Sri Lankans don’t believe that I am going to stay in their country long. They think that life elsewhere is better.
“Here it is not like in your country. Here we have worms!” — a local doctor warned us while checking why our daughter had stomach pain.
He didn’t have an idea what our country was but he seemed to be sure that such nuisance as worms can exist only in Sri Lanka. Life abroad must be paradise and, obviously, there can’t be worms in paradise.
“I have always seen Sri Lankans going to work abroad but you are the first one I’ve ever met who came to work in our country.” — another Sri lankan told me.
Many people invite me to visit their homes. They say: “Before you leave Sri Lanka, you surely have to visit our place.” When I ask them “What if I never leave Sri Lanka?”, they smile thinking that I am joking.
In this respect, Sri Lankans are opposite to New Zealanders. Kiwis believe that their country is the best in the world. When you tell them that something in their country is done in a not quite optimal way, they become offended.
- This is how it is done in New Zealand.
- Ours is the best country in the world.
- From the two previous statements it follows that the way we do it is the best way to do it, so please don’t insult us by your stupid suggestions.
Sri Lankans seem to believe that their country is one of the worst and that me being a foreigner will surely not stay here long so they ask me where I am going to go next.
I don’t know. I don’t think there is a country where I will be significantly more happy than here. So I am going to stay in Sri Lanka so long as it is possible.
Well… OK… No, actually I will leave.
I will emigrate to Mars.
… with very modest advances on a historical scale, systems can be put in place that will allow individuals and families to emigrate to Mars at their own discretion.
Their motives for doing so will parallel in many ways the historical motives for Europeans and others to come to America, including higher pay rates in a labor-short economy, escape from tradition and oppression, as well as freedom to exercise their drive to create in an untamed and undefined world.
Under conditions of such large scale immigration, sale of real-estate will add a significant source of income to the planet’s economy. Potential increases in real-estate values after terraforming will provide a sufficient financial incentive to do so.
In analogy to frontier America, social conditions on Mars will make it a pressure cooker for invention. These inventions, licensed on Earth, will raise both Terrestrial and Martian living standards and contribute large amounts of income to support the development of the colony.
— Robert Zubrin. The Economic Viability of Mars Colonization. Read the whole article here. The article contains thoughts that I really really like:
The labor shortage that will prevail on Mars will drive Martian civilization towards both technological and social advances.
If you’re paying five times the terrestrial wage rate you’re not going to want to waste any of your worker’s time with stoop labor or filling out forms, and you will not seek to exclude someone who can perform some desperately needed profession from doing so just because he or she has not taken the trouble to run some institutional obstacle course to obtain appropriate certifications.
In short, Martian civilization will be practical because it will have to be, just as 19th Century American civilization was, and this forced pragmatism will give it an enormous advantage in competing with the less stressed, and therefore more tradition bound society remaining behind on Earth.
Necessity is the mother of invention; Mars will provide the cradle. A frontier society based on technological excellence and pragmatism, and populated by people self-selected for personal drive, will perforce be a hot-bed of invention, and these inventions will not only serve the needs of the Martians but of the terrestrial population as well.
A link for future Martians: The Mars Society