I just saw a TED video where Chris Anderson is talking with Elon Musk. I’m going to pick the part i liked: Anderson asked him why he wants to build a city on mars. Musk answered that it is important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What is the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future?
And if the future does not include being out there among the stars, he finds that incredibly depressing. Anderson said it can feel like a distraction from the problems on earth. Musk thinks that the trend is down to nothing. Technology does not automatically improve. It actually degrade. It only improves if a lot of people work very hard to make it better. He is just trying to think about the future and not be sad.