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Watching Jeff Bezos Go to Space Was More Depressing Than Inspiring (variety.com)
82 points by amznbyebyebye 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 99 comments

It felt a bit cringe to me, the whole vibe of it just seemed off. The presenter's adoration/reaction was very cringe/over the top for me.. even the engineer guy's face kept falling.. watch it again.. imagine you put your efforts into something, building the rocket, then not being the one to fly it. And when they landed and all the camera men gathering around.. I thought "Is this it? Some guy just go to space for a few minutes and then have his pictures taken like it's some epic moment?" Meanwhile, we are in the middle of a pandemic, people suffering around the world, never mind amazon employee's issues, climate changing slowly starting to wreak havoc.. but hey, lets celebrate that guy going to space. Felt hollow in my stomach and not in a good way. When SpaceX landed those two rockets at the same time next to each other, I shed a tear of how insignificant my own career is, where with this event I felt nothing but hollowness.

I couldn’t care any less about watching rich people launch them selves to the edge of space.

I would much rather spend my time watching rich people launch things into space that will end up benefiting everyone like SpaceX using a Tesla as the dummy payload for the Falcon Heavy test flight.

I understand the whole 'space tourism' thing, but the reality is that it's only going to be the Jeff Bezos and Richard Bransons of the world who will be able to afford this stuff for a long time to come.

The scientific return from space tourism from companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin seems far less important than the work that companies like SpaceX are doing.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make here, But i just feel that rich folk launching them self to the edge of space is more entertainment/marketing vs actual scientific progress.

Theres something different in my head between Branson and Bezos, it's likely just much better personal branding from the Brandon camp.

One thing, though, is that Virgin never ran a monopoly, but a series of successful (and many failed) ventures which often displaced an incumbent in an industry where consumers were genuinely being screwed (mobile, airlines, to some extent health care).

Bezos is an unrepentant monopolist. Sure, he played the game well, but ultimately built what is now a sticky, foul smelling heap with strong lock-in effects.

Strangely I was much more accepting to see Branson in space. Bezos comment about Amazon shoppers paying for his little joy ride was unadulterated tone-deafness.

> Theres something different in my head between Branson and Bezos. Strangely I was much more accepting to see Branson in space.

I am 100% on board with this in terms of comparing how i feel about the both of them.

> Bezos comment about Amazon shoppers paying for his little joy ride was unadulterated tone-deafness.

Agreed - It was so cringe it felt like he slipped up and said his inner thoughts out loud... Whoops!

Didn't branson run a music monopoly, and screw over musicians to get rich?

I wouldn't put Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin in the same category. I think Blue Origin is actually closer to SpaceX.

Blue Origin has demonstrated a very sophisticated rocket, fully automated, with re-useable booster able to land vertically. They are the second in the world to have this after SpaceX, as far as I know. Next year they plan to fly their new rocket (New Glenn) that will have orbital capabilities (about 13t of payload to GTO).

To me this isn't really space travel. I think they shd aim at circling the earth at least once.

Yea, Russia did better in the 60s. This is nothing to brag about seriously.

SpaceX launching a Tesla into space for a test flight is firstly benefiting SpaceX and then Tesla. It is first and foremost a commercial entity working for profit and not scientific progress. That might be a side-effect, but I wouldn't frame it like that.

I don’t disagree, but the "side-effects" of the things that SpaceX are doing for profit are much more substantial than any "side-effects" from any 'space tourism' company.

Like with Dragon - SpaceX returned NASA/Americas ability to fly NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station for the first time since 2011.

SpaceX developed the first NASA-certified commercial human spacecraft system in history.

Indeed SpaceX is a commercial entity working for profit, Just like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, but I'd much rather throw my support behind the companies where the scientific benefits will flow much quicker into the public arena vs "rich dudes competing to get to the edge of space so they can call themselves astronauts"

“Perhaps someday Bezos might reveal that he was, as former astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield dared to hope on his CNN panel, brought back down to Earth metaphorically as well as physically by experiencing the planet he’s so thoroughly conquered from so many miles away. For now, though, the visual of the richest man in the world fist-pumping his way out of a rocket and into a giddy champagne toast says more than either he or the gushing pundits ever could.”

I think if this happened an Bezos has such a revelation, then this whole thing might have been worth it. However, given that his ex-wife seems to be spreading her wealth around and he hasn't caught the "bug" yet, I think this seems like a very remote possibility.

I don't understand why people dedicate so much of their daily energy hating on billionaires' hobbies. The real waste of resource, in my mind, isn't in billionaires spending their pocket money in space exploration. It's in the millions of average persons dedicating 2 or 3h of their 16h/day budget on negative thoughts about other people's lives, poisoning their mood and ruining the 13 to 14 other hours they have left awake in those days. Whereas a positive outlook on things would probably provide them with a state of mind more fertile for ideas and improvements.

I think a lot more human ingenuity-capacity is wasted in jealousy and resentment of others, than what these billionaires may be spending on their hobbies.

* * *

I think the Blue Origin/Virgin Galactic "buy a tourist flight to space" is not my cup of tea, and I'd rather they were doing actually useful industrious space exploration stuff. But I think their puerile vanity hobbies are also not bad for technological advancements. The engineers working on this are going to develop more skills and knowledge, and that will not be lost. It'd be better if it was to do science or some industry, but it's not a net negative either.

That's fine and all if you're talking about people in your immediate social circle. Why waste time worrying about what someone else has?

But then there's this overall trend of stagnating wages for everyone except owners of capital. Industries become more and more concentrated. Billionaires get richer. We have trillion dollar companies, while inflation is increasing.

We're told "Don't be a hater, let billionaires do their thing!" But then they don't pay taxes and they spend their money on space bullshit. The world they are trying to create is not a better one. They are a hog on resources and the human race is right to be sick of it.

Fuck them, they should pay taxes and everyone should stop worshipping them like some kind of golden calf. It's not about being a hater, it's about stopping an economic tumor from getting any bigger.

> stagnating wages for everyone except owners of capital

I don’t think this tells the full story. I know I have somewhat esoteric views about finance, but I believe that wages in terms of what they can buy have in fact been increasing faster than you’d expect just based off of the dollar amount of wages. Even though minimum and average wages have increased more slowly, the buying power hasn’t decreased (and maybe even increased).

This is based on the rate of technological progress causing massive deflation in prices of things that can be made more efficiently by said technology. Our lives have also become more convenient in the last 20-ish years, with a significant chunk of inflation being caused by people actually buying more expensive versions of things.

Think of a 2005 cell phone. Motorola Razr era. Those things cost a few hundred dollars. You could buy something with comparable (or likely even better) capability today for pennies, or even find one for free. Which means massive deflation of comparable goods. You can get full-blown smartphones now for $50 total (budget android phones). Same thing applies to lots of products.

But our lifestyles have also gotten much more expensive — it’s fairly normal to spend 2-3x what we would’ve spent on the fancy Razr phone, or even more, because we want the latest and best. If we lag behind the cutting-edge with our purchases, we’ll find that we are spending less each year on comparable products.

Look through some of these[0] inflation charts — I tried apparel and bananas for example, but it looks like inflation has been extremely low on some standard household items (trying to ignore things that people are buying more luxury versions of these days).

All this to say — yes, income inequality is worth keeping an eye on. And yes, our tax system needs to be massively simplified to prevent loopholes. But some level of wealth inequality isn’t necessarily bad, it seems to be a pretty natural behavior that some small number of people hyper-optimize for some successful path & win — in all sorts of activities, not just wealth-building.

And, even though wages haven’t gone up a ton recently, neither have prices. People spend so much more of their money on luxuries now that it seems that cost of living has gone up, though. (Housing is an exception here that definitely has gone up)

[0] https://www.in2013dollars.com/inflation-cpi-categories

You don't eat Razrs. Food prices have largely increased, following inflation, while wages have not.

You don't live in a Razr. Purchasing a house is outside of the realm of possibilities for most people under 30. Rent does keep growing too, and guess what, your wages don't follow.

I don't put a Razr in my gas tank, but the price keeps skyrocketing.

You're just not looking at what people _need_. Nobody gives a shit about having an Alexa in their homes, that's just a bonus.

> some level of wealth inequality isn’t necessarily bad,

If I was born in 0 BC, and worked every day of the year until today with my current salary, I would be 8% of the way to being a billionaire. This isn't "some level of inequality". It's theft and is actively damaging for society.

Shouldn't housing be the primary concern here?

It's gone up so much as to eat all those cost savings, where it's only the rich benefitting from the cheaper phone. They're just as unapproachable because people have less to spend after rent

I think the economic model that leads to widespread inequity is absolutely a problem, and a thorny one that will need to be solved for sure.

But while I'm happy to dedicate mental-space to that question, I see no advantage in dedicating that mental space on hating billionaires, nor in dedicating mental space to what the Kardashians are doing. This stuff is hero-vs-villains thinking, grounded in a comic-book like view of the universe.

> I think the economic model that leads to widespread inequity is absolutely a problem, and a thorny one that will need to be solved for sure.

For sure. Let's not kick the can down the road, let's solve it now.

> I see no advantage in dedicating that mental space on hating billionaires, nor in dedicating mental space to what the Kardashians are doing. This stuff is hero-vs-villains thinking, grounded in a comic-book like view of the universe.

See, you think this is a systems problem rather than a people problem and I am saying it is both. This system is created and supported by people, it makes sense to address those specific people. This is not a "comic book like view of the universe". Billionaires should pay more taxes and people shouldn't fall for their self congratulatory bullshit hogging a news cycle.

That's a reasonable point, but I think in many ways it's a reflection of bimodal distributions which pervade modern life.

"then there's this overall trend of stagnating wages for everyone except owners of capital."

So people should better buy some capital!

Also the lament about stagnating wages glosses over the amount of people that have been added to the workforce. The average wage per person may have stagnated, but the sum of wages that are being paid out has increased a lot.

I think it is not a small achievement to provide jobs for so many more people.

I believe it's a result of social media that has (falsely) taught us that anger and resentment are valuable contributions to society.

Anger and resentment are highly charged emotions, and so they make people click, like, retweet and subscribe. So it's unsurprising that those takes are highlighted and encouraged by the social networks.

Not to say that we shouldn't fight for a better world, but we lost our way when we started attempting to do so through anger.

I've started to think the most dangerous parts of social media are the things which we agree with the most, whatever side of politics you're on.

In the case of Bezos, Musk and Branson, I think it's a case of hate the game, not the player. There are plenty more low-profile billionaires exploiting workers and using their gains for worse things than going to space (like lobbying), but we rarely talk about them because they're not in the news. Instead of hating on specific people as if their disappearance would solve the problem, we could be channeling that energy into changing the system to be fairer for all.

The billionaire class are destroying our planet and exploiting us. If people spent as much time hating them as others do brown-nosing them we’d live in a better world.

While I disagree with the article, I think your comment is a bit of an exaggeration and there is some merit for criticism.

Castigating people for negative thoughts and how they "ruin" ingenuity is ultimately a self-defeating argument.

> average persons dedicating 2 or 3h of their 16h/day budget on negative thoughts about other people's lives, poisoning their mood and ruining the 13 to 14 other hours they have left awake in those days

Does that happen? I think most people that criticize a billionaire don't dwell on it and are onto something else five minutes later. Voicing your opinion is quick and easy, and even if it changes nothing, it's too little to ruin your day.

Only a psychopath would devote that much brainpower to issues out of their control.

It's just that this is a very public reminder that we've all paid for this (as Bezos said), and people don't like being reminded of that.

Billionaires became billionaires by collecting economic rent from the actual wealth-producers - their employees, i.e., the rest of us. When they turn around and spend it on what's basically the tech equivalent of bling, the resentment is fully justified.

I can totally see a justification for feeling resentment. However, deciding to indulge into resentment is a choice, probably not a conscious one most of the time, but a choice. That's what "irks" me, if you will. Arguably, my "irk" boils down to the same thing I criticize: discontent with how other people spend their energy. =P

I'm sure negative thoughts about Jeff Bezos are the sole reason why a tired Amazon warehouse worker with no other employment opportunities in their decaying town might be unhappy.

This graph is a good summary of why that positive thinking mindset doesn't pay off like it used to, and most people are rationally pessimistic: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/wp-content/uploads...

Also, there's a lot of context missing from your analysis. Many people find Elon Musk annoying, even a dick, but his space company has done genuinely innovative stuff and is reliably doing commercial deliveries. Bezos is an even more successful businessman, but he's also almost cartoonishly self-absorbed and increasingly looks like a guy with more money than sense. You could see everyone around him cringing today when he was 'thanking' Amazon customers and employees for paying for his Very Big Adventure.

millions of average persons dedicating 2 or 3h of their 16h/day budget on negative thoughts about other people's lives

Calling bullshit on bullshit isn't dedicating hours to negative thoughts. People dislike Jeff Bezos because his company does things like putting anti-union posters on the insides of employee toilet stalls so people can't have even a moment of privacy at work.

> But I think their puerile vanity hobbies are also not bad for technological advancements. The engineers working on this are going to develop more skills and knowledge, and that will not be lost.

Maybe they made some useful advancements (any examples?), but overall this feels like saying a complicated tax code shouldn't be hated on, because it keeps accountants sharp and full of new knowledge.

I would guess that people "waste this time" because the riches gained by the greed and immorality of these obscenely rich folk is directly proportional to the misery that people experience in their daily lives from the impact of the income inequality. The Bozos of this world are the most visible targets in a cruel system that is not functional, that is destroying people and this planet.

What is the general opinion of HN? SpaceX tests/launches are met with much aplomb compared to Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic.

My opinion: There is definitely a billionaire brag race on the space frontier, but I do think it's going to benefit space exploration overall.

Compared to what SpaceX is doing I find this type of space tourism boring. I think it makes a difference to me that they're not in orbit, no matter what the actual definitions are to me it doesn't feel like they're actually in space.

And the interesting part about SpaceX are all the technical details, especially as they are more public with this stuff.

I agree, also find tourism boring. Although it's probably a valid business model, it's a boring and unimaginative business model

> Although it's probably a valid business model

Is it really? Maybe at a small scale, but I can't imagine there are that many people ready to pay more than a few thousands for 2 minutes of free fall at high altitude.

SpaceX is a bad replacement for a well funded NASA, but they're at least interested in doing similar sorts of things whereas Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are purely for tourists in barely-space.

I mean, the entire Blue Origin stream was an extremely annoying fake-hype sales pitch for the less than 1% of viewers who could actually afford it.

> SpaceX is a bad replacement for a well funded NASA

Please, explain exactly how you came to this conclusion. And use numbers, costs of R&D, costs of launches, etc.

I'm absolutely baffled you could think this.

SpaceX is a bad replacement for a well-funded NASA with a clear mission that advances human exploration of space, without being beholden to political corruption, and with a driven and dedicated administrator.

Of course, so is NASA itself.

SpaceX is for profit, so it’s goals need to be profitable monetarily. NASA is government funded so it can focus on important things that may not be profitable monetarily.

I read recently a pretty good take on this. It goes something like, in order of most risky to least risky:

- Government funding is for super high risk, high reward long shots that may never work or prove useful.

- Then, VC funding when it's high risk, but within a few years horizon of working or proving useful.

- Last, public funding for stuff that's obviously going to work.

NASA is in the business of de-risking the edge. Then VC-backed stuff like SpaceX/Rocket Lab/Relativity Space can come and do the still-risky-but-still-less-risky bets. Public companies like Boeing/Lockheed Martin can be in the business of launching rockets as is well known and done for decades now.

Surely VCs aren't putting continuous money into space, and it's government contracts paying most of the way. Scale of cost is a bit high for VC

How is that working out in terms of actual dollars spent? Who’s more efficient at spending $1 including profit in that?

Your theory doesn’t hold up to actual numbers

SpaceX doesn't seem super interested in science, like you know probes 'n stuff. I would say that NASA was never super interested in reducing the cost to access space though. They complement each other very well.

I am not talking about cost at all. More about commercial interests vs public interests.

Elon Musks stance on fighting climate change seems to be that we can just solve the problem with technology without doing much about endless consumption and waste, failing that mitigating the issues for whoever can afford to, starting with biohazard mode on your Tesla and ending with escaping to Mars. I don't want all our space tech in the hands of such a person. Happy to see China is still investing more heavily.

Out of curiosity, how well do you think fighting climate change through reducing consumption and waste is going? Well enough to discount alternatives?

Inversion of cause and effect. At least where I live our neoliberal and conservative parties love to defer to technology we don't have yet and might never have (we once had a fun case of "flying taxis" being lauded as a solution to congestion too) to justify doing nothing about emissions.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do both, but we have solutions now. Be it nuclear power, penalties for food waste, subsidies for public transport infrastructure, taxing fossil fuels... you get the idea. We just need politicians to stop their wishful thinking - the kind fueled by Elon Musk - and confront the realities of the situation

I don't claim to be representative of the general opinion of HN, but my opinion is that a dick measuring contest between billionaires is slightly less worse than a dick measuring contest between parochial and aggressive nation-states.

Unfortunately, space exploration is so expensive and useless* that these are the only two known ways to fund it.

* it appears useless to the people who are funding it, but of course we on HN know better than that

is there such a thing as 'general opinion of hn'?

It's just a penis measurement contest amongst billionaires. Couldn't care less. If anything, it showcases how the media keeps lifting up these figureheads as entertainment while completely ignoring the mass protests against vaccine passes.

People really are getting fed up with billionaires.

Everyone on HN: how can so many people be wrong?

the self awareness, it's lacking.

We're a community of temporarily embarrassed CEOs after all.

Their own quality of life is probably not very high for various reasons, billionaires are more a symptom of this trend rather than a direct cause imo. It just makes them an easy scapegoat.

I found the Blue Origin live stream pretty awful, not only the extremely over the top female moderator paired with the almost silent Gary Lai, but also the constant cheering from the capsule seemed pretty fake somehow. This took away a lot from the technical feat and made it into a pretty cheesy ad for the company, which I guess it was. Also calling the passengers astronauts all the time, we get it, they sat in a chair for 10 minutes that technically went to space, yeez...

I’m no Bezos fanboy, but the man did build a spaceship company. Let him fly a damn spaceship.

I'm conflicted. On the one hand, he did fund a spaceship company. On the other, I'm not sure how much input he had into the actual construction of a spaceship.

It's kind of like how a person that builds a hot-rod car gets much more respect from me than a person that buys a Bugatti supercar. WooHoo, you can whip out your checkbook and write a $1MM check. Big deal. That other guy worked on the suspension and knows how the fuel system works. That's much more impressive.

It's true, he didn't actually build the space ship himself...

He knew he didn't have the skills or manpower to build a rocket himself, so he assembled an organization of people who would help him build it.

Then, he risked his own LIFE to be one of the first people to ride the rocket. If that's not putting trust in your engineers, I don't know what is.

Sure, you can hate on him for being rich, but at the end of the day, the man knows how to build successful companies.

Oh, please. I took a greater risk driving to the grocery store this morning. Bezos's spaceship took 15 test flights before it got the all clear to carry human passengers. You know how they say that "there's no safer way to travel" than flying in an airplane? Well, now there is.

"After 15 successful unoccupied test flights to space since 2015, Bezos finally declared it was time to put people on board. The Federal Aviation Administration agreed last week, approving the commercial space license."

And when it comes to Blue Origin's success, the credit should be given to Bezos's existing fortune, not to his business prowess, as much as that played a role in the growth of Amazon.

"Bezos has said he finances the rocket company by selling $1 billion in Amazon stock each year."


To me it comes down to Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, and specialization. We live in a market economy where you trade one form of specialized goods and services for another; this being a most extreme example so still impressive. But I hear what you’re saying for sure. The relative value of all such specializations should weighed by the time commitment and expertise required for mastery and that experience measured on its own merits.

The world has 2,755 billionaires yet only 3 have had the vision and execution to create private companies that can launch into space. Only 3 countries in the world have ever launched humans into space - and now we can add 3 private companies to that list. This is an incredible achievement!

From my personal experience the Apollo missions had a profound impression on me and my decision to go into a engineering/math/science career. Imagine the impacts these events can have on today's kids and what they decide to do with their lives? Bezos is talking about manufacturing in space, creating moon colonies - that's exciting stuff! I don't understand the apathetic meh reaction, especially from the tech crowd.

Some people will complain even in paradise.

I'm not sure what paradise is to be drawn at billionaires racing each other to space while the planet we all live on is in shambles on so many levels

I think you should read this: https://launiusr.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/why-explore-space-...

I had similar views until 5 years ago and questioned almost every new investment/endeavour by people that required significant upfront capital investment but I think this letter has changed a lot of my thinking process.

There's no "space exploration" to be done 50-70 miles above ground. Billionaires charging other billionaires for 10 minutes above the imaginary "space line" has nothing to do with space exploration.

The future of space is NOT "exploration" for the sake of exploration.

The future of space is going to involve a lot of robots, a lot of mining other planets for resources, and a lot of space stations made from those resources.

Bezos is planning for a future where all polluting industry is moved to outer space instead of being done here on Earth. He has publicly stated this on multiple occasions recently.

> Bezos is planning for a future where all polluting industry is moved to outer space instead of being done here on Earth.

Highly doubtful …

> He has publicly stated this on multiple occasions recently.

He can say whatever he likes. I still don't trust that he cares about anything beyond amassing personal control of more money/resources.

Sure if you want to be pedantic. My response to the parent comment was more around trying to provide a possible answer to a natural question of "Why spend so much money on anything new while there are several million problems to be solved on Earth?".

And I don't think 50-70 miles is going to be the norm. This is more of a "test" flight, which is pretty normal. Everything has to start somewhere with a baby step.

> And I don't think 50-70 miles is going to be the norm.

It is going to be for the foreseeable future, and I'll tell you two reasons why:

1. FAA and USAF considers everyone that's been above 50 miles (~62 kilometres) as an astronaut.

2. Von Karman line (at 100 kilometres, or 62 miles) is the closest we have to the consensus over what constitutes "space".

We could've drawn it pretty much everywhere because Earth's atmosphere disappears gradually, but these are nice round numbers previously agreed upon.

Therefore, if you're after commercial space flights (like Bezos and Branson are), that's the minimum you need to do to be able to charge millions for a "space flight". There is no incentive to go above that for commercial purposes.

By basically any metric the world is the best place for humans it's ever been. Absolutely poverty has collapsed over the last few decades and will be non existent in about 15-20 years.

Basically every human has gotten access to all the world's information in the last 10-15 years (unless their government has a firewall).

The fact that 2 people want to actually do something that is extremely inspriring to most non-envious and resentful people is a result of the fact that humanity has massively improved it's state of living recently.

And btw, generally doing inspiring things and failing forwards is much better at improving things. Just have a look at how Tesla has radically changed the car industry and turned it electric. Without Tesla the car industry would be doing fuck all to turn electric.

> Absolutely poverty has collapsed over the last few decades and will be non existent in about 15-20 years.

care to expand on why it is extinct in 15 years?

Look at the graph, and project is forwards

> Absolutely poverty has collapsed over the last few decades and will be non existent in about 15-20 years.

Did you mean to use some completely different word in place of "poverty" there? Because I'm flabbergasted at this statement.

The world's information is heavily censored, mate. People have no freedom to even disagree anymore.

> while the planet we all live on is in shambles on so many levels

Literally on the brink of extinction now.

It's a strange, almost comforting feeling?

Knowing that even with the wealth to achieve something that once took entire nations to blast off into space for a few minutes, they're still as doomed as the rest of us to perish on this indifferent rock

No man is an island, even with all the wealth in the world. All that wealth is meaningless when everyone else is gone anyhow

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it was a sarcasm.

Planet will survive, it is incredibly ignorant to think that it even cares about pest that are humans.

That's why I said "indifferent rock"

No matter how much money any of them have, they can't outrun the planet itself moving on without us

Why put salt on your potatoes while there are still people starving of hunger. Envy the billies all you want it won't make their live any worse or that of the poor any better.

I envy the billionaire bank balance, but it's not the money that makes you happy (above a certain level) but the options it allows you to do.

obviously people are not keen on the actions /options that JB has choosen to make. Especially when you hear the stories of his employees and how much tax he pays

If you're gonna take the salt from the starving person to do it, it's probably a good idea to skip the salt

To people like the commenter it's much better if everyone is suffering than if some people aren't and some are.

Oh, so this is paradise that I'm living in? Well that's wildly underwhelming.

I think if he had managed this 5 years ago people would be excited. Now though, it just seems kinda meh? They hyped it up too much, like it was a huge accomplishment on par with the moon landing. It just fell flat to me. Like the bad acting you get in the lines before the Terminator ride at Six Flags.

It bothers me that the article makes no reference to Wally Funk, the pilot - she's now the oldest person to have gone to space. Maybe it's cheesy of me to get a kick out of 'records' like that, but I enjoy that a lot more than caring about who commissioned the flight.

By all means be happy for someone nice getting to do a cool thing, but it’s quite naive to be bothered by someone not mentioning this token gesture born of pure PR.

She's achieved a lot more of substance in her life, compared to the big warehouse magnate.

Watching Wally Funk go to space almost makes up for it... almost.

I don't get what is so depressing from the article? Because the rich can afford it, and the poor can't? How do they imagine it should work instead?

It's depressing to watch as the unaccountable ruling class wastes all of our money on pipe-dreams and vanity projects. Meanwhile, the world is on fire.

And what do I mean by "our money"? This is what I mean:

'Included in the many people that Bezos thanked Tuesday was “every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer. Because you guys paid for all this.” Bezos has said he finances the rocket company by selling $1 billion in Amazon stock each year.'

The fact that Blue Origin exists in the first place is evidence of the insane levels of wealth inequality that now exist in our society. At this point, everything that Bezos does is an affront to our sensibilities. The King is riding on roller coasters while his serfs are peeing in bottles.


He is rich because he provides you with stuff you want and are willing to pay for. Nobody forces you to buy from Amazon.

It is not your money anymore if you gave it to him in exchange for his services.

Touching the edge of space and launching something into orbit are __so much__ different. The latter is an order of magnitude harder than the former.

It's a sign of the growing inequality and desperation of the 99%. I think space tourism is a nice milestone for mankind. But people are feeling hopeless about their own future - they are not able to see any opportunity in this for themselves. Anti-rich sentiment is exploding along with general hopelessness with climate change and covid.

I think the most depressing is the celebration of something that is kilometers away from an achievement. Its just a pure ego trip from bezos.

That said its not bad space interest more and more people these days

Jeff Bezos launching his Syreen Penetrator into space has very "this is why we need a wealth tax" energy.

I’m starting to become doubtful that the world is better today than 50 years ago and I wonder if we’re on a path of decline. That’s my impression and it might be downvoted but it should be expressed. Every generation has countless events that mimic some rich guy burning money for something best described as a short joy ride. Yet, in the past it wasn’t so in the face of the misfortunate. I think that’s why suicide is increasing among the young. Sure, access to healthcare is better nowadays but I question if today’s environment is healthy or in fact unhealthy for not well off people. They’re kind of stuck in a system that forces them to stay alive as slaves to capitalism while the rich dance in their face. I even think the tide is turning on belief in free will and meaning the ones born into the worst circumstances will find current today even more absurd than their past generations.

This website is unusable and randomly reloads every couple of seconds. (Firefox mobile) Reader mode does not work.

> As our world quite literally burns and crumbles around us

You could say that statement on any year ever. That's not valid criticism. For one thing , branson and bezos are apparently boomer-era entrepreneurs obsessed with largesse.

For another, humans are not ready for space, we ve been there, and lost interest in going back. The next humans to go there should be genetically modified and technologically supplanted so they can make use of space, not just "go there". The world has a lot of tourism already, too much of it. Would be nice if these people spent their money on genetic/longevity research and brain-computer interfaces instead.

Last time humans landed on the Moon on 1972. On 2021 we have perfectly egocentric billionaires who muliplied their fortunes on ongoing pandemic... merely lift above the atmosphere.

Red Bull guy at least jumped from the space 9 years ago. This was meh.

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