The space age

The trends in technology seem to conspire towards space travel.  Video games to beguile the long time travelling.  Living in small spaces to simulate a space ship.  Social network software to facilitate non smelly, non touchy interaction with a large set of anonymous people.  It is almost as if science fiction (skiffy) were come alive. 

Why would this happen?  Who will inherit the Earth?

At the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, there is a scene with an old man dining solitarily in a large empty room.  The table is set by a servant.  A wine glass breaks.  Space odyssey, get it?

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