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

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Fri Mar 16 13:32:01 UTC 2012

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 05:57:27AM -0700, spike wrote:

> >... Minicars are not the vehicle of choice for 1,000 mile cross-country
> trips. ;)

While I enjoy an occasional megameter by car to look at the countryside
the saner (and more risk-averse) folks take a train or fly. The size of 
the car is not the issue, it's how much space each occupant has.
> Exactly.  We have a notion of each person having a car that can do
> everything.  This sends us to vehicles that are heavy, expensive and
> thirsty.  An alternative would be having a single seater, then you rent a V8

I'd much prefer telepresence platform rental for everything but 
vacations. In fact, a lot of vacations are about sightseeing, and a
drone can go places faster than ground-dwelling monkeys.

> if you really need to drive cross country.  We could create rental agencies
> that use current cars, which could last for decades if used that way.

Many people in cities don't have a car themselves but use car-sharing
> >...Minicars are modern and have better designed accident protection than
> any ten-year old vehicle... BillK
> Granted, but what I really have in mind is not yet on the road.  All current
> cars are big by the standards I have in mind, including the Cooper Mini and

The problem is less the size, it's the weight.

> the others.  The Cooper would be an example of a car still too heavy and
> fast to be allowed on the divided roads I have in mind.  We currently have

I would not make cars slower than 130 km/h cruise, and up to 200 km/h
for brief sprints.

> the technology to build cars that get 100 miles per gallon (don't know what
> that is in metric, 2 liters per 100 km?)  No new technology is needed.  We

We have the technology to go 0.9 l/100 km.

> just can't run those safely on current roads, for they are too light and too
> slow.  If we can figure out a means of keeping them out of the way of V8

The safest cars are F1, they're made from carbon composite and weigh
~500 kg.

> drivers, we can save buttloads of fuel.  They would be faster than bicycles,
> and offer more weather protection.  They would be low cost and low risk of

Given that a pedelec in-hub does 300 W easily, and kW in ultralites
goes a long way a recumbent-type ultralite with aerodynamic shell would
be a speed demon and weigh some 30-50 kg.

> theft, low environmental impact because they wouldn't require a lot of
> steel.  They would require most roads to be repaved, with most surface

Steel doesn't really have a bright future in light vehicles.

> anomalies reworked.  The expense of that would be high, but the payback time
> short.

Nothing will be happening in infrastructure. If anything, decaying infrastructure
will make autopiloted personal VTOL electroflight worthwhile.

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