But the more I've learned, the harder it is.
Behold, the story of my experience with religion and optimism.
Regarding space in specific and why I think Elon being petty on twitter is basically irrelevant.
1. Existential risk reduction is worth it. Convince me otherwise and you will also have convinced me to give a shit what a billionaire says on twitter. If he's the guy who manages to make us a multi-planet species, he could say all kinds of nasty things on twitter and I would still go into debt to buy a Tesla and thank him for the privilege.
2. You gave a number of $5.5 million to put 6 people in orbit. There are individuals to whom $5.5 million is essentially no money. The optimism I do have relies on the fact that, historically, people who accumulate great wealth are often given to massive expenditures for the sake of ego. This yacht sold for $458 million. At the $5.5 million per half dozen rate, that's over 400 individuals in orbit, or some amount of crew rotation. I have to assume that there is some economy of scale at work too. The point I am making is that titanic amounts of money are spent on useless bullshit anyway, let's spend some of it on useless bullshit that might propel us into a proper space age, and ego-driven billionaires are the ones most likely to do that.
3. Yeah, there is a substantial amount of learning to do, things to find out before we go colonizing other planets or even set up an industrial base outside of our gravity well. And I don't see any way to learn those lessons other than to try. The Wright brothers didn't get it the first try and I bet whoever sets out to start mining asteroids first is going to make mistakes too. But we don't get to just let our spark die out here on this rock.
Edit 4. We are really talking past each other here. My point is that I think ego driven billionaires are the ones most likely to spend the money required to give us even the slimmest possible chance of being a multi planet species eventually. It appears that you want to talk about why that's impossible with regard to technical detail. I am talking about the motivations of actors with the resources to attempt the endeavor.