Hypin’ the Hyperloop
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  • gwvanderleun

    This is just the Seqway of the month. And will have a much shorter shelf life.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    The first comment, dismissive as it is, is unfortunately typical of the reaction I am seeing. For example, here is Tyler Cowan’s take (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/08/elon-musks-hyperloop.html), and he is normally a thinker I respect.

    What happened to the country that built its first transcontinental railroad in six years? That built the Panama Canal? The interstate highway system?

    Admittedly the hyperloop is only a concept at this point, but what happened to the boldness and the confidence that used to enable us to make concepts like this real?

    Oh well, I guess I can visit China one day to experience modern transportation. How do you say “hyperloop” in Mandarin?

    • f1b0nacc1

      The railroad, canal, and highway were all fairly mundane technologies, it was the scale that made them significant. Suggesting that simply because an idea is innovative that it is automatically worthy of being taken seriously is simply silly, as is the hyperloop itself.
      I freely concede that I am no engineer, but I know enough about engineering and economics to know a pipe dream (rather apt, don’t you think?) when i see one. Musk has done some terrific things (SpaceX alone should garner him our respect), but even the greatest dreamers crash and burn sometimes. Consider Edison and his obsession with direct current, for instance…

      • S.C. Schwarz

        Well I am an engineer, a civil engineer in fact. I am not suggesting that we know enough about the hyperloop now to know if it’s workable or economic. I am suggesting that there is nothing inherently unreasonable about the concept, and the reflexive dismissals I am seeing are depressing.

        • f1b0nacc1

          “Inherently unreasonable”? Probably not…economically viable or even worth doing…also probably not. Just because a thing can be done, doesn’t mean that doing it is a particularly good idea.
          As for reflexive dismissals…I am open to being convinced, but arguments like “well, if we don’t do it, China will” won’t cut it. Show me how this makes sense economically, how it can be done in the real world (with interest group politics, regulatory overreach, etc.), and I am happy to listen. I rather doubt you can do this, but I would love to be proven wrong.

  • CA’s “bullet train [to nowhere]” is not about transportation: It’s about union jobs. The hyperloop wouldn’t create as many, so it won’t be approved by our (suicidal) Dem Legislature.

    Dem policies have nothing to do with progress. The Bullet Train is about union jobs. Obamacare is about three things, none of them healthcare: 1) reducing people to 30-hr weeks to drive a demand for an increase in Minimum Wage (and a permanent Dem majority), 2) unionizing all American healthcare workers and funneling those dues from the SEIU to the DNC (creating and a permanent Dem majority, 3) A step on the road to NHS – never a good HC solution – but a permanent Dem majority as everyone has now been conditioned to expect the gov to provide HC so that when OCare fails (as it was designed to do), we get NHS.

    Democrats don’t care about solutions – OR people; they only care about control.

  • Tom Servo


    It’s just a high speed train that will cost a lot more than current trains to build, and won’t have any bulk cargo capability. Oh yeah, that makes sense.

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