NASA is thinking of a space elevator, a la Clarke. On one hand, I think… can’t we save poor children in Somalia? On the other hand, 500 years from now, would you remember this generation for saving children or building a space elevator? Do you remember the Egyptian pyramids or slavery? Then again, to quote Groucho Marx, “Why should I worry about posterity? What has posterity ever done for me?”
I’d build the elevator. It’s cool.