[ExI] high speed rail: was RE: vaccines again

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Jan 4 01:49:07 UTC 2023



…> On Behalf Of Will Steinberg via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] vaccines again


>…High speed rail is much more energy and economy efficient than planes though, once you have the infrastructure…


OK.  But who pays for that infrastructure?  Investors didn’t think it would pay off in their lifetimes, so… they didn’t come, but there’s more.


It looks to me like high speed rail is trying to solve a problem that isn’t in desperate need of a new solution.  Covid taught people to use Zoom, which means it is less important to move passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles, or between Sacramento and Los Angeles, but regardless of that, all three of those places have a waaaaay bigger problem than how to move people: they have become very very dangerous places to be.  So now we are thinking there will be sufficient passenger loads to justify high speed rail from one very dangerous city to another?


>…It's an investment in the future…


Ja.  So… where are these investors?


>…Nobody here seems to give a shit about the future…


On the contrary.  Others may have a vision of the future that differs from yours however.


>…which is why we have toxins in our food and water and air and soil…


So the smart money would be on technologies to clean up that, rather than high speed rail, ja?


>…and why we are finally coming due for the checks we wrote with things like 0% FFR and QE, and the spending and hiring practices of corporations, especially big tech.  You can see it happening with Twitter, which I know you agree with me on--they overhired and overextended based on taking out loans and goodwill on a trumped-up valuation, now Elon is holding that bag into the ground…


I can easily imagine Twitter succeeding as a viable company.  Not nearly as big as it was said to be, but plenty of people will go there, since it is now one’s best bet for an unfiltered news source.  Once you get good with it, the obvious question is why do we need mainstream news media?  What purpose does it serve, when anyone can tune one’s news to whatever interests one?


>…  Problem is that same thing seems to be happening everywhere.  And I think investing in planes instead of trains is yet another example of short term profits being prioritized over long term stability… 


There are plenty of long term bonds available.  They aren’t big sellers.  


>…China plays the long game and it's why they are so scary.  They are the old bull who's going to walk down there and fuck all those cows.  We're the young fool here…


Will, the reason I think not: government is slow but technology is fast.  The government was waaaay too involved in high speed rail, with the Prop 1A approved by voters in 2008.  A lot changed since then, specifically covid came along and public transit never recovered.  I remember what the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) was like before covid and what it is now.  Before it was a viable alternative transportation system from here into San Francisco.  Now, it is a rolling homeless shelter, in clear and present risk of bankruptcy. 


Since trains don’t have the same kind of infrastructure for getting people on and off at the destinations, it makes it ideal for the homeless to live aboard, whirring back and forth all day between San Jose and San Francisco, never getting off.  This is easy to understand: it is a nice warm dry place to sleep.  There are no BART employees who make sure everyone gets off.  So… they don’t.  So… it now smells funky in there and has gotten dangerous to ride.


So why wouldn’t a high speed rail have a similar problem?  And while I am on the topic of similar problems, one that BART really struggles with is people using it as a means of suicide: they walk out onto the track in front of the train.  High speed rail would likely have that problem too, and more: it would likely be more susceptible to terrorist attack.




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