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Jeff Bezos Is Not Lacking in Ambition
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From CNBC:

Jeff Bezos predicts we’ll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system, and Blue Origin wants to help get us there

Blue Origin’s aim is to lower the cost of access to space, Jeff Bezos said during a surprise appearance at Wired’s 25th anniversary conference.

Bezos said he will spend a “little more” than $1 billion annually to support Blue Origin.

Sara Salinas | @saracsalinas, 15 Oct 2018

Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicts we’ll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system one day — and he laid out Monday how the rocket company plans to help get there.

“I won’t be alive to see the fulfillment of that long-term mission,” Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.” …

Last week, the U.S. Air Force selected Blue Origin and others to develop a domestic launch system prototype. The Pentagon deal awards Blue Origin $500 million for the development of the New Glenn rocket.

“We are going to continue to support the [Department of Defense],” Bezos said. “If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the U.S. Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble.”

I’m guessing Bezos is talking about humanity someday building a Dyson Sphere just outside the orbit of the Earth.

 
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  1. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    I guess Amazon needs more customers.

    Think of the all the McDonalds signs that will light up the Solar System.

    • Replies: @anon
  2. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    The main failing of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Kubrick didn’t envision space travel with corporate backing.

    So, the spaceships in the movie should have had all sorts of Corporate logos.

    And the real reason why Hal went nuts was Bowman ordered burger and fries with a Coke but got Pepsi, but Hal can’t admit he made an error.

  3. But how many of them will want to come to the United States?

    • LOL: Roderick Spode
  4. Sleep says:

    Seriously? Even in the far future, 99% of all terrestrial habitable land will be on Earth. The story is low on details so it’s possible he meant 1 trillion in the universe, or is talking about building artificial planets in the far future. But I think by that time we will have been neutered to the point that there will be less than a billion of us.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @Lucas McCrudy
  5. Bezos seems to be, dare I say it, a patriot.

  6. You can’t build a Buck Rogers future with a Fatty Arbuckle talent pool:

  7. “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.”

    Gee, it takes a really smart guy to figure that out.

    Most of us are just stupid and assume it’s okay to keep producing more cheap laborers and to allow them to wander into whoever’s country they want — where they can cram themselves into tight spaces like Queens, New York City.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Lowe
    , @anon
  8. “I won’t be alive to see the fulfillment of that long-term mission,” Bezos said

    Watch out for Amazon’s next project — permanently uploading Bezos’ consciousness to the Cloud.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  9. Svigor says:

    Artificial space habitats are much more feasible than terraformed planets or colonies sited on other planets, mostly because gravity and distance from star. They’re not really that big of a conceptual challenge. We just haven’t had much need for them. Musk has done a lot more to kick start this than Bezos has, so far, by lowering launch costs; that’s the first step toward commercialization of space.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Lowe
  10. Svigor says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    He may be a dangerously wealthy, money-grubbing tycoon who’s gone well beyond the too-close-to-monopoly threshold and needs to sell WaPo, but he could be a lot worse.

  11. @Anon

    The main failing of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Kubrick didn’t envision space travel with corporate backing.

    What are you talking about?

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    , @Anon
  12. @Anon

    The movie did have all sorts of corporate logos. The flight to the moon was on PanAm. The space station had a Hilton and I think the video phone was AT&T. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt those were in the Arthur C. Clarke book.

    In the recent Douglas Rain (voice of HAL) obituary, they mentioned that the voiceovers were done in 9.5 hours and he had his bare feet on a pillow to maintain that relaxed feeling.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  13. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:

    Bezos does literally mean trillions. This isn’t a recent ambition of his. He was interested in space as a kid and involved in space societies. He was influenced by the late Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, who calculated that you could have trillions living in space colonies with high standards of living, higher than current levels because there is so much space in space and energy is so cheap in space. More people can live at higher standards in space colonies than on Mars and other planets, which are gravity wells and less malleable. The cylindrical space colony with the baseball field at the end of Interstellar comes from O’Neill’s ideas.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/31/amazon-jeff-bezos-proposed-colonizing-space-high-school-graduation-speech.html

    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    , @johnd
  14. jb says:

    He’s out of his mind. Where would you put them all? Earth may be finite, but so are Mars and Venus, and those are the only two planets one can even remotely imagine terraforming. Is 99% of humanity going to be floating around in space? Why?

    (Actually he probably knows perfectly well he’s talking bullshit, and just doesn’t care).

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
  15. Anonymous[114] • Disclaimer says:

    Great, more heat for the biggest public-private-partnership “patriotic” robber/vampire baron going. The more I’ve read about Martha McSally, and her frankly terrible record of enticing Republican voters, the happier I am she lost. The babbling yenta AZ wants to send to Washington in lieu, though incoherent and rather dim, will at least be less of a cheap stooge for all the military industrial complexers who subscribe to Bald Paul Revere’s news portal and strive mightily in combat with the darkness that is democratically ungood, or something.

    But since Kyl will just retire, I guess the litigious Jet Fighter Gurl from New England will probably get installed in the Senate anyway– Falls Church GOPe always wins

  16. trelane says:

    Jeff Bezos reminds me of Dr. Sevrin from the Star Trek episode “The way to Eden”. He even looks like him. View the short clip. Spock concludes he’s insane.

  17. We all know that while some early American settlers were motivated by fortune or adventure, many or most were motivated by lack of opportunity or persecution in their home countries. We also know that Northern Europeans are selected for ability to thrive in harsh climates and possibly a certain amount of anti-socialness.

    Maybe Bezos is using the propaganda arm of the Washington Post to flood the country with immigrants, establish crushing socialism, incite anti-white feeling, and ultimately to create customers for his space settlements. Does he think that big?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  18. istevefan says:

    “I won’t be alive to see the fulfillment of that long-term mission,” Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.” …

    There are a series of memes going around twitter which show headlines from 50-plus years ago suggesting a future 2010s America that has not materialized. It seems most of those stories from yesteryear about the city of the future neglected one big thing, DEMOGRAPHICS.

    All these guys like Bezos and Musk seem to be making the same mistake. They are ignoring demographic change. They seem to grasp that the we are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite. But,they can’t seem to grasp populations are not identical. And even if they do realize demographic change is happening, they mistakenly believe the new populations are going to share their values and continue their civilization in a linear manner as opposed to installing something new. Something that shares little with what Bezos and Musk deem important.

  19. @Jim Don Bob

    Bezos a patriot? Of the country of Bezosnya.

    • LOL: Gordo
  20. OT but this has iSteve (and Ron Unz!) written all over it. It hits all the major themes. From Eidolon, the Classics magazine:

    Perhaps most obviously, classicists gravely erred in re-inscribing Whiteness onto the ancient Greeks. Confronted by the question “Was Cleopatra black?” — when they didn’t recoil altogether — classicists responded in essence, “No, she was Greek,” thus reaffirming a false and dangerous equivalence between “Greek” and “non-Black.”

    I believe Lefkowitz’s views epitomize Classics’ inability to engage honestly with the difficult questions posed by Black Athena, it is important to note that after speaking out she herself was targeted by anti-Semitic attacks, appalling episodes she wrote about in her personal account of the period, History Lesson: A Race Odyssey.

    Read that memoir and you’ll see those anti-Semitic attacks all came from Lefkowitz’s black colleague, not white nationalists. Any guesses why this essay doesn’t say so?

    https://eidolon.pub/black-athena-white-power-6bd1899a46f2

    • Replies: @Pericles
  21. @istevefan

    Earth may be finite, but quantitative easing is forever. Worldview + Federal Reserve = Endless Summer.

  22. @jb

    Bezos is probably thinking that future humanity will build a Dyson Sphere just outside the orbit of the earth by dismantling the outer planets.

  23. @Chief Seattle

    Does he think that big?

    Maybe we are evolving away from country folk suited for life in open spaces, and toward a beehive of grinders, a global Hong Kong. Maybe Jeff knows this and finds it an exciting version of his science fiction fantasies.

    It makes those of us who resemble our nation’s founders sick. We are the country folk, the Deplorables best represented by wide open Middle America.

    Bezos is smarter than we are, so he is probably right.

  24. Ron Unz says:

    I remember that some of the Dot Com 1.0 people sometimes talked in a similar manner…

    I remember that when Amazon broke its trillion-dollar market-cap, there was a big article in the NYT. One of the analysts quoted around that time mentioned that if Amazon were valued based on its current and projected profit-stream, its market-value would be around 90% lower, meaning that about $900 billion would suddenly vanish.

    That sort of thing happened pretty commonly percentage-wise when the Dot Com 1.0 bubble burst…

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  25. @istevefan

    And even if they do realize demographic change is happening, they mistakenly believe the new populations are going to share their values and continue their civilization…

    There is a saying in the Navy, that a ship is designed by geniuses to be operated by idiots.

    For all we know, guys like Bezos think that most of us are as dumb as the dumbest sailor, and that it won’t matter who inherits their brave new world, because it will be so well designed.

    • Replies: @istevefan
    , @Pericles
    , @mmack
  26. istevefan says:

    OT – What is the political end game for Trump and prison reform? Why is he working on this instead of the wall? Any more news on the executive order to end birthright citizenship to illegals?

    • Replies: @Whiskey
    , @Pericles
    , @rob
  27. anon[291] • Disclaimer says:

    Jeff Bezos doesn’t really believe any of that, and I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone would be naive enough to fall for his gimmick: attract taxpayer subsidies for his business investments while also stroking his ego by preaching to all those “I wuv da science” types who watch Joe Rogan and wonder if the universe isn’t just a simulation inside some alien pot head’s bong. It’s the same kind of thing Elon Musk does.

    “I remember that some of the Dot Com 1.0 people sometimes talked in a similar manner…”

    I once knew an urban hipster guy back around the premier of the second or third Iphone who guaranteed me Apple was going to take over the world – just take over EVERYTHING because PCs sucked and were uncool yada yada yada. Never stopped ranting about all the cool things his insanely overpriced baby’s toys could do. He was impervious to my pointing out that Apple didn’t even have a majority share of the smartphone market. Well, years later and Apple hasn’t taken over the world yet. True, they’re not hurting for cash, but their products still suck and the Iphone isn’t selling as well as it once did; hence, their transition to reporting sales data en lieu of units sold. They’ve also been relying on increasingly anti-consumer policies like making it impossible to ship parts or refurbs to third party repair stores – and Bezo’s Amazon is behind that, too:

    Apple BANS third parties from selling refurb Macbooks on Amazon.

    How much of this kind of talk isn’t just a ploy to divert public attention away from how badly this guy is screwing over the consumer?

  28. mr. wild says:

    When much of the country bought their goods through the Sears catalog, did people consider that a tech company and ask the boss about the future of space travel?

  29. J.Ross says: • Website

    A world exhausted by the darkness and insanity that comes from abandoning God: Okay, okay, but it’s not like the army gives you a medal for being a pervert –
    Canada: Hold my beer, eh?

    https://ml-fd.caf-fac.ca/en/2018/11/21365?WT.mc_id=20181114DTupdate_feat_eng

    Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of National Defence, noted “With the Canada Pride Citation, we are acknowledging the historic unjust treatment of LGBTQ2 people, and the harm that it did. And we are recognizing the incredible depth of the commitment LGBTQ2 people showed to serving Canada, despite systemic discrimination. This citation is a symbol of our ongoing responsibility and determination to address barriers and make sure everyone feels safe and welcome being their whole selves.”‎

    • LOL: BB753
  30. gsjackson says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    I believe CIA asset would be closer to the mark. Sounds like a money-laundering scheme for black ops.

    • Agree: WHAT
  31. istevefan says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I’ve heard that saying, but I can’t believe Bezos would think that way. If Bezos truly is a fan of the space program, then there is no way he can honestly believe that. Von Braun was definitely a key contributor in going to the moon, but the moon shot project involved scores of brilliant individuals supported by an enormous industrial complex of high-skilled workers. Anyone who even remotely looks at the space program can see that.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  32. Arclight says:

    I feel like Bezos must have been reading Ian M Banks’ Culture series.

    Also, 1 trillion in our solar system sounds like a lot, unless he is assuming we never develop technology to travel to other star systems to colonize planets there.

  33. @anon

    The iPhone kind of did take over the world.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  34. Lowe says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I was thinking along the same lines when I read this. The only people bumping against the finite limits of their ecosystem are Africans. Too bad we don’t live in a society where someone could publicly point that out to Bezos.

  35. anon[131] • Disclaimer says:

    “Bezos is smarter than we are, so he is probably right.”

    The fact that you guys are failing for an obvious ploy to attract outside investment and taxpayer subsidies for this ultra-billionaire’s schemes to make himself even richer and more famous means that maybe you are right. Here’s how it works, patented by Elon Musk: 1) make outrageously bold claims about space or science while comically underplaying the cost, potential profit, or difficulty involved 2) watch the money roll in from people who don’t know much about the field 3) pull off some dumb stunt like putting a car into orbit to keep the positive press coming so they won’t ask hard questions like “how is this stuff supposed to be feasible” 4) revel in being a guru to millions.

    Hey, maybe I should get in on the gold rush, too. I’m building a time machine so we can go back in time before global warming and live in android bodies among pet dinosaurs at Jurassic Park while consuming only the highest quality vegan meals (naturally sourced, all Cretaceous in origin) and using cool Apple Macbooks. Who’s with me? Get out your checkbooks and call your congressmen today! All aboard.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  36. The comedy script practically writes itself:

    “I don’t get it. For the last 20 years we’ve sent blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Pacific islanders, gays, feminists and transgenders to Mars, but the colony kept failing. What have we done wrong?”

    Meanwhile, the competing Martian colony populated by competent, healthy white people with normal sexuality shows signs of getting a foothold and succeeding.

    Seriously, a colonization project which has any chance of working at all would want to remove or minimize all the foreseeable points of failure, and that includes the stupid drama caused by racial strife, broken sexuality and impractical ideologies.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Svigor
  37. Lowe says:
    @Svigor

    Artificial space habitats are conceptually simple, but also deeply impractical and hazardous. Humans belong in space like a fish belongs on land. Leave it to the robots.

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @Svigor
  38. @Buzz Mohawk

    Come one man, there isn’t even a stick figure family on the window.

  39. Anonymous[275] • Disclaimer says:

    People commonly bring up Antarctica as a target for colonization. It’s much closer than Mars, about as cold as its warmest regions, and won’t pose any problems involving gravity, atmospheric pressure, or breathable air. But you don’t even need to go that far. Why not colonize Wyoming? There’s plenty of land. Space travel is a solution in search of a problem. It seems like these kind of statements are mandatory to become the latest Thought Leader, the result of us being ruled by nerds. But I guess wasting money on this beats wasting money on concussionball.

  40. Lowe says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Bezos is just fantasizing about the one way he can escape all the intolerable minorities he invited into the country, while maintaining political correctness in his fantasy. Easier to populate the stars than to overcome crimestop.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
    , @ben tillman
  41. Alfa158 says:
    @Chief Seattle

    It was Bell telephone.
    Blade Runner 2049 also had logos of no longer active companies like Atari and Pan Am. Supposedly those were Easter Eggs planted to establish that the Blade Runners were set in an alternate universe. Doing so explained why the original Blade Runner didn’t look anything like the actual time it was supposed to be set in and how everything could be so drastically different in such a short time.

    • Replies: @Coemgen
    , @jmsjlh
  42. Sean says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Where are the aliens’ Dyson Spheres ect and light speed electromagnetic traces of such activity? I am sure they too had a few individuals who were at enough of a loose end to wonder if a point in their life form’s technological development was the calm before the Great Filter. It is later than you think … to get Bezos and Google to start paying a decent amount of tax.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Doug
  43. @jb

    It’s a distraction from Bezos’ real master plan, which is: after his body dies, have his brain inserted into a hard drive of a Macy’s bridal registry.

  44. @Ron Unz

    It’s quite possible that guys who are good at putting together things like internet shopping companies are not necessarily so good at grasping just how hard it really is to do anything in space.

    The International Space Station is an orbiting boondoggle that cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, and it has accomplished practically nothing. In the scheme of things, it is a tiny, awkward assembly of modules with no purpose that took years to build and way too many flights to haul up.

    Anything more than that will be magnitudes more difficult and will require a truly new kind of lifting ability and efficiency that cannot be foreseen. Currently there is no technology even predicted that would be good enough. The private rockets being developed are basically the same technology that lobbed Sputnik into orbit.

    At this point, Bezos’s idea is not even science fiction. It is fantasy.

  45. Anonymous[275] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    No it didn’t. Android took over the world.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
  46. Anon[215] • Disclaimer says:

    “And even if they do realize demographic change is happening, they mistakenly believe the new populations are going to share their values and continue their civilization…”

    Dumb people can be hard to control. Hence, the story of genius Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bursting into Pelosi’s office to announce the revolution ahead of schedule:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez participates in protest outside Nancy Pelosi’s office

    “Protesters called for Democrats, who will have a substantial majority in the House next year, to create a select committee to develop a plan to switch to 100 percent renewable energy.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-participates-in-protest-outside-nancy-pelosi-office/

    Wow, genius plan you’ve got there Cortez. Why hadn’t anyone thought about that before? I’m sure there wouldn’t be any unintended consequences like doubling or tripping electric rates, thereby making electricity even more unaffordable for the poor and elderly while also greatly damaging our economic competitiveness with nations like China. This reminds me of the simplistic thinking used by Chavez and his supporters before he came to power in Venezuela.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  47. Anonymous[275] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    In tech, if you mess up a website, your users complain and you fix it after a few days of work. In aerospace engineering, if you mess up your airplane or rocket, you’re dead.

  48. Lowe says:
    @istevefan

    Exactly. The 40-50% Muslim world we are heading toward is not one involving a lot of space travel. Or even satellite communication, actually, once the Chinese have finished filling Earth’s orbit with debris.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose
  49. Anonymous[275] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    I find it amusing how the same people who say that geoengineering to reverse global warming can NEVER WORK then go on to tell us that we’re gonna terraform Mars. It’s all about what’s fashionable rather than what actually makes sense.

  50. MEH 0910 says:
    @Anon

    The MAD magazine movie parody was plastered with corporate logos.

    [MORE]

  51. Coemgen says:

    Recreational marijuana is now “legal” in Massachusetts. As soon as I can score some “legal,” I’m goin’ on a Kubrick and Star Trek TOS binge.

  52. JayD says:

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/11/we-need-to-change-way-we-talk-about-space-exploration-mars/

    TLDR; You white guys can’t just leave us here to our own devices. You have to take us with you.

  53. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Pan Am was the actual flight company. It wasn’t advertising.

    But I’m thinking future space travel will involve ads all over, esp if there’s gonna a trillion consumers in the Milky Way.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  54. @Sean

    I think some astronomers tried looking for Dyson Spheres in the galaxy and couldn’t find any evidence of them.

  55. anon[215] • Disclaimer says:

    “The iPhone kind of did take over the world.”

    The concept of the smart phone took off, but that hardly translated into Apple taking over the world. First, Apple’s iPhone never had a majority of the smart phone market beyond the first generation; one figure I saw back in the day put it around 22% for the iPhone 4 – 5 release. Second, they merely had a profitable phone because they sold it at a high price point. The rest was hype distorted by living in the US. Now, they aren’t even reporting sales figures for units sold and companies like Samsung are crushing them in the innovation department. If anything, I would say the Samsung product line is taking over the world. That turn of events should have been obvious. It’s like the guys who invented reasons to tell us we were living in a “new new economy” back in the late 90s – that profit didn’t matter any more for some reason when there were good reasons to suspect that it should.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  56. anon[215] • Disclaimer says:

    Bad news for Bezos:

    “Alien Supercivilizations Absent from 100,000 Nearby Galaxies”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/alien-supercivilizations-absent-from-100-000-nearby-galaxies/

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  57. JayD says:

    These space fantasies always just assume an entire population of people with a +2 SD IQ. Space is harsh. Stupid, irrational, short term thinkers just aren’t going to cut it. How will be allowed to leave behind the 90% of humanity who are so aptly described by those adjectives?

  58. @anon

    Second, they merely had a profitable phone because they sold it at a high price point.

    That’s kind of the point of being in business, isn’t it? By Steve Jobs’ death, Apple was competing with Exxon for highest market cap in the world, and recently became the first firm with a trillion dollar market cap. I imagine a large majority of Apple’s value is due to the iPhone, and that the iPhone has been the most valuable single product in the world for most of this decade. It could well be tailing off over the last week, but it’s had one helluva run.

    • Replies: @well akchually
    , @David
  59. @Sleep

    Meh. It won’t even take until the far future to terraform Mars. Near term is the asteroid belt. There are a lot of asteroids.

  60. @Anon

    On a similar note, every so often, since the early days of the space age, people have come up with proposals to put advertisements in space — to be seen from Earth.

    Someone even proposed launching some kind of explosives or material to the Moon that would put a logo on it so big that all of humanity would have to look at it.

    Another idea involved an orbiting Coca-Cola billboard.

    Let’s hope these things never happen.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  61. @JayD

    Two sentences that go together like chocolate and peanut butter, followed by the usual passive voice impotence.

  62. 1 trillion in our solar system sounds like a lot

    Not at all! A Dyson Sphere (for those of you who don’t know) would be a spherical shell with radius equal to Earth’s distance from the sun — 93 million miles. As Earth’s own radius is 4000 miles, the surface area of a Dyson Sphere would be 93,000,000/4000 squared — about 500 million. Thus at a population density equal to that on Earth today, a Dyson Sphere would accomodate some 3.78 quintillion people (quadrillion, to you Brits).

    In fact, because a Dyson Sphere would experience constant sunshine, we could place it further out (square root of 2 times 93 million farther out), and for double the surface. (Might have to blow away the planet Mars though…)

    I’m not saying I think it’ll ever happen though.

  63. @Lowe

    Space habitats will penalize lapses in sanity and intelligent behavior much more quickly than the same on earth.

    In other words, space habitats will select humans for higher IQ.

    • Replies: @Lowe
    , @Mr. Anon
  64. I can’t even imagine why an intelligent person would take seriously a “plan” to prepare for a trillion human beings.

    How many centuries would it take to make such a thing happen – if it was even in any way desirable to bring about a trillion people? How much new technology would be developed in the interim, and how would that affect the plan? Would we be able to genetically engineer super geniuses? Would we develop an artificial intelligence far superior to our own? Would we be able to make ourselves live indefinitely?

    How can you have a “plan” that doesn’t — and can’t, of course — incorporate the consequences of such basic unknowns that will completely transform the outcome?

    What a crock. But he’s as rich as God, so he thinks he knows everything. Such as: Democracy Dies in Darkness.

    Spare us your delusions of grandeur, Mr. Bezos. Ship your goods. That you know how to do.

  65. anon[348] • Disclaimer says:

    I think that is really cool, reminds me Isaac Asimov’s Nemesis. I think Jeff Bezos is 10x cooler than Bill Gates. Amazon is a great website, Blue Origin creates a lot of jobs for scientists and engineers, esp. physics majors.

    Bill Gates’ Microsoft is practically a dinosaur these days, hiring mostly H1b code coolies from India, turning Seattle’s East Side into Chindia while Gates’ philanthropy in Africa only resulted in an invading African army blanketing Europe.

    • Replies: @NZLex
  66. anon[168] • Disclaimer says:

    “It seems most of those stories from yesteryear about the city of the future neglected one big thing, DEMOGRAPHICS. All these guys like Bezos and Musk seem to be making the same mistake.”

    Musk is from South Africa, isn’t he? S0, how could this man NOT understand demographics? He moved from South Africa to the United States due to demographics (talent pool, less race-induced government incompetence). Honestly, I think he does. I seem to recall a bizarre interview he gave years ago where he claimed that he left South Africa because he didn’t want to “oppress black people.” I thought to myself at the time, “Oppress them how? By giving them jobs?” I think this just bolsters the argument that most of the upper-class left are merely self-interested sociopathic liars who manipulate others for personal gain. Put Bezos in the same category with his “Trillion man Dyson Sphere” nonsense. I honestly don’t think they are making mistakes. They know what they are doing – lying for profit.

  67. @Buzz Mohawk

    Let me add here what would have been a more appropriate response to Mr. Unz’s observation: Get ready for the bubble to burst.

  68. @Steve Sailer

    3D printing/desktop manufacturing, not Amazon/UPS, may well serve a Dyson cul-de-parsec populace; but the raw materials could derive from non-Terran heavenly bodies . . . causing Bezos a pain in the asteroid. };^D

  69. songbird says:
    @Steve Sailer

    There’s a similar idea called a Dyson Swarm which is only 99% as crazy.

  70. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    The Bezmos was all that were sold, all that are sold, and all that will be sold.

  71. anon[348] • Disclaimer says:

    Great idea. Earth will be a lot nicer once we put all criminals, blacks, browns, yellows, Jews and Muslims in their respective self-sustaining orbital colonies. Leave the rest of us in peace on earth.

  72. @Anonymous

    No iPhone, no Android. Apple created the smart phone market.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  73. @Steve Sailer

    There’s not nearly enough matter in all the planets to make a Dyson Sphere. I’m not even sure there’s enough matter in the sun, though dismantling our own sun would be kinda dumb.

    We’d have to poach other stars. I’d recommend going for the biggest, and most mature ones, first, so as to get in front of any supernova unpleasantness.

  74. @candid_observer

    How many centuries would it take to make such a thing happen – if it was even in any way desirable to bring about a trillion people?

    If you start out with an initial breeding population of 1,000 humans that doubles exponentially every 20 years, you would get to about a trillion (10^12) people in ~600 years.

  75. vinny says:
    @anon

    Yeah, I’m annoyed I didn’t buy into AAPL then either.

  76. @Steve Sailer

    A trillion?  A trillion is NOTHING.  Mars alone is 6.41e23 tons.  Allowing 1e8 tons per capita, dismantling Mars to make habitats would house 6.41e15 (6.41 quadrillion) people.

    • Replies: @Chief Seattle
  77. Luke Lea says:
    @Anonymous

    “He was influenced by the late Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, who calculated that you could have trillions living in space colonies with high standards of living, higher than current levels because there is so much space in space and energy is so cheap in space. More people can live at higher standards in space colonies than on Mars and other planets, which are gravity wells and less malleable.”

    I’m not an expert but doesn’t an inhabitable place to live on a permanent basis assume a complex ecosphere filled with literally trillions of non-human life forms — bacteria, fungi, plants, etc. — which are necessary to make the whole show go? You would need not just water and a place to stand, but oceans and earth populated with microorganisms, and it would need to be orbiting a star at just the right distance, and would need a magnetic field strong enough to shield it from ionizing radiation boiling off of the star.

    I think I read somewhere that even the moon is necessary to make life on earth as we know it possible, but I forget the details of the argument.

    In other words, you would have to twin the earth, or else go to an earth-like planet that is at least several light-years away and therefore for all practical purposes out of touch.

    Boaz’s whole vision is an unscientific adolescent pipe dream.

  78. @International Jew

    A Dyson sphere doesn’t have to be solid.  It just has to capture and utilize most of the energy of its parent star.

    As I recall, a star was found recently which shows anomalous dimming characteristics.  If it’s emitting heavily in the thermal IR while dimming in the visible, that would be a pretty good indication of a Dyson sphere.

  79. @Buzz Mohawk

    The old saw is “buy land, they ain’t makin’ any more of it.”  Just how smart would people be if they found a way to build more land and engineer it to their own tastes?

    I am seriously pondering just how much area you’d need to run herds of buffalo and maintain predator populations as well.  If an Island 3 O’Neill cylinder is big enough, you could expand your prairie empire beyond Sitting Bull’s wildest dreams.

  80. @International Jew

    We’ll have those 3.78 quintillion people in just another 900 years, if Africa’s population continues growing at its current pace.

    “Just shoot me now.”

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  81. @Lowe

    The open-borders crowd is trying to make certain that the Africans bump up against the finite limits of OUR ecosystem too.

  82. @Buzz Mohawk

    At this point, Bezos’s idea is not even science fiction. It is fantasy.

    True dat.

    Moreover, I would add that it is wild speculations like these which tend to top-tick the histories of companies, eras, and empires. Hubris comes before Nemesis. We can expect Amazon to…come back to Earth…from here on out.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  83. @International Jew

    Uranus and Neptune, according to the current models of their structure, both have rocky cores in the neighborhood of Earth’s or Venus’s size. A sufficiently advanced civilization could strip away their atmospheres, move the exposed cores closer to the sun and terraform them.

  84. anon[348] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Dot Com 2.0 is yet another ponzi scheme, only bigger.

  85. @candid_observer

    What a crock. But he’s as rich as God, so he thinks he knows everything. Such as: Democracy Dies in Darkness.

    Bezos does not believe that byline. Bezos knows that buying the Washington Post gives him a great deal of influence over Washington. By aligning with the Deep State, Bezos is securing long term generous contracts with the Federal government and preventing Anti-Trust investigations of Amazon.

    He ain’t a dummy.

  86. J.Ross says: • Website

    If we built the Beanstalk, there would be a suite of hard but solvable engineering problems to get through, there would be a huge security headache, but apart from that it would make asteroid mining and lunar cities plausible by eliminating the most dangerous and expensive obstacle.
    Sticking with the model of making rockets into nearly-commercial-travel units, even with the enthusiasm and money of billionaires, strikes me as one of those things where it will take much longer even if you do everything right, and the big dangers will remain anyway.

  87. @Buzz Mohawk

    The International Space Station is an orbiting boondoggle that cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, and it has accomplished practically nothing.

    It was designed to be the purpose of the Space Shuttle before it was retired.  Which it was after the last module was launched.

    Others designed different space stations.  Bigelow designed an inflatable one.  There was at least one proposal to refit one or more Shuttle external tanks into a space station.  Any of those ideas would have put vastly more pressurized volume into space for a lot less money.  None of these ideas went anywhere because they didn’t maintain the food chain of the Shuttle’s contractors.

    Anything more than that will be magnitudes more difficult and will require a truly new kind of lifting ability and efficiency that cannot be foreseen.

    Glaser proposed powering Earth using space power sats launched from the ground.  O’Neill looked at the folly of lofting so much out of Earth’s gravity well and suggested mining the Moon for the bulk of the materials instead.  That was hardly “unforeseen”, just ignored.

    The private rockets being developed are basically the same technology that lobbed Sputnik into orbit.

    But they’re far cheaper and much more reliable.

    At this point, Bezos’s idea is not even science fiction.

    It’s quite feasible to pull nearly-pure nickel-iron powder out of lunar regolith using only a magnet.  You can sinter it with a sufficiently large mirror and sunlight; this is the essence of 3-D printing.  The only reason this remains “science fiction” is nobody’s bothered to try… yet.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Mr. Anon
  88. @Lowe

    Bezos is just fantasizing about the one way he can escape all the intolerable minorities he invited into the country . . . .

    Everyone is a minority. There is no racial majority in this world.

    • Replies: @Lowe
    , @athEIst
  89. anon[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Jeff Bezos could be the richest man in the universe, the Milky Way’s first trillionaire!

  90. J.Ross says: • Website
    @JayD

    … who’s going to tell them?

  91. Los Angeles, November 2019 is only a year away! No flying cars or Off World Colonies just yet, but we do have high quality ramen restaurants.

  92. Whiskey says: • Website
    @istevefan

    Trump does what Rod Rosenstein tells him to do. Otherwise Mueller arrests Trump and puts him in jail.

    Deep state will allow Trump to mouth off for now but is committed to no Black person need follow the law by right of Black nobility .

    Laws are only for White men.

  93. J.Ross says: • Website

    https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/qvq87p/why-straight-men-hate-astrology-so-much

    Do you feel threatened by astrology? And is it because you’re a straight white male? What is the connection? Are straight white males feeling threatened by astrology because their intellect and work ethic makes them shun baseless nonsense? Or could it be that they don’t want you to know something?

    • Replies: @jmsjlh
  94. @J.Ross

    On the twentieth of this month there’s a remembrance day for the millions of transgender hosers who were killed or wounded in the world wars.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Captain Tripps
    , @Clyde
  95. @JayD

    How will [we] be allowed to leave behind the 90% of humanity who are so aptly described by those adjectives?

    By not asking their permission.

    • Agree: Svigor
  96. istevefan says:
    @candid_observer

    I can’t even imagine why an intelligent person would take seriously a “plan” to prepare for a trillion human beings.

    How many centuries would it take to make such a thing happen

    It’s a shame these smart guys have their sights set on future centuries when all around them is evidence their own civilization might not last another. Yet instead of trying to address a real dilemma they do the equivalent of putting their heads into the sand by obsessing over stuff that will either never happen, or they won’t live to see it.

    These guys with all their money and influence in the media could really do a good job in trying to correct the present course we are on. Instead they take the cowardly approach and obsess about stuff that won’t get them in the cross hairs of SJWs. I think what would be great would be for the SJWs to start attacking these rich futurists for their lack of funding present day poor folk.

    Recall how on the eve of our greatest achievement, walking on the moon in 1969, black leaders protested the Apollo program as a waste of money that should be spent on the poor on Earth. I’d love to see Musk and Bezos get BTFU for obsessing about white issues, e.g. space travel, and not doing enough in the present to help their future non-white workforce and customer base.

  97. Doug says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Not just a Dyson sphere. A Matrioshka brain, just for running cloud computing machines. Bezos won’t stop until the galaxy’s converted to nothing but computronium for AWS. At this point it’s the only way to justify Amazon’s valuation.

  98. Doug says:
    @International Jew

    Depends how thick the surface of the sphere is, and how far away from the sun. Even today high-end solar panels are only 35 mm thick. Assume future technology can shave that down to 5 mm. At that thickness with a radius of 93 million miles, Earth’s current distance, a Dyson sphere would require 335 billion cubic miles of material. The Earth alone is 260 billion cubic miles in volume.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  99. @candid_observer

    How many centuries would it take to make such a thing happen – if it was even in any way desirable to bring about a trillion people?

    Are you totally ignorant of the exponential curve?  At 5% per year, population doubles in 14 years.  That’s from 10 million to 1 trillion in a bit less than 17 doublings, a bit over 200 years.

    How much new technology would be developed in the interim, and how would that affect the plan?

    How much more technology would you develop with more people?

    Would we be able to genetically engineer super geniuses?

    How much easier with a vastly larger gene pool?

    Would we develop an artificial intelligence far superior to our own?

    How much faster with more people working on it?

    Would we be able to make ourselves live indefinitely?

    How much more possible with more people working on it?

    How can you have a “plan” that doesn’t — and can’t, of course — incorporate the consequences of such basic unknowns that will completely transform the outcome?

    Who says there’s a “plan”?  How many more “unknowns” can you develop with more people to run down more possibilities?  You are not thinking big enough.  You are in a mental strait jacket.

  100. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Luke Lea

    Read The High Frontier by O’Neill. He did the arithmetic on this.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  101. @International Jew

    As if anyone would build more worlds-full of space for Africans who can’t build anything more complex than a mud hut for themselves.

    • Replies: @athEIst
  102. eah says:

    OT (Meanwhile in further cutting-edge political/intellectual discourse here on earth…)

    Low(er) IQ black kids not meeting standards = “institutional racism” (ie it’s your fault whitey so pay up and never stop feeling guilty) — oh and don’t forget: ‘Democrats are the real racists’ — said the boomer-mindset NPC.

    • Agree: Grahamsno(G64)
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  103. Dtbb says:

    Better have some damn good plumbers in the future!

  104. Doug says:
    @Sean

    Optimistic take: There’s some sort of undiscovered physics that would allow for an exotic energy source. Super-advanced aliens don’t need to harvest their sun’s output because they’ve figured out a way to draw much greater amounts of power from the void.

    Pessimistic take: Dark forest hypothesis. The galaxy is filled with vicious, paranoid aliens who are all trying to wipe each other out. If not just because they don’t want to be wiped out, and the best way to prevent that is to make sure everyone else is dead.

    At interstellar scales, offense is really much easier than defense. Just accelerate a tiny bit of matter up to relativistic speeds and point it at your enemy’s star system. At 0.99c, there’s barely anytime before when they observe the bullet and when it lands. So, the only real strategy is to be as quiet as possible and not give away your position. I.e. don’t go building a super-easily detectable Dyson sphere.

    If this is the case, we’re really screwed, because we’ve been broadcasting radio signals into deep space for 100 years. There’s no way to take them back, and if there are predators in wait it’s just a matter of the speed of light before they realize we’re here.

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    , @Sean
  105. Luke Lea says:
    @Anonymous

    “Why not colonize Wyoming?”

    Indeed.

  106. Lowe says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Too bad they’ll never be built then.

  107. @Anon

    Wow, genius plan you’ve got there Cortez. Why hadn’t anyone thought about that before?

    And debunked that before; see the refutation of Mark Z. Jacobson’s 100% renewable scheme by Clack et al.

    One shouldn’t ignore the fact that Jacobson’s “work” was financed by Precourt money… oil baron Precourt money.  It’s almost like… these people know which side their bread is buttered on.

  108. @Anonymous

    Because Wyoming is under the control of people who do NOT want any possibilities developed which put things beyond their control.

    For humanity to flourish, their control must be either escaped or destroyed.

  109. @Luke Lea

    You are thinking inside the box of human-habitable spaces which are defined by average temperatures around 10°C held by conventional thermal equilibrium and hold atmospheres by gravity.

    There are vastly more possible human-habitable spaces than that, and vastly more spaces total if you can get beyond those habitable by present-day humans.

  110. @Doug

    One could make a much smaller Dyson sphere, which captures all the star’s output and converts a considerable amount of it to pure energy.  This would likely be feasible at a considerably smaller diameter and use much less material.

    Could one balance a static Dyson sphere against stellar winds and light pressure?  Seems tricky, especially given the transfer of stellar angular momentum to the Dyson sphere via the same stellar winds and magnetic fields.  It might be impractical over the long term, assuming you haven’t found a way to move your civilization to new stars over the long term.  If humanity learns to think, plan and build on such time-scales, it truly deserves to rule the universe.

  111. Lowe says:
    @JayD

    If a person is actually smart, he would never choose to leave Earth for certain death in space. Which is one reason it will never happen. Another is that the political will and cultural interest needed for funding space missions lessens, as the white race disappears.

    Space travel is a self-indulgent fantasy favored by white men. It could serve no purpose, since we can build robots to accomplish any practical end in space, more cheaply and safely than with humans. The purpose of the fantasy is to imagine getting away from all the unlikable people on Earth, when really you should be thinking about how you could beat them.

    • Agree: The Anti-Gnostic
  112. The X-Seed 4000 will hold one million people. That means Jeff will have to build a billion of those.

    Good luck. The X-Seed makes the Burj Khalifa look like Whiskey’s erection.

  113. @Doug

    Pessimistic take:

    … the galaxy is filled with Earth like planets that never developed beyond hunter-gatherers and are inhabited with Neanderthal or Australian Abo like peoples. Then there will be a humanitarian obligation to resettle them on Earth. The real-life starship Enterprise will spend it’s time ferrying alien refugees to Earth.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Lurker
  114. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  115. Who can top Freeman Dyson for the product of one’s IQ and number of children?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  116. Lowe says:
    @ben tillman

    Maybe you should try a fidget spinner.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  117. J.Ross says: • Website

    “Hate hoaxes are hard to conceptualize when you have no label for them.”

    John Podgoretz claims that this was right after the pogrom scene at the end of the wedding reception, which would seem to strengthen the possibility that this was a Trump critic making the standard (and insane) comparison in disapproval.

  118. @Anonymous

    Yep. Even the bottom of the oceans would be easier to colonize than Mars.

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @Svigor
  119. @Lowe

    “Why are there no Muslims on Star Trek, Dad?”

    “It takes place in the future, son.”

    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
  120. Bezos’ last comment was clearly a swipe at the leftoid twerps at Google, who refused to work with DoD….

  121. Bill B. says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I don’t suppose for a second that Bezos imagines that he personally will be living with the space drone masses. Special provision will be made for monopolist-emperors.

  122. Mr. Anon says:
    @Mr. Rational

    In other words, space habitats will select humans for higher IQ.

    And then kill them.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  123. Mr. Anon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Bezos is probably thinking that future humanity will build a Dyson Sphere just outside the orbit of the earth by dismantling the outer planets.

    If, that is, the Galactic Overlords can pony up 3 quadrillion dollars worth of tax incentives.

  124. @Steve Sailer

    There are several technological challenges:
    1) A Dyson sphere is not in orbit around its sun. It would require constant maneuvering via external thrusters to keep it centered. Otherwise, things get messy when it gets seriously off center.
    2) There is no gravity inside a Dyson sphere, just like there is no gravity inside any spherical shell from the shell itself. There is also no electric field inside a spherical metal shell even if there is a uniform distribution of charge on the exterior of the shell. It has to do with integration.
    3) The volume of matter to make a Dyson sphere may be calculated as (4pi)(r-squared) times thickness. In order to have enough material to withstand compressive stresses without buckling, thickness has to be rather large. I know I said that there is no gravity on the interior, but on the exterior, gravity is the same as if the entire mass of the sphere was located at a point coincident with the center of the sphere, which is centered around the sun.
    4) Sol puts out about 2.009×10^7 W. It’s a really big number. The interior would get hotter over time until transfer of heat through the shell of the sphere and irradiation into space (in the infrared) equaled irradiance from the sun. Let’s just say things get hot. You’ll need window air conditioners.
    5) Asteroids are going to be really, really pissed if they have to make detours around the sphere. Plus, we would never get to see Hailey’s Comet again.
    6) Other technical stuff.
    7) The whole idea of “humanity will go to outer space” is just a pipe dream to keep docilewhites from complainng about or worrying about porous borders.

    As they say, a docilewhite is a goodperson.

    If anyone wants to do maths:
    The average distance to Sol is 150,000,000×10^3 meters. Make that 2×10^11 meters for radius of the sphere, just so Earth can continue its orbit.
    Use 2.5g/cc for the average density of rock (hard stuffs), which is what you would make the sphere out of.
    Pick a number for thickness, say 1,000 meters. Calculate volume of rock required.
    Volume of rocky planet needed is (4pi/3)(r-cubed). Rearrange and solve for r. It’s really easy.
    Thus, you would know how many rocky planets needed per kilometer of thickness, and I suspect it would take way more than 1,000 meters to prevent buckling.

  125. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anonymous

    Jeff Bezos seems to have modeled himself on Lex Luthor or Ernst Stavro Bloefeld.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  126. athEIst says:
    @Lowe

    Unfortunately Central America is also doing this. 10 yr population increases of ~27% for Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. This is insane.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  127. El Dato says:

    Absolutley needed before THE 1 TRILLION

    > Political stability (who on Earth wants to have rocks thrown at hime from above?)
    > Practical libertaranism (jackboots in space? HAHAHA. Fuck you! Someone controlling the ice reservoirs on Europa? Deal with incoming nukes!)
    > Fission power
    > Fusion power
    > Genetic engineering. On Humans.
    > Practical Nanotech.
    > Real AI

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  128. AnonAnon says:

    Gawd, I don’t understand why journalists continue to burp out these space fantasies of Elon Con Man Musk and now, Bezos. I guess it’s because they’re a bunch of dim bulbs but millennial fanbois just eat it up, probably thinking space truly is like Star Wars/Trek and million other tv shows, instead of what it is – a dark, cold, boring life in a submarine-sized living space. You might as well live in an underground prison. Getting into space requires a ton of energy, money, and planning. The ‘move fast and break things’ SV crowd will have to learn to engineer the old fashioned way – think very thoroughly and smartly about all the things that can go wrong and design accordingly. How interesting that both Musk and Bezos are well known in their industries to run slave-shop hire-young burn-out work environments. I wouldn’t want to ride in their rockets.

  129. anon[932] • Disclaimer says:

    “Low(er) IQ black kids not meeting standards = “institutional racism””

    Then how does that explain South Africa lowering educational standards yet again? That would seem to be an obvious counter example to their arguments.

    “Standards of basic education to be lowered, ‘yet again’”

    Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced a new plan to lower the pass mark in public schools even more. This, despite that fact that our current education system ranks amongst the lowest 5 in the WORLD!

    And, for the first time, achieving 30% in three subjects in the grades would see learners moving to the next grade.

    In 2016, the department sparked an outcry when it instructed public schools to condone all those in Grades 7 to 9 who obtained 20% in mathematics. And last year, it dropped mathematics as a compulsory subject to pass those grades.

    https://southafricatoday.net/south-africa-news/standards-of-basic-education-to-be-lowered-yet-again/

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Pericles
  130. athEIst says:
    @ben tillman

    But it would appear Sub-Saharan Africans are going to make a reach for that. Might even be successful. A 2100 world with 8 billion people and 4,000,000,000 SSA. But that won’t happen.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  131. Anon[932] • Disclaimer says:

    “If this is the case, we’re really screwed, because we’ve been broadcasting radio signals into deep space for 100 years. There’s no way to take them back, and if there are predators in wait it’s just a matter of the speed of light before they realize we’re here.”

    Yeah, but the thing is they should already know we’re here. The earth’s atmosphere is far out of equilibrium and obviously the product of something non-geologic. Any sufficiently advanced alien race should have detected this long ago if they were looking; we are almost at the point of having such technologies ourselves, so imagine what an alien civilization one million years more advanced than ours could have.

    Further, if the universe is filled with advanced aliens, then it would be fairly trivial for them to have destroyed most or even all potentially habitable planets by now. Instead of shooting objects at planets, they could have built a series of self-replicating Von Neumann probes to scour the galaxy and destroy all earth-like planets. But they haven’t because we are still here and they could have eliminated the entire planet thousands or millions of years ago.

    And if they are all around, then why haven’t we detected them? Sure, you could argue we haven’t looked enough…but we kind of have. As one of the posters above noted, nearly 100,000 galaxies have been searched for the kinds of waste heat advanced technology using aliens should be giving off. It’s not there.

    I think the simplest resolution to these various paradoxes is to assume intelligent life is rare and we’re among the first within a reasonable radius. Either that or the earth is a giant zoo that exists for alien study/entertainment.

  132. athEIst says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Only the elite get the mud huts. Everyone else makes do with straw.

  133. @James Speaks

    I wrote:

    Sol puts out about 2.009×10^7 W. It’s a really big number.

    Correction: Sol puts out about 385×10^26 W. It’s a really, really big number.

  134. ZeroDay says:

    Question: does Bezos envision 20-30% of this 1 trillion people being say, Mexican or African? Doing the jobs that spoiled space colonists just won’t do?

    Serious questions. Will there be Mexican astronauts who specialize in rocket booster maintenance, while Hondurans scrub the ship’s exterior and jettison space trash? Or will they be doing the more Start Treky stuff by then, like hanging out in front of the flashing instrument panels. Will there still be a Black underclass in space, if there is no magic dirt?

    In space, nobody can hear you scream, unless you’re a Black person calling a Becky racist.

    Often thought that most space sci-fi, even if dystopian, is basically a quiet longing for a world full of white people with normal Asians.

  135. May I suggest that before we talk about habitats in outer space, we solve a few local problems:
    1) Teach mucking forons in Broward County, Fl, how to count ballots.
    2) Get a rail system that works.
    3) Figure out how to get by with what we have.

  136. eah says:
    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  137. WHAT says:
    @Clifford Brown

    No, you just were clueless before Jobs got to scene and bamboozled you as usual.

  138. @Intelligent Dasein

    Bach, easily.

    I mean among those alive.

    Besides, only half of Bach’s children reached adulthood, and there’s some question whether he has any living descendents today. None in the male line.

  139. Lurker says:
    @James Speaks

    What about a Ringworld instead, doesn’t that get round a lot of these issues?

    If only Jerry Pournelle was still around to explain.

  140. @Anonymous

    Agreed, not just Antarctica – there are vast areas of undeveloped high latitude territory in Canada and Siberia, not to mention the mid-latitude deserts. From a European perspective the Anglo-held territories are best – Canada & Australia. Even the USA has vast swathes of sparsely populated land.

    A Dyson Swarm of O’Neil cylinders is physically doable, and does not require all that much mass, but I’m not seeing the motivation – if we wanted more people we could support hundreds of billions on Earth a lot more easily.

  141. WHAT says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Bloefeld wouldn`t even kill him personally.

  142. @MEH 0910

    I’ll bet a lot of the “corporate logo” stuff was ad-libbed by artist Mort Drucker. I don’t know how the artist/writer teams worked together at Mad, but it seems unlikely that the writer (Dick De Bartolo) was looking over his shoulder telling him what to draw.

  143. @Lurker

    You can set a ring world to spinning, creating centrifugal force as a gravity substitute, so it is less inherently silly than a hard Dyson Sphere. But the realistic approach is not any single vast solid object, it is a large swarm of smallish habitats together forming a roughly spherical shape around the Sun. Rotating cylinders create quasi-gravity. The mass to make them can come from the Moon, which has lots of building material, ice, and a small gravity well.

    Personally I don’t think this is likely to happen within our current civilisation, or possibly ever – rather than exponential growth, we seem to be headed for a step-change civilisational collapse within the next few centuries, something like the end of the Western Roman Empire. Mostly a result of changing demographics – with the end of the Germanic expansion wave that began a couple thousand years ago, the kind of people who conquer new frontiers are becoming in short supply. With immigration and cultural Marxism, the ‘white West’ seems to be self-genociding, and does not seem likely to be a leading civilisation a few centuries from now. But it is conceivable that future China may evolve into a leading civilisation and eventually engage in space colonisation if energy costs become sufficiently cheap.

  144. @Lurker

    Ringworld is somewhat more practical in the same way a phasor is a better weapon than a disrupter.

    There is still no gravity. (I think, but not going to do the integral at this hour of the morning.)
    Gravity could be replaced by the reaction to centripetal acceleration. This would require a thick ring. Attitude jets still required.

    I still think we should get Amtrak improved. More tangible results/closer to achievable.

  145. In other words, if everyone alive on earth gave Jeff Bezos a dollar, he’d feel underpaid.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  146. @Buzz Mohawk

    Someone even proposed launching some kind of explosives or material to the Moon that would put a logo on it so big that all of humanity would have to look at it.

    It’s in Heinlein’s “The Man Who Sold the Moon.” The entrepreneur who wants to send the first rocket to the moon is fundraising. He goes to the Mocha-Coke and tells them (untruthfully) that the 6+ corporation wants to pay him to put their logo on the Moon in black powder. But he gets Mocha-Coke to pay him so they can announce that they’ve arranged for the Moon to remain the same as always with no logo on it. The novella is full of these Mad Man Muntz business ideas. The scam involving diamonds is even more convoluted.

  147. Pericles says:
    @Lowe

    The only people bumping against the finite limits of their ecosystem are Africans.

    The populations of run-down deserts Iraq and Afghanistan have exploded since they were invaded, and it looks like they are sending out their surplus to find new lands.

  148. johnd says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    this is what a Nassau education does to people.
    (Ralph Nadar (’55), Fitzgerald (x17))

  149. Pericles says:
    @BlackAthenaRidesAgain

    Any guesses why this essay doesn’t say so?

    I blame Zoidberg.

  150. Pericles says:
    @Ron Unz

    Dot com apart, when you’re no longer a ‘growth stock’, expect your valuation to drop by 70% or more.

  151. Just wait until Bezos’ plans get derailed by uppity scientists who want to “solve” Climate Change rather than build rockets.

  152. Pericles says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    There is a saying in the Navy, that a ship is designed by geniuses to be operated by idiots.

    However, navies all over the world seem to be coming up with a better class of idiots. Apart from the antics of the US navy, it was elsewhere on this site reported that the Norwegian navy just sunk a frigate by collision. (The wikipedia summary on DuckDuckGo, captured below, was particularly amusing, but, alas, Wikipedia has for some reason edited it away.)

    HNoMS Helge Ingstad is a Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate of the Royal Norwegian Navy that was sunk by four women who had a hormonal imbalance they attributed to moonlight. On 8 November 2018, the frigate collided with the tanker Sola TS in Norwegian waters.

    (The women were presumably the ship navigators, proudly installed some time ago.)

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  153. Pericles says:
    @istevefan

    What is the political end game for Trump and prison reform?

    Seems like an entirely bizarre own goal to me, on the level of a ‘Reagan amnesty’ triple bankshot.

  154. Pericles says:
    @J.Ross

    “LGBTQ2″ eh? … It needs more punctuation characters.

  155. @Steve Sailer

    Apple was competing with Exxon for highest market cap in the world, and recently became the first firm with a trillion dollar market cap

    PetroChina was the first to reach $1T (and look what happened next!)

  156. Pericles says:
    @J.Ross

    Medals for all our friends, though I’m sure the parade will have a lot of coordinated shimmying and spirited leg kicking.

  157. Pericles says:
    @athEIst

    Since our host enjoys the occasional Science Fiction, let us consider Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons with a brown twist the author didn’t envision.

  158. Pericles says:
    @anon

    “Standards of basic education to be lowered, ‘yet again’”

    Damn those Boers!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  159. @Hypnotoad666

    For where THAT leads, read “The Cassini Division”. Good stuff.

  160. @Buzz Mohawk

    Maybe we are evolving away from country folk suited for life in open spaces, and toward a beehive of grinders, a global Hong Kong.

    Ah yes; humanity becomes the Borg. What could possibly go wrong?

  161. @Ron Unz

    I remember that some of the Dot Com 1.0 people sometimes talked in a similar manner

    I knew a VC name of Mario Marino in Northern Virginia who told me before the bust that the Dot Com schemes they were bringing him from 1994 onward, 99% were gibberish, they didn’t even earn a one-room office in his ‘institute’ he put together in Reston to nurture startups. They would then go off across the street, so to speak, and receive millions in funding for said gibberish that would then die in a year. Best advice I ever got was to clear my 401 of such rubbish which I did when I moved the 401 elsewhere after a job change. Never lost a dime on that particular bust-out. The 401K is the greatest ripoff ever if you aren’t flexible about what it’s in or if it’s managed by starry-eyes. I knew folks whose wealth was cut clean in half at least three times between the eighties and 2010 because they weren’t paying attention.

    • LOL: Ron Unz
  162. @Anonymous

    Anonymous[275] wrote:

    People commonly bring up Antarctica as a target for colonization. It’s much closer than Mars, about as cold as its warmest regions, and won’t pose any problems involving gravity, atmospheric pressure, or breathable air. But you don’t even need to go that far. Why not colonize Wyoming? There’s plenty of land.

    Golden-Age sci-fi (Heinlein, Asimov, et al.) filled a psychological need for lots of us nerdy adoelscent guys in the last half of the twentieth century.

    Like any normal adolescent guy, we wanted to be heroes. And, we had enough sense to know that getting drunk and driving down the local thoroughfares at 100 mph was not really heroic.

    But the important and useful things we could do — becoming physicians, engineers, computer programmers, etc. — did not have the aspects of personal risk and physical danger that were traditionally involved in heroism. And, anyway, we were hardly the kind of guys who could have made it across the Rockies or manned the Alamo back in the good old days of raw physical courage.

    Space seemed perfect, because you had to be intelligent to survive in space. And, we were intelligent.

    It’s interesting to analyze Golden Age sci-fi sociologically as the perfect literature for bright, Aspergery male adolescents. If Tom Swift could get the girl, maybe we could too! If you look at a lot of samples from the period, there tends to be a team of basically good guys united against clearly evil guys, and, while authority figures are often clueless, usually the Space Patrol turns out to be good guys in the end.

    Personal conflict: minimal within the group. Clearly defined good guys and bad guys. Authority figures dumber than we were, but fundamentally good-hearted. Intelligence as the highest virtue. And, everything works out swell in the end.

    A nerd’s idea of Heaven.

    I’m poking a bit of fun here, but perhaps it all was positive socially in that it mollified us very bright but somewhat frustrated nerds and motivated us to study the STEM subjects that were increasing in importance.

    Of course, most of us did eventually realize that it was fiction. It seems Bezos did not.

  163. Antonius says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A dysan sphere would give everyone on earth (the current population that is) a whole continent’s worth of living space.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  164. @Steve Sailer

    The moon doesn’t rotate fast enough. We should get it rotating once every 24 hours, then paint some really big lines on it. for a universal clock. Except, if we slip up and let goodpeople, who lack technical skills after all, take charge, then we might end up with 25 lines. Come to think of it, not a bad way to divide the day. The hand signal for “lunchtime” would be two fists, for ten, and a middle finger.

  165. @International Jew

    As Earth’s own radius is 4000 miles, the surface area of a Dyson Sphere would be 93,000,000/4000 squared — about 500 million.

    Easy math. Hard math:

    1. What quantity of hard material is needed to create this sphere? Then kit it out with a 1 Earth atmosphere so that those 3.78 quintillion people can breath. Is there enough material in the asteroid belt to do this? Oh yeah, I forgot, you have to harden that Dyson sphere with failsafes to prevent a catastrophic blowout of that 1 Earth atmosphere. What’s the density of this Dyson sphere and what gravity effects will it produce? So, will we have to strip mine all the other solar system planetoids to build this thing? Or is this Dyson sphere only imagined as an energy harvesting mechanism to provide power/energy to the 3.78 quintillion humans living…where?

    2. The total energy needed to build this. Is there enough, or is it all going to rely on solar power to build? Or a combination of both? Done almost exclusively by robot slaves with human overlords? Or robot overlords? What if they rebel?

    I apologize; I think practically about getting from here to there.

  166. David says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I seem to remember from Isaacson’s biography of Jobs that an officer from Samsung showed Jobs a small touchscreen and asked if he had any ideas on how to use it. That was the origin of the iPhone.

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
  167. @Johnny Smoggins

    That’s exactly right and don’t you ever forget it! I know it deep in my bones that, the last thought in the minds of every Tommy, Gerry, Jacques, Ivan and GI Joe as they lay gutshot/blown half to kingdom come and dying in the mud, was something along the lines of “Damn them all, they called me queer when all I really wanted was to put on a dress and serve tea!”

  168. @Anonymous

    Why not colonize Wyoming? There’s plenty of land.

    For that matter, there’s plenty of land in California for all the cheap housing for the Central Americans and the homeless. Maps of California are hilarious–why do people have to crowd into San Francisco and Oakland with all that beautiful coastland and hills in Marin County? You don’t have to answer that.

  169. @James Speaks

    Thanks; I had not seen your post when I asked about maths…

  170. @Lowe

    The purpose of the fantasy is to imagine getting away from all the unlikable people on Earth, when really you should be thinking about how you could beat them.

    The dinosaurs had just about everything else on Earth beat.  It was something not-on-Earth that got them.  Humans are the first and only life-form on the planet smart enough to realize that and come up with a way to avoid becoming mere fossils themselves.

  171. Gordo says:

    If Bezos really had an interest his fast probe Amazon1 would have landed on Oumuamua by now.

  172. @Sleep

    Unless we find another earth-like planet and it’s “close” (relatively speaking) and we can build a space ship that travels at near-light speeds to transport some humans to it. I know, it’s far fetched at this juncture but not totally impossible.

  173. @International Jew

    IIUC, the bottom of the ocean has pressures which literally denature proteins not evolved to stand it.  Mars is a piece of cake by comparison.

  174. @Mr. Anon

    It will kill the lazy, stupid and careless.  Kind of like harsh winters, only more intellectually demanding.

    I can’t think of a situation better suited to drive the next step in human evolution.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  175. @Steve Sailer

    Speaking of Dyson Spheres, regarding which I am a skeptic for reasons outlined by other commenters, but for true believers, couldn’t Dyson Spheres be the answer that simultaneously solves the Dark Matter riddle and the Drake Equation?

    In other words, if the natural evolution of advanced civilizations is to build Dyson Spheres, then that simultaneously explains why we don’t see the alien life that the Drake Equation predicts and can’t find all that Dark Matter: it’s hidden inside a gazillion Dyson Spheres.

  176. @El Dato

    Absolutley needed before THE 1 TRILLION

    > Political stability (who on Earth wants to have rocks thrown at hime from above?)

    You’re assuming that the people down in the gravity well will have anything to say about it.  When you can split off in groups of as little as a few thousand (perhaps a million if you want to be truly independent), secession is THE cure to political instability.  You don’t like your neighbors?  You have quite a few cubic AU of space if you want to move away from them.

    Of course, if your ex-neighbors are lazy, stupid or careless enough to do themselves in in your absence, you might be able to come back in a few years and take the empty habitat back.  Not so good for the people who stuck with the fools, but that’s evolution in action.

    > Practical libertaranism (jackboots in space? HAHAHA. Fuck you! Someone controlling the ice reservoirs on Europa? Deal with incoming nukes!)

    There are too many comets bringing ice into the inner solar system for anyone to think about mining Europa for a long, long time.  There may be plenty of ice lurking in dead comet nuclei which are even easier to capture, but we haven’t looked to be certain yet.

    • Replies: @Svigor
  177. @athEIst

    Africans can only be successful at it if the rest of the world props them up with food.  That seems rather doubtful; given a shortage, the USA would rather feed SUVs than sub-Saharans.

  178. Mr. Anon says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Maybe that’s why the Flashman novels are so popular with a certain set (a set that includes me): because they posit a way for an ignoble snivelling coward to get the girl and be hailed a hero by his peers.

  179. Mr. Anon says:

    Jeff Bezos Is Not Lacking in Ambition

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  180. @Almost Missouri

    While we’re doing science fiction, let me put forth this idea, that there is no dark matter, nor dark energy. The gravitational effects we see on large scales, where the gravitational pull of galaxies is too large given the observed mass of stars in those galaxies, and the accelerating expansion of the universe are caused by the same effect. Namely, that the native state of space is 2-d, but where sufficient mass density is present, it compresses and folds to mimic 3-d. The same effect continues inside the nucleus where higher “folded” dimensions are achieved. The result of all this hand waving is that the inverse squared law we all know so well becomes 1/r at large scales, and thus enough mass for galaxies not to fly apart, and 1/r^n, n>2 on small scales, thus the strong force is really just gravity with a 1/r^big component. Also explains black holes.

    I’ll set the phone on ‘loud’ while I wait for my Nobel. You’re welcome.

    • LOL: Desiderius
  181. @ZeroDay

    If you’ve read “Earth Unaware” (co-authored by Orson Scott Card, who was obviously just phoning it in) you’ve already seen the Social Justice message fiction version of our future in space.  And it’s obviously never going to happen.  The sorts of people described have never been able to build high-tech megaprojects, and in space just staying alive is a high-tech megaproject.

    (I pity anyone who read that book and expected anything worthy of Card’s name in it.  Seriously, don’t read it.  It’s terrible.)

  182. @Lurker

    Ringworlds still require USMs (Unreasonably Strong Materials) and aren’t gravitationally stable either.  Niven’s Ringworld was stabilized by ramscoop fusion thrusters.

    Niven is still around, and he’s even written about the subject for you to edify yourself before coming to him with any un-answered questions.

  183. @PhysicistDave

    most of us did eventually realize that it was fiction. It seems Bezos did not.

    Lots of the things we enjoy today were fiction well before they became fact.  A pity that so many of yesterday’s absurdities are also today’s fact, but that’s why we should be taking fiction seriously.  If you can’t even think about these things, you wind up with the unthinkable.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @Mr. Anon
  184. @Almost Missouri

    Dyson spheres convert starlight into thermal IR.  IIUC, we’d see a lot more thermal IR than we do if the bulk of dark matter was Dyson spheres.  We’d also see a brighter early universe followed by dimming as galaxies became swarmed by Dyson spheres, perhaps a dearth of nearby visible galaxies.  I haven’t seen anyone pushing that as an explanation for observations.

  185. anon[348] • Disclaimer says:
    @JayD

    Isaac Asimov envisioned exactly such a world in his book Nemesis: Earth swamped by the low IQ, plagued by war and violence and running out of resources, the smart moved into an orbital colony that orbits the earth like the moon.

  186. @Steve Sailer

    It figures that my memory would come from fiction. Thanks for the refresher.

    Maybe the funnest satellites were Echo 1 and Echo 2, giant, inflated, silver spheres made of that metalized Mylar material. 100 feet and 135 feet in diameter, they must have been brighter than anything else that has ever orbited over the world’s people.

    They were designed to be passive reflectors of microwave communication. Early 1960s.

  187. anon[348] • Disclaimer says:

    Bezos is behind his time. The Wakandans already figured this stuff out centuries ago.

  188. Jeff Bezos is fully on-board with the Gerard O’neill L-5 space colony scenario. That is where his 1 trillion people living through out the solar system comments are coming from. Bezos was even at the last space development conference hosted by SSI (Space Studies Institute), a research organization founded by Gerard O’neill himself around 1980 to develop the technology necessary (mass drivers, etc.) for space colonization.

  189. @ZeroDay

    Serious questions. Will there be Mexican astronauts who specialize in rocket booster maintenance, while Hondurans scrub the ship’s exterior and jettison space trash?

    A spacefaring society which can make advanced semiconductors will be using robots for all that.  Probably the only jobs available for the bottom tier will be caring for young children.

    Often thought that most space sci-fi, even if dystopian, is basically a quiet longing for a world full of white people with normal Asians.

    Hmmm.  Has anyone written a book where the space colonization effort is explicitly White flight?

  190. @Mr. Rational

    Skylab was an excellent use of a leftover Saturn V with a hollow third stage. It predates, by more than a decade, the much advertised and much smaller Russian Mir. It is odd that nobody talks about it anymore.

    Just one look at this video of astronauts playing inside gives some idea of how large Skylab was. One launch in the 1970s, and Americans had something that makes the ISS modules look pathetic:

    • Replies: @Lurker
    , @Jim Don Bob
  191. @Intelligent Dasein

    Ron’s observation was prescient. Yours too. We should be prepared.

  192. anon[634] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Buzz Mohawk

    “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.”

    Let’s start acting like it!

  193. Svigor says:
    @Lowe

    Space is fairly high up on the hostile environments list, relatively speaking (put another way, Earth is a fantastic piece of real estate). But humans expanding into space is inevitable, barring human extinction (which space colonization is the ultimate countermeasure for).

    “Impractical” is a relative term. Yes, they’re currently impractical.They’ll eventually become practical, because the need will be there. And probably sooner than a lot of people think (and later than a few people think).

    • Agree: Desiderius, Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Desiderius
  194. Svigor says:
    @advancedatheist

    Or come at it from the other end; divergent (e.g., competent, healthy, white with normal sexuality) people will have a stronger motivation to get into space.

  195. Svigor says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    ISS is a boondoggle, yes. NASA’s been a boondoggle for some time, too. So what? Been paying attention to SpaceX? They’re eating everybody’s lunch. They’re lowering launch costs dramatically, and seem on track to lower them a lot further, via reusability. The reason launch costs have remained high is because most of the cost of a launch is lost; all that expensive hardware is thrown away after every launch. SpaceX’ goal is to recover all, or almost all, of that expensive hardware and reuse it several times, dramatically lowering costs. And they’ve made a Hell of a lot of progress toward that goal in a relatively short amount of time, on a relatively small budget.

    If launch costs were down near the fixed cost of a launch (fuel), where SpaceX wants them, something like the ISS would cost a Hell of a lot less than it did.

    Actually, the kind of launch efficiency required to make space exploration commercially viable can be foreseen; get launch costs down near the cost of fuel (about 5% of costs before SpaceX got started, IIRC?). And SpaceX has made substantial progress in that direction, and seems to be making continual gains (though I haven’t checked in on them in recent months).

    The private rockets being developed are basically the same technology that lobbed Sputnik into orbit.

    Sorry, but that’s nonsense. Reusability is a new thing. It’s what NASA tried and failed to do with the Space Shuttle. And now SpaceX is delivering. That’s a quantum jump in launch tech. It’s at least as important as developing reliable rocket technology in the first place.

    I also don’t recall propulsive landing being a real thing in the sixties. They experimented with it, yes, but never got it to work as consistently as SpaceX has.

  196. Svigor says:

    http://www.spacexstats.xyz/#launchhistory

    Keep in mind that SpaceX has already pivoted away from Falcon 9 and, from what I read earlier this year, started putting resources into BFR.

    P.S:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-fcc-satellites-20181115-story.html

  197. Humans living in space or on Mars, the moon, etc is a weird joke.

    If this were doable, needed or desirable why isn’t Bezos or NASA building domed cities in the Artic, Antarctica or shallow sea beds? You could solve some if the same problems for a fraction of the cost. And you would have air, water, gravity and protection from radiation. Why isn’t it being done? Because it’s nonsense under today’s conditions and technology. It’s nonsense on stilts to think it can be done in space.

    • Replies: @Svigor
    , @Mr. Rational
  198. Lurker says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It’s a shame that it couldn’t be have been kept in orbit and become the basis of a bigger ISS.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  199. Lurker says:
    @ZeroDay

    Yes, it would be interesting to know if Mr Bezos has any thoughts on the demographics of space habitats.

  200. ZeroDay says:
    @ZeroDay

    This would also be a good writing exercise or an unpack-your-assumptions thought exercise.

    ———–
    In space, no one can hear you scream at a Becky…

    Write an optimistic space travel scifi story (or envision a scenario in detail) where most of the space travelers are black. The story cannot turn into a dystopian racialized story, nor can it turn into a spoof, ala Soul Brothers in Outer Space. You must also use plausible technology (no Wakanda stuff). Also, the space travelers cannot be genetically engineered to overcome current biological limitations.

  201. @Luke Lea

    “I think I read somewhere that even the moon is necessary to make life on earth as we know it possible, but I forget the details of the argument.”

    They keyword there is “as we know it.” Life in the Congo is very different from life in Siberia, but it’s still life. Living in a large tin can will be very different from living on Earth, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  202. Svigor says:
    @International Jew

    “Dyson sphere” is an outdated term. Nobody into space exploration uses it anymore. “Dyson swarm” has been the thing for a while.

    Even if a sphere was what you wanted, you still don’t need to be so spergy that it has to be an all or nothing thing; 50% of a Dyson sphere is still capturing 50% of a star’s radiation.

    So the idea that there isn’t enough matter in the solar system to make a Dyson sphere isn’t relevant. You want to capture as much of the energy as you can. I’ve never looked at the numbers, but I’m guessing there’s enough non-planetary matter in the solar system to capture gobsmacking amounts of solar radiation.

    I haven’t looked into Dyson swarms, but from what I gather from some TL;DR summaries, the challenge is not one of innovation, so much as scale; a Dyson swarm is an enormous project.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Desiderius
  203. Svigor says:
    @International Jew

    Yes, but less rewarding. There’s a much bigger payoff from making space exploration economically viable.

    Space travel is a solution in search of a problem. It seems like these kind of statements are mandatory to become the latest Thought Leader, the result of us being ruled by nerds. But I guess wasting money on this beats wasting money on concussionball.

    Wyoming, Antartica, and ocean floors don’t offer protection of Earth’s biology (*ahem* humans foremost) from ELE’s to nearly the extent that space colonization does.

    Don’t offer the freedom that space colonization does, either, which will be a huge driver (one I think few people really grasp).

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  204. Svigor says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Correct. The “evidence” being big dark spots created by civilizations capturing the light from the stars near them as they colonized their local space. Or even more stars going dark than expected, as spacefaring species captured the light of the stars in their home systems. This is one of the big arguments for spacefaring species being much rarer than commonly assumed. It’s a reasonable assumption, because otherwise all that stellar radiation is lost.

  205. Svigor says:
    @Luke Lea

    I think I read somewhere that even the moon is necessary to make life on earth as we know it possible, but I forget the details of the argument.

    It’s all speculative. Fact is we don’t know. But the thing I remember reading is how the tides supposedly have salutary (evolutionary?) effects. Also, the Moon is a nice asteroid magnet.

    As for Earth’s special sauce, if you’re an atheist, you’ve already accepted that Earth got this nice by accident. Humans are pretty smart – a lot more capable than chance, anyway.

    One idea I haven’t seen talked about is exporting the “special sauce” from Earth (or terraformed planets) on a regular basis. I.e., if Earth has some special ingredient in the air or water that can’t be sustained in artificial environments, then maybe you can export it. Like the Perri-Air in Spaceballs.

    A lot of this line of argument against space habitats is based on the idea that they have to be closed and entirely self-sustaining. But I don’t see why that is. That’s the long-term goal, obviously, but I don’t see why they can’t fall short of that in the interim.

    People have spent a lot of time living on the ISS, and I don’t recall the problems they face having to do with Earth’s “special sauce.” The stuff I read is all about the effects of microgravity.

    Distance from the star isn’t all that crucial. It’s more of a zone. Not that either is much of an obstacle; just build it where you need it to be.

    There are other ways to protect against radiation than magnetic fields. Water barriers are fine.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  206. @Svigor

    Many (say, two trillion) hands make light work.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  207. Svigor says:

    Also, nobody talks about adapting humans to space, rather than the other way around, but it’ll be a thing.

  208. Svigor says:
    @Isaac Bickerstaff

    Because domed cities would be getting way ahead of ourselves. Right now the barrier is launch costs. Until those fall sufficiently, we’d be wasting our time. And once they do, why bother with proxies when you can just test your stuff in space instead?

    There’s a lot of room between “humans living in space” and “domed cities.” Fact is, humans have been living in space for some time now (ISS).

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  209. Svigor says:
    @Lowe

    Dummy, escaping Earth is the practical end.

    The purpose of the fantasy is to imagine getting away from all the unlikable people on Earth, when really you should be thinking about how you could beat them.

    Trying to do both seems the smartest play.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  210. @Svigor

    Mother Nature is one persistent bitch.

    If you think you can keep her out of space you’re deluding yourself.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  211. @Pericles

    The translation’s a bit iffy, but you get the idea.

    https://navva.org/norway/norway/women-hang-around-after-the-accident-with-helge-ingstad/

    Here it appears that four of the five navigators on board KNM Helge Ingstad were women when the report was written.

    Resett editor Helge Lurås also used the article as a background in his comments on the loss, including the share of women in the armed forces and what effect it has on professional culture.

    The mix of women and men in their most hormonal age makes it a different dynamic than when there were only men on board.” A culture adapted to women weakens the armed forces and makes it less effective, he says to Aftenposten.

    It will allow discrimination and gender equality Hanne Bjurstrøm to respond.

    This is the low goal of Helge Lurås, he does not give the impression that he understands what the armed forces are today.

    We are living in 2018.” The place of women in all areas and levels of working life is still a theme at a time when people are both skilled and enlightened, and say a lot about those who express such attitudes, ” says the chief of the navy, Kontmirmiral Nils Andreas Stensønes .

    The Current Year, You Are Deplorable and Resistance Is Futile sound pretty similar whether your language is English or Norwegian.

  212. Svigor says:

    Review of Marotta & Globus’ follow up to The High Frontier:

    http://space.nss.org/book-review-the-high-frontier-an-easier-way/

  213. Svigor says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Apparently there’s reason to believe that there’s a lot of water ice in asteroids. Last I heard, Titan was the most promising planetary body for mining, if cheap interplanetary travel becomes a thing; apparently she has oceans of methane.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  214. Yngvar says:

    «I know everybody’s very conflicted about the current politics in this country and so on. This country is a gem,» Bezos said. «This is a great country. And it does need to be defended.»

    That’s so sweet.

  215. @eah

    Democrats are the real racists

    Because they have 200 years of familiarity with the subject. Why do you make fun of this statement? Instead, demand that Democrats tell us why they are the real racists– because racism is the correct policy? Make them swelter.

    Low(er) IQ black kids not meeting standards

    The problem is that they’re held to the wrong standard, not that standards per se are irrelevant. Why was black bastardy sixty years ago so low that it was below white bastardy today? Has the white race collapsed genetically in two generations? Or do rules have an effect, too?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  216. @Isaac Bickerstaff

    “Space travel is utter bilge.” — Royal astronomer Sir Richard van der Riet Woolley.

  217. @Lurker

    As I recall, Skylab wasn’t able to reboost itself so it was coming down regardless.

    It also wasn’t designed to last.  We sometimes forget that these things wear out.  Had there been a design for stations built from Shuttle ETs, transferring gear from old tank to new tank would have been one way to keep at least the outer shell in near-new condition as each new rendezvous mission brought up a new one.

    Last, I wish that NASA had paid attention to the short story Tank Farm Dynamo.

  218. @Desiderius

    “A zygote is a gamete’s way of making more gametes.” — Lazarus Long

    “Humans are Nature’s way of spreading Her spores into the cosmos.” — Me, paraphrasing Desidarius

  219. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    This country is already in big trouble, viz.:

    In March 2017 at the behest of the World Jewish Congress and allied actors, Jeff Bezos’s Amazon.com summarily delisted over 100 titles from its catalog on the history of the Holocaust, because the WJC didn’t like the positions taken in those blasphemous (revisionist) books. The story appeared in this outlet at http://www.unz.com/article/books-banned-by-banned-books-week.

    Big tech companies supporting the Department of Defense? Pfah …

  220. Blue Origin was started in 2000, two years later SpaceX was started, SpaceX had far less money so they needed to reach orbit ASAP, but Blue Origin because of Jeff’s billions can take their time, for now with less cash SpaceX are winning, Blue will narrow the gap in 2020

    I find the hate for Musk funny, everyone assumes he’s on the left, a total liberal. probably because of the whole electric car thing, (((Breitbart))) really hate him, endless negative stories, but the dude is from South Africa, he knows well how the work works, he has to be HBD aware, I have yet to meet a white African who isn’t. He made a tweet a while back about media control/ownership, certain (((people))) got angry, demanding to know what he meant, but Musk said nothing, he knows

    I also find the SpaceX haters interesting, they keep telling me SpaceX is a scam and they will never reach the Moon or Mars, and yet each step of way SpaceX delivers, yeah sometimes there might be a delay but they get there in the end, I expect them to have boots on Mars by 2030 and on the Moon well before that

    • Replies: @Svigor
  221. @David

    Why would anyone from Samsung be showing Jobs new hardware, sounds like BS to me

    I watched a documentary about Nokia a few weeks back, some guy in Finland had a proto-iPhone way back in 2002, he offered it to Nokia and they turned him down, called it a gimmick

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhB7bJ4yfno&frags=pl%2Cwn

    Found it on youtube, go to the 40min 30 sec mark

  222. anon[336] • Disclaimer says:

    “But it is conceivable that future China may evolve into a leading civilisation and eventually engage in space colonisation if energy costs become sufficiently cheap.”

    I have no doubt that China will become the leading space-faring nation over the next 30 years. They’ll also be the first – and perhaps only – nation to put a man on the moon. This is something I’m actually kinda hoping for because, if the US did it, the first person would otherwise be a black transgendered cross-eyed intersectional non-culturally appropriating bipedal organism, even though normal white men (and a few Asians) would be predominantly responsible for getting it there and back; I’m not much into giving an enemy cause to appropriate our accomplishment. At least the first Chinese on the moon will be a heterosexual male.

    However, long-term, China is in trouble. She is expected to lose several hundred million people off her population and be one of the world’s oldest countries by 2100, so even that will come to an end at some point, barring massive cost reductions and advanced automation – and AI – technologies. The only way I see humanity becoming a spacefaring civilization over the long term would be for some miracle to happen, like an AI singularity or refinements to and acceptance of genetic engineering. And that doesn’t look particularly likely right now.

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
  223. anon[336] • Disclaimer says:

    “Why would anyone from Samsung be showing Jobs new hardware, sounds like BS to me”

    It’s plausible. Stuff like that happens all the time. It’s why Hollywood writing talent is so famously guarded; and why talent likes to work with people they can trust not to rip them off or steal credit – the Cohen brothers, for example. Also, there is the story of Paul McCarty foolishly telling Michael Jackson over drinks about wanting to buy back the rights to several of the Beatles songs when they became available only for Jackson to then buy them for himself. So, I can easily see a Samsung exec who didn’t know anything about the potential of what he had telling a then out-of-work Jobs all about it. Jobs then takes the idea and goes back to Apple and makes a fortune for himself (and all the fame) due to someone else’s loose lips.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  224. Svigor says:
    @(((They))) Live

    I agree, I’m always trying to correct the right-wing Musk-haters by pointing to SpaceX, telling them to give the Tesla refrain a rest.

    He actually didn’t say nothing in response to the (((media))) thing; he basically gave the proper hide-your-power-levels-but-don’t-cuck response. Something about how Big Media was deliberately misinterpreting what he said.

    Blue Origin is real, but I’m holding off on predicting how they’ll stack up against SpaceX. So far, Bezos’ “step by step, ferociously” thing hasn’t looked so great next to Musk’s balls-to-the-wall rapid innovation cycle thing. SpaceX’ approach would seem to be a better way to create a corporate culture of pushing the limits. Replacing ULA in the launch industry is fine, but pushing the limits is what we’re going to have to do if we want to colonize space.

    Also, SpaceX might have a river of cash to reinvest, if their satellite network thing pays off.

  225. mmack says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz,

    Maybe this is a real life The Marching Morons and Bezos is planning to stuff people in defective rockets and send them to “Mars” when it’s really a giant culling off of humanity.

    Look out for discussions of Poprob, people named John Barlow, and stories about blanket trees and ham bushes on Mars.

  226. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Antonius

    Africans have that now and it means nothing to them.

  227. @Svigor

    Apparently there’s reason to believe that there’s a lot of water ice in asteroids.

    Carbonaceous chondrites specifically, if memory serves.  And extinct comet nuclei, which started with heaps of volatiles.

    Neither could hold a candle to an active comet, though, and we get more of those swinging by all the time.  (I like the idea of mining the permanently-shadowed lunar crater floors where water and ammonia from impacting comets has likely frozen out if it didn’t get evaporated into space or blown off by the solar wind first, but that’s going to be a limited resource.)

    Last I heard, Titan was the most promising planetary body for mining, if cheap interplanetary travel becomes a thing; apparently she has oceans of methane.

    You’re going to have to be working at a pretty impressive scale before it’ll be worth going all the way to Titan for anything, and on Titan water is a mineral that’s harder than steel.  If you have all the hydrogen you need already, the atmosphere of Venus is a prime source for carbon, oxygen and nitrogen.

  228. @Anonymous

    Welfare for scientists–that’s what NASA and space exploration are all about. It’s high dollar welfare however, not the common kind for poor folks.

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
  229. @Svigor

    Distance from the star isn’t all that crucial. It’s more of a zone.

    A mighty wide zone; it shouldn’t be at all difficult to pick your location between the orbits of Mercury and the outer gas giants, you just need to adjust the size of your solar collectors.  Of course, if you’re hugging old Sol you’re going to want to keep most of your habitat behind said collectors.

    If you’ve managed to find enough fissiles or get fusion to work, you could go almost literally anywhere in the outer system or even head for another star.

  230. @PhysicistDave

    You seem reasonably intelligent. Perhaps religion is a bridge too far, but must literature be too?

    Try taking fiction seriously. You might be surprised where you end up.

  231. @PhysicistDave

    At the first national sci-fi convention in, I think, 1941, the star was Heinlein, a dapper, distinguished-looking fellow whose big speech was about how the proto-nerds in the audience were The Future. I suspect it was an important moment in the history of Nerd Liberation.

  232. @Lowe

    Maybe you should stop trying to genocide the white race, which is what that comment is designed to do.

    What is wrong with you?

  233. @Lowe

    If you use the term “minorities” to refer to non-Whites after being corrected, you are either (a) a moron or (b) someone who hates the White race.

    Stop trolling, Dick.

  234. @Svigor

    Obviously, survival requires that we get off this planet at some point. This guy just jumped off the short bus.

    • Replies: @NZLex
    , @jb
  235. @Mr. Rational

    There is a narrow slice of history, perhaps 20 years, between the time when it is technologically feasible to dismantle Mars to create human habitats and the emergence of Environmental lawyers who will tie the whole enterprise up in court for the rest of eternity.

    • Agree: Svigor
    • Replies: @Anon
  236. @Steve Sailer

    I met Heinlein in the early ’70s at a sci-fi get together at Caltech, and I got to chat with him about his own socio-political views compared to Ayne Rand’s. I suggested they were similar — rugged individualist, libertarian, etc..

    Heinlein, very politely, disagreed. He pointed out that in his books he repeatedly argued for a bioloigcal perspective going beyond the individual — “women and children first,” males as fundamentally expendable, etc.

    Needless to say, I earned quite a few points with my fellow ‘Techers for getting Bob Heinlein into a serious conversation!

    He was, incidentally, a very nice fellow. And his wife, Ginny, was very charming.

  237. @Mr. Rational

    Mr. Rational wrote to me:

    Lots of the things we enjoy today were fiction well before they became fact. A pity that so many of yesterday’s absurdities are also today’s fact, but that’s why we should be taking fiction seriously.

    Yes, and private comnpanies will eventually make a lot of money out of space.

    But everwhere in the solar system beyond the earth is very inhospitable to human life (and other stars are very far away!). It is going to be a very, very long time before large numbers of human beings are spending most of their life off the earth.

    In a thousand years, ten thousand years, who is to say? But in our or our children’s or our grandchildren’s natural lifetimes, no, it is just not going to happen.

    You want to go for some wild speculation, how about a dramatic extension of human life span? There is no obvious reason we can’t live as long as a Galapagos tortoise.

    Or human level AI? Or figuring out the nature of consciousness and its connection to the physical world? Or discovering life in other solar systems?

    No one knows the odds of any of those discoveries. But, we do know very well the tehcnical and economic difficulties of space colonization: it is going to be very, very hard for the foreseeable future.

    (If anyone wants to read some recent sci-fi that makes the case opposite to mine, see Andy Weir’s novel Artemis. Almost made me think it might be possible.)

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @(((They))) Live
  238. Anon[143] • Disclaimer says:
    @Chief Seattle

    You’ve read your Kim Stanley Robinson, et al. It’s amazing how much crazy stuff has been anticipated in sci-fi.

  239. NZLex says:
    @anon

    The CIA is very happy you think so. “Bezos the cool patriot” indeed – I’ve heard it all reading this comment section tonight.

  240. NZLex says:
    @ben tillman

    Newsflash: All of “us” will die. There is no “survival” – in space or otherwise.

  241. BB753 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A spokesman for nerds, perhaps, but not a real nerd himself, Heinlein the man. It was nerds who ruined sci-fi and fantasy.

  242. At what point are you all going to admit that this is just pissing into the wind? There isn’t going to be any space colonization, ever. It’s impossible.

    It isn’t a matter of technical problem solving or economics or energy, but of the deepest metaphysical realities. The Earth is the spiritual center of the universe. Human beings are of the Earth and for the Earth; we are the Earth in rational form. Like Antaeus the Giant, we have no strength when lifted off her surface. It is no more possible for human beings to live apart from the Earth than it is for us to cast ourselves into fire and not burn, or to walk off the edge of the cliff and not fall.

    To modern people, thoroughly imbued with the Lockean materialism unawares, the Earth is just another piece of matter adrift in space. And the human being, conceived solely as an ego, as a unit of efficient force at the center of a coordinate system, sees no particular reason why he must carry out his existence here as opposed to any other point in the Cosmos. Assuming he can manufacture a suitable “environment” to house his body, what difference does it make where he is? He might as well live on the Moon or Mars, or on a ship traversing the depths of space.

    The lesson that will be given by space travel, for anyone foolish enough to attempt it, is that this whole materialistic viewpoint is mistaken. The impossibility of space colonization is not a technical nor even a physical limitation, but a logical one. In a way that modern people will scarcely be able to fathom, I do say that human nature has no predication beyond the confines of Earth. The very concept of humanity does not exist in space. Attempt to leave here, and the substance of your soul will dissolve. You will be torn apart from the inside as, one by one, the antecedents of your existence are withdrawn.

    In this manner are the heavens forbidden to fallen human nature. There is a great seal beyond which we cannot pass, and we should not let our “successes” in space travel deceive us as to the reality thereof. Our brief sorties into Low Earth Orbit are really just extended airplane rides. A few impetuous shots at the Moon, wrapped in foil and glass, were a childlike indulgence, a gimmick of insufficient impiety to awaken the rumbling titans. But to live there, to convert the whole vast Cosmos into a means to serve a human purpose, into a machine of sorts? That will not be permitted. Our very meddling will call forth latent powers of existence that will bring about our tragic end. In the last analysis, all the old myths are true. The survivors will remember the terrible fury that befell those who messed with the gods.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Troll: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  243. IHTG says:

    Great example of “wokewashing”:

  244. jb says:
    @ben tillman

    The Earth has been livable for the past several hundred million years, and it’s likely to remain so for a comparable amount of time into the future. There is no hurry to get off it.

    (I do worry a bit about comet Swift-Tuttle though).

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  245. You want to go for some wild speculation, how about a dramatic extension of human life span? There is no obvious reason we can’t live as long as a Galapagos tortoise.

    Unless one considers why sexual reproduction exists at all.

  246. Life extension is the domain of DIY bioengineering types. You can play around with senolytics now (which I have already tried one and am trying another). The holy grail, in vivo cellular reprogramming, could probably be done in a low cost lab in the next 10 years. There are start-ups in this space as well. AgeX is one of them that is also working on in vivo cellular reprogramming.

    Bezos vision is really the old O’neill L-5 space colony thing. He is now working with SSI this.

    Check out http://www.ssi.org as well as the book that kicked it all off:

    https://www.amazon.com/High-Frontier-Human-Colonies-Space-ebook/dp/B00CB3SIAI/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=

  247. rob says:
    @istevefan

    OrangeMan get bad press. OrangeMan want good press. This gets OrangeMan good press. Maybe he thinks black men are NatCons cuz of Kanye. Or maybe he wants to flood the cities with criminals?

  248. There is none so naïve as your friendly neighborhood otherwise intelligent man desperately efforting to be the biggest cynic on the block.

  249. @PhysicistDave

    Rand presents a degenerate view of female sexuality in her novels, especially in the character Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Something about women’s natural function of child bearing and child rearing invoked aversion in Rand, and she managed to transmit her emotional dysfunction to many of her Kool-Aid drinkers.

    That would explain why the two existing Rand cults, the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society, have to engage in nonstop poaching of teenagers and college students from normal people’s families to replenish the cultists’ ranks as the older ones either die without offspring, or else they just get bored with Rand stuff and move on.

    The philosophical movement Rand tried to start therefore fails to flourish organically. It wouldn’t have this problem now if Rand had emphasized to her followers that they had to fight the culture war by fighting the war of the cradle – namely, by marrying, forming families and rearing their children as Objectivists. That strategy made the Mormons successful, so we can see that it works in the real world.

    Rand didn’t think that way, however, because like other sterile cat ladies with no reason to invest in long-term projects which would continue after they die, she had a high time preference.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @PhysicistDave
  250. Mr. Anon says:
    @Mr. Rational

    It will kill the lazy, stupid and careless. Kind of like harsh winters, only more intellectually demanding.

    Galactic Cosmic Ray flux doesn’t care about IQ. It is an equal opportunity killer.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  251. Mr. Anon says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Lots of the things we enjoy today were fiction well before they became fact.

    Lots of things we used to enjoy – like homogenous, functioning societies – used to be truth, and are now fiction.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  252. Mr. Anon says:
    @PhysicistDave

    No one knows the odds of any of those discoveries. But, we do know very well the tehcnical and economic difficulties of space colonization: it is going to be very, very hard for the foreseeable future.

    A lot of people see the artwork of space elevators, orbiting space colonies and the like, and think that the concept is the thing itself. But the real world is governed by material properties, the rocket equation, and Carnot efficiency. And all these things – as you rightly pointed out – make space travel and colonization highly problematic.

    And most science fiction has proved to be wrong in its technical particulars.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  253. @PhysicistDave

    I liked Weir’s first book so I bought Artemis when it came out but I never made it past the first chapter, last book of his I’ll ever buy

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  254. Mr. Anon says:
    @Mr. Rational

    There was at least one proposal to refit one or more Shuttle external tanks into a space station. Any of those ideas would have put vastly more pressurized volume into space for a lot less money. None of these ideas went anywhere because they didn’t maintain the food chain of the Shuttle’s contractors.

    The shuttle ETs are built by shuttle contractors, sort of by definition. How does that not maintain their food-chain?

    It’s quite feasible to pull nearly-pure nickel-iron powder out of lunar regolith using only a magnet.

    No, it isn’t. The metals are locked up in minerals – i.e., as oxides. Getting pure metals out of them will requre a lot of energy as well as the infrastructure for such industrial processes.

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
  255. @PhysicistDave

    There’s a nice anecdote of the unknown young Heinlein in the 1930s getting in line to have the elderly H.G. Wells sign a book on a Wells book promotion tour to L.A.. They struck up an animated conversation that went on for 5 or 10 minutes until the people stuck in line behind Heinlein complained.

  256. I saw First Man a couple of weeks back, I liked it, good film

    At one point it had a Gill Scott-Heron song called Whitey on the Moon

    Blacks like Heron seem to be bitter about NASA and the space program in general

    IMO the root cause of this is the white controlled media who don’t allow blacks in the US or Europe have information on the space programs that various African countries are working on

    FAO all you white nerds at NASA thats the Zambian space program, look upon their works ye mighty and despair LOL

    Of course it ain’t just the Zambians, just look at what the Congolese are up to

    We don’t see much about this in the white controlled media, my guess is all kinds of amazing advanced technologies are being worked on in Africa but the white controlled media suppresses the information

    Africans are also working on Helicopters, in fact I believe they invented them

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @BB753
  257. @Intelligent Dasein

    Now, would this be riffing off Icarus, Prometheus or Adam and Eve?  A slumgullion of all 3?

    But to live there, to convert the whole vast Cosmos into a means to serve a human purpose, into a machine of sorts? That will not be permitted. Our very meddling will call forth latent powers of existence that will bring about our tragic end. In the last analysis, all the old myths are true. The survivors will remember the terrible fury that befell those who messed with the gods.

    If the ones left behind had had the brains to understand what it meant for the first vertebrate to leave the water and walk up on dry land, they might have concocted something like this.

    I’ll give you a hint:  the dinosaurs are extinct because they DIDN’T have a space program.

  258. @jb

    Humanity, if not Earth itself, is facing novel threats like religious fanatics with nuclear arsenals.  Getting some distance from THAT is a decent insurance policy.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  259. @Mr. Anon

    most science fiction has proved to be wrong in its technical particulars.

    Most science fiction authors haven’t even tried, they’re just telling stories.  I can point you to several who are verifiably clueless about scientific basics.

    Now, when you get into HARD science fiction, it’s different.  Lots of the authors in the post-war period made a point of doing the math; some of them were scientists themselves.  Some of this extends to pre-war pulps and such as well; readers would write in about errors in the physics and authors would publicly eat crow.  We can only dream about such an educated community today.

  260. @Mr. Anon

    The metals are locked up in minerals – i.e., as oxides. Getting pure metals out of them will requre a lot of energy as well as the infrastructure for such industrial processes.

    Both NASA and Russia beg to differ:

    Native metals

    Native iron

    Other native metals

    Anywhere you’ve had meteoroid bombardment, you’re going to have nickel-iron sprayed from the impact craters of metallic and stony-metallic meteoroids.  Without oxygen to rust it, it remains in metallic form on Luna and you can just sift it out with a magnet.

  261. @BB753

    Right. The nerds who attended the pioneering 1941 sci-fi convention found Heinlein glamorous, like a movie star. I think one compared him to Franchot Tone.

  262. Antonius says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I think Bezos might want to look Jack Williamson’s “Lifeburst” and Chapter 22 in particular.

  263. @Mr. Anon

    Galactic Cosmic Ray flux doesn’t care about IQ.

    Ten tons of shielding per square meter is quite sufficient to reduce said flux to more-than-safe levels.  It doesn’t matter whether this shielding is 100 km of atmosphere, tanks of water or ice, or whatever convenient solid rock, slag or whatever you’ve got lying around; 10 tons per square meter deals with it.

    There are hints that the optimal steady-state radiation dose for humans is around 700 mSv/yr, so that shielding might be cut quite a bit.  You mostly want to stop the heavy cosmic primaries, and that’ll still do it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  264. @Mr. Anon

    A point that is (a) quite true and (b) totally irrelevant to the discussion.

    AAMOF, leaving “diversity” behind seems likely to be a strong motivator for moving to space.

  265. @Mr. Anon

    The shuttle ETs are built by shuttle contractors, sort of by definition. How does that not maintain their food-chain?

    If you were building Shuttle ETs, which would you rather contract for:

    (a) three launches to put the tank proper into orbit, plus 2 more for furnishings and equipment.

    (b) a dozen launches to orbit individual modules carried in the Shuttle cargo bay?

    How about if you sold solid rocket boosters?  Take your time, consider the deep issues here.

  266. @(((They))) Live

    The Zambian space program is one of my favorites.  That and the various African attempts at making rotorcraft and even fixed-wing aircraft are some of the best examples of the deficient thinking processes behind cargo cults in existence today.  Actual parodies like The Old Negro Space Program can’t match reality.

  267. The would-be prudent and skeptical in this thread are embarrassing themselves. Your burdens of proof are all pointed in the wrong direction. Hope you enjoy hanging out with dill-witted SJWs, because that’s the company you’re keeping.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  268. @BB753

    Without nerds, sci-fi would never have existed as published fiction.  Nerds are almost all of the readership.

    • Replies: @BB753
  269. @Desiderius

    Hope you enjoy hanging out with dill-witted SJWs

    What a pickle we’ve gotten ourselves into.

  270. jmsjlh says:
    @Alfa158

    Blade Runner 2049s corporate Logos were not only an Easter egg but a homage to the logos in original Blade Runner.

    There is also a BR curse that any company that appears in BR becomes a failure! (Pan An no longer existing and Atari with the great video game crash of the early 1980s)

  271. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Believe it or not, there was a black guy who successfully built and flew an airplane.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_WR-1_Love

    However, this is not a common thing, although to be completely fair, I knew black and Mexican (obviously mestizo) aircraft owners and pilots and they were no different from the average in flying ability than the other people I knew at the airports where i was an airport kid.

  272. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Based on nuclear submarine experience the shielding might be no where near that heavy: submarines use blocks of a polyethylene plastic for most of the shielding, at least in US practice. And free space radiation is orders of magnitude lower than what’s on the outside of a nuclear reactor’s steel pressure vessel.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  273. jmsjlh says:
    @J.Ross

    Actually as a straight White man I love astrology!

    It is an excellent topic on dates. ‘Oh my gosh our signs are compatible!’. ‘Wait our signs are opposites, but opposites attract!’

    Other light-hearted new-agey stuff is ‘special rocks’ and their powers / auras. Girls eat this stuff up and love showing off jewellery to a new suitor.

    Guys who don’t like this stuff are probably Millennials who prefer the hook up culture instead of dating.

  274. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @advancedatheist

    At least according to Bob Whitaker, Ayn Rand had talked her husband Frank O’Connor (an artist of no other note in history besides being her husband: his work was neither plentiful nor especially good) into getting vasectomized when the procedure was nothing like as common as it is today.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to navigation
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    Frank O’Connor (1903–1966) was an Irish author.

    Frank O’Connor may also refer to:

    Frank O’Connor (actor) (1881–1959), American actor, director and screenwriter
    Frank O’Connor (basketball), Irish Olympic basketball player
    Frank O’Connor (1897–1979), American actor and painter, married to Ayn Rand
    Frank D. O’Connor (1909–1992), American politician from New York City
    Frank O’Connor (baseball) (1868–1913), American baseball pitcher
    Frank Patrick O’Connor (1885–1939), Canadian politician, businessman, and founder of Laura Secord Chocolates
    Frank O’Connor (rugby league) (1906–1964), Australian rugby league footballer
    Frank O’Connor (bulk carrier) (1892–1919), a 1892 shipwreck in Lake Michigan
    Frank O’Connor (public servant) (1894–1972), senior Australian public servant
    Frank O’Connor (Australian rules footballer) (1923–2017), Australian rules footballer for Melbourne
    Raymond O’Connor (footballer) (1913–1980), born Francis Raymond O’Connor, also known as Frank

    The particular Frank O’Connor, is in fact the only one of the bunch whose line is not a link to another page. As active as Objectivists are in creating web pages, he is seen as so insignificant a footnote as to be ignored.

    Barbara and Nathaniel Branden both wrote good books on Rand which are today fairly definitive as to her life, beliefs and quirks. There is also, of course, her “legal and intellectual heir” Leonard Peikoff, affectionately or not so affectionately known as “The Poodle”, for his slavish devotion and loyalty.

    Leonard Peikoff
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    Leonard Peikoff
    Leonard Peikoff.tiff
    Leonard Peikoff in 2010
    Born October 15, 1933 (age 85)
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Education University of Manitoba
    New York University (BA, MA, PhD)
    Notable work Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
    Spouse(s) Cynthia P. Peikoff (divorced)
    Amy Lynn Peikoff (divorced)
    Era Contemporary philosophy
    Region Western philosophy
    School Objectivism
    Main interests
    Epistemology, political philosophy
    Influences
    [show]
    Website Peikoff.com

    Leonard Sylvan Peikoff (/ˈpiːkɑːf/; born October 15, 1933) is a Canadian-American philosopher.[1] He is an Objectivist and was a close associate of Ayn Rand, who designated him heir to her estate after her death. He is a former professor of philosophy and host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. He co-founded the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) in 1985 and is the author of several books on philosophy.

  275. @advancedatheist

    advancedatheist wrote to me:

    The philosophical movement Rand tried to start therefore fails to flourish organically. It wouldn’t have this problem now if Rand had emphasized to her followers that they had to fight the culture war by fighting the war of the cradle – namely, by marrying, forming families and rearing their children as Objectivists. That strategy made the Mormons successful, so we can see that it works in the real world.

    Yeah, her whole ethical system simply ignored familial virtues — spousal fidelity, parental love, filial piety, and all the rest. Kind of funny considering that she was quite convinced that her ethics were firmly rooted in biology. At one point, she admitted that she did not know whether or not evolution was true, which perhaps is revealing.

    advancedatheist also wrote:

    Rand didn’t think that way, however, because like other sterile cat ladies with no reason to invest in long-term projects which would continue after they die, she had a high time preference.

    I’m not sure it was a short-term time preference so much as her simply not liking children. Some people don’t.

  276. @Anonymous

    Reactor shielding has to absorb neutrons, which is why polyethylene; it’s chock-full of hydrogen, which eats neutrons and turns to deuterium.  (Stationary reactors are surrounded by concrete, which has oodles of water of hydration to supply hydrogen.)  The secondaries from cosmic rays are mostly things like pions, not neutrons.  They are only blocked by nucleons; hydrogen isn’t what you want for that.

  277. BB753 says:
    @(((They))) Live

    Wakanda is closer than we might think, LOL!

  278. BB753 says:
    @Mr. Rational

    A nerd readership is a given. But nerds actually writing sci-fi and sword and fantasy gives you a R. R. Martin, not Tolkien.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Desiderius
  279. Anonymous[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    Yes, a good writer – of SF or anything else – needs to be well read in all fields of literature.

  280. @BB753

    The great writers, whatever the genre – including absolutely sci fi/fantasy, enjoy a readership far broader than just nerds.

    Tolkien foremost.

  281. Looks like both Virginia and New York will be helping the world’s richest man get his own helipad:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/amazon-jeff-bezos-new-york-helipad_us_5beb2569e4b0caeec2bec952

  282. @Lowe

    One of the hard problems of even interplanetary travel is doing something about all the radiation you’d get during the trip. Shielding is heavy and heavy is expensive to get to orbit.

  283. @Buzz Mohawk

    Zero gravity looks like a lot of fun, but you have to pee sometime.

  284. @anon

    The guys at Xerox’s Parc Place showed Jobs their windows operating system. Jobs copied it and then later sued Bill Gates for stealing his idea. Steve was a BSD for sure.

  285. @(((They))) Live

    I liked Weir’s first book so I bought Artemis when it came out but I never made it past the first chapter, last book of his I’ll ever buy

    Why?

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