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prelude to space
First a tiny fraction of one percent and then an increasing amount of humanity will be seeking a future in space. By future, I do not mean some fictional nonsense written by illiterates and dramatized by B-movie makers and vast TV wasteland programmers. I am talking about jobs as in J-O-B-S.
Why? World population figures do not lie. Seven billion people going on eight billion people will need to eat and that means money and money has to come from somewhere. And again, that means jobs. With outsourcing and exporting of factory jobs, service jobs, retail jobs, and high tech jobs; why is anyone surprised that unemployment is high? With corporations laying off people and downsizing, why is anyone surprised that unemployment is high? Corporations now are legally considered persons while real flesh and blood people do not have the billions to go out and buy votes. Why would you vote for someone with a history of outsourcing, downsizing, and layoffs?
We need money to pay for food but jobs are scarce. The unions have had their backs broken by management so that they are no longer there to help workers get better pay when jobs are found. Management wants illegals to flood into the country to help break the unions so that they can get cheap labor without interference. This further erodes the ability of American workers to bargain. Illegals claim rights that no previous immigrants have claimed: the right to be here, the right to change the language from English, the right to break the law by entering illegally, the right to bring their entire extended families, and the right to swamp local services such as schools, hospitals, police and welfare. I do not, of course, have a problem with legal immigrants or with Americans who were born here. I have a problem with scofflaws.
Management meanwhile is also a scofflaw as it complains about regulations. More often than not they are objecting to pollution laws. Corporations want the right to poison the air, land and water. This drives up health costs, the resulting cancer bankrupts families, and fools complain about health care reform that would lower costs.
Many companies invest in robots instead of people. Now I am not an anti-machine Luddite. I know people in the robotics industry and the general pattern is that a human is laid off and loses their job to automation -- a machine. But then the company needs experienced workers to supervise or maintain or train (program) the machines and hires an experienced worker. Some workers take robotics classes and end up getting a raise and making more wages than they did before the machines arrived. It is easy to hate machines if you have never been around them. But farmers, assembly line workers, and military bomb squads all get very fond of and attached to their machines. So like it or not, the future may mean that you get kicked upstairs to management -- or at least foreman. Or you will have to use higher skills because let's face it: Machines are like children or worse, like very retarded people. You have to show them everything. Some are bolted to the floor and cannot take breaks until they breakdown from friction or overheating (overwork) or inadequate maintenance or bad programming. Kind of sad when you stop and think about it. But we humans meanwhile have our own problems competing with other humans for jobs, getting education, getting adult education and retraining, and doctors trying to turn us into machines (Borg) with implants. Only fools want to be gadgets that can be turned off at a politician's arbitrary whim. This is the world your children face.
Some machines are built to be smart instead of stupid. It is only a matter of time before CEO's and executives are replaced by artificial intelligence AI's that do not demand multi-million dollar salaries and then ram the company into the ground like Lehman Brothers and Enron. Wall Street already uses AI's because they can make billions for their owners and yet are paid zero. Company executives and managers will join labor on the unemployment line. Some will call it justice. Some will say no job is safe. This is the world your children face.
All of this: scarce jobs, overpopulation, crowded planet, war, pollution, food shortages caused by climate change, automation, loss of human rights to corporations, and more mean pressure to find new land and new opportunities. There is only one place to find new land. Out there where the real estate is infinite.
Idiot climate change deniers can deny the evidence of their own eyes as the poles melt, weather goes wild, forests burn, and diseases spread. They consciously want pollution and destruction. This is proof of below zero IQ. Negative intelligence or aggressive stupidity in the service of polluters, specifically the CEO's of polluting corporations. Willing shills, dupes, and stooges. The world will be destroyed because no police and no prosecutors will enforce the existing laws against polluters. The young do nothing despite the fact that this is the dying world in which they will probably contract terminal cancer. The old do nothing despite the fact that their grandchildren will die young if we stay on this path over a cliff.
So there will be increasing pressure to blast NASA out of the way as it tries to obstruct non-astronauts from going out there to prospect, explore, terraform, mine, farm, build businesses, look for jobs with space companies, and the hundreds of other things that people do. The first shots across NASA's bow have already been fired as space tourism companies build their own spaceships. The next shot will be rich people going up for joy rides. The third shot will be private employees sent by private employers to do non-governmental projects. Middle class. The fourth shot will be price per seat down to levels that even the poor can afford. When poor people can travel to space, government oppressors will be unable to keep people on Earth the way the Soviet Union was able to keep people behind an iron curtain or the way East Germany was able to keep people imprisoned by the Berlin Wall. People will be building space rafts in the manner that boat people built rafts to escape Cuba, Vietnam, and Haiti.
one small step for humans, one giant leap for freedom
Okay. The above will be and has been a long time coming. So let us imagine escaping the yoke of stupid leaders, stupid followers, stupid politicians, and their stupid super-patriots willing to kill anyone who takes the Bill of Rights seriously. Let us imagine a fresh start the way the serfs of Europe must have felt when they stepped off the boat and saw the New World -- America for the first time.
Some had scraped together the money for passage. Some had sold themselves into indentured servitude to pay for passage. Some agreed to transport (as they call it in Oz) to the antipodes to get out of criminal prison or debtor's prison. Some were sent as remittance men by families only too happy to be rid of them. Some were religious minorities who gathered money as a community to move en masse to escape religious persecution. Some were sent as representatives of major companies (such as the West India companies). Some were dragged to these shores as slaves (many were tossed overboard mid-voyage to drown) so Michelle Obama was right to say that for the first time she was proud of America and to hell with those who do not understand that not everyone has the world as their oyster. Some starving victims of the Irish famine and rent squeeze came on coffin ships full of disease.
And what did these people do when they had worked off their debts? They put other people into debt. What did they do when they escaped the status of serf in Europe and when they had served their time as indentured servants? They put other people into slavery. What did they do when they escaped persecution in Europe where they faced being burned at the stake or disemboweled or drawn & quartered? They stole the land of Native Americans, tortured and exterminated them. Humans never learn. Or perhaps us European humans never learn. One has to wonder if the search for signs of intelligent life in the universe is motivated by:
- a desire to know if some superior advanced civilization perhaps related to the tribes that we've committed genocide against will seek revenge. If technologically advanced aliens toss us into wood chippers and vats of sulfuric acid, then we will have our answer.
- looking for more victims to murder.
- looking for technically less advanced cultures so that we can steal their land the way white Brazilians continue to steal the land of the Amazonian tribes.
- a UFO cultist's childlike desire for space parents to solve all our problems and then shut up as we wreck the car, get stoned, get preggers, and generally ignore everything learned in school. In cosmic terms, this would be learning how they travel faster than light so that we can continue our history of invading, killing, and enslaving. We will discover new drugs for our organized criminals to traffick -- perhaps spice from Arrakis. We will not learn anything from history. Maybe our history will come to a permanent end as extraterrestrials tire of this child race and put us to sleep as we would a dog with rabies.
So what does all this have to do with an asteroid?
Didn't you know? The asteroid belt is full of metallic rocks.
Guide to Ceres
- Guide to Ceres
Ceres is a dwarf planet between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter in the Main Asteroid Belt. Those who have explored my lenses before know my style and might find this lens uncharacteristically short. If the reason interests you, then contact me. ...