I thought this was a wonderful idea

Jeff Bezos is launching himself into outer space on 20 July. Great!

Then I learned that he’s planning to come back. Huge disappointment.

He’s saying that seeing the Earth from space changes your perspective on the planet and on humanity…while auctioning off seats on the pointless rocket ride for $2.8 million. Somehow, I don’t think his views will change much.


  1. dorght says

    Probably just wants to find those scattered areas he hasn’t yet purchased or exploited.

  2. PaulBC says

    🎵Bezo’s watching us from a distance.🎵

    I have a hunch that none of that new perspective is going to show up in the paychecks of Amazon employees.

  3. mailliw says

    From the article it would be more accurate to say that Jeff Bezos is almost going into space. As I understand it the boundary is usually considered to be 62 miles.

  4. PaulBC says

    mailliw@3 Former Google executive Alan Eustace is not even a gazillionaire and he did a free fall jump from the stratosphere. I’m not impressed at that either. What a foolish, pointless, and expensive risk to take.

  5. garnetstar says

    Um, do you think that Bezos is familiar with the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun? The point of it is, the gods, or whatever, punish hubris.

    My thought is, how well-tested is this rocket? All I’ve heard of these billionaires’ endeavors is that their rockets explode a lot. That happened to NASA at first too, but they took a few decades and figured it out, to occur less often, at least.

    It also says Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazon. He may well be, in a far more permanent way than he imagines. But, if he does return to earth alive, not being CEO won’t make any difference, Bill Gates actually seems worse after leaving Microsoft.

  6. snarkrates says

    Paul BC: “I have a hunch that none of that new perspective is going to show up in the paychecks of Amazon employees.”

    Well, in fairness, he is already regarding the planet from atop an ginormous pile of money, so his perspective is already altered.

  7. says

    Then I learned that he’s planning to come back. Huge disappointment.

    Rockets are occasionally known to explode. Especially on first flights.

  8. mailliw says

    “It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth. – and one day it will all belong to ME!”

    Insane cackling…

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    Isn’t this how Elysium got started?

    (Elysium wasn’t a “bad” movie, so much as it was “disappointing.” An excellent premise for a plot, but the dystopianism didn’t go far enough and the lead character should have been Latinx rather than yet another “white savior” like Matt Damon.)

  10. says

    I’ve seen this joke used on the Bezos story three times now. Every time I am reminded that Bloom County used it decades ago. (Can’t find the strip right now, but somebody with a newspaper tells Portnoy that NASA is planning to put somebody — Wayne Newton? — into space, and he expresses total approval for a panel, then visibly hesitates, and says something like “wait, you don’t suppose they’re planning to bring him back again, do you?”)

  11. R. L. Foster says

    I’m taking the minority, contrarian point of view. Aren’t all leisure and vacation flights essentially pointless? That trip I took to Europe before the pandemic outbreak was totally unnecessary. I did it because there were places I wanted to see. It was (mostly) fun. All that gas to get to the airport, all that jet fuel just to take me and hundreds of others across the Atlantic. Multiply that by the tens of thousands airliners that fly every transatlantic every year. Most of those resources were wasted if you think about. The same is true for all of the people who are now busting loose after being cooped inside for over a year. We’re going to spend billions on pointless trips. Disneyland, Caribbean resorts, cruises, that once in a lifetime trip to Machu Picchu, all unnecessary. But, but, but you might say, look at the mental and emotional health aspects. We need our vacations. All of the studies say we need time off. That’s undoubtedly true. Perhaps going into orbit is what Bezos needs. He’s so filthy rich he’s probably done everything else. The bird in the gilded cage. To be honest, if I had the money I’d be right there with him. I’d love to see earth from orbit. The whole thing would be exciting. Lift-off! Weightlessness. Maybe even a UAP through the windows. I grew up on the classic sci-fi novels. Many of their futuristic ideas still get my juices flowing. But, that’s me. One man’s viewpoint.

  12. PaulBC says

    R. L. Foster@15

    He’s so filthy rich he’s probably done everything else.

    Hopefully not hunting human beings on a private reserve. (“Everything” encompasses a lot and that one just popped into my head. Bad head! Bad head!)

  13. says

    Come on, PZ, get a grip. You’re complaining about people wasting $2.8 million on a joyride? Look at all the people who ride pointless roller coasters. Sure, the price per ticket is a lot lower, but in aggregate far more money is wasted on a mere thrill.

    Besides, shouldn’t we be happy for an overcompensating bald prick, emasculated by his wife in his divorce and enriched only by crushing his betters beneath his feet (think about it he already sits so high above his workers that rendering humankind literally invisible from height is practically an affirming symbolic ritual) to recapture that old magic by riding a phallic symbol (literal/figurative/metaphorical, take your pick) as it blasts off on a column of its own flaming splooge, only to run out at its peak and droop, limply, back down again towards inevitable senescence and death?

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Applying suitable technology to Jeff Bezos…. This makes me recall “I have no mouth and I must scream”. Skynet was a wimp!

  15. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    setting up to Star Wars against Elon Musk. both in court, over Trillion Dollar contracts and in Space shooting down SpaceX supply ship Dragons to the ISS.
    maybe setting up a mockumentary to sell on AmazonBooks

  16. says

    He’ll be shot into space… but then he’ll fall back.
    Star Trek’s transporter beam has a similar defect. On the up side, it makes Captain Kirk disappear. On the down side, it makes Captain Kirk reappear somewhere else.