Originally Posted by nathangentzen
Because all we need is more dependence on non renewable resources. Not that I'm against using what you've got available to you (copper on Saturn? TAKE IT ALL. MAKE SUPER HEATSINK), but I'd prefer an optimization of our current processes.
For instance: balloons were mentioned. In theory we as a species wouldn't be so desperate for helium to mine from THE MOON while still even considering using helium for toys.
The only thing I don't like about the article is that while it knows that this could be merely a catalyst for off-world mining, it would need to be profitable to get a green light.
Key word: profitable. This makes me sad as it reminds me that our species doesn't have a defined goal yet. If it did, anything that got us towards that goal would be considered 'profitable' without the influence of a dollar sign. Business majors often describe things as 'money' for this reason.
I'm not sure where you're at in life, but I'll say this much: Once you're done with school, and get married, start a family, buy a house... I've noticed a lot of people's opinions change. It's a bit different when you're bringing home a paycheck because you have to make next month's mortgage payment.
Sure, it'd be great if more people could work for free. But the reality is, we need businesses to make a profit to survive as a society. If you have an entire system built off of volunteer-ism, it'll collapse as soon as it is started from people who don't pull their weight.
Most businesses (and innovation) is done by people looking to make a profit in order to better their own lives. You take away profits, you take away innovation. You take away innovation, you take away a lot of the things that make our lives easier. Like, cars.
Just keep it in mind - many of the good things we have available and convenient to us today is because someone, back in the day, wanted to work their tail off inventing something new to make a little extra cash. It's not a bad thing, it really isn't.