Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Proof That Brilliance in One Field

. . . (say, physics) doesn't lead to any particular knowledge or wisdom in another field (say, economics or politics or anthropology).

Or maybe it's proof of the imperialist imperative of science.

Humans Must Colonize the Universe!

Whichever the case, I was amazed at the sheer fantasy involved in Hawking's prescriptions and predictions. 20 years to a viable settlement on the moon? 40 years for Mars? Hawking is clearly a scientific genius but an economic neophyte and a sociological idealist.

Exactly how much would a settlement on the moon cost? And we're supposed to pay for it . . . how? And how justly will the benefits and the costs be distributed?

Hawking's program is the classic example of a spendy, sexy, scientific solution to an anthropological problem. Our problem is greed and oppression, not lack of available resources. Our problem is selfishness and short-sightedness, not insufficient opportunity. More opportunity and more resources will not reform the character of the people who dispose of them.

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