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rockett

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Tritium":3qllyi6z said:
To raise the public awareness of the danger,and the solution,seems to be the most important immediate goal before us today.Easier said than done,since most of the population does not see any practical value in space programs.To convince them that preservation of our species is the most important goal will require a great deal of effort,given that most people doubt the facts presented to them about global warming.It seems that the general public does not trust scientific data,or scientists.How do we change these minds?
Unfortunately, we have develolped a great number of cultural problems which makes this unlikely anytime soon.

Americans as a culture, have become notoriously short sighted, and self centered as a whole. If we aren't looking up at the sky and seeing this huge thing bearing down on us, we aren't going to notice, and we really don't care. We are too concerned with entertainment, trivialities, what's going to benefit us personally right now, and so on. Think about the amount of activity Facebook or Twitter gets vs these forums for example.

Another point is ignorance. The schools have been dumbing down for years as opposed to really trying to bring students that need help up to the rest of the class. There are the teachers (I meet many in my work) who are only marginally brighter than their students, and some not even that. But that's what we pay for. There is the culture of the schools (my son is in high school). In most cases, being smart is a strike against you, and gets you socially ostracized. (The advantage to the not so bright, appears to be that smart kids force the "curve" up)

Finally, as a culture, we have become lazy. Thinking is work. Thinking things through, takes effort. Researching things just is out of the question.

I know that this is a rather bleak picture, but if you look at America as a whole, dig in to what is going on at the schools (deeper than a PTA meeting), pay attention to where the "man on the street's" priorities are, or simply watch the people you see everyday, you will understand very quickly why they don't care. They are far more concerned with the latest twitter gossip than a major change in the space program for example.

To do what you ask, would require profound cultural change, and that would take generations.
 
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halman

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Tritium":3rf4q2e2 said:
vulture4":3rf4q2e2 said:
I'm all for colonizing space, but a small Mars colony simply isn't going to survive the loss of the entire Earth, so we need to protect Earth from destruction. A Mars colony would need resources on the scale of a small country on earth before it could even produce its own needs. To colonize space we need practical, inexpensive, and large-scale space commerce. That means we first need fully reusable launch vehicles that are reliable and maintainable, with low operating costs.
Yes,I totally agree.We need a systematic approach which will take time to achieve the final goal of a self sustaining Martian and Lunar Colony.The time factor is what worries me the most.I also would like to see us developing an Earth defense system to protect us from incoming killer asteroids,or comets.

The nations which are currently engaged in mutual participation in the ISS,must be convinced of the urgency of the establishment of the Lunar and Martian Colonies,as well as the Earth Defense System.To raise the public awareness of the danger,and the solution,seems to be the most important immediate goal before us today.Easier said than done,since most of the population does not see any practical value in space programs.To convince them that preservation of our species is the most important goal will require a great deal of effort,given that most people doubt the facts presented to them about global warming.It seems that the general public does not trust scientific data,or scientists.How do we change these minds?
You have put your finger on perhaps the weakest aspect of space exploration in the general public's eye: How do they know if the money we are spending is worth it? You can point to past impacts, craters 60 miles wide, near misses which were not even forecast, and a dozen other things, and you are still unlikely to convince a skeptical public that their money is not being wasted. Especially in view of the conspiracy theories which maintain that we have never even landed on the Moon.

This is why I insist that the commercial exploitation of space should be the highest priority of the space program. No other method will stimulate spending on space technology as quickly, no other method will bypass public opinion so neatly, no other method will assure us of continued access to space. If we can convince investors that there is money to be made in space, all we will have to do then is get out of the way. The rest will happen irregardless of whether it is to protect humanity from incoming rocks, to escape from a dull, senseless existence, or to start our own societies. The allure of profit is the greatest motivating agent this planet has ever seen, beyond religious ecstasy, intellectual inspiration, or fear.

We also must shed our prejudices, the product of evolution on a planetary surface. Most of the Cosmos is empty space, planets make up a tiny fraction of that whole. We can create our own worlds, where we want them, with environments that we choose. I am not saying that we should not colonize other planets, merely that there are alternatives to dropping down a gravity well to make a home. Larry Niven's 'Ringworld', or an actual Dyson sphere, are extreme examples of engineering an environment, building what we want where we want it.

Ultimately, humans will learn to live independently of planets, building their homes throughout the Cosmos, if we are truly to survive. But I am convinced that the first steps in that direction are the creation of space stations for processing raw materials found off-planet into goods which have market value. No other path that I can think of is as sure to promote space exploration and exploitation, no other path that I can think of is assured of progress independent of political will. Greed is ravishing our home, the only planet we have at the moment. We can manipulate the greed to our own ends, without submitting to it, by pointing out that the wealth that could be created in space would dwarf all that has been made to date here on Earth.
 
T

Tritium

Guest
halman":2fploiry said:
Tritium":2fploiry said:
vulture4":2fploiry said:
I'm all for colonizing space, but a small Mars colony simply isn't going to survive the loss of the entire Earth, so we need to protect Earth from destruction. A Mars colony would need resources on the scale of a small country on earth before it could even produce its own needs. To colonize space we need practical, inexpensive, and large-scale space commerce. That means we first need fully reusable launch vehicles that are reliable and maintainable, with low operating costs.
Yes,I totally agree.We need a systematic approach which will take time to achieve the final goal of a self sustaining Martian and Lunar Colony.The time factor is what worries me the most.I also would like to see us developing an Earth defense system to protect us from incoming killer asteroids,or comets.

The nations which are currently engaged in mutual participation in the ISS,must be convinced of the urgency of the establishment of the Lunar and Martian Colonies,as well as the Earth Defense System.To raise the public awareness of the danger,and the solution,seems to be the most important immediate goal before us today.Easier said than done,since most of the population does not see any practical value in space programs.To convince them that preservation of our species is the most important goal will require a great deal of effort,given that most people doubt the facts presented to them about global warming.It seems that the general public does not trust scientific data,or scientists.How do we change these minds?
You have put your finger on perhaps the weakest aspect of space exploration in the general public's eye: How do they know if the money we are spending is worth it? You can point to past impacts, craters 60 miles wide, near misses which were not even forecast, and a dozen other things, and you are still unlikely to convince a skeptical public that their money is not being wasted. Especially in view of the conspiracy theories which maintain that we have never even landed on the Moon.

This is why I insist that the commercial exploitation of space should be the highest priority of the space program. No other method will stimulate spending on space technology as quickly, no other method will bypass public opinion so neatly, no other method will assure us of continued access to space. If we can convince investors that there is money to be made in space, all we will have to do then is get out of the way. The rest will happen irregardless of whether it is to protect humanity from incoming rocks, to escape from a dull, senseless existence, or to start our own societies. The allure of profit is the greatest motivating agent this planet has ever seen, beyond religious ecstasy, intellectual inspiration, or fear.

We also must shed our prejudices, the product of evolution on a planetary surface. Most of the Cosmos is empty space, planets make up a tiny fraction of that whole. We can create our own worlds, where we want them, with environments that we choose. I am not saying that we should not colonize other planets, merely that there are alternatives to dropping down a gravity well to make a home. Larry Niven's 'Ringworld', or an actual Dyson sphere, are extreme examples of engineering an environment, building what we want where we want it.

Ultimately, humans will learn to live independently of planets, building their homes throughout the Cosmos, if we are truly to survive. But I am convinced that the first steps in that direction are the creation of space stations for processing raw materials found off-planet into goods which have market value. No other path that I can think of is as sure to promote space exploration and exploitation, no other path that I can think of is assured of progress independent of political will. Greed is ravishing our home, the only planet we have at the moment. We can manipulate the greed to our own ends, without submitting to it, by pointing out that the wealth that could be created in space would dwarf all that has been made to date here on Earth.
So we have to lure them in with money,knowing that the most important thing is that we get them there.We get us there,because we know that it is a survival thing for our entire species,and the seeds of the Earth,but the only way we can tickle the alfa monkeys with the prospect of getting more bananas.I get it now.Sad,but probably true in my blindsided ,altruistic view of everything.
 
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