Potent Musk

Which are by and large, not “socialist.” Having universal health care and education does not make a system socialist.

I’m claiming that despite many opportunities, in many different systems, no government-run space program has done this. I think looking at how things actually do work out is a lot more useful than speculating about how they might possibly work out, or fantasizing about how they would work out if a particular ideology lived up to all of its ideals. Would you care to point out where I “literally” claim anything about what a government program could “possibly” do?

That was in response to your assertion that:
“Space X is literally doing what NASA and others were already doing,”
Which is demonstrably, false, unless “literally” doing what someone was already doing means doing something they can’t, or doing something 15x cheaper than they were doing it.

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Look, I’m fine with Space Cadet Second Class Musk trying his hand at private space exploration. But can we please stop having Every. Damn. Space thing be about his investments?


Your planet is burning down around you. You will not escape to space, no matter what they promise you. You will die here, with the rest of us, regardless of whether you have the newest xbox or a nice in-town apartment. Regardless of whether Bernie wins in 2020 or weed is legalized, things are just pretty much not going to be OK. The eco-social fabric that allows us to live on this planet is unraveling. The “current system” is unraveling it. You absolutely have a vested interest in burning that system down.


Sorry, I’m not the caricature you’re looking for. I live with my retired mother and disabled father in their in-law apartment, I don’t have a game console or a TV, and my computer is 7 years old. I don’t do drugs, alcohol, or caffeing (Barq’s excluded). I don’t believe in pipe dreams whether Bernie’s or Musk’s. But I can still be optimistic that there’s a future not too different from our present.


You can be as deluded as you like.

Best case scenario, in thirty years the world is far worse off than it is now, but people will have finally woken up to the institutionalised idiocy at some point, and started to turn things around before the climate and biosphere have been completely destroyed.

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Thank you. I was going to comment the same thing. I believe the goal is to shift corporate focus away from investor enrichment to labourer benefit.


Actually FDR was a conservative Democrat. The reason he pushed the New Deal is he thought if he didn’t, the US would end up as a communist or fascist dictatorship, or under a populist dictator (Hello, there, Huey Long.)

It’s always kinda weird to see space technology held up as an example of capitalist superiority given that the USSR won pretty much every contest in the space race except for the moon landing. And the moon landing thing was mainly down to metallurgy and Korolev’s cancer.

First satellite, first live flight, first human, first woman, first long orbit, first rendezvous, first spacewalk, first lunar probes, etc. etc.



Name a way for the boring company to be anything more than an unimportant vanity project without either public mass transit funding or a stripping of property rights. Tunnels suck for private transportation if you actually have to own the land.

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I find the Musk-worship amusing, especially the bit where we’re supposed to pretend that he’s not just a moderately bright asshole with more money than he knows what to do with and a mild case of Dunning-Kruger that’s common to engineers.


I don’t buy it. I agree that Tesla has brought the all-electric car into the mainstream at least a decade ahead of when it would have, and made electric cars desirable. I don’t agree that Musk has been doing this for the payoff, and that none of this would have occurred in a socialist society. On the contrary, Musk would have had a hard time spending the massive pile of wealth he was sitting on before Tesla in his lifetime even if he had been burning $100 bills with a Boring Company flamethrower 24/7. It is unlikely, even if he realizes the bonus phase of Tesla, that he will recoup all of his investment. He would have done all of this anyway. For all that his gigantic ego is tied up in the success of his ventures, I think it’s also clear that he actually means the altruistic aspects as well.

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However, happy birthday, NASA. (And I’m not talking about the Nauru Amateur Soccer Association.)


I’m going to join the dogpile here.

Tesla was started not to make a mint on electric sports cars, but to disrupt the car business and improve it for everyone. Strides have been made in this area, with a working model of direct-to-consumer car sales prompting legal fights with dealerships in a bunch of states. After the dust settled from these legal fights you can now buy a car direct from manufacturer, sight unseen, with a smartphone app. (I think it’s Toyota doing this now? ETA: It’s Fair, maybe?)

Speaking of the car business, Tesla created more of a market for electric cars by selling ones that weren’t boring and wayyy harder to live with than petrol cars. They released a lot of IP for big car manufacturers to use. Tesla helped drive, if not always finance public charging station infrastructure.

Car industry: Disrupted. Musk has achieved what he set out to achieve. The challenge with Tesla now is becoming a mature car manufacturer.

I would say that the goal is similar with other ventures. Those companies (Solar City, Boring, etc.) may ultimately go out of business, but if they change how business is conducted in those spaces they’ll have been a success.


Assuming Tesla doesn’t crater. Which…
He may have been disruptive, but that’s not necessarily constructive.

Well, even if Tesla craters, it’s already accomplished some useful changes in the car biz. Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

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I swear, the other day I accidentally walked past a dimly lit office backroom containing about a dozen young men softly chanting “His name is Elon Musk… His name is Elon Musk… His name is Elon Musk…”

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There’s also the fact that Tesla has figured out low-cost Lithium battery production to such an extent that the technology is much cheaper than anyone would have suspected ten years ago.

Doesn’t make Musk a good guy, or Tesla a good company, but it’s done some public good.

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