Re: SPACE: Economic Role for Manned Space Stations

Chris Fedeli (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 23:19:20 -0400

David Blenkinsop wrote:

>> ....if it's true that there are no ET's and no earth like
environments naturally occurring anywhere nearby, then isn't that all the *more* reason to develop the technology to go out and make some expanding use of all that room and material? [snip] Maybe this is an overly logical point, or something, but as a long time space development enthusiast myself, I just *can't* see this as a true, or complete, reason for any perceived lack of interest in outer space prospects!

Perhaps you're right. Maybe the lack of enthusiasm among the younger generation has more to do with the fact that space is no longer the hot new thing on the immediate technological horizon, as it was once perceived.

>> [snip] Combine this with a kind of innate conservatism,
the idea that we've always expanded by appropriating or altering the habitats of pre-existing life *before*, and it seems that we have a kind of vicious, economically reinforced meme circle! The meme circle says that space is too expensive to live in, and you can't really take living things or advanced tech out there to help the situation, since it's never really been done before, you see, and why, that just *proves* it'll always be too expensive!

Earlier, Greg Burch used the Antarctica analogy to describe how colonization of mars might progress in the early stages. When tourism becomes the driving economic force behind space travel, the desert analogy might work as well. People travel to the deserts mostly for the beauty of the arid, lifeless landscape, and there is plenty of that to be found in space. But for desert development to happen, plumbing and resource transportation had to be efficient enough for Meyer Lansky to open a casino in Vegas, enabling the mob to make a killing on what had been valueless land. Perhaps similar organized crime syndicates will eventually turn mars into a place where tomorrow's sinners are welcome.

>> [snip] Don't forget that such transhuman tech
developments should help a lot, right where it counts most, in making space access more economical.

Absolutely, I haven't forgotten. I fully favor enthusiasm for space as a motivator for technology development.

I don't know if anyone else caught it, but recently Lou Dobbs, the highly regarded CNN business anchor, left the network to take up a full time position with Fellow journalists were stunned. In an interview, Dobbs said "The network [CNN] and its view of market coverage were mired in the past. I would rather be a part of the future." What can we say, but Onward, Lou!!

Emlyn O'Regan wrote:

>>Boring? Aaarrggh! I'm going to space in a bucket if I have

I should choose my words more carefully :)

I don't think space is boring; I tear up every time I watch "Contact". But it does seem too remote for many people to get excited about, which also happens to be a general problem with everything we on the techno-fringe try to pitch to broader audeinces.

>From this angle, our best bet in creating interest in
technology is focusing on the terrestrial effects of nanotech. All the cause-heads of the world - the earnest, politically minded folks who fret about starving african children and the damage to the ozone layer - are a largely untapped source of energy for extropianism. Tell them about trips to mars and their eyes glass over. Tell them about eradicating hunger and disease from the third world and healing mother earth and you have their undivided attention.

Chris Fedeli