The celebrated efforts of conquering space are well known: plans for space tourism and Mars colonization, financed by enthusiastic entrepreneurs.
To the dismay of many, once we compared these efforts to creating an $800 sandwich. What do we mean by this?
Our critique is based on a characteristically modern phenomenon that some traditional authors refer to as horizontal deviations. Horizontal deviations are activities that lack vertical orientation; in other words activities that don’t aim at transcending individualism. We don’t have to be too strict to see that this encompasses all modern activities: consumerism, industrialism or scientism in general, or perhaps the luxury industry in particular, to pick only a few from a myriad of others. All modern activities are performed in the sign of individualism.
A renewed attempt at doing something commercially useful with space by the private enterprise is only a somewhat more resource intensive version of luxury tourism or related industries (transportation, material sciences, manufacturing, etc.).
From our point of view the eventual success of these efforts is not relevant; similarly to the explorations and eventual colonization from the 15th Century on, these may eventually also lead to success: persistence pays off, no matter what goal one pursues – alas, the success of the effort doesn’t bestow positive qualities on the outcome. Sensationalism doesn’t understand how come that some people don’t celebrate the emerging app ecosystems, that they don’t see absolutely nothing positive about the iPhone or self-driving Teslas and that their breaths are not taken away by the grandiose “vision” of Mars colonization or brain implants (that are supposed to make engineers funnier and sexier, or more God-like, as Kurzweil’s idiotic ramblings allude to).
Horizontal deviations intensify in proportion to the lack of ability, predisposition or capacity to transcend the individual state; in other words when one doesn’t orientate himself “up”, when the measure is not the Truth, but its substitutes: relativism, materialism, individualism; when the particular is considered to be absolute, when what was previously considered to be small and insignificant becomes worshiped: greatness gets confused with bigness.
Taking plastic-surgically upgraded, chip implanted bodies to Mars as an alternative tourist destination attracts the same type of people both on the sale and the buy side, just like in any other industry. And this type (infantile project managers with means but without adult supervision) is the polar opposite of those who deserve our respect.
Image source: http://www.ecanadanow.com/skyscanner-gives-us-a-look-at-future-travel/88237/