The Millenial Project

The main accomplishment of Marshall Savage's book _The Millenial Project_ is summed up in one word "vision". Werner von Braun had a vision of a human destiny in space as did many of his contemporaries and predecessors such as Tsiolovsky. Since its inception the space program has clearly lacked a coherent and effectively implemented vision. Human space exploration has not captured the public imagination but has been a limited meme complex occupying a small but slowly growing niche. Savage takes it upon himself to repackage this vision (albiet in New Age dressing) and construct a detailed plan for achieving it.

The main flaw of his vision and quite possibly a fatal one is his Marxist approach to economics. This ignorance of economic behaviour contrasts with the extensive research that was completed about overcoming the technological hurdles of space colonisation. Savage uses biological language to refer to his envisioned society but he fails to grasp evolutionary principles when applied to the level of the individual. It is unfortunate that Savage is unable to make the necessary leap from the biological ecosystems that he details to the socio-economic ecosystem that is crucial to his project.

I would say that Savage's work lays a good foundation for a privately directed space program despite the large flaw in one of his cornerstones. I think that a mutated version of his plan with the economic philosophy of Oceania would be more successful. Savage has compiled an impressive amount of research in his bibliography. The writing style is enjoyable and the positive picture of human destiny is compelling although somewhat Utopian.