The Colonization of Outer Space: Why tech billionaires are obsessed with getting to space
After a spring break, the Anti-Dystopians are back with season two! To kick off the new season of the podcast, Shikha Srinivas and I discuss space colonization and ask—why are tech billionaires so obsessed with getting to space?
How are climate change and the quest to become an interplanetary species related? Who will unaccountable private corporations in space ultimately harm? Should we be afraid of cascading satellites and colliding space junk? (Spoiler alert: yes.) And how can indigenous principles and knowledge-holders lead us in understanding our obligations to earth and space, and caring for our shared celestial commons?
As always, you can listen to it here or subscribe here (Spotify) or here (Apple Podcasts).
Articles mentioned in this podcast
Since we talked a lot about indigenous communities on this episode, we want to highlight the work and knowledge of indigenous scholars, activists and communities:
Podcasts, videos, blogs:
Sense of Place Series: Indigenous Perspectives on Earth and Sky (a video series)
All My Relations: a podcast by three native women, as well as the specific episode about the fight to protect Mauna Kea
The Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hokule’a and more on Polynesian navigation practices.
Native Appropriations, a blog by Dr. Adrienne Keene
Other Indigenous Scholars and Scholarly Work:
More about indigenous communities, colonialism and space:
The impact of satellite constellations on space as an ancestral global commons
Anger after Indonesia offers Elon Musk Papuan island for SpaceX launchpad
Astronomers May Not Like It but Astronomy and Colonialism Have a Shared History
The legacy of colonialism on public lands created the Mauna Kea conflict
What if Space Junk and Climate Change Become the Same Problem?
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’s space ideology:
Elon Musk, once again the world's richest person, is selling all his possessions so people know he's serious about colonizing Mars
Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Project Is Too Risky, Rivals Say
Elon Musk’s War on Regulators: How the SpaceX chief courts conflict with government agencies and generally gets away with it
Elon Musk’s SpaceX violated its launch license in explosive Starship test, triggering an FAA probe
Jeff Bezos’ Rocket Company Challenges NASA Over SpaceX Moon Lander Deal
Meme of the Week
XKCD set off a bit of an academic meme war when it published its satirical take on article titles. I tried my best at making one for international relations.
What you’ve been reading
Despite all that is happening in the world, no additional news articles from me as I’m on deadline this week. :( But please do send interesting articles my way!
And, if you are against colonialism anywhere it is occurring, here is a document with templates for letters you can send to your MP/Representative about supporting Palestine.
The Anti-Dystopians is a podcast and newsletter by Alina Utrata. Alina is a PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. You can follow her on Twitter @alinautrata.