I've been extremely busy in the last few weeks, but, strangely, Man's long-term future has occupied many of my idle thoughts--in other words, it's been on my mind--and not because the 20th anniversary of the moon landing has been in the news, either.
We'll go back to the moon as a matter of course. Getting off of Earth and establishing colonies elsewhere is, in the long view, a matter of simple survival. Sol is heating up--and we can move the Earth to compensate, and this is not the cause of short-scale global warming--and will eventually go dim.
But we have to think of it this way: We're a mere sixteen generations, give or take, from the dawn of quantitative science, and only a couple more from nearly universal rule by warlords. Our practical macroscopic theory of electricity and magnetism had its final piece put into place around 1905 and quantum mechanics as we know it is only about eighty years old. We've come a long, long way in a very short time. We're in no rush.
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