Working on a new venture, an op-ed about the hypocrisy of the NASA safety culture, renovating the house, and a long essay on the potential for private robotic planetary exploration.
Their year is off to a good start, and it could continue to be historic, barring any further mishaps. Falcon Heavy flying will put additional pressure on the SLS program.
Thoughts from Glenn Reynolds:
“The warning lights have been flashing, and the klaxons sounding, for more than a decade and a half. But our pundits and prognosticators and professors and policymakers, ensconced as they generally are deep within the bubble, were for the most part too distant from the distress of the general population to see or hear it.”
Well, now they’ve heard it, and they’ve also heard that a lot of Americans resent the meritocrats’ insulation from what’s happening elsewhere, especially as America’s unfortunate record over the past couple of decades, whether in economics, in politics, or in foreign policy, doesn’t suggest that the “meritocracy” is overflowing with, you know, actual merit.
In the United States, the result has been Trump. In Britain, the result was Brexit. In both cases, the allegedly elite — who are supposed to be cool, considered, and above the vulgar passions of the masses — went more or less crazy. From conspiracy theories (it was the Russians!) to bizarre escape fantasies (A Brexit vote redo! A military coup to oust Trump!) the cognitive elite suddenly didn’t seem especially elite, or for that matter particularly cognitive.
In fact, while America was losing wars abroad and jobs at home, elites seemed focused on things that were, well, faintly ridiculous. As Richard Fernandez tweeted: “The elites lost their mojo by becoming absurd. It happened on the road between cultural appropriation and transgender bathrooms.” It was fatal: “People believe from instinct. The Roman gods became ridiculous when the Roman emperors did. PC is the equivalent of Caligula’s horse.”
There’s nothing “elite” or even educated about them. They’re just credentialed.
People are not rational about risk.
No, libertarians are not:
Spencer has attempted to wring as much publicity from the incident as possible—he tweeted about it no fewer than 40 times, by my count. In his mind, libertarians are “lolbertarians” who need to “accept the reality of race” and get serious about “white replacement.” To the extent that his only goal in life is to garner more attention for his fringe worldview, I suppose the stunt was a success—here I am writing about it. Congrats to you, guy who thinks “the United States is a European country.”
In any case, the incident should make abundantly clear that the alt-right’s racism is incompatible with the principles of a free society. Libertarianism is an individualist philosophy that considers all people deserving of equal rights. In contrast, Spencer is a tribalist and collectivist whose personal commitment to identity politics vastly exceeds the left’s.
Yes. “Alt-Right” is just another variation on Left.
Tim Fernholz provides some perpsective.
Elon seems to be operating out of an abundance of caution. Hard to blame him after the past couple years, though.
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) February 18, 2017 ” target=”_blank”>inadvertent insight
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) February 18, 2017
” target=”_blank”>inadvertent insightinto Blue Origin’s plans for New Shepard. This might explain the lack of flights since the last one.
It seems pretty clear that we need a thorough house cleaning at the Pentagon after the disaster of the past eight years. And probably every other agency and department as well. The civil service system has resulted in a permanent government, that tends to itself rather than the nation and people.
[Update a few minutes later]
Related: EPA workers fight to prevent the nomination of Pruitt. That is not part of their job description. Can them.
To people opposing Pruitt, is there a single thing that the EPA does that you think it shouldn't be? Serious question.
— Rand Simberg (@Rand_Simberg) February 17, 2017
These days an architect of the overreaching and antidemocratic Waters of the U.S. regulation worries that her work will be overturned so she undertakes extraordinary means to defeat her potential boss. But a change in policy is a risk of democratic politics. Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the decisions of government employees are to be unquestioned and preserved forever. Yet that is precisely the implication of this unprecedented protest. “I can’t think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this,” a professor of government tells the paper. That sentence does not leave me feeling reassured.
Opposition to this president takes many forms. Senate Democrats have slowed confirmations to the most sluggish pace since George Washington. Much of the New York and Beltway media does really function as a sort of opposition party, to the degree that reporters celebrated the sacking of Flynn as a partisan victory for journalism. Discontent manifests itself in direct actions such as the Women’s March.
But here’s the difference. Legislative roadblocks, adversarial journalists, and public marches are typical of a constitutional democracy. They are spelled out in our founding documents: the Senate and its rules, and the rights to speech, a free press, and assembly. Where in those documents is it written that regulators have the right not to be questioned, opposed, overturned, or indeed fired, that intelligence analysts can just call up David Ignatius and spill the beans whenever they feel like it?
Hey, give the little tyrants a break; they’re trying to save the planet.
They trust Trump more than the media. I agree with them, but that says more about the media than Trump’s trustworthiness.