Tag: Elon Musk

Join Jim and Greg for an all-crazy edition! They discuss additional evidence that Lin Wood cost Republicans the Senate, a New York Times columnist calling for a government “reality czar,” and Elon Musk working towards a brain chip to create “symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence.”

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“Elon Musk: ‘Give People Back Their Goddamn Freedom’: Tesla CEO rails against coronavirus-caused closure of auto maker’s lone U.S. assembly plant after reporting surprise first-quarter profit” By Tim Higgins in The Wall Street Journal on April 29, 2020. The company eked out a third consecutive quarterly profit, fueled by the sale of regulatory credits and […]

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Yesterday, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space, carrying a ballast payload that… just for fun… consisted of a red Tesla Roadster with an empty spacesuit strapped in the front seat. Most people thought this was pretty cool. If you were one of them, Nathan Robinson at the The Guardian (a.k.a. Buzz Killington) […]

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Heaven Help Me, But I Sort of Love Elon Musk’s New Hyperloop Idea. (Well, at Least in Theory…)

 

The sci-fi buff and futurist in me just loves, loves, loves Elon Musk’s idea of building an underground hyperloop between Washington and New York. Heck, I would love the idea even if the vacuum tube connected LA and San Francisco or Houston and Dallas or Chicago and St. Louis. Even Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

Now since I live in the greater Washington DC area, I find the idea even cooler. I would love to be able to zip to Manhattan in 30 minutes. Plus, I would imagine, real-estate prices within driving distance of the stops would get quite a boost. And when there are hyperloops from coast to coast, time to get started on a space elevator.

But, but, but … the technology does not yet exist. The regulatory path to approval does not yet exist. The business case does not yet exist. The commitment for public financing does not yet exist. If we were a country that could build a project like this, I imagine we would already have a continent-spanning, high-speed rail network. And about the cost. Probably north of $300 billion. It is hard to see public financing on that scale to fund better transportation for the Acela corridor. (Oh, and it seems likely there would be additional stops, such as in Wilmington and Newark.) Didn’t the POTUS get elected by promising to help the left-behind communities in the Rust Belt and Appalachia? Musk’s idea for a city on Mars might be more realistic. (The Economist offers some conceptual problems as well as some boring, non-Boring Company transportation ideas.)

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If you want to picture the relationship between the 60 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump and the Deep State seeking to unseat him; DON’T picture a Venn diagram. There is no overlap between the two solitudes. Rather, picture a giant amorphous amoeba, geared toward survival. This single-celled organism will galvanize all systems within […]

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Attention Republican Candidates: Here’s How You Make Free Markets Cool

 

Last week, SpaceX changed the rocket launch business for good, and probably cut the cost of access to space in half. But that’s a subject for another conversation. Instead, watch the video below made by SpaceX employees, which celebrates the free market, space, vision, competition, and the benefits of daring. It also makes SpaceX look like a really great place to work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYUDQh2RSbw

SpaceX is cool. Not just because they are great engineers, but because they how how to promote themselves and — most importantly — because they are having fun. The Millennials I know love SpaceX, and Elon Musk, its founder, is a rock star for the under-40 generation. If Republicans want to spread the message that governments create dull, gray bureaucracies while private industry creates excitement and dynamism, they could learn a lesson from SpaceX marketing.

Fun with Bubbles: How Elon Musk and the Government are Recreating the Housing Crisis

 

BubbleFor all the arguments between liberals and conservatives on economic issues, most boil down to one core point of contention: conservatives realize that government doesn’t do a lot of things very well. One of those things government is not very good at, compared to the private sector and free individuals, is learning hard lessons. Case in point: bubbles.

The government loves blowing bubbles more than a small child. The difference is that when a child’s bubbles pop, they don’t erupt with enough force to shake the economic foundations of entire industries, regions, or the planet.

The most famous recent example is the housing crisis and subsequent “Great Recession” of 2008. While the media and Common Core-approved textbooks still blame that crisis on the “greedy bankers,” the reality is that the federal government, with some help from local governments, huffed and puffed and blew up the housing bubble through mortgage guarantees, artificially low interest rates, zoning laws, and pressure on banks to loan to people that could never afford standard 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.