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    The AtlanticShannon Stirone7/7/214 min
    25 reads12 comments
    9.6
    The Atlantic
    25 reads
    9.6
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • sjwoo1 week ago

      I don't know if there will ever be a good time for very rich people to do very rich people things. The optics will always be bad, because the world as a whole is kinda not looking good. I mean yes, we can buy 80" TVs for $300 or whatever (which, when you really think about it, is also just a way for us to not deal with the present -- staring into the boob tube), but looking at what's happening out there -- erosion of democracy, climate change getting worse, etc. -- no wonder people want out.

      Bezos, Branson, and Musk better get working on their moon cities sooner than later.

    • theErudite1 week ago

      I do not get it. Why does the author seemed so pissed at billionaires? In truth, I have never really considered the point of being ridiculously rich, but to treat them like supervillains instead of actual people feels problematic. If you could experience space for a few minutes, wouldn't you take the opportunity?

    • kellyalysia1 week ago

      This for me brings up a lot around, “to what extent am I allowed or is it appropriate for me to use funds/resources that could be better utilized or just not utilized at all in order to have a life-altering or consciousness-shifting experience”?

      • thorgalle
        Scribe
        1 week ago

        Good question! Or taking it further, at what point of wealth can we start berating people that they don't spend their money on charity etc., like the article does? What amount of wealth is socially OK to spend or keep for yourself?

        • SEnkey
          Scout
          1 week ago

          Great points. Are the resources I spend on taking my partner for a weekend getaway any different? It feels like yes! But maybe not?

          Of course I love beating up on rich people. Deep down they are just people, people with a lot more money.

          • Jessica
            ScoutScribe
            1 week ago

            Deep down they are just people, people with a lot more money.

            That’s a good point. Fundamentally, they are very different people who live in a very different mindset. I suppose that is what makes society interesting — that we are all different people, and the primary differentiator here is the amount of money they have, which of course makes our lifestyles different and in ways I cannot comprehend.

    • Jessica
      ScoutScribe
      1 week ago

      The quotes around “space” got a giggle out of me amid the sharp tone surrounding the broader, more heated discussion of wealth inequality.

      To their credit, the two billionaires aren’t totally oblivious. In recent years, Branson has proposed a climate dividend, while Bezos has pledged to spend $10 billion on climate efforts, though we still don’t know where most of that money will go.

      However, even after their trip past the atmosphere, the space billionaires still have to come back here and face the world. When they are pushed upward into the sky, they will live-stream their experience, their bodies briefly floating, staring out at the curvature of our delicate and beautiful planet, all of us invisible. Will leaving Earth change them?

      This is one of the universal sentiments that astronauts express once setting foot back on the ground: Looking at Earth, from up above, gives you a different perspective, enough to shift something inside. “The thing that really surprised me was that [Earth] projected an air of fragility,” the Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins said. “And why, I don’t know. I don’t know to this day. I had a feeling it’s tiny, it’s shiny, it’s beautiful, it’s home, and it’s fragile.” Maybe this quick trip really will change the billionaires, but I’m not counting on it. After all, they’re only going to “space.”

      Related: the petition to keep Bezos in “space”

      • thorgalle
        Scribe
        1 week ago

        Replying again here, because a quote of the other article you posted matches here!

        It’s a common complaint that, as societies, we are too fixated on the present and the immediate future [...] And there are also those who worry that we are too future-biased. A typical reaction to long-range programs, such as John F. Kennedy’s Apollo program or Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is that the money would be better spent on those who need it right now.

        I'm hesitant to fully judge the space billionaires. Maybe their race into "space" is frivolous, but space exploration & colonization in general might just be a long-term future foresight we need to improve life on earth 🤔 For example for mining materials. I don't know enough about the matter, and not sure if I should read more or less science-fiction to provide an answer 😄

        • Jessica
          ScoutScribe
          1 week ago

          I think that this emoji 🤔 is a great summary of the head scratching prompted by this article!

          Billionaires have a rep for hoarding money and skimping on taxes. I can see why it’s so easy for many to feel like a trip to “space” is a slap in the face. It’s hard for me to make a connection between these “space” visits and actual space exploration. I too think that the resources used for Bezos and Branson to be in a zero-gravity situation just barely in “space” can be better allocated. There are so many causes and efforts that need funding to take some big steps with contributions that may seem small to billionaires.

          That being said, I generally find myself in the minority when I say that we tend to over romanticize colonizing other planets in comparison to trying to make our current one more livable, or learning how to be with people different from us. We may destroy another planet if we don’t learn from our actions here on earth!

        • SEnkey
          Scout
          1 week ago

          This is my thought too. It's their money to spend, but if I had a say...I'd rather them spend it on developing technologies that may benefit all of us someday - like space exploration than just buying islands and building private resorts.

      • thorgalle
        Scribe
        1 week ago

        Funny they try to get into “space”, just enough so it counts, but definitely not enough to get an ISS-like view? The ISS seems to orbit about 4 times higher. Got to see what happens with this Bezos Earth Fund 🤔

    • Florian1 week ago

      Most things rich people do are either to piss someone off or because someone pissed them off. Let that sink in for a moment and you’ll see things in a very different perspective. It’s all just a game to them.