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Old November 5 2012, 01:58 AM   #288
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
Space has nothing we need if we just get our own house in order. It will still be there when that is accomplished and we have the luxury of wasting money on "we'd like to" stuff instead of "we have to" stuff.
1) We will pretty much never get our "house" in order, so waiting for that day is a waste of time.
Feeding the hungry, curing the sick, housing the homeless is NEVER a waste of time.
Waiting for every last hungry person to be fed, every homeless person to be sheltered and every sick person to be cured, IS. It is a waste of time because you will never feed, shelter and clothe every last person in the world; there will always be problems, and there will always be a practical and/or legal obstacles to solving them.

Bouncing around in micro-g taking pretty pictures of the stars IS a waste of time.
Which is why we need to go into business in space. The science aspect alone isn't all that profitable to humanity as a whole, but the industrial possibilities are huge.

You want to cure the sick? Invest in space manufacturing: we could create nanocytes in zero gravity that could release cancer-fighting drugs directly into tumors without harming healthy tissue. You want to shelter the homeless? Invest in colonization, retrain the homeless and the jobless and the under-employed to support human expansion to the moon and beyond, or even SETTLE there as homesteaders.

2) Throughout history, industrial powers have always -- repeat, ALWAYS -- expanded into new environments as a way to solve their domestic economic troubles.
Insanity is defined by doing the exact same thing that failed and expecting a better result.
I don't expect a better result. Simply repeating the results we got in the last round of colonization would more than suffice.

Incase your grasp of history is severely lacking, one of the results of that last round of colonization is a country called "The United States of America."

No it won't. There is no way to make space "cheaper".
There doesn't have to be. Hire a million people to build a really expensive rocket, you've still created a million jobs. That million people then take the money they made building rockets and buy things, which puts more money into the hands of retailers, restaurants and local businesses, which in turn have more money to pay their employees and invest in themselves.

And then your really expensive rocket comes back from space with a kilogram of platinum it pulled out of an asteroid somewhere, and suddenly there's a need for a million more workers to build another round of equally powerful but slightly less expensive rockets.

There is no place within our reach to send these "surplus" people where they can live and thrive.
No, but we have a perfectly good moon in orbit where they can live and work. Won't be till a few more decades before they begin to THRIVE (actually, quite a few of them are going to die up there), but that's always been the trend of history as well.

Better for us to clean up our own home and make it sustainable for ALL the people, not just the elites.
Unless you have a plan for how to deal with the elites, that's just wishful thinking.

I say, better to get beyond the control of the elites and seek our collective fortunes on the frontier. That has nearly always worked in history; the only reason it doesn't work NOW is because there's no frontier left to exploit (except for Antarctica, but it generally lacks exploitable resources and is the exception that proves the rule).

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
The americas have nothing we need if we just get our own house in order. It will still be there when that is accomplished and we have the luxury of wasting money on "we'd like to" stuff instead of "we have to" stuff.
Imagine where the world would be if this were the majority opinion in europe for the last 600 years.
In the case of space, it literally IS true that there is nothing there we need that we cannot produce or find more cheaply here on Earth. Wild-eyed technophiles always talk about all that there is in space that we can "bring back" to benefit man, because:

1) Nothing we have brought back has served to materially benefit man that justifies the 100s of billions wasted on the bringing.

2) the cost of bringing it back will always be greater than the value gained.
Actually, the total cost of everything the United States of America has ever done in space -- between NASA, the Air force and telecom companies combined -- adds up to a little bit less than the Pentagon's budget for a year. IOW, we spend about 100 times more money killing people and/or destroying things than we do on spaceflight.

If we spent a tenth as much on space exploration as we did on the military, not only could we have colonized the moon by now, we would be well underway to the terraforming of Mars.
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Last edited by Crazy Eddie; November 5 2012 at 02:13 AM.
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