kajarainbow: (Anisha)
Planetes is one of the most romantic very, very hard science-fiction things I've read, and one of the most people-centered. I find it interesting because it's all about personal, human reactions to the terrifying vastness and hazard of space. Makes the point that humans can't conquer space, too, just learn to live and hopefully thrive in it.

And it makes a strong case for space exploration. I'm all for that (there're a lot of genuine benefits to be gained), but I'm not sure our current model is the best. There's been a lot of politics in the history of NASA. It was formed to serve our government, and it still gets used for political agenda. And our Space Shuttle isn't even the best model of launch, its design came from bureaucratic reasons.

Frankly, I have the most hope for commercial efforts. Pure profit motivations might have their own limits in terms of goods without immediate financial return, but they sure do get things done a heck of a lot better than bureaucratic inertia. And we have companies all excited about space, heh. Quarterly profits might be the trend, but there're always some long-term thinking people.

And in the Planetes manga, it was governments who started a war filling orbits with debris bad enough to ground many spacecrafts for an indefinite period. For short-term political gain. Hard to see companies doing that. On the other hand, companies have a lot of consolidated power to pursue selfish agendas with. Sometimes those selfish agendas're widely beneficial (the company provides something that widely improves lives all around and makes a profit from it, too), sometimes narrowly beneficial and widely harmful (much what gets lobbied to government, etc.). The same forces are true for government, actually.

This has slid sideways onto other tangents tangled up in all kinds of issues associated with government and commercial motives. But those are issues inherent to funding, which is inherent to any large enough effort. Sigh.

Post-in-a-capsule: Space good. Money/power greed that helps everyone good, greed that hurts most people bad.

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kajarainbow

May 2017

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