go west, young man

Take a look at this painting by Frederic Church:

There are so many possibilities presented by an open frontier. I, for one, would love to live in a time when you could just head out west to forget your troubles. Sure, life would be hard, but you could grab all the land you want and have a few dozen kids to help you maintain the farm. And space doesn’t count as a real frontier. It’s not nearly as cool to think about having a private space station as it is to imagine the benefits bestowed by a log cabin and the excuse to hunt Indians. It would also be cool to be able to explore uncharted territory and then take money from settlers only so you can lead them out into the wilderness to die.

I guess Antarctica is still left unpopulated; if we could just get a layer of topsoil over those ice sheets, it might be a pretty cool little country down there (no pun intended).

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