Cooling Off

I tend to be a little more defensive of my friends than I am of myself, and can sometimes be a bit of a hot-head.  I was pretty offended by the cynics giving Dave their Walking Eagle award, but my reaction was probably over the top.  Brigham Young once supposedly said that “He who takes offence where none was intended is a fool.  And he who takes offence where it was intended is a double fool.”  So, I’ll try to grow up.

I still don’t think they deserve free advertising by being in my links section, but if they actually have relevant content, I’ll comment on it here in the blog.  I’m not blacklisting them by any stretch of the imagination, and they’re free to comment here if they so choose.

I’ll try to have something interesting and space related to discuss soon.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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11 Responses to Cooling Off

  1. Jon, I admire your latest post and as I said in my last comment on Cynics, while I cannot officially speak for the other three Cynics, I know for a fact that all four of us would be wildly happy for the success of Masten and the other entrepreneurs working and risking so much to not only fulfill your dreams but the dreams of so many of us space cadets (me included) and also for broader thinking folk, for humanity.

    Not having created Cynics but having been invited to particpate in it as one of the four, my own view is that we hold things up for the light of day and we do it in a cynical fashion, sometimes with humor, sometimes with more cynical negativity but we are the Space Cynics so expecting a Kumbaja moment from us would be unreasonable.

    That said Jon, I did a show yesterday with five participants for the upcoming Space Investment Summit 5 which will be in LA on Weds, Oct. 15. These summits are working hard to clear up the rhetoric, the false claims, the Kool Aid, the nonsense, all of what all of know floats around NewSpace and related communities all too often. We talked about it on the air yesterday, elevating NewSpace companies so that not only can they be in a better position to attract important outside the space industry professional capital, but also be taken seriously. So when claims are made for products and services for non existing vehicles with track records that are not yet supportive of the claims, well, a perfect target for Cynics. And exactly what the SIS is working hard to combat.

    Now you personally know that at least for me (I can only speak for myself), I consider myself to be friendly with you, Dave and Mike. And as I said, I think all of us would like to see Masten be successful.
    One thing I do not allow on the show and OSC did not do either and that is attack people, individuals, etc. But you did attack OSC and that was not justified in my opinion. OSC did exactly what the due diligence guys do at Space Investment Summit 5, a program that Masten has applied to for presenting its business plan. What did OSC do that was different from what any due diligence person would have done other than OSC has no forum other than a post on the Cynics Blog. He is not part of SIS 5 or any other space organization. In my opinion, you were very wrong to attack him personally. He was not even condemning Masten. In fact, the last paragraph of his Cynics post was as follows:

    “Look fellows, I know that developing a vehicle is difficult. I know that obtaining funding is difficult. I even know that you appear to have progressed along your plan. However, I also know that putting out BS like this does nothing to maintain interest in investment in space startups. In fact, it is counterproductive and misleading. Vaporware hurt the software industry, and vaporware will not get us to space. Tone it down.”

    This is hardly a condemnation of Masten at any level, just a request, perhaps plea, to clean it up with the rhetoric and false claims. And what he did is really no different from what I talked about on the show yesterday re SIS 5. By the way, Tom Olson was one of the guests on that show with Rex, Bruce, Robert and Paul.

    So Jon, cool heads need to prevail. Do not launch personal attacks and specifically, what you did was uncalled for re OSC. But hey, that is just my opinion. You might think about this and send the guy an apology. And remember, he did nothing different than what the due diligence folks would do re your SIS 5 business plan application assuming you put the same language in it that was on your website. By the way, a listener asked a question yesterday on just how due diligence was done on a company where the plan consisted largely of non-existent hardware, a vehicle or something that may exist in the future but not now and with a track record challenging credibility, even for the future. That actually was a good question and the couple of guys that answered it did an illuminating job on doing due diligence in that type of a situation. You might want to check out the show from yesterday.

    These are just my random thoughts to you. No matter you how read and understand them, I assure you, I am not attacking you. I am not attacking Masten. Please, do not make false assumptions.

    David Livingston

  2. Adam Greenwood says:

    Well . . .

    I checked out their blog for the first time to see if it was as bad as you were saying.

    And, unfortunately, the attitude, self-importance, and arrogance far outweighed the value of their commentary.

    Their attacks on Masten were dumber than dumb. It takes all of a minute or two of reading to figure out that Masten is working on a sub-orbiter but doesn’t have it in operation yet. Also, unlike the guys at Space Cynics, I have actually signed up for payload and as part of the sign-up process y’all made it very clear to me that this was *not* a “next week” kind of deal, or even a sure thing at all.

    The grammar nazis are apparently unaware that its perfectly acceptable English usage to put something in the present tense when you’re trying to make it more immediate and vivid to the listener. E.g. ‘so, I walk in and I say XXX and he says XX so I punch him in the mouth’

  3. Adam Greenwood says:

    “my own view is that we hold things up for the light of day and we do it in a cynical fashion, sometimes with humor, sometimes with more cynical negativity but we are the Space Cynics so expecting a Kumbaja moment from us would be unreasonable.”

    I don’t think y’all get a pass on bad manners and boorish behavior because of the name of your blog. What I’m seeing is that y’all are prepared to dish out the criticism but aren’t prepared to take it.

  4. Shubber Ali says:

    What I’m seeing is that y’all are prepared to dish out the criticism but aren’t prepared to take it.

    When i mix up a bowl of Kool-aid, by all means feel free to criticize. The fact that you placed your money in an escrow account instead of in any form of interest-bearing investment speaks volumes about your financial acumen.

  5. Shubber,
    “The fact that you placed your money in an escrow account instead of in any form of interest-bearing investment speaks volumes about your financial acumen.”

    Or maybe it speaks volumes about what he values. When a guy puts a downpayment for some product or service to be delivered in the future, people usually take that as a value judgement–not an example of their financial acumen.

    I’m grateful for guys like Adam who are willing to demonstrate their confidence in us like that. And this in spite of being able to clearly view our public record, and knowing how much more work we have to do before we can make good on that contract. They’re putting their money where their mouth is, and I appreciate it, even though we won’t actually get to touch a cent of that until we fly. Their confidence means a lot to me.

    Even though I often disagree with you, I’m also grateful that you and your colleagues take the time to comment over here.


  6. Shubber,
    BTW, could you mention to OSC that accusing me of demonstrating a lack of reading comprehension about who the Walking Eagle award was originally given to (when google cache shows that it was indeed originally said to be given to Dave) seems a little less than honest. Well, ok to be fair, I don’t know who originally put Dave Masten’s name up, or who changed it to Masten Space Systems, so it’s possible that it got changed before OSC noticed it, so potentially there’s no foul there. It’s still weak. But whatever, I’m over it.


  7. Adam Greenwood says:

    When i mix up a bowl of Kool-aid, by all means feel free to criticize

    And when you’re self-important pettifogging natterers I’ll also feel free to criticize, and in fact have done so and am doing so.

  8. Adam Greenwood says:

    Anyway, what I’m thinking is that I need to take up the project I mooted a few months ago of setting up Intrade accounts for various Newspace (and Oldspace) arguments that everyone has. That would probably be a lot more useful than all this bickering. I think Intrade has a free site now, so we could use that at first, and if that worked out Intrade would migrate a few contracts over to the paid site. Instead of bickering, we could make money off of each other, really test our ‘financial acumen.’ I have an Intrade account already set up that I use to play around with political predictions. If I’m a Kool-aid drinker, well, hey, then I can help pay spacecynics bills. If not, I’ll have a little extra cash for my Intrade hobby. Win-win.

  9. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    If you get that setup, I’ll post a link to it. It’s only fair to provide the cynics and accused kool-aid drinkers with a way to put their money where their mouth is.


  10. Adam Greenwood says:

    By the way, is the Order of the Kool-Aid Drinker the highest honor that can be conferred on a member of the Internet Rocketeers Club, or do I have something more to aspire to?

    Come to think of it, I guess I do. I’m lounging with the boys down at the Club, bragging that I’m OKAD, and along comes Dave Masten and he’s all like ‘Walking Eagle, baby.’ Shuts me right up.

  11. Adam Greenwood says:

    I don’t have the Masten Space markets done yet, but here is an example of what I’m talking about, where you can bid on the probability of the success of the Falcon 1 launch and on the probability that anyone will win the Lunar Lander Challenge this year. Its at Intrade’s free site so its all play money.

    I posted this link over at Nasaspaceflight and got a bit of action on both of them. My personal feeling is that both are underpriced right now, at 31% and 43% respectively, so I’ve been making multiple bids, and looking at the stats it looks like I’m not the only one.

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