Sorry for the lack of new posts…

11 04 2008

…I’m suffering from a large workload and massive writer’s block.





Virgle

1 04 2008

Apparently, Google has finally, in conjunction with Virgin, become involved in the space colonization effort, with a 100 year plan to develop a permanent Martian base. Sadly, my application to become a pioneer failed, but I encourage you to try. Oh, and the project is open source.

I have discovered that this entry is the top hit for a Google search for “response to virgle“, which is pretty cool. In light of the fact that that should direct some traffic my way, I’ll expound upon the topic, so that visitors aren’t disappointed.

Most probably, the majority of people see the Virgle page, think “Hah, that’s funny,” and move on without a second thought. However, if one stops to consider it, it’s really not a particularly insane plan — taking advantage of the billions of dollars held by venture-oriented technology business such as these to engage in space exploration. If I recall correctly, both of them have already engaged in rudimentary endeavours of this nature, and so getting them involved in a larger project, together, should not be a particularly monumental task. The drawback to this plan is the placement of the various responsibilities inherent in space exploration in the hands of private, particularly corporate, enterprise, but with the hostility towards the public funding of anything that is deemed, however erroneously, as unnecessary, it might be a necessary sacrifice. When the revolution comes, the rights will be placed back with the collective, anyway.

To be strictly serious, the lack of public funding for space exploration is abhorrent. I can understand trepidation to consume funds unnecessarily, but in the case of space exploration, such fears are risibly unfounded. Man is, at his heart, a reasoning creature, and we have an inborn desire to understand the Universe. One of the most singularly awesome methods of satiating this desire is to explore the cosmos, and there are certain aspects of our knowledge which indeed require us to do so to fill them. If you have ever read a science fiction of a certain caliber — 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example — you’ll quite likely have experienced that to which I am referring — the overwhelming wonder that we gain from the unknown, and the overwhelming yearning to explore it, to expand out knowledge of it.

On a less metaphysical level, space exploration allows us to develop tool, such as advanced medicines, that can be used to vastly improve the condition of the human race. And yet, we supply NASA with massively inadequate funds, and thus deny ourselves these benefits, simply through the ignorance, or pandering, of our politicians.

I feel quite strongly about this, in case you can’t tell. But to conclude, I think that a Virgle-like plan would be excellent, if we cannot gain more public funding for space exploration. I’m not a big fan of private enterprise in this realm, however…

(Note: Please tell me if I was incoherent or grammatically inaccurate in any of the above. I wrote this rather quickly, so I may have slipped up.)