I'd like to see man venture more out into space. either that or down into the depths of the ocean. our population will eventualty hit a critical level that the land alone can not handle.
mineing resources is probably how it will start, and the corprations will invent so much more than any one gov. it would end up looking like the anime "Planetes" (if you havent seen this your missing out on great Hard-sci-fi) which is fine if it facilitates progress.
Dont forget the main asteroid fields are beyond Mars, do you think we should mine at the source or have a hunter pick and throw rocks to near earth orbit or moon orbit for prosessing? or even Mars orbit, since it looks like water was once flowing on it, that is the one key ingrediant that we really need to move out into space...it would cost way to much to have to boost water into space for reaction mass or as consumibles, and a colony will drink alot...even with 100% recycling there will be loss..and the thoughts that your drinking clean pee!?
ok so I'm a geek too:P but Im not that brave...i would also wait to see how safe it would be...i think in the begining we are going to need a special kind of person to live