Geeks… In… Spaaaaaaace!

So this morning Slashdot posted a blip about a Microsoftie buying his way into space. (Which, for $20M may be one of the best bargains on the planet — just not very attainable for the masses.)

Of course, there were loads of comments about this, but one really seemed to capture it for me:

Can we take up a collection to send a civilian into space with the ability to translate the experience into art? Somebody like Spider Robinson, or Tom Wolfe, perhaps? How long will the most liminal and mind-expanding human experience only be the province of those who lack the passion and subtlety to appreciate it, and who cannot, therefore, sublimate it for the rest of us? “Space. Wow. It was so damn empty. Man, you can see the whole earth! Even the dark bits, without people!” If we send somebody up who has the craft to record their experience in an engaging and creative way, then it is like sending ALL of us into space. I can think of no quicker way to give the space program the cultural boost it needs to survive increasing (understandable) voter apathy. Sure, Veruca Salt and Augustus Gloop like chocolate, but they don’t deserve the factory…

I volunteer to be that artist. Give me my iPod, my camera, a MacBook Pro, and rocket me into space on a Soyuz. I’d capture your art, and make space accessible to the common brain — darn tootin’ I would!!!!