Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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16 Responses

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      We’re not tiny. Mars is apparently huge. It must only look so small because of some mind-warping device that somebody is emitting from their planet. These Martians scare me. We must nuke their planet.Report

  1. Avatar zic says:

    I just love Earth playing the role of Evening Star.Report

  2. Avatar Rod says:

    You are here. (Restrooms are down the hall to the left.)Report

  3. Avatar Damon says:

    Just more evidence that space is BIG.
    I saw gravity a few weeks back and remember the opening scene thinking….”yah…I’d love to be there.”
    But, even more so than the wilds and the deep, space is a cold uncaring place with lots of dangers. One misstep, one careless moment and you’re gone.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Agreed, the utter vastness of space is just crushing. One enjoys the sci-fi episodes, the Star Treks, the Star Warses etc but all of that dreaming just shatters against the sheer titanic reality of the vastness of space and our own current inability to find anything that moves faster than the speed of light (itself a speed that we have no feasible or practical means of accelerating a body up to).

        That we must escape the Terran gravity well is ecologically imperative. Once can theorize an industrialized and resource harvesting solar space without having to posit some kind of black box technology but the idea of escaping the Solar System? It is a crushingly difficult proposition to even imagine. Perhaps some kind of mega city sized space ship, self-sustaining and durable trundling patiently through the incredible gulfs with thousands of generations of humans aboard repairing it, harvesting the surrounding void and living their entire lifespans within it?Report

      • Avatar zic says:


        That we must escape the Terran gravity well is ecologically imperative.

        I’m coming round to the thought that escaping the gravity well may be an ecological impossibility; we’re not separate from the ecology, but part of it, and have complex flora and fauna and weight-bearing that may well dead end outside the appropriate environment for more then a few years.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        I think we’ll get out. Maybe it’s wishfull thinking, but I think the allure of a new “wild west” and desire to flee “civilization” will drive people. Time will indeed tell.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        @damon I don’t think it impossible, but I think it unlikely we’ll realize how many of our fellow travelers on Planet Earth we’ll need to bring along to make it possible. In particular, I don’t think we’ve a good notion yet of the vast variety of microbes we depend on. We’re primed to kill them before we even determine if their friend or foe. Germ phobic even as our very existence depends on germs.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        Quite possibly Zic.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        The first few attempts to go exosolar are very, very probably suicide missions.

        I’d go anyway, but that’s me.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Is your use of “chemist” her a quote or affect, or are there regions in the US where that’s standard?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Brandon, that’s HHGTG. Adams was British. They use funny words for things.Report