Jeff Bezos defends spending billions on rockets over, say, poverty

At what point does spending billions on rocket technology seem irresponsible to those suffering on Earth?

  • The private space enterprise he founded will be testing even more in the near future, with $1 billion investment by Bezos each year
  • He wants to be seen as "risk taking" and a "needle mover"
  • Watch Blue Horizon's escape module test

Jeff Bezos, the one making $150,000 a minute as CEO of Amazon, has announced that he plans to sink more money into his space company, Blue Origin, to the tune of $1 billion a year. Still a drop in the bucket for him, but it's a commitment, anyway.

At what point is pouring money into redundant technology irresponsible?

Blue Origin video

Booster landing

"I will not spend one minute of my life on anything that I don't think is contributing to civilization and society," Bezos responded to journalist Steven Levy, when asked about his $150 billion fortune. Specifically, Levy asked if it would be better spent solving practical problems like poverty, rather than space travel. "You want risk-taking. You want people to have visions that most people won't agree with. If you have a vision that everybody agrees with, you probably shouldn't do it because someone else will do it first. All of the real needle-movers are driven by being right when most of the world is wrong."

In fact, he's of the opinion that all of humanity will need to live somewhere in space once we've exhausted all of the resources here. I suppose it's a better vision than some have, of the wealthy escaping the planet and leaving the rest of us behind.

Amazon finally caved on wage increases recently, after being pounded in the news cycles for poverty wages that caused 1/3 of its workforce to depend on Medicaid and welfare to get by.

Of course, it famously then removed production-related pay bonuses and seniority-related stock benefits immediately after.

Blue Origin's test of its emergency ejection and landing protocol

Meanwhile, if you haven't seen the Blue Origin test of an interestingly-shaped rocket that 1) ejected — at high speed — the capsule that would contain people, in the event of an emergency and then 2) successfully landed the rocket booster afterward, go ahead.

Should you defend the free speech rights of neo-Nazis?

Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

Moon mission 2.0: What humanity will learn by going back to the Moon

Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.

Videos
  • July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
  • Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
  • NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.

Top vets urge dog lovers to stop buying pugs and bulldogs

Pugs and bulldogs are incredibly trendy, but experts have massive animal welfare concerns about these genetically manipulated breeds. 

Photo by terriermandotcom.blogspot.com
popular
  • Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade.
  • Higher visibility (usually in a celebrity's handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997's Men in Black may be the cause.
  • These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. Air Force warns UFO enthusiasts against storming Area 51

Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
  • The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
  • If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.
Keep reading Show less