There’s a simple heuristic to apply to the blusterings of tech-obsessed boy-men. For every one significant technical challenge that would have to be solved in order for the dream to become a reality, add 3 years. What happens when we look at most of these foolish claims is we quickly discover multiple significant technical challenges, leading to a compounding extension of the claimed timeline. And for anything requiring new regulations, add at least another five years. But reality is never as sexy as unsupported claims, which is why I’m about to step into my flying autonomous UberLyft that will take me to Bezos & Musk’s first Virgin Mars Shuttle so I can get to the red planet in time for my next birthday in early 2020.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.