Category Archives: Philosophy

Neil Stephenson

Discusses his new novel, and the role of science fiction.

He is one of the few authors whose books I always look forward to reading, though I was a little disappointed with Anathem. But this looks like a fun read.

I should also note that one of the points I make in my book (and in op-eds) since, is that our unwillingness to use the hardware we have on hand to get into space is an indicator of how utterly unimportant human spaceflight is (a point that is accentuated by the relatively poor sales of a well-reviewed book). Stephenson describes a scenario in which it suddenly becomes very important to become as spacefaring as possible, as soon as possible, and how society reacts.

Space Settlement

Rick Tumlinson says the concept is taking hold within the space community.

Meanwhile, the Center For American Progress is having a symposium on the past and future of human spaceflight. Interestingly, as Jeff Foust notes on Twitter, NASA isn’t involved. Interesting also that it’s sponsored by a lefty institution. I suspect that this topic may set off a civil war on that side of the spectrum.

The First Woman To Be Raped In Space

has already been born.

As Glenn notes, this seems to be gender feminism’s major contribution to spaceflight.

I ruffled some feathers this weekend at Space Access by having the temerity to point out that there will be some people who will oppose our expansion into space, because they don’t trust us to do it “right,” and with “social justice.” So much will they oppose it that they may even get violent about it. They do, after all, call themselves “warriors,” and they use a lot of eliminationist rhetoric, like “Smash patriarchy.” I got an email or two about it.

My quick take: Saying that I am “picking a fight” with these people is like saying that the New York Times was picking a fight with the Japanese by reporting that they had bombed Pearl Harbor. As I noted in my talk, they went after the gamers, and the SF community. They’re already on their way to go after the space settlers, as the above linked piece indicates.

I’ll have a longer take at Ricochet or PJMedia.

[Update a few minutes later]

Sort of related: Why Joss Whedon left Twitter.

[Update a while later]

Here’s one hot off the press (Monday) from D. N. Lee (the Scientific American blogger whose tweet I highlighted in my talk). This is much more mild than the tweet, but it gives you an idea of what we’re up against.