Astronomy Magazine has an interview with a starship engineer. Here is a short excerpt:

When one studies the history of robotic expansion from Earth and compares it to humans, the former trends towards medium growth, exponential expansion speed, whereas the latter is at best low growth, exponential expansion speed and at worst linear. Our robotic ambassadors must trail-blaze the way and then we can follow. The interesting question that arises is would ET do the same? Might the interaction between humans and another intelligent species be not through biological first contact as is usually assumed in science fiction, but through artificial intelligence? This is currently my view.

Go read the whole thing.

And speaking of Starship. This video is kinda rough but the energy of these fossils is amazing. I notice it takes two girls to replace Gracie. And even then they are not – quite – up to it. But I liked it. Live is different. Also note the hat tip to the “Fumigation Society” (or some such – it wasn’t exactly clear) near the beginning of the video. Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley, CA, Sunday, March 20, 2011. For medicinal purposes only.

Here is a video of the same performance from a little different viewpoint. I still can’t make out the “Fumigation Society” bit.