Friday, November 12, 2021

I may be uniquely qualified to decide the victor to be (hoped for), in the clash of the "space" titans!

Musk says: go to Mars, young man! Bezos says: In the future, everyone will come from cylinders in space, and come to Earth as tourists!

This is a clash of "visions" I have reason to believe I am well qualified to comment on. Better qualified than Bezos, and perhaps Musk, too, because when I was quite young, and graduated from reading the dictionary, the encyclopedia, and a smattering of children's books, to (young) adult fiction, it was science fiction, and almost nothing but science fiction, much of it from "the golden age". And almost all hard SF, too (I routinely lost interest in Ursula K. and the like almost immediately). That was about 60 years ago, so, I am qualified, by long experience with the real thing, to spot a counterfeit, and O'Neill was that. There are men with a "vision" (that's a misnomer, really, because a plan is much more than a picture), and there are visionaries, just as there are men who use their intellect to think about things, and there are intellectuals. Once, SF was filled with stories about the former, men with a vision to go, discover, and make new places for people. Now, well, I quit reading 30 years ago, but I infer from the drivel hear so many people with the ear of the public repeating, it, and much else, is about which narrative controls the minds of the unfortunate people trapped in a civilization in decline, and a technical infrastructure necessarily following. 

I will go with Musk's plan for that reason, and because he has proven himself competent to lead the actual building of great things that have been put mostly on ice within increasingly ineffectual bureaucracies for 50 years which I can personally recall (with some disappointment), where Bezos seems content to signal his own, eh, prowess, and do what is required to remain in a position to keep doing that, on as grand a scale as is practical.

I will confess to having read more than one work of Ray Bradbury.


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