[extropy-chat] Real Extropians don't drive SUVs
brian_a_lee at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 18 16:00:04 UTC 2004
Considering demographics, the numbers of people who tow boats (or horses) is
way lower than SUV purchases.
I live in Atlanta and I see tons and tons of SUVs. It ices about once a year
here and a good awd sedan will perform just as well as a hummer in those
Maybe it's dream of towing horses or surviving a nuclear holocost that's
attracting all these SUV buyers.
All of the arguments except towing capacity apply equally to a volvo or bmw
awd wagan as to an SUV.
>From: David Lubkin <extropy at unreasonable.com>
>To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>Subject: RE: [extropy-chat] Real Extropians don't drive SUVs
>Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 11:51:46 -0400
>>I acknowledge that that there is a relatively narrow category of
>>driver/utily for which an SUV is basically the perfect car.
>I don't think it's that narrow. For starters, there's a hefty chunk of the
>population that lives, works, or recreates in the frozen north or a rural
>setting, or would otherwise buy a pickup truck with a cab.
>Sub/urban drivers who would not often require SUV features could still
>benefit from them in emergency situations, but some of the gain stems from
>others who are also fleeing being ill-prepared. Were LA to face a calamity
>that not all could survive, I'd rather Natasha have a relative advantage.
>>Good design could recapture the supposed safety benefits of the massive
>>traditional SUV's crashworthiness with crush zones.
>Doesn't some of the crashworthiness derive from raw weight? Won't a heavier
>instance of the same design have more crashworthiness than a lighter
>version? I'm recalling homework problems involving momentum and kinetic
>energy in elastic and inelastic collisions.
>>** Hybird Motors. As you point out, this is happening and, ironically,
>>the greater space available in the SUV platform makes them a natural for
>I'd rather see a design that could run on anything that poured or burned.
>Why are diesels rare in consumer vehicles? Why didn't the steam revival
>succeed? (Years back, there was a good article on them in analog. "Steamer
>Time?" by Wallace West, in the 9/1968 issue.)
>>the loss in gross pulling power in getting rid of the heavy, inflexible
>>solid rear axle isn't felt by the soccer moms who never need to tow a
>Many soccer moms have daughters who are into horses. In my married days, we
>had a Suburban to pull a horse trailer. Damn heavy.
>And wouldn't a soccer mom need to tow mobile ICBMs in an "Ungoverned"
>future? I've met a few Second Amendment Sisters who'd be up for it.
>>** Center of Gravity. The first three factors above will naturally lower
>>the center of gravity (the hybrids' placement of their batteries down low
>>in the frame, for instance). Further employment of a little thought to
>>move as many components to the bottom of the design as possible can do
>>this. Even more smarts employed to make an actively-controlled suspension
>>that raises and lowers the vehicle for various modes finishes the C/G
>Some SUVs have this. (As did our 1970 Citroen wagon. It's amusing to see
>car manufacturers touting innovative features, like a second set of
>headlights that are linked to the steering wheel, that we had 30 years
>-- David Lubkin.
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