[extropy-chat] Space colony behind the moon?

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Wed Oct 18 23:31:18 UTC 2006

On 10/18/06, Robert Bradbury <robert.bradbury at gmail.com> wrote:

> You and/or the Lifeboat foundation should probably rethink this.  I've
> devoted a *lot* of thought over the years to external hazard function
> minimization -- I'm not sure putting anything in space is the way to go.

The point being missed is that what we need isolation from isn't matter,
it's ideas.

Giant rail guns, killer robots, swarms of flesh-eating nanites - they're
like Satan and Cthulhu, reifications of our fears, because it's in our
nature to put a visually imaginable face on things. They don't _literally_
exist; they need to be taken on the correct level, as metaphors.

The reason Earth isn't big enough is that it's not _psychologically
perceived_ as big enough, not now that we can span it in hours in person and
in milliseconds by proxy. Materially it could support everyone in comfort
and safety - considerably more than its current population if its resources
were used more efficiently - but that's not how our psychology works. We
need the _perception_ of an open frontier, so that our efforts will start
being turned outwards rather than inwards against each other:


I don't agree with the specifics of Zubrin's plans, but he's right about one
thing: opening the space frontier is the only way to go.
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