> Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de wrote:
> If you think conventional manned spaceflight, missions would be
> expensive. If you think industrial exploration, then we're talking
> about some ten gigabucks bootstrapping costs...
The funding question leads me into a paradox. The job is best
done with venture capital, which will come in only if there is a
way to get the money back. The first thing the Martians would
produce of value would be their firsthand account of the adventure.
But how to make money on it? The investors must somehow
be able to sell the story, and to do so they would need to
control the information. They could not, for instance, sell it
in book or magazine form: the information is too expensive
to collect and too easy to copy.
I can envision doling out the story in something analogous to a
movie theatre. Suppose someone[s] is launched to Mars tomorrow.
How much would you pay to find out how things are going?
Would you pay 30 bucks for a two hour session? 50? How
about the day they land. Now how much? I would pony up
a couple hundred on that day.
I would suggest that Martian email would be worth a fortune,
however the paradox is this: just as in information sales now,
the information would need to be degraded in order to be sold.
We cant currently buy our books on computer readable formats,
we must buy "pictures of the information" [Eliezer's apt discription].
Likewise, we would ideally like to have the Martian emails emailed
to us, eh? But they wont be, for those could be sent out to those
who didnt pay, or resold illegally. So we would need to go into
a movie-theater analog, and pay thru the wazoo with no recording
devices. With this arrangement is our only hope of raising
sufficient venture capital to get launched even the brutally Spartan
minimalist Mars colony I envision. spike
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:27 MDT