this story isn’t really all that exciting by itself. The printer on the International Space Station works. That’s great. The International Space Station has been in space for quite a while. People are living and working and getting things done every day. Ditto 3-D printing. It’s not that new any more even though it’s not all that widespread. I’ve never seen one, for instance.
Still, it’s an example of the convergence of streams of science and invention. We’ve got 3-D printing, we’ve got space, we’ve got 3-D printing in space. We’ve got computers, we’ve got space, we’ve got computers in space. It’s kind of amazing when you realize that the first humans in space did not have computers on board. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Think of all the different branches of science. Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Electronics, Astronomy, Cybernetics, Medicine, Robotics, and so much more. Any advance in one of them helps to push the others forward, either directly or indirectly. The knowledge keeps accumulating, it never goes away.
This is the saving grace. This is the one thing I cling to, that I think will save us from ourselves, from the greediest and most rapacious amongst our number, who would destroy the entire human race and the planet we live in for a greater profit, a fourth home, a few more bars of gold for the vault.
Someday, and I hope it will be soon, we will reach a tipping point. Energy will become so cheap and so plentiful that we can have all the power and fresh water that we need. Cities will become gardens. Poverty will be eliminated. No one on Earth will want, and plenty of people will be moving out into space.
Once the knowledge is great enough, the rich people won’t be able to stop it. Although you can be damned sure they will keep trying.