Friday, February 19, 2010

Have I Lost or Gained Focus?

Some of you may be wondering why I've suddenly started going off on the Monetary System, bashing the way the current global economic system works, when I'm supposed to be blogging about space and getting humanity into space on a more permanent basis.

If anyone does not think that money and space are directly linked, then I have no idea what world you live in. Money affects everything, especially space and the proper development and use of technology. Case in point:

As much as I advocate for Commercial Space, part of me wonders if the costs will EVER come down to reasonable levels. As stated in the article, "Mr. Bigelow’s price is just under $23m per astronaut. That is about half what Russia charges for a trip to the international station, a price that is likely to go up after the space shuttle retires later this year."

Even if the costs come down by a factor of 100, the cost is still ridiculous. When do I get to go? When do YOU get to go? When the hell can we afford to let every human have the glorious opportunity to visit space and see this awesome world from afar?

Every time I turn around I see money as the noose around the neck of true space development. It's not knowledge, we have that. It's not resources, we have that, and we can go get more on asteroids. It sure as hell isn't motivation or willpower, because there are MANY of us who have ample amounts of that. One could say it's governments, but not really. They have motivations based on the real

Budget restrictions, cost concerns, cost/benefit analysis crap, etc., etc., all reduce our potential. How many awesome projects have been canceled because of money? I bet all of us could name 3 or 4. How many great ideas never got started because of money? How many innovations were squashed and hidden because of money?

I can't get away from the fact that everything we want to do in space is possible right now, but we're always told we can't AFFORD to do this, or AFFORD to do that. I'm sick of the excuses. I'm sick of human expansion and knowledge being sequestered by a system made up of fake, bogus bullshit money that's not even based on anything real anymore. I'm sick of having the future of humanity determined by a myopic few who value money over humanity. I'm sick of all the crap, the greed, the stealing, the lying, the crime and the artificial state of social stratification that is brought about by the system we're stuck in.

Who the hell said the Monetary System was the best thing ever, and that nothing could ever be better? From what I can see, we are immersed in a load of problems, nearly every one of them linked to money. Yes, it served its purpose for a while, under certain specific conditions, but it is WAY overdue for a shelving, as those conditions have completely flipped. Time to evolve to the next level.

I want to go to space. I want to stay at a hotel on the Moon for my 50th anniversary, sipping Lambrusco wine, eating a nice chicken dinner with my wife. I want my daughter to be able to visit Mars whenever she wants. I want the same for everyone. Shouldn't we all?

No, I've not lost focus. My eyes are still fixed on the prize. I want humanity to become a space faring civilization, to grow and prosper as we explore this amazing universe. To use the great technologies we develop for that purpose for the betterment of all mankind, no matter where they live on the planet. My focus is strong and my resolve even stronger.

The questions are, are you willing to cast aside old ways for the pursuit of the same? How is your focus and resolve?


Marcel F. Williams said...

The US is broke because we run the most astoundingly inefficient public and private health insurance systems in the world which is causing our government to deficit spend while also crippling our businesses ability to compete both domestically and abroad.

We're broke because we continue to unnecessarily depend on fossil fuels which send several hundreds billion dollars a year out of the country and cost us nearly $70 billion a year to protect the Persian Gulf oil routes.

We're broke because we decided to casually go to war in Iraq, a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11.

We're broke because we refuse to invest in a quality and safe k-12 education for our urban youth which has resulted in high amounts of crime that cost this nation more than $600 billion annually.

We're broke because we are one of the least roboticized industrial countries in the world.

We're broke because we refuse to invest in our space program the way we did back in the 1960s which created a technological and economic boom for this country.

If we solve these problems, we'll all be vacationing on the Moon 20 or 30 years from now!

Douglas Mallette said...

Marcel - You're right! So we get rid of money and voila, no one is broke! Then maybe we can do things because they are the right things to do, instead of always attaching some damn nebulous price tag to it, using money which is literally made up by governments and banks, that isn't even backed by anything real anymore.

Oh, but as far as your deficit spending comment goes, go back to the 30's when the deficit spending started. It has little to do with health care costs and more to do with a failing system of economics that completely ignores the technological replacement of human labor by advanced machines that are better, faster and more productive.

Norman Copeland said...

Well, if we talk about the days of America's prohibition, it would explain what all those good american people were doing to create an economy based on the fundamental principle's of god's law [post war circa 1938].

But, contemplating the 'Kennedy' family contribution to the space program it explain's America's historical plight.

Since the late 50's America's gangster's have moved away from the righteous veil of the ''robinhood'' character, which was shown when the Italian mafia went to war with each other because the vatican forbade drug's [modern gansterism moved away from racketeering to drug dealing].

Perhap's that's the reason roman catholicism disintergrated in america and why newer concept's have come to fruition ultimately promoting robot work forces moving away from the good old fashion farmer community type sociology.

Does quick money = quick happyness...

God bless the Kennedy family, God bless america, God bless the president, God bless our world, and god bless man.

Doug said...

If you want to know what is really going on with the economy, you should take the crash course.

The party is almost over folks, the fat lady is tuning up, and when all is said and done, spaceship earth is where we will stay.

The only thing that could get us off this rock now will be a major technological revolution. It could happen, I hope it does, but we are no longer a culture that fosters that type of thinking.

Douglas Mallette said...

Doug - This is why The Venus Project exists and why The Zeitgeist Movement advocates it. The change is coming, and it's time to shit or get off the pot.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. The problem with Zeitgeist is that the first movie, with its plethora of unsubstantiated and even false claims and conspiracy theories (which may be true or not), alienated a lot of intelligent people who might have otherwise agreed with the general idea of the movement. Zeitgeist: Addendum, on the other hand, does a better job in pointing out which is IMO the crux of the problem, with fewer wild accusations and fact-bending. It's a shame many people are not likely to watch the second movie due to the disappointment of the first.

As I already mentioned, the theories of Zeitgeist may or may not be correct (note: I'm not talking of the false/bent facts here), we'll likely never know which. But one thing matters here... think: in the current system (capitalism), would such things (economic hitmen, fabricated attacks, resource-motivated invasions etc...) be possible, even likely, due to the very nature of said system (and the current 'human nature' which it is so well-adjusted to, and which it in turn encourages)? In my opinion, the answer is YES - such things are very much in the system's interest. That is the grand problem, and that's why 'human nature' and capitalism need to change.

Of course, the change (if it does start happening in earnest) will be extremely slow and gradual - a quick revolution (the way communism was supposed to come to power) is out of the question... it would fail completely and make things worse.

I'm skeptical of the Zeitgeist Movement's worth - in addition to the issues I already mentioned with the films, just take a good look at their forums and you might get an idea why.
The Venus Project seems like going in the right direction, but will probably stay all talk and little action. Even so, it is useful - it can widen people's horizons, opening their minds to the possibility of a different, better and more humane system.
This is key - so many people firmly believe that western capitalism can have no good alternative (other than doing minor upgrades to it), and same goes for western-style democracy (with its variations in each country). Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying any system we had so far is better... indeed, they are not. But the resource-based system I've been talking about in this post certainly does seem like a better one to me ;)
The abandonment of our current system will be very hard... people's minds tend to be hard to change.

I have more ideas on the subject, but it would be a bit too much for one post.

NewAnon :)

Douglas Mallette said...

NewAnon - I totally agree about the first Zeitgeist, and even Peter Joseph himself has pulled back from that conspiracy stuff. I do not hold the movement to account for a movie that was made before Peter even knew about The Venus Project.

I frequent the Zeitgeist Forums and they are sadly populated by more trolls than those who share the vision of the Venus Project, therefore I am more interested in bringing about the RBE of the Venus Project than I am of chatting with a bunch of schmucks, although there are many good people there.

Yes, people are enamored with the current system, and people of history were enamored with their system. Galileo fought one hell of a battle against the Church over the whole Earth location issue, which proves that the passion of the times is not necessarily correct, it's just the most accepted.

People will learn the truth over time, and for the first time in human history, we have true global communication instantly through Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and more. It's easier now to get the word spread than ever before, and we're doing that.

In the end, switching to an RBE is the best thing that can happen for space exploration, which is why I like it so much. Yes, it works great for fixing humanity on Earth, but also opens up unlimited doors for humanity off of it.