Do you think space travel will become an everyday reality page 3 gas meter car


Click to expand…A lot of things humanity should be doing are "blatantly obvious": Shepherding the planet; converting to less polluting energy sources; making efforts to reverse global warming; taking care of our poor, feeding our hungry, treating the sick. But humanity doesn’t always do the blatantly obvious things… there always seems to be a rationale to do something different.

When space travel is described as an "everyday reality," it suggests easy traveling between popular celestial destinations, much like how people jet from New York to London (if they are among those who can afford it). gas vs electric oven efficiency But I’m not sure our celestial destinations will be much more than working outposts, and if so, destinations for limited trips to rotate personnel and supply runs that may not qualify as routine, but not regular, or "everyday" activities.

If we perhaps get to the point when we can seriously populate space, for instance, an orbiting satellite or a Moon colony with city- or state-sized populations, people will probably want to be able to make regular trips as desired. But we may still be limited to travel when it is convenient for transportation systems, not for people; so, again, not as "everyday" as we might like.

Click to expand…Technology has limits. We have a thread somewhere about this (or maybe it was on the Chrons forum). electricity electricity music notes You can push a line of technological development only so far before it ceases to be viable. By viable I mean that the people who use it are able to pay for it. It’s not about technological ingenuity. Clever boffins can make space travel possible but there is no way they can make it cheap, since the amount of energy required to get a craft large enough to support a human into orbit is enormous and no amount of ingenuity will change that.

Space travel is never, ever going to be a viable technology. Its only viable aspect are communication satellites, since millions of people benefit from them and are able to afford them. electricity prices going up But one human going into space cannot afford it. Even a rich man cannot afford it on a regular basis and nothing will alter that reality. Elon Musk’s reusable launchers may bring the price down somewhat (though it remains to be seen how reusable they actually are), but not nearly enough to allow ‘ordinary’ people to buy a ticket to travel in space.

The first steps are major advances. Between making something that could stay aloft and conveying passengers across the Channel in comfort was a huge leap. Then designing a plane that could fly 2,800km non-stop (the distance between Brazil and North Africa and 8 times longer than between London and Paris) was another impressive step. Crossing the north Atlantic (Ireland to Newfoundland) was a less impressive step – 3,230 km. electricity electricity schoolhouse rock The next (and last) big step was the jet, developed in WW2. Commercial subsonic jet travel halved the times of propellor-driven aeroplanes in 1953. All this was accomplished in exactly 50 years.

What applies to air travel applies to cars. electricity use in the us I did a comparison on performance-to-cost between a Model T and a Tata Nano – the only currently available car that is as cheap as the Model T. There is very little difference. At a 100km/h the Nano is 30km/h faster than the Ford but it needs more maintenance. The Model T has a far superior off-road performance. power kinetic energy Petrol consumption is the same. The Ford, bear in mind, began production in 1908 and by 1925 the price had dropped to US$260, or US$3,628 in current value. gas vs electric oven for baking cakes In terms of viable technology the Model T remains on top.

More recently developed technology shows signs of reaching the same plateau. Desktop computers for example used to double computing power every 18 months, but that is no longer the case since it is not possible to make the micro-transistors in the CPU any smaller or make the CPU perform any faster without overheating and melting. It’s a problem as one programmer told me since programmes now can’t get any more demanding on computing power, limiting what they can do.

Nice survey! Also, I think the conversation changes based on ones temporal scope; in other words what span of time we are looking at. If we think of progress as being generally linear over a greater span of time then eventually of course, it’s short of inevitable. However when we look at progress over a much shorter span then the incoming/immediate realities of that progress are more pressing. A practical state of mind is useful for solving those problems, however I believe that it’s important not to get too lost in either end of the spectrum. gas after eating eggs The artistic/philosophical side to progress is equally important since it fuels our drive to actually solve problems and provides us with a model of the future to aspire to.

That’s why I liked the last option about the purpose of sci-fi, I think that its purpose (at least one of its purposes, I might push back a little on the notion of any genre having a single unifying purpose) is to provide a vision of what could be. I love optimistic sci-fi that offers us possibilities and begs people to think about what the world could be like given inevitable change. It can be difficult for people to imagine a world different from our own, but I think it’s a critical skill to be able to imagine and see possibilities. Star Trek does this very well on the optimistic side since it offers a (generally speaking) ideal vision of the world. Without that vision in the world the public consciousness would not have a clear example to refer to when contemplating issues like the fate of humanity. By having these possible worlds we offer ourselves philosophical options that otherwise we wouldn’t consider for being either too idealized or grim.