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We’ll apologize when we’re wrong January 5, 2010

Posted by shubber in Uncategorized.
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See, see the determined sky
Marvel at its big crap brown depths.
Tell me, Karl do you
Wonder why the hairless cat ignores you?
Why its foobly stare
makes you feel dazed.
I can tell you, it is
Worried by your felgercarb facial growth
That looks like
A mold.
What’s more, it knows
Your frak potting shed
Smells of snot.
Everything under the big determined sky
Asks why, why do you even bother?
You only charm a baby’s dirty diapers.

As for Masten making the cover of Aviation Week – good for him.  Seriously.

As for those of you who think this “proves us wrong” somehow in our awarding of the Walking Eagle to MASTEN SPACE (and not Dave) back in 2008, kindly take a class or three in reading comprehension before your next visit to the magic kingdom known as the World Wide Web.

We gave them the Eagle, if you recall, for touting commercial capabilities/products/services IN THE PRESENT TENSE on their corporate website. And while they scored a great coup last year, those commercial capabilities/products/services STILL DO NOT EXIST.

Since i don’t expect we’ll receive an apology from those comment lice who inhabit other space websites, i’ll have to fall back on my emo space poetry.  And you thought Vogon poetry was bad…

Comments»

1. Thomas - January 5, 2010

Not to try and jinx Masten or anything…but wasn’t Venture Star also on the cover of AvWeek at one time??

Just sayin’…

tao

2. Karl Hallowell - January 6, 2010

I apologize. My attack on your starship was not authorized by the Klingon High Council.

All I can say though is that every time I’ve been redirected here from elsewhere, it seemed you were taking down someone. In hindsight that appears more observer bias than reality. So maybe in the future, I won’t empty the phaser banks into your shields.

Fundamentally, the problem with being a space cynic blogger is that your readership is exactly the people you have to target. They’re the optimists and dreamers. As a business model, this would suck as bad as any other pie-in-the-sky space project.

oldspacecadet - January 6, 2010

You are correct, but the Space Cynics blog is not a business. Thanks for the astute observation.

3. Dave Salt - January 6, 2010

[I’ve just posted this reply over at transterrestrial.com but repeat it here, just for completeness]

Shubber, I made it clear at the time that I considered the award an insult, despite the ‘rationale’ you guys gave.

You may also remember that I asked why Virgin Galactic weren’t also eligible for it but was told that, because they were backed by large sums of cash from a recognised investor, they were somehow seen as a ‘legitimate’ venture… though the same could once have been said about Kistler (and Iridium?).

I’m also a little disappointed that you use the term “comment lice” in your latest Space Cynics update, more especially because your co-bloggers are always going on about the lack of civil discourse from NewSpace proponents.

shubber - January 6, 2010

And we made it clear at the time why we think your perception of an insult is flawed at best.

If I recall correctly, and I do, Virgin Galactic had actually FLOW A PERSON TO SPACE two years ago. Small, but important, difference.

Your reference to Iridium and Kistler simply goes to show your failure to grasp the fundamental flaws that were inherent in both of their business models, which is surprising.

As for the term comment lice – when someone resorts to name calling on a 3rd party blog I feel perfectly justified in using that expression. To me that behavior is little different from the gate lice that inhabit airport boarding lounges who stand in front of the boarding ramp even though their section/group/level has not been called yet, thus blocking the way for those who actually were asked to board.

Dave Salt - January 6, 2010

Shubber, I’m well aware of those flaws you mention. My point was that, at the time, a significant number of people who considered themselves experienced investors did not (e.g. Robert Wang) and, as a consequence, committed somewhere between $400M-$900M to Kistler and over $3B to Iridium. Hindsight is, as they say, 20:20.

To assume that any of the NewSpace ventures does not have similar flaws should, at best, be seen as naive. However, it’s clear to me that some ventures hold greater potential for ‘fatal’ flaws, especially those that:
1) generate revenue by flying ‘high profile’ human cargo from the outset, thus exposing investors to potentially massive law suits if something goes wrong;
2) are based on technologies with potentially catastrophic failure modes that were not ‘recognised’ at CDR (e.g. that N2O can spontaneously decompose under certain conditions)
3) are based upon technologies that may have limited potential for ‘rapid turn-around’ and so limit the rate at which they can repay their investment costs.

Given this understanding, not maintaining an up-to-date web page seems a rather trivial metric by which to judge and then condemn a venture. As for not having yet flown hardware, that’s something they will all be guilty of at some point. However, I’ll note that the X-Prize flights were Virgin Galactic by virtue of just a logo; the venture has yet to fly the most significant components of its operational system and is probably as far away from generating revenue via its primary market as Masten is.

Thomas - January 6, 2010

I know both Dave Masten and Mike Mealling personally. I consider them friends. We all had a good laugh about it at ISDC last year.

Seems the only one who cares about all this is you.

4. Dave Salt - January 6, 2010

Actually, term maybe somewhat apt. Robert Burns wrote a poem entitled ‘To a Louse’, which contained the following lines:

O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An’ foolish notion

I’m sure you’ll say this works both ways, so I’ll let others be the judge of who’s notion is the more foolish.

5. Thomas - January 6, 2010

@Karl: Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam!

6. Truthinspacecadetland - January 6, 2010

Cynics, please give Dave Salt an Eagle award. We all can tell he wants it badly and his little puny ego has been hurt by being omitted from the honor of the Walking Eagle. For sure he will be eternally in the bosom of Cynics once you bestow upon him the honor he so richly deserves. Pleaes think about. I know I can’t recommend, I am not a Cynic but boy, Dave Salt stands out as a terrific candidate for this award.

7. anon - January 30, 2010

actually the more interesting thing will be to get the cynics take
on what is going on with NASAs new policy.

Thomas - May 25, 2010

I’m going to ISDC. I may try and file a report or two.

8. spacester - September 20, 2010

Nothing new in almost a year? No offense but it’s time to shut this website down.

shubber - September 20, 2010

why should we shut this down?
(a) it doesn’t cost us anything
(b) the issues we’ve covered are still relevant, as are our viewpoints

when we get the urge we’ll continue to post from time to time. But so far not much has changed in the space industry, as we predicted.

9. bussy boo - November 3, 2010

We of the alien race of American cynics salute you brave American spaced heroes! Yey heroes!


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