[ExI] Atlantic article on human reengineering with very strong reactions

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Fri Mar 16 10:41:37 UTC 2012

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 10:32:06PM -0700, spike wrote:

> Ja, but the problem is that everyone will not.  Some will ride in little
> slow half tons, some will just stay with the old tried and true Detroit V8.
> The Detroit is expensive to run, but there are some things it does very
> well.  It is fast, comfortable, carries a lot of apes, can be taken cross
> country, etc.  What we really need is a way to separate the two, in order to
> keep the lightweights safer.

Making fossil hydrocarbons more expensive (Europe is 9 USD/g) forces 
the downsize and infrastructure shifts. You can put a punitive tax on
dry curb weight for unit of ape transport for the really rich who
wouldn't mind cashing out 0.1 MEUR annually for the privilege.
And consider heavy haul, who should be paying two orders of magnitude
more for street wear.
> Do think about this problem, for it is one that governments really can help
> do.  Governments legitimately make traffic rules and build infrastructure.
> What we need is to divide major roads, and keep one side for the efficient
> light guys, the other for the old V8s.  It isn't clear exactly how to do

What we need is discourage pointless travel, and move mass transport off 
the roads.

> that, but try to envision your local road system done that way.  Imagine one
> side done in roads where the specs require a smoother surface.  It can be
> done with current technology, but it is more expensive to build and more
> expensive to maintain a road with a lower tolerance for anomalies.  But if

You might have noticed that several muncipalities have razed paved roads
and converted them back to dirt roads. Because they're out of money.

> we require the maximum road anomaly to be half what we currently require,
> then a wheel half the diameter would still give an acceptable ride.  A half
> diameter wheel would be about one eighth the weight and be more compatible
> with the overall design I envision.
> We can do this, but the older bigger cars will pose a safety hazard to the
> new small guys.  We will need to resurface half of the roads and rethink
> maintenance.

If you look at the state of infrastructure in most of the Western world, we
cannot even keep it from unraveling. *Everybody* is broke.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list