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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 24, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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something that is essential in our world if you think about the stability operations that happened in iraq and afghanistan that we're still in many ways engaged with. these are some of the more core questions about any social group is when do a group of individuals believe that they are a collective whole and what causes that to break apart. i don't think we have very good answers to that. certainly we don't have practical answers to help anyone who is trying to do something on the ground today. our hope is through developing these techniques we get new insights in that area, but also develop methodologies that scale across many more areas. for our mission at darpa, which is breakthrough technologies for national security, i think it's actually very hard to imagine an area that's more important to national security than understanding societal behavior. the fact that we have vast new opportunities told that i think is something we definitely want to tap into. >> fabulous. are there questions?
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all right. i think we probably have time for at least one, maybe two. >> with the incredible job that darpa is doing, do we need diux? >> it is an initiative in the defense department to try to connect the dod better to the commercial tech community, the first part of that activity is in the silicon valley area. i actually think this is a really important opportunity for the department. darpa is designed to be deeply engaged with the technical community. my 100 technical program managers are out in the world. they can't get their jobs done without talking to people in universities and defense companies, small companies and large. much of the rest of the operations of the department are jobs that keep them in their offices and talking to each
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other. secretary carter has underscored how important it is. i actually think it is a very important initiative and one we hope to see making great progress. [ inaudible ]. well, darpa has had a 60-year history. i think it is really important for many other parts of the department, more of the operational parts of the department in particular, to start tapping where commercial technology can make a big difference. >> these are special cases of a general phenomenon that's happening. it used to be pretty much all the day in the world was inside universities because we created it. now most of the day in the world is out there. it's in companies. it's in governments. the only way we can do our job, the only way you can do your
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job, the only way companies can do their job is to talk to each other, is to have way more connections than they had before. to have a treaty where companies can share their data without feeling privacy is violated is a really important topic for the politicians or for someone here to solve. >> well, i'm really sorry about this, but we are out of time. i would like you to join me in thanks our guests for coming. >> thank you. [ applause ] please welcome to the stage katie couric for the next segment.
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>> hi, everyone. good morning. nice to see you all. i'm katie couric. thanks for being hire. i'm looking forward to our conversation about philanthropy. joining me david rubenstein, who is the cofounder of carlisle group and a self-described patriotic philanthropist. he has taken an interest in preserving and owning some of the nation's most prized
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historical landmarks, wendy schmidt, a founder of its 11 hour foundation focused on wise use of natural resources among other endeavors. she is also the founder and vice president of the schmidt ocean institute. and peter cobbler, the immediate past chair of pancan, the pancreatic cancer action network and the chairman of the board of the cobbler foundation. welcome to all of you. great to see you. i apologize in advance. i have a terrible cold. let's start by asking a little bit about -- talking a little bit about the way you were raised. i know, david, you grew up as an old child in a jewish neighborhood in baltimore. your dad was a postal worker. your mom a stay at home mom. how were your ideas of
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philanthropy formed when you were a young man? >> while i wouldn't say my parents were against fill l philanthro philanthropy, they gave what they could to charitable things. i didn't get into this until later in life. don't make the mistake that i have. even if you don't have a lot of money -- philanthropy is an ancient greek word that means loving humanity. when i got money later in life, i decided to race through the latter part of my life in giving away the money. i'm now committed to giving it all away, but i wish i had been more involved in philanthropy as a young person. >> i knew you grew up in shore hills, new jersey. born in orange. your parents owned an interior
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design shop. you are the second of five children and athe only girl. was philanthropy something your family emphasized? what kind of values did your parents instill in you that might have helped kind of promote the notion of philanthropy later in life? >> i was raised to work hard. my grandparents were philanthropists of some note in their day. but our family was not really focused that way. i maybe different from other people in my family. i've had a different kind of life and certainly different opportunities. philanthropy came to me kind of a necessity after google went public. we had a responsibility to think about what do you do with this. how do you not just make contributions to things, but how do you help to help transform the world? that's the motivation. >> peter, i know that your
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grandfather and parents started the cobbler foundation in 1967. tell us the genesis of that foundation. >> my grandfather and father did very well in business. the jim beam bourbon was the name of the company. >> can i just say thank you to them? >> you and i together. they did pretty well. and they were very fortunate. the money from that was the origin of the cobbler foundation. fill l it was mainly in jewish interests. to me, two very strange things happened. what a strange thing to be born into a family where there was these assets and these foundations and where -- but the second strange thing that happened to me, which was very
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improbable, was death from pancreatic cancer in my family when i was a teenager. suddenly my father dmother diedn my grandfather died. then i was in the middle of two very unusual circumstances being linked to a foundation and being linked to a very terrible disease, which later in life i've tried to take on. >> you obviously got involved for extremely personal reasons in this cause. >> like in your family -- i know it's well known the suffering in your family and how you have tried to turn that suffering into something -- into productive channels. i personally and our foundation has also tried to make a difference in that way. >> david, i know that you have been incredibly generous. universities, hospitals, cultural organizations, but the majority has gone to something called patriotic giving. tell us what the definition of patriotic giving is. >> it gets more attention than
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the other things i do because not as many people are doing it. most of my money goes to medical research and education, but it gets a lot of attention because a lot of people aren't doing it. i'm trying to get more people to learn more about our history and our heritage so they can be better citizens. if they know more about our history, they can be more informed citizens. we can have a better democracy. that's a theory. i've bought history documents like the magna carter, the emancipation proclamation, where people can see them. by seeing them in real life, i think they may be inspired to read more about history and to learn more about it. it is designed to make these places more attractive and make sure people more go to them and learn more about the history. >> what inspired you to do that, to get into that area? >> like most things in life, it's by serendipity.
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i happened to be at a place where the magna carter was being auctioned off. i decided to buy it and give it to the country. then it led to buying other documents. when the washington monument had earthquake damage, i said i didn't want to wait for congress to fix it up. that led to other things. more and more people thought it was a good thing. and i tried to encourage other people to do it. the national parks service has $11 billion of unfunded needs, and i don't have that kind of money to do that. i'm trying to get other people to be involved in the parks service which controls the washington monument and the lincoln memorial. it is just something that i think is a good way to give back to our society. i came from very modest means. with my last name, i'm not sure in other countries i would have risen up to what i am today. >> and you have something called the mother standard. >> yes. when i was building my company,
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i'm sure my mother was happy, but she didn't call me every day and say you're great. you're going to make more money. this is great. when i started giving away the money, she started saying that's a good thing. you're finally doing something useful with your money. if you can make your mother happy, particularly if it is a jewish mother, it is a very good thing. >> meanwhile, wendy, much of your work has focused on awareness and research and programs, which i know are important to you, around preserving natural resources, environmental causes, overall sustainability. what was it about that arena that made you think this is where i want to invest? this is where i think i can make a big difference. >> we had to make a decision when we were making our family foundation what we were going to focus on. eric is very focused on technology and about how the world is changing.
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we met in the 1970s. since that time, everything we do is different because of the microprocessor revelation and becau the way we communicate and network. that model is so important. i looked outside and thought we need to use those tools. we need to look at a system that we inherited after world war ii that has transformed the world in very good ways, but has left environmental degradation behind. particularly when we look at the oceans. the oceans are so big, so vast. when my mother was born in 1931, there were 2 billion people on the planet. now we're almost 8. the pressure of humanity, the human footprint on the resources of the planet, is something we need to address today and understand how to live within the living systems that we can see. i don't know if you saw the tree
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of life article a couple weeks ago about where the human branch fits in. this is something darwin introduced. scientists have been looking at this other time. some berkley scientists came out with the newest tree of life based on the coding of dna. plants, animals, people are over here. the bacterial branch is quite large. the single-celled organism brarg branch is very, very large. when you look at the systems we live in, we're very, very small. what do we need? what do we need to preserve? what can we use? what do we need to regenerate in a more circular economy rather than a wasteful one? >> take me to a micrmicro level how deciding where the money is going to go and the criteria
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about making decisions about who is going to get what. >> i've had the opportunity to chair two organizations. one is the pancreatic action network. it has just surpassed breast cancer as the third leading cause of cancer death in america. sadly, there's not very much funding either from government or from the private sector. but it's juried. they don't make decisions arbitrarily. they respect one another's dedication and excellence. it's not specific to a particular university because, s as we know, universities have a preference for their own people. it's a way to work out that
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preference problem. the other organization, which i'm proud to chair, has been the bloom cobbler family foundation. that has also dedicated excellence. a little more risk taking because you can be more of a risk taker in a private foundation than you can be in a public corporation or than you can be in a public charity. we'll do cultural things, sort of like patriotic. we'll do health things. you get to take a little more risk in a private foundation, but excellence is still -- it's the mother factor, but it's also known as excellence. >> i know you helped fund stand up to cancer, an organization i started. the emperor of all maladies, which was ken burn's series on pbs. >> what stand up to cancer did for emperor of all maladies was
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to put cancer on people's -- to get it front and center. ken burns, brilliant filmmaker. couldn't be more proud than to have the cobbler foundation to help underwrite stand up to cancer and that brilliant documentary. >> wendy, what about you and david? when you're thinking about what you're going to place your donations and your work and your effort and your oversight, what are the things you're looking for in terms of the organizations that you want to support? >> well, you ask are they moving the dial. if we look at energy and climate centers and agriculture and human rights, we look for organizations that are going to be transformative. and we take the risks. risk is a huge thing.
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i think philanthropy can afford to take risks that government certainly won't take, particularly in the sciences. we've seen a drop of 40% or more in government funding for scientists since 2010. there's a huge role for us to play to step into doing that. you mentioned films. these are projects where we're very interested in involving the general public in some of these more abstract understanding about what's going on in the planet and to bring what is far away, or was when i grew up, something happening in the democratic republic of congo, into your consciousness. >> how do you measure success? >> first, i don't have a foundation. i do it all myself. i don't have a staff. >> can i interrupt you for two seconds? >> sure. >> it is interesting these two individuals do and you don't. i'm curious why not.
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>> i know what i want to do with the money. i write a check and that's it. >> saves you some on overhead. >> i'm afraid if i had a staff they would convince me to do what they want to do, so i just do it myself. i'm not critical of people who have different situations. probably at some point i should do something more professional. my standards are will my money make something happen that wouldn't otherwise happen, would my money complete something that otherwise wouldn't get completed, and do i have enough money and time to get something don't that wouldn't get done? i'm looking for things that i can actually see get done. i would like to see some progress while i'm alive. i'm 66 years old. i would rather see it while i'm alive. my goal is to kind of get things done while i'm alive, do things that have an impact, and that
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are measurable. do i see people getting some better use of the resource aye given? is life somewhat better for people? i don't have a profit and loss kind of metric. no one really does. all of us here could give away all of our money today if we took all the requests that we had because there's an infinite amount of good causes in the world. we could fill up our checkbooks. i get $50 million of requests a week. like most people in life, i like my ideas better than somebody else's ideas. 95% of the money i give away is something that i came up with. they might not be perfect, but i like my ideas better than somebody else's. generally, i like what i'm working on. i focus on it. i call people up and ask them if they will take the money as opposed to waiting for them to
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come to me. >> there's been a little bit of blowback about private individuals and philanthropy. in a 2014 piece in the new york times, for better or worse, the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shapeless by national priorities or by peere review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money. so i guess i think critics have a problem with this for a number of reasons. they say the money goes to elite universities at the expense of poor ones, that -- and that is not spreading the wealth literally, geographically, economically, racially among the nation's scientists. they say the social contract is at stake and it ignores basic science for, quote, a jumble of popular feel good fields like environmental studies and space exploration. i'm just curious what you think
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about some of these critics and scientists who are saying this isn't really great because it disincentivizes government and it makes for an unfair playing field. >> i'm jump in on that. like david, i once served in the executive branch of the united states government. i think the author has made some very good points. the numbers are much smaller than what the u.s. government can do. the u.s. treasury overwhelming in significance what an individual can do. also there's an element of fairness frankly. so i think the author is right. something that's juried or reflects the point of view of the american citizenry has enormous advantages. and philanthropy is wonderful, but it doesn't have that level of integrity.
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>> the atlantic wrote an article entitled, is philanthropy bad for democracy? thoughts on that, david? >> it sounds like that is written by somebody who doesn't have the money to give away. look, if you do anything in life, anything, you will be criticized. there's always a critic. there are 7.5 billion people on the face of the earth. trying to please all of them is impossible. if you're going to be frozen because you're afraid somebody will criticize you, you'll never get anything done. in the end, you have to make your own judgment. we have a small amount compared to what the government has. the government can do whatever it wants. getting decisions from the government is not that easy. fiphilanthropists can get something started and the government can catch up later. elite universities are elite because they're very good.
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they make enormous changes to our country. i think one of the greatest assets our country has is or highest education system, particularly the good public and private schools. they are the envy of the world. if we say to them don't give them money because they already have money, we'll be starving them a bit and they won't be the envy of the world. in the end, i'm not as concerned about these kind of criticisms. i'm more concerned about my mother than i am these people. >> i can also say i think the opportunity we have as philanthropists is to create new models. that's not going to come from government. we have a research organization that we have opened up to scientists around the world to share. we have research labs. we have a super computer. we have ship to shore communication and sicientists express their interest to be on these cruises.
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this is transforming the practice of marine science and maybe government will follow. the point is we need good reference points to develop good policies. >> are you pretty optimistic that the good data and the results of philanthropy will in fact change public policy, because all the fill l-- philanthropy can be destroyed by bad policy? >> wealthy people who have made money are not all that smart and they'll have a worse policy for the government by people who are not financially successful. if wealthy people have given away money, it's they do have s intelligence, they do have some ideas that might make the country a slightly better place. on the subsidy issue let's suppose we eliminated the subsidy for charitable deduction which is motivating a lot of people to give away money, we give away more money in this country than any other country
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per capita, but i think actually most of the philanthropists in this country would give away largely the same amount of money they're giving away now because what can you do with the money? you can't be buried with it like the pharaohs were buried with it. >> you said you don't want to be the richest guy in the cemetery. >> i don't. so if the charitable deduction were eliminated i don't think it would appreciably change the wealthiest people's giving away money. they have to give it away. what are they going to do with it? it may change other people's -- and i suspect that deduction won't be eliminated. but clearly i think it does motivate some people to give away money but i think for the largest philanthropists in the united states they're not motivated by the tax deduction. >> without disagreeing with wendy and david let me say something on behalf of government funding particularly for science. it was franklin roosevelt who stashted the national cancer institute. richard nixon and subsequent presidents over the last two generations that have accelerated funding for cancer, i believe vice president joe biden is now the leader of a major project called moonshot
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project which we hope will make it through congress. if the united states government gets behind something in the sciences, and today you're having somebody from nasa, it is spectacular what the results can be. so we can admire philanthropy, and i'm so honored to be part of that world and to be here with wendy and david, but the federal gets there, boy, it's historic. >> well, to that end, peter, are you worried that somehow the government will be let off the hook or disincentivized to do more if in fact we see an increase in private philanthropy going to various issues and causes? >> it depends. that's not the favored answer. but it depends on the engagement of citizenry. if citizens get involved and ask their elected legislators or the next president to do this, they will do it. our group as one example in 2012 pancreatic cancer action network there were 10,000 bills
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introduced. only 200 passed. one of them was ours to instruct the national cancer institute to start a program, a framework to take on pancreatic cancer. it can be done, but people can't sit back and watch tv and tweet. they've got to really get involved. >> how important is your philanthropic efforts and the things that you've done in terms of your legacy? obviously we know how your mom felt. but for you personally, what does it mean? >> well, obviously, when you think you're doing something to make the world a slightly better place, you feel good about yourself. we're only on this earth for a very short period of time and all of us want to feel we're doing something to make the world a better place and it's not clear that just by making more money you're making the world a better place so i think i feel better what i've done the last couple years thaun i did in the previous 20, 30 years just making the money but everyone has to make their own judgment of what makes them happen and i what makes them feel self-satisfied. but i think i'm very happy with it. my biggest regret is i'm 66 years old and i'm not going to
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have another 66 years to do what i now enjoy doing. >> what has given you the most satisfaction of all your efforts? >> well, i guess it's probably the feeling that i get very often wherever i am i get people in this country coming up to me saying thank you for what you're doing to help our country in many ways and while what i'm doing is very modest people feel giving back to the country is a good thing to do. i guess it's a pleasure out of hearing from people i don't really know so well about their pleasure at what they see i'm doing and hopefully they're going to be motivated to do the same. >> what about you, wendy? what's the difference between recognition and legacy and -- >> i would answer that by saying i believe we are living through a revolution right now. we may not recognize it but we are. and we are going to end up making things differently. we're going to use resources differently. we're going to see enormous opportunity in front of us if we can seize this moment. i'm very focused on the transformation of the systems we live in that can create a much
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healthier world. products that are healthy for people. practices that are healthier for people. and for the environment around us. we need to move away from the systems of the last century and invent new ones. i'm very focused on innovation, and i'm sure that will continue into the future. >> and do you think that will be your legacy, helping this transition? >> i would love that to be my legacy. yes. >> and peter, obviously, you come from a family from really instilled these values. i'm curious how you're doing that for your children and how all of us, regardless of our means, can sort of instill those values of philanthropy to our children. >> i hope i've instilled them. there's no one more proud of their sons than i am. i have a lawyer son who's a public defender and does philanthropy as classically defined, not as a foundation director. and i have another son who's a surgical resident and i'm hoping that he will one day be using his -- at johns hopkins and i'm
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hoping thael one day be using his skills to do medical philanthropy. one other point not covered today, much less glamorous, much more about nuts and bolts, patriotic environment, cancer, all important but one aspect of philanthropy we really need in the country now is more nuts and bolts, direct services. a lot of people in the country are really suffering. inner city, rural, opioid addiction, lots of things. the more money that can be given to direct services so clinics can take care of people medically, food for people really hungry in the country. that's a subject for another day. >> now, we were talking about that, my colleague and i on the way down from new york, and we were saying some of these less glamorous causes. glamorous in quotations. sometimes don't get the intention and the funding. so maybe we can -- maybe you all can make them glamorous. david. >> i don't know about that, but the question you addressed earlier. what do you do with your children?
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if you're fortunate enough to have a fair amount of money and you don't give it all away or you die before you give it all away, your children have a fair amount of money, what are they supposed to do with it? and trying to instill in children a philanthropy and a philanthropic gene is important. at the give and pledge meetings much of the conversation we have amongst people who sign the giving pledge is whether or not you should give your children their own foundation. how do you get them involved in philanthropy? how do you make sure you don't spoil them but also teach them about the importance of philanthropy. it's a very complicated subject and very few people have figured it out. i don't say that i figured it out perfectly either. and i still struggle with how much money do you give your children, when do you give it to them and how much freedom do you give them to give it away and do you guide them? these are complicated subjects. fortunately we're in the position to be able to deal with it but it's a subject that hasn't been satisfactorily resolved by anybody. >> what about you, wendy? you have two girls. tell me about their role in philanthropy. we're almost out of time. in fact, we've been out of time. sorry, you guys.
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we're almost done. but what kind of lessons have you tried to show them or do you kind of want them to follow your example and what you do? >> i think that's up to them. this is relatively new in their lives. i've only been working at this for a decade. so they are growing into adulthood and they are watching what we do. and they're involved as observers. and hopefully practitioners at some point. but david raises all the same issues that we'll all face with the legacy. >> that may be for our next panel another day. thank you all for being here so much. david and wendy ledder, thank you so much. we're going to take a break and be back in 15 minutes. >> thank you very much. >> thanks. the libertarian party is holding its national convention this weekend in orlando, florida. c-span will have live coverage
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when presidential candidates hold a debate saturday night at 8:00 eastern. then on sunday morning the party chooses its presidential and vice presidential nominees. that starts at 9:45 a.m. eastern. so far the libertarian party is the only third party that's on the national ballot in all 50 states. >> madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states -- ♪
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we now return to the "washington post" transformers summit. for a look at commercial space travel and the impact of online communities. in this portion nasa administrator charles bolden and other space leaders share their thoughts on what commercial space travel will look like. the ceos of twitch and reddit discuss how their sites have changed how people communicate online. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> achieving a goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> four, three, two, one. zero. we have a lift-off. lift-off on apollo 11.
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>> the space race inspired a generation of scientists and innovators. it's contributed to immeasurable technological advance that's have improved our health and well-being from satellite navigation to water purification, from aerospace manufacturing to medical imaging. this exploration will once again inspire wonder in a new generation, sparting passions and launching careers. >> my name is chris not davenport. i'm a reporter at the "washington post." our next panel is about space and particularly commercial space. it's a really interesting time right now where too many people i think when the shuttle retired in 2011 they think there's not that much going on but in fact there's so much going on at nasa and in the commercial sector, enough probably to fill a book for one of our panelists here. let me introduce everyone here.
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next to me is charles bolden, who's the nasa administrator. we have julie van creek, the vice president of aerospace and launch at rocketdyne. andy weir of "the the martian," and george whiteside, ceo of virgin galactic and the spaceship company. all of these people are involved in space in various ways but something extraordinary is going to happen in a year or two, administrator bolden, and i want you to talk to us about it. we're going to have a launch from a government site at kennedy space center or cape canaveral. we're going to launch nasa astronauts to the international space station. but they are going to be launched on a commercial vehicle. >> absolutely. >> this is a very big deal. how did this come about? >> it's a huge deal. and it actually started back in 2003 after we lost "columbia." and long story short, the decision was made -- recommendation was made to the
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president at the time to phase out of the space shuttle for a number of reasons. one, we wanted to explore. and the shuttle was a low earth orbiting vehicle. but we felt that nasa had worked with our industry partners long enough and that they were fully capable of providing transportation for cargo and crew to low earth orbit. so we struck out. we didn't invest in commercial crew initially. we were kind of lukewarm to it. president obama provided 9 impetus. he said we're going to do it when he spi came into office. we started in earnest and now we're a year, year and a half away from launching american astronauts from u.s. soil. and that's going to be incredible. >> but can you take us back to that early point? because to have even cargo and to rely on the commercial sector in that way, that was a really sort of bold and daring bet. did people tell you you were crazy? >> yeah. but that's okay. i get told i'm crazy all the time. we talk about -- andy may not know this. we talked about mars when i first came in, and that was not
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very popular in 2009. that was sort of a verboten topic here in washington, d.c. for reasons beyond my belief, but it was not until the president actually said okay, this is what we are going to do. and he did it in what i consider to be a major space policy address to the nation, to the world at the kennedy space center in april of 2010. and nobody paid any attention to it. but that was when he gave us two challenges. one was to put humans on an asteroid by 2025. that's still a strong challenge. and put humans on mars in the 2030s. so we're well on the way to doing both of those things now. >> i want to yum top george for a minute at virgin galactic, which is sort of different than a pure commercial entrepreneurial venture. backed by of course richard branson and part of this what's called new space where you've got elion musk and jeff bezos and sir richard as well. what he wants to do is create
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the world's first commercial space line. i just like saying that. >> so do i. >> it's amazing. talk to us a little about what the vision is and what you're going to be doing. >> what we want to do at virgin galactic is to open space up to the rest of us. and i think that's an inspiring thing. an interesting thing is do people know how many people have ever been to space? just guess. >> about 600. >> you can't answer, andy. >> administrator bolden might be able to -- >> nobody on stage can answer. anyway. the answer is about 550. and i'm sure you were about to say that. which seems like a remarkably small number given that we've been going to space for 50 years. what we want to do is break that open and provide the opportunity to travel into space to people but also to give rides to this new category of satellites called small sflooits satellites because that's a really
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interesting area. and we think by opening up that experience to more people and to more satellites the benefits of space can accrue down to earth and that's what we're hoping to do. >> can you talk for a minute as a leader in the entrepreneurial space that we're seeing, you know, i wonder if we're going to look back at this time in 10, 20 years from now and say this was really an extraordinary time when all of the space flight that nasa and the government's done bleeds over into the private sector. >> you know, i think it is an extraordinary time. and i think it's due -- i think a lot of credit goes to administrator bolden and the president but also the congress and others for taking smart moves to open up innovation in the american launch industry. and the reason why it's important is because we're getting started on a cycle of innovation that should feed on itself over time. that is to say, hopefully we can get the price lower to space access that then leads to more
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activity in space, which then drives lower cost, and he with start getting on this wheel of innovation. and that's what's so exciting about this with the reusable launches of spacex and what we're hoping to do and julie's hoping to do. all these things i think will have hopefully a cycle to them that drives innovation so that we actually end up in a place, you know, ten times cheaper, 100 times cheaper in the future than where we are now. >> i should note, too, there's a side goal of this panel, and that's to provide andy with material for his next book. >> actually, i did -- i did an analysis once. i presented it at a convention in the bay area. but basically, i said what if the commercial space industry had the same overheads as the modern commercial airline industry? so the commercial space industry is in its infancy, and it's just getting started. and it's -- you know, it's an extremely expensive venture. it costs a lot of money to work
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out these technologies. but i thought, okay, what if it ended up like having the same efficiency as the modern commercial airline industry, which has had like, you know, decades and decades of competition and like refinement and stuff like that. and it worked out. i said i needed some numbers to work with. so i said like, well, let's say they have the same fuel overhead ratio. in other words, what percentage of all the money that a commercial airline makes, how much of that do they spend on fuel and how much do they spend on everything else? and it works out to be pretty much across the board every commercial airline company spends between 16% and 17% of all the money they make on fuel. so you map that forward and you say like okay, let's say that were the same for the commercial space industry. then you start to get down to freight costs in the range of like between $30 and $50 a kilogram to low earth orbit which is unthinkable to us
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today. >> tell everybody what it is today. >> oh, it's thousands. thousands of dollars per kilogram. >> like $20,000 to $50,000. >> yeah, well, the falcon 9 is -- i think it's less than 10,000 per kilogram. but if the falcon heavy is successful, then it will be -- that will be the most efficient non-subsidized price l.e.o. at about $1,600 per kilogram. >> falcon heavy at spacex is a big rocket they're building. i've heard you say before, andy, that i think you started writing "the martian" before the sort of new space movement really kind of took off and that if you were going to write the book again you might include some of that. is that true? >> that's definitely true. and also -- well, i'm not 100% sure on that because when i wrote "the martian" the way i -- that's my guy. the way i wrote it was like -- my job is to entertain.
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like that's my only focus, my only goal when i'm writing a book. it doesn't have to be 100% realistic or anything like that. when i was writing "the martian" i shamelessly took advantage of people's nostalgic feelings for the apollo era. sought aries program in the book is very similar in feel and style to the apollo era program. in real life i'm sure our first manned mission to mars will have -- probably everything will be put into low earth orbit by commercial space industries via government contracts. i think it will be a large multinational effort. it won't look anything like it looked in the movie. >> so julie, aerojet rocket dyne makes so many of the systems and components that go on these vehicles. you guys are really pushing the edge in terms of the innovation and technology, which is what sort of today is all about. things like solar electric propulsion, another thing i like saying. so blow our hair back. give us a sense of what you guys
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are working on that's really cool and how it fits into all this. >> well, we're working on -- like you said, we support government, we support commercial, and we do primarily propulsion, which is engines, big engines, motors, those type of things as well as power. neat things we're work on today, we're doing ion propulsion, which is a form of electron propulsion and it reduces the mass. you talk about bringing the cost down. everything we throw off the planet now has to go on a rocket that costs quite a bit of money. sought smaller you can make it's cheaper it gets. we have solar electric propulsion that will be putting on these next missions, working the technology on nasa contracts and internal. and it will half or 1/10 the size depending on how we do that. it looks like you see the blue glow from the old star trek, it looks just like that and it is like that. so we're working on -- we're printing rockets now. we're doing 3-d printing of whole rockets. and a number of people are doing
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it p and the hard thing -- >> does that mean i can illegally download a rocket? >> you know, you -- well, we probably shouldn't talk about this. rocket technology's still protected. >> but it gets to that. you get a model and you can do that. the really big ones you can't do yet. but you can certainly dot smaller ones. we talk about the small sats. we can print a whole cube sat propulsion system in one pass. and those are things that bring down not just the cost of the product. they're more efficient. they bring down time. and all of this just continues to fuel the cycle as george was saying it. it's really a transformative time. we're building off the things we put in place for the last few decades, but now we can actually take them that next step. >> andy talked about what he thought the martian would be like. you know, with commercial space available. and he's absolutely right. and if you look at what nasa's doing today, a big part of my life is spent growing
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international partners, looking out for what we call non-traditional partners, countries that want to be spart of the sfas program but either don't have the financial resources or don't have the technical knowledge but they have other things they can contribute. working in partnership with commercial space, commercial entities has been incredible. nasa has never built a big rocket. and that's a misconception. julie's been building rockets for nasa since she was a kid. but that's just the way it was done. but they were built under contract where we own the rocket. we don't own the rocket anymore. we buy a service. and that's what george is talking about. so if i want to send my astronauts to space i say look, i want to send four astronauts, a crew of four, and i talk to spacex and boeing today and they say okay, we've got a vehicle for you. each of them. the big thing is we have two. because competition is absolutely critical. if we go down to one there's absolutely no competition. what george and his community is doing is giving us competition that gets the price down.
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it's giving us resilience, which allows us to do what we did two years ago when we lost three vehicles boom, boom, boom. we lost a spacex vehicle, we lost an orbital cargo vehicle and a russian vehicle. under ordinary circumstances that would have put us dead in the water. we didn't lose a beat. the japanese had a vehicle, the europeans had a vehicle and in the time they were flying ow american partners and the russians were getting themselves back on their feet, so we're back to normal now. >> so when you stood up those programs are now flying leo, low earth orbit, just to the international station about 250 miles or so above the earth. but these entrepreneurs, they think big. elon mus k and richard branson. elon's talking about going to mars. >> he is. >> i wonder does that put him in competition with nasa? >> no. >> explain to me. >> it is not a competition at all. and i think most people in the audience are quite aware that we recently -- or spacex recently announced that they were entering into a partnership with
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us for what they call the red dragon. what he's looking at that we want. we look at them coming back and landing on a barge or coming back to the cape and landing on a mat somewhere. that's what we call hypersonic or recei or supersonic retropropulsion. we're not investing in that but we don't need to if our commercial partners are doing it. we talk about reducing the cost to the taxpayer. if spacex can land a vehicle on mars, that's one of the most critical challenges to us, is what we call entry descent and landing. how do you get big masses on the surface of mars? that is all good information that we need. and it means we don't have to do one, two, maybe three tests we off to do if nasa were doing it all along. >> the trucking analogy, it keeps coming up over and over again and makes sense. it's like hostess makes twinkies but every grocery store in
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america, they need to deliver twinkies to every grocery store in america. clearly hostess to schget to work inventing a truck. no. you let other people invent the trucks. you make them a truck, then they'll buy the truck. >> i think the complexity of going to mars, when you look at all the things you have to do to keep humans alive and have them there, you're going to need a lot of trucks. there's a lot of stuff to take and there's room for -- no single entity is likely to do it. it's going to be a collaboration of a number of both foreign as well as commercial. nasa i think is going to take all of that to really achieve that. >> or you can send people you don't really like. >> one-way mission? yeah. don't bring anybody with them. >> i'll tell everybody who has watched the movie "the martian," it is fantastic. but you need to go back and read the book because when you find is mark watney and his crew didn't land on mars and have all this stuff land with them. they had been building that up
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over a period of decades. and that's exactly what nasa's doing today. we've been flying what we call precursors. so they're lead things that we need to do on orbit satellites for navigation, communications, re relay. landers that can go out and survey. we've been on mars 20, 30 years. >> wasn't it just this year maybe where they selected about 50 potential human landing sites? >> i'm not sure the number but we hay big where we came up with potential landing sites. looking at where's the water. still follow the water. you can't do that. you can't make that determination if you don't have orbiting imageers. and that's what we've had with the europeans and ours. now even the indians. so when you talk about non-traditional partners, they were incredible. first time ever that somebody
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had attempted to go to mars and gotten there on the first attempt. we work with them. we feel that we contributed to their success. and that's really, really, really important. >> mongdeleon -- i can't pronounce it. >> you can call it mom. mars orbiter mission. >> mongleon. administrator bolden, you've been -- >> it's charlie. >> charlie. nasa's been doing this for a long time. and you've got now these new entrants, new innovation, new money, disrupting the industry. i wonder, george, if you could talk a little bit about, because you work for charlie as his chief of staff. a little bit about the cultural differences between the sort of ethos at a place like virgin or blue oirnlg or spacex versus nasa. how are they different? how are they similar? >> charlie is the captain of an aircraft carrier.
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>> we turn slow. >> and it's an amazing organization that has a lot of different capabilities. what the new companies are dpog are trying to do one or two things well. i think it's the most exciting time to be a young aerospace engineer than in decades. and the reason i say that is because there are so many different opportunities, whether it's inside nasa or at virgin galactic or in some of these other companies, julie's, where young and older and middle-aged, all kinds of engineers, can climb on board and get involved in a real way with real hardware that gets built quickly. we've got some of these new machines as well. what they can do is just spectacular. whereas before maybe you go work
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inside some company and work on a bolt for five years or something now you can build whole subsystems and do that really quickly. by the way, we're hiring if anybody -- >> so are we. >> it's something i'm required to say in every appearance. >> we're saving money for the taxpayer. >> i think the key thing is that sense of innovation and that no matter where you are you have to move quickly and i think that's a great thing to have embedded in our community now. i think charlie said it really well. competition and innovation is what america's great at. and to have that inside of our aerospace community, it's not easy to design the entry conditions for that from a policy perspective. but i think we're doing pretty good right now and hopefully we can maintain that spirit as we go forward because we're going to innovate more if we do. >> andy, i'm wondering, from your standpoint because you're somewhat of an outsider but
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you're very familiar with it, with nasa and the commercial space. if you had charlie's job, what would you do differently? i'm promoting you. >> first off i'd probably drive nasa into the ground. i think charlie's job takes a certain amount of skills i don't have. if i -- well, if i were king of nasa, i guess, if i had even charlie has to work with a whole bunch of people, but if i could just make edicts and have things go the way i wanted, i would concentrate on the commercial space side, get as much of my money, nasa, me, my money, me, into the commercial side as possible because they will very quickly drive down the price to l.e.o. and then that makes the extra -- the sis lunar and mars-related missions affordable and brings the price point down such that it fits in nasa's
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budget rather than having to go to the hill and ask for more money. in terms of the first mars mission i would go a little non-traditional. i would -- the biggest benefit to having an afrns on the surface in terms of science is that an astronaut has a brain and that an astronaut doesn't have a five to 20-minute layncy in communicating what he or she wants to do on the surface of mars. i think the very first humans to mars area of mission i suspect will be a whole bunch of rovers on the surface of mars and humans in orbit controlling them. >> what do you think? >> he's absolutely right. when you talk about visioning -- and we don't talk about a lot of stuff because you get in trouble, to be quite honest, if you go too far ahead because people say, well, as nasa is a government agency you're just not organized. well, we are. you've got to be thinking 30, 40, 50 years out. and andy is right.
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i tell people all the time the very first things on the surface of mars are going to be robots. think about what we do for american forces today around the world. we don't send soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines often into a very hot area first. we try to get in and make the environment safe for them using robots or whatever. >> we send missiles in first. >> but i imagine there's going to be a fleet of robots, maybe humanoid. they don't have to look like humans. they're going to establish the habitat. they're going to go in because with 3-d printing we can put a fleet of robots on the surface of mars. we may find based on what we know about the radiation environment that we want to go underground rather than have huts on the surface and get blown away in the wind that doesn't exist. but that was a critical part. i tell my wife, it's a movie. okay? very, very important part. but it may be that robots dig under -- you know, go
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subterranean and establish the habitat. anybody ever do, you know -- build houses for charitable reasons, you don't go there, there are no 2 by 4s on the lot. there are prefab structures sow get eaves and walls. and that's what we're going to do on mars. but we're going to print, it i think. >> also i was just saying in addition to that in terms of the pure science and analysis is humans in orbit controlling robots on the surface gives you a zero latency communication with those robots and it's basically like driving a remote control car instead of what they're doing right now, what are we going to tell the robot to do today? if the roeblt issues a decision point it has to stop. now it's just going to be like -- >> you don't have to tell it the night before. you want to be able to have a human in orbit or on phobos or demos. >> some people don't even think we have people in space right
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now. but we're on the way to mars now. we're building the systems that can lift things off right now, the capsules. again, there's a lot of different ways to do it but the country's putting in fl ing iti that infrastructure right now and it's a lot closer than you think and we will launch in a couple years. again, the plan will be just like you said, put stuff around it and go control from up -- circling mars first before you go down, but it's within our reach. it's not that far away. >> there are a lot of technologies. the one that stands out to me, charlie, it's what's on the international space station right now. the beam. this is a habitat thaex pands out. it's going to be tested while on the station. and they have plans for bigger ones. do you see the day when the international space station is replaced or there are other stations -- >> i don't see the day. it's inevitable. it's it is a human-made structure that has a lifetime. and today we think it's maybe
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2028. so we are working feverishly to help george and others build this low earth orbit infrastructure that is commercial so that nasa doesn't have to invest taxpayers' money in maintaining -- building and maintaining this low earth orbit infrastructure. that's the depot from which we're going to go to deep space. but that should not be nasa. should not be government. commercial entities have the full capability to do that today and that's what we're looking at with a lot of our -- we go out and ask for bids and ideas. we're going therefrom there. >> the inflatable habitat, that's absolutely critical because for the first time now we'll be able to escape the tyranny of the launch vehicle diameter. that's basically what it comes down to. right now everything that's in space has to fit inside of the launch vehicle. but if you have some big inflatable thing you get an awful lot of volume for your surface area. >> when you think about space, we talk about launch and space
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tour and habitats. but one of the biggest things that's happening now is this small sat, cube sat revolution. you think of satellites you think they're just massive. but now they're developing satellites the size of a shoebox. and i know aerojet is doing a lot of this. talk to us about that and what you guys are working on. >> we're actually printing entire subsystems like that. we're using typically satellites have always used toxic propellants too but we're using green propellants. we developed in collaboration with nasa a new kind of propellant that can be around all the timeunlike a lost propellants we have to fly today. it is revolutionary -- revolutionizing things because the smaller the mass the smaller the launch vehicle. and as you do that you drive down costs. not just the product is cheaper because it's printed but the launch vehicle's cheaper. you get into that cycle which is going to be necessary to have true commercialization. so it's an interesting time. i've been in this industry a
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while. and there is -- like charlie said, the industry does build a lot of the stuff for nasa. but it's been under a different kind of model. now many of these things are mature enough now that they can be purchased as services. so it's cool to be part of something that's transforming like this. nasa can still do and sponsor the really hard stuff and the new technologies, but then you're starting to migrate over. nasa pioneered the technology back in the '90s. mr. bigelow picked it up. and it's amazing what he's doing there. >> that's the great way this can work. you have -- >> when you talk about small sats or cube sats, when you talk about a revolution, i don't know whether there's anybody out there who has a son or a daughter who goes to st. thomas moore elementary school in northern virginia, first elementary school to send a spacecraft into space this week. >> elementary school? >> elementary school. it was launched off the
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international space station. it was among a lot of cube sats that was sent to station on a probably orbital or a spacex vehicle because we have room to do that. so there's an elementary school in northern virginia that can now brag about my spacecraft is up there doing stuff. and once you get that into kids -- i did science fairs. my seventh grade science teacher turned me on to science fairs, and i never looked back. i can guarantee you these kids at st. thomas moore, they are never going to be told we can't do that because they're going to say when i was in elementary school i made a satellite. what do you mean you can't do that? >> can't top that. >> elroy jetson. >> this is an area where nasa doesn't get enough credit because the iss and to a certain extent ames and other centers have really pushed the ball forward on the small sat front. and through iss has been sort of seeding the small sat market.
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but you can't launch into all the different orbits frichlt ss. what we'll able to do with our vehicle launcher 1 is to put the satellites into other orbits. but what i think is interesting is the u.s. is now leading a new area which is the small satellite sector and you know, we're going to see tremendous growth. the geostationary -- the number of geostationary satellites getting launched into orbit isn't really growing right now. but you're going to see this huge growth in small satellite constellations over the coming years that will establish essentially a new information skin for planet earth. that helps us with navigation and communication and weather and remote sensing. i think it will be eventually a permanent new skin around the planet. a lot of that is being catalyzed by the work that was done inside nasa labs and now inside the national lab at iss. >> and you're talking about
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hundreds if not thousands of small satellites in orbit swarming around -- >> yeah. we have as a customer a company called one web which has some offices here in d.c., and they aspire to build the initial deployment is about 800 satellites, which will bring basically broadband connectivity to everywhere in the world. >> just a note on cube sats. we keep usiing different terms. i say cube sats. they're basically an idea whose time has come. and i think the main reason is because as always the space industry takes advantage of the knock-on effects of unrelated industries. the reason cube sats are possible is because of your cell phones. the minute churization of computer technology because of the market demand for people to have these, these can absolutely be the brains of a cube sat. and before -- just even go back
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in time like 15 years, before mobile phones had to be like stand-alone computers, before smartphones. even the smallest, most compact computers were these clunky laptops. so that's -- this is why it's great to take advantage and leverage existing technology rather than reinvent the wheel in every single way, which was -- i heard people from nasa say the apollo program was the best and worst thing to ever happen to the space industry. >> i want to ask george, going back to space tourism for a minute because i think there's a lot of focus on that. the idea of democratizing space, making it accessible to the masses. you've got something like 700 people who bought tickets. more people who have actually been to space as you said earlier. where do you see the demand? do you see there's really a demand and a market for that, that this is going it grow? >> i'll answer the question two ways. one is i think the demand far
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outstrips the supply, at least for the foreseeable future because it's going to be hard to fly these vehicles, you know, at the start and we want to do it really carefully and safely. and so i think it's going to be one of these markets where for a long time to come there are more people who are going to want to do it than we have seats available. and so i think that's a good thing. that means we can take our time, fly everybody safely and we'll have a very profitable business with the people that we fly. and i should say our customers are really amazing people. they're successful people who really believe that they're helping to catalyze something to bring about something new because they know that if they don't put their money down this thing isn't going to happen. but where does it go? i mean, i think that's an interesting question. and it's one of the things that we think about at galactic. i think it's frustrating to all of us, or it's frustrating to me at least, that you know, we're still going mach point 8 in our commercial air travel and we've
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been basically going that speed since the dawn of the jet age. in fact, the average speed has maybe even gone down slightly. i think it's conceivable for us to start thinking about things that would enable us to go transpacific in an hour or two. go across the continents in a short amount of time. is that going to happen in a year or two? no. it's a really hard technical problem. but what i like to say is the technologies that we're working on with spaceship 2 will feed into that. so how do you fly people safely in these high-speed journeys? how do you build highly reusable space vehicles? how do you create highly reusable propulsion systems, thermal protection systems, guidance systems. how do those things integrate into air spaces? those are the nuts and bolts. how do you insure them? how do they fit into regulatory in those are all the questions that we'll essentially be dealing with with suborbital travel and then we'll be in a much closer place to be able to reach things that we've been dreaming about for a long time, which is getting to asia in an hour. >> and i want to ask you about
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that. i also want to note that we can take a few questions from the audience. we have a couple minutes left. so if you start thinking about that, there are people coming around with mikes. >> i just want to add one thing on the commercial side. in terms of demand. the true space boom will happen when the price point to going into space is within the reach of middle-class americans. so it's like you in the audience, raise your hand if you could go into space and spend a week in a space hotel for 10,000 bucks. >> there are some hands. lots of hands. >> so there's your market. >> we're working on it. >> i want to take advantage of one opening george gave me because i know this is about space. but in the president's budget proposal for the coming year a critical part of it in aeronautics is what we call new aviation horizons. nasa is not going to build the supersonic airplanes in which people like george are going to fly, but we're working on the
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regulatory end because today it's illegal to fly supersonic over the ground in the u.s. and in many other countries. we believe that we have now worked with industry in a design of a vehicle that will break the speed of sound, fly supersonically but instead of getting a big sonic boom you get a rum, sort of a rumble. it's because you change the shape. you have to remember we're talking about energy. sound is nothing but energy. and it just comes off in a big spike and it's like a boom. we think because we demonstrated it that you can really smooth it out. and so you that just get a rumble. and that's a part of the new aviation horizons. the first vehicle, the first x plane that's going to be built in this program we awarded a contract to lockheed. but you've got companies like boeing, gulfstream who have plans on the drawing board. they just need the regulation to change. and they're all in. and that's what nasa's job is, to give the data to the faa so that they can say okay, game's
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on. you can now fly supersonic over the ground. nasa has done its job. >> do we have any questions from the audience? we have a mike? yes, go ahead. >> quick question. as the world's already -- space and communications, they're already dependent on the world, who's going to manage all the satellites, all the countries, all the microsatellites going up? who's going to be managing all that so we don't have a catastrophic failure of some tien kind? >> this year congress passed several very important commercial space pieces of legislation, and one of them has mandated that nasa and other agencies will come together and decide how we put into place the instruments tore what we call orbital traffic management. just like the faa manages air traffic today and nasa provides them with tools to do that, we're going to work with d.o.d.,
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noaa, commercial entities to come up with orbital traffic management. it won't happen this year, but by the time we have people who are ready to do it we'll have a system in place for managing the traffic and controlling it on orbit. >> and that affects all of those hundreds if not thousands of satellites. >> everything. >> once again, where there's a profit motive there's a way. >> exactly. >> because international air travel, the planes manage mostly not to crash into each other. this is a problem that's been encountered before. you have a bunch of independent countries flying their own planes over international waters but they still collaborate, cooperate so as not to have anything bad happen. >> one of the challenges of these hundreds and thousands of small sats, or cube sats, is they're free flyers. they don't have propulsion systems today. julie and other propulsion companies are working on microjets. microrockets. in a cube sat that has the brains from andy's telephone and
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a camera that came out of his telephone, it's going to have a little microjet -- >> i'd really rather you got your own phone. >> they're going to be able to maneuver around but most importantly they're going to be able to comply with a law that says when you put a vehicle in space it's got to be able to be controlled for a controlled re-entry where it will not harm anybody on the ground. we're going to be able to do that. >> time for one more quick one. >> nasa has been the driver for education. i'm a teacher from the apollo 11 program. will that continue and will these companies also contribute? because we need a lot of help in some areas. >> i'm going to let them talk about how they contribute, but they do immensely. i tell people nasa today has a $19.3 billion budget and that's a $19.3 billion budget that's focused on stem education. there is not a single thing that we, do whether it's aeronautics, science, human space flight, space technology, that we don't get into classrooms somehow so that teachers like you can use
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that material to excite kids. cube sats. that's getting kids interested in science, math, aerodynamics, you name it. and is that an education program? technically, no. but does it promote education? you bet it does. so i tell people all the time, i don't care what the line says in the budget. i've got a line for education, it's skimpy. but we improvise. so we spend 19.3 billion on stem education. >> you think it's a collaborative thing too? our company is involved in education since i actually joined many years ago. and it's both grassroots, we get our rocket guys out and they go talk to schools, local schools in the area, and that is great. we have the kids' day where we let them come on plant carefully. we don't let them out in the test area but we do let them come on plant. and then we have a number of formal programs too. some of this is self-serving. we sponsor a number of scholarships and programs at
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colleges and high schools because we want those employees, you know, as they grow up we're always looking for those smart young people to come in and be that next generation of rocket engineers. and most of my industry counterparts are very similar. it's a key thing. and as you look at going to mars it's not hard to sell that one. you go out and talk about it. and you get a pretty good following. >> the martian classroom edition now available. it's the same as the normal edition but with all the swear words replaced with -- no, seriously. it's a thing. it's for sale. get it for your classrooms. you should get several copies per student i think. >> it can relate -- i have three kids. two of them are more sciency. and one of them, my oldest daughter's a psychology major. and she never liked science with me. and then i was reading she saw "the martian," the book in my living room and i said, hey, honey, you might like this.
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and she goes, what, snom so -- and then she said okay, i'll read it. and she comes home and says i read that in two days. she goes, that was so cool. that's the kind of thing that's so neat about now, is exciting people to do space again. that's what all the entrepreneurs -- this is the best time that's ever been in the space industry. a lot more excitement than there's been the previous few decades. >> while we have him here i want to press andy because you're writing a new book. >> yeah. >> i'm sorry, george, did you want to get in -- >> talk about education. yeah. we're big into education. we just did a thing where we got all the sixth-graders in las cruise es, new mexico to do a thing with our engineers. it's fun to do. and it's the right thing to do as well. we do scholarships. we have an organization called galactic unite, which is really focused on that. we're going to go buy all andy's books now. >> i want to hear about the next
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book. what can you tell us? >> the next book takes place in the 2080s, 2090s time frame. it's another scientifically accurate hopefully story. takes place in a city on the moon. and i came up with an economic reason why there's a city on the moon. and i think it's pretty solid. the main character is a woman who was sort of a low-level criminal there. so i'm going for the lovable rogue archetype. and it is told in the first person smart-ass narrative style that i do. >> when's it published? >> probably comes out middle of next year. >> looks like that's all the time we have for today. i want to thank our panelists for -- [ applause ] they're really great. really appreciate it. up next we're going to go from space to dna. and we have eric schulte coming. he's up next. thanks very much. really appreciate it.
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>> so a beloved astronomer was faced with a task that would seem daunting to just about anyone. okay? if we humans were to announce our existence in this universe, how would you do it? and more importantly, what would you say? now, i say say very lightly here because language is a very human construct. a concept we've applied to many
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living and non-living things to help us understand communication. but if we're being frank, what is communication? is it the words? the syntax? the grammar? in the narrowest sense, maybe. to understand what communication is, let's just imagine it's 100 years hence and we've all uploaded our consciousnesses into some reddit hive mind cloud computer managed by watson and our minds have been reconstructed with complete fidelity 100% identical to the moments of your biological life. and let's say that my mind wants to learn something. in this case how to bake an apple pie. what to do? well, i go find my favorite baker in this computer and i ask his or her consciousness how to do it. or do i? you see, in a post-singularity world where our minds co-nestle with other minds, communication may be unnecessary. forget asking. i just transfer the information from baker to me. no loss in information.
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complete understanding. and as fast as light can allow. you see, communication at its heart is a measure of information transfer efficiency. increase the efficiency and decrease the chance of misunderstanding. and much like that bootleg copy of beyonce's "lem flaid" that i really want, communication in real life is wrought with inaccuracies leaving glitches in my hot sauce. akin to how we can never achieve 100% light speed travel in real life, communication in real life too never achieves 100% efficiency. and we try to achieve that more and more. but technology and empiricism move this farther. how to preserve communications for eons of time to organisms that probably do not understand our languages or don't speak at all. at the time the answer chosen was to employ the universal language, quote unquote, mathematics. if we encode the basics of
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language using mathematical concepts like the fundamental characteristics of atoms and elements, we can imply a common tongue. but how to send math. in the past we've tried two methods. we send a thing or a thing-like thing. specifically we send a thing with masks or we send a mass thing like light. currently the biggest bang for our buck is to send light. it's the speed limit of causality in the universe and it makes a lot of sense. our planet has been leaking our human electric o'magnetism for many years with information about us. blast as much as you can and you get the message out all over the place. but this comes at a cost. not far from earth and still within our stellar block our sent light fades with time and distance becoming harder and harder to hear.
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let's send the thing. we send our satellites, our probes, and our rovers to great success. and now we want to send ourselves. okay. but water's heavy and it's expensive to send weight in space. so if majority is identity, we're just soupy water. even if we send ourselves, we have to hope we're sending it the right way. the stuff we send is just too little. and that famous astronomer i mentioned, dr. carl sagan. he tried to send both. a thing and a signal. radio waves and a golden record. so what to do? well, the problem is with the premise. math is the universal concept, not language. it's like light. a thing-like thing. mathematics is our cosmic information storage, like the hidden storage unit of the universe. what we need is better transfer efficiency and a language that
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is tangible. so we take the best parts of our two strategies thus far in sending stuff and we create a thing and we send it all over. something stable, inert, with high information density that can be sent all over like light. and that thing is dna. it's the closest thing we have to a tangible cosmic language. dna ace tool. an encyclopedia. a scribe and a megaphone. the internet's data can currently fit in a data farm the size of the state of delaware. a dna-based delaware would fit in a standard moving box with room to spare. instead of sending ourselves on cosmic fishing expeditions we insteaddynamite, increasing our chances of discovery. we send our basic operating system to both ends of the equation, increasing transfer efficiency and by transferring our universal instructions the transfer loss could theoretically be minimized. how? well, dna in our many organic molecules are very stable, and space is very empty. sending a pebble the size of a
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fist doped with various dna could potentially hold not only all representative life on this planet but also past life, potential future life, and encoded in the strands themselves the math and instruction on how to use it. dna sent in all cosmic directions could theoretically make the interstellar journeys unscathed. and at least form the organic basis to start self-replication again and at most be deciphered with ease. heck, synthetic venter dna could be encoded with our entire planetary history and be no larger than a shoebox. so as a genetic engineer i must be honest. dna is a wonderful tool in our toolbox but dna's not a great predictor of what constitutes a person, a plant, or a bacteria. >> like the soup cans tied together with strings we set ourselves with our dna and we send a condensed message of this
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planet. this silent tangible language of our world. math may be the universal cosmic concept but dna is the univer sal language. now if you excuse me, i have an apple pie to bake. thank you. >> this is your future. one of your boxes would go right here. >> how are we going to save the platform? >> if we want to build the platform all we need to do is build the platform. >> is there anything we should be doing. >> why are you asking me? i'm not the ceo. jack's empty chair is a better choice than i am. >> say what you will about the chair but at least it never told me to build a box.
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>> hello, everyone. currently oversea two of the largest and most vibrant communities. i'm speaking of steve that's the co-founder and chief executive of reddit and we have the founder and chief executive at twitch. so first thing is first we have a couple of people in the audience that aren't intimate familiar with it. explain what you do. you're not social networks. you're not media companies. you have 250 million monthly users between you. what's up. >> so switch was started originally as a platform for gamers to share their game strings and it was user
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generated. anyone can share their game streaming over twitch as a video platform and we quickly realized accidentally we built a way for you to create a gaming community and the video was an anchor that would bring people in but the chat room was the community that they would then come and join and that turned out to be really impactful in how we grew because we not only became a video platform but a place where people would actually connect with other gamers and form all of these little microcommunities around each broadcaster. >> reddit has a similar story. we started off different from where we are today. originally we were one community and we used to describe ourselves as social news or top 40 for internet links. a place where you can find what's popular online and over the years we have grown into now
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a collection of many thousands of communities so what we focus on now is a place where people can be themselves online. we have sports, video games, fashion, relationships, everything in between so there's the notion of thousands of communities where people can express themselves and also the kind of larger community itself which is representative of what's going on in the world and on the internet at any moment and time. >> you mentioned these communities have changed overtime as a result of user behavior. it wasn't something that you planned or directed or controlled by users. >> i don't know if that's the right way to express it but
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there's moments where we have thought that. where as the communities evolved -- as the community has done things we could not predict. both good and bad where we sit back and we're like what's our next move. but i always -- i have always been uncomfortable when i meet fans of reddit for taking credit for reddit. the always way i have described my role is we tried to not screw it up. we tried to steer it in a direction where we would like it to go and it's taken quite a path over the years but there's an evolution and we're trying to build the platform where these communities can grow and thrive. >> planning communities works about as well as trying to have planned economies or planned citi cities. i think your role of a kmun based product is more like a
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gardener. you're trying to make sure that you have enough balance of sunlight and water that the community can thrive and goal. if you think you can make it higher by pulling it up you're going to have a bad time because you can't force people to want to engage with each other and want to connect and communicate. you can only provide favorable conditions and hope it happens in a good way. i like the garden metaphor. any garden you end up with issues like weeds and that can become very problematic. you put attention into what are the things that will make that likely and how do we deal with the fact that like any environment you're going to get a fertile environment for things you don't want. >> if you're going to use pesticides to kill the weeds you might kill your plants too. >> you start laying on the round
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up and it turns out the rest of your garden was not round up ready and the whole thing dies and that happens to a lot of communities where they get a little overzealous trying to stamp out -- trying to put too many hurdles in the way and do too much of stamping out bad behavior. you wind up eliminating interesting good behavior as well. >> as much as i love the garden metaphor i'd like to talk about how that works practically because you both had like any community some pretty high profile incidents with abuse and harassment safety, hate speech on reddit. i was wondering if you could tell us about your philosophy toward moderating that type of speech and how it's changed since you founded your platforms. >> sure. in the early days when we were a small team and had one community or a couple of kmuns we didn't think too hard about it. it seemed simpler.
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so hate speech we had zero tolerance for it. that was largely accepted by the community. over the years, reddit has grown to be much, much larger and encompass much more viewpoints that aren't representative of my own or the companies but now we have moderators that exist that didn't exist in the early days so each of our kmcommunities ar created by the users and they can run the communities anyway they want or at least that's the approach we have taken. there's nothing illegal or harassment or bullying. these policies are only as good as our ability to enforce them. how do we make sure that we enforce the rules we have? you have good people doing good things. really amazing things.
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how do you make sure that you can provide an environment for them to grow and thrive and feel safe and have a good time. >> we always had kind of a, from day one, a -- we are justified in removing anyone from the community that we don't think represents our values and that's just how it's going to be and if you start with that as a basic policy all of your communities tend to accept that's just how it is. the thing that we found really
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problematic overtime is we have two values twitch is a platform for the creator. we see ourselves as being creator first. when there's a tension between the viewer and the broadcaster we go for the broadcaster because we believe there needs to be a home online for a broadcaster for creator to have control and their process and run their own editorial policy.
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and a lot of it was really positive and usually through negligent they don't control the community well enough and you get a lot of really bad action as a result of that. it's hard for us. the last thing we want to do is know better than you how to run your community and that makes the problem much harder than just jumping into it straight away. >> i like that you bring that up. you have a model of moderation that is old school internet. letting them control themselves obviously platforms like facebook and twitter have taken an opposite approach. do you feel the need to take those internally? >> i would say it's something we
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think about but we would never do that because what you get on it is a place where you can really be yourself. people come out on reddit all the time. we think that is very important for providing a place where they can express themselves. that's what makes it special. there's a trade off and attention there but if we can -- where we focus our time is can we build the tools where people can both thrive in that environment and not negatively effect others. and i have seen it.
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and it's very very different viewpoints colliding and so our role is to allow these communities to grow and thrive if they're abiding by our rules and their ability to do so obviously. >> we have a big presence too but the problem is when you have, i don't remember exactly offhand but something on the
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order of -- employing staff to moderate that. this isn't like facebook posts. you have to be on it 30 seconds after they posted it because that's the entire window of impact is the 30 seconds after they send the message. we're not going to have enough staff. we would have to employ one in three people to moderate the site. it's not practical. we really wound up going to the distributed moderation route because we had no other choice than pushing that down in some kind of way. we view our role in that with not just go higher but rather go build excellence tools that amply identify the effect internally. so identify the people that are good at reporting bad actors. identify the people that are being a force for moderation and
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positivity on twitch and empower them with tools that amply identify what their actions do. whether that is by assigning reputation scores or giving them more powerful tools to see more chat rooms. >> we spent a lot of time, i'm assuming you do as well. our focus is on looking for systemic issues. groups of users harassing other users. spam with them they start to pull other people into their negative behaviors so where we are pretty heavy handed it's behind the scenes identifying those people and trying to get them out of the system. so hopefully everybody else can
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flourish because we believe that people in the real world are usually good. but they have a fundamental desire to share. that's what we're trying to protect and foster. >> steve i'm curious. i don't know how many people are aware but you took over as ceo ten months ago. there was a headline at the time that said you were trying to save reddit from itself. i'm curious if you think you've done that and if you can speak to the systemic issues that you have addressed or solved during that time.
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reddit was in disarray. but i was not certain that it would survive so it's been a big push toward the future and that meant reminding folks. reddit was extreme libertarian free speech route. anything was allowed. >> we had a larger kmcommunity d open revolt. we had communities that were very toxic that were stirring a lot of the stuff up. making this worse. so that was one of the first things i did was try to squash that group of users stirring this up and internally as a company it's been a lot of
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culture rebuilding and reminding everybody what our purpose is. to provide a place for people to express themselves. to answer your question, are we done? no. have we made great strides, yes. i'm very, very proud of that. also it's hard to see from the outside when you look at a community site especially like that there's almost no one that you can bring in that's allowed to change it's direction other than a founder because it's only the founder when you bring them back in that has this moral authority to say this is not what the website is about. we are about this and everyone is forced to listen to you about that.
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he was allowed to change directions in a radical way. it's not as a ceo but a founder that needs to make course corrections because it's very hard. >> it's something unique to the area of the internet that you're in where your product is essentially a community, right? but it's quite possible for the community to develop a myth about itself as reddit did as far as, you know, absolute free speech is concerned. to diverge in a direction that's not planned or profitable or viable. how do you deal with those sorts of issues? >> well it's funny.
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so we -- reddit was the first thing out of college. to summarize it it's been an incredible learning experience. we started in the same room basically we started the notion that the community wanted to exist and for example a big mistake i made when i returned just nine months ago was i was thinking what reddit needs is a very clear contact policy. like this is what is allowed and this is what's not.
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and i learned this important lesson which is that it is impossible to draw a line. where ever you draw that line there's somebody with their nose right up over it just looking for the loopholes. and i met some very smart people in this process that did this for twitter and facebook and others and who are basically like you need to be specifically vague. that's an example of the lessons that could have been taught. which i am forever thankful for. >> the things that i noticed on
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twitch is we have to deal with the porn issue and that's just how it is. we went through exactly that mistake which is trying to define it and i know when i see it and there's a reason you wind uplanding there which is you just try writing down a formal definition for what is and is not allowed you you're either banning things you don want to be that are perfectly good that are self-expression or valuable for the community or pornography on your website. so what is creative expression? but that is a huge part of my job it turns out. >> well, i could talk about moderation all day. this is fascinating but i want to make sure that you guys have a chance to talk about your
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future plans a little bit. both of your sites are rapidly expanding. twitch has expanded outside of that. >> we wanted to broadcast doing creative work and that was in line with our commission which was empowering the gaming creators so we opened up the platform as well. the launch partner for that was bob ross. we got them to let us do a marathon of all of the bob ross channels. had 5.6 viewers. we did a food channel and it's actually -- mostly generated a lot of people chairing themselves painting or blacksmithing or making costu s
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costumes. it's how do we allow them to share their passions and make a living doing so and the thing i'm most proud about is the hundreds of people that managed to quit their jobs. carpet cleaning and doing telemarketing support as lawyers and now gets to broadcast themselves streaming video games or art as a living. i don't think it's -- i don't think you can do a cooler thing than enable someone to do that. that's something i'm proud of. i'm excited to do a lot more of it in the future. >> every boy's dream right? steve what is your plan for internet domination? >> our plan for internet domination. so we're in this interesting position where we have two
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classes of users. love reddit. loyal to an end. logo tattoos on people. i'm certain there's more reddit tattoos on people than facebooks and twitters and whatnot. supremely loyal users and then we have many, many, like hundreds of millions of users who don't have that loyalty yet. who don't know what reddit is and if you go to the front page, after hearing this talk you're going to be like is he talking about the same thing? because it's not representative of what reddit is. so the big challenge we have right now and the thing that i'm spending a lot of time thinking about is how do we make the fact that reddit is incredibly broad and incredibly deep, obvious to our users. we have a ton of users who think that reddit is the center of the universe for nfl. which it is.
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but they don't know that this is a place where you can look at the world's greatest collection of cat's this is the place where you can find a kidney match if you're in need of one of those. that is the message that i want to -- the average view on reddit to understand as fast as possible. so we have a lot of work to do there but that's the most fun work we can do. >> well, that's all the time we have today unfortunately but thank you for joining me and before we leave i'd like to invite louis back on stage. >> we are finally freeing you for lunch. i hope you enjoyed the morning. be back in an hour and we'll try
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to catch up on a little bit of time and please take everything that you brought into the roo the libertarian party is holding the national convention this weekend in orlando, florida. c-span will have live coverage when presidential candidates hold a debate saturday night at 8:00 eastern. then on sunday morning, the party chooses its presidential and vice presidential nominees. that starts at 9:45 a.m. eastern. so far, the libertarian party is the only third party that is on the national ballot in all 50 states. our campaign 2016 bus continues to travel throughout the country to recognize winners from this year's student camp competition and recently the bus stopped in massachusetts to visit several winning students from that state. they went to the sage school in foxborough where all of the
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students and first through eighth grade attended a school ceremony to honor 7th graders for their honorable mention video titled "gunning for safety." and the bus made a stop in ludlow to recognize honorable mentions in a video called veteran services and james elliott won for lgbt rights, stop the discrimination. the two were honored in front of classmates and family and local eofficials, receiving $250 for their winning video. our special thanks to comcast and charter communication for helping to coordinate the visits in the community. and view all of the winning documentaries at student congratulations to the class of 2016. today is your day of celebration and you've earned it. >> the voices crying for peace and light, because your choices will make all the difference to you and to all of us.
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>> don't be afraid to take on cases or new jobs or a new issue that really stretches your boundaries. >> you spent your summer abroad on real ships rather than internships and the specter of living in your parents basement after this graduation day is not likely to be your greatest concern. >> throughout this month watch commencement speeches to the class of 2016 in their entirety from colleges and universities around the country by business leaders and politicians and white house officials on c-span. science, business and technology pioneers gathered at the "washington post" transformers summit this month to discuss break throughs in artificial intelligence and innovation and a look at restoring light to the blind and
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how pigs could become future organ donors for humans. this is nearly two hours. good morning, everyone. thank you to the "washington post" and we're delighted to welcome you here this morning. thank you for joining us. [ applause ] we're sitting in the center of what we call "washington post" live. it is a new initiative that extends the reach of our journalism through live events streaming and pairs our journalists with leaders and decision-makers to dissect and explore the most important and compelling issues of our time. the idea of today's conference on transformers began with a conversation we had here about the transformation that is underway at the "washington post." we've gone from what was once a locally focused newspaper to a
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multi-platform digital first news organization serving a broad national and global audience. and although we've made amazing progress and in many ways leading the industry we will always view ourselves in the process of transforming and never fully transformed. because like so many industries, the media space is changing so rapidly that the process of transforming can never really be complete. with advances in technology, the speed and the scope of change is only increasing -- it is only accelerating. so achieving or maintaining the status quo will never be sufficient. so for all of us in journalism today, whether you just started or early in your career or in my stage, the reality is that our entire profession will be a time of continuous and increasing change and that is the culture that we are embracing here at the "washington post." well for any business, transformation is a delicate balance. what do you utilize and preserve
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from the past and what do you set aside to create room for the future. well, for us the pillar of journalistic excellence has always been and will always be fundamental to our mission. but the rest is determined by constant innovation and experimentation. as part of our transformation we've imbedded 80 engineers within the newsroom to quickly bring stories to life in new innovative ways. our technology team now creates our own extensive and flexible site architecture and we're licensing that to others. we're constantly testing and experimenting and never standing still. we have bold ambitions to continue to grow across the country and around the world and to be a model for a rapidly-changing industry. so for purposes of today's conversation, how do we translate the broad disruption that we're witnessing around the world in all sectors into a thought-provoking event. i think we've accomplished that
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today with a unique lineup of voices who are pushing the boundaries on really every aspect of our lives. the transformers program is anchored by visionaries and innovators in space exploration and artificial intelligence and impact philanthropy, national security and much more. we'll be discussing breath-taking changes that are forever altering the way we live, connect and learn, from the social platforms we use to communicate, to the cars we drive or more accurately, i should say that drive us. today we'll explore efforts to define mortality and what that means for our future. and we even have the father of the internet here to explain it all to us. and despite what we may have heard a few campaign seasons ago, this is actually the father of the internet. to start us off, i would like to thank our presenting sponsors, lockheed martin and samsung electronics. please join me in conveying our
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appreciation. [ applause ] and i would also draw your attention to the program where the rest offous supportering -- of our supporting sponsors are listed. on the way in you may have seen students building robots. they are part of what we call the ro-porter conversation we're having here today. the way we gather news has changed dramatically in many ways in the past few years. virtual reality, 360 video and drone robots are helping journalists to tell stories in new and engaging ways so we've challenged a team of top hgss to build a functioning robot to help collect information from places otherwise unreachable for journalists. that competition is underway right now and we will be announcing the winners to you later today. but now please, to start our program, please join me in welcoming shand raw, the head of samsung catalyst fund to say a
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few words. [ applause ] >> good morning. thank you, fred and thank you "washington post." i'm honored to be here today representing samsung electronics. it is a privilege to join you all today to listen to you and engage in it a conversation about technology and how technology is going to impact us as individuals, as society as well as our country. perhaps to just to kick it off here today, you are going to listen to some amazing speakers. these are the speakers that represent innovators who really are bringing in the next technology revolution. and you, as the audience, get the opportunity to engage with them, really help shape the conversation of how technology is going to in turn influence us as people and as society. at samsung, we are very


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