• Michael Turner

    The early settlers crossing the Great Plains thought it was useless land? WTF?

    The earliest settlers arrived about 10,000 years ago, and apparently found plenty to eat, because they stayed. They didn’t have to “figure out” much of anything – the Great Plains were considerably more hospitable than the tundra they’d crossed to reach them. Later settlers from Europe hunted bison nearly to extinction – then substituted cattle. Once wells were dug (a technology dating back to the Stone Age), irrigation became possible. The Great Plains were the Land of Milk and Honey compared to the surface of the Moon.

    When are people going to ditch this useless American Frontier metaphor? When are they going to ditch metaphors, period? Space development is truly unprecedented, both in challenges and opportunities. Metaphors are just blinkers and hobbles when there are no precedents.