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Christian Science Monitor

Paul Levinson

Realspace

In the 1960's we thought that the human exploration of space would soon reach Mars and elsewhere. But it didn't happen. Paul Levinson thinks that we have become too inward looking, tied to our web browsers, at the expense of travelling and seeing the universe. Personally I think that too many people are going backwards and forwards for no particular purpose and the online revolution has further to go. The trouble with this book is that it does nothing to deal with such arguments, rather it consists of vague generalities. While there are a few interesting points made in this book, like the idea that when the movement west had reached its limit in California, people had to find somewhere else to go. But if you want persuasive arguments then you should look elsewhere.

What Levinson totally fails to address is the cost of human space travel. The question isn't one of whether the names of astronomical objects are romantic enough, its one of what we do with the limited resources available. Levinson suggests that religion might inspire travel into space, but I would hope that religious leaders would be more concerned with the equitable distribution of wealth. Also there's a lot of science that can be done for the cost of a human mission to Mars, and this science might lead in 50 to 100 years to a way that people can really travel into space.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 0415277434
Salesrank: 7014297
Weight:0.54 lbs
Published: 2003 Routledge
Amazon price $92.99
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 0415277434
Salesrank: 3314392
Weight:0.54 lbs
Published: 2003 Routledge
Amazon price £95.00
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Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 0415277434
Salesrank: 4258506
Weight:0.54 lbs
Published: 2003 Routledge
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Product Description
Is planet earth the end of the line, or is space itself the next stop?
Cyberspace. It's incredible, taking us to any part of the planet we want to visit. But as Paul Levinson shows in his brilliant new book, when it comes to transport, we're still stuck in the past, preferring to take our bodies with us. Whether it's trains, yachts, scooters or pogo-sticks, we're compelled to keep moving, our movements curtailed only by the earth itself. In our imaginations however, we soar way past the limits of current technology.

With a lucid but reflective style that takes in everything from robots and science fiction to religion and philosophy, Paul Levinson asks why there is a deep seated human desire to know what's 'out there'. Why, after getting a man on the moon, did the US space program develop so slowly? In a world where space is constantly repackaged, how do we know what real space is? Is our desire to get into space natural, or a religious craving, and is it a modern phenomenon, or did our ancestors also dream of escaping the clutches of Mother Earth?

Jam-packed with exciting, innovative, even revolutionary thinking about our future, Realspace is essential reading for everyone who has ever sat at their desk, gazed into the distance and imagined boarding a space shuttle...