Re: SPACE/TECH/BOOKS: Zubrin falls on his pen

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Jul 30 2000 - 09:38:57 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> I'm in the middle of doing some research for some papers and
> have been glancing through "Entering Space" by Robert Zubrin.
> (As you may remember, I gave his "Case for Mars" a hearty
> thumbs up.)
> I'm only skimming chapters, but extracts include:
> Re: Nanotech
> > "This could lead to the manifestation of systems that would have all
> > of the capabilities of the evil "liquid metal" robot depicted in the
> > movie Terminator 2, ..."
> All of Zubrin's subsequent discussion of dismantling Venus to
> construct a Ringworld or building masses of O'Neill colonies
> is irrelevant because it assumes Dyson shells are impossible.
> So, it would appear that Zubrin's perspective argues that only
> "humans" in their natural form will be the logical explorers
> of the solar system.

I presume that one of Zubrins frustrations with the 'nano-santa' premise
is that it breeds an atmosphere of complacency, where anything hard to
do now in space will be put off until the nanites can do it for us. Such
an attitude can derail and end manned exploration once and for all, for
starters. What this attitude will lead to in the future as well is for
it to devolve from acceptance of using robot probes, to merely
acceptance of remote observation by telescope, as people get more fat
and happy on their couches.

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