Overview Effect

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I Want To Live In A Bathysphere

Is poetry a driving force of Oceanography? Read Rimbaud! – Phillipe Diolé   I’ve written many times, although not recently, about the ocean. When I first began Universe in 2005, it was practically a ship’s log: meandering pieces on narwhal tusks, the accidental poetics of my hero, Rachel Carson, and adolescent screeds on the perils…

Universe Q&A: Frank White

A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece here on Universe exploring the ideas of the futurist Gerard K. O’Neill, who designed far-out but ultimately quite pragmatic environments for human habitation in space in the mid-1970s. In that article, I touched briefly on the notion of the “Overview Effect,” a phrase coined by the…

In the mid-1970s, the U.S. State Department prohibited the internal use of the term “space colony,” due to the global bad reputation of colonialism. Instead, the government opted for “space settlement.” Of course, as Stewart Brand pointed out at the time, the last thing you do in space is settle. Quite the opposite! Making the…