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?
"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.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.