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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why altruism if you can get richer | Rosemary McLeod, Bay of Plenty Opinion | Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

You've undoubtedly heard about the "group of obscenely rich people" that's announced its wish "to mine asteroids for unbelievably rare minerals that could sell for trillions of dollars here on earth."

McLeod writes about that group at the end of her column. She explains:
The plan involves robots, and someone from NASA - its funding for Mars adventures severely cut back - has produced artwork. Google and Microsoft founders and movie man James Cameron, who recently bought some of the southern Wairarapa, are among the billionaires seeking a test rock so they can investigate the odds of becoming unimaginably richer.
She notes how some rich people get themselves "deep-frozen in the hope that someone would thaw them one day when there's a cure for death."

And she calls this asteroid-mining scheme a new angle for them:
[I]t shows that when people have an immense fortune, nothing pleases them more than chasing a bigger one, while few things are less sexy than altruism.
Unfortunately, as she lists sardonically earlier in her column, there are a bunch of things here on Earth they could be doing with their multiple millions of dollars to help people and an environment in need.

Hey you rich folks, how 'bout mining some realistic humanitarian value out of doing things like that!

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