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Re: RE: starship-design: Infrastructure in space
> I do assume normal rules of economics and colonization will remain. You
> won't do something that isn't valued over its cost. You won't settle
> anywhere unless its economically profitable. Etc. These have held across
> millenia of history and vast shifts in social and political organization.
> (Even across species.) So they should hold in any reasonble distence into
> the future.
> I asume we could technically build interstellar craft, of the types we've
> outlined in LIT, in 50 years. We couldn't afford them without some major
> industrial process changes by then, and much past then the changes in our
> physics knowledge would change the basic designs and economics.
Well, if you want to look at historical trends, remember that the cost
of manufacture for any particular thing goes down over time, so
spacecraft that seem prohibitively expensive to build now will become
cheaper to manufacture, and quite likely eventually will be affordable
to organizations other than the largest governments or corporations.
Basically, what I do see you doing is extrapolating _current_
cost-benefit ratios well beyond their reasonable period of validity.
It's true that the culture we have now won't go to the stars because we
would consider it too expensive and unprofitable. But our culture won't
last forever, and the cultures that do go to the stars will likely do so
with lower perceived costs for the effort and different notions of what
is economically profitable.