Crazy! People might say (and have said), to which I can add; strange, wasteful, pointless, archaic, anachronistic, illusory, foolish (I've heard that more than a few times...the first time was in Iceland), juvenile, technocratic, anti-human....these are just a few of the reactions I've heard to this project and others that do not make a penny, but rather consume pennies, and does 'nothing' for humanity. I could not agree less with these evaluations. What is the point of flying this balloon, to see the world from a different perspective? What is its worth? Well -- what is the point of a painting or a drawing? What is the worth of a poem? Do we want to live in a world where only those things which make money, and are entirely rational, are done? And what of dreams? Some time ago a friend said that it was 'OK to dream' about space colonization. For me, that seriously and ignorantly devalues a dream. What was a poem before it was a dream? What was anything before it was a dream? Some will always see obstacles when anything other than the norm is presented -- what I see is an ocean;
"There is a density of being in a Dominican at prayer. He is never so much alive as when prostrate and motionless before his God. In Pasteur, holding his breath over the microscope, there is a density of being. Pasteur is never more alive than in that moment of scrutiny. At that moment he is moving forward. He is hurrying...Cezanne, mute and motionless before his sketch, is an inestimable presence. He is never more alive than when silent, when feeling and pondering. At that moment his canvas becomes for him something wider than the seas."
-- Antoine de St. Exupery1942, 'Flight to Arras' p.65.