Re: from 6 billion to 500 million: how? (was RE: true abundance?)

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jan 31 2001 - 08:17:30 MST

John Marlow wrote:
> You know, I'll probably get all kinds of flak for this, but...
> I'm new here, but I like the place. It's full of intelligent and far-
> sighted people. HOWEVER--there's a lot of this sort of thing here.
> Now I don't mean to say we shouldn't look to the extended future; we
> should, and in order to do that we have to assume there is one. But
> man--"when we colonize the asteroid belt?"
> The chances that we're ever gonna make it off this rock in any
> meaningful way are a billion to one, to be kind. The chances that we
> make it to the end of this century are what? 10:1? 100:1 against?
> Worse?
> Star drives and colonization are cool and desirable--but, dude, we've
> got a lot of prep to do right here, right now, if we're ever gonna
> get there.

Oh, geez, more liberal 'we've gotta fix our problems here' tripe.

a) space investment generates $14 in the economy for every dollar spent,
the highest of any government program in history (which typically return
$0.57 per dollar spent). b) Economic growth from space investment does
far more to 'fix our problems here' than liberal tax and spend nanny
welfare state handouts ever did.
c) Note since the Apollo program was shut down in favor of funding the
Great Society, that program actually increased the number and percentage
of people living in poverty.
d) If we made it through this past century, the odds of human
civilization surviving the next one are pretty good (depending on what
your definition of 'human' is).
e) Your lack of understanding of exponential economics and technological
development forces me to condemn you to read the following works:

The Peace War, Vernor Vinge
The Ungoverned, Vernor Vinge
Marooned in Realtime, Vernor Vinge
The Spike, Damien Broderick
The Last Immortal, James Halperin
The Truth Machine, James Halperin
The White Abacus, Damien Broderick
Diaspora, Greg Egan
Kaleidoscope Century, Steve/John??? Barnes
The Singularity Discussion, on Extropy Online

and, to everyone, a book that is as close to a 'civilization building
manual' as I have read, "Substance of Civilization" by Steven Sass.

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