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Old August 10 2013, 04:47 AM   #1
Yminale
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Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

The movie "Elysium" has gotten me thinking, if spaceflight and colonization only benefits the rich, why should the rest of the 99% support and fund space. The assumption has always been that private companies like SpaceX would make access to space affordable. Even with the most optimistic projection, the average person could only afford sub-orbital flight. Worse, current economic projections shows a decrease in the middle class as wealth disparity widens. Factor in Global Climate Change, peak oil, peak water, terrorism etc. the future doesn't look to bright.

So are you comfortable with the 1% forming a breakaway society while the rest of us die on this rock?
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Old August 10 2013, 04:50 AM   #2
sojourner
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

It's a loaded question. Advances in spaceflight benefit everyone in some form or another, even if you yourself never make it to orbit.

I've never owned a $100k Mercedes, but my current car has features that weren't even dreamed of in Mercedes from the 1990's.
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Old August 10 2013, 04:52 AM   #3
Ru ru, chu
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Our destiny is in space. That cannot be denied. We can't stay locked away on Earth forever. We MUST expand.
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Old August 10 2013, 05:05 AM   #4
Yminale
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

sojourner wrote: View Post
It's a loaded question. Advances in spaceflight benefit everyone in some form or another, even if you yourself never make it to orbit.
That's only true if you live in the West. Earth's poor get very little benefit from space.

I've never owned a $100k Mercedes, but my current car has features that weren't even dreamed of in Mercedes from the 1990's.
But if cars only cost $100k or higher, would you still benefit.
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Old August 10 2013, 05:07 AM   #5
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Our destiny is in space. That cannot be denied. We can't stay locked away on Earth forever. We MUST expand.
There is no such thing as destiny and in the grand scheme of things it wouldn't matter if we expand or not.
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Old August 10 2013, 07:47 AM   #6
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

yeah, if your "grand scheme" includes the heat death of the universe. But hey, if it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, why do anything at all? Eating? doesn't matter. Breathing? pointless.

Yminale wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
It's a loaded question. Advances in spaceflight benefit everyone in some form or another, even if you yourself never make it to orbit.
That's only true if you live in the West. Earth's poor get very little benefit from space.
"very little" is relative in the grand scheme of things. How many lives of the earth's poor have been saved by weather satellites? How many crops have been saved that fed those poor? It's a loaded question. You can't divorce advances in space from benefits here on earth and there is no way to limit those benefits to only applying to the rich.
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Old August 10 2013, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

I am not sure I can think a reasonable hypothetical where advancing space flight would only benefit the rich, without adding some unrealistic conditions. Maybe you can provide an example.
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Old August 10 2013, 09:47 AM   #8
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

should we expand into space? are we ready yet? should humanity be allowed to continue existing?
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Old August 10 2013, 10:02 AM   #9
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

A movie with Matt Damon got you thinking? Try thinking outside the box for once. Dump all the political labels you've been indoctrinated with. The world is made up of "creators" and "destroyers."

From the ELYSIUM trailer, the "hero" appears to be a destroyer, not a liberator. "Equality" is a great idea. Unfortunately, it is often Newspeak for "revenge."

Get away from the movie screen and try some written sci-fi, such as Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" or Asimov's Profession.
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Old August 10 2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Technology can take a while to filter down. If we look at car technology for example, many cars today have traction control as standard go back a few years and only high-end cars had it go back a few more years and only cars like F1 cars had it.

So yes today space travel is expensive, but who knows what it will be like in 20 years, 50 years 100 years.
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Old August 10 2013, 11:37 AM   #11
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Metryq wrote: View Post
Dump all the political labels you've been indoctrinated with. The world is made up of "creators" and "destroyers."

From the ELYSIUM trailer, the "hero" appears to be a destroyer, not a liberator. "Equality" is a great idea. Unfortunately, it is often Newspeak for "revenge."
So you are a supporter of "alternative science" and a Randian. Great.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:45 PM   #12
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

How do you define "the rich?"
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Old August 10 2013, 01:50 PM   #13
JarodRussell
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Yminale wrote: View Post
The movie "Elysium" has gotten me thinking, if spaceflight and colonization only benefits the rich, why should the rest of the 99% support and fund space. The assumption has always been that private companies like SpaceX would make access to space affordable. Even with the most optimistic projection, the average person could only afford sub-orbital flight. Worse, current economic projections shows a decrease in the middle class as wealth disparity widens. Factor in Global Climate Change, peak oil, peak water, terrorism etc. the future doesn't look to bright.

So are you comfortable with the 1% forming a breakaway society while the rest of us die on this rock?
First, you will not die on this rock while others fly away to some sort of utopia.

Eventually, you will die, but everyone dies.

Second, should the rich actually have anything while we others don't have anything?


Climate change. Yeah, it's getting warmer, and a couple of white sand postcard island vanish. Big deal.
Peak oil. So we have to get away from it spending money on technology we already have but not willing to invest in because we are too lazy right now. Big deal.
Peak water. Yeah, that's indeed a thing. The rich will have it, the poor won't have it.
But not to burst your bubble: you are part of the rich. You posting on the internet on a Star Trek BBS makes you part of the rich that won't have any water problems by default.

Terrorism. Terrorism is caused by the rich exploiting the poor, or the powerful exploiting the weak.
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Old August 10 2013, 03:40 PM   #14
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

It will benefit everyone in the long run, but it takes a while for technologies to become cheap and affordable to the average consumer, and that won't happen unless people are actually using it.
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Old August 10 2013, 03:42 PM   #15
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Re: Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Terrorism. Terrorism is caused by the rich exploiting the poor, or the powerful exploiting the weak.
Or crazy religious zealots.
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