Listen now (30 mins) | By Walt Hickey Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition. This week, I spoke to Zach Weinersmith, who with his wife Kelly Weinersmith wrote the brand new book A City On Mars: Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through?
The whole sociological thing, you didn't delve into enough for my taste. I'm a big science fiction fan. And a lot of it is mostly the wonder of space. Star Trek, to it's credit taps far more into, as someone once said, "it's not as much the fantastical as it is how we react to it that makes it interesting". I think, in that regard, Jodie Foster did us a favor in "First Contact" because it provided, I think an insight into what "how we react to it" might realistically be. To look at where we are now vs where science fiction anticipated we would be is both fascinating in how wrong we got it as well as what we missed. What the promise of the information age would/could be vs the reality. What lots of money in the hands of a few people would do to exacerbate inequality. And, looking at where we are now, is it (un) realistic, pessimistic or cynical to think that we wouldn't take that into space as well or overly optimistic to believe that we won't? Neil deGrasse Tyson has noted that if we have the means to turn another planet into everything we think Earth should be, we have the means to do the same thing here, (paraphrase). The pace of progress vs the (urgent) need for doing so might be an indicator of how easily we might just say f*cj it if planet B became a viable option. And how quickly would the wealthy and powerful, as in "2012" or "Don't look up" do everything possible to establish front of the line privileges. We already have gated, segregated, stratified communities now. What ensures that we won't have anything other than that should the time come? The most realistic thing to come out of such movies is what happens after the words "Don't panic ."
We don't have all the time in the world. But we"re behaving as though we do. Except for the wealthy and powerful busy stacking the deck in their favor.
Seems like that could be a useful discussion to have.
Just pre-ordered. Thanks for highlighting this book!
Stuff like this just fascinates me, especially since I’m a big space program supporter.
PS: I still think that we need to find a way to colonize space. At some point, this planet is going to get (pardon my language) f’ed up in a big way, either because we do it ourselves, or because of an ELE. If we want our species to survive, all of our eggs can’t be in this one, fragile basket.