It was just asked, after a simple little post started having some… fun… discussion, why a professional organization would still be actively putting things out on Facebook.
It was a valid question, considering the recent activity, and the answer is based in Space history.
That really is Willy Ley. In Fate Magazine. Fate was a “rag”, and the Loch Ness Monster and Hypnosis titles that share that issue’s cover were on the more “normal” side of Fate’s standard fare.
So why did he write for them? Probably a main part of it was that he worked in the day of pennies per word so to pay for his rent and his daughter’s food he had to write a lot. But he was still known as a man of integrity and he had a large stable of other publications that would take anything he wrote, so Why tempt Fate?
Because that was where there were people.
In the issue above, he was talking about something that raises no eyebrows today, but at the time an Ion Drive was not the typical rocketship. So he took a trip away from the comfortable science community echo-chamber and went to where the not-always-typical, not-always-loving reader was, with perhaps the notion that along with the really far-to-the-edges people there were also people more in the middle, more there just to catch the era’s equivalent of Cat Videos but if there was something interesting from a writer who they considered worth giving some trust…
The SSI Facebook was started years back when FB was king as a place we could just put up fast announcements solely for our fellow Associates and Senior Associates. It is still not a huge thing, less than 3000 people follow the page (and that is perfectly fine with us because every single one of those individuals made that choice for themselves and that is appreciated). But there is where we put things that are interesting and we try to keep mainly to the topics that make SSI SSI: Mostly these days that means news on the work on Spin Gravity and Solar Power Satellites.
Sometimes it gets funny and occasionally it gets weird, but that is what you get when you open the door and walk your interests proudly out into the world of other people who don’t always share your little view. And the reactions you get are important to get, they are research to be correctly analyzed. After all, we are working to get big things made for Everyone so we have to know, truly, without hiding away in little enclaves, who that Everyone is.
So… we are still on Facebook. Right Here.