I wonder if there’s a generation of scientists, artists and technocrats ready to succeed Freeman Dyson, Arthur C Clarke and all those other admirable, enlightened, imaginative old men who came of age before the bomb. Clarke dreams of a time when a majority of humankind can’t quite remember which way to point when asked where planet Earth is. Dyson of extending the range of life, infinitely adaptable, to the the furthest edges of the universe and of rearranging the Solar System.
They, I’m sure, would have no patience with the narrow-minded campaign to retreat from manned space flight. BBC 4 has an excellent documentary about Dyson’s Orion project. He planned to send people across inter-stellar distances by exploding hundreds of Hydrogen bombs behind their space ships. The programme will probably repeat half a dozen times so you have time to catch it and you can hear Dyson speaking at the programme’s web site.