I've seen the much-touted $90M price-tag for the FH launch, but does that take into account loss of the core or boosters?
The core actually had older ablative grid fins made of aluminium so no great loss there.
Your typical mechanical engineer fresh out of school has incredibly limited experience when it comes to things that are not stupid-proof to work with (engineering programs have other priorities). They then go on to build specialized knowledge in various subjects and usually more on the design side, not the execution side. Of course someone who designs plastic molds or simulated impeller designs all day is going to create a black box around things that aren't their specialty. You don't care about how the impeller or mold is made other than knowing that it can be made, what its material properties are and knowing that actually making it involves a bunch of details you don't know so you offload it to a 3rd parts (for the same reasons someone else is having you design the impeller or the mold).
A bunch of engineers and otherwise smart people on the internet saying that titanium is like computer programmers saying residential electrical is complicated or web devs complaining about bash. It really doesn't mean much but people who have no experience with this things tend to think the people who only have a shred know what they're talking about.
It's not difficult. Most other people just know they don't know how to do it and that they don't know what they'd need to know to go about learning how.
The mental image of it leaking so much fuel on the ground such that it needed immediate refuelling is a myth propagated extensively on the internet.
I had a quick search and found the KC135 chap who says the refuelling was needed due to leaks, but without being rude to him I'm not sure he's really a qualified source for that information. It sounds more to me like 2+2=5.
I'm procrastinating so lets do some napkin maths, the claim is
1) a significant amount of fuel is leaking out of the expansion gaps,
2) climbing up to 25,000 ft at 300 knots would heat the airframe enough to seal those gaps,
3) there would still be sufficient expansion room to allow for travelling at M3.2
Ignoring that no engineer would be happy with 1.
For 2...Total Air Temp = Static Air Temp + Ram Rise. At 25,000 ft the static air temperature is about -35 C.
Ram rise for a true airspeed of 300 kts:
RamRise = V^2 / 87^2 = 300^2 / 87^2 = 12 degrees.
So skin temperature at typical refuelling altitude would be -23 C
Titanium has an expansion coefficient of 9E-69 meters per meter-kelvin. So approximating rather grossly, assuming a s tarting temperature of 20 C over the 33 m length of the plane there would be a contraction of about 1 cm.
And for 3:
The aircraft then accelerates up to 1900 knots.
RamRise = 1900^2 / 87^2 = 470 degrees
Static air temp at over 60000 ft is roughly -55 C. So skin temperature would be 420 C. So assuming the same length and starting temp, the plane would expand by around 11 cm
So to summarise: According to the claims, at ground level and temperature the expansion gaps were large enough to significantly leak fuel. After take-off the aircraft needs to be refuelled immediately. Assuming this is done so (i.e. take-off, climb to 20,000, refuel) then the skin temperature is lower than ground level, and the expansion gaps should have grown ever so slightly. The aircraft then climbs up to its M3.2 cruise point and everything expands significantly "as designed" and the gaps disappear.
Perhaps the anecdote we'll see on the internet now is that the SR-71 had to take off and go supersonic to rapidly heat up the skin before briefly decelerating to refuel, but the refuel had to be done super fast to stop the skin cooling down too far...
From your source:
"Fuselage panels were manufactured to fit only loosely on the ground. Proper alignment was achieved as the airframe heated up and expanded several inches. Because of this, and the lack of a fuel-sealing system that could handle the airframe's expansion at extreme temperatures, the aircraft leaked JP-7 fuel on the ground prior to takeoff."
If you dig past the internet comments and read some of the "primary source" books, the picture of the leaks is very different. I can't remember the exact book I read it in, but the author states there was a tank sealant, and it lasted around 50 hours (I think), before it needed to be replaced.
This is somewhat backed up by the Jenkins book  which talks about the time consuming process of replacing sealant, and the Graham book  that is the source for the Wikipedia claims on expansion. It talks of different sealants used, and how leaks were precisely noted and collected in _shallow_ drip trays.
They are however interested in recovering the grid fins on the side boosters, which were redesigned to accommodate for the nose cones now sitting on top of them.
But yeah, that's just a question from my mind. This launch was amazing, the future in the making right here.
Almost (if not) all missions include changes of some kind; the manufacturing blocks each have significant, incompatible differences in parts.
Upgrading the grid fins would be a minor version change, modifying the engine to increase its throttle depth a major one. I don't know, but it seems like there would need to be significant re-tooling for each new block, and many parts would be incompatible with previous blocks.
Perhaps some piece of metal is showing more fatigue than they'd like to see, or a wire had damage to the insulation from a vibration. I'm sure that's the sort of thing they'll be looking at.
After all if you can make a hefty profit while still undercutting the competition you're basically winning at capitalism.
Yes, you do. Or at least, that's what they want to do. They've already reflown a bunch of their landed rockets, including the two boosters on Falcon Heavy. The ultimate goal is to be able to fill it up and relaunch, and the ultimate motivation for propulsive landing is simple - that's what is needed on Mars (parachutes won't do much there), so they want to master it.
EDIT: I meant that today, with Falcon Heavy Test Flight behind us, the two side boosters qualify as reflown - this was their second mission, not the third.
The left booster "originally launched on July 18, 2016 in support of the CRS-9 mission, and landed back at LZ-1". The right booster "originally launched on May 27, 2016 in support of the Thaicom 8 mission. Notably, it earned the nickname "Leaning Tower of Thaicom"; having developed a significant lean upon a hard first landing."
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/7vg63x/rspacex_falc... linking to details of:
- https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores#wiki_b1025 - left booster
- https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores#wiki_b1023 - right booster
This has been gone ove many times, but:
Parachutes aren't cheap or easy.
Saltwater is horrible for precision parts.
They are trying to gas and go, or at least move, gas and full power test.
Arianespace (a major european launch company, known for the Ariane 5) has developed their own new engine concept for reusability, which is designed to be restarted unlimited times. Once Prometheus flies, they’ll not only have a reusable rocket comparable to the Falcon 9, but one that can fly, land, be refueled without checkup, and immediately fly again.
SpaceX also aims for that in the long run, but not in the Falcon 9 series itself.
Sounds like they are not that committed to the project and if it happens at all it will be a long way off. Will it be worth competing with both SpaceX and Blue Origin?
“We could replace Vulcain 2.1 by Prometheus,” Bonguet told SpaceNews. “Or Prometheus can be the first brick to build the next generation. We will see where we are in 2025 or 2030, and then decide on the right time whether to go one way or the other.”
If Arianespace follows that schedule, they’ll be a decade late compared to SpaceX, but still ahead of all other competitors in this.
Prometheus or not, Ariane 6 is an expendable rocket in any form that currently or will soon exist. By the time they figure out the very basics of first-stage reusability on a launcher that is roughly equivalent to Falcon 9 FT, SpaceX will have BFR ... likely for quite a while.
At least their reusability plans are not a joke like ULA.
That seems to imply they were trying to do a 3-engine landing, which they tested recently in the 'failed to expend the rocket' incident. This might explain why they miscalculated the igniter requirement since they don't have much experience with 3-engine landings.
I wonder how much longer the '3 engine burn' was for the GovSat launch last week that did a 'water landing'
And the ship has taken far bigger poundings in the past, one of them blew a huge hole in the deck.
Watching the other boosters land was really impressive.
“Of Course I Still Love You” is the name of a spacecraft in The Culture, a series of novels that inspired Elon Musk when he was young.
When I saw the first successful booster landing on a drone ship I realized I was again watching history.
Live Webcam from Spaceman:
(...yes I do know it is the ol Sol)
I'm not sure what happened that was new here other than the PR of putting a car into solar orbit. They landed their 20 something rocket vertically. They crashed another one or something.
It just seems like a lot of expense and science to stop at a normal camera.
Do you even begin to appreciate the challenges in getting a 4-8k feed from space to earth?
I've been in the video business from '95 to 2015 and there is so much going on behind the scenes from even a simple live stream from a spacecraft to earth that I am wondering what it would have taken for you to be satisfied. FWIW I've personally done the Internet portion of two Space shuttle launches live-stream to earth and I can tell you that nothing about such an event is 'simple' by any stretch of the imagination. 2.5 million people watched that stream and it 'just worked'.
This never was about the quality of the feed (which is nothing short of amazing by the way), but about testing a new rocket. The fact that only one of the three first stages didn't make it is also quite impressive.
Yes, it was PR. But given the amount of work that went into this I figure they were entitled a bit of leeway.
This comment is totally out of place on a site like this, and it makes me wonder (1) what incredible stuff you've been up to today and (2) whether or not you are even remotely aware of any of the complexity a feat like today's launch entails to put you in a position to criticize any of this rather than to accept it in gratitude and wonder.
Keep in mind that according to Elon Musk there was a 50% chance the whole thing blew up on the pad I'd say they got their priorities right and spent what time and budget they had on the main item rather than on the PR bit.
Then again he calculated it, which is more than we can say for the countless teenagers trying to flip bottles in on their tables for views.
I hope one day to be as good at both engineering and PR as SpaceX is.
Hopefully we will get a corrected version for the official movie!
The live (uncorrected) version for comparison:
Nevertheless :) FH first launch is an impressive feat.
My non tech interested wife was cheering for both boosters to land safely. “What world am I in!?”
Thanks SpaceX for making us excited about space again.
The original Star Wars was made in 1977, and based heavily on World War 2 combat films (much of the space combat and the trench run on the Death Star was lifted - sometimes shot for shot - from a film called "The Dam Busters.") For reasons of continuity and tone, that mechanical aesthetic can't ever change much throughout the franchise, or else it wouldn't "look" like Star Wars.
But the point is that it's exciting, it's visceral, the archetypes of the fighter pilot and joystick and of buttons that do important things make sense to the audience, and as a result those scenes can convey emotion though the use of familiar visual language.
Sci-fi was never "connected" to the future, and it was never (or at least, never explicitly) about attempting to accurately describe or predict the future. Yes, you could have replaced the ships and pilots in Star Wars with remote or AI controlled drones, not colored in the blasters, etc, and it might be more realistic, but no one would enjoy watching it.
People do enjoy dogfights (and spaceships that bank when they turn) and space wizards with laser swords doing flippy shit and punching each other with telekinesis, though.
Or maybe software technology was lost and they are only able to use extremely rudimentary systems...
Except that fully sentient AI is already commonplace in the form of droids, including battle droids.
This is a universe where a small robot that only speaks in clicks and whistles had to physically transport holographic "data tapes" about a moon-sized space station that can travel faster than light. A lot of it doesn't make sense when you think about it, but then it's supposed to be Flash Gordon with the serial numbers filed off.
> Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking
> A science fantasy is a cross-genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy
Star Wars is 100% science fiction.
Star Wars is not science fiction, it is fantasy or mythology in a science-fictional setting. It is fusion cuisine.
> teleological view of the Universe.
Almost all fiction is almost completely teleological. Nothing ever happens by accident in fiction, everything that happens has a human motivational cause. The characters' incredibly improbable and complicated schemes almost never fail by accident as they very likely actually would but always due to confrontation or betrayal. (See also: political narratives.) The human brain just cannot help but pay attention to sex, alliances, confrontation and betrayal.
The Force being with you by birth is a bad theme because it takes away the humanity of the people that have it. They succeed or fail in part not because of their intentions but because of magic stuff they happen to have that you cannot have. It's painful to watch.
A great deal of success or failure in real life comes down to legacy, genetics and random chance, or "non-magical stuff" other people have that you cannot.
Also, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a great movie about a great example why you do not pilot your ships with computers all the time.
Also, you do not know what the future holds. You are living in the present, not the future, where we very well may have pilots piloting ships.
Star Wars is not science fiction and it does not take place in the future. We are not living in the future either.
No, it merely illustrates why you want your AI properly bottled up and airgapped that way the flight computer will follow your instructions after you consult with the AI (assuming an AI is ever built...).
Computers can control spacecraft just fine in the present without AI so really there does not seem to be a pressing need for this.
Source: Andrew Howard of SpaceX, who is in charge of this software and has to endure the stress of each rendezvous. Screwing up could kill the ISS crew.
Unless your connection confirmed that the onboard computer of the SpaceX Dragon capsule is sentient.
I was just providing evidence against the claim of the last paragraph of your previous message.
While you are waiting for AI that meets your specs, the world is flying real spacecraft with software that most people are happy to call AI right now.
Instead of a daemon, call it a djinn?
I didn't say that at all. It is in the past, and also, it is not science fiction. Star Wars is quite fantasy, offering no explanation in science for the force, hyperspace, lightsabers, etc.
I love Star Wars with all my heart. But it is not about the future and it is not science fiction. It takes place "a long time ago" and it centers around magical, unexplained powers.
> Isn't the key part of Sci-fi that it contains a society that has in some way advanced beyond our own?
No, I don't agree with this at all. I would even say that in nearly all science fiction published, the societies have not advanced beyond our own that much - or if they have, they are also demonstrated to be far behind us in other ways. Science fiction is a lot of things, but certainly there is no requirement for it to show a more advanced society than ours.
Likewise the key part of Romance genre fiction is the Happy Ending. It doesn't matter whether they sleep together (a lot of Romance aimed at older and Christian readers doesn't have any sex at all), or get married, but there must be a Happy Ending.
I've almost lost hope around the end of the Space Shuttle program. I thought it will be only satellites, ISS and occasional science probe launches. SpaceX single-handedly restored my faith in the future of space activities again, and with other player on the scene, we now have realistic hope of seeing an actual industry in space within our lifetimes.
Arianespace has spent years developing new rocket engines specifically for reusability, and has started building prototype rockets.
Bezos’ company has mastered landing, and is directly building their mars rocket.
In 5 years we’ll likely see at least 3 major companies up there with SpaceX, and true competition in space.
Moreover, there's lots of companies in every vertical needed for bootstrapping the industry - ground services, satellites, in-space manufacturing, asteroid prospecting & mining... all in the early stage, all betting on cheaper access to space than it was just few years ago. We're in a critical moment where things suddenly start adding up and - I hope - will form something great!
It rather looks as if the tail-landing reusable booster stage is a "steam engine" type of eureka form factor, and everyone's going to be doing it. Yay!
Wonder what success of FH would do to works on BFR? If BFR would be as successful as Musk writes, would SpaceX make two rockets - or optimization will lead to just one?
BFR/BFS will come online as a self-competitive offering from SpaceX initially and both lines will be out in the market together (BFR vs. F9/FH). If and when BFR attains sufficient maturity, reliability, and market trust then the Falcon line of rockets will be phased out. BFR will have much greater capabilities (higher payloads, etc.) but will be substantially cheaper because it'll be 100% reusable and the reusability longevity for its parts will be much higher than for F9/FH, so there won't really be much reason to keep Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy around.
However, the FH uses RP-1-O2 Merlin engines, whereas the BFR will use Methane-O2 Raptor engines, so they might not learn too much.
Edit: RP-1 fuel.
If BFR is actually fully reusable it would be cheaper to launch than the F9 (due to the non-reused second stage).
And the landing shots are just damn cool.
And yet, some call him "visionary" or "genius" :)
It is much too easy to disparage an optimisation as unimportant compared to some hypothetical "original" idea of which it is a refinement, and we should not do this, especially to try to claim credit for people we know at the cost of those far away we've never heard of.
The "original" inventions behind recorded music, the telephone, the incandescent light bulb, and numerous other obvious examples are poor shadows of the commercially successful item that means we know them today. We honour many of the people who refined these items as "geniuses" today, often pretending to ourselves that they invented them rather than merely refining the work of others, this does everybody involved a disservice, and it disparages the real contribution of people (in China and elsewhere) optimising today's inventions. The flat panel display you're almost certainly reading this on is the product of _millions_ of such optimisations.
Maybe 1000 years from now, people look at us and say god damn it. I wish they had stayed there and learned how to live in earth well. We are now speared all over the place and we all hate hate each other; and just right now I hear Martian went ahead and annexed Venus and they also seem to be interfering in Andromeda elections.
The launches are cheaper because of the breakthrough in being able to reuse the rockets by landing them.
That's the exact opposite of copying.
I'm not trying to be negative, just trying to understand how you came to the conclusion you did.
In a theoretical world where we could just beam anything into earth orbit, unmanned interplanetary spaceflight would likely be an expensive hobby instead of something only governments attempt.
If by "hobby" you mean doing something for fun or personal growth, with only vague - if any - expectations of future usefulness, then no. SpaceX was aimed at getting us to Mars from the day 1; it's their entire raison d'être. Musk bootstrapped it with his own cash because he also set this goal - getting humanity to Mars.
If by "hobby" you mean doing something meaningful instead of just making moar money - then sure.
Maybe you could argue the Falcon 1 was an expensive hobby, but interplanetary spaceflight is certainly not.
When I saw that, all I could think about was seeing hundreds of those and that scene being as mundane as a plane landing.
The live (uncorrected) version for comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8wxV-lUsZg
https://youtu.be/wbSwFU6tY1c?t=37m10s "even though those look very similar those ... are representative of different boosters"
I think you're right.
If it were two different cameras we'd see two different landing pads. In the end of the video both feeds are coming down on the northern pad.
Edit: Here's the sat image from december with notes added https://imgur.com/a/u6sLs
Since they are on the same rocket, you see them land on the same pad.
The rockets have redundant cameras, and through a probable misconfiguration we saw two feeds from two cameras on one rocket.
Wasn't intentional, but oops.
So, whats to stop them attaching an additional two (or more) to the existing rocket now that they have the basic synchronization worked out.
No better way to learn basic orbital dynamics out there.
(Hell, I might even be among them.)
Also love seeing machinists side by side cheering with software engineers, standing by a mission control which is placed feet from where engines are assembled on the shop floor.
Open company culture well-executed.
Congratulations to all there!
Why in the world would someone agree to be a reference and then bad mouth afterwards? Some folks...
I've seen lots of engineers become 'bad engineers' because of a myriad of environmental issues (bad management, bad peers, bad office, bad engineering decisions foisted upon them).
If you didn't see them perform well, don't provide a reference. If they are that bad, nobody in a reputable position will provide them a reference and the hiring company will see that.
It's not your responsibility to be an arbiter of some ex-coworker's life.
The problem was BlueOrigin’s reference-questionnaire. One of my references shared it with me afterwards. It’s a stock template - except pretty much all the questions seem contrived to find reasons not to hire someone. One of the questions was along the lines of “On a percentage scale where would you rank [candidate] relative to other people you have worked with?” (Which is s problem if you’re a relatively poor player in a high-performing team). Another was (almost verbatim) “Please provide a reason why we should not hire [candidate]?” (As opposed to “Can you think of a reason?” - I was surprised that the question straight-up assumes there is a reason).
BlueOrigin’s cooldown period is 2 years which is long for Seattle, when you consider SpaceX’s is 1 year and Google can be 6 months. My recruiter at BlueOrigin did tell me to re-apply though and gave me his card. I’ll think about it.
In the interests of honesty - I will say that I am not a model employee and I do have productivity problems - I’m sure that my references gave honest answers with good intentions and I accept that I’m probably not BlueOrigin-material: I have punctuality problems, I’ll spend half a day procrastinating then working late until 1am to make up for it, and I stilll often go on code refactoring crusades without telling anyone. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t even hire me anyway :)
They were the only company to ask in the interview about my college GPA (which wasn't good, I still don't remember the exact number and didn't at the time but it's below 3) and I didn't get an offer. But I'm kind of like you, naturally a slacker but in my jobs I've always managed to put out work that satisfies everyone it needs to (including myself, sometimes, but other times...) and meet deadlines, so 'tsall good.
Your last bit reminds me of a quote "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member". It's hard to accept praise or feel belonging knowing the full depths of one's faults which are only improving slowly. ;)
My biggest surprise was that they were (and I assume still are) running Windows 7 on their dev boxes.
Wait what? This seems like a big red flag to me.
I assume it was a sneaky way of finding out whether the person suffered from any recurring health condition, and I refused to answer it.
That does look like a terrible question. Without context, team organisation, and work history for the reference person, the answer is meaningless... Not even if you're poor performing. If that person just happens to work with amazing people, of course you'd be rated lower.
Think outside the box. Reply with, "No."
Don't let other's words shape who you are.
Depending on what this company wanted, it's entirely possible that something I said during that call would've influenced the company's hiring decision, though I was obviously trying to portray my friend in the best light possible given the context.
I don't know if BlueOrigin has a similar process or not, but it's not necessarily that the reference was intentionally giving a negative report; they could've just picked up on something the reference said and felt it didn't mesh with the position.
Spoiler: my friend got the job, supposedly in part due to my good reference. Phew! I would've hated to be the one that got blamed for "bad mouthing" him.
The other hosts are great, but if you told me they were hired actors or PR people I'd believe it.
It also does not mean people will actually change in such a way that they won't think someone 'looks like an engineer' or 'looks live a TV star', they just won't say it out loud. Instead they'll say it among friends they know they can trust, more vehemently than they'd have done if this type of speech were not taboo.
I can only hope that the hyper-sensitivity currently found in the public sphere will pass when enough people from enough parts of society speak up against it. If it doesn't we're in for troubled times as it touches something which lies at the core of the enlightened western society, freedom of speech and expression. Those are precious things, too precious to squander.
I would never want to censor anyone. I'm just asking people to think about what kind of effect their words can have. I have the right to say that just as much as someone has the right to comment on who does or does not look like a rocket scientist.
I find this rhetoric overblown, as it doesn't match the results of serious inquiry into the topic.
> Cross-cultural consistency of sex differences for four traits: extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and male-versus-female-typical occupational preferences. Men and women differed on all four traits. 200,000 participants from 53 nations.
> Only sex predicted means for all four traits, and sex predicted trait means much more strongly than did gender equality or the interaction between sex and gender equality. These results suggest that biological factors may contribute to sex differences in personality and that culture plays a negligible to small role in moderating sex differences in personality.
Also, you're ignoring cultural factors. See this article: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/stubborn-obstacle... There are and have been many societies in which women were much better represented in technical fields than they are today in the US. How do you explain that if it's all supposedly just innate biological differences? In the USSR a majority of engineers were women, and the reason for it was actually very logical: Men are stronger and are more suitable for physical labor, and women are thus more suitable for knowledge jobs.
And there are many character traits that men have on average more than women that make them worse engineers. A higher prevalence of mental illness, for starters. More of a tendency to be overly verbally combative and thus detrimental to team functioning. Less ability to focus on "boring" tasks and study, which is why you now see girls dominating boys in school performance at all levels, kindergarten through university.
Who is more "suited" to be an engineer is an entirely different discussion that is not even close to being resolved. What I was talking about was the very real fact that most women in tech experience gender-related discrimination that makes them feel unwelcome. That assuredly has a real effect and is on less shaky grounds than arguing from biological factors.
But I don't want to get drawn into this discussion because I really do have lots of work to get done today. Just refer to everything that was said in the wake of Damore -- I'm sure we wouldn't cover any new ground that wasn't already covered then.
> 3233 young and old adolescents representative of the population
> For the young adolescents, the observed difference in Mechanical Reasoning is equivalent to 10 IQ points, and this difference increases to 13 IQ points for the old adolescents.
> Beyond the observed small average sex difference in the general factor of intelligence (g), the boys' large advantage in mechanical reasoning (MR) must be strongly underscored. This sex difference is not explained by g, and therefore the probable contributions of what is measured by relevant subtests such as abstract reasoning (AR) or spatial relations (SR) can be excluded. The MR difference is still present with almost the same magnitude when the general factor of intelligence (g) is removed. It is also noteworthy that, for the old adolescents, more than half of the variance associated with numerical reasoning (NR) cannot be attributed to g. Thus, we suggest that mental processes captured by these psychological measures are behind the documented male advantage in STEM disciplines
An observed standard deviation of sex difference in measures of mechanical reasoning at the average of the distribution.
You yourself are being quite hypersensitive about someone having the temerity to raise the issue of harmful stereotyping, and you’re appearing to attempt to stifle the speech of those who would do that. The irony meter is pegged off the scale. I believe the comment that kicked off the long discussion was pretty measured and backed up by experience. So perhaps it’s OK to chill a bit and just let the views be aired in a relaxed way, without adding drama to the non-drama.
That's become the standard of public conversations in the past 10-15 years. Unfortunately, I don't think it is likely to change anytime soon, since there's more and more involvement from politicians as well to make "saying the wrong thing" in public something worth being sued for. I see this happen in many different countries that claim to be "democracies" even though they have free speech as part of their principles.
Social Media enabled out rage mobs and a perpetual victim class has lead to more censorship than any government could ever hope for. If you are guilty of wrong think today you will be jobless, homeless, and a social outcast.
How far have we come from the days of "I disagree with you but I respect your right to say it" to "I disagree with you now I will boycott your employer, get you fired, get you kicked out of your home, and ensure all organizations/clubs/companies ban you from their events and platforms"
Sad days indeed
And he's beautiful...
Some people have all the luck.
Because they are young and good looking and good at public speaking?
Sorry to call you out like this, but these kinds of prejudices about who is the "correct" kind of person for tech jobs are harmful and discouraging to the people who don't fit the stereotypes, and helps contribute to keeping them out of the field.
I guess it depends if you're looking more for entertainment or information.
Most companies would require it.
Maybe parent was referring to their mannerisms, rather than their appearance. It's not fair to jump to the assumption that parent was showing a bias against any of those variations in the human species.
- "looks like" is associated with physical appearance - possibly things like clothes, jewelry, gender, hair, skin color, face, etc.
- "sounds like" is associated with their speech - tone, accent, choice of diction
- "acts like" is associated with physical behavior + speech
But anyway, I think the point is that, we don't know what mabbo's intent was and 95% likely it was totally benign, but CydeWes is pointing out that saying things like that has a harmful effect by propagating certain stereotypes.
Pointing out someone's implicit biases is not necessarily a personal attack on them. Everyone has them so we should welcome when people point them out (unless done in an mean-spirited or aggressive fashion).
Personally, when I read mabbo's comment, I thought, "Yeah, so true, good point!", then I read the next comment and I thought, "Oh right, thanks for pointing that out to me".
It should be obvious that aesthetic stereotypes go far beyond race and gender. Here's 2 very stereotypically different white guys: http://ricerfiles.gizmore.org/images/20160629/28030-human-ha...
and this: https://i1.adis.ws/i/Superdry_com/NS_MP_Hoodies_hb_right?qlt...
But to some people, they only think in race/gender/orientaion terms. We should fix that.
At the end of one of my onsite interviews, while showing me out the door, the interviewer turned to me with a big smile and said "you really look like you fit in around here". I almost burst out laughing.
I guarantee he had no malice but I just found it funny for one tall, white dude with glasses to say that to another tall, white dude with glasses. And he was right, I did blend in pretty well.
You might argue that perhaps he wasn't referring to my appearance but rather my uhhh.... hand gestures while talking, but at some point you have to call a spade a spade.
I left without saying anything just because I feel awkward sometimes, but in retrosepct, I should have said something. He was so good-natured, I'm sure he would have genuinely appreciated me pointing out that certain people might find his words harmful.
A good example of a qualified hire quitting just after six months is Chris Lattner who quit because "... Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all." . You are free to Google the personality clashes which made it difficult for him to continue at Tesla.
 https://medium.com/@joehewitt/entrepreneurship-or-lack-there... - original deleted but archived from Google's cache here: http://archive.is/1aDdk
I wish I could upvote this 1000 times. We all have implicit biases, and they are often a product of society rather than personal failures. It is painful when you suddenly notice your own shortcomings. But the desired response isn't "omg I'm horrible", it's "I can try to fix this in myself, and think about how to fix it in the whole culture for future generations."
That would work to.
I personally perfect the more charitable approach.
Yes in very strict sense, but many people use "looks like", "sounds like" and so on interchangeably. I say "your proposal sounds good" even though proposal was sent by email and I didn't mean it is pleasing to my ears, melodic and soothing - I mean its content is OK. So we should not overanalyze and imply meaning that the author may not have put there. "Looks like" may just mean "gives general impression, by appearance, behavior, speech patterns, actions, etc." not necessarily excluding non-visual inputs. Human speech is not always precise.
That said, I agree that we should not have biases like if somebody, say, looks good on TV (and here again I don't mean just pretty face or nice clothes but more overall competent communicative behavior) they must be TV actor or hired comm person and can't possibly be genuine engineer. It's true that many engineers are awkward and some are socially inept, but that shouldn't be required. One can be a good engineer and a good presenter and a good communicator.
The phrase "looks like" is commonly used as short hand for "seems like", "feels like", "gives the impression of", etc. It would be the same as if someone said they "appeared to be" professional actors, that doesn't necessarily indicate that it's based on visual cues.
Seems like bad form to assign malice to someone based on a likely misinterpretation of their comments, then accuse them of racism and sexism.
White men have made up the majority of the scientists and engineers we’ve been exposed to in the past, so we associate the mannerisms of white men with them. Women and POC haven’t, so we don’t associate traits common to them with the persona we expect of those professions.
We all have biases. The important takeaway is that it isn't about blame or accusations, it's about highlighting when bias appears so that people become more aware of when and how their unconscious associations might be coloring their thinking.
Edit: grammar and rephrasing to allow for the inclusion of the phrase "beginning to get on my tits".
Whoa there. They launched a rocket, one not even heavier than the 50 year old Saturn V. This is not the most amazing thing that ever happened ever.
There's now a stereotype being applied, and you're the one that did it.
Even if you're arguing against it, that's not a positive thing to do.
You're assuming the parent was biased against something, and I'm suggesting that the parent discovered some mannerisms were not as indicative of a specific profession as they thought, and said so.
> The other hosts are great, but if you told me they were hired actors or PR people I'd believe it.
Let me phrase it a different and rude (sorry) way. "You know they're including real engineers because there is at least one person in the spotlight that would never be employed by a PR firm."
That's exactly what the parent said. Let me quote it for you:
> He doesn't look like a TV star, he looks like an engineer, a rocket scientist. He looks real.
The implication being that the other hosts looked fake, not like engineers or rocket scientists but like PR people.
I think you're being overly charitable here, but even if you're right and your interpretation is correct, the original phrasing lends itself towards a worse interpretation that many other people (including me) picked up on. Precise communication is especially important around areas that are problematic for tech like diversity in our workforce, so if he had meant to compliment the rocket scientists on their poise he should have said exactly that, not implying that they don't look real (unlike the older white guy who fits all the stereotypes of being a rocket scientist).
You made the same incorrect jump! The implication is only that he's definitely not in PR so he's probably a real engineer. The others have the looks to be in PR (which is why he "wouldn't be surprised" if someone said they were). Yet he never said they couldn't also be real engineers.
They are just attractive enough that it's ambiguous as to whether or not they are real engineers or just PR folks.
If there are outfits where you can say "X% of engineers wear this, while Y% < X% of salespeople wear this", then someone wearing that outfit provides evidence (weak or strong depending on the values of X and Y) that they are an engineer. Contrariwise, if there's some other outfit where X% of engineers < Y% of salespeople wear it, then that's evidence for the wearer being in sales. Furthermore, since all the X's and Y's must add to 100% when taken across all outfits, if there are any outfits where X < Y, then there must be some outfits where X > Y.
If there is some pattern of visually obvious signs that, say, 30% of engineers show and only 1% of non-engineers show, then it follows that 99% of non-engineers and 70% of engineers show every other pattern of signs. Which means that, if you see someone showing some other pattern of signs, and you don't know anything except that it's not the abovementioned pattern that 30% of engineers show, then your knowledge logically implies that it's somewhat less likely (1.4 to 1 odds ratio) that they're an engineer. (Maybe someone else knows more than you, and could say that this pattern is actually also a strong signal of "engineer"—let's say it's even stronger, that 2% of engineers are like that and 0% of everyone else is. But the above statement about your knowledge remains accurate. Also, that would imply that the set of all other patterns is expressed by 68% of engineers and 99% of non-engineers, making the average of all other patterns a slightly stronger signal of "non-engineer".) That is a relatively diffuse signal, of course. If someone's very good at recognizing engineer-specific traits, and can see them in, say, 80% of engineers, then the average signal value of "all not-obviously-engineer traits" would be a strong "not an engineer". Or if someone can only recognize "definitely an engineer" traits in 2% of engineers, then that's only a 1.02 to 1 odds ratio for someone who doesn't show those "definitely an engineer" traits.
In conclusion, statements of the form "I can look at some people and conclude that they're very likely an engineer" logically imply statements of the form "There are other people I could look at and be less confident they're an engineer". The quantities—how much less confident—depend on the details.
I'm curious: (1) Do you think all statements of the form "Engineers are more likely to exhibit visible trait X" are worth calling out? (2) If 'mabbo had stated his criteria, and they were, for example (I haven't seen the videos), "Innsprucker is wearing very informal clothes while the others are obviously dressed up", would you think that was worth calling out? (3) If the answer to 2 is no, then would it have been better to ask 'mabbo, "I'm curious what makes Innsprucker so obviously a rocket scientist", before assuming it was absence of the traits "younger, or women, or of color" and calling him out for it?
Isn't it rather biased of you to assume that being an engineer is somehow superior to being a professional actor, spokesperson, or hostess?
They served their purpose admirably, engineers or not.
In fact, engineers could stand to learn quite a bit from the rest of the people on the planet.
Some companies might have only let the people who look like them host the live stream. SpaceX put out their top people- young, old, white, black, male, female- and let them all be the faces of the launch. I don't know that my own company would be so brave.
> The other hosts are great, but if you told me they were hired actors or PR people I'd believe it.
Is 100% consistent with your statement and even implies it, since GP clearly knows that:
> They aren't PR people.
If anything, GP was insulting Innsprucker by saying he is lacking the suaveness or good-looks to be hired in PR, while the others have it all.
I think this is a good opportunity to examine where (implicit) malice was attributed but was undeserved.
yet another thread completely derailed by a meaningless and frankly irrelevant comment to the topic at hand, such as the one you made here.
perhaps if we were not hypersensitive to every little detail, engineering would be a more welcoming discipline.
I came here to read comments about this amazing achievement . so how about we focus on discussing the actual topic for a change ?
I hope I'm not the only one feeling frustrated by this trend..
But I went to read the comments here and the second highest comment wasn't about the magnitude of the achievement or anything like that, it was just a throw-away comment about the way the livestream's hosts look. I felt obligated to respond because the look of it was so bad. This whole thread would never have happened had that comment not been sitting so prominently on the page sans rebuttal. I'm not the one who started the conversation about looks, in other words.
Actually, you're the one who introduced these features as being relevant, and thus the only one perpetuating these features as being stereotypes right now is you.
Lastly, suppressing the opinion of an individual with the power of appealing to various underrepresented group identities...can you see what type of appearance this person has through a screen? I think you're showing your "biases" here.
Thoughts can be diverse too :)
I interpreted the parents comment as a joke more about the engineer not looking like a TV star than the others not looking like an engineer by the way...
So to close this comment, CANT ENGINEERS LOOK LIKE TV STARS TOO?? to which I will respond and say 'not always'.
Maybe that's a way to respond politely to implicit bias...
He said John doesn't look like an actor/PR person (which, I think you'll agree, have appearance job requirements).
Lots of people don't marry for money. And if someone marries a poor person, it pretty obvious they're not doing it for money. (Naturally, that doesn't mean they're the only one.)
OP just assumes that people don't go into tech because of what other people will think of them. It's a harmful assumption and not true either. People go into tech because it interests them. It's a choice.
Discrimination is an effect. Bias may cause discrimination, but bias in itself is not malicious.
EDIT: Of course she's also involved in FIRST :P
Which is funny because, reading the job titles given to the SpaceX announcers, my first thought is always "wow, SpaceX hires some really attractive engineers."