Noah and I had a curious conversation. While pulling off the highway towards the Reader's Corner, I asked him to look over the powerball sign to see how much it is now — 250 millions. That's a lot of money. So I teased him again about my condo in Tokyo (or really, anywhere will be just fine), and said that if he owns the Japan Airline, as he is thinking, then he must be having more money than this powerball even.

    So we started to talk about moving to Mars, that once the Earth becomes too crowded, maybe he should get me a condo on Mars, or the "other side of the Moon", as he put it.

    But then, it suddenly occurred to me — when we talk about migration to Mars, there is always an implication that you must be super rich in order to be the first few that can enjoy such privilege. Isn't it so when we hear on the news that who and who reserved a seat going to Mars, and this person is always the super successful tycoon and we all think that "of course! For him/her, that ticket is just a pocket change." Though to us, that's always a lot of money.

    However, here is a flaw in this logic. If we look at history, who went to those remote, distant place away from home? who went to the newly discovered the new world? Australia, criminals, unwanted; the America, religiously suppressed group; 新疆, Tibet, the West, even Canada, what pops to your mind is not a pleasure trip and glamorous life, but a super high risk, though mixed with excitements and possibilities, but certainly no one expects to find a pleasant, comfortable life that will beat what you get at home!!

    So if we listen to these historical examples, one must then relate that when Mars is finally settled by human, the first couple batches will be in a barren place and likely just die, out of thirst, starvation, or God knows what. What we are thinking of going to Mars as those riches are going, is basing on an assumption that once we can settle on it, the technology is so advanced that the land zone will be not only super comfy, but so much cooler than anything you will find on Earth ← what we are hoping is that the place is the summit of the entire human race, it is constructed with the best know-how the entire world can pull together, thus must be the ultimate to experience.

    Well, it's ultimate experience alright. But because we will be so new to the environment, to this new world, even the best of we get may be insufficient to deal with the challenges, or be the entire opposite strategy that will work, or somewhere in between. Never try, never know. But being onboard as pioneer is not what we associate with a rich's life style. More likely, it's like visiting Japan, or China, or India, by the missionaries by ships back in the 18th century — it's exotic, but is a pretty terrible assignment for those who went.

    So, if we won the powerball, I'll stick to my wish of a condo in Tokyo, or Cambodia, or Singapore. Mars, or the Moon, or anywhere there isn't much human yet, thank you, but no.

    — by Feng Xia

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