Re: poly: Re: Why interest rates may stay low

From: Damien R. Sullivan <>
Date: Tue Mar 24 1998 - 14:45:52 PST

On Mar 24, 11:10am, Robin Hanson wrote:
> Damien writes:

> >>.. suggests investors don't anticipate such huge future returns. ...
> >That investors expect to be dead before such returns materialize? (And
> >corporations don't get around this because they have to return value to their
> >shareholders.)
> I don't understand the relevance of this.
A payoff of a large fraction of the universe some centuries down the road
doesn't have much appeal to people who'll be dead within the next one. If
there's not much payoff in between even "doing it for your children" doesn't
work. I doubt this will seem solid, though.

> >That the uncertainties associated with environmental problems, brittleness of
> >civilization, or possible government interference in 'greedy' space investment
> >at the moment discount really long term and huge projects?
> This seems equivalent to saying there's a low chance of realizing large returns.
Yes, but in a different way than I understood you to be saying. I thought
your "don't anticipate" in the first line of this letter implied "they think
this stuff won't work". I was suggesting "it will work for somebody, but it
will probably be taken away from us if we try".

> >That there aren't any direct channels for investing in the colonization of
> >Alpha Centauri at the moment,
>The crucial issue is what is unattractive exactly about "indirect" investments.

I thought I went on to say that indirect investment is happening: private
rocket companies, Iridium and Teledesic, the guys who want to prospect and lay
claim to some nearby asteroid.

Also that political barriers may be stopping things. No nuclear rockets,
and probable outcry if someone starts developing in space.

-xx- ROU Bibliovore X-)

It occurred to him suddenly that he wasn't very good at bitterness or
regret, that he didn't have the stamina for them, and if he was to
recapture his dignity he had better shape up fast.
  -- Anne Rice,_Queen of the Damned_, Marius
Received on Tue Mar 24 22:46:47 1998

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