Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Way Past My Deadtime

I definitely think humans are ape shaped bugs. We go through larval stages our whole life, we just don't shed a shell in between.

I am in the silverback stage right now. I can only pity anyone that never reaches this state of - for lack of a better word - wisdom.

People lament wasted youth. Youth is to be wasted. It is the end years of accumulated effort and intellect that cannot be wasted. You feel the power.

At 67 I may be at my most powerful, although I could plateau into my 90s, but the Kurman side says no dice. So I have a limited time offer to dispense both advice and charity. Being childless, I choose my heirs on merit. I have given monies to people I am not related to but wish I was. I love my blood family, but I have chosen my extended family, through character and competence, to reward with what meager sums I have.

I will continue to do so until I die

I had a 20 year plan, now it is probably 7, before I die. My best and easiest plan is a glorious death, which will be glorious. Still and all, Always Be Recording, and therefore I will build a roadside shrine 

Grandpa Weed's Funeral

This is an ongoing art installation. It is a jar with my ashes, and around the jar, at not more than 1/10th scale, are my grieving mourners and curious strangers. Bronze. A fund set up to produce more figures aftyer I die, in perpetuity or the money runs out.

I've been to so many funerals where I said wow all these people show up, I aint; getting these numbers being an old curmudgeon. So I started to create my own mourners at 1/12 scale. And trhen it turned into a collection, a glazy of characters as happens when you work on personal mythology. From there, ritual, from there, science, from there, everything or nothing, the Singularity.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Soylent Green: Overbudget and Behind Schedule

But we get there. There is human food ecosystem collapse. No technological rabbit pulled out of a hat will fix this. By 2052 or earlier, no more food except at subsistence levels. The Monkey Singularity has done exactly what it promised, easy lifestyle, at the cost of eating everything in sight. Greedy monkeys. But it's not the end of the world (far from it, this old bitch Earth has been through worse than us). We are going to go through a bottleneck.

So where are we at? 11 eleven years ago, I lamented human carnage on our world:

Soylent Green predicted 7 billion people in 2022, with 40 million in NYC alone. Those numbers are a little off. We are at 7 billion now, with 2 billion more expected by mid-21st-century. Right now, 80% are at poverty level. It's true that some billion or so have been lifted out of poverty since the 1980s, but that just means an even bigger human maw to feed.

Half of the world's forests have been consumed, most since 1950. 90% of all large wild fish have disappeared from the world's oceans - all from industrial fishing. Dead zones from agricultural run off are spreading at an unprecedented rate. "Garbage patches" of floating and sinking plastics are on the uptake in size and numbers. The oceans are rapidly acidifying, and soon will be fit for naught but the most primitive life forms - jellyfish and microbes. It is estimated that humanity now diverts and consumes one quarter of the energy of Earth's biosphere. We are beyond a force of nature.

Despite concerns about resource depletion, energy is still plentiful. We will run out of fossil oxygen long before we run out of fossil fuels. Some 70 precent of the oxygen we breath is provided by underwater life. Blue green algae provide 20% of the oxygen in the atmosphere, other algeous and planktonic species, sea grasses, mangroves, kelps, provide oxygen and carbon sequestration.

All are in decline.

It is so much more worse now, I don't need 1950 as a benchmark. Insect populations are crashing. (My own anecdotal evidence is my car windshield. In the 20th century I would have to pull over and clean the bug splats off for visibility. Now, eerily clean windshields).

80% of global fisheries are in distress. People want to deep sea mine, which is the dumbest thing. The abyssal plains are not desolate. They are a fucking grocery store of microbiota. Fuck that up, harvest the twilight zone of little critters to feed farm salmon the Li'l Lisa Slurry, and you got yourself a Soylent Green, and god speed. Supply chain collapse, and thus a bottleneck. Not an apocalypse, a bottleneck.

Only behavioral change gives us a short bottleneck. Stop fucking killing things would really help.

Not that it matters to me, way past my deadtime. I've no dog in the fight unless I go all Tony Randall and have babies with a twenty-something assistant. And everyone thought he was gay.

Even then I won't care about my progeny, being dead before they reach adulthood. But Gen Z is having babies, and none too worried about the future. I mean we know and understand a world of squalor and want. Hell, this world, right now, must look like the planet Dune to our hunter/gatherer ancestors, who in their turn, decimated the world. But I would note the megafauna extinctions were after the last competing hominid had been eliminated. Homo Sapiens? More like Homo Orcus

Sure stinks like the Age of Orc to me. The Age of Men (Neanderthals) is long over. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Chris Hemswoth, who plays Dementus in this movie, observed that America has Star Wars, the UK Harry Potter, and Australia has Mad Max. Australia has the only fairy tale that can come true.

And the beautiful thing about the  Mad Max universe is it is as vast as the Wasteland, but still full of characters. It's not a franchise or iP, it is a post-apocalyptic mythology. The dregs and bottom scrappings of humanity, still have a sense of humor and gruesome dignity.  I suppose it all goes back to George Miller's emergency room days as a doctor, gallows humor, what's to do about it, mate?

Is Furiosa action packed? Yes. Hell, yes. As action packed as Fury Road? Nah, but, Furiosa is an explanation movie and I'm OK with that. How did Furiosa get to be the Furiosa of Fury Road, and where do things go from here?

At the end of Fury Road, Max goes off to wander the Wasteland. Furiosa and the Mothers now hold the Citadel*, Gas Town and the Bullet Farm**.

Miller has given us Woman the Builder in all but the first movie, in which the badass wife and kid got murdered, which drove Max mad. Ignore the fact that Max is like 72 years old in Fury Road, the characters are ageless archetypes now, ghosts drifting through stories of the Wasteland.

What's next? George wants to make a Mad Max V and I'm like absolutely, box office receipts be damned.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Kitty, I Farted

Hello Loves

In France, ChatGPT is phonetically similar to Chat, Je pete, which means female cat (kitty), I farted. New programs are worrying over jobs being replaced by kitty, I farted. 

Appropriate seeing as AI is a gas bubble. I and many others called it. The bubble won't pop until the ruling class gets their money back and unloads on the suckers. It's not going well, with Google turning into Trump, more or less advising them to drink bleach. The hallucinations will continue until we fix it, goes the publicity, so we will slap "experimental" on it.

The tech is unimportant. Or rather, the tech is important, but the business I slap onto it liek a parasite is not. Take the jet pack, the equivalent of the vaunted flying car, but for real. Turns out it was only the one jetpack all along, in all the movies, TV shows and commercials. The inventor flogged that deadly thing wherever he could. But it had inadequate tech to be other than a stunt. The minute you think of the entire American economy as a carnival, the less of a chump you are. 

Jet packs. Flying cars. Self driving cars.  Bitcoin. NFTs. AI, step right up and win a prize.  

It seems the only way to make money nowadays is fraud, but that's capitalism. Force and fraud is the salient of capitalism. The only reason it works is a thing called science. That's where the material progress comes from, the Great Acceleration we are experiencing that is undeniable. An acceleration that now threatens to eat the world.

I know such a statement is exaggeration. We humans may experience a Soylent Green collapse of the good times, but the planet won't give a shit. The quadrillions will out last our mere billions.

On that note of mortality, my current situation is now blood pressure. Eyeball is also continued fucked up, which I now realize is for the rest of my life. Each decade has tried to kill me, and my 7th secade may go the Kurman family tradition of stroke or heart attack. Given I've also inherited my maternal grandfather's weird head pressure problems. If I can sail through this , I'll hit 85, otherwise, my 18 year plan becomes my 7 year plan.

Regardless, my death will be glorious.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A Foundation of Joy

Two years and I've lost count of how many times my eye has been operated on, either beating the fuck out  of the tumor, or reattaching that slippery eel of a retina of mine. 

Maybe 8? 9? times? A lot of needles in the eye, way too often to make my mother cry.

The last surgery in March was supposed to be the last surgery, but the bottom quarter of my retina decided to go wandering, not unlike the way doctors thought a woman's uterus would wander around her body and make her hysterical, and have to be brought back under control with the use of bad smells, thus smelling salts.

So the doc fixed it yesterday, and here I am. Abiding by the grim northern version of machismo, I suffered in silence without having to, but hey, I don't know, can you call it brave? At this point no, just endurance. Patient plodding andjust keep going.

I was supposed to stay home today, but I got bored and went into teach at the college. Apparently that made me a badass. Giving demos like a patch eye pirate. Well, I am a Viking. I know that because when I brag, its always about stealing something.

All vision is gone now in the right eye. The doc was diappointed and I consoled him. Hey you saved the eye. Again. Can't win em all. 

Not feeling sorry for myself. My stage of grief for my beloved right eye is now at acceptance. Acceptance, as in surrenduring to pain, the joy of life shines through. If this is a biological adaptation, beyond mere pleasure or pain,, then nice. Makes sense that enjoying a universe is of evolutionary advantage. I'll call it joy. The joy of being fucking great to be alive. 

And keeping the eye. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A City On Mars

I think one of the reasons Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials are so pissed off is we were promised adventures in space that we never got. We were ripped off in our most hopeful aspiration along with all the other stuff that seems to turn to shit around us.

Short term, at least. But is that true long term?

Consider: if we set off every existing nuclear warhead all at once - in the worst possible way, some 4 gigatons of ground bursts - the resulting Earth, cold and poisonous, would still be better than any other place in the solar system. If somehow humanity made a comeback, and got a mangled Earth back to some semblence of our current pretty sweet environment, it would still cost way, way less than terraforming Mars.

A City on Mars is a book about all of what it takes to establish a permanent off-world human presence. The authors, space horny like me, talk to the experts, and get bummed out how Not Ready we are, but a hopeful consensus is Go Big or Stay Home

Go big also means go long; timewise. Go deep; as in research and experments on contained ecology and repair here on Earth. Go broad; figure out how to repair Earth systems before worrying about space.

But we are not ready. Forget about living up there, its the getting up there that is still a problem. Chemical rockets are not enough. You send cripples and corpses on a 2 year voyage to Mars with our best, which is Starship, if it were working, which it ain't. And the Earth to LEO dollar numbers (99% of your cost for your ticket to the solar system) are just not there. Reusable Starship and booster, Elon Musk figures down to $10 a kilo, from the Bullshit Cinematic Universe he inhabits. Without nukes, you'll never get less than $1-2 grand a kilo. Elon don't care. All SpaceX has to do is crank rockets out like sausages, plus network effects even better if SpaceX offers franchises to manufacturers to crank out those sausages.

No darlings, Elon wants the orbits, and he's getting them with a third of all active satellites being Starlink. Elon is Elon, and if someone comes up with a fusion rocket, his ass is saved. Otherwise, he must realize that 99% of existential disasters are exta-solar. That "carrying the light of consciousness" bullshit is just that.

On Earth, geology gets cranky and the Sun shoots deadly farts at us, but we live on with free air, water, a radiation shield (free!), a stable and realtively pleasant if not downright gorgeous environment. Surprise! we can start doing that right here right now!

So what is space for? Science! Robots! Robots throughout the solar system. I did a term paper on robot farms back in college and  it was not promising. von Neumann self replicating machines look good on paper, suck on the Moon.  Even today, with solar powered AI on the Moon's Peaks of Permanent Sunrise, stinky humans would do better.

Besides, the majority of people don't give a fuck about space.

Everybody loves plucky space robots, though. That's the angle. Like Voyager 1, an old gobber, trying to Phone Home. That is where the sentiment is, so throw monies at that. Put in a dollar for an old interstellar robot? Change jar for the good robots in your market store. 

Who knows? 2060, way past my dead time, might be pretty fucking sweet.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Non-exciting update, I promise

Little by little I am getting ready for mass production of the turtle. I could send the shape to a aerodynamic analytic bot and it would say A-OK. If it looks good it will fly.

The 3D print negative mold for a silicone rubber positive mold is a dream. Plaster molds almost demold themselves. What a happy material partnetship I've found.

Silicone rubber is fun stuff actually. I honestly can't praise it enough. Such fidelity!

On a reality note, hopefully my last eye operation to save this valiant brave eye. My right eye is thirty years older than me, and it shows, but I will have no secessions from my Union. Keeping the eye, godammit

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

You Should be Afraid of Your Government

The more I complain about not wanting to do anything, the more shit I end up doing. Imagine Frankenstein Happy. 

But that's not what I want to talk about. I'm reading A City On Mars and the topic that is screaming to me is infrastructure. Plenty of energy out there, same as here. Ah, but infrastructure, like we have on Earth? That costs a lot of money.

Not just money, lives, little bees what live in tomorrow's trees and make the honey money; us busy little creatures. How are you going to get a million people on Mars, like Elon Musk wants? (BTW, a viable Martian colony starts at 100 million people, assuming one person can wear two hats).

Material, wanted material, needs to be gathered and distilled same as down here. We have the same infrastructure problem as here, but you are doing it out there; in a Solar System with no free air, water, gravity, radiation shield, a microbial ecosystem of unknown benefactors?

The thing on Earth is the distilling and transport of materials -  since the Modern Age -  been energy cheap, but still material scarce. Or rather, the right kind of material. Before modern times, we were energy scarce but materially wealthy. Slaves extracted and distilled the material  from vast sources. Not so much now. And, what good is a ten million trillion dollar platinum asteroid? Except maybe as a threat to drop it on someone?

The infrastructure problem of space for space is just too big, because space is too big and spread out. You need big, huge infrastructure to do the job. The argument is but we will have so much energy. Yes, you'll need it. Even though E=mc2, you need infrastructure to do that. Big time, long term, and the only way that happens is to involve government. That should worry you. As I've argued before, governments are the AI we've been worrying about, and corporations more limited version of these monstrous.. monsters. 

The objective function of your government may not coincide with your comfort zone. Most educated US citizens are well aware of the horrific beastly shenanigans of our adolescent corporate self, a 360 million cell slime mold living on a globe of slime molds, each snarling and snapping at pseudopod limbs.

What to do about this big kaiju? Become a virus, I guess.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Peach Tree Dish

Working on weed pipe prototypes has not helped my fitness profile one bit.

I have moved into aeronautical surfaces and its a literal romulan space force of weed pipes you can get just by dial fiddling with unseen hyperparameters that my brain interprets as "looks good, feels good, smokes good". Like this pineapple cutie.

I got into a bad habit since the January polar vortex of not walking. I can feel the difference, back problems, knees hurting, sleep and concentration down.

So, in this gorgeous spring weather in February, I went for a walk. One the usuals routes at 2.5 miles.  Along this route is a playground, which I stop at to stretch and also use the equipment. I tried the monkeybars and nearly tore my arm out of its socket. How do little kids do that? They have my grip strength and don't weigh 225lbs. And are 64 years younger.

I think I'm out of shape. I know people around me, I find out, think I'm a viking and kind of scary, like fun scary I hope. I do the fitness exams and I rate excellent for my age. So why do I feel out of shape? Appearance? The image of our body from when we were 19. peak ape?

Well, how about not being able to use the monkeybars? I really should change my workout from bed rotting to actually working out. 

I saw an article about reversed aging in mice, turned back the clock from 80 to 20. Affordable whole body rejuvenation. If true, you should be terrified.

Immortal slaves of an objective function.

Speaking of which, ChatGPT went berserker for a little bit, just a little bit. What would you expect? 95% of content is bot generated and scraped back in like fish eating chiken poop. I got some eggs, hard boiled them. When I cracked them they smelled like shit. I threw the carton away, but wondered if this was spoilage or the chicken were being fed pig shit.

Chat GPT ladies and gentlemen

Friday, February 2, 2024

Texas cannot secede.

Why pick on Texas? Because they are the whiniest bitches of all the Fifty Nifty States.

I don't know who needs to hear it, but this article from the Texas Tribune spells out why Texas cannot secede. There is going to be no fucking divorce; we are stuck with each other. Libtards and commies get to live in the USA same as everybody else. And like Hotel California, you can never leave.

As a matter of tact we should have been expanding, and would have, if werent for the brown problem. Hawaii and Alaska made whyte people go "heennnghh, I don't know".

(As a sidebar, I am a Gatekeeper of whyte people. Viking on all sides. Inbred as fuck. Lots of people think they are whyte but they are just white*

*white: white people were invented 7,000 years ago, that being the trifecta of  least melanized in skin, eyes, hair. Parallel evolution have produced one or the other, but not all three in the whyte walkers)

Friday, January 26, 2024

Non-exciting update on the one hit wonders

One of the little old ladies in my ceramics class noticed the last batch of flower pipes I made. She asked if she could have one and I said sure, expressing surprise that she smoked weed.

"I don't", she said, "but my son works for one of those dispensaries, and he might be interested in this product". 

I said I don't think I want to manufacture these in bulk but let me dial in the protoypes and get the construction more streamlined and we will talk. I figure a licensing aggreement in which case, I know I would get around 5% of any proceeds. Definitely not interested in spending my days in mass production hell, but I also am interested in some extra dough. 

I modified how I produced the plaster molds. Making 3D prints for the two-part plaster mold halves (software modification easier than contructing a new pipe to mold), but I often had to destroy the 3D print while demolding from the plaster.

So instead I made a 3D print of the mold part, and then poured silicone rubber in to create the working mold halves.

I made a two part plaster with the rubber mold parts today and it worked slick as snot. 

This was such a painless process that I am now interested in applying this reusable mold teachnique for other projects, possibly even complex multipart plaster molds, which is a step back into the past, tech-wise. No matter. 

So, I will have distracted myself on to other things, per usual.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Oh, NOW you want nuclear fusion power?

At DAVOS, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman declares new sources of power to meet the energy demand of AI, particularly nuclear fusion. Like the cryptocurrency clusterfuck, AI is consuming vast amounts of power, and Sam Altman finally says maybe we should get commercial fusion power going.

Hey, I'm all for it, but rather than create the bloated turd that is ITER, with a corrupt and sclerotic bureaucracy, and piece meal efforts of various institutions, we could have provided a concentrated, multi-hundred billion dollar effort to get there. Had we wished to, we probably could have had fusion power by the year 2000. We did not wish to. Money wasn't a problem, as we managed to throw tens of trillions at stupid  wars. Just a fraction of that money gets you nuclear fusion.

Part of the reason is a rather wise choice not to pursue such superdense energy systems due to lack of knowledge and technology. That's fair. If the tech and knowledge was in place (now they are), do you really want chain saws and off road vehicles run on Mr. Fusion? Why the planet would be a wreck in no time. For that matter, what if it is easier to build a fusion rocket than a reactor. A fusion rocket gets you to Mars, but it can also be a devastating weapon on terrestrial targets.

The spending of $100 billion to date on self-driving cars (replacing cheap human drivers with shoddy expensive robots) probably could have gotten us a aneutronic fusion power source. My vote is for hydrogen boron fusion  being pursued by HB11 and Helion Energy. Billionaires are now finally throwing their money at it, and devoting AI architecture to the now familar problems. 

But for what? Don't we have enough scams already? More than half the stuff on the internet is AI generated garbage. It's clogging Google search, which I can personally attest is getting worse. Not to mention this AI adventure is still a Mechanical Turk, with humans tasked to sift out the horrible and hallucinating content to be fed to the robots. Not to mention glean out the AI generated garbage to be scrapced as data. The only people I see making money on this is the billionaires who already have a monopoly on, well, everything. Looks pretty grim.

Monday, January 15, 2024


I have a suspicion that a neighbor, or a neighbor's child, sicced their dog on Trump when he was a kid.

I can see it, everyone is bullied, so some snooty rich neighbor in the snooty rich neighborhood just didn't like the little fucker. One day Donny mouths off, and the kid sics the hound on him. Maybe more than once. It explains why Trump hates dogs, and his worst insult is dog. But then again, Trump's parents did a good job on fucked in head, so maybe more than dogs. 

Now, I've seen when Trump had the posture of a whipped dog. The first time was around Jeffrey Epstein, Trump a little dog bouncing around big dog Jeff. The second at the inauguration, after a chat with Obama. The third time at Helsinki, after the meeting with Putin. Whipped dog slinking that one, wow!

My take on the 2018 Helsinki meeting is that Putin brought his dog, a big snarly snapper.

"Don't worry he won't bite!" Putin assures him. The dog barking and growling and lunging against the leash Putin holds lightly in his hand. This goes on for a while, and then Putin takes the dog away, and wheels in a tank with his pet shark, a big snarly snapper.

"Don't worry, he won't bite!" 

In Putin's Russia, bite sharks you!

50% of Americans believe in demons. 45% believe in ghosts. That gets you our current representative republic. If this is 21st century America, think of what the Founding Fathers had to work with.

On more than one occasion, I have said "a lottery could have picked someone better!" But that can't be done at the federal level without changing the Constitution. So you set up a thrid party, maybe call it Other, or None of the Above (NotA finger!). Just like a lottery, you register with a donation, you got a ticket at becoming congressperson, senator, President. If our party wins the slot, someone is randomly selected from the roles.

I've written about this before, I should go find out if I'm repeating myself like a doddering old man. But what the hye. Questions:

Q) what if some idiot gets chosen, A) recall elections are still there, and what if they are not an idiot, but better than the drama queens and daddy's little vampire squids we got now? I'm not being cynical. There are people honestly dedicated to public service that could be doing better things than dealing with all the bullshit. However, there is a parasitoid version of ape that seeks the wells of power and glamor, and Washington DC is that niche.

Q) what's to stop some rich guy from buying all the tickets to win? A) that's easy, we set up donations as uniform regardless of buy ins, like a knock-out, your subsequent donation is still your only donation, but you enrich the pot.  Bigger pot means bigger media presence. (Note to self: don't use dicks as the face of  NotA).

Q: If it holds up in court (why wouldn't it?), and you are randomly selected, what should you do? A) Interesting as it is made obvious that the staff has all the insight and institutional knowledge of what some people call the deep state. There is going to be a tremendous tidal wave of influence and monies, about to be showered upon you by the powers that be, as it should be, but- you would be smart to get all your cronies together, (competent) family and (honest) friends for staff and support, and then deal with the Beast.

Q) can it fly? A) like all thrid parties to date? Nope

Friday, January 12, 2024

A City On Mars

I flirted with space opera writing a couple of short stories on this blog. I won't link to them as they are all bad. I made them all Mary Sue (were I am in the story and of course, the hero). The only time you use that device is when you would rather be in a story than in real life.

My stories were safe and bland, havens of normality rather than tense and difficult life I was living.

As bad as the stories were, I still took pleasure in the world building, or rather the constraints. Example from ten years ago:
Short version, humanity has sparsely populated the universe via wormhole conduits, meaning no spaceships, no spaceports, no spacefaring infrastructure, and doing it all with what amounts to late 1970s technology (nothing to sneeze at, pretty ingenious). So, these wormholes are fickle things, and for the longest time passage through one amounted to a one-way trip with no return. It was only, say, twenty years after the first foray that humans learned the trick of return trips to Earth. As a result, there's a lot of lost colonies out there in the cosmos, some of which would never be heard from again. And there's the problem involving colonization.

So, let's say you've got this big hole. It's just a big hole. If you want, it's a hole in the sky. On the other side of this big hole is whole new world, lush and green and filled with fresh air, sunshine and animals and clean water and absolutely no people. The hole is going to stay open for a short time, and while it's open, you can go back and forth. But eventually the hole will close and will never reappear again. You know this. You know if go through and stay, you will be stuck in this new world for good.

What do you take with? Oh, one other restriction is you are confined to, say nothing more advanced than 1979 technology.

Well, here's my thinking. You walk into this new world, you'll want to have an idea of what your base technology will be. In other words, you don't come over expecting to use internal combustion engines, since you don't where the oil is, you don't know when you'll have refineries built, you don't have any of the chemical and electrical infrastructure. Similarly, you probably don't bring coal-fire locomotives over. So, in my view, you start out with a base technology of around, say, 1820 or so. You've got high pressure steam engines that burn wood. You've got a lot of spare parts for that. Oh sure, you bring as many modern amenities and appliances and generators and fuel and airplanes and satellite launching rockets and computers as you can shove through the hole, and use as it long as it all lasts. You may have mini-factories stashed in 40 foot shipping containers. You've got a shitload of books. And skilled people. And food. And seeds. And... what else? In other words, this becomes a prepper problem. The world falls apart. How to rebuild it?

Because, you figure, no matter how much shit you shove through the hole, you just can't support a modern world. You can't support a modern world, not without billions of people. Your best 1979 candidates for interstellar colonization are hunter gatherers, subsistence farmers, herders, citizens of what they called back then The Third World.
Theproblem with these awkward stories was, enthusiastic as I was, I could not suspend my disbelief.

What is current fantasy? Well, according to this book, A City On Mars, the entire manned space program and space colonization.

Consider my scenario above. The most preposterous element is finding another Earth. Not an Earthlike planet, but another Earth. Another Earth with a small window of time say, the Pleistocene, when we evolved.. Humans can't survive the enivronment much past the last third of a billion years on Mother Earth, and the majority of the time where we can survive, we wouldn't like it. It would be a hostile alien world. Now consider candidates in our Solar system. There are none.   

City on Mars knocks down all the Star Trek/For All Mankind fantasies, as it should. Cory Doctorow has a good review.

Colonization makes no sense even if we could do it, which we can't. The pitch for becoming a multi-planetary species falls apart when you recognize that 99.9% of extinction are extra-solar. You want to hide in the heart of a dead planet? Fine, but not me. I'll take the blast.

Manned space makes less sense especially now when robots are so cheap. Cheaper than slaves. Yes, there are more slaves than ever today. We are in a dark time, and we fantasize a safe and bland haven of normalcy. Space ain't it, honey bunnies

Other things. Speaking of hostile alien environments, this is a lame blizzard so far. Chicago, City of the Future, western citadel of the sweet water seas, pissed off because we are getting Kentucky weather, WTF. Rain and above freezing? I get the El Nino but still, our weather is gonna be wimpy from now on? This sucks. I don't want to live in Tennessee. I'll move to Finland if I have to.