"Jeff Bezos' Plan to Colonize Space Is Based on Sheer Nonsense"


EXCERPT: . . . Consider Jeff Bezos. The Amazon tycoon has big plans for space. (Having a net worth of $150 billion might tend to make people think big.) He envisions a future in which a "trillion" (yes, a trillion!) people live in giant, rotating spaceships like that one from the movie Passengers.

[...] But this reasoning is fatally flawed. Human beings aren't bacteria or cockroaches. We do not reproduce exponentially. In fact, the entire concept of "overpopulation" is a complete myth. At some point, probably in the 22nd Century, the human population will peak (perhaps at 11 or 12 billion) and then decline thereafter.

[...] Mr. Bezos' argument that Earth has finite resources is absolutely true. But we have been doing more with less, a process known as dematerialization. We're finding newer, sustainable ways to make things like plastic. Stuff that cannot be synthesized or substituted, like rare earth metals, can be recycled.

[...] Elon Musk, another billionaire who is not too shy to share an opinion, remarked that Mr. Bezos' plan made "no sense" because it "[w]ould be like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean." (MORE - details)
I can't imagine living with a trillion people inside a giant rotating space station. But then I can't imagine living with 7 billion people on a giant rotating rock.
I don't think that the plan is for a trillion people to live in one 20 mile long generation star-ship like thing. Jeff is imagining lots of those habitats all over the solar system and beyond, perhaps thousands of them, and the day when most humans no longer live on Earth.

I like the vision (sort of, I haven't really thought out the kind of society that would live in them, it might be exceedingly authoritarian if everyone is dependent on an officer-engineer class) but think that it's exceedingly science-fictionish. If it ever happens, it will be many centuries off. I kind of doubt that history will ever really unfold that way.
I wonder if he'll offer two-day Prime for deliveries. Now, that would be ambitious. Big Grin

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