Life On Mars

This week, we visit with Republican candidate for Senate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Beth Lindstom, who’s running a valiant attempt to unseat someone by the name of Elizabeth Warren. No idea who she is. Then, our old friend Toby Young stops by to discuss his recent experience with the digital pitchfork and torch mob on the internet and what we ought to do about it (do read his fantastic essay on this topic on Quillette.com, The Public Humiliation Diet and buy his books that are discussed on the show). Also, the Cohen tapes, the roaring economy, and is there life on Mars? Hope so, because we feel like moving there.

Music from this week’s show: Life on Mars by David Bowie

 

Subscribe to Ricochet Podcast in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsors!

There are 82 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  1. Contributor

    I saw the title in a notification and was hoping for this picture:

    • #1
    • July 27, 2018, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Admin

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I saw the title in a notification and was hoping for this picture:

    Too obscure. 

    • #2
    • July 27, 2018, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Coolidge

    or Mars Attacks 

    • #3
    • July 27, 2018, at 12:04 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Member

    I agree with Peter.

    • #4
    • July 27, 2018, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Member

    I never understood why they would re-use the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) for a Mars landing. (In the movie Capricorn One.) It made no sense, not least because Mars gravity is much greater than the LEM was designed to land in/take off from. Like when Charlton Heston’s “Taylor” should have realized he was back on Earth when he saw/heard the Apes speaking perfect Engrish, anyone seeing a LEM supposedly land on MARS should have immediately known it was fake.

    • #5
    • July 27, 2018, at 2:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Admin

    I am filled with shame for saying “phone” instead of “lobby.”

     

    • #6
    • July 27, 2018, at 3:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    I am filled with shame for saying “phone” instead of “lobby.”

    Knew just what you meant, though.

    • #7
    • July 27, 2018, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Member

     

    Too obscure. 

    But it shouldn’t be! Spread the word about Life on Mars! (U.K. version rather than the lesser American version.)

    • #8
    • July 27, 2018, at 4:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Admin

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
     the lesser American version.

    You mean the “Barack Obama is awesome” version?

     

    • #9
    • July 27, 2018, at 4:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    Neither version was actually about life on Mars, so feh.

    • #10
    • July 27, 2018, at 5:45 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Coolidge

    Spending money on Mars?

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists. So many young STEM professionals claim to have been inspired by star trek to enter their fields of study by star trek (which makes me glad they skipped the Tarantino film festival) because the space program of the 1990’s was not particularly inspiring.

    • #11
    • July 27, 2018, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Contributor

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you. 

    • #12
    • July 27, 2018, at 8:56 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    Yes, I’m very disappointed in Peter being so short-sighted.

    Part of the problem is that “a lot of money” to the space program, is still a pittance compared to many other government programs.

    • #13
    • July 27, 2018, at 10:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Member

    This is directed for those, like Robb….and now even Peter, who keep up the anti-Trump comments going on this podcast. For example, comments along the “his idiotic trade policies” and “he’s mentally ill” are now muttered with more frequency. 

    Here is the problem we US expats living in Europe, and I would bet also in the Far East, see with such people: They don’t see first hand the blatant high tariffs and non-tariff barriers on USA products that we do, and the dumping of European products into the USA, especially cars, that we see. This is especially true for those of us who return to the USA a couple of times per year and compare retail prices on things. You would be astounded especially of the dumping, usually a result from various EU subsidies.

    President Trump has used tariffs as a cudgel, and the threat of still more, to force the EU to the table to talk about….viola….a 0 – 0 – 0 future for at least those goods and services not in the auto sector; that sector could and should come later. His threat of tariffs has proved to be useful, and not the product of mental illness. And the strategy of getting the Europeans on board so that together we can go after China, I predict that will prove to be brilliant. The average European is also waking up to what has been happening to his/her industry and its technology base, and the threat to his/her employment here.

    So fellows, give us a break out here, and stop with the “idiotic” and “mentally ill” references. “Flamboyant”, “sometimes inappropriate”, “sometimes untrue or misleading”, and a whole bunch of others are OK, but not “idiotic” and “mentally ill”. Unless of course you fellows are really working for an MSNBC or the like, in which case I am supporting the wrong bunch.

    • #14
    • July 28, 2018, at 12:56 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  15. Coolidge

    Yes!

    • #15
    • July 28, 2018, at 2:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Coolidge

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    It also depends on what is meant by “a lot of money” … For example the Curiosity rover cost $2.5 Billion, that is a lot of money, but as part of the NASA budget (a little less than $20 billion per year) thats ok. But if you’re talking about something like George Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, a 25 year $800 billion dollar road map that might someday possibly land men (or people – I detest the “crewed” adjective) on the moon and mars… No thanks.

    • #16
    • July 28, 2018, at 7:18 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    It also depends on what is meant by “a lot of money” … For example the Curiosity rover cost $2.5 Billion, that is a lot of money, but as part of the NASA budget (a little less than $20 billion per year) thats ok. But if you’re talking about something like George Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, a 25 year $800 billion dollar road map that might someday possibly land men (or people – I detest the “crewed” adjective) on the moon and mars… No thanks.

    Agreed. No 25 year plan will survive the changes in administrations. However, reusable rockets are greatly reducing launch costs and make a return to the Moon much more feasible. There are many obstacles to be overcome before a manned mission to Mars is achievable; rocket costs are important but are not sufficient to make it duable.

    • #17
    • July 28, 2018, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    Yes, I’m very disappointed in Peter being so short-sighted.

    Part of the problem is that “a lot of money” to the space program, is still a pittance compared to many other government programs.

    Oh, you want to spend government money! Interestingly, James didn’t use that word in his question.

    I’m all for allowing and encouraging people who want to use their own money to explore Mars to spend their own money exploring Mars.

    If, by doing so, those people somehow cure cancer or increase what “we know about earth,” the government can give them medals and a parade and name buildings and bridges after them.

    • #18
    • July 28, 2018, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I agree with Peter.

    Well, you’re both wrong. @occupantcdn‘s list is good, especially the last one.

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Spending money on Mars?

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists. So many young STEM professionals claim to have been inspired by star trek to enter their fields of study by star trek (which makes me glad they skipped the Tarantino film festival) because the space program of the 1990’s was not particularly inspiring.

     

    • #19
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:36 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Podcaster

    Arnold Falk: For example, comments along the … “he’s mentally ill” are now muttered with more frequency. 

    You mean you don’t particularly like amateurs making medical diagnoses over vast distances through the lens of the media? How dare you encourage responsible thoughts. To the dungeons with you!

    • #20
    • July 28, 2018, at 11:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    It also depends on what is meant by “a lot of money” … For example the Curiosity rover cost $2.5 Billion, that is a lot of money, but as part of the NASA budget (a little less than $20 billion per year) thats ok. But if you’re talking about something like George Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, a 25 year $800 billion dollar road map that might someday possibly land men (or people – I detest the “crewed” adjective) on the moon and mars… No thanks.

    Seems like you ignore your own statement. $800 billion over 25 years is only $32 billion per year. The issue of changing administrations etc is valid, but as far as the “cost,” $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much. And I suspect the Curiosity rover wasn’t all budgeted/spent in a single year either.

    • #21
    • July 28, 2018, at 4:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Member

    J Ro (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    Yes, I’m very disappointed in Peter being so short-sighted.

    Part of the problem is that “a lot of money” to the space program, is still a pittance compared to many other government programs.

    Oh, you want to spend government money! Interestingly, James didn’t use that word in his question.

    I’m all for allowing and encouraging people who want to use their own money to explore Mars to spend their own money exploring Mars.

    If, by doing so, those people somehow cure cancer or increase what “we know about earth,” the government can give them medals and a parade and name buildings and bridges after them.

    I don’t mind some government funding for some research and development, launch facilities, etc. And I expect taxes paid by private businesses using them later, more than makes up the cost.

    • #22
    • July 28, 2018, at 4:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Member

    Arnold Falk (View Comment):

    This is directed for those, like Robb….and now even Peter, who keep up the anti-Trump comments going on this podcast. For example, comments along the “his idiotic trade policies” and “he’s mentally ill” are now muttered with more frequency.

    Here is the problem we US expats living in Europe, and I would bet also in the Far East, see with such people: They don’t see first hand the blatant high tariffs and non-tariff barriers on USA products that we do, and the dumping of European products into the USA, especially cars, that we see. This is especially true for those of us who return to the USA a couple of times per year and compare retail prices on things. You would be astounded especially of the dumping, usually a result from various EU subsidies.

    President Trump has used tariffs as a cudgel, and the threat of still more, to force the EU to the table to talk about….viola….a 0 – 0 – 0 future for at least those goods and services not in the auto sector; that sector could and should come later. His threat of tariffs has proved to be useful, and not the product of mental illness. …

    Yes most Americans probably have no idea what’s really going on in terms of US exports especially, because they/we “never” see it from the other side. So it’s easy for some to crow about “Free Trade” without consequence.

     

    • #23
    • July 28, 2018, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its not like this money gets shoveled into a cannon and fired off to Mars. Should ‘we’ spend money to research mars? Yes.

    Mostly because it informs us of the worlds around us – the more we know about mars the more we know about the solar system, and the more we know about earth.

    secondly, the technology developed to research mars, has other applications. The Apollo program launched the semiconductor industries in the US and the world.

    Thirdly, it gives inspiration to a new generation of engineers, pilots and scientists.

    I’m with you.

    It also depends on what is meant by “a lot of money” … For example the Curiosity rover cost $2.5 Billion, that is a lot of money, but as part of the NASA budget (a little less than $20 billion per year) thats ok. But if you’re talking about something like George Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, a 25 year $800 billion dollar road map that might someday possibly land men (or people – I detest the “crewed” adjective) on the moon and mars… No thanks.

    Seems like you ignore your own statement. $800 billion over 25 years is only $32 billion per year. The issue of changing administrations etc is valid, but as far as the “cost,” $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much. And I suspect the Curiosity rover wasn’t all budgeted/spent in a single year either.

    Yes, but in a real political world where each congress is going to add its own detours on a 25 year road map (thats 12 congresses, 4.5 senate terms, and 8 presidential terms) – such a long program is not going to work in any democratic society. Elections have consequences – and while the electorate might feel that landing manned expeditions on the moon and mars are a priority now, it’ll only take an earthquake or a hurricane for these priorities to be radically shifted.

    The $32 Billion per year, also represents more than a 50% increase in NASA’s budget – for this one program. As much as space enthusiasts like to cry NASA’s poverty. NASA’s budget is larger than all other space programs in the world – combined. While I would like to see NASA have a larger budget, I would also like to see Canada, UK, EU, Russia, Japan, India also have larger budgets.

    • #24
    • July 28, 2018, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Yes most Americans probably have no idea what’s really going on in terms of US exports especially, because they/we “never” see it from the other side. So it’s easy for some to crow about “Free Trade” without consequence.

    The political problem with maintaining free trade, is that its a program with hidden benefits and fully seen costs. Every person who losses a job to trade knows it – but every person who keeps or gets a job based on exports may not realize how much of their productivity is being exported.

     

    • #25
    • July 28, 2018, at 7:10 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Seems like you ignore your own statement. $800 billion over 25 years is only $32 billion per year. The issue of changing administrations etc is valid, but as far as the “cost,” $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much. And I suspect the Curiosity rover wasn’t all budgeted/spent in a single year either.

    Yes, but in a real political world where each congress is going to add its own detours on a 25 year road map (thats 12 congresses, 4.5 senate terms, and 8 presidential terms) – such a long program is not going to work in any democratic society. Elections have consequences – and while the electorate might feel that landing manned expeditions on the moon and mars are a priority now, it’ll only take an earthquake or a hurricane for these priorities to be radically shifted.

     

    America can walk and chew gum at the same time. Last I heard, there’s a plan to build 2 aircraft carriers at once. I don’t think there would be a widespread demand that such profligate spending must end immediately, immediately, harrumph harrumph harrumph! ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt3GBlVjUd0 ) if there were to be an unusual number of earthquakes/hurricanes in the near future. In many ways, such disaster relief is also a relatively small part of the national budget.

    • #26
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Seems like you ignore your own statement. $800 billion over 25 years is only $32 billion per year. The issue of changing administrations etc is valid, but as far as the “cost,” $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much. And I suspect the Curiosity rover wasn’t all budgeted/spent in a single year either.

    The $32 Billion per year, also represents more than a 50% increase in NASA’s budget – for this one program. As much as space enthusiasts like to cry NASA’s poverty. NASA’s budget is larger than all other space programs in the world – combined. While I would like to see NASA have a larger budget, I would also like to see Canada, UK, EU, Russia, Japan, India also have larger budgets.

    I would like to see them spending more too, as with NATO. But it’s perhaps even more in our own interests to explore space and develop the new technologies, than it is to defend Europe at our expense.

    • #27
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):
    $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much. 

    I’d rather build a wall on the border with Mexico. 

    • #28
    • July 28, 2018, at 10:44 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much.

    I’d rather build a wall on the border with Mexico.

    Where do people get the idea that we can only work on space exploration, OR build a wall, OR recover from a hurricane/earthquake… 

    If nothing else, borrowing money from China to do space exploration and develop the new technologies etc, makes a lot more sense than borrowing money from China to send out welfare checks. Or to continually plan/research/etc – but never really build – another High-Speed Train To Nowhere in the People’s Republic of California.

    • #29
    • July 29, 2018, at 2:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    $800 billion over 25 years isn’t that much.

    I’d rather build a wall on the border with Mexico.

    Where do people get the idea that we can only work on space exploration, OR build a wall, OR recover from a hurricane/earthquake…

    Well, for one thing, many of us are conscious that our federal government is $21,277,260,000,000 in debt already. This naturally makes us want our government to prioritize and to limit federal spending of our tax dollars. 

    • #30
    • July 29, 2018, at 4:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3