> I looked at rock type (Sandstone), color (red and white - no black streaks like found on higher cliffs in Utah), shape (more rounded indicating a more exposed area and erosion), the texture of the canyon floor (flat rock vs sloped indicating higher up in a watershed with infrequent water), and the larger cliff/mesa in the upper background of one of the photos. I took all that and lined it up with the flight time and flight path of the helicopter - earlier in the morning taking off from Monticello, UT and flying almost directly north before going off radar (usually indicating it dropped below radar scan altitude. From there, I know I am looking for a south/east facing canyon with rounded red/white rock, most likely close to the base of a larger cliff/mesa, most likely closer to the top of a watershed, and with a suitable flat area for an AS350 helicopter to land. Took about 30 minutes of random checks around the Green River/Colorado River junction before finding similar terrain. From there it took another 15 minutes to find the exact canyon. Yes... I'm a freak.
It would be interesting to compare the damage caused by open, crowd-sourced investigative efforts against the damage caused of closed "authoritative" investigative efforts.
The politically appointed heads of the intelligence agencies used this information to lie to the American public.
Try to bring issues to the public and they'll charge you with "espionage"/"mishandling classified information"/etc. Even if the charges don't succeed, you'll lose your career and the court case will ruin you.
Also, read Ronan Farrow's piece from the New Yorker last week. They targeted a straight-laced DOJ lawyer with >20 years of experience. These organizations are out of control and pose a very serious threat to our freedom.
And that is why those senior public servants with power in security agencies hate wikileaks and are willing to trash the constitutional protections for journalists to get Assange and also want to destroy Snowden so very badly.
And the public had literally millions of people on the streets shouting about it.
And we still went to war anyway.
Australia and East Timor negotiated a treaty to divide up oil and gas in the sea between the two countries. Australia bugged the East Timorese government offices to get an unfair advantage in the negotiations.
The East Timorese government found about this, and then sued Australia in the Permanent Court of Arbitration to have the treaty invalidated.
An Australian intelligence agent (''Witness K''), who knew about the bugging, contacted East Timor's lawyer – Australian Bernard Collaery – offering to testify for East Timor.
The Australian government responded by cancelling Witness K's passport to stop him from testifying, raiding the offices of East Timor's lawyer, and now both of them are on trial – in secret.
The problem is that in protecting one person's reputation they're ruining the reputation of an entire country.
Minor factual correction though: Christian Porter is the Attorney-General, not the DPP
It's exactly the job of the Australian intelligence agencies to protect for the countries interests and gain advantages where they can.
This case is even more reasonable as it's a country spying on a country so both parties have the opportunity do so.
The NSA has directly spied on corporations (Airbus) and passed the information to their own corporations (Boeing) in the past which seems less acceptable to me.
Australia needs these island states to stay friendly for national security reasons.
It shouldn't be taking advantage of their small and relatively unsophisticated governments to make a quick buck.
Assad bombed his own people
The Russians hacked the election (a very broad statement, like “let’s believe in evolution”)
North Korea hacked SONY
All at very convenient times for our moves abroad and totally nonsensical from the point of view of motivation of the ones doing it (like Assad)
It’s like they don’t even try anymore. They just say “17 intelligence agencies all concur” with each other.
That would never happen today.
Not to show support for the invasion of Iraq, but it was a far cry from "millions of lives". https://www.iraqbodycount.org
Which is to say that measuring damage done by the Iraq invasion versus damage cause people falsely finger individuals for crimes is an exercise in fallacious analogy. The US isn't planning to crowd source their next invasion research question.
I wouldn't actually be surprised if people actively debated this and did some analytical legwork when they were prevalent as some twisted justification for the practice
I hate that word “interesting” when used for things that are downright fucking despicable.
Human history is rife with witch hunts. Perpetrated by communities against people living on the fringe of society or anyone they just didn’t like. Someone to blame for nothing in particular when they can’t find any other outlet for frustration. I guarantee you wouldn’t find it “interesting” if you were the target of oPeN cRoWdSoUrCeD iNvEsTiGaTiVe EfFoRtS.
I mean I quite like this summation by Christopher Hitchens about the Iraq war: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VABqrEiuP0I
“Had the secret cache been discovered by Saddam’s security elements, Obeidi and his family might have been eliminated.”
And those were the leftovers from dismantling the stuff which was used before 1991, as far as I understand: definitely not a smoking gun, more the old rusty non-functional parts which Saddam didn’t know existed.
But redditors doing internet sleuthing could be anyone; from detectives, to judges, to professional analysts, to trolls, to pr firms, to fraudsters and framers.
The evidence they use can be anything from high quality to low/ fraudulent.
And then we have the fact that the alternative official systems also have incentives/disincentives and also get things wrong: imagine writing about police or courts "they once fingered the wrong person for crime X, so don't put too much stock in it when it really matters".
if the Wikipedia article is anything to go by, the Boston bombing case was a bunch of internet people reacting on a rumour of similarity to descriptors/ images released by the authorities.
whereas in this case, a smart fellow follows a systematic and logical system to come to a reasonable conclusion.
I'd rather tell people to learn to judge evidence and the analytical thought that goes into making the conclusions.
Of course, we mustn't entirely discount the possibility that all this is just some PR stunt and this guy is in on it :p But either way, I'd say the better message is to learn to be skeptical, think analytically, and judge things on the quality of the evidence and the thought process used to come to the conclusion.
Am I out of line to thinking that at least some of the types of people listed in your hypothetical group of sleuths have some sense of professional ethics to not recklessly speculate on a public web community in terms of a manhunt as was the case in Boston?
And of course, "Hey guys I've got it, this is totally it!!!" goes up much faster than "I found something that might be interesting, let's check it out, but I'm not sure yet, so don't anybody go off half-cocked".
Answering as a more seasoned, cynical person professional sense: that's way too simplified. Processes and standards for police, judges, officials etc, differ all over the world, as do professional ethics and culture. In practice there are various incentives and norms and "professional wiggle room for professional ethics". The police often release images of suspected persons or specific evidence precisely because they want the public to connect the dots and report their suspicions, knowing full well it results in false positive reports (and often withholding additional evidence for release). A doctor might not be allowed to euthanase, but they can prescribe high amounts of pain killers. A prosecuter might not go post on reddit, but they might act through a sock puppet or leak through the media. A defence may do the same. Corporations hire consultants and PR firms to give the illusion of justification and action at a distance. A judge would probably not comment on reddit (if not just because of the professions technical illiteracy), but the conditions of their appointment, their staff, political alignments, social circles, tenure, and professional ethics etc are far from uniform and sterile. All of the above are liable to cognitive, emotional and systematic failings and biases in addition, as well as the failings of their education and background: on a personal anecdote, I find judges and lawyers notoriously bad at reasoning that requires math or probability. In my experience also, those in power frequently strategically leak, work through proxies and associations to avoid the image of going against professional standards and save reputation.
additionally, in adhering to professional ethics, we don't necessarily approach the truth (which is presumably our goal), as following systematic cultures and professional ethics can lead to bias: as I pointed out, these official systems frequently come to the wrong conclusions as well, and going against the norms of professional standards can be used to silence critics, shun whistle blowers, and protect the general institution.
All this comes back to my original point: don't just believe something because it's posted in reddit. But don't discount it as being inherently inferior either.
Be skeptical, but be a skeptic of reddit and officeholders. Think critically. Learn to think and the process of thinking: it's not just natural, it needs to be learned and practiced. Learn the biases and common mistakes. Observe the evidence and the process used to come to the conclusion, and then make a judgement.
> But redditors doing internet sleuthing could be anyone; from detectives, to judges, to professional analysts, to trolls, to pr firms, to fraudsters and framers.
I think you and GP agree. Reddit sleuthing is all good and fun but it should not be trusted at face value (or at all, really) when there are real people and real consequences on the line.
> I'd rather tell people to learn to judge evidence and the analytical thought that goes into making the conclusions.
Implied in this position is that you have to be skeptical of reddit sleuthing until you have a reason not to be. The problem is that people are _not_ skeptical of reddit sleuthing because there is a "We did it reddit!" attitude that the platform is super capable and should be believed by default. You and GP are both warning against that.
And it's people like you who try to judge them equivalent in public view, when they clearly aren't.
It's relatively well known that 33 distinct bits is enough to uniquely identify any individual person now alive on Earth.
Geospatially, assuming 10m resolution, 44 bits is enough to identify any unique location on Earth's land surface (46 bits buys you the oceans).
Searching for a ~1m^2 monolith visually within a 10m^2 square is reasonable.
You have: ln((.3 * 4 * (earthradius^2) * pi)/10m^2)/ln(2)
You have: ln((1 * 4 * (earthradius^2) * pi)/10m^2)/ln(2)
For comparison, cellphone positioning accuracy is typically 8--600m:
- 3G iPhone w/ A-GPS ~ 8 meters
- 3G iPhone w/ wifi ~ 74 meters
- 3G iPhone w/ Cellular positioning ~ 600 meters
Likewise, identifying a random location on earth from a photo is certainly doable, but I would say it has less to do with the logarithm of the surface area of the earth and much more to do with expertise in geography, geology, etc.
Knowing the 33 bits trivium, I was curious what the equivalent was for individual spatial locations. The maths are easy and GNU units near.
You're right that trying to ascertain the number of bits contributed by any one item of data is difficult. I broke that down in part in a reply to the Reddit comment (after posting here): knowing the feature was in Utah (280k km^2) and having the flight track probably narrowed the region to about a 10km square (100 km^2) region ... which still contained 10,000 10m^2 areas. The geographic clues were enough to find the specific one. It's easier to work backwards and determine how much information was deduced by given data, based on search space eliminated.
Keep in mind that "expertise in geography, geology, etc." is specifically the capability of extracting geospatial information from available data. This could have included, say, sun height and angle based on date and time (exif image data frequently encodes this, if not geolocation itself), cues from aircraft noise in live video (mentioned in another geolocation example within the thread), correlated with flight data.
In 2001, the likely approximate location of Osama bin Laden was claimed by a geologist who was familiar with rock formations shown in a video. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1608272.stm
That claim seems to be accurate --- Al Qaeda forces were found in the Tora Bora cave complex in the region.
The practical upshot is that if you know where something is and don't want others to know the location, virtually any information leakage can be critical.
For your crowd example, much depends on the number of suspects you already have. The question is usually one of mapping between two sets --- which of the blurry foreheads matches which another set of interest. Determining intersections is key to ost investigations.
And more generally, almost any process of discovery can be modled as searching through a space. The more irrelevant targets are excluded, the smaller the remaining space remains. Insight is exclusion. The search itself might not be binary in the classic sense, but it is one of ever narrowing scope.
Coordinate Precision https://xkcd.com/2170/
Map of the Internet: https://xkcd.com/195/
It honestly opened my eyes to a severely under-tapped resource in the job market. Individuals with autism tend to be able to focus on tasks more, and tend to see things in a way that lets them analyze systems and logical steps phenomenally well. In the social-sciences fields, they tend to be overlooked, because of either the stigma or actual lack of interpersonal abilities, depending on the specific individual.
It is because of 4chan that when I am hiring for technical positions (now, this is higher ed, so I'm talking about the interpretation of federal legislation or state mandates, or systems and process evaluations, not programming) I target individuals on the spectrum.
What a weird thing to see written out.
Like you said too, some of these people lack good interpersonal abilities. I know a friend who is also on the spectrum and is one of the smartest people I know, and excellent when it comes to math. However his lack of interpersonal and social skills has made it difficult for him to find meaningful employment.
I wish there were a way to be more open about this. On the one hand, you have things like ADA really dictating from a legal perspective how companies can discuss these sort of things; on the other hand, you have very real stigmas that people have against neurodiverse people. (For instance, I have not and will never tell my boss I have ADHD; I have heard far too many stories of people being lulled into thinking it was safe to do so and then finding their professional relationship irrevocably changed.) It's a shame because I think it could be a net positive for all if done in a healthy way.
It also has pushed me to a very CI/CD-centric and statically typed workflow (in a python-heavy AI/CV department), because I need to be able to reason about stuff I wrote on a bad brain-fog day. My philosophy is if it's easy for undermedicated me to reason about it, it's easier still for my coworkers.
Even if you pick an objective metric, it was decided upon subjectively and with bias.
I can appreciate wanting society to be more egalitarian, but perhaps you’re in search of another word.
Is it an important set of questions? No. But still a better ending than the "oh yeah they stole the flag, now here's a shot of the flag flying during the day again".
Edit: The footage is on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4rbA3ouyPw
And of course there's a couple of Internet Historian videos: https://youtu.be/_p4h3jwJob0 (warning - very /pol/, exactly as should be expected)
Seems like every 'weird job' or skill gets you an American reality TV contract these days. Either that or some Youtube followers.
Not sure which is more likely.
Merely raising the possibility that he could have gotten his information another way.
People who put up things like this often want them to get found.
Some people are just insane at that game.
What you want is impunity.
I also didn't lay OpSec is mostly useless. I'm not convinced that's true, though it may be.
OpSec alone is useful but brittle. If it's all you've got, you'll probably eventually have a bad day. Looking at entities considered "masterminds", what I often find is ... some intelligence, yes, but a lot of shielding from, or disregard of, risk.
Impunity is actual or believed freedom from consequence.
There are a few categories:
- The proficient: extremely good at their game. Effective, so long as it works. Covert.
- The well-protected -- friends in high places. State actors and their contractors, generally. Often under diplomatic covered. "Too big to jail" and politically-conneccted (Brock 'Stanford Rapist" Turner https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/02/us/brock-turner-release-jail/...) The Mossad team assassinating Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Mahmoud_Al-Ma...) (though most of the team were effectively burnt). May include some non-state actors: warlords, terrorists, narcotics gangs, though most of these fall below. Covert, but can retreat quickly to safety, or are at low risk if caught.
- The brazen. Operations with overwhelming force, whether shown or used. Military campaigns, many criminal organisations, warlords, militias. Overt.
- The uncaring: those who have no care whether they live or die. Most suicide attacks, 9/11 bombers, the original "hashīshīn", etc. 2008 Mumbai attacks. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Mumbai_attacks Overt or covert.
- The ignorant: Simply unaware of the risks. Child soldiers, the Boxers (China), "wrong way 'round" Pan Am flight 18602 landing at Surabaya, Dutch East Indies, unknown to the pilot, in a heavily-mined harbour. https://medium.com/lapsed-historian/the-long-way-round-part-...
- The expendable. Assets who need only be used once, whether burnt (retired) or killed afterwards. This includes a segment of the consulting or management workforce, who have a certain ablative funtion. Martin "Pharma Bro" Shkreli.
The relatively recently disclosed Crypto AG case, where the Swiss manufacturer of a widely-used manufacturer of communications encoding equipment was shown to be a CIA-owned front is a case in point. Signals intelligence relied not so much on exceptional decryption capabilities, but on the widespread use of a backdoored technology. The strong focus of US intelligence policy on similarly backdooring networking hardware (Cisco), telecoms switches (Greece), computing hardware, operating systems, and softwaare, speaks to the probable usefulness of this method.
It's not OpSec but influence and immunity that enables this.
Update: Parent's question, if brief, was entirely fair. Which is why I answered it.
Too different and my expectations for the scale he set up are too big...
There it is.
"I looked at rock type (Sandstone), color (red and white - no black streaks like found on higher cliffs in Utah), shape (more rounded indicating a more exposed area and erosion), the texture of the canyon floor (flat rock vs sloped indicating higher up in a watershed with infrequent water), and the larger cliff/mesa in the upper background of one of the photos. I took all that and lined it up with the flight time and flight path of the helicopter - earlier in the morning taking off from Monticello, UT and flying almost directly north before going off radar (usually indicating it dropped below radar scan altitude. From there, I know I am looking for a south/east facing canyon with rounded red/white rock, most likely close to the base of a larger cliff/mesa, most likely closer to the top of a watershed, and with a suitable flat area for an AS350 helicopter to land. Took about 30 minutes of random checks around the Green River/Colorado River junction before finding similar terrain. From there it took another 15 minutes to find the exact canyon. Yes... I'm a freak."
I'm still gobsmacked about the specific geological knowledge and application here turning into a very precise and relatively small search area.
The geological part is nice but not necessary (you just need to be able to tell the colors of rocks).
[Also, my original comment should have said "southeast" not "southwest", d'oh]
They had a scene that was "outside Gainesville, FL". That's where I went to university and from the highway it's basically flat forests. The scene instead looked semi-arid with mountains in the background...
Ah, looks like my exact story is documented exactly on IMDB!
The show only lasted 6 episodes, so...
My bet is someone living in Moab wanted to do a desert art project and chose this location that was reasonably close, but still fairly remote.
People do all kinds of stuff out in the desert around Moab.
Just about 10-20 miles northwest of this monolith there's a small slacklining festival called GGBY held in a similarly remote location. Look up Fruit Bowl Highline Area on google maps and check out youtube to see some of the wild stuff people do!
Unless the artist practiced very good OpSec or was so disciplined that he never checked for satellite imagery of his monument, someone with the right credentials -- like the government with a subpeona or a Google insider -- could identify the artist based on his IP address.
Murderers have been identified and convicted by looking up a unique map coordinate on Google Maps, even going back as far Yahoo Maps.
That's...a surprisingly small amount to fake your own death over.
> The federal complaint says ... the newspaper received a letter that said ''nice sob story,'' with a computer-generated map showing an intersection in West Alton in St. Charles County, along with a handwritten X.
> ... searchers found human skeletal remains within 50 yards of the location shown by the map's X, about 300 yards from where the decomposed bodies of Ms. Wilson and another victim, Verona Thompson, had been found.
> A search by Illinois State Police of Internet mapping companies led to an exact match between features on a map sent to the Post-Dispatch and one found on Expedia.com.
> On June 3, the Microsoft Corporation, which tracks access to that Web site, showed the F.B.I. that only someone with the Internet Provider address 184.108.40.206 visited the Expedia.com site and searched the West Alton area within days of the map's mailing to the Post-Dispatch. The user name of that IP address was ''MSN/maurytravis.''
It's just basic detective work, updated for new technology.
The 'monolith' is just a bit SE of the "Dead Horse Point" (SW of Moab), just on the east side of the river on this map .
"Discover food deliveries nearby"
Fairly sure that's going to be a tough challenge at that location!
The Lightning Field:
The Palo Alto airport information  says: "+100 FT TRANSMISSION TWRS E OF ARPT".
That seems a very strange request given that it is public land. If it were private property that would be different, but this location is owned by the public.
Also, if it’s a memorial, it seems he might want people to visit it. Isn’t that the point of a memorial? To remember something?
That's an unreasonable request without an explanation.
I can no longer edit or delete my parent comment here.
> The book was credited to Clarke alone.
I think I can infer from the wiki page that this either fell through, or my friend was making stuff up, because it appears to be at a metalworking shop.
At least this one lives on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_Ends_Park
If there were a blanket "Leave it alone, it's art" policy, I can see junk popping up everywhere.
Is that really true though? Does earth rules apply to life from other planets? And what if the extraterrestrial life are magnitudes of order stronger and technologically advanced than us? I mean we could demand it but in effect it would be nothing but words. The only reason that laws work is because of the threat of what happens if you don’t obey. If we are not in a position to threaten the extra terrestrials then we are also not in a position to dictate rules for them to follow.
Any law applys to their territory, independant on whether the culprit is a citizen of that country or a foreigner. Whether they can execute the law is of course a different story. But from where someone comes from doesnt matter in the first place.
Though, you could argue whether laws are limited to humans or whether they apply to every species. AFter all we don't apply the same laws to animals and humans, there are usually differnt sets for each.
> The only reason that laws work is because of the threat of what happens if you don’t obey. If we are not in a position to threaten the extra terrestrials then we are also not in a position to dictate rules for them to follow.
This is a classical problem of international laws. Country A can't execute laws to citizien of country B, because country B is stinky, or citizien already has left country A. Usually there are contracts for this, so in certain cases country B will give their citizien to Country A if the case is heavy enough to justify such an act. But of course they can also just ignore it.
Please enlighten me on which laws are written for my cat.
Though, usually it's not laws which are meant to be understood by the animals. Those laws are about how humans handle and integrate animals in their human society. They regulate who can own a pet, what rights and duties they have and which rights other people around those animals have (landlords for example, or research facilities doing animal experimentation).
But usually you will not find a law that demands your cat to go to school, or wear clothes, or paying taxes, that it's forbidden to enter private ground, to steal or kill, and such things. As also anything like having any citizen-rights and duties coming with them. Majority of laws are written for people who are able to understand them and can follow them, not for those who are living besides us.
It looks like aluminum. Someone posted 23.5" x 23.5" x ~144" as the dimensions. This comes out to be 46 cubic feet, and would weigh about 7,700 lbs. A floor of the price would be ~40 cents/lb scrap price, or ~$3,100. Ballpark 80-120 cents/lb might be a more realistic price if it were straightforward to manufacture like that (which it's certainly not).
As an industrial engineer and former employee of one of the largest aluminum plants in the world, I can safely say I doubt it is solid rolled aluminum, and bet it would be way bigger of an extrusion that is possible. And logistically, it would be far easier to transport to a remote location via helicopter if it wasn't solid. Any machining, metal forming, etc. would require specialized large equipment, and would quickly drive the cost up, potentially an order of magnitude higher than material costs.
The monolith in 2001 had dimensions in ratios of 1:4:9 [and continuing into other dimensions...].
Why the heck would you go to all the work of putting a monolith of the wrong shape out there?
1:22:33 becomes 1:33:77
It seems unlikely that there are serious tolerances to be kept here, couldn't this just be cast messily using a sand/clay mould and then cleaned up with portable power tools?
That way you don't need any special equipment and you can use whatever Aluminium you can get your hands on. Hell, you can even recycle Aluminium cans.
The fix is pretty simple though. You need directional solidification, meaning the freezing starts on one end and moved towards the other. If you apply a draft angle of 1 degree or so to the parallel faces, you will have enough difference in dimensions to get directional solidification working fine.
>That way you don't need any special equipment and you can use whatever Aluminium you can get your hands on. Hell, you can even recycle Aluminium cans.
I'd advise against mixing alloys, but you may still be alright to get something, but it will be worthless if you try to recycle it again. Mixed scrap fetches far less than sorted scrap when you try to sell it. E.g. Some alloys might allow 1-2% copper, while others require <0.01% copper. Each pound of type 1 mixed with type 2 requires lots of pig (pure aluminum, no alloying elements) to be added to get the proportions back to something you can legally call whatever alloy you're targeting.
Aluminum cans aren't a wonderful source for things like this because they contain a thin plastic film on the inside to prevent the liquid contained from having its flavor tainted. Normal recycling processes handle this fine, but cannot handle the plastic labels added on many small brewery cans. Those should be cut off prior to recycling.
Side note - It is incredibly energy intensive to mine bauxite, refine it through an electrolysis process into alumina, and finally alloying it into your preferred type of aluminum. It recycles incredibly well though. Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves about 95% of the energy compared to new aluminum. This 95% savings is about 14,000 kWh. The energy intensity is part of why Iceland houses 4 smelters. With nearly 100% of electricity production coming from hydroelectric, they have incredibly cheap electricity, and it's economically viable for the likes of Alcoa, Rio Tinto, and Century Aluminum to haul bauxite ore from around the world to a tiny country with almost no manufacturing base, process it, then haul it around the world to its final destination.
When I visited in 2018, we came across a 5 kW turbine installed in 1927 near a famous waterfall. It's no longer online, but was neat to see.
Arguably if you are worried about the environment and account for human laziness steel cans are better for the environment IMO
Aluminum can recycling rates tend to be higher in states that offer deposit programs. Back when they were getting introduced in the 80's, $0.05/container had a lot more buying power than it does today. It's enough of an annoyance now, they'd be best off eliminating it or increasing it to ~$0.15 or so. Or since this is HackerNews, maybe we could use block chain technology to verify each can is properly recycled and reimburse with bitcoin.
Cue reddit researchers combing through old helicopter flight plans/paths from the relevant time frame? Though I would have thought an off road vehicle might be more likely; looks like it's only about 2-3 miles from the nearest road.
Edit: actually there appears to be a dirt road ~1k feet or less away
I took this one on the point overlooking the monolith:
I took this photo not too far from the monolith:
That's also a lot of polishing for the finish you would get from sand casting.
There appear to be screw holes (or rivets), so I'm going to guess that it's three aluminium sheets screwed onto an interior scaffold.
The monolith is about 141" long, and has sides of about 23.5", so 16 of those bars would neatly fill it.
So if it is solid aluminium, that's about $23,500 in material.
Using the weight calculator , and plugging in 23.5/23.5/141 (all in inches) I am getting about 7.7K lbs, or around $15K in material costs. Given it’s unusual shape, I’m assuming that normal is producing it. This would require additional costs for machining and processing Dash I’d probably say it would be several thousand dollars in additional costs. Overall this looks to me like a $25,000 piece of metal...
Given that the excitement will have died down by the time its precise structure is revealed, I'd say a simpler design served its purpose quite well.
Assuming the "monolith" is around 10ft tall with a 1.5ft square base, it would weigh 5 tonnes if it were made of solid steel. Whoever installed it would have needed serious machinery to haul it over there and stick it in the rock.
Thin sheets of metal, either welded or riveted together, would have been much easier to build and install. It could even have been filled with some other material (e.g. sand) before the top was put on.
Yes, it was a prism shaped object with 3 pieces of stainless steel panels riveted together, the bottom has concret and silicone:)