is almost free and there’s room to spread out, the cost of taking care of a miscreant is relatively small.
But up there, where there is no air and you can hear every sound your neighbor makes in their sleep, the cost of keeping a nasty person in stir will be very high.
The solution? Swift vigilante justice. A community tribunal, and equally swift sentence. The judge can say cuffs come off, rejoin your friends. Or the judge can tell them to take a short walk outside the dome, without a suit.
Of course, after that short walk, someone will have to bring him back inside. After all, in outer space, there isn’t going to be room for cemeteries either. We’re going to need everybody for fertilizer.
After all, each body is about 80% water, and 20% fertilizer.