Should manned space flight be abandoned if only the rich benefit?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Yminale, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  2. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Our destiny is in space. That cannot be denied. We can't stay locked away on Earth forever. We MUST expand.
     
  4. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's only true if you live in the West. Earth's poor get very little benefit from space.

    But if cars only cost $100k or higher, would you still benefit.
     
  5. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There is no such thing as destiny and in the grand scheme of things it wouldn't matter if we expand or not.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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

    "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.
     
  7. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    should we expand into space? are we ready yet? should humanity be allowed to continue existing?
     
  9. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  10. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    So you are a supporter of "alternative science" and a Randian. Great. :lol:
     
  12. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How do you define "the rich?"
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  15. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Or crazy religious zealots.
     
  16. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That feast on the poor/weak feeling exploited by the rich/powerful.

    Religion is just an excuse. "Allah told me to kill American infidels", who cares. The underlying root for the hatred against someone else is independent from religion. If you don't hate someone to begin with, you won't misuse your religion to find excuses to kill him.
     
  17. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow, people will blame the rich for anything these days.
     
  18. Chrono85

    Chrono85 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't believe that all hate can only stem from exploitation of the weak by the strong. I think that it can also come out of deeply held theological and philosophical beliefs. As someone who believes in God, I can safely say that there are plenty of religious folk out there who hate and oppress because they really do believe that it is what their god tells them to do. Look at Westboro Baptist Church, full of white, upper-class attorneys, whom I do not believe have experienced systematic oppression, and yet their religious beliefs lead them to hate and do terrible things. Their interpretations of the Bible are wrong, but still, it is their belief that causes their hate.
     
  19. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, I thought terrorism was caused by hateful nihilists who manipulate young hot-heads into thinking they'll have tons of sex in the afterlife.
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You don't have to be oppressed to start hating. The German weren't oppressed by the Jews. German were crippled by a war and - among others - blamed the Jews for it. They started their own little "religion" based on faulty genealogy as a basis to rile up the masses against Jews and all political opponents. Those Westboro guys are no different in principle. They might be white, rich, upper class, but somewhere deep down, they have some grudge against something, and use religion merely as a tool to express it.
     

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