Hyperloop

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pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

In January 2013, Musk and venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar were on a humanitarian mission to Cuba when they fell into a discussion about the Hyperloop. Pishevar saw possibilities, Musk saw overwhelm. He was irate enough to publish a white paper, but way too busy to start another company. So Pishevar, with Musk’s blessing, decided to do so himself. With Peter (one of your authors), former White House Deputy chief of staff for Obama Jim Messina, and tech entrepreneurs Joe Lonsdale and David Sacks as founding board members, Pishevar created Hyperloop One. A couple of years after that, the Virgin Group invested in the idea, Richard Branson was elected chairman, and Virgin Hyperloop One was born. The other required convergences were technological in nature. “The Hyperloop exists,” says Josh Giegel, the cofounder and chief technology officer for Hyperloop One, “because of the rapid acceleration of power electronics, computational modeling, material sciences, and 3-D printing.

MIT professor of urban planning: Eran Ben-Joseph, ReThinking a Lot (MIT Press, 2012), pp. xi–xix. Hyperloop is the brainchild: For the original whitepaper: https://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha.pdf. Robert Goddard: Malcolm Browne, “New Funds Fuel Magnet Power for Trains,” New York Times, March 3, 1992. RAND corporation: Robert Salter, “The Very High Speed Transit,” Rand Corporation, 1972. See: https://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/P4874.html. In January 2013: For the full story of Hyperloop One development, see: https://hyperloop-one.com/our-story#partner-program. (Author note: Peter’s VC firm is an investor.) Josh Giegel: Author interview, 2019. It also gave him time to tweet: See: https://twitter.com/elonmusk. with $113 million of Musk’s own money: Dana Hull, “Musk’s Boring Co. Raises $113 Million for Tunnels, Hyperloop,” Bloomberg, April 16, 2018, See: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-16/musk-s-boring-co-raises-113-million-for-tunnels-and-hyperloop.

Computational power has increased so much that we can now run hyperloop simulations on the cloud, testing the whole system for safety and reliability. And manufacturing breakthroughs ranging from the 3-D printing of electromagnetic systems to the 3-D printing of large concrete structures have changed the game in terms of price and speed.” These convergences are why, in various stages of development, there are now ten major Hyperloop One projects spread across the globe. Chicago to DC in thirty-five minutes. Pune to Mumbai in twenty-five minutes. According to Giegel: “Hyperloop is targeting certification in 2023. By 2025, the company plans to have multiple projects under construction and running initial passenger testing.” So think about this timetable: Autonomous car rollouts by 2020. Hyperloop certification and aerial ridesharing by 2023.


pages: 370 words: 129,096

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

addicted to oil, Burning Man, cleantech, digital map, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, global supply chain, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, money market fund, multiplanetary species, optical character recognition, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

It takes about an hour to fly between the cities today and five hours to drive, placing the train right in the zone of mediocrity, which particularly gnawed at Musk. He insisted the Hyperloop would cost about $6 billion to $10 billion, go faster than a plane, and let people drive their cars onto a pod and drive out into a new city. At the time, it seemed that Musk had dished out the Hyperloop proposal just to make the public and legislators rethink the high-speed train. He didn’t actually intend to build the thing. It was more that he wanted to show people that more creative ideas were out there for things that might actually solve problems and push the state forward. With any luck, the high-speed rail would be canceled. Musk said as much to me during a series of e-mails and phone calls leading up to the announcement. “Down the road, I might fund or advise on a Hyperloop project, but right now I can’t take my eye off the ball at either SpaceX or Tesla,” he wrote.

In a weird life-imitating-art moment, Musk really had become the closest thing the world had to Tony Stark, and he could not let his adoring public down. Shortly after the release of the Hyperloop plans, Shervin Pishevar, an investor and friend of Musk’s, brought the detailed specifications for the technology with him during a ninety-minute meeting with President Obama at the White House. “The president fell in love with the idea,” Pishevar said. The president’s staff studied the documents and arranged a one-on-one with Musk and Obama in April 2014. Since then, Pishevar, Kevin Brogan, and others, have formed a company called Hyperloop Technologies Inc. with the hopes of building the first leg of the Hyperloop between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In theory, people would be able to hop between the two cities in about ten minutes. Nevada senator Harry Reid has been briefed on the idea as well, and efforts are under way to buy the land rights alongside Interstate 15 that would make the high-speed transport possible.

“Down the road, I might fund or advise on a Hyperloop project, but right now I can’t take my eye off the ball at either SpaceX or Tesla,” he wrote. Musk’s tune, however, started to change after he released the paper detailing the Hyperloop. Bloomberg Businessweek had the first story on it, and the magazine’s Web server began melting down as people stormed the website to read about the invention. Twitter went nuts as well. About an hour after Musk released the information, he held a conference call to talk about the Hyperloop, and somewhere in between our numerous earlier chats and that moment, he’d decided to build the thing, telling reporters that he would consider making at least a prototype to prove that the technology could work. Some people had their fun with all of this. “Billionaire unveils imaginary space train,” teased Valleywag. “We love Elon Musk’s nutso determination—there was certainly a time when electric cars and private space flight seemed silly, too.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

On 12th August 2013, Tesla and SpaceX (both companies founded by Musk) released preliminary designs for a Hyperloop Transportation system on their blog sites. Musk called this open-source design, asking others with interest to contribute to the design. The initial proposed route for a US$6 billion passenger version of the Hyperloop ran from the Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area with an expected transit time of 35 minutes. The Hyperloop would thus traverse the 354-mile (570-km) route at an average speed of around 598 mph (962 km/h), with a top speed of 760 mph (1,220 km/h). In January 2015, Musk announced that he was building a privately funded Hyperloop test track in Texas, about 5 miles (8 km) in length, for university and private teams to test and refine transport “pod” designs. Two additional start-ups, Hyperloop Technologies and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are both building their own two-mile and five-mile test tracks, respectively.

The real question that remains is not whether we could have self-flying cars, because the technology for automation seems mainly achievable, but what will fuel these self-flying cars? Maglev and the Hyperloop On 21st April 2015, a new maglev train near Mount Fuji in Japan clocked speeds of 375 mph (603 km/h). Maglev is short for “magnetic levitation” and is a technology that allows a train (or object) to be suspended above a rail with no other support than the use of magnetic fields. In this instance, the Japanese maglev train is suspended about 10 cm from the electrically charged magnets that are effectively the “track” or rail. Such a design produces a much quieter, smoother and faster ride than conventional high-speed rail. Three years earlier in July 2012, at a PandoDaily event in Santa Monica, California, Elon Musk mentioned to an assembled group that he was thinking about a “fifth mode of transport”, calling it the Hyperloop. On 12th August 2013, Tesla and SpaceX (both companies founded by Musk) released preliminary designs for a Hyperloop Transportation system on their blog sites.

As early as the 1960s, a proposal was put forward to build a transatlantic tunnel between New York City and London using a 3,100-mile (5,000-km) long near-vacuum tube with vactrains, or maglev trains operating in near vacuum. The system, which resembled earlier patents issued to Robert Goddard (the father of modern rocketry), was theoretically capable of allowing speeds of up to 5,000 miles (8,000 km) per hour. Meaning the transit time from New York to London would be less than an hour. The “Musk” Hyperloop resembles these vactrain proposals but would operate at approximately one millibar of pressure, qualifying as a “partially evacuated tunnel”. Because of the low-pressure, warm air proposed for the Hyperloop steel tubes, the pods projected to travel at around 760 mph (1,220 km/h) through these steel tubes would not actually break the sound barrier. Therefore, the pods would not need to be designed for passing through the transonic phase or coping with the shock of a sonic boom. In any respect, Elon Musk thinks that he can get you from New York to Los Angeles in around 45 minutes with this technology, so I for one would be keen to try it out!


Bulletproof Problem Solving by Charles Conn, Robert McLean

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset allocation, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, future of work, Hyperloop, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, iterative process, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, nudge unit, Occam's razor, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, stem cell, the rule of 72, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, time value of money, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, WikiLeaks

EXHIBIT 6.10 Source: Jonathan Bays, Tony Goland, and Joe Newsum, “Using Prizes to Spur Innovation,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2009. Elon Musk's Hyperloop project is an attempt to rapidly advance transportation technology. The Hyperloop is a pod transportation system currently under development, designed to transport people over long distances at astonishing, near supersonic speeds. Given its clear, well‐defined goal, and a large, diverse population of problem solvers, many of whom are students willing to accept the risk and hungry for the experience, the SpaceX Hyperloop competition is a great example to test the power of crowdsourcing. With an available testing track at its disposal, SpaceX ran its Hyperloop Pod Competition in January 2017. By hosting a competition they were able to increase the quantity of prototypes being simultaneously explored. The jury is still out on Hyperloop as a viable concept, but the process is harnessing resources in a way not seen even a decade ago.

., 143 Highest‐level problem, defining, 39–41 High‐leverage programs, support, 242 Hirt, Martin, 201 Historical legacies, interaction case study, 68–71 problem, 70e HLMI. See Human level machine intelligence Holmes, Sherlock, 123 Home Depot, 182 analysis, 60 asset productivity, 60 average sales per store, 62 emergence, 96–97 overheads/cost of goods sold, 60 Homelessness, analysis, 130 Horizon events, planning process, 203 framework, origins, 220 Hotspots, case study, 141 Human level machine intelligence (HLMI), 202 Hyperloop Pod Competition, 167 Hyperloop project (Musk), 166–167 I IBM, PC business loss, 200 Ideation, structure, 97 Incremental improvements, 99 Independent science review (ISRP), 230 Independent variable, usage, 156 Inductive arguments, 188e Inductive logic trees, 67–68 Inductive reasoning, 68, 188 Inductive thinking, 68–71 Information, purchase, 199 In Search of Excellence (Peters/Waterman), 107 Insurance, purchase, 201 Integrated assessments, requirement, 236 Internet penetration, impact (overestimation), 116 Interventions, impact, 150 Investment growth, 213e long‐term investments, 203, 213–219 Ishikawa diagrams, 129 ISRP.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

In August 2013, his notoriety reached a new level when he announced plans for a “fifth mode of transport” that he said could take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour. He wrote the blueprint for his so-called Hyperloop in an all-nighter and then published it on the Tesla and SpaceX corporate blogs. He didn’t plan to build the Hyperloop himself, but he hoped someone else would make it a reality. The ensuing news coverage bestowed on Musk the kind of attention usually reserved for Steve Jobs. Given the task of coming up with an article about the Hyperloop announcement for Pando, I wrote that Musk was more important to society than Jobs ever was. While Jobs did the world a great service by putting powerful Internet-connected computers in our pockets, Musk was operating on a different plane of purpose.

As a gladiatorial soundtrack pumped up the adrenaline quotient, fast-moving frames showed gorgeous water features, languid palm trees, and solar panels atop a structure rich in glass surfaces and reflective black floors. Any self-respecting robocar would be happy here. Under Governor Sandoval, Nevada had fashioned itself as America’s most business-friendly state. Sandoval was also establishing a reputation as a booster for high-tech manufacturing. As well as Faraday’s billion-dollar factory, the governor had landed Tesla’s Gigafactory in northern Nevada. Over a hill from the Faraday site, Hyperloop One was building a track to test its realization of Musk’s so-called “fifth mode of transport.” Bigelow Aerospace, maker of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module—an inflatable space habitat better known by the acronym BEAM—had set up headquarters just down the road in North Las Vegas. Three days prior to Faraday’s factory groundbreaking, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft had delivered a BEAM to the International Space Station.

A Bloomberg columnist called it “less like a plan, more like a manifesto,” and Reuters said it was “big on vision, short on detail.” These shots missed the point. Musk knows that storytelling has power, and that the mere act of articulating goals matters a lot to their prospects of eventual achievement. In 2006, the Model S was just a line in a blog post—“the second model will be a sporty four door family car”—and not even the Roadster was available for sale. In 2013, the Hyperloop was just one man’s science project, sketched out through rough calculations in a white paper that he had written in an all-nighter. In the same month, the Gigafactory was just an uttered thought, when Musk wondered aloud about the prospect of building a “gargantuan factory of mind-boggling size.” For now, at least the Gigafactory part of Musk’s new story is a reality. While Tesla decided to build the factory because it was essential to meet the production needs of the Model 3, it has since said that as much as half of its output will be dedicated to energy storage.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, global pandemic, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

Unfortunately, rats ate holes in its leather bellows and the sea air corrupted its metal fittings and it was abandoned the next year. Similarly, the low-pressure tubes through which the Hyperloop might run have their precedents in ‘vactrains’, or vacuum tube trains, which have existed in theory and as models since 1909. Finally, not even its critics doubt that the Hyperloop’s electromagnetic propulsion system would work, and it has also been simulated by the best available transport modelling software, which has given it the thumbs up – in principle. Its pods may need skis on the roof as well as the floor but otherwise it looks viable. It’s possible, however, that even the Hyperloop isn’t radical enough. Although, in theory, it’s quicker and cheaper than CHSR, it will carry fewer passengers. Perhaps what is needed are stacks of Hyperloops that use support pylons to carry tubes upon tubes, like a fibre optic cable in cross section.

Musk instead went for comfort and performance. The Tesla Model S does 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, tops out at 130 mph, and has more boot room and better safety standards than a Volvo. Musk’s ambition is to retire to Mars. His counterproposal to the CHSR is the ‘Hyperloop’, a part pneumatic, part electromagnetic and part solar-powered system, which he claims could fly pods of commuters through elevated steel tubes between San Francisco and LA in about half an hour for a tenth of the price of building its rival. However, the Hyperloop’s costings have been shown to be out by a factor of several hundred per cent, and it’s been labelled by Alon Levy, a respected transportation commentator, as a ‘barf ride’ on account of the emetic g-forces it would generate when accelerating, decelerating, or travelling on inclines or round corners.

263, 268, 274 Grossmith, George and Weedon Diary of a Nobody 58–9 h Hachette, Louis 93 Railway Library 82–3 Hall, Edward T. 172–3, 177 Hampshire 1, 3, 223, 335 Harlem 66 Heine, Heinrich 66 High Speed 2 (HS2) 328, 329 Highways Agency 193 Hole, James 63 Holland 227, 275 Hongqi (Chinese car) 160–61 horse–drawn transport 15–16 in America 93, 96 in ancient Rome 125 in India 211 HS2 328, 329 Housing of the Working Class Act 64 Hummer 205–7, 313, 327 Huskisson, William 24 Hyperloop 331–2 i IBM 123, 292–3 Commuter Pain Index 192, 213, 219–20 India Bangalore 292 Delhi 210–13 Mumbai 165, 184–91 outsourcing 288–93 Indonesia 190–91 Inner Circle Line 54 Interstate Highway Act 128 Iraq War 317 Italy 148–50 j Jaguar 144 James, Dr Leon 201, 202–3 Japan 162–3, 177–84, 236 chikanery 180–82 courtesy on the road 215–16 Sarariman (salary man) and schoolgirl 178, 182 texting 239–40 k Katai, Tayama 178, 180 Kay, James Phillips 13 Keats, John (US writer) 121, 122, 249 Kendal and Windermere Railway 18 Kennedy, Robert F. 220–21 Kent 23 Kingston upon Thames 21–2, 43 Kingston-upon-Railway 22 Kishi station 183 Knight, John Peake traffic light 125 Knott, J.


pages: 463 words: 105,197

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

As the new holder of the land, Espinosa merged the whole route into one plot and posted a value several times the sum of the purchase prices to ensure the security of the route. Developers today face great challenges. When asked what the largest barrier is to implementing Hyperloop One, co-founder Josh Giegel replied, “We really need a right of way.” The interviewer responded, “Some constituencies, such as private landowners … could see holding this up for quite some time.”1 There is an obvious incentive for a landowner to hold out for a high price when such a valuable project is coming through. Suppose that each of 2,000 landowners along the route would normally be willing to accept $100,000 ($200 million in total) to cede right of way. Giegel believes that, net of other costs, Hyperloop can yield $500 million of operating profit. Now suppose that after the developer has bought the right of way on 1,999 pieces of land, the two-thousandth landowner learns of his plan.

Atkinson, The Mirrlees Review and the State of Public Economics, 50 Journal of Economic Literature 770 (2012). 30. Joan Robinson, The Economics of Imperfect Competition (Palgrave Macmillan, 1932). 31. William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (W. W. Norton, 1992). Chapter 1. Property Is Monopoly 1. Hyperloop Tests Magnetic Levitation At 192 mph, NPR Morning Edition, August 4, 2017, available at http://www.npr.org/2017/08/04/541538743/hyperloop-tests-magnetic-levitation-at-192-mph. 2. William J. Bernstein, A Splendid Exchange (Grove Press, 2008). 3. Robert C. Allen, Engels’ Pause: Technical Change, Capital Accumulation, and Inequality in the British Industrial Revolution, 46 Explorations in Economic History 418 (2009). 4. Henry George, Progress and Poverty 1–5 (Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 1997). 5.

An epilogue imagines what will take place when the gains from radical markets are exhausted. Even if we don’t sell you on all our ideas, we hope this book will open your mind to a new way of imagining the economy and politics. This challenging moment, when long-held assumptions are being overturned, is ripe for radical rethinking. 1 Property Is Monopoly CREATING A COMPETITIVE MARKET IN USES THROUGH PARTIAL COMMON OWNERSHIP As a child fascinated by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, Alejandro Espinosa often pictured himself in the cab of the first supersonic train, sitting side by side with the conductor. It never occurred to him that these trains would have no conductors. Yet the topographic and economic maps displayed in the holographs he was peering at clashed even more powerfully with his childish dreams. Espinosa grew up to be the head of OpenTrac, a new venture that would fulfill his lifelong ambition.


pages: 201 words: 33,620

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2020 by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, car-free, carbon footprint, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Ronald Reagan, sustainable-tourism, trade route

A King Center for Economic Justice to promote economic mobility in the Roxbury neighbourhood will also be established. The tribute will be unveiled to the public in 2020. 7 HYPERLOOP, DUBAI, UAE The Hyperloop has been touted for a while as an ultra-speedy solution to crossing long distances at top speeds but so far has failed to materialise, despite hundreds of headlines. Now the theory looks to be finally put into practice and where better than the futuristic Dubai to test it out? While it won’t connect to Abu Dhabi as promised anytime soon, the first 10km track is the public’s first chance to test out the new mode of transport that might just revolutionise travel as we know it. The Hyperloop is set to be part of the Dubai World Expo in October 2020. 8 Great Southern Train Journey, Adelaide– Brisbane, Australia One of the latest luxury routes that prove rail travel will never die as long as people enjoy a day’s leisurely journey through beautiful landscapes and a night of being gently rocked to sleep in their own private carriage, the Great Southern will run three- and four-day routes between Adelaide and Brisbane, offering opportunities to stop at national parks, beaches and cities, with a luxurious cabin and gourmet food options to enjoy onboard.


pages: 70 words: 22,172

How We'll Live on Mars (TED Books) by Stephen Petranek

California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, Elon Musk, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, nuclear winter, out of africa, Richard Feynman, trade route

He rolled his money into Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a company he founded in 2002, then went on to cofound Tesla Motors, which is poised to revolutionize the automobile world. He is a devout environmentalist and proponent of solar energy—his Teslas can literally be driven on sunlight. In 2013, Musk proposed a unique high-speed transportation system in a vacuum tube called Hyperloop, which he put into the public domain. A Hyperloop tube running between Los Angeles and San Francisco could reduce travel time to thirty minutes. Musk formed SpaceX just when it seemed as if NASA was slipping into irrelevance. Like von Braun, he is a transplant, in this case from South Africa and Canada. Musk, like von Braun, is a perfectionist who is convinced of his vision and determined to achieve it. And as with von Braun, no one seems to understand how serious Musk is when he says we must get to Mars.


pages: 626 words: 167,836

The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, business cycle, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, Corn Laws, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, deskilling, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, factory automation, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, game design, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Turing test, union organizing, universal basic income, washing machines reduced drudgery, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

In this light, economists have pointed to the potential benefits of current efforts to connect California’s low-income cities—like Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, and Fresno—with the Bay Area through high-speed rail.55 Many Californians could remain in Fresno, where housing is cheap, and commute to San Francisco for work. In the future, new transportation technologies could also be used to connect places that are much farther apart. Hyperloop technology, which uses a sealed system of tubes to allow people to travel free of air resistance or friction, offers the potential of reaching distant locations at staggering speeds. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, for example, recently signed agreements with the Illinois Department of Transportation to examine the feasibility of connecting Cleveland and Chicago through a number of different corridors.56 The commute currently takes around 5.5 hours by car or 7.1 hours by public transportation in one direction. The Hyperloop, if successful, is expected to bring this commute down to twenty-eight minutes. All of a sudden, it could become feasible to commute long distances to work.

Katz, 2016, “The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment,” American Economic Review 106 (4): 855–902. 54. On place and the likelihood of becoming an inventor, see Bell et al., 2017, “Who Becomes an Inventor in America?,” and 2018, “Lost Einsteins.” 55. C. T. Hsieh and E. Moretti, 2017, “How Local Housing Regulations Smother the U.S. Economy, New York Times, September 6. 56. D. Etherington, 2018, “Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Signs First Cross-State Deal in the U.S.,” TechCruch, https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/15/hyperloop-transportation-technologies-signs-first-cross-state-deal-in-the-u-s/?guccounter=1. 57. M. Busso, J. Gregory, and P. Kline, 2013, “Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place-Based Policy,” American Economic Review 103 (2): 897–947. 58. For more on the TVA, see P. Kline and E. Moretti, 2013, “Local Economic Development, Agglomeration Economies, and the Big Push: 100 Years of Evidence from the Tennessee Valley Authority,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 129 (1): 275–331. 59.

., 27 Fisher, Irving, 210 Ford, Henry, 141, 148, 167, 195, 365 Ford assembly lines, 18, 365 Ford Motor Company, 148, 199, 240 France, industrial development in, 84 Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, 85 French Revolution, 90 Friedman, Milton, 355 Friedman, Thomas, 257 Fukuyama, Francis, 141, 264–65, 273, 343 Furman, Jason, 322 Galileo, 39, 52, 54, 94 Galor, Oded, 133 Gans, Joshua, 308 Garden of Eden, 191 Gaskell, Elizabeth, 117 Gaskell, Peter, 117–119, 135, 229, 249 Gates, Bill, 10 Gates paradox, 10, 11, 21 General Electric, 155, 157, 215, 289 General Motors assembly lines, 18 geography of new jobs, 256–63 George Washington Bridge, 167 Giffen, Robert, 132–33 gig mill, 10, 76, 86, 128 Gilded Age, 208 Gille, Bertrand, 39–40 Gini coefficient, 209, 245 Gladstone, William Ewart, 133 Glaeser, Edward, 257, 261, 263 globalization: automation, and populism, 277–85; backlash against, 365; clamping down on, 290; costs of, 366; facilitator of, 282; first wave of, 171; losers to, 21, 26; vanishing jobs and, 11 Glorious Revolution of 1688–89, 79, 82–83, 86 Golden Gate, 167 golden postwar years, 239 Goldfarb, Avi, 308 Goldin, Claudia, 213, 349 Goldin, Ian, 357 Gompers, Samuel, 279 Goodyear Tire, 199 Google, 305 Google Translate, 304 Goolsbee, Austan, 340 Gordon, Robert, 198, 202, 220, 272, 342 government regulations, 49, 137 Great Depression, 13, 143, 170, 211, 272 Great Divergence, 24; absence of economic revolution, 95; beginnings of industrialization, 94; factory system, evolution of (see factory system); Industrial Revolution (see Industrial Revolution); per capita income growth, 94; rise of the machines, 93; textile industry, Industrial Revolution begun in, 95 Great Escape, 8 “great exception” in American political history, 200 Great Migration, 205 Great Recession, 244, 284, 339, 343 Green, William, 174 Greif, Avner, 88, 92, 344 growth, culture of, 77 Gutenberg, Johannes, 47 Habsburg Empire, 85 Hammer, Michael, 326 Hansen, Alvin, 179, 342 Hargreaves, James, 102–3 Harlem, 1 Harper, Kyle, 37 Hawking, Stephen, 36 hazardous jobs, end of, 195, 198 health conditions, during Industrial Revolution, 114–15 Heaton, Herbert, 37 Heckman, James, 351 Heilbroner, Robert, 335 Hellenism, technological creativity of, 39 Henderson, Rebecca, 305, 331 Hero of Alexandria, 39 high school graduates, employment opportunities for, 237 high school movement (1910–40), 214 Himmelfarb, Gertrude, 268 Hindenburg disaster, 110 hinterland, cheap labor and housing of, 261 history deniers, 23 Hitler, Adolf, 12 Hobbes, Thomas, 8, 46 Hobsbawm, Eric, 7 Hoover, Herbert, 211 horseless age, 164 horse technology, 43, 163 Hounshell, David, 148, 150 household revolution, 155–56 housing, zoning and, 361–62 housing bubble, 282 human capital accumulation, indicators of, 133–34 Humphries, Jane, 103, 121 Hurst, Erik, 338 Huskisson, William, 109–10 Hyperloop, 363 IBM, 231 Ibsen, Henrik, 17 Ice Age, 64, 76 identity politics, 278 “idiocy of rural life,” 62–64 income(s): disparities of, 61; reshuffling of, 287 income tax (Britain), introduction of, 133 incubators, nursery cities serving as, 261 industrial bourgeoisie, 267 industrial capitalism, rise of, 218 industrial centers, rise of, 115 industrial espionage, 6 industrialization, first episode of, 16 industrial organization, fundamental principle of, 229 Industrial Revolution, 68, 70; alcoholism, 123; in Britain, 329; Britain’s edge during, 19; British income tax, introduction of, 133; capital share of income, 131–32; child labor, 123, 134; children as robots of, 8–9; classic years of, 113; closing decades of, 138, 266; conditions of England question, 116–25; consumer revolution preceding, 68; cotton yarn manufacturing at dawn of, 100–101; divergence between output and wages, 131; domestic system, description of, 118; economic consequences of, 17; Engels’ pause, 131–37; engine of, 73; Englishmen left off worse by, 364; factories existing before, 94; gig mills, 128; golden age of industry, 118; government regulation, 137; hand-loom weaver, as tragic hero of Industrial Revolution, 121; health conditions, 114–15; human capital accumulation, indicators of, 133–34; labor income share captured, 114; industrial centers, rise of, 115; jobs created by, 16; key drivers of, 342; labor unions, bargaining power of, 137; Lancashire riots, 125, 127; leading figures of, 70; literacy rates, 134; Luddites, 125–31; machinery question, concerns over, 116; machinery riots, 127, 130; macroeconomic impact of, 94; material living conditions, decline of, 114, 120–21; mobility of workers, 122; obsolescence of worker skills, 124; origins of, 6, 80–91; political situation of workers, 129; reason for beginnings in Britain, 75; recipients of the gains of, 113; standard of living issue, 121; steam power, impact of on aggregate growth, 136; symbolic beginning of, 97; tax revenue, 133; technical change during closing decades, 139; technological progress, attitudes toward, 112; trajectory of inequality in Britain during, 217; true beginnings of, 100; unemployment, 113, 117, 125; victims of, 9; Victorian Age, machinery critics of, 119; wave of gadgets, 330; working poor, 113 inequality: age of, beginnings of, 62; Neolithic rise in, 63 inflation, 294 information technology, first revolution in, 47 inner-city ghettos, problems in, 258 innovation, 257; nurseries for, 261 innovation gap, 352 in-person service jobs, 235 inspiration without perspiration, 51–59 installment credit, 159, 167 institutional divergence (colonial Europe), 81 Intel, 359 interchangeable parts: concept of, 149; pioneering of, 74 International Labour Organization (ILO), 181 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 245 international trade, rise of, 67, 69, 99 Internet of things, 22 internet traffic: spread of, 328; worldwide, 303 inventions: agriculture, 54, 62; assembly line, 141, 365; barometer, 52, 59; bicycle, 165; camel saddle, 77; carding machine, 102; of classical times, 39; coke smelting, 108; electric starter, 166; iron, 36; light bulb, 2; mariner’s compass, 50; movable-type printing press, 47; nailed horseshoe, 43; navigable submarine, 52; personal computer (PC), 231; power loom, 105; spinning jenny, 102; steam digester, 55; steam engine, 52, 76; stirrup, 43; stocking-frame knitting machine, 54, 76; submarine, 73; telescope, 59; transistor, 231; typewriter, 161–62; washing machine, 27; water frame, 102; waterwheel, 38; wheel, 35 Iron Age, 35 iron laws of economics, 206 James I of England, King, 52 Japan, ascent of, 289 JD. com, 313 Jeffersonian individualism, 200 Jenkinson, Robert, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, 130, 289 Jerome, Harry, 13, 154, 198, 328 job demand, creation of, 262 Johnson, Lyndon, 184 Joyce, James, 16 Kaldor, Nicholas, 5, 205 Kasparov, Garry, 301 Katz, Lawrence, 135, 213, 245, 349 Kay-Shuttleworth, James, 117, 229 Kennedy, John F., 183 Kettering, Charles, 166 Keynes, John Maynard, 332, 334 King, Gregory, 68 knowledge work, 235, 259 Komlos, John, 115 Korea, ascent of, 289 Korean War, 180 Krugman, Paul, 12 Kuznets, Simon, 5, 206–7 Kuznets curve, 207, 212 labor, division of, 228 labor multiplier, 347 Labor Party, rise of, 268 labor productivity, gap between worker compensation and, 244 labor unions, 212; bargaining power of, 201, 277; legalization in Britain, 190 laissez-faire regime, 25, 267 lamplighters, 1–2 Lancashire riots of 1779, 90 landed aristocracy, 83 Landes, David, 9, 112, 118, 134, 343 Land-Grant College Act of 1862, 364 Latin Church, oppression of science by, 79 laundress, vanishing of, 27, 160 Lee, William, 10, 54 Lefebvre des Noëttes, Richard, 43 Leonardo da Vinci, 38, 51, 73 Leontief, Wassily, 20, 338, 343 Levy, Frank, 237, 302, 323 liberal democracy, components of, 267 Lindert, Peter, 61, 68, 114, 207, 211, 269, 271 literacy, demand for, 76 Liverpool-Manchester Railway, 109 lobbying, corporate spending on, 275 Locke, John, 83 Lombe, John, 52, 99–100 Lombe, Thomas, 6, 100 London Steam Carriage, 109 longshoremen, vanishing of, 172 Louis XIV of France, King, 84 Luddites, 9, 18, 125–31, 341; imprisoned, 20; new, 286–92; riots, 89, 92; uprisings, 265 machinery question, 116, 174–88; adjustment problems, 177; automation, employment effects of, 180; computers, automation anxiety concerning, 183; elevator operators, 181–82; musicians, displaced, 177–78 machinery riots, 9, 265, 289; absence of (America), 190; Britain, 90 Maddison, Angus, 66 Magellan, Ferdinand, 51, 67 majority-rule voting system, 270 Malthus, Thomas Robert, 4, 64, 73, 316, 345 Malthusian logic, 345 Malthusian trap, escape of, 65 Manhattan Project, 74 Manpower Training and Development Act (MDTA), 353 Mantoux, Paul, 97, 101, 126 Manufacture des Gobelins, 84 Manufacture Royale de Glaces de Miroirs, 84 manufacturing: blue-collar jobs, disappearance of, 251, 254; American system of manufacturing, pioneers of, 149; factory electrification, 151–55; interchangeable parts, concept of, 149 Margo, Robert, 135, 145 markets, integration of, 86 Marx, Karl, 26, 47, 98, 239, 364 Massey, Douglas, 256 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), 354 mass production, 147–73; American system of manufacturing, pioneers of, 149; containerization, 171–72; direct drive, 153; factory electrification, 151–55; horseless age, 164; household revolution, 156; industries, 18; installment credit, 159, 167; interchangeable parts, concept of, 149; Model T, 167; unit drive, 153 Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, 59 Maybach, Wilhelm, 166 McAfee, Andrew, 303, 339 McCloskey, Deirdre, 70 McCormick, Cyrus, 149, 168 McLean, Malcom, 171 mechanics, Galileo’s theory of, 53 mechanization, age of automation vs. age of, 227 median voter theories, 270 medieval Christianity, 78 mercantilism, flawed doctrine of, 83 Mesopotamia, 35 metals, discovery and exploitation of, 35 Michigan Antitrust Reform Act of 1985, 359 Microsoft, 306 Middle Ages: agricultural technology in, 42; feudal order of, 57; onset of, 41; technical advances of, 50; traditional crafts of, 68 middle class, descent of, 223–25; artificial intelligence, 228; automation, adverse consequences of, 240; cognitive divide, 238–43; computer-controlled machines, jobs eliminated by, 228; computers, 228–38; corporate profits, 244; division of labor between human and machine, 228; earnings gap, 230; Engels’ pause, return of, 243–48; golden postwar years, 239; Great Recession, 244; high school graduates, employment opportunities for, 237; industrial organization, fundamental principle of, 229; in-person service jobs, 235; knowledge workers, 235; labor productivity, gap between worker compensation and, 244; mechanization, age of automation vs. age of, 227; multipurpose robots, 242; rule-based logic, 228; Second Industrial Revolution, elimination of jobs created for machine operators during, 228; “symbolic analysts,” 235 middle class, triumph of, 218–222; agriculture, mechanization of, 189; automotive industry, 202; baby boom, 221; blue-collar Americans, unprecedented wages of, 220; child labor, as opportunity cost to education, 214; collective bargaining, 192; corporate giants, 208; corporate paternalism, 200; education and technology, race between, 216; end of drudgery, 193–98; Engels’ pause, 219; factory electrification, 190, 195; farming jobs, decline of, 197, 203; Great Depression, 211; “great exception” in American political history, 200; Great Migration, 205; hazardous jobs, end of, 195, 198; high school movement (1910–40), 214; Jeffersonian individualism, 200; Kuznets curve, 207, 212; labor unions, 201, 212; leveling of American wages, 211; machinery riots, absence of, 190; middle class, emergence of, 192, 292; national minimum wage, introduction of, 211; new consumer goods, Americans’ growing appetite for, 203; New Deal, 200, 212; public schooling, 214; Second Industrial Revolution, 209, 217; skill-biased technological change, 213; tractor use, expansion of, 196; urban-rural wage gap, 209; Wall Street, depression suffered by, 211; welfare capitalism, 198, 200; welfare state, rise of, 221; white-collar employment, 197, 218 Middle East, 77 Milanovic, Branko, 217, 245 mining, 194, 197 Minoan civilization, 34 mobile robotics, 342 mobility, demands for, 348 mobility vouchers, 360 Model T, 167 modern medicine, rise of, 22 Mokyr, Joel, 19, 52, 76–77, 79 Moore’s Law, 107, 301, 304 Moravec’s paradox, 236 Moretti, Enrico, 258, 262–63, 360 Morgan, J.


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Government Debt, https://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/spending_chart_2010_2020USp_19s2li011lcn_G0f_Fifty_Years_Of_Federal_Deficits_As_Pct_GDP-view (accessed August 15, 2019). 44. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014), 221. 45. Bill Snyder, “You’ll Never Get Google Fiber—But You Don’t Need It Anyway,” InfoWorld, December 6, 2012, https://www.infoworld.com/article/2616265/you-ll-never-get-google-fiber----but-you-don-t-need-it-anyway.html. 46. “Hyperloop,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop. 47. “The Rise of Suburbs,” Lumen, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/ushistory2ay/chapter/the-rise-of-suburbs-2/. 48. Brent Nyitray, “Construction Spending Falls as a Percentage of GDP,” Market Realist, August, 2, 2019, https://marketrealist.com/2016/08/construction-spending-falls-percentage-gdp/. 49. History.com Editors, “The Interstate Highway System,” History Channel, May 27, 2010, updated June 7, 2019, https://www.history.com/topics/interstate-highway-system. 50.

The projects identified by the ASCE represent only a fraction of what has to be done to create a robust twenty-first-century infrastructure. Providing 100 million households with FTTH (fiber to the home) would require an investment of between a quarter and a half-trillion dollars—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.45 Massive investments in public transportation are needed—things like high-speed rail, and possibly even hyperloops that would allow trains to travel at the speed of sound.46 Substantial portions of our cities and suburbs will need to be retrofitted or rebuilt from scratch. In the 1960s and 1970s, when the 41,000-mile Interstate Highway System was being completed and the suburban population was burgeoning (it almost doubled between 1950 and 1970), construction spending ran 10 to 11 percent of GDP.47 It falls in the 5 to 6 percent range today,48 so it could easily double.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

There have been sublime technological objets, like the iPhone, whose original release was the closest my own generation possesses to a shared experience of techno-wonder. There have certainly been men and women who get famous selling the promise of the sublime—Elon Musk’s hyperloops being the most famous examples. And there have been moments of a nostalgic sublime—such as the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery, carried into history on a special Boeing 747 airliner, which had people craning their necks to watch as the retired spacecraft was ferried from Florida to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. But the hyperloop is a blueprint, Las Vegas is a simulacrum, virtual reality is not—and as the science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson wrote after watching Discovery pass overhead, the nostalgic sublime of its final flight mostly accentuated the possibilities we’ve given up: “My lifespan encompasses the era when the United States of America was capable of launching human beings into space.

.), 97 Handmaid’s Tale, The (Atwood), 47–50, 65 Handmaid’s Tale, The (TV show), 95 Hanson, Robin, 234 Harris, Mark, 93–94 Harris, Sam, 224 Hazony, Yoram, 218, 219 health care reform: interest groups and, 73 Obama and, 68, 69–70, 73–74, 76 Heavens and the Earth, The (McDougall), 2 Herbert, Frank, 229 Heterodox Academy, 97 Hinduism, 225 history: end of, 112–15, 135, 163, 177 return of, 129, 183, 195 viewed as morality play, 157 hive mind, 106–7 Holmes, Elizabeth, 18–19, 22 hookup culture, 121 horoscopes, 225 Houellebecq, Michel, 155–57, 159, 160–61, 172, 226, 227 House of Representatives, US, 68 “How the Wealth Was Won” (2019 paper), 26 Hubbard, L. Ron, 231 Huebner, Jonathan, 45 Hungary, 85–86, 164 Huntington, Samuel, 159 Hurrican Maria, 71 Hustler, 119–20 Huxley, Aldous, 127–28, 130, 184–85 Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 156 hyperloops, 37 Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (Fukuyama), 115 identity politics, 115 ideological debates, repetition in, 100–101 “illiberal democracy,” 163–64 immanent divine, 224 immigrants, 64 birthrate of, 50 immigration: economic and social insecurities exacerbated by, 63–64 see also mass migration immigration reform, 70 impeachment hearings, 71 Inca Empire, 189–90 India, economic growth in, 167 inequality, economic, 31–32 declining birthrate and, 57–58 infant mortality rates, 50–51 innovation, 30 decline of, 45, 46 declining birthrate and, 57–58 repetition vs., 9 Instagram, 18 institutions: decadence and, 8–10, 69 technological acceleration and, 213–15 intellectuals, intellectual realm, repetition in, 96–101, 180 interest groups, health care and, 73–74 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 174 Internet, 40 anonymity on, 144–45 Chinese censoring of, 139 and decline in risky social behavior, 122–23 and declining rates of sexual violence, 121–22 extremist elements of, 194 hive mind and, 106–7 homogenization of, 104–5, 106 illusion of progress fed by, 11 journalism and, 105–6 mediocrity and, 107 NSA and, 146, 147 pornography and, 120–21 productivity and, 41 repetition in, 104–7 right to privacy and, 145, 146–47 as surveillance state, 144–47 unfulfilled promise of, 104–5 Internet economy, 17, 22 consolidation in, 27 Ip, Greg, 167 IPCC, 195 iPhone, 37, 40, 107 IQ scores, Flynn effect and, 35 Iran, Islamic Republic of, 160, 163 Iran nuclear deal, 71 Iraq War, 69, 70, 80, 150 Ireland, 52, 84 Islam, Islamic world, 201, 223 falling birthrates in, 161 modernity and, 227 as path to renaissance, 226–28 Islamic State (ISIS), 70, 113, 148, 152, 160 Islamists, Islamism, 113, 114, 155, 207 as alternative to liberal order, 159–62 Israel: birthrate in, 50, 54, 217 as model for nationalist renaissance, 217–18 Italy, 84, 85 iTunes, 105 Ivanov, Vyacheslav, 7 James, P.


pages: 407 words: 90,238

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out things and figure out the effect on society, the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.” In 2007, Elon Musk did just that, debuting an early prototype10 of his Tesla electric roadster at the event. He also came up with the ideas11 for both his renewable energy company SolarCity and his superfast transit system Hyperloop while on the playa. And true to the Burning Man principle of gifting, he gave both away. SolarCity went to his cousins; Hyperloop, published online in a white paper, was an offering to the world at large (that has since inspired two different companies). Zappos founder and CEO Tony Hsieh12 told Playboy that the experience of collective awareness, what he calls “the hive switch,” is the reason he attends. That “feeling of unity with the other people in the space, unity with the music and with one another . . . that’s why I go to Burning Man.”

See also specific hallucinogen Hamelin (Germany) pipers, 65–66, 67, 69 Hanfstaeng, Ernst, 69 Harper’s Magazine: Sandia “super mule” article in, 184 Harris, Sam, 57–58 Harvard Business Review: Tolbert comments in, 93 Harvard Medical School: lifestyle change study at, 42 Harvard University: happiness course at, 175 Harvey, Larry, 160 hashish, 34 head trauma, 60–61 heart rate: monitoring of, 104, 147, 151, 197 Heaven’s Gate suicides, 67 hedonic calendaring, 213–16 Heifetz, Ron, 114 Hell Week, Navy SEALs, 13, 19 Hells Angels, 189 Hemingway, Ernest, 216 heroin, 29, 62 Hessel, Andrew, 133–34 Hill, Napoleon, 80 Hirshberg, Peter, 166–67, 168 Hitler, Adolf, 69 hocus-pocus, 73, 74 Hofmann, Albert, 3 Holiday, Ryan, 205–6 Holy Ghost: Mormon belief in, 53, 54 hope: importance of, 222 Horgan, John, 58 horseback riding, 60, 61 How We Got to Now (Steve Johnson), 141 Howl (Ginsberg), 77 Hsieh, Tony, 161–62, 163, 170, 210 Hua, Vanessa, 159 human condition, 216–18 human potential movement, 76, 77–81, 191 Hunt, Graham, 135, 136 Hurricane Katrina, 164–65 Hurricane Sandy, 165 Huxley, Aldous, 3, 199 HyaSynth Bio, 133 hydrocodone, 133 Hyperloop, 161 Hyperspace Lexicon, 130–31, 204 hypnosis, 108 ibogaine, 116, 122 iFly (Metni company), 138, 150 imaging technology, 101, 107–8, 109, 124, 125, 194. See also brain imaging IMAX, 30 immersive experience design and training, 148–53 immersive/visionary art, 142–45, 149, 150, 157, 198 In Over Our Heads (Kegan), 39 individualism, 68 information technology, 185–87, 199, 216 innovation.


pages: 195 words: 52,701

Better Buses, Better Cities by Steven Higashide

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, autonomous vehicles, business process, congestion charging, decarbonisation, Elon Musk, Hyperloop, income inequality, intermodal, jitney, Lyft, mass incarceration, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, place-making, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart cities, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional

Americans take 4.7 billion trips a year on publicly run buses. Yet most decisionmakers barely give the bus a second thought. Across the United States, the public agencies that deliver bus service are run by board members who never use it. Some of the country’s largest cities don’t employ anyone dedicated to improving trips for bus riders. Business leagues, community foundations, and civic leaders are often preoccupied with streetcars, hyperloops, driverless vehicles, and other projects they view as more innovative, prestigious, or likely to drive development. Others actively try to stop bus improvements, such as business owners who fight bus shelters that they claim attract “the wrong element,” legislators who ban bus-only lanes on state roads, and congressmembers who try to cut federal transit funding every year. This combination of indifference and hostility leads to a neglect that makes so many of the bus trips we take miserable: plodding, unpredictable, uncomfortable, and circuitous.

A viable transit system makes it politically possible to increase the cost of driving through congestion or parking by reducing the impacts on everyone, especially low-income people. I care about transit because I want every person to have the opportunity to live a good life and because I hope to have a planet worth living on. Sprawl is killing us; cities and regions oriented around great transit are part of the way back. There Is No Deus ex Tesla What about Uber, or hyperloop, or driverless cars? Today, city leaders are often told that new transportation technologies will make transit obsolete. But none of the technologies that promise to transform transportation outperform transit’s greatest strength: capacity. In 2018, Elon Musk’s Boring Company was awarded the rights to build an underground express between Chicago’s Loop and O’Hare Airport. Musk claimed he would create an “electric skate” system that would carry private cars and small pods carrying up to sixteen people each.


pages: 492 words: 141,544

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

artificial general intelligence, basic income, blockchain, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, gig economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, low earth orbit, Magellanic Cloud, megacity, precariat, Schrödinger's Cat, seigniorage, strong AI, Turing machine, universal basic income, zero-sum game

“You’re with me, so I’ll do the talking.” “What if they ask me questions in English?” “Tell them you’re with me!” she said, and dragged him off. The train station was completely surrounded by other buildings, it seemed to Fred; trains were apparently arriving and departing underground. One new wing on the east end of the giant building displayed posters with pictures that suggested it was a hyperloop terminal. Qi confirmed this and added that they were very fast. She looked at his wristpad and told him his name was William Janney, then marched them to broad doors at the other end of the station, where they stood in the line going through a security checkpoint. Fred worried about the chip she had mentioned, embedded in her body somewhere. Was every Chinese person chipped, or was she special?

From there a big vehicle, with tires taller than a man, came out to the lander and they were helped up and into it. Again Ta Shu felt the wicked press of Earth’s gravity crush him to an invalid. The vehicle jounced to the terminal. There Ta Shu agreed to put on a bodysuit, feeling old and ashamed, even though most of his fellow passengers were doing the same. After the fitting he stalked over to the hyperloop train to Beijing, which was more expensive but slightly faster than flying. Off they went, almost all of them encased in exoskeletons, red-eyed and withdrawn. Back to Earth. In the transfers between stations he focused on learning his suit and avoiding a fall, then sat down thankfully in each new train or tram car. Beijing shuffle, the whole population of the city seemingly on the move. When the subway cars ran aboveground he stared out the windows incuriously.

The sooner you get to the big base, the more options we’ll have.” Qi saw the sense in this, and turned and went through the door into the tram. Fred followed, then Ta Shu, and when they were seated and strapped in, the tram jerked forward and off they went. The tram they were on was floating over a piste laid in as straight and flat a line over the landscape as they had been able to build. On Earth they would have been inside hyperloops. Here the moon gave them a near vacuum to move in, but they had to either hew to a straight line or risk flying off the piste. In a couple of places, where the line had to take an unavoidable swerve, the train slowed to a crawl, but most of the time it floated along at a rocketlike speed that nevertheless included no vibration or noise, so that looking out the windows was like looking at an image on a screen.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

Not only is the world moving faster, but the speed at which major new technology platforms are being created is reducing the downtime between the arrivals of each wave of innovation. Before, individual waves would sweep through the economy one at a time—technologies like personal computers, disk drives, and CD-ROMs. Today, multiple major waves seem to be arriving simultaneously—technologies like the cloud, AI, AR/VR, not to mention more esoteric projects like supersonic planes and hyperloops. What’s more, rather than being concentrated narrowly in a personal computer industry that was essentially a niche market, today’s new technologies impact nearly every part of the economy, creating many new opportunities. This trend holds tremendous promise. Precision medicine will use computing power to revolutionize health care. Smart grids use software to dramatically improve power efficiency and enable the spread of renewable energy sources like solar roofs.

Seattle and Los Angeles also offer good quality-of-life benefits to individual professionals, since they are major cultural centers and popular tourist destinations, with less expensive housing markets than Silicon Valley (though hardly inexpensive). These ties will likely get even closer if the cities are connected via additional transportation links like high-speed rail or Elon’s proposed Hyperloop, or with the advent of self-driving cars, all of which would make travel and commuting between these cities and Silicon Valley faster and cheaper. Thus, LA and Seattle are becoming increasingly fertile grounds for entrepreneurship, and good places to set up a company that you are planning on blitzscaling. It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s HQ2 project to set up a second headquarters (Amazon intends to spend $5 billion to construct a new corporate campus that will accommodate fifty thousand employees) ends up expanding “Greater Silicon Valley” even further (and farther).


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Third, the idea should pass the “toothbrush test” originated by Larry Page: Does the idea solve a real customer problem or use case on a frequent basis? Is it something so useful that a user would go back to it several times a day? It is also possible to leverage a community or crowd to discover breakthrough ideas or new patterns of implementation. Elon Musk set an MTP for transforming transportation with his Hyperloop high-speed transportation idea. At the same time, he opened up the design and implementation of that idea to whoever wanted to take a crack at it. It may seem counterintuitive to delay the breakthrough idea several steps into the process. After all, legend holds that most startups begin with an explosive new idea that’s then applied to a problem space. We believe, however, that it’s better to start with a passion to solve a particular problem, rather than to start with an idea or a technology.

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel builds on this with a profound question for startup founders: “Tell me something you believe is true but [that] you have a hard time trying to convince others [of].” This is about conviction and passion on the one hand, and radical, unconventional, breakthrough ideas on the other. As Peter Diamandis is fond of saying, “The day before a major breakthrough, it is just a crazy idea.” To illustrate: In a recent conversation with Elon Musk, Salim asked Musk about his Hyperloop concept: “Elon, I have a background in physics and it seems impossible to accelerate humans to 1,000 kilometers an hour and then decelerate them to zero in such a short space of time. Have you thought about that?” Musk’s answer? “Yes, it’s an issue.” To a true entrepreneur, there are no impossibilities, just barriers to overcome. (And yes, it turned out there is a solution to that particular physics problem—quite an easy one, in fact—via fluid dynamics).


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, business cycle, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

All of these possibilities were embedded with futuristic architectures and also utopian ideologies, such as space travel bringing humankind together in cosmopolitan dreams of peace. Those options seemed like logical next steps for a world that had recently been transformed by railroads, automobiles, urbanization, and many other highly visible shifts in what was built, how we got around, and how things looked. But over the last few decades, the interest in those kinds of transportation-based, landscape-transforming projects largely has faded away. Elon Musk’s hyperloop plans will remain on the drawing board for the foreseeable future, and the settlement of Mars is yet farther away. Urban progress is less transformational and more a matter of making more neighborhoods look and act like the nicer neighborhoods—namely gentrification. When it comes to transportation, mostly we are hoping to avoid greater suffering, such as worse traffic, cuts in bus service, or the rather dramatic declines in service quality experienced in the Washington, DC, Metro system.

We’ve stopped increasing travel speeds and even have given up on supersonic jet transport. The Concorde, rather than proving to be the wave of the future, has been retired. Entrepreneur Elon Musk stands as the most visible and obvious representative of the idea of major progress in the physical world. For all of his admirable confidence and unapologetic ambition, most of his projects have yet to succeed. The hyperloop talk seems like more of a publicity stunt than anything else, as we will not be transporting people by whipping them in capsules through reduced-pressure tubes, not anytime soon at least. We can’t even get a new (slow) train tunnel built under the Hudson River to connect New Jersey and New York. Musk’s most successful venture so far has been his satellite launches, and there he is basically providing security and a backup system for the previous, highly expensive and not totally reliable government satellite launch system.


pages: 359 words: 96,019

How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Oculus Rift, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, QR code, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, social graph, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Y Combinator, young professional

That may not seem like a big difference, but it’s an eternity for a company growing as fast as Snapchat was in 2013 (and Facebook in the 2000s). White had cut her teeth at the much larger and more established Google and Facebook; it was difficult for her to translate those experiences to the rapidly changing Snapchat, which had only fifty employees when she arrived. Once she left Snapchat, White joined the board of directors of Hyperloop Technologies, a startup trying to realize Elon Musk’s vision for a high-speed, tube-based transportation system. White also founded Mave, a high-end personal concierge startup in Santa Monica. White’s departure was made worse by the sheer number of high-level executives who left around the same time. Many didn’t survive a year at Snapchat. Mike Randall, who had been hired by White and reported to her while at Snapchat, left after seven months.

See YesJulz (Julieanna Goddard) Goldroom Goldwyn, Emily Good Luck America (election show) Google app revenue Googleplex IPO Los Angeles office privacy and Snapchat compared with user activity and See also Schmidt, Eric Google AdWords Google Circles Google Glass Google Maps Google Ventures Grande, Greg Green, Diane Greylock Partners group messaging Hamburger, Ellis Hamby, Peter Hastings, Reed Hatmaker, Taylor Hawkins, Billy Hazelbaker, Jill Hewlett-Packard Honan, Mat Hurley, Chad Hwang, Sharon Hwang, Steve Hyland, Sarah Hyperloop Technologies IBM Innovator’s Dilemma, The (Christensen) Instagram Arsenic and demographics of users Facebook purchase of Instagram Stories investors and funding launch of Snapchat compared with Snapcodes and Institutional Venture Partners Intel Interview, The (film) Intuit iOS James, Nicole Jenner, Kylie Jobs, Steve Jordan, David Starr Joss, Bob Jurgenson, Nathan Justin.tv (Justin Kan) Kan, Justin.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, private space industry, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

Musk has a reputation as someone made of cold steel, so it’s not surprising that he’s the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s depiction of Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies, the playboy inventor in a flying, weaponized suit.19 Musk has a lot in common with Richard Branson. Both are billionaires who like to take risks and challenge conventional wisdom. Both have made their mark in multiple transportation industries—Branson in rail, aviation, and space; Musk with electric cars, spacecraft, and his hyperloop aviation concept. They’re both committed philanthropists. But it’s hard to imagine Musk admitting to a debilitating weakness, as Branson did with his shyness, or getting up in drag to pay off a bet, as Branson did when he lost a bet with the boss of Air Asia and served as a stewardess on a charity flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur in 2013. Musk received degrees in business and physics from the University of Pennsylvania; he spent only two days in an applied physics PhD program at Stanford before leaving to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations.

., 53–57, 66, 98, 133, 161, 177–79, 179, 208, 224–28 space travel as profound and sublime experience for, 45, 53, 117, 122 speculation on future of, 93, 94, 204, 207–8, 215, 244–47, 248–63, 249 surpassed by technology, 258–59 threats to survival of, 94, 207–8, 244–47, 250, 259–62, 286, 293 timeline for past and future of, 248–50, 249 transforming moment for, 258–59 Huntsville, Ala., US Space and Rocket Center in, 48 Huygens, Christiaan, 163 Huygens probe, 53 hybrid cars, 96 hydrogen, 110, 156, 159, 161, 187, 219, 222 hydrogen bomb, 36 hydrosphere, 173 hyperloop aviation concept, 95 hypothermia, 251 hypothetical scenarios, 15–16 IBM, 213 Icarus Interstellar, 224 ice: on Europa, 125 on Mars, 163–65, 227 on Moon, 159–60 ice ages, 7–8 ice-penetrating robot, 98 IKAROS spacecraft, 184 imagination, 10, 14, 20 exploration and, 261–63 immortality, 259 implants, 206–7 inbreeding, 201–3 India, 159, 161 inflatable modules, 101–2 inflation theory, 255–57, 255 information, processing and storage of, 257–60 infrared telescopes, 190 Inspiration Mars, 170–71 Institute for Advanced Concepts, 280 insurance, for space travel, 106–7 International Academy of Astronautics, 152 International Geophysical Year (1957–1958), 37 International Institute of Air and Space Law, 199 International MicroSpace, 90 International Scientific Lunar Observatory, 157 International Space Station, 55, 64–65, 64, 71, 75, 91, 96, 100, 102, 142, 143, 144, 151, 153, 154, 159, 178–79, 179, 185, 272, 275 living conditions on, 116–17 as staging point, 148 supply runs to, 100–101, 104 International Space University, 90 International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 105–6, 144 Internet: Congressional legislation on, 78, 144 development of, 76–77, 77, 94, 95, 271 erroneous predictions about, 213–14 limitations of, 66–67 robotics and, 206 space travel compared to, 76–80, 77, 80 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), 78 interstellar travel, 215–18 energy technology for, 219–24 four approaches to, 251–52 scale model for, 219 Intrepid rovers, 165 Inuit people, 120 Io, 53, 177 property rights on, 145 “iron curtain,” 35 Iron Man, 95 isolation, psychological impact of, 169–70 Jacob’s Ladder, 149 Jade Rabbit (“Yutu”), 139, 143, 161 Japan, 161, 273 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 184 Jefferson, Thomas, 224 Jemison, Mae, 224 jet engines, 69–70 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 141 Johnson, Lyndon, 38, 42, 45, 158, 269 Johnson Space Center, 76, 104, 179, 206, 229, 269 see also Mission Control Jones, Stephanie Tubbs, 74 Joules per kilogram (MJ/kg), 219–20, 222 Journalist in Space program, 74 “junk” DNA, 10, 266 Juno probe, 228 Jupiter, 126, 127, 177, 217, 270 distance from Earth to, 50 moons of, 97, 125, 125 probes to, 51–52, 228 as uninhabitable, 125 Justin (robot), 178 Kaku, Michio, 253 Karash, Yuri, 65 Kardashev, Nikolai, 253 Kardashev scale, 253, 254, 258 Kármán line, 70, 70, 101 Kennedy, John F., 41–43, 45 Kepler, Johannes, 183 Kepler’s law, 127 Kepler spacecraft and telescope, 128, 128, 129–31, 218, 278 Khrushchev, Nikita, 42, 47 Kickstarter, 184 Killian, James, 38 Kline, Nathan, 205 Knight, Pete, 71 Komarov, Vladimir, 43, 108 Korean War, 141 Korolev, Sergei, 35, 37 Kraft, Norbert, 200 Krikalev, Sergei, 115 Kunza language, 119 Kurzweil, Ray, 94, 207, 259 Laika (dog), 47, 65, 269 Laliberté, Guy, 75 landings, challenges of, 51, 84–85, 170 Lang, Fritz, 28, 268 language: of cryptography, 291 emergence of, 15, 16 of Orcas, 190 in reasoning, 13 Lansdorp, Bas, 170–71, 198–99, 282 lasers, 223, 224, 225–26, 239 pulsed, 190, 243 last common ancestor, 6, 123, 265 Late Heavy Bombardment, 172 latency, 178 lava tubes, 160 legislation, on space, 39, 78, 90, 144, 145–47, 198–200 Le Guin, Ursula K., 236–37 Leonov, Alexey, 55 L’Garde Inc., 284 Licancabur volcano, 119 Licklider, Joseph Carl Robnett “Lick,” 76–78 life: appearance and evolution on Earth of, 172 artificial, 258 detection of, 216–18 extension of, 26, 207–8, 250–51, 259 extraterrestrial, see aliens, extraterrestrial intelligent, 190, 235, 241, 243, 258 requirements of habitability for, 122–26, 125, 129, 131–33, 241, 256–57 lifetime factor (L), 234–335 lift, in flight, 68–70, 83 lift-to-drag ratio, 83 light: from binary stars, 126 as biomarker, 217 Doppler shift of, 127 momentum and energy from, 183 speed of, 178, 228–29, 250, 251 waves, 66 Lindbergh, Charles, 30, 81–82, 90–91, 268 “living off the land,” 166, 200 logic, 14, 18 Long March, 141 Long March rockets, 113, 142, 143 Long Now Foundation, 293 Los Alamos, N.


pages: 193 words: 51,445

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin J. Rees

23andMe, 3D printing, air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic transition, distributed ledger, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, life extension, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanislav Petrov, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

Many people in Europe prefer taking the train for a 200-mile journey; it is less stressful than driving and opens up time to work or read. But if we had an ‘electronic chauffeur’ who could be trusted for the entire journey, many of us would prefer to travel by car and get door-to-door service. This would reduce demand for long-distance train routes—but at the same time provide an incentive for inventing novel forms of transport, such as intercity hyperloops. Best of all, of course, would be high-grade telecommunications that obviate the need for most nonleisure travel. The digital revolution generates enormous wealth for an elite group of innovators and for global companies, but preserving a healthy society will require redistribution of that wealth. There is talk of using it to provide a universal income. The snags to implementing this are well known, and the societal disadvantages are intimidating.


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Thomas Davenport, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Perhaps most important of all, it was too expensive for the majority, and there was no obvious way to make its benefits available more broadly. This is part of the genius of Elon Musk as he develops Tesla: that his luxury company is rapidly moving downstream to become a mass-market player. Clearly, though, in the case of the Concorde, the conditions necessary for a futuristic disruption were not in place. They still are not, although some people are trying, including Musk himself, with his Hyperloop transportation project. Another anecdote from London: in 1990, a car service called Addison Lee launched to take a chunk out of the stagnant taxi market. The service allowed users to send an SMS message to call for the cab, and a software-driven, computerized dispatch system ensured that drivers would pick up the fare seeker anywhere in the city within minutes.1 This is, of course, the business model of Uber.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Bypassing banks by creating a credit market for lending to smaller businesses would also help, an idea advocated by Adam Posen, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary-policy committee and now the president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the world’s top think-tank on such matters.439 A new British Investment Bank could finance productive investment – for example, much-needed infrastructure improvements – and provide credit to smaller businesses, as the European Investment Bank does.440 Britain needs better roads, more underpasses and bridges, a high-speed railway network, new Tube (metro) lines and a second Crossrail in London, greater airport capacity in the south-east of England, modernised ports, new power plants, a smart electricity grid, broadband infrastructure, water reservoirs – why not maglev trains and a Hyperloop to boot?441 Unfortunately, the government has so far failed to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to borrow cheaply, invest and promote a healthy, investment-led recovery. Instead, it has prompted debt-laden households to start spending again by stoking up yet another housing bubble. Like a junkie doped up with steroids, the economy has staggered back to its feet – until the next stroke.

Europeans in particular tend to be afraid to venture out and try new things, let alone reach for the stars. We need more people like Elon Musk, a South-African-born entrepreneur. After making billions in the US from PayPal, the online payments system, he didn’t rest on his laurels. He founded Tesla, which makes fantastic (and profitable) electric cars. He set up SpaceX, a space travel company. Now he wants to build a Hyperloop – basically a solar-powered maglev train in a vacuum tube that would whisk passengers along at 760 miles (1,220 kilometres) an hour, three times faster than a high-speed train, and cost ten times less to build.705 Gloomsters argue that technological progress is grinding to a halt. The low-hanging fruit have all been picked, argues Tyler Cowen in The Great Stagnation.706 Nothing can ever compare to the great leap forward ushered in by electricity and other advances during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution between 1870 and 1900, such as cars, running water, petroleum and chemicals, claims Robert Gordon of Northwestern University.707 “Many of the original and spin-off inventions of IR #2 could happen only once – urbanisation, transportation speed, the freedom of females from the drudgery of carrying tons of water per year, and the role of central heating and air conditioning in achieving a year-round constant temperature.”


pages: 401 words: 93,256

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland

3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, butterfly effect, California gold rush, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double helix, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Firefox, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Chrome, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Hyperloop, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, IKEA effect, information asymmetry, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mason jar, Murray Gell-Mann, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Veblen good

The argument for X is that the major advances in human civilisation have come from things that, rather than resulting in modest improvement, were game-changers – steam power versus horse power, train versus canal, electricity versus gaslight. I hope X is successful but think that their engineers will find it difficult. We are now, in many cases, competing with the laws of physics. The scramjet or the hyperloop* might be potential moonshots, but making land- or air-travel-speeds so much faster is a really hard problem – and comes with unforeseen dangers.* By contrast, I think ‘psychological moonshots’ are comparatively easy. Making a train journey 20 per cent faster might cost hundreds of millions, but making it 20 per cent more enjoyable may cost almost nothing. It seems likely that the biggest progress in the next 50 years may come not from improvements in technology but in psychology and design thinking.


pages: 441 words: 96,534

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, business cycle, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Hyperloop, Induced demand, Jane Jacobs, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, New Urbanism, place-making, self-driving car, sharing economy, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

When writers and film producers dream of an urban future, they imagine hovercrafts cruising through sleek cityscapes. Never lines of cars. Certainly no people walking or biking. And fast, reliable, or demand-based buses would truly be science fiction or a doomed ride, like Keanu Reeves in Speed. A dazzling transit dream for many cities still conjures images of a modern, driverless metro, high-speed monorails, and maybe high-speed rail or hyperloop connecting major cities. In The Simpsons, a shyster sells the residents of Springfield on a monorail system before absconding with the city’s money. What is it about monorails that prompts people to bring them up in community meetings as potential panaceas for transportation problems? Monorails are what we thought the future would be like at the 1964 World’s Fair. Even that Simpsons episode was from 1993.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

He was a kingmaker in the Valley, whom the founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, had reportedly leaned on as a tutor in the art of going clubbing in Los Angeles, with Pishevar providing “club clothes,” according to the New York Times. And the entrepreneurs at Summit at Sea knew that a VC like Pishevar, whose firm was called Sherpa Ventures, was in a position, should he so choose, to guide any of them to the mountaintop. This knowledge helped explain the crush of bodies that had come to see Pishevar’s talk, titled “All Aboard the Hyperloop: Supersonic Storytelling with VC Shervin Pishevar.” People were curled up on armchairs and sofas; some sat and others lay down on the ground; still others hovered above, ringed a few deep around a balcony on the eighth floor, peering down. The crowd was listening in rapt, reverent silence. What they heard was a powerful man who seemed at pains to explain his power away and to cast himself as a man in pursuit of things nobler than money.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

Google spelled out its corporate logo in mirrors at the giant solar station in the Mojave Desert on the day it announced that it would power every last watt of its global business with renewable energy; it’s the world’s biggest corporate purchaser of green power.2 But there is exactly one human being who bridges that cultural gulf between these different species of plutocrat. Vanity Fair, in 2016, declared that Ayn Rand was “perhaps the most influential figure in the tech industry.” Steve Wozniak (cofounder of Apple) said that Steve Jobs (deity) considered Atlas Shrugged one of his guides in life.3 Elon Musk (also a deity, and straight out of a Rand novel, with his rockets and hyperloops and wild cars) says Rand “has a fairly extreme set of views, but she has some good points in there.”4 That’s as faint as the praise gets. Travis Kalanick, who founded Uber, used the cover of The Fountainhead as his Twitter avatar. Peter Thiel, a cofounder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, once launched a mission to develop a floating city, a “sea-stead” that would be a politically autonomous city-state where national governments would have no sway.5 Some of Silicon Valley’s antigovernment sentiment is old, or at least as old as anything can be in Silicon Valley.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Interview with Joan Didion in Shotgun Freeway: Drives through Lost L.A., directed by Morgan Neville and Harry Pallenberg (King Pictures, 1995). 50.  Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, directed by Reyner Banham (1972). 51.  Benjamin H. Bratton, “iPhone City (v.2008),” in Digital Cities AD: Architectural Design 79, no. 4 (2009): 90–97. 52.  Elon Musk and SpaceX, “Hyperloop Alpha,” August 12, 2013, http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha-20130812.pdf. 53.  Vicky Validakis, “Rio's Driverless Trucks Move 100 Million Tonnes,” Australian Mining, April 24, 2013, http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/rio-s-driverless-trucks-move-100-million-tonnes. 54.  Bruno Latour, Aramis, or the Love of Technology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993). 55.  Sebastian Thrun, “Google's Driverless Car,” TED, March 2011, http://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_thrun_google_s_driverless_car.


pages: 334 words: 104,382

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Geidt, who joined Uber as its fourth employee and its first woman, was in charge of launching the ride-sharing company in new cities at the time. A person with firsthand knowledge of Pishevar’s behavior toward Geidt confirmed the holiday party account. Though Geidt declined to comment when the story broke, it’s clear Pishevar was in a position of power. He had recently co-founded his own venture fund, Sherpa Capital, and the futuristic tube transportation company Hyperloop One. Pishevar, through his lawyer, denied the allegation and told Bloomberg that he and Geidt always maintained a “friendly, professional relationship.” His representatives also directed us to speak with someone else who had attended the party, and asked not to be named, who claimed that Pishevar couldn’t have touched anyone that night because he had a drink in one hand and the pony leash in the other.


pages: 353 words: 106,704

Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardiner

barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, connected car, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Hyperloop, index card, Indoor air pollution, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, white picket fence

One observer, recalling an investor’s description of Silicon Valley as “a lot of big minds chasing small ideas,” said that for all his flaws, Musk’s “mind and ideas are big ones.”33 A provocateur who is often too eager to pick fights, he is an imperfect messenger for the new industries he champions. And some of his ideas sound outlandish—a colony on Mars; high-speed travel through underground “hyperloops.” But he’s made more progress than many expected toward achieving some of them. SolarCity is his bid to expand clean power use, Powerwall his push for the batteries that make renewables reliable. With Tesla, he wants to remake transportation, and he bet—correctly—that he could beat a vast but moribund industry to it. Walking out of the factory, I see an oversized American flag billowing in the distance.


Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison by The Class Ceiling Why it Pays to be Privileged (2019, Policy Press)

affirmative action, Boris Johnson, discrete time, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, equal pay for equal work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Hyperloop, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, old-boy network, performance metric, psychological pricing, school choice, Skype, starchitect, The Spirit Level, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile

Tellingly, the Technical Partner remains arguably the practice’s most acclaimed figure, described by one founder as the “supreme detailer”. The currency of deep technical skills, or what we would call technical capital,32 was most clearly revealed in the narratives of early-career staff. Elena spoke enthusiastically about her plans to develop a particular “scripting tool” to aid with “complex geometrical modelling”, while Martin explained his aspiration to become an expert in “hyperloop transportation”. Both explained that partners were actively encouraging them to develop these kinds of technical expertise, to find their ‘niche’ or master a ‘specialist area’. Similarly, when explaining who he looked up to, and why, Connor, an Architectural Assistant from intermediate origins, foregrounded technical expertise: Sometimes I’m working on a project with some of the [Partners] upstairs and you just stand back and you’re like, “Wow!”


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Companies and entrepreneurs that are showing the way include: IBM, which in 2014 announced a five-year plan to bet 10 percent of its net income on post-silicon computer chips;30 Google (Alphabet), whose recent long-term bets include a new quantum artificial intelligence lab, self-driving cars and research into anti-aging drugs;31 and Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal whose moon shots include SpaceX (a space transport firm whose eventual goal is to colonize Mars) and Tesla (whose diverse aims include the mass-market adoption of electric cars, household battery packs to store renewable energy, and a 600-mile-per-hour hyperloop to transport people between Los Angeles and San Francisco). Dare citizens to fail Academic researchers and think tanks debate endlessly how to make public taxes, laws and regulations better. In truth, there is no one right answer. This is a values question as much as an empirical one, and around the world the policy response should draw on the values citizens cherish as well as the evidence.


pages: 424 words: 119,679

It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, coronavirus, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, failed state, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Chicago School, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Speaking at the University of Glasgow in 2016, Ausubel showed a series of slides demonstrating that since antiquity, human beings have been in motion on average seventy minutes per day. Whether on foot or horseback, in carriages, streetcars, or personal cars, for seventy minutes a day we roam. “This is some deep optimization caused by hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, a daily inspection of our nearby territory,” Ausubel says. As means of travel become more rapid—autonomous jets, maglev trains, perhaps the extremely fast “hyperloop”-style subway—people will continue to roam for seventy minutes a day, while increasing their range. “In Europe since 1950, the tripling of the average speed of travel has extended personal area tenfold,” he said. “This is going to happen for the whole world, and will be safe.” THE SUMMATION OF WHY TECHNOLOGY grows safer instead of more dangerous turns on a combination of liberal ideology (regulation), conservative ideology (market forces), military needs (precision guidance replacing huge explosions), and manufacturing pragmatics (reducing resource and fuel use makes products more valuable).


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

From San Francisco to San Jose, Silicon Valley has become one continuous low-rise stretch between I-280 and U.S.-101 that is home to over six thousand technology companies that generate more than $200 billion in GDP. (With a San Francisco–Los Angeles–San Diego high-speed rail, California’s Pacific Coast would truly become the western counterpart to the northeastern corridor. Elon Musk’s Tesla has proposed an ultra-high-speed “Hyperloop” tunnel system for this route.) And the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the largest urban cluster in the American South, houses industry giants such as Exxon, AT&T, and American Airlines in an economy larger than South Africa’s and is actually building a high-speed rail (well, only 120 kilometers per hour) called the Trans-Texas Corridor that could eventually extend to the oil capital Houston based on plans rolled out in 2014 by Texas Central Railway and the bullet-train operator Central Japan Railway.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

For example, Arup, the global architecture and engineering firm, showcases a structural part designed using the latest methods that is half the size and uses half the material, but can carry the same load. The ultimate machine design does not look like something that would be designed by a human. The convergence of new design approaches, new materials, and new kinds of manufacturing will ultimately allow for the creation of new products as astonishing as the Eiffel Tower was to the world of 1889. Might we one day be able to build the fabled space elevator of science fiction, or Elon Musk’s Hyperloop transportation system? The fusion of human with the latest technology doesn’t stop there. Already there are people trying to embed new senses—and make no mistake of it, GPS is already an addition to the human sensorium, albeit still in an external device—directly into our minds and bodies. Might we one day be able to fill the blood with nanobots—tiny machines—that repair our cells, relegating the organ and hip replacements of today, marvelous as they are, to a museum of antiquated technology?


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Given the budgets passed since the 2013 Report Card (allocating about 55 percent of the required amount) and emerging news about lead-tainted water in various municipalities, it would be almost impossible to achieve an “adequate” grade by 2020 even if the Boomer machine wanted to, which it does not. For sociopaths, indifference to infrastructure has a certain logic. Bridges and waterworks take years to complete and often decades to return investments. What little interest the Boomers had in infrastructure therefore dwindles with age, especially if such investments risk the entitlements budget. As long as Boomers control government, there will be no smart grid, no public hyperloop, no wholesale move to clean power, not even appropriate maintenance. The Selfless and Selfish Cases for Public Goods The argument for infrastructure reduces to two facts: (1) we need it, and (2) it generates a significant and positive return on investment. That we require roads and sewers demands no further comment. That infrastructure generates net positive returns has long been understood by experts (including American governments of the midcentury), though not the present political class.


Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, complexity theory, coronavirus, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, endogenous growth, energy transition, epigenetics, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Law of Accelerating Returns, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, megastructure, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, optical character recognition, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Republic of Letters, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, technoutopianism, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, yield curve

The opposite is true, as the average speed of urban traffic has declined in almost every major city since the 1960s, and just its doubling would be impossible even if every vehicle was part of a synchronized, automated urban system (unless all crossroads were eliminated, infrastructurally an impossible transformation in existing cities). The average speed of rapid trains has increased only marginally since their first deployment in 1964 and, once again, it is a very safe bet that billions of people traveling by train will not do so in a decade or two in a supersonic hyperloop fashion. The typical speed of large container ships (30–40 km/h) is not radically higher than the typical speed of the 19th-century clippers; of course, their cargo capacities are orders of magnitude apart, but there has been no hyperbolic growth of speeds in ocean shipping, and there is no realistic prospect that this fundamental mode of transport that enabled modern economic globalization will enter a new age of radically increased speeds.