Some thoughts on technological unemployment.
That’s a more polite way of describe the location of his noggin than the one I’d use. Only a fool thinks that you can end a war unilaterally.
Steven Squyres is concerned.
Here’s what I wrote in the book on that topic:
It should be noted that NASA currently plans only two flights for the SLS — one in 2017 to demonstrate the 70-ton capability, and one with a crew in 2021, to… somewhere. They have said that, when operational, it may only fly every couple of years. What are the implications of that, in terms of both cost and safety?
Cost wise, it means that each flight will cost several billion dollars, at least for those first two flights. If, once in operation, it has a two- or three-billion-dollar annual budget (a reasonable guess based on Shuttle history), and it only flies every couple of years, that means that each subsequent flight will cost anywhere from four to six billion dollars.
From a safety standpoint, it means that its operating tempo will be far too slow, and its flights far too infrequent, to safely and reliably operate the system. The launch crews will be sitting around for months with little to do, and by the time the next launch occurs they’ll have forgotten how to do it, if they haven’t left from sheer boredom to seek another job.
As a last-ditch effort to try to preserve the Shuttle in 2010, some suggested that it be maintained until we had a replacement, but to fly it only once per year to save money. The worst part of such a proposal would have been the degree to which the system would have been even less safe, given that it was designed for a launch rate of at least four flights per year. It was unsafe to fly it too often (as NASA learned in the 80s as it ramped up the flight rate before Challenger), and it would be equally so to fly it too rarely. NASA’s nominal plans for SLS compound this folly, which is magnified by the fact that both internal NASA studies and independent industry ones have demonstrated that there is no need for such a vehicle to explore beyond earth orbit (existing launchers could do that job just fine, with orbital mating and operations), and it is eating up all the funding for systems, such as landers and orbital propellant storage facilities, that are necessary. All of this is just more indication that actually accomplishing things in space is the lowest priority for Congress (and unfortunately, the space agency itself, otherwise, the administrator would be more honest with the appropriators on the Hill).
More people need to point this out.
He didn’t mean to discriminate against Jews, Catholics and homosexuals when he had them herded into gas chambers. He was just trying to carry out his lawful duties more efficiently with inadequate resources. There was nothing political about it at all. Just ask him.
And, since we will run out of oil anyway, why risk the future of all life on Earth simply to delay sustainable energy?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2013
I don’t have time to respond right now — I’m getting ready to go down to La Jolla for the ISDC. I may write something on Sunday. Anyway, feel free to discuss in comments.
[Update a while later]
FWIW, I retweeted to Elon with this link.
…is it taking effect?
the Obama administration is openly admitting that their health law won’t work without the willing cooperation of people who can expect to be harmed by the law — including young people, doctors, and health industry workers.
As author Ayn Rand’s noted in her novel Atlas Shrugged:
A viler evil than to murder a man, is to sell him suicide as an act of virtue. A viler evil than to throw a man into a sacrificial furnace, is to demand that he leap in, of his own will, and that he build the furnace, besides.
That’s what is happening with Obamacare.
But this also means that Americans have a powerful weapon — their ability to say “no.” If the Obama administration needs our willing cooperation for their law to work, we can fight back by withdrawing that cooperation. As Dr. Megan Edison recently wrote in response to the call for her and her fellow pediatricians to funnel more patients into ObamaCare, “Primum non nocere. I will not comply.”
Nor should any of us tolerate this tyranny, particularly in light of recent events.
Voter ID didn’t reduce turnout, but the IRS may have.
History may very well view the past election as illegitimate. If so, there’s not much we can do about most of the races, but there is a solution for the top one.
The politics of it.
As sins go, it’s pretty weak tea to me. And I think it’s actually good for your health, as long as you have a healthy attitude toward it. In fact, I think that it’s sinful and frankly stupid that people would deny sexual pleasure to those unable to find a willing partner. It certainly beats the hell out of rape.
Three applicants explain.
And over at Space News, Rod Pyle has the story on why Bernie Taupin had it right: “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.” What he doesn’t mention is that the issue came up as a result of a question from me to Lansdorp. I think that it would be bioethically irresponsible, given the current state of knowledge, to send a fertile woman there, at least with men along, and it didn’t appear to me that he’d given the matter much thought. I’ll probably write a piece on this, maybe even today.
The American people have a right to know both how deep and how high the corruption of our government runs. The White House has an interest in minimizing the scandal, and surely that is Obama’s objective if he is trying to throw Lerner under the bus. Let’s reserve judgment on her and make sure not to let off the hook the man whose re-election the IRS’s abuse of power helped to advance.
I don’t want her scapegoated. As Michael Ledeen suggests, she (and the others whom the administration is trying to sacrifice and scapegoat) should be immunized, so we can get to the truth. And if part of that truth leads to the president, let’s just hope for the sake of the country that the vice president is implicated as well.
A long piece on personal space travel, over at New York Magazine. I found this interesting:
Wincer is frequently asked if customers can bring children. Several parents have attempted to give flights as sweet-sixteen birthday gifts; one customer, she said, “at the moment is desperate to let her 12-year-old fly.” The FAA had yet to address such questions, and Wincer sees it as a matter of informed consent, of which she thinks a 12-year-old is not capable. Many customers have their own private pilot’s license, and many others are scared of flying or small spaces. She had just read a profile of one client who is terrified of roller coasters: “Jesus,” she said.
One of those things is not like the other. I’m not much of a fan of roller coasters, but that wouldn’t affect my desire for (or enjoyment of) a parabolic flight at all. I’m also acrophobic, but I have no problem with flying. Being high on a structure is a completely different experience than flight, at least for me.
Of course, this isn’t really true, or at least it’s quite misleading:
The primary goal of the shuttle program was simple: to create a reusable space vehicle that could transport materials to and from the International Space Station.
There was no “International Space Station” when the Shuttle was being developed, and wouldn’t be until 1993, though it was meant to be a precursor program to some sort of space station, which was undefined at the time. Of course, ironically, the fact that they built into it the capability to be a short-term space station probably reduced the incentive to actually build one, which is why the first bit of hardware for ISS wasn’t launched until almost twenty years after the Shuttle started flying.
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