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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less