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starship-design: money, Fermi, etc.

    Sorry, but I seem to have started a fight with my use of the word "budget." Let me make two incontrovertably true statements which will, I hope, help put the matter in perspective:
        STATEMENT 1:  The construction of a starship will require the work of a great many people for a very long time.
        STATEMENT 2:  These people have to eat.

    When I saw the sparks fly, opening with Ben Franchuk's "F__K the budget," I smiled at first and said, "Wow, I've started a fight!" But I quickly became disturbed at the intensity of this exchange, and it got me thinking. As miserable as it is to consider this, I had to wonder if one possible answer to Fermi's question is that those other folks out there could never launch because they could never settle the question of who would pay for the project.
    Aside from that, I'd like to thank Steve VanDevender for the link on the physics book. I hope it's as good as you say, because I've been needing some help in this area. I tried Richard Feynman's Six Easy Pieces, and both of Stephen Hawking's books; Feynman was better, but a lot of this still mystifies me. I liked some of what I saw on the Autodynamics site because it seems to simplify things, but I remain open to all viewpoints. Skeptical, but open.
    The very brief mentions of time warps and space warps got me thinking in another direction: gravity control. How much do we now know about gravity, really? Anyone?

Keep looking up,