Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Showing posts with label SpaceX. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SpaceX. Show all posts

Monday, September 16, 2019

What's Left Over? Merge with the Demon

Beware the implantation of a synthetic conscience, crafted by others. Image Source: pinterest.

I have a theory that our religions mirror our levels of technology. This post continues my What's Left Over? series, which describes two contending spiritual stances - the materialist and the anti-materialist - which are appearing in response to the Technological Revolution.

Science and technology refer to ways of doing, while the arts and theology describe ways of being. Neither can exist without the other. Ideally, they are used in balance. But the burgeoning technocracy thrives on doing; it pretends to support the arts and organic freedoms, while actually discouraging them. As a result, technologists have to build simulated versions of being to make up for the shortfall. Their simulacra of moral sensibilities are poor substitutes for the true human love of nature and mystery.

Left unfettered, technocrats will construct your personality and life from the outside in. And while their creed is superficially moral and progressive, it is grossly materialist, anti-human and anti-humane.

If you thought corporations and institutions were already corrupt, and rewarded the worst aspects of your nature and exploited your best instincts against you, imagine what it will be like inside the corporatist technocracy, where their externalized conscience will come from a chip, embedded in your brain and communicating with your cerebral cortex by way of a neural interlace.

This fake, mechanized, embedded chip conscience is the foundation stone of what the people at The Boiler Room podcast call the "technocratic dictatorship." Elon Musk is its leading proponent.

Musk was once Silicon Valley's space cowboy and he had a romantic heart. In a 2010 interview, his ex-first-wife Justine struggled with the loss of Musk's original visionary, who became her own "private Alexander the Great." In 2016, he wasn't completely gone. He named one of his droneships, 'Of Course I Still Love You.'

In 2014, Musk warned against the advent of artificial intelligence as "summoning the demon." Now a shadow of his former self, in July of this year he stammered out his new agenda, a brain-chip interface called Neuralink. Neuralink will allow us to merge with the demon and to "stay one step ahead" of it. This is supposedly the only way to survive the coming Singularity.

Putting a Chip in Your Brain Will Not Make You a Superhero (or a god) (7 August 2019). Video Source: Youtube.

See all posts in the What's Left Over? series on materialism and anti-materialism in technological advancement.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Space and Struggle to Become Responsible

Vice President Pence Unveils U.S. Space Force Plans (C-SPAN) (9 August 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

The news is full of space headlines. On 9 August, the American Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States will build a sixth branch of its armed forces, a "space force" to "prepare for the next battlefield." The full statement is here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

SpaceX: Not an Explosion

SpaceX's Falcon 9 on fire in Florida today. Image Source: Ahomka FM.

Sadly, SpaceX's Falcon 9 exploded today on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The Falcon 9, which I have discussed here, is the great hope of company founder, Elon Musk. Report UK:
"In a statement, the company blamed the blast on 'an anomaly' and said no-one had been injured. It said the rocket's payload, a satellite due to be launched on Saturday, was also destroyed. ... The Falcon-9 booster is designed to return to Earth and land on a floating platform. SpaceX is seeking to create a new era of reusable rockets and affordable private space travel and has used its Falcon-9 rocket to take supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). In December last year, the California-based company successfully landed a Falcon-9 back on Earth after a mission – a first in rocketry. It went on to recover five more boosters, with most of them touching down on an ocean platform. The idea is to re-fly these rockets, and the first such 'second hand' vehicle is scheduled to launch in October. SpaceX is run out of Hawthorne near Los Angeles by Elon Musk, who made his fortune with internet companies. As well as being the rocket company”s CEO, he also heads up the Tesla electric car company."
The lost rocket cost USD $62 million and Musk's companies took a stock hit of almost USD $400 million; in one day, Musk's personal loss on his shares was USD $350 million. The satellite on the rocket, Amos-6would have enabled Facebook and Eutelsat to provide connectivity to entrepreneurs in Africa, a subject I will cover in a later post.

SpaceX failed Falcon 9 launch (1 September 2016). Musk called the ball of fire "not an explosion." Video Source: Youtube.

See all my posts on SpaceX.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SpaceX: Of Course I Still Love You

Falcon 9 launches with the Thai THAICOM 8 satellite (27 May 2016).

The pride of Elon Musk's private SpaceX spacecraft stable is the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9, first launched on 4 June 2010, is a reusable heavy launch lift vehicle, so named because it is powered by nine SpaceX Merlin 1C rocket engines. It has a little free-flying spacecraft crew capsule, the Dragon, attached at the top.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cybermoney and the Age of Immaterialism

Image Source: Telegraph.

Last week, CNN and other media outlets ran a little story about a PayPal error, wherein a minor eBay seller found his PayPal account credited with USD $92 quadrillion:
When Chris Reynolds opened his June PayPal e-mail statement, something was off. The Pennsylvania PR executive's account balance had swelled to a whopping $92,233,720,368,547,800.
That's $92 QUADRILLION (and change).
Money that would make Reynolds -- who also sells auto parts on eBay in his spare time -- the richest man in the world by a long shot.
Rich, as in more than a million times richer than Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim. And he's worth $67 billion.
Oh, if only.
"It's a curious thing. I don't know, maybe someone was having fun," Reynolds said.
So he logged online, and reality bit back. His account balance read $0. The correct amount.
PayPal admitted the error and offered to donate an unspecified amount of money to a cause of Reynolds' choice.
"This is obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understood this was the case," PayPal said in a statement.
Before this incident, the most Reynolds ever made on PayPal was "a little over $1,000" selling a set of vintage BMW tires on eBay.
So what would the would-be quadrillionaire have done with all that cash? "I probably would have paid down the national debt," he said.
Image Source: CNN.

In February of 2013, there was an equally curious article about PayPal at the neoconservative Website, World Net Daily (WND). The article was written by Jerome Corsi, a Boomer conspiracy theorist who has been accused of bending facts in his criticisms of the Democrats. The source is odd, and so is the report:
A former employee of one of the world’s largest international banks who has provided WND with more than 1,000 pages of evidence alleges the Internet giant PayPal and American Express are implicated in an international money-laundering scheme involving hundreds of billions of dollars. The whistleblower, John Cruz, was a relationship manager in the southern New York region for the London-based global bank HSBC.
“I found many accounts where PayPal and American Express were used as conduits through which hundreds of thousands of dollars were deposited or withdrawn from HSBC customer accounts in a pattern of suspicious transactions that should have been reported to legal authorities under various banking statutes, including the Patriot Act,” Cruz told WND. Neither PayPal nor American Express responded to WND email and telephone requests for comment.
Image Source: Socialist Unity.

A piece on HuffPo from May 2011 remarked that prepaid credit cards are commonly used to launder drug money and are reloaded with PayPal and similar services:
No one knows how big a role the cards play in moving the more than $20 billion in drug earnings that U.S. authorities estimate crosses from the U.S. to Mexico annually. Yet while anyone crossing that border with $10,000 or more in cash must declare it, prepaid cards are legally exempt.

Visually, the cards are barely distinguishable from credit or debit cards and the most versatile let users reload them remotely without having to reveal their identity, using cash, moneygrams, PayPal and other online payment services.
Some cards can process tens of thousands of dollars a month. Just load them up in Connecticut or Texas with, say, the proceeds of cocaine sales and collect the cash in local currency from an ATM in Medellin, Colombia or elsewhere in Latin America.
"I'm not so sure we have a sophisticated understanding of how to deal with this," said Richard Stana, who oversaw a report on prepaid access for the General Accounting Office, the U.S. Congress' research arm. "It's just a whole new way of doing business."
Then there was the PayPal goes to space idea, which I mentioned in a recent post:
“As we travel through space and explore new planets, we will still need to pay for life on Earth and out there…” There is no indication that he stopped ... to ask the obvious. Explore new planets? What new planets?
What new planets, indeed? Does it matter? The sooner we stop expecting to connect with reality as far as the economy is concerned, the clearer we will be about what is happening. It is not surprising that incidents like PayPal's clerical error occur behind the scenes in financial circles. Who can say what they really signify? What are three extra zeroes, or fifteen extra zeroes, on a computer ledger? None of it is real.

This is why the conspiracy theorists' ideas about the economy are wrong. For example, to believe a potential conspiracy theory about PayPal and $92 quadrillion, you would have to be very literal-minded and assume that there was something out there worth that amount of money that needed securing. To its credit, the Silicon Valley Mercury News actually realized this. What, out there, is worth $92 quadrillion? Perhaps the most sensible of its suggestions was that with $92 quadrillion, you could buy - or create - 1.37 million Bill Gateses.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mars Colonists Sought for 2023 Settlement

Image Source: Tech Cocktail.

The future is here. As in, now. The start-up Netherlands space colony group Mars One is hopping to the head of the line, past other Mars colonization projects. Their recruiting call is going out now, in the first half of this year, for Mars colonists to depart in 2023. This is a non-returning mission. You will live out the remainder of your life on the Red Planet. Training will begin immediately. The mode of transportation is the Mars One Dragon, carried by the Falcon Heavy Launch Vehicle, made by SpaceX, founded by Gen Xer Elon Musk.

The Mars One executive, co-founded by Gen X Dutch enterpreneurs Bas Lansdorp (an engineer) and Arno Wielders (a physicist), claims the whole project will be paid for by the fact that the entire process, from selection of the colonists to the launch and execution of the mission, will be carried out on Reality TV (Hat tip: Spaceports). Have a look at their names. They could go down in history.

The required attributes for colonists are pretty straightforward. You must be 18 years or older; in good physical and mental health; be resilient, adaptable and curious; have the ability to trust; and be creative and resourceful. It is projected to be the biggest media event in the history of the world. A purely private enterprise, it will bypass governments and all the 'political mumbo jumbo.' For more, go to Spaceports.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Private Spaceflight Watch: SpaceX Launches New Space Era

History has been made in the past few minutes. The launch of the commercially-made SpaceX Falcon 9 with the unmanned Dragon Capsule was successful. You can see a live feed (at the time of this posting) at the bottom of my post, here. See the Youtube video of the launch below the jump.

Welcome to the new era of private space exploration. Kate Sherrod has already written a sonnet to commemorate history being made tonight, here. Tweets and blogs cheered SpaceX on: see Stepto's blog here. Wil Wheaton tweeted: "Dear Humanity: You can do amazing things when you work hard, and you work together. Love, Wil." This is what it means to live at the turn of the Millennium: poetry written and circulated worldwide, at the very moment history turns.

2464 Dream (2010) © Chris Reccardi. Image Source: Boing Boing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Private Spaceflight Watch: Falcon 9 Rocket [Not] Ready to Launch

BBC reports on the launch of the unmanned rocket, the SpaceX Falcon 9, scheduled this morning for 4:55 EDT (in about 50 minutes from the time of this post):
California's SpaceX company is ready to make history by sending a capsule containing half a tonne of supplies to the space station.

It will be the first time the private sector has provided such a service.

The task is usually performed by the vehicles belonging to government space agencies, such as Nasa and Esa.

The unmanned Dragon cargo ship is due to launch atop SpaceX's own Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Controllers are targeting a time of 04:55 EDT (08:55 GMT; 09:55 BST), and despite some storms in the area in recent days, the mission team should get favourable weather conditions.

"There's no question - this is a historic flight," said SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell on the eve of the mission.

"There've been only four nations, or groups of nations, that have berthed or docked a spacecraft to the International Space Station: Europe, Russia, the United States of course, and Japan. So, we really stand in awe at having the opportunity to attempt this."
See another report at Wired and my earlier posts here and here. This test flight is known as the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demo Flight 2, and its official emblem is below (the four-leafed clover is a nice added touch).
Image Source: Wiki.

The goal of the mission is to have the Falcon 9, with its unmanned Dragon crew vessel dock at the International Space Station with the help of the Canadarm2 and bring supplies to the ISS once it is docked. It will also bring Earth-bound cargo back home.

Artist's rendition of the expected manoeuvre whereby the Canadarm2 helps the Dragon dock at the ISS. Image Source: NASA (2008) via Wiki.

Hobby Space provides links to the live streams of this event online:
Countdown is proceeding for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon at 4:55 a.m. EDT (0855 GMT).

Spaceflight Now also has this Q&A with Elon Musk, a gallery of photos of the Falcon 9/Dragon rolling to the launch pad, and a gallery of photos of F9/Dragon on the pad at Complex 40.
Other sites with coverage, webcasts, etc. :
/-- NASA TV - starts at 3:30 am EDT
/-- SpaceX webcast starts at 4:15 am EDT (8:15 GMT)
/-- Florida Today offers coverage starting at 3:30 AM EDT.
Here is the Spaceflight Now webcast:

Addendum (6:45 a.m., 19 May 2012): Due to problem with the fifth engine, the launch was cancelled and will be rescheduled to May 22 or 23. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

End of an Era: Discovery's Last Launch Today

NASA Tribute to Discovery with the insignia of all her missions.  Image Source: Wiki.

A spacecraft that has been vitally important to the history of human exploration is about to be retired.  Up to the last minute, it wasn't clear if the Space Shuttle Discovery would make her launch today.  First flown in 1984, this will be her 39th and final mission.  The Shuttle retires amid discussion that NASA's space program is giving way to private space firms, such as Elon Musk's SpaceX.  According to The Space Review, other companies in the running for significant commercial participation in the American space program are Boeing, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Private Spaceflight Watch: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX Dragon Crew Capsule.

Yesterday SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), the private spaceflight development company founded by Paypal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk, successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket into orbit at 2:50 pm EST.  This historic event clears the way for serious private space exploration, since Falcon 9 is the same launch system that SpaceX plans to use to take crews and cargo into Earth orbit on its Dragon spacecraft.