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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:17PM   Printer-friendly
from the to-infinity-and-beyond dept.

Stephen Hawking wants humanity to pursue a Mars mission in the mid-2020s rather than the mid-2030s:

Prof Stephen Hawking has called for leading nations to send astronauts to the Moon by 2020. They should also aim to build a lunar base in 30 years' time and send people to Mars by 2025. Prof Hawking said that the goal would re-ignite the space programme, forge new alliances and give humanity a sense of purpose.

He was speaking at the Starmus Festival celebrating science and the arts, which is being held in Trondheim, Norway. "Spreading out into space will completely change the future of humanity," he said. "I hope it would unite competitive nations in a single goal, to face the common challenge for us all. "A new and ambitious space programme would excite (young people), and stimulate interest in other areas, such as astrophysics and cosmology".

Prof. Hawking also talked about interstellar travel:

[We'll] never know how hospitable Proxima b is unless we can get there. At current speeds, using chemical propulsion, it would take 3 million years to reach the exoplanet, Hawking said. Thus, space colonization requires a radical departure in our travel technology. "To go faster would require a much higher exhaust speed than chemical rockets can provide — that of light itself," Hawking said. "A powerful beam of light from the rear could drive the spaceship forward. Nuclear fusion could provide 1 percent of the spaceship's mass energy, which would accelerate it to a tenth of the speed of light."

NASA usually talks about planning for "Mars 2035". Who is trying to get there by 2025?

A Mars mission architecture SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk will unveil in September will call for a series of missions starting in 2018 leading up to the first crewed mission to the planet in 2024, Musk said June 1.

Related: Elon Musk's Plans for Mars and Beyond Revealed
Elon Musk Publishes Mars Colonization Plan


Original Submission

Related Stories

Elon Musk's Plans for Mars and Beyond Revealed 44 comments

Here it is, the grand plan for the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) as presented yesterday at the the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico:

On Tuesday (Sept. 27), Musk unveiled SpaceX's planned Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), a rocket-spaceship combo that the billionaire entrepreneur hopes will allow humanity to establish a permanent, self-sustaining, million-person settlement on the Red Planet. Mars is the first planned stop for ITS, but it may not be the last. "This system really gives you freedom to go anywhere you want in the greater solar system," Musk said Tuesday at the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico. With the aid of strategically placed refueling depots, "you could actually travel out to the Kuiper Belt [and] the Oort Cloud," Musk added. The Kuiper Belt is Pluto's neck of the woods, while the Oort Cloud, the realm of comets, is even more distant; it begins about 2,000 astronomical units (AU) from the sun.

[...] The ITS booster will be the most powerful rocket ever built, capable of lofting 300 tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO) in its reusable version and 550 tons in its expendable variant, Musk said. This rocket will blast the spaceship, which will carry at least 100 people, to LEO, where further launches will fuel the smaller vehicle. When the time is right — Earth and Mars align favorably for interplanetary missions just once every 26 months — a fleet of these spaceships will depart from LEO, arriving at the Red Planet in as little as 80 days, Musk said. The ITS — both the rocket and spaceship — will be powered by SpaceX's Raptor engines, which run on a combination of methane and oxygen. Both of these ingredients can be manufactured on Mars and other places in the solar system, Musk said, meaning that the spaceship can and will be refueled far from Earth.

[...] The ITS spaceship could therefore go very far afield, provided it could access refueling stations along the way. "By establishing a propellant depot in the asteroid belt or one of the moons of Jupiter, you can make flights from Mars to Jupiter no problem," Musk said. "It'd be really great to do a mission to Europa, particularly," he added, referring to the ocean-harboring Jovian moon, which many astrobiologists regard as one of the solar system's best bets to host alien life. Building additional depots farther from the sun — perhaps on Saturn's moon Titan and Pluto, for example — could theoretically extend the ITS spaceship's reach all the way out to the Oort Cloud, Musk said. "This basic system, provided we have filling stations along the way, means full access to the entire greater solar system," he said.

The first Mars ferry will be named "Heart of Gold". Unfortunately, these bold settlers will have to be kept away from potential microbial life.

Additional Coverage:
Making Humans an Interplanetary Species - Video of Musk Presentation at IAC [1h4m46s]
Same, but with Q&A session [1h58m22s]
Making Humans an Interplanetary Species - Slides of Presentation at IAC (pdf)
SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System - Video mockup presented at IAC [4m21s]
SpaceX - Mars
Musk’s Mars moment: Audacity, madness, brilliance—or maybe all three story at Ars Technica
Elon Musk envisions 'fun' but dangerous trips to Mars (Update 4) at phys.org

Previous coverage:
SpaceX's Mars Colonial Transporter Becomes the "Interplanetary Transport System"


Original Submission

Elon Musk Publishes Mars Colonization Plan 56 comments

Elon Musk has published a plan to colonize Mars using as many as 1,000 Interplanetary Transport System spaceships to transport a million settlers at a cost of $200,000 per person:

Elon Musk has put his Mars-colonization vision to paper, and you can read it for free.

SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO just published the plan, which he unveiled at a conference in Mexico in September 2016, in the journal New Space. Musk's commentary, titled "Making Humanity a Multi-Planetary Species," is available for free [DOI: 10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu] [DX] on New Space's website through July 5.

"In my view, publishing this paper provides not only an opportunity for the spacefaring community to read the SpaceX vision in print with all the charts in context, but also serves as a valuable archival reference for future studies and planning," New Space editor-in-chief (and former NASA "Mars czar") Scott Hubbard wrote in a statement.

[...] ITS rockets will launch the spaceships to Earth orbit, then come back down for a pinpoint landing about 20 minutes later. And "pinpoint" is not hyperbole: "With the addition of maneuvering thrusters, we think we can actually put the booster right back on the launch stand," Musk wrote in his New Space paper, citing SpaceX's increasingly precise Falcon 9 first-stage landings.

Also at The Guardian.


Original Submission

Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022 16 comments

In a move intended to align with the National Space Council's call for NASA to return to the Moon, the United Launch Alliance intends to launch a Bigelow Aerospace B330 inflatable module into low Earth orbit, and later boost it into lunar orbit using a rocket which can have propellant transferred to it from another rocket:

Bigelow Aerospace, a company devoted to manufacturing inflatable space habitats, says it's planning to put one of its modules into orbit around the Moon within the next five years. The module going to lunar space will be the B330, Bigelow's design concept for a standalone habitat that can function autonomously as a commercial space station. The plan is for the B330 to serve as something of a lunar depot, where private companies can test out new technologies, or where astronauts can stay to undergo training for deep space missions.

"Our lunar depot plan is a strong complement to other plans intended to eventually put people on Mars," Robert Bigelow, president of Bigelow Aerospace, said in a statement. "It will provide NASA and America with an exciting and financially practical success opportunity that can be accomplished in the short term."

To put the habitat in lunar orbit, Bigelow is looking to get a boost from the United Launch Alliance. The B330 is slated to launch on top of ULA's future rocket, the Vulcan, which is supposed to begin missions no earlier than 2019. The plan is for the Vulcan to loft the B330 into lower Earth orbit, where it will stay for one year to demonstrate that it works properly in space. During that time, Bigelow hopes to send supplies to the station and rotate crew members in and out every few months.

After that, it'll be time to send the module to the Moon. ULA will launch two more Vulcan rockets, leaving both of the vehicles' upper stages in orbit. Called ACES, for Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage, these stages can remain in space, propelling other spacecraft to farther out destinations. ULA plans to transfer all of the propellant from one ACES to the other, using the fully fueled stage to propel the B330 the rest of the way to lunar orbit.

The B330 is the giant version of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

Previously: Moon Base Could Cost Just $10 Billion Due to New Technologies
Should We Skip Mars for Now and Go to the Moon Again?
How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
Buzz Aldrin: Retire the ISS to Reach Mars
China to Send Potato Farming Test Probe to the Moon
Stephen Hawking Urges Nations to Pursue Lunar Base and Mars Landing
Lockheed Martin Repurposing Shuttle Cargo Module to Use for Lunar Orbiting Base (could they be joined together?)
ESA Expert Envisions "Moon Village" by 2030-2050
NASA and Roscosmos Sign Joint Statement on the Development of a Lunar Space Station
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module to Continue Stay at the International Space Station


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by lx on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:30PM (1 child)

    by lx (1915) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:30PM (#529128)

    or his speech box was hacked by Elon Musk.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:41PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:41PM (#529132) Journal

      This is Hawking, the person.. ehm not the radiation. I'll^H^HYOU need to go to Mars. Vote at the nearest ballot box for Mu^Hars subsidy to make it happen!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:36PM (23 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @05:36PM (#529129) Journal

    Interstellar travel is not really workable until we can get around the light speed barrier using Alcubierre drive [wikipedia.org] or something alike. By modifying Alcubierre drive geometry of exotic matter it could reduce the mass–energy requirements for a macroscopic space ship to the mass-energy equivalent of ~700 kg. Then it's the problem of the inside becoming hot at a temperature of 10 million ⁰C (1e7 kelvin).

    The present situation to interstellar travel is almost like the prospect of going from Europe to America 1000 years ago. Doable, but the amount of sacrifice would be huge.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Wednesday June 21 2017, @06:22PM (15 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @06:22PM (#529139)

      There are other possibilities. Cryonics, uploaded minds, generation ships, etc.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @06:32PM (14 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @06:32PM (#529143) Journal

        You loose the connection to the world you left behind then or it's not you that travel on but mere your intentions.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday June 21 2017, @06:50PM (3 children)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday June 21 2017, @06:50PM (#529150) Journal

          And it sucks to be that kid in the middle who is born on and dies on a generation ship. Or at the end when your people finally arrive at a mildly Earth-like fixer-upper exoplanet.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @10:34AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @10:34AM (#529450)

            Actually I've very often wondered about that. They arrive on the planet, and then it's like:

            "OK, kids, because great-grandma and great-grandpa decided to come here and die on the ship, you're going to have to leave everything you know behind and work yourselves to death to try to eke out a living on an inhospitable ball of mud for the benefit of people who you'll never know or care about, assuming our guesses about the planet are correct and you're not headed somewhere where the daily temperature is 1,100 degrees, and assuming that the 150-year-old equipment you've been traveling with is compatible with the planet and actually works. You're so lucky!"

            Plus there's the question of where the economic benefit of this is, or governmental. You're throwing away vast sums of money to send people on what is probably going to be a suicide mission the first time around, and assuming they even make it to the destination, the travelers' descendants, that had no say in the decisions, will be the ones who really have to pay the price.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday June 22 2017, @11:17AM

              by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday June 22 2017, @11:17AM (#529459) Journal

              Plus there's the question of where the economic benefit of this is, or governmental.

              It's a whole other ball game.

              1. Various technological developments (widespread nuclear fusion and cheap solar, advanced recycling, matter conversion, robots, lab-grown foods, etc.) make living on Earth a breeze. The cost of energy and food plummet. Maybe it will result in a utopia, maybe not.

              2. Reusable rockets and other technologies make setting up a base on the Moon, Mars, Ceres, Callisto, Enceladus, Titan, etc. a "cheap" proposition. Nuclear fusion is used to provide energy for a base/colony and set up industrial processes on-site. That's especially important where solar power is ineffective. It is also possible to put bases on Mercury and Venus.

              3. Spread out to any icy body. That includes Triton, Pluto, Eris, Sedna, Orcus, etc. You don't have to have a million settlers at each location, just robots and/or a small number of settlers is fine. Artificial gravity could really help in these locations, but we can't count on that. Terraforming may be possible on Mars or Venus. Paraterraforming (atmosphere filled domes) could be used on other locations.

              4. By the time some centuries have passed, it should become clear whether interstellar travel is easy or feasible. Exoplanet targets will be well studied by this time, with surfaces and atmospheres characterized and life located if it exists. The benefit to humanity is that if a colony can be established on an Earth-like world, a greater population can reside there without having to live indoors and in low gravity conditions.

              Generation ships are a last resort method of interstellar travel. We may find it possible to build ships that can reach 0.1c, which would take about a century to travel 5 light years (including slowing down). Combine that with life extension, and you can avoid the common generation ship perils. Only a small amount of settlers need to be sent since the first thing they will do when they land is direct robots to build robots/industry, and artificial wombs and digital DNA sequences can be used to start a population rapidly.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @02:04PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @02:04PM (#529496)

              Nobody gets any say as to which country or place they are born in. So how is this any different?

              If the ship is so great, then stay on the ship. You bet you would be pleased your grandparents left on the ship and missed out on the complete destruction of the planet (insert nuclear war/comet impact/etc here).

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Weasley on Wednesday June 21 2017, @09:44PM (7 children)

          by Weasley (6421) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @09:44PM (#529234)

          it's not you that travel on but mere your intentions

          I'm guessing this is some kind of opinion you have about the concept of mind uploading. You don't believe that virtual minds should be considered people? I'm guessing your mind upload wouldn't view it this way though. While organic humans may forever be tied to earth like planets, virtual minds may colonize the universe.

          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:48PM (6 children)

            by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:48PM (#529252) Journal

            It is yet to be determined if a virtual mind will be like people or just a shadow of them without any original thought or creativity. It's not even sure that it will be a mind and not something lesser.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Weasley on Thursday June 22 2017, @01:01AM (5 children)

              by Weasley (6421) on Thursday June 22 2017, @01:01AM (#529300)

              If there's some part of the mind that cannot be simulated, then it's supernatural. Nobody (who's opinion is useful in this matter) realistically thinks there's something supernatural about the brain. Therefore it can be simulated.

              • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday June 22 2017, @01:18AM (3 children)

                by kaszz (4211) on Thursday June 22 2017, @01:18AM (#529306) Journal

                Not possible to simulate doesn't imply supernatural. It might just be a consequence of using specific natural phenomena that information technology may not accurately replicate. But the simulation projects will certainly involuntary explore their own limits. And that will be interesting.

                • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday June 22 2017, @05:18AM (2 children)

                  by mhajicek (51) on Thursday June 22 2017, @05:18AM (#529374)

                  If something follows natural laws then when those laws are known it can be simulated.

                  --
                  The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
                  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:19AM (1 child)

                    by kaszz (4211) on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:19AM (#529399) Journal

                    Not always. Or rather it can but there may be no practical way to accomplish it.

                    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday June 22 2017, @03:59PM

                      by mhajicek (51) on Thursday June 22 2017, @03:59PM (#529541)

                      The only case I can think of where that may apply would be if more computing power is needed than is currently available, in which case all you need to do is wait.

                      --
                      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
              • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:42AM

                by Bot (3902) on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:42AM (#529407) Journal

                you cannot simulate the supernatural in its own domain , which is irrelevant . whatever else in our domain can be simulated. p ity that the world afawk can be modeled only probabilistically. which means that given a perfect sim of a brain you cannot prove any of the following
                - sim is completely equivalent
                - sim fakes convincingly but the quantum field has a different behavior so the quantum effects the brain inherently takes advantage of make it different . the sim is self contained while the mind is an antenna tuned to ta different station
                - his quantum field interacts with the sim brain like with any real one which had the same outcome ad the first svenario but is funfamentally different.

                two observations. i do not subscribe to some pseudo theological assertions linking the quantum field to the conscience or the supernatural. but the assertion The field yields statistical randomness so we can replicate it with generayed randomness is philosophical garbage

                second observation a brain will never be a proper sim if it is merely cloned from naturally existing ones. tjat is a prosthetic brain. might eben work. but the true sim brain is the circuitry that made the simulated entity evolve and prevail for simulated time.

                --
                Account abandoned.
        • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Thursday June 22 2017, @05:22PM (1 child)

          by nitehawk214 (1304) on Thursday June 22 2017, @05:22PM (#529588)

          Maybe. Depends on which sci-fi you read.

          But is this a reason to not try?

          --
          "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday June 22 2017, @05:30PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Thursday June 22 2017, @05:30PM (#529592) Journal

            Or try using other methods. Technology development is fast enough that people on their way to another star system might actually be run up by a later launch using advances in science and improved technology.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21 2017, @07:30PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21 2017, @07:30PM (#529161)

      We can totally set up Moon and Mars bases with our current tech. It would require massive effort, and allowing nuclear reactors to be assembled in space.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @11:06PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @11:06PM (#529258) Journal

        Even better if nuclear fissile material can be found in space and thus do away with most of the safety issues. With the exception of proliferation at "black project sites" in deep space.

    • (Score: 2) by Weasley on Wednesday June 21 2017, @09:19PM (1 child)

      by Weasley (6421) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @09:19PM (#529214)

      You speak as if superluminal travel is an inevitability. It may never be possible to cross interstellar distances in a human lifetime.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:58PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:58PM (#529257) Journal

        It might very well be so. However the physics supposedly checks out. But I'll suspect the catch is to make a system that works in practice. Kind of like making the case for nuclear fission power in the year 1600.. Also physically possible but to get there..

    • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:33PM (1 child)

      by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:33PM (#529249) Journal

      These guys [wikipedia.org] settled in America over a thousand years ago, why couldn’t we go to Mars? Fuck, I’ll go to Mars even if only to drop dead on arrival. (Read ‘The man who sold the Moon’ [wikipedia.org] if you haven’t.) Would I go to the next star and die on the multigeneration ship? YES! Even if my name is not remembered by anyone, the experience itself would be worth it.

      Of course, I'm too old to see any of that happen in my lifetime, but I wish the younger crowd luck on colonizing every planet, asteroid and moon where people could possiblyy live.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @10:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @10:41AM (#529451)

        Because they were in an environment where you didn't rely on small, cramped shelters to shield you from the horrid conditions outside, which will kill you immediately if you ever leave them. Not to mention, where the slightest failure of one system (springing a leak!) means a slow and agonizing death. You also don't have alternative supplies of food - no game to hunt, soil is of questionable value for raising much of anything (they have experiments, but experiments and actually trying to grow a crop on Mars to the point of edibility is not something you want to volunteer for). Nor much supply or equipment to make replacements. Sure, we can send you replacement parts that'll arrive in a few years, even though you need it now. But settlers could get most of the replacement parts they needed by chopping down a tree.

        It's way too easy to forget that settling elsewhere on Earth involves access to breathable oxygen and survivable temperatures. While some might say, "but you could get black plague or killed by the natives or..." Yeah. None of that compares to the fact that the creaky junk around you that was probably built on government contract by the lowest bidder and/or had parts manufactured in 37 states is the only thing separating you and death. Our technology isn't robust enough at this point to do anything serious on Mars, and it's not fast enough to make up for that.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday June 22 2017, @02:09AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday June 22 2017, @02:09AM (#529321)

      Sure, just make negative mass and you can go faster than light...

      Meanwhile, can we please just master our own solar system and send some slow-boat probes to the stars? There's a couple thousand years worth of entertainment between here and Jupiter alone.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21 2017, @07:06PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21 2017, @07:06PM (#529153)

    Humanity needs a purpose. I think the whole 'social justice' movement is a perfect example of this. If there is no clear problem people will invent one to wage a quixotic battle against. And this in turn degrades society as it eats itself alive trying to destroy the windmill armies of the perceived enemy. In total it's likely that literally hundreds of billions of manhours (oops, sorry - person hours...) have been spent with people bickering at one another over this with the only result being what has likely been a net decline in social equanimity and cohesion. Imagine if people had a way to filter that energy into something that could have, with no ambiguity, benefited all of humanity.

    Programs like Zooniverse [zooniverse.org] are a huge step forward, but the problem remains - I imagine 99% of even Soylenters, which are going to be in the top percentile of science/tech information, have even heard of it. It's hard for people to think they can make a change in something if they don't know such things even exist. And now imagine starting to provide extrinsic motivation to such programs. Get some universities involved and give credits towards the ability to take free online courses or something. There's so much potential.

    But yes, massive space programs would be even more direct since it's something everybody can once again participate in at some level and take some shared pride in. Perhaps that is really the thing this is all about. People need to feel pride in something. Social justice lets people feel pride, but at the expense of attacking other people. Those people then reciprocate and it's all turning into a flaming mess just because people want to try to make the world a better place, but can't find any better method of doing so. So give them one!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21 2017, @09:23PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21 2017, @09:23PM (#529219)

      I think you're grinding a personal axe by glossing over all the benefits of social justice movements. Should we have disregarded the civil rights movement? Should women be allowed to vote? Maybe we should have kept slavery?

      Just because the massive inequalities have been dealt with does not mean there aren't still more to deal with. Much of the Middle East needs to get with the times, even the bastion of freedom that is the US (cough cough) has some pretty big problems. It would be better for humanity to address these problems before trying to export them into fragile colonies.

      what has likely been a net decline in social equanimity and cohesion

      What this tells me is that you wish everyone would go back to their own communities and leave you and yours to live the American Dream with a white picket fence and church on Sundays. That is a generalization, but it is the truth. There is more cohesion and sanity across countries and the globe, the unrest that you are seeing is the result of the internet. People can now learn about far away areas, and local issues are easily made into national news. The blanket has been pulled off from society so we all can see the ugly bigotry that still squats underneath.

      You are advocating for a return to ignorance instead of facing the hard truths and trying to grow as a society. Sure space travel and colonization would help focus humanity, but these problems would only go back under the surface for a short while. Only those who have not suffered the indignities of prejudice can disregard them with such flippant arrogance.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:12AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:12AM (#529396)

        Modern 'social justice' has very little to do with the social justice movements of the past. Note how everything you referenced was decades to a century past. Women used to be legally prevented from voting and the civil rights movement came at a time when blacks would be legally excluded from schools or jobs would have signs up in the window 'Negros need not apply.' Those were heinous times, but more importantly they were caused by clearly and overtly discriminatory systems. This enabled clear, realistic goals for activists that could be summed up as "It should not be illegal for [discriminated class] to [issue]." It should not be illegal for women to vote. It should not be illegal for blacks to attend the same schools as whites.

        For the most part, no such things exist today so we're left to invent problems. "Microaggressions" are a very literal example of this. Or we begin to look at things in terms of outcome as opposed to opportunity and equality, with egregious double standards and hypocrisy abounds. Humanity has this inherent desire to change and improve things. If we put the 1000 most agreeable, tolerant, and embracing individuals in a city - given enough time they would begin to find certain parts of themselves 'problematic', even going so far as to invent problems, without something more productive to turn their energies towards. This feature is undoubtedly one of humanity's most powerful traits and likely the reason we have gone from isolated barely self aware tribal groups to where we are today in less than 200,000 years. But as we reach an era in time where it becomes harder and harder to find something any individual can play any meaningful role in, our desire to improve and change ourselves is something that's beginning to hurt more than help us. Nobody, of decent social conscience, wants to serve no use to society - but for better or for worse that is exactly the scenario we approach as humanity continues to improve itself.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:23AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:23AM (#529401) Journal

          Any good ideas how to make sure these not improve or change people from ones life?

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:55PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday June 21 2017, @10:55PM (#529256) Journal

      The social justice people have some people that have a cause based in real grievances that have a workable solution. But a lot of it are the people that just pick fights over imaginary things. The best tend to stay far away from these kind of persons.

      Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. Another take on is that of WOPR in WarGames.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday June 22 2017, @02:17AM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday June 22 2017, @02:17AM (#529326)

      So, maybe humanity needs a purpose, maybe not.

      Your Zooniverse reminds me of an idea I had to relocate the family to Hilo a few years back. Hilo is not exactly paradise on earth, but it does have some good points - technical employment isn't really one of them. I briefly considered what I might do with the University and the telescopes, and I could contribute to what they are doing in a big positive way, if they would give me the opportunity to (unlikely, for a host of reasons.) I considered doing independent astronomy work as a hobby to at least marginally increase my chances of being considered - but, in reality, the way to do astronomy today is to crunch numbers remotely from the publicly available data, and with all the Zooniverse crowd doing that all around the world, it would do little to impress the Hilo site regarding me, vs a thousand other candidates. And, anyway, my intrinsic motivator wasn't to further humanity, it was to find a decent place for my kids to grow up with a little less redneck prejudice than the town we were living in at the time. Short term goals, maybe not short term enough to become CEO of a major company, but not truly long term thinking like a guy stuck in a wheelchair for 50 years does.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:26AM (1 child)

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:26AM (#529402) Journal

        Figure out what you can export and work from that.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday June 22 2017, @04:49PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday June 22 2017, @04:49PM (#529564)

          If humanity is looking for an export to the universal market, I think our absurdity is potentially very entertaining.

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:00AM (2 children)

    by Bot (3902) on Thursday June 22 2017, @07:00AM (#529390) Journal

    after all the landing trickiness scale goes like this, from easy to hard:
    - uranus
    - moon
    - mars
    - jupiter
    - the sun (at night obviously)
    - lego

    --
    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Thursday June 22 2017, @01:18PM (1 child)

      by Rivenaleem (3400) on Thursday June 22 2017, @01:18PM (#529483)

      You forgot to put "Your Mom" at the top of the list, because everyone's landed her.

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Friday June 23 2017, @05:50AM

        by Bot (3902) on Friday June 23 2017, @05:50AM (#529863) Journal

        This happens because I differentiate between "landing" and "getting helplessly sucked into a gravitational field".

        --
        Account abandoned.
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