Begin reading the following paragraph and see if you can tell me where I zoned out...
BARCELONA (Reuters) - "Galactic Suite," the first hotel planned in space, expects to open for business in 2012 and would allow guests to travel around the world in 80 minutes. Its Barcelona-based architects say the space hotel will be the most expensive in the galaxy, costing $4 million for a three-day stay.
Which is precisely where I lost interest. Once I regained consciousness, I saw that the proprietors said that there are about 40,000 people in the world who could afford the trip, and no way of knowing how many of them wanted to go.
There are 6.6 billion people in the world, and we're busy building something that maybe 40,000 of them would use. Meanwhile, bridges are falling down, gasoline is being burned, children are growing up without a proper education, millions do not have adequate health insurance or earn a livable wage, millions more are hungry and for 3 days I didn't have air conditioning ... but we can find money to build space junk like this for people who have so much money that they have run out of things on which to spend it. Here's an idea: Send me $3,000. You won't even notice it, but I sure will.
There is and has always been a gap - a split between the wealthy and the poor. It seems like now, more than ever, but maybe I'm just more sensitive to it. For some, the harder we try the further behind we get. When I read that news story, I wondered why it was a news story at all. It seems to me that the interested parties could just call each other and keep their luxurious ego trip to themselves. After all, I don't know anyone who could afford to go. I know a lot of people who would like to go, including me, but never in my lifetime will I have that experience.
Things like this fall under the category of Things We Do Because We Can. Sometimes, I think we should do the Things We Do Because We Should. It would make the world a better place for the 6.6 billion of us (give or take 40,000) who are left to wave at the rocket.