Little need be said of the need for Russians and those living in Russia to protect themselves from the depredations of thuggish central hegemony. A proud people and a proud land, today Russia suffers under the yoke of rampant kleptocracy. Secured data communications won't solve that tragic circumstance... but it goes a little way towards creating a space for diversity and compassion to retain a heartbeat of vitality.
As to our choice of names for this anchor node, many excellent ideas were proposed by the community. In the end, it is Laika - the canine thrown from the planet by humans in a mad race to outdo each other in their ability to create technologies of death. Laika, trusting as she was strapped into a one-way ticket to death alone in the vacuum of empty space, not knowing that her future was bleak and brutal... no heroine's welcome home for her.
She died alone, miserable and desperate and unaware of why it all happened...
Originally, it was uncertain how long Laika had survived in space, with initial estimates ranging from twenty-four hours to one week and the possible speculation that she had lived for as many as ten days. The method of Laika's death was also unknown initially. One rumor suggested that the last of the food in her dispenser contained a poison which put her to sleep just before her life-support batteries ran down...another that her chamber was eventually filled with gas for painless euthanasia after a few days in orbit...or that she may have expired when her oxygen suppy depleted...or that she succumbed to extreme cold. In 1999, several Russian sources stated that Laika had died after four days in space when the cabin overheated. However, in October of 2002, during a gathering of the World Space Congress in Houston, Texas, it was revealed by Dr. Dimitri Malashenkov of the Institute for Biological Problems in Moscow, that after five to seven hours following the launch of Sputnik-2, no lifesigns were being received from Laika. By the fourth orbit, it was apparent that the little dog had passed away from overheating and stress...undoubtedly an exceedingly painful and distressful death. According to Gyorgi Grechko, a cosmonaut who previously worked as an engineer at the Korolev Design Bureau, it seems likely that when Sputnik-2 bounced off the atmosphere, it failed to separate from the booster rocket and thereby rendered the thermal control system inoperative.
Our technological tools are neither benign nor evil. They are mechanisms by which we are able to amplify our own attributes and assumptions, no more & no less. The same technological marvels that sent Laika to her horrible, lonely death had the power to help create a healthy future for everyone: a living planet. The decision to use it to cause harm is a decision... not an attribute of the tool itself.
We choose to enable vibrant community & society through the creation and distribution of technical tools that foster innovation, creativity, collaboration, compassion, and respect For us, honouring the tragic memory of Laika reminds us that we carry the responsibility for the consequences of our choices.
What future do we choose to create?
Laika's HAF entries are: