Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Lileks slams Patrick Stewart for saying he thinks humans have no business traveling in space. Now, i agree that it’s a bit off-putting for someone who "did a good job of portraying a civilized, intelligent explorer who projected the values of Western Civ into the inky void while confronting the baffling nuances of worlds we have yet to imagine" (as Lileks says of Stewart) to say he opposes space travel (though this has slightly more to do with my insistence on only involving myself than with things i support [so i think it’s somewhat hypocritical to do a show all about space travel if you think space travel isn’t all that great a thing] than with a mentality closer to “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”) but as i’m not all that interested in space travel and tend to think the money spent thereon could be far better spent.

Lileks continues:
"I would like to see us get this place right first before we have the arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets," Stewart said.

Oh: right. Actor talking. “Get this place right.” What would that look like, exactly? And how would we know? If in 2079 there’s one monomanical Marxist sub-saharan leader starving his people for political gain, does this obligate other nations to shut down their rocketry programs until the guy dies and crop production returns to pre-tyrant levels? “Arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets.” So it’s arrogant to put Americans on Mars, because our myriad “significant” flaws would somehow contaminate the gentle Martian polity that reigns today.
The 63-year-old British actor says manned missions are too expensive. "It would take up so many resources, which I personally feel should be directed at our own planet," he said.

Making movies takes up many resources which could be directed at our own planet. For that matter, millions of pounds are spent in England annually for theater productions – I propose a ten-year moratorium on all stage shows, with the money distributed directly to our own planet. And after we have gotten things right on this planet we can get back to such frivolous luxuries as theater. What’s that, you say – theater employs many people? Theater inspires imaginations, adds to our store of knowledge, helps us define what it means to be human?

And exploring other words doesn’t, eh. Noted: the future of humanity shall consist not in getting this place right but watching angry Pinter screeds about that wretched meat we know as our own flawed species. And when we leave the theater we can look up and behold an infinite world we must never pollute.
Okay, i have definitely argued that it’s not fair to insist that you can’t spend any non-essential time or money on anything other than improving the world just because there is still work to be done, but i’m also a fan of prioritizing, and while i’m sure some space programs have real value, i tend to think the money could be better spent on so many other things.

I actually struggle a lot with the purpose and worth of art/literature and the study thereof, with the whole idea of devoting your life/time/money to art when there is so much work to be done in terms of basic survival, with how much government should be involved in funding the arts (this also goes back to my issues with "No one will pay for this, but it should exist, so the government should pay for it").

My thinking tends towards "greater good" a lot, so i'm inclined to compromise that private entities can spend their money however they want but governments have an obligation to do the best stuff with their money. This of course is used as arguments for such things as space programs and art as well as against.

Blah, i used to be articulate, at times even eloquent.

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