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A resounding “Meh.”
surreality, chameleons in space!, space
saxifrage00
So it’s the anniversary of the moon landings. Am I the only one who’s reaction is firstly “meh,” and secondly, “well, bloody lot we’ve managed to do since then, isn’t it?”

Am I supposed to be impressed that we hit the moon in 1969 and have done jack all to get us into space since? It’s actually rather depressing.

Less sardonically facetious, I’m not all that about the landing’s anniversary, but I do look around at current efforts and have to feel like we’re in a much less imaginative age. We’re making great strides with electronics and communications technology here on Earth, and that’s cool and stuff, but it won’t do us much good when we overcrowd the planet. We’re way behind the curve for getting into space. China has a space program now, to get out there and off the planet, and I’m pleased—someone needs to do it. Bush has the imagination and vision of a spirochete when you put him beside Kennedy, and the Democrats are trying to ape him and the Republicans so much that it’s laughable that NASA will ever regain the peak that they reached with Apollo 11.

A resounding “Meh.”

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I meant that more ironically -- I'm not sure if we could *ever* have human society without an extremely accomodating biosphere backing us up. The science fiction I've read seems to drastically underestimate how much of a boost we get from nature.

Could we imagine an autonomous Martian colony with the means to make a circa-2005 microwave oven from scratch? Think about it. Or let's make it even easier: a window pane?

On this planet, some places can go from banana groves to Intel plant in a few years, but only because they're hooked into the global economic system. And they get a massive free ride on nature's excess efficiency on their way.

Maybe, then, (pretending it was all serious to begin with ;-) it's even more imperative to spread out, at least a little bit. Then if one planet gets decimated, there remains the equivalent of that global network to pick it back up.

I'm happier to spread out for the carrot (the human joy of new places and expansion of complication) than for the stick (you didn't pass go, you don't get the cosmic two hundred dollars).

Oh, I agree. But since the stick of being wiped out was already under discussion...

Ahh.

Oh, well. When someone says stick, I put my bum in the air anyhow.

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