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space tourism

Karlin has a cool new story out on wired: Space: Final Vacation Frontier.

While on the surface this might appear exciting, to me this is a slightly worrying development: while space exploration seems to have been relegated to sending out $100 million probes to mars or whatever while a few super-rich ooze through the heavens without a care in the world gaining even more of a celebrity status in the process (and make no mistake, we are increasingly moving into a world where super-rich will be defined by simply not thinking twice about getting food, considering that over a billion people have no access to clean water...). Tourism has a bad component: fast travel makes you dismiss the place you're arriving at and I'd bet that many of the cultural mismatches that have developed in the last century evolve from that. In history, whenever a massive influx of people has occured in a place there has always been conflict and eventually war. I'd hate to see this incipient space-tourist industry turn space into simply a posh destination for the david beckams of the world (such a bad pun... but I couldn't resist!). Anyway, I should stop now, maybe I'll continue the rant later :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on January 15 2003 at 6:32 PM

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