Saving the Public Some Money

NASA has announced that the Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter and its moon Europa will be launched by SpaceX using a Falcon Heavy vehicle. The total contract award is for $178 million. The competing vehicle was NASA’s SLS. The estimated cost of the SLS launch would have been $2 billion.

The SLS has not flown yet, but the Falcon Heavy has several successful launches to its credit.

UPDATE—

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

—Everett Dirksen

A Helicopter on Mars

Nighttime temperatures at Jezero Crater on Mars can drop to -90 C which can damage unprotected electrical components and ruin batteries. However, the Ingenuity helicopter survived its first night after being deployed from the Perseverance rover on 3 April. If all goes well, Ingenuity will be the first aircraft to attempt powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Image Credit: NASA

Don’t Know Much About a Science Book

Uh, no, the failures in Texas are what happens as a result of the pursuit of unreliable “green” energy sources instead of reliable, science/engineering-based systems.

BTW, because I viewed the tweet on one of my engineering computer which has its clock set to Coordinated Universal Time, the timestamp on the tweet is +5 hours from Eastern Time. 0500 UTC is 12 midnight ET.

A Conspiracy Against Obsolete Technologies

When I was a kid back in the ’50s, my mother would occasionally shop at the A&P store at the junction of Natchez Trace and West End Avenue in Nashville, Centennial Park was across West End from the store, and my little brother and I would go across to the park and hang out in a playground. I can remember that there were street car tracks in the center of West End Avenue. The tracks hadn’t been used since just before World War II when the last street cars were replaced with buses.

Then, one day in the mid-to-late ’50s, they had repaved the street, and tracks were replaced with a wide pedestrian traffic island.

That was just one small part of the ongoing conspiracy to make it difficult to continue to use obsolete technologies. The next thing you know, they might start removing unused mailboxes from street corners.

Cultural Appropriation

I’d like to suggest that people who find my culture offensive should stop appropriating the things we have created.

I’m an engineer. In my culture we rely on certain facts of nature (as we understand them) being actually true. For example, engineers believe, based on the evidence, that 2+2=4, and we rely on the mathematical principles behind that fact in order to design and build things that people can use.

It’s come to my attention that there’s a bunch of wokies trying to sell the idea that 2+2=4 is not a universal truth but some sort of tool used to oppress minorities. (Note: Engineers are a very tiny minority group within humanity.) While I believe that the wokies are foolishly wrong in their worldview, they have the right to be wrong. However, I also believe that, given their worldview, they are acting immorally (if Morality is connected to Truth) when they appropriate my culture’s concepts and artifacts for their own purposes.

For example, if 2+2 can equal 5, then 12 percent can equal 22 percent. I picked those numbers because, to the extent that most of wokies pay income taxes, they are probably in the under $40k bracket. If they were withheld at the next higher marginal rate of 22 percent instead of the lower rate, they would have no grounds for complaint by their own logic. But most would surely complain.

Also, most, if not all, of the wokies I’ve encountered, seem to have cell phones, and cell phones use microprocessors which rely on the mathematical logic behind the truth of 2+2=4 in order to operate. Is it moral for them to be appropriating that artifact from my culture?

Well, that depends on how “moral” is defined. Morality is a body of standards or principles derived a particular definition of what is Good. If the definition of Good is connected with Truth, then what is moral may be quite different the if the definition is connected with Power. The wokies’ worldview is marxist and rooted in Power. For them, life is as O’Brien explained to Winston Smith: “The object of power is power.” Truth can be arbitrary for them.

IIRC, O’Brien was also a proponent of 2+2 being 5 or 3 or whatever it needed to be.

I don’t think that I would like to live in a world in which most of the power was in the hands of the wokies. Therefore, I propose this strategy—Don’t let the wokie win.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran five years ago today.

* * * * *

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) Good afternoon, Johnny. I’ve got some more work for you.

JOHNNY: Good. What’s up?

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) Apparently, The Grouch is running around filing false charges again.

JOHNNY: So?

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) You remember that letter that he claims is a forgery?

JOHNNY: Sure.

PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) We need to verify its authenticity. How can I get it to you?

JOHNNY: I’ll drive down and pick it up first thing tomorrow morning.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

What to Learn to Code

COBOL.

Yep, there’s still a substantial market for COBOL programming, and the Wuhan pandemic has resulted in a spike in the need. Of course, the State of New Jersey thinks they should be bailed out of their programming problem for free (by “volunteers”). Joseph Steinberg reports—

That’s what the State’s Governor, Phil Murphy, apparently meant today, when he said at a press conference that the State needed volunteers who with “Cobalt” computer skills to help fix 40-year-old-plus unemployment insurance systems that are currently overwhelmed as a result of COVID-19-related job losses.

Uh, no, Governor, your state shouldn’t get away with having its obsolete IT infrastructure saved by volunteers. “Winter is coming,” is not just a warning from a cable TV show. It’s also a part of Aesop’s The Ant and the Grasshopper. Winter is here.