Interview with Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson, commenting on a bunch of stuff.

His comments regarding personal freedom in a Martian colony don’t gel with mine. The social system that I imagine in Generation Mars has a great respect for personal freedom.

However, that is tempered by a level of social responsibility that we would likely find unrecognizable here on Earth.

Apollo pooping

This might be the most dedicated space journalism I’ve ever encountered. I want to say “Bravo!”, but that seems weird.

Outgrowing the planet is not a bad thing

Dr. Phil Metzger posted an epic 48 tweet thread on Twitter explaining why megaconstellations (e.g. SpaceX’s Starlink) are inevitable, as is their eventual demise as better tech comes online.

Looking at the evolution of life, from single celled organisms to bipedal apes rapidly outgrowing the planet, as the exponential growth of information is a novel (to me at least) approach and provides an interesting perspective.

“I would bet that if we find alien civilizations somewhere else in the galaxy, or in a galaxy far, far away, we will discover that they ALL developed megaconstellations right before they got industry off their planets & divorced their information systems from their biosphere.”

This is wild stuff and well worth a full read.

 

No ordinary spacecraft

I’m not sure there is such a thing as an “ordinary spacecraft”, but there certainly has never been a spacecraft like SpaceX’s BFR. The sheer audacity of someone trying this is balanced by the earnestness of the effort, and the whole process is fascinating to watch unfold. This article investigates some of the challenges SpaceX is facing.

“To be able to launch, refuel in orbit, endure months of flying through space, land on Mars, leave that planet, and safely return to Earth — then do all that over again — the BFR can’t be an ordinary spacecraft.”