Xref: utzoo sci.space.shuttle:1237 sci.space:7081
Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!ukma!nrl-cmf!cmcl2!phri!dasys1!tneff
From: tneff@dasys1.UUCP (Tom Neff)
Newsgroups: sci.space.shuttle,sci.space
Subject: Re: Letter to Congress, et. al.
Message-ID: <6523@dasys1.UUCP>
Date: 18 Sep 88 23:09:55 GMT
References: <1365@eos.UUCP> <13294@jumbo.dec.com> <1765@eneevax.UUCP> <13306@jumbo.dec.com> <13530@mimsy.UUCP>
Reply-To: tneff@dasys1.UUCP (Tom Neff)
Followup-To: sci.space
Organization: Independent Users Guild
Lines: 47

[Followups directed to sci.space.]

Using the thermodynamics curve as an excuse for going into space is
just silly.  No matter what happens vis a vis human exploration of
space, the T-curve here on Earth is going to keep going right on up
until catastrophe hits or we work something ground-based out.  It is
ruinously expensive to put even lightweight things up there -- heavy
stuff would bankrupt the planet, or, even if we could afford it, would
require building such an enormous ground-based spaceflight industry
that the net energy expenditure (and thus Chris' T-curve) would zoom
even higher.

The bottom line is, in order to maintain the glorious progression since
the 1400's etc. etc., we need to keep expending more and more energy
*right here*.  This is where the people are; this is where the people
will continue to be.  Even if we establish a self-sustaining separate
presence in space with *millions* of people off Earth, it will be
a statistically insignificant drop in the bucket by comparison with
the billions left on Earth, who will probably reproduce just a little
faster to fill the fractional percentage gap anyway.

Jorge's hot words probably rankled a few readers, but he has a germ
of truth in there.  I identify three strains of popular space freakdom:
Mr. Right Stuff, the Starship Trooper, and the New-Age Crystalline
Holistic L5 Person.  These are in order of arrival on the scene.

Mr. Right Stuff was formed in the desert winds and backyards of 50's
slide-rule America... he flies model rockets (now with his kids) in the
back yard, wears aviator sunglasses and a pocket pen protector.  He
identifies with the astronauts, memorizes NASA jargon and takes the
Winnebago to launches (even weathersat launches) on vacation time.

The Starship Trooper wasted his youth on 60's SF and now toils away in
some high tech sinecure, waiting for the "big move to space" to
happen.  He hates NASA and the Congress and loves tiny rocket shops
and the military, basically because that's what it says in Heinlein.

The Crystalline Holistic person is an interesting creature who used to
be weirded out on yurts, pyramids and Kirlian auras in the 70's, but
saw enough of those pictures of Earth from lunar orbit etc. and weirded
out on space instead.  Space will be an Aquarian place where we can all
live in peace and harmony and paste rainbow decals on our quartz window
Tom Neff			UUCP: ...!cmcl2!phri!dasys1!tneff
	"None of your toys	CIS: 76556,2536	       MCI: TNEFF
	 will function..."	GEnie: TOMNEFF	       BIX: t.neff (no kidding)