Hello everyone, new poster here. It's been years since I watched one of Yudkowsky's video's. For some reason YouTube doesn't show them on my feed anymore. A friend shared his latest with me however, and that's how I found the forum.

For a long time, since 2014 in fact, I've been following the works of Elon Musk. Back then I was fascinated with technology and science and would read science articles such as Newscientist and watch videos in my free time.

A friend told me about Elon Musk. He described him as a real life Iron Man, and gave me the link to Waitbutwhy.com. Telling me to read the blog posts there to find out more.

They were long for my low attention span, but they weren't dry to read at all. The posts and interviews got my attention, and I read practically everything Tim posted with hunger.

Talk about humanities risk of extinction. About how we needed to consider the chances of civilisation ending, of how we should prepare. Of how Climate Change, real or not, was a threat we should prepare for simply because the potential cost was so great.

What really took hold of my heart however, were the pieces on Space Exploration. Apparently we could have been on Mars in the 90s. Dr. Robert Zubrin created a plan for such that he submitted to NASA, and it would not have costed as much as you think.

I've seen over the years many sentiments that such a thing is wasteful and frivolous. That we shouldn't waste money and resources on space exploration.

I've never understood this.

While there are many known threats to humanities survival, there are also certainly unknown ones accompanying them. Even just with the threats we are aware of, we can assume that inhabiting a single planet makes more vulnerable to every single one of them.

That would be, should be reason enough simply on it's own. Humanity has always explored and colonised to ensure it's survival. Throughout all of human history we have journeyed, lived, died and built. Simply because what kills people in one place, won't kill those in another.

However, even outside of that, there are other reasons.

Space excites people. People love the unknown. Many of us possess an explorers spirit. A desire to conquer the unknown. To travel where nobody has travelled before. This is why people walk through jungles and deserts, why people hike through valleys and climb mountains. Why we dive to the deepest depths of the oceans.

Around me. All I see today is saddess. People are without hope. Maybe it's the economic crisis destroying their optimism, maybe it is the Climate Crisis convincing them that they have no future. In some cases it's the war around the world that threatens to spill over and claim countless lives as it has done so often before. Or perhaps it's the corruption in the highest levels of businesses and governments, as literal criminals escape justice and mock those that oppose them.

I see a people in need, desperate need of hope. Of something to look forward to, of something to aim for and work towards.

I don't know if Space exploration could be that for people.

But, I do think that if there's a chance it can, that we should try to push it forward. Simply so that people are a little more emboldened, so that their spirits are lifted just a little more, so they can get through the next day.

Then comes the last part of my argument. Technology.

Space travel is a challenge. A nigh insurmountable pinnacle. Something only the most skilled and dedicated can achieve.

Adversity creates growth. It is through attempting this impossible feat that many of our greatest technological innovations have come. An investigation years ago on NASA's work in science suggested that for every dollar they spent, 16 dollars were produced by the innovations and advanced they produced with that funding.

I think that, no I know that... if we had public support behind more extensive space exploration, that the rewards would be greater than the costs. That through attempting to return to the Moon, and then reach even further. To create habitats in space, to build colonies on the planets of our solar system. We could inspire people to look to the stars.

So I want to ask. Why aren't we?





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Thanks for the post.

Maybe the answer is more mundane than you imagine: light pollution
I'm only half-joking. If you think about it, we are sort of the 1st or 2nd generation to have lived most of their waking lives indoors, without really looking at the stars - without ever perceiving why we call this galaxy Milky Way.

There has been a lot of talk about how red street lights could reduce light pollution. Unfortunately, like a bull seeing red, it apparently increases the level of violent crime severely. How unfortunate.

This certainly does make one think.

Studies have shown that simply looking at the stars is good for you and improves mental health.

Perhaps we haven't done enough to treasure our skies?

Could you please link the study mentioned which proved that red street lights severely increases violent crime?

I last read that article nearly a decade ago. I had a cursory search for it using google, but found nothing, though I did find a few articles on colour psychology.

I guess I may have misremembered it?

If it's not true, that would be ideal. Red lighting would significantly reduce light pollution.

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