Going to Mars is Easier

mars colony500

Question: I’m bewildered by our healthcare situation. And yet we have tech companies who are so smart they can solve almost any problem using machine learning and other advanced data techniques. Why don’t they tackle healthcare instead of funding vanity projects?

Answer:
Nobody has yet created a computer model or used machine learning to successfully predict or simulate the behavior of our national legislature. Also, have you ever READ an actual piece of legislation? It’s worse than regulatory language, which also doesn’t make much sense.

Back in the days of Enron, Congress passed a law called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. I was working on a project that referenced this law, so one day I tried to read the law, all 100 pages. First of all, the project really only piggybacked off one tiny section, and second, I couldn’t figure out which section it was. Even Google Translate couldn’t have parsed it, not back in 2002.

I think tech companies like technology problems because technology is a lot more controllable, at least in theory. It’s the people that are unpredictable. Think of Congress as an unwieldy work team with 400 members and one Scrum Master who can’t shout over the din.

There’s also the part about analyzing the potential impacts of any given law. Our Congressional Budget Office has done just that, and the problem is not their analysis, but the legions of people who refuse to accept it. No wonder Elon Musk wants to move to Mars.

What he may not realize is that all these human problems will follow him to the new colony, and they’ll all be stuck with each other, forever, just like in the Sartre play.

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