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Subject: Glenn Reynolds: Why we still don't have flying cars rss

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Steven Woodcock
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Indeed:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/12/technologic...
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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]When was radio and TV invented?
 
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J
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I don't think living and working in the US would be in a better place right now if OSHA or the EPA had not been created.
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Matthew Schoell
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So... We used to have lead in gas and house paint right? We used so much leaded gas that it created measurable increases in the amount of environmental lead around. And we knew lead was bad for us back in the early twentieth century. We didn't know just how bad, we spent a long time reaching the adult and juvenile exposure limits today, but we knew back all the way back then that it could cause anemia and basically brain damage in kids.

For all that knowledge there was in fact a lead lobby, a lobby that persuaded the government to use lead paint everywhere for decades, made lead paint an industry standard, and fought the switch to unleaded gas. We finally turned the corner on lead in the 70s and 80s, right around the same time as the regulatory expansion.

Immediately prior to that regulatory expansion and continuing thereafter was the profound diversity in chemicals that became part of our daily lives. Lead is just a fine example. How much silver based waste did Kodak make in its years of producing film, that's floating around in my back yard.

We live happier, cleaner, safer lives for all that regulation. It's valuable because safety is less profitable than secrecy, and we recognized a small number of bad corporate actors can impact the lives of thousands or more.


Finally... We do have flying cars guys, they are called fucking planes. You want a personal flying car go buy a Cessna.
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Christopher Dearlove
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The basic thesis is broken.

Why?

First, on the flying cars, there are very good reasons for regulation. Crash a ground car and you don't often get into double figure casualties. Drop a flying car out of the sky and that's easily beaten. And flying is harder than driving - ask anyone who is a private pilot (I'm not, but I know at least a couple). In particular the extra you need to use instruments, which are needed if you aren't in clear skies.

But flying cars are just an example. The real point of the article rests on an assumption that innovation has slowed.

Really? It quotes radio and TV. Well, you're reading this over this newfangled thing called the Internet. Which has revolutionised pretty much everything. You may well (like me) be connected to it by a wireless connection. That's a radio link that is carrying thousands of times more capacity than a voice channel. (A million times are than is needed to carry a voice channel is coming.) And it's not just raw capacity. You've got the combined knowledge of the world at your fingertips anywhere you want it.

Take another example. Drugs (the legal sort). They design the molecules now, rather than using a trial and error process. Which is an example of how innovation is often hidden - the white pills look much the same, so the massive strides are hidden.

And things are just better. Compare a car today with one of decades ago. Putting aside the nostalgia, they are faster, safer, more efficient, not just slightly but a lot.

Space probes with fantastic pictures of the planets (and rovers on Mars). Autonomous vehicles (ground and air) are coming. You could add to this list.
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Walt
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Dearlove wrote:
The basic thesis is broken.

Agree, but I think there's an even more fundamental problem with it. A flying car isn't a priority and we have limited money.

Several flying cars have been made, but like normal small planes, they need a huge runway. If you buy that runway where it's affordable, you're probably not living where you want to. If you want to live in the weeds, then you can have your flying car, but you can't fly it to the store because the store doesn't want to buy a runway; likewise to grandma's house.

With all the trouble the V-22 Osprey and the F-35B VTOL aircraft have had, it's understandable VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) flying cars have not been successful. Even VTOLs take a large area for take off or landing, which has to be able to withstand intense heat, and of course wind. Even for a helicoptor, again, who wants to pay for those landing pads (several times that of a parking space) and have that noise?

You're talking at least US$500,000 instead of $50,000 or less for a car.

And just to address lead, mostly you would be using turbojets, turboprops, fanjets, or gas turbines because of weight. These all use jet fuel (kerosene), not leaded gas.

And even much cheaper amphibious cars aren't a priority, despite history and predictions for Louisiana. They just don't sell well enough. Except in disasters, it's cheaper to tow a boat, and few people do that. ("A boat is a hole in the water you pour money into.")

Given the necessary costs, if all the flying cars ever conceived worked perfectly and were put on the market at realistic prices--even prices assuming huge volume--very, very few people would buy them. The market just isn't there.
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Steven Woodcock
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slatersteven wrote:
]When was radio and TV invented?


Before 1970....did you read the article?

Nevermind, that answer is self evident.


Ferret
 
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Doc Mage wrote:


Finally... We do have flying cars guys, they are called fucking planes. You want a personal flying car go buy a Cessna.


Negative.

A flying car is what the DeLorean got upgraded to in Back to the Future. THAT is a flying car.

A plane is...well, just a plane.



Ferret
 
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Ferretman wrote:
A flying car is what the DeLorean got upgraded to in Back to the Future. THAT is a flying car.

THAT is a Hollywood model hanging from a crane. Notice? No downwash.

As soon as we get anti-gravity generators the size of a wheel hub--and cheap--you'll get your flying DeLorean.

I would not suggest holding your breath.
 
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casey r lowe
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as a radical leftist i am against overpopulation and rich people - and therefore for flying cars
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Boaty McBoatface
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Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
]When was radio and TV invented?


Before 1970....did you read the article?

Nevermind, that answer is self evident.


Ferret
After 1945?

.did you read the article?

Nevermind, that answer is self evident.
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jmilum wrote:
I don't think living and working in the US would be in a better place right now if OSHA or the EPA had not been created.


yup if you like your environemnt were all the water would be poluted - rivers would slow trickles of stagnant sludge , the air would be more toxic than LA at rush hour.

Dream on if you think the magic hand would ever protect the environmnet over a bottom line.
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
A flying car is what the DeLorean got upgraded to in Back to the Future. THAT is a flying car.

THAT is a Hollywood model hanging from a crane. Notice? No downwash.

As soon as we get anti-gravity generators the size of a wheel hub--and cheap--you'll get your flying DeLorean.

I would not suggest holding your breath.


but will we get americans who can drive? Most of you can't even manage a stick shift. Wonder how many people will get crushed to death at the mall by some one fubaring their reverse parking landing.
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Christopher Dearlove
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
The basic thesis is broken.

Agree, but I think there's an even more fundamental problem with it. A flying car isn't a priority and we have limited money.


I don't think flying cars was actually the central thesis. But sticking to them:

Quote:
Several flying cars have been made, but like normal small planes, they need a huge runway. If you buy that runway where it's affordable, you're probably not living where you want to. If you want to live in the weeds, then you can have your flying car, but you can't fly it to the store because the store doesn't want to buy a runway; likewise to grandma's house.

With all the trouble the V-22 Osprey and the F-35B VTOL aircraft have had, it's understandable VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) flying cars have not been successful. Even VTOLs take a large area for take off or landing, which has to be able to withstand intense heat, and of course wind. Even for a helicoptor, again, who wants to pay for those landing pads (several times that of a parking space) and have that noise?

You're talking at least US$500,000 instead of $50,000 or less for a car.

And just to address lead, mostly you would be using turbojets, turboprops, fanjets, or gas turbines because of weight. These all use jet fuel (kerosene), not leaded gas.

And even much cheaper amphibious cars aren't a priority, despite history and predictions for Louisiana. They just don't sell well enough. Except in disasters, it's cheaper to tow a boat, and few people do that. ("A boat is a hole in the water you pour money into.")

Given the necessary costs, if all the flying cars ever conceived worked perfectly and were put on the market at realistic prices--even prices assuming huge volume--very, very few people would buy them. The market just isn't there.


I don't disagree with any of that. And reality is often the best answer. But I judged (rightly or wrongly) that it wasn't the sort of argument that would appeal. So I went with the "Even if you could have them technologically, they'd still be a bad idea." argument, to illustrate it's not simply failure of technology.

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Daniel C
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People are too stupid to drive as is, I seriously hate to think what would happen of a drunk teenager is flying while texting and taking selfies at the same time.

It's bad enough as well where responsible adults can get into a collision, but imagine people crashing into skyscrapers, power lines, billboards, etc. Them multiply those incidents where people are intoxicated, high, diabled due to circumstances, stupidity, bad drivers etc.

Flying cars are a nice dream and sci-fi, but the reality is people suck. There would be more bad than good if flying cars are real. Just look how irresponsible people are with flying drones.
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Dearlove wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
The basic thesis is broken.

Agree, but I think there's an even more fundamental problem with it. A flying car isn't a priority and we have limited money.

I don't think flying cars was actually the central thesis. But sticking to them:

Absolutely. The argument is "Government spending stifles innovation. Proof: no flying cars." (Ignore the airline industry, the space program, the internet--do not look at the man behind the curtain!) My counterargument was, "Unproof: flying cars aren't practical."

Dearlove wrote:
Quote:
Several flying cars have been made, but like normal small planes, they need a huge runway. If you buy that runway where it's affordable, you're probably not living where you want to. If you want to live in the weeds, then you can have your flying car, but you can't fly it to the store because the store doesn't want to buy a runway; likewise to grandma's house.

With all the trouble the V-22 Osprey and the F-35B VTOL aircraft have had, it's understandable VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) flying cars have not been successful. Even VTOLs take a large area for take off or landing, which has to be able to withstand intense heat, and of course wind. Even for a helicoptor, again, who wants to pay for those landing pads (several times that of a parking space) and have that noise?

You're talking at least US$500,000 instead of $50,000 or less for a car.

And just to address lead, mostly you would be using turbojets, turboprops, fanjets, or gas turbines because of weight. These all use jet fuel (kerosene), not leaded gas.

And even much cheaper amphibious cars aren't a priority, despite history and predictions for Louisiana. They just don't sell well enough. Except in disasters, it's cheaper to tow a boat, and few people do that. ("A boat is a hole in the water you pour money into.")

Given the necessary costs, if all the flying cars ever conceived worked perfectly and were put on the market at realistic prices--even prices assuming huge volume--very, very few people would buy them. The market just isn't there.

I don't disagree with any of that. And reality is often the best answer. But I judged (rightly or wrongly) that it wasn't the sort of argument that would appeal. So I went with the "Even if you could have them technologically, they'd still be a bad idea." argument, to illustrate it's not simply failure of technology.

They wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea for the military, and personal helicopters were investigated but found impractical. Thermonuclear weapons are probably a bad idea, but they are practical and have been made. Shoot, they went ahead and made 2100 Davy Crockett nuclear recoiless guns, then figured out tossing nukes around with poor accuracy wasn't such a good idea. Lots of bad ideas are produced, so I think impractically is a stronger counterargument.

Amphibious cars are an okay idea. Some models have been successful, from the Amphibicar to the DUKW truck; some still paddle around locally. But they don't sell widely enough to be a practical product so, for example, the Rinspeed Splash was never produced.
 
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It's the self-driving flying cars we need to keep from targeting school buses and killing our children.
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Andy Beaton
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An interesting example of cherry-picking, I think.
Claiming the 1960's era Darpanet has only been incrementally improved on is like claiming that flight is an 18th century technology and was only incrementally improved on since. Ditto for space travel. I mean yes, Apollo was pretty amazing, but it was funding, not regulation that stopped it. And sicne then, we've discovered that we can build robots to do our exploration for us, better and further and we've been to all of the planets and orbited giant space telescopes, gathering far more science than Apollo did. Computers, robotics, genomics all have their roots in the mid 20th-century, but it takes a very biased view of progress to ignore the work that went into getting us from punch cards to an iPhone interface for CRISPR that can be accessed from an orbiting space station.
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Steven Woodcock
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
A flying car is what the DeLorean got upgraded to in Back to the Future. THAT is a flying car.

THAT is a Hollywood model hanging from a crane. Notice? No downwash.

As soon as we get anti-gravity generators the size of a wheel hub--and cheap--you'll get your flying DeLorean.

I would not suggest holding your breath.


But I'm really really good breath-holding!

But generally I agree, we'll need small antigravs to make that work.

But that is a flying car, not a airplane pretending to be one.


Ferret
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
]When was radio and TV invented?


Before 1970....did you read the article?

Nevermind, that answer is self evident.


Ferret
After 1945?

.did you read the article?

Nevermind, that answer is self evident.


Before 1970 == after 1945.

Really, you're embarrassing yourself. This isn't difficult -- please do make the effort to keep up.


Ferret
 
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aiabx wrote:
An interesting example of cherry-picking, I think.
Claiming the 1960's era Darpanet has only been incrementally improved on is like claiming that flight is an 18th century technology and was only incrementally improved on since. Ditto for space travel. I mean yes, Apollo was pretty amazing, but it was funding, not regulation that stopped it. And sicne then, we've discovered that we can build robots to do our exploration for us, better and further and we've been to all of the planets and orbited giant space telescopes, gathering far more science than Apollo did. Computers, robotics, genomics all have their roots in the mid 20th-century, but it takes a very biased view of progress to ignore the work that went into getting us from punch cards to an iPhone interface for CRISPR that can be accessed from an orbiting space station.


If cars had improved at the rate that radio (which includes TV, which is just a special case) had improved over the last century, never mind how computers have improved over less time than that, we wouldn't be talking about flying cars. We'd be talking about personal spaceships. Thinking about (and for computers, achieving) interstellar travel.
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Daniel C said it best: who wants the idiots who damn near kill you every time you're on the road FLYING?

And about this....

Rocky Top Law Prof wrote:
Although government expanded a lot during the New Deal under FDR, it wasn’t until 1970, under Richard Nixon, that we saw an explosion of new-type regulations that directly burdened people and progress: The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, the founding of Occupation Safety and Health Administration, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, etc. — all things that would have made the most hard-boiled New Dealer blanch.


There is this pleasant disconnect for many people when it comes to the government. The government does something and people get surprised, i.e. "Really? There's bad stuff in the water?"

But these agencies (and earlier ones, like the FDA, the FCC, etc.) don't just spring from the minds of heartless politicians and blank-faced bureaucrats hoping to find another way to squelch freedoms. The EPA, for example: people started complaining about the smog in big cities, the rivers that caught fire, the trash covering the sides of highways -- and they went to their elected representatives who, after considering their chances for re-election, "foisted" the EPA on an unsuspecting and protesting populace. Ditto for OSHA and these other agencies. Can regulations be pruned and still be effective? I believe so, but getting rid of these agencies exposes the vast majority of Americans to the rapacious wiles of corporate interests and the extremely rich, who can afford to move away from the filth they dumped into the air, the soil, and the water in order to line their pockets with more money.

That's what government is SUPPOSED to do. Protect those with little power from those with a great deal of power.

But hey there, U of Tenn prof, rave on brother, rave on.
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Dearlove wrote:

If cars had improved at the rate that radio (which includes TV, which is just a special case) had improved over the last century, never mind how computers have improved over less time than that, we wouldn't be talking about flying cars. We'd be talking about personal spaceships. Thinking about (and for computers, achieving) interstellar travel.


However

legend wrote:
At a recent computer exposition, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If General Motors had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, GM issued a press release stating: "If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason, you would simply accept this.
Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive -- but would run on only five percent of the roads.
The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light.
The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.
Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

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Walt
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Dearlove wrote:
...never mind how computers have improved...

"Moore's law ... is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. The observation is named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, whose 1965 paper described a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit...." (Wikipedia)

Intel was founded in 1968, 48 years ago, and has used Moore's law as a corporate plan since founding. At this point, Intel is running into quantum effects that keep them from reducing the size of gates as they have in the past, though that still leaves open increasing the size of integrated circuits, which have historically gotten smaller and smaller.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-35
As to the original article, that claims everything was worse after 1970, ridiculous.

The HP-35 conceived about 1970:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_SE
The iPhone SE, 2016:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law
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I think we may well have flying cars in the relatively near future but only if we adopt self-driving cars first.
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