The News In Shorts

How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Man Who Wants To Steal The Universe

Rand Simberg, an adjunct scholar at yet another right-wing madhouse called the Competitive Enterprise Institute, believes that billionaires should be able to buy entire planets in faraway star systems. This, he states, would give added impetus to mankind's exploration of space and would "tidy up" the international law that prohibits such dealings. He's probably right, at least in terms of greedy billionaires looking to spread their particular brand of insanity to the rest of the universe, but "tidying up" the law is simply a eupemism for abandoning it completely. There are also two or three problems involved with the scheme, however. First, who would have the right to sell real estate over which they have no conceivable claim to ownership, two, what if the locals object and three, why would any one buy something they couldn't reach within several hundred lifetimes? No one, in their right mind, would consider such a concept but we live in extraordinary times. Extraordinary times inasmuch as the world economy is being run by a bunch of madmen who think they have the right to buy and sell all manner of things that do not belong to them - witness the Tories flogging off the NHS to their mates - and believe that their utter insanity is the benchmark of logic. If we were dealing with some old lady who fills her house with cats, or an old man who fills his house with used newspaper, we would naturally say that they are mad. But if some old man or old woman obsessively collects money we call them successful and put their picture on the cover of "Life" magazine. It would all be worth it if the day ever comes when Rupert Murdoch or someone of his ilk tries to snatch an alien planet and is promptly reduced to a pile of ashes by a twelve-foot alien brandishing a death-ray. We can live in hope I suppose.

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