I have taught a little bit about this subject since, and here are some of my most recent thoughts about it:
There is something in the gaming world called Real Time Strategy genre, which is basically what happened in games like Age of Empires. These games aren't that far away from reality either, when you consider for instance, the Irish condition where 50% of the country's labour resources might have went into providing food and agricultural produce years ago - we had built a society around it.
What kind of society could there be in Space? I think that is a good kind of question to ask - what would mean something in peoples' live, since they would not have traditional goals like semi-detached bungalows, or apartments to buy. Or would they? What would be considered useful as currency, would money work in space, like it does on planet Earth? Would it be any use in space, would inflation be a problem etc.
I would suggest there might be civil wars, and economic collapses in space, just like there was on Earth all throughout history - vast new projects that seemed to spell the future but were desolate years later. I think that Architects are adept in thinking about spatial strategy - but there are some interesting thoughts on the subject here:
Islands under fire.
Where at certain times, little insignificant pieces of land in the middle of oceans become somehow more important than is usual. I would also venture to add - that all Physicists discover more and more about our planet and how things operate - they are indeed learning to suspend disbelief a lot. Like the Matrix, where Neo learns to look at the world in a different way.
I have just included this link here, for some humour in the discussion, but also to point out one very significant fact. That is we do want to use machines to help us build this new world in outer space, then we must also realise what sometimes surprising conclusions machines can come up with. Yeah, I know the HAL 9000 analogy etc, but really this systems of AI and machinery are really only 'doing the math' as it were, and arriving at answers, which seem plausible enough to them.
Gaming AI gone seriously wrong.
I am thinking in terms of AI used to control economies and space travel/colonisation myself. I think that machines could come up with some odd logic, despite having powerful cpus and sophisticated software, I guess Jurassic Park is the ultimate example of things going badly wrong. 'Life finding a way'. Left to b1942, it sure would! :-)
Brian O' Hanlon.