Our Muskian and Google-ized Future

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No sane person “hates” – as I have been accused of “hating”-  electric cars or self-driving cars or air bags or any other technology or device. Hating them is as irrational as hating guns. They’re all morally neutral. Tools.self drive lead

What irks is being force-fed electric cars, self-driving cars – and so on.

It never seems to be enough that a new device or technology is merely available. Put on the market by those who designed and built it – and then left to succeed or fail on the merits of the thing.

It’s always a totalitarian push that everyone will have “x” – want it or not.

Self-driving cars will follow this pattern.

But there will be a big difference this time.

Once they transition from futuristic technology to everyday viability – and we’re this close to that unhappy moment – proposals will be warbled (then laws enacted) restricting and ultimately forbidding the operation of non-automated cars on the government’s roads.

Remember: Driving is a privilege (as they see it). Not a right.google car

Elon Musk – the billionaire crony capitalist who loves the idea of directing the flow of history using coercion rather than consent – recently let the self-driving cat out of the bag. It will be done Because Safety. Here is the relevant quote:

“It’s too dangerous,” said Musk. “You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine.”

Italics added.

People, in other words, cannot be trusted to behave responsibly on their own. They must be presumed irresponsible – incompetent. All of them. Every last one of us. Premise accepted – which Musk and his fellow coercive utopians will insist upon – and the next step is not only obvious but inevitable.

Within ten years, perhaps sooner, not one of us will be allowed to operate a “two ton death machine.” This will be forbidden. Not initially. But give them time.

Cars that do not drive themselves will first be vilified as unsafe, a threat to the children. This is already happening. Musk says the evidence is “overwhelming” that cars driven by us rather than by him (via computer proxy) are horribly dangerous.

Those who “cling” to them will be rhetorically tarred and feathered.musk graphic

Within a very short time – as the autonomous car pupates into a reality – the push to retire cars we’re allowed to drive ourselves (remember, government roads we’re privileged to use) will become a shove. It will begin with nudges, such as restricted lanes. Autonomous Cars Only. Just as was done – and is still being done – to encourage the use of hybrid and electric vehicles.

These will be expanded.

From one lane to all of them. The highways will be first. Secondary roads a few years afterward. Think I’m exaggerating? Ask Musk.

Or, ask Google.

Chris Urmson – Google’s director of self-driving cars (yes, they have an app for that – and so much more) told an audience at an auto industry event in January that he did not believe there was any regulatory obstacle for the introduction of self-driving cars, provided they met all the federal government’s crash-test and safety standards.google car graphic

2017 Cadillacs will offer a “supercruise” self-driving feature that will turn drivers into passengers. Musk says all it will take to turn his fleet of electric Edsels into self-driving electric Edsels is a software tweak.

Self-driving semis are being trotted out on the highways of Nevada.

At the same time, financial “incentives” will be trotted out to encourage the accelerated retirement of “old fashioned” and “unsafe” cars that do not drive themselves. This could be done very effectively via insurance. Those who buy a Googlized or Musked car that drives itself will be rewarded with lower rates – Because Safety. Meanwhile, those who “cling” to their “old fashioned” cars that do not drive themselves will be forced (remember, insurance is mandatory) to pay ever-increasing premiums – also Because Safety.

These premiums will quickly balloon to exorbitant levels.

Most peoplewill no longer be able to afford to pay the insurance, without which it is illegal to drive the car. Presto – your non-autonomous car becomes two tons of functionally useless steel and glass.

Whether you – as an individual – have ever filed a claim or had one filed against you being immaterial as regards these mafiosi-esque extortions.

Because – as Musk would be happy to tell you – the individual is immaterial.

The collective, on the other hand, is very material indeed. “people” – not you, just “people” – cannot be trusted to safely operate a “two ton death machine.” There are accidents. Children hurt. Not perhaps by you.

But that is irrelevant in the Muskian scheme of things to come.   outlaw cars     

What is material is the fact that some people get into accidents; that some people cannot be trusted to safely operate a “two ton death machine.” Those “some” will become the basis for laws that apply to all.

Those who don’t see it coming are fools. Because this is not new. It is merely the latest – logical – expansion of a principle already accepted by a majority of the population. And endorsed by the courts.

How else to explain TSA checkpoints, just for instance? Everyone is presumed a terrorist until proved otherwise. You want to fly? You will be required to submit. The difference – for now – being you may still opt out of flying and get where you want to go by driving.

Soon that option will be gone with the wind.   

We will be required to accept passenger status – and pay for the privilege.  Driving will cease to be.

We will be driven henceforth.

Because Safety.

Carpe diem. While you still can.

I thank the Motor Gods I arrived just in time to experience the freedom of driving myself where I want to go, when and how I’d like to go. Without Elon Musk along for the ride. That classic hard rock tune Red Barchetta echoes in my head. I pity the youth.

They will never know.

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  1. Great article. So laughed hard when I saw this today on linkedin:

    …about how self-driving cars should be mandatory. The best part is when Hoffman tries to convince us that they’ll actually “amplify” personal freedom because elderly/disabled/young people will be able to obtain a drivers license. A drivers license- for a car that they still aren’t driving.

    So let me get this straight- with self driving cars a disabled person can get in and let the car drive itself. As things currently stand, a disabled person can get in and let somebody else drive. I’m missing the “amplified” freedom here…

  2. Self driving cars are a great idea, because computers NEVER fuck up. Not once has the almighty Google ever listed a damn thing wrong on its mighty search engine. Never ever has it given bad directions on its maps, or failed to find an address that actually exists….
    Never ever ever in the history of mankind has a Windows system ever given anyone any problems. And Apple does even better!
    Hacking? That’s a Hollywood myth. Hackers cannot really hijack a computer, much less the all powerful ones that will be installed in self driving cars.
    And your destination information will always remain secure, and never be sold to advertisers, or given to the government.
    The government can be totally trusted with your car, and besides, it would be impossible for them to gain control of your vehicle without a warrant.
    What a great and fabulous idea! A government mandate to save people from traffic wrecks. The government has done so well fighting poverty, eliminating drugs, catching terrorists, stabilizing the economy, and just overall making Americans happier and more united than ever before. We really need to give them control of this aspect of our lives as well, since their track record is so good.
    I can’t wait until this all happens. I’ll be watching from Acapulco.

  3. I have over twice as many miles under my ass as the Google cars have run. . . with fewer accidents.

    From my position, It’s too dangerous . You can’t have a computer driving a two-ton death machine.

  4. If these self driving cars are going to be so much safer and we won’t have wrecks anymore, Flo’s going to have to get a new job cause there’d be no need for auto insurance, oh wait, that won’t happen.

    • There may be no need for it, but the gunvermin will still require it. One could argue that any mishap would be the liability of the manufacturer of a ‘self-driver’ but they won’t let that happen.

  5. Truly autonomous vehicles would be a boon to last mile delivery.

    Watch for this to be latched onto by a company like Amazon first.

    Amazon is presently looking to buy old shopping malls and use them as locations for pushing items to be delivered same-day to people. Their concept is to have the products near the people who will order them before those people even realize they need to order them. This is effectively one major leg of a Content Distribution Network of physical items. A Meatspace CDN. The problem then becomes how to get the items to the people who order them. In an urban setting, bicycle delivery people exist, but they are possibly expensive to retain for this purpose long-term. Amazon seems to be doing this now, along with placing lockers at various retailers as drop-off points for packages. With autonomous EVs, this model can expand out into the wider country. As range on EVs increases, this sort of delivery model can basically destroy the last-mile component of UPS and FedEX, it can change how USPS does things as well. It may well be reminiscent of the disruption performed by Lysander Spooner for the modern age.

  6. I dunno why everyone is losing their shit over this. None of it will be fully implemented, because…COLLAPSE. The crumbling around the edges is already happening (see Greece). You’re going to end up seeing self-driving cars going nowhere, because there will be no way to pay the (government) people needed to maintain the system. Manual driving it is, assuming you have a car filled with gas and a place to go with it.

    Fear not, my friends, the Elon/Brin future will not last long.

    • And when is this alleged “collapse” supposed to happen?

      “6 months from now” , whatever “now” is, is not an acceptable answer.

      • The date of ‘the collapse’ cannot be predicted because:
        1 – the stupidity of the government varies from day to day;
        2 – there is just enough ‘free market’ and entrepreneurial skill left to keep delaying it, although not forever.

          • “The collapse” means different things to different people. To me, it will be either 1- when the Fed sends the dollar into hyperinflation (unlikely, because most of their wealth is related to the dollar also), or b – when the national gunvermin cannot meet its obligations (e.g., Socialist Insecurity) because the Fed refuses to inflate further.
            When the ‘freebie’ bucket runs dry, the ‘consent of the governed’ will end and the gunvermin itself, at least national and state, maybe not local, will collapse. They don’t have enough guns to force compliance.

  7. Well the good news is that drive-by shootings will be a lot easier to accomplish when you don’t have to keep your hands on the wheel…

  8. I predict that after self driving cars become the norm the next stage will be to reduce congestion by forbidding riding in one alone. There will be forced “maximum passenger capacity”.

    Eventually private car ownership will be illegal. Gubment roads, gubment cars only. Amtrak on the interstate.

  9. All it will require will be a software tweak.

    Famous last words! It never ceases to amaze me how much confidence those who are entirely ignorant of software place in it. Thank goodness no “software tweak” has ever introduced a fatal bug. And thank goodness that complex networked realtime systems are particularly simple and easy to program reliably, especially those that are safety critical.

    • The good news is that software coding security standards for the automotive industry appear to be nearly non-existent,. Yes, this is a dangerous double-edged sword, to be sure. But on the positive side it also means that hacks, workarounds, and bug fixes are that much easier. For all the lip service paid to cybersecurity, I don’t see the automotive industry putting its money where its mouth is anytime soon.

    • Ah, the dreaded ‘bluewindscreen of death’.

      Cars will soon come with new window sticker options of Mac, Windows or Android self driving OS. Linux will be outlawed, too much user control.

      Got to brush up on my hacking skills.

    • My thoughts exactly; as someone who has OPERATED a computer for the last 35 or so years, I hesitate to put my trust in any operating system that would [supposedly] protect my life! What happens when that “blue screen of death” happens on the open road? Or a hang due to network congestion? Yeah, right…i thought so!

  10. 1) Commoditize the automobile
    2) market the automobile
    3) remove barriers to ownership with credit and simple unrealistic tests
    4) panic when the uneducated and untrained drivers cannot control their vehicles
    5) call in the lawyers
    6) blame the engineers
    7) throw a bunch of money at the problem, leading to…
    8) pile on the technology.
    9) drive costs ever higher (increase credit) through government mandates (and tax breaks to help offset them).
    10) Profit! (and government handouts when the business plan doesn’t quite work out)

    Or, if in Germany:
    1) Recognize the automobile is a liberating device, but with liberty comes responsibility
    2) require extended training in physics and road rules (including what in the US is considered “courtesy”)
    3) enforce rules that were developed based on physics and actual driver ability, not arbitrary concepts
    4) require true safety inspections, far more strict than any US state inspection, but also based more on reality
    5) while automobiles are more expensive, they are also much better maintained (and typically kept in service far longer than their US counterparts).
    6) profit(?) and government incentives to keep automakers in business.

    I’m often reminded of the first BMWs built for the US market. The interior designers didn’t include cup holders for the driver. It seems when traversing the Autobahns when you get thirsty you pull over and take a break. They didn’t understand the idea of drinking a coffee, fussing with the radio and driving. When you drive, you should be driving (ahem, I really wish Eric would get a tripod for his video camera… hell, I’ll even chip in to buy you one). I don’t even want to know what they’d think about “trucker bombs.”

    But improving drivers is hard. People suffer from Dunning-Kruger effect when it comes to accessing their driving ability. Breaking the perception of themselves as “above average” is extremely difficult given that, for the most part, we’re all able to get from point a to point z without a major mishap the majority of the time. Put the average American driver on a European highway and most of them will be way out of their league. And of course we’re also still suffering from the 55 MPH speed limit of the 70s and 80s, when I learned to drive.

    • Improving drivers isn’t hard when everyone expects everyone else to be competent and practice actual courtesy by not getting in the way of others. It’s social expectations that drive the system. Driving with the social expectations of Germany in the USA and one will get labeled ‘rude’ or worse. In the USA backwards courtesy is practiced. It’s this idea of letting the other guy go because he ‘just made a mistake’ coupled with the ‘me first’ aspects of this society means people intentionally make these so called errors to get ahead. Like our Clover here who argued endlessly (mostly on clovercam) about how it was acceptable to pull out in front of people and force them to brake.

      The US is a system of looking out for the other guy while Germany is a system of driving competently so the other guy doesn’t have to avoid you. Hence the ‘speed kills’ system. It’s not that the other guy did something wrong, it’s that you were going to fast to avoid him, even if your speed was 25mph or less. By putting responsibility on crash avoidance on the other guy in the USA we get lazy irresponsible driving by people who just assume the other guy is looking out for them. (Our Clover) In Germany this responsibility and blame transfer best I can tell does not exist.

      Drivers are the way they are in the USA because of wrong headed teachings and also the need to exploit drivers for government revenue. It could be fixed in a few years time. I found refusing to compensate for lazy clovers and adjust for them alone gets them to do the right thing. Many actually know what they should do but because of backwards teachings they just take the lazy way out.

      • Brent says ” By putting responsibility on crash avoidance on the other guy in the USA we get lazy irresponsible driving by people who just assume the other guy is looking out for them.” Brent you are a joke. Daily you drive lazy and irresponsible and expect others to look out for you. I have been trying to get that through your dense skull for years. You do not follow merge lane signs and expect others to look out and adjust for your poor driving. You drive in other people’s blind areas and expect others to look out and adjust for you. You tailgate other cars and force others to look out for you with your illegal passing. So Brent what do we do with irresponsible people like you that you so much complain about? What is the answer? Maybe we should take your solution and start with yourself. I believe in good driving. In good driving at times people have to take their foot off the gas. Good driving does not mean to put the accelerator to the floor board and expect other drivers to part the red sea for you.Clover

          • Mithrandir, Brent drives exactly like what he is complaining about. I know, you defend poor driving. Rules of the road mean nothing to people like you. You say if there is not a law against poor driving that is enforceable then you say it is fine to do no matter how dangerous or stupid it is. Mithrandir I can not remember when the last time I have needed to use my horn while driving if at all. Brent has shown us many of his videos where he felt the need to use his horn. Mithrandir why is that? I will tell you if you can not figure it out. It is because Brent drives poorly and always seems to be in a place where he should not be. Why is it Mithrandir that you defend and promote poor driving like this?Clover

            • Clover,

              Brent’s quite correct about the mentality (and habits) of German drivers vs. American drivers like you. Having been to Germany and driven on the Autobahn as well as German secondary roads, I can vouch for this from personal experience (unlike you).

              Drivers in Germany would be considered “aggressive” by your standards – which have become American standards – because they take initiative, they pass quickly, they react immediately. They do not wait a few moments after the light turns green before they begin to accelerate – and then accelerate at what Brent rightly describes as a “bicycle’s speed.” When they pass, they do not do so cruise control style. They move briskly around the car they’re passing, then move back into the right lane. They also anticipate the need to move over to the right – and do so before an overtaking car is forced to slow (because they’re still in the way, as here). Similarly, when they merge with traffic, they do so in such a way as to not interrupt the flow of the traffic they are merging with. The bring their car up to speed rapidly – and (when necessary) increase their speed to faster than the traffic they’re merging with, so as to use that speed to slot in with traffic without forcing the traffic to slow to accommodate them.

              These are utterly foreign concepts to you. Alien concepts.

              What you and yours seek is a kind of vehicular version of a languid, dawdling walk in the park. What’s your hurry? Such a pretty view!

              Your ideal is a passive (“defensive”) herd that just moseys along, moo moo moo.

              If this were “safe” (as you believe it is) I might groan and bear it. But the reality is that it’s not safe. Passivity and inattention are very dangerous indeed. It is no accident, Clover, that the U.S. highway fatality rate is higher (per VMT) than it is in Germany, notwithstanding “aggressive” German driving (at much higher speeds).

              People like you are in a kind of narcoleptic (catatonic?) state. Oblivious, unskilled and inconsiderate.

              To borrow your oft-repeated challenge: I’d bet you a “million dollars” that you could not pass the licensing requirements in Germany and if you were to attempt to drive on German roads, you’d either be killed or kill someone else within 24 hours. Or, you’d be so terrified that you’d take the train instead.

              Poor ol’ Clover!

              • CloverEric there is one thing you missed. Germany comes down hard on reckless driving. If you drive like you do here and the way that Brent drives here you would both be put in jail in Germany. Brent’s tailgating, lane merge philosophy, driving in someone’s blind spot and using your horn to stop someone from a legal lane change would get you serious fines if not jail time. Your passing on blind curves and hills where there are possible pedestrians, driveways, slow moving vehicles or bicycles, they would get you jail time. Your passing and pushing other drivers back like you have shown us would be frowned upon big time. Eric if you really want to see how you would do in Germany then go spend a few years there. Don’t just drive there for a few days on the Autobahn. Eric if you leave the Autobahn and drive like you have shown us in your videos then you would be jailed because it is against the law there.

                • Just wanted to post this. Yes, Germany does come down hard on reckless driving. However, the definition of reckless driving there is grossly different than here. Here driving fast or passing on the right is considered reckless. My son got a ticket for passing on the right in Horn Lake, Mississippi. Seems someone was turning left on a two lane road and my son went around him via the parking lot of a Mapco convenience store. Whereas in Germany, everything a US clover, glover aka statist does while driving there will result in tickets. Germany doesn’t rely on roving police to ticket. They have tons of cameras with actual people monitoring the cameras and not some f’n computer. They see some moron ride the left lane, Ticket. They see someone that refuses to merge with current speed of traffic, Ticket. They see someone refuse to move right for oncoming traffic, Ticket. As a matter of fact, to get a license to drive the autobahn, which is pretty f’n expensive in itself, you have to attend mandatory training classes for the autobahn. Pass the test and yes even after paying the the thousands for the ability to drive the autobahn you do the US clover, Glover aka statist crap you will be fined heavily and have your ability to drive revoked. Now take that with your spit and shinola.

                  • Thanks David Ward. So in Germany Brent and Eric would flat out get a lot of tickets. I am all for driving correctly. I have no problem with what you have said. The only thing is that you were wrong on half of it. Yes in Germany if you pass on the right you would get a ticket. From the description that you gave about your son getting a ticket for passing on the right had nothing to do with passing on the right. It had to do with driving on business property and off of the roadway to pass. Yes if you see a line of cars in front of you and you pass them in a business parking lot then yes you could get a ticket in any state and probably any country. Yes in Germany, Brent would get a ticket for tailgating. Brent and Eric would get a ticket for speeding. Brent would get a ticket for improper merging. Yes Germany has merge laws. On Busy times the zipper laws go into effect. Yes the car on the Autobahn or wherever has to allow cars to merge. Eric would get a ticket for passing in no passing zones. Brent would get a ticket for using his horn. The only rule that libertarians seem to have is get the hell out of your way. From all of the postings here anything else goes but not in Germany. Thanks for pointing that out.Clover

                    • Eric the problem in the United States is they do not enforce laws enough. Yes in Germany you can have very good traffic flow because they do not put up with the poor driving that you and Brent exhibit. Where there are speed limits they follow them. They follow things like no tailgating and dozens of other things that make driving have more throughput but you and Brent feel you can do your own thing. Bring the Germany type of driving here and you would and Brent would have your licenses taken away. Tailgating causes poor throughput because you constantly have cars speed up and slamming on their brakes interrupting smooth traffic flow. It is poor aggressive driving that causes poor traffic flow.Clover

                    • Poor ol’ Clover has never even been to Germany – yet somehow knows all about driving conditions there. How’s it feel to be so delusional?

                    • Poor, ignorant Clover has not figured out that there is no tailgating in Germany because the drivers are self-disciplined to pull over and get out of the way when another is gaining on them.

                    • Clover,
                      The beauty of Germany is that there aren’t road trolls you.

                      PS: you lie. My following distance is much greater than the average following distance for this area. Anything more is not practical because of road trolls like you.

                    • Phillip the Bruce I am far smarter than anyone else here. There is no excuse for tailgating. Tailgating causes poor traffic flow if not an accident which causes traffic stops. Poor traffic flow is because a select few say that everyone else should get off the road so that the flow would then be at their speed. Eric has shown us videos where he interrupted others and delayed others but that is OK because he did it aggressively he said.Clover

                    • Clover has never been to Germany but he sounds like he would have fit right in there in the 1930’s.

                • Clover, your trolling demonstrates your personality. You’ve done nothing but fabricate nonsense about me. I’ve been Germany, driven there. Everyone there drove the way I do. It was wonderful. Back to you, it’s clear you like to do everything you can to irritate the people around you. No doubt this describes your driving. Some day someone’s going to hit you hard.

                    • Troll grade: F–

                      I encountered a woman who drives like you this morning. She couldn’t wait until I had gone by so she waddled her SUV out in front of me never got up to speed before a red signal. Afterwards she accelerated slower than I do on a bicycle. Traffic in front pulled a half mile ahead as she never got closer to the speed limit than 5 under. Then she looking at me because I passed her when the opportunity presented itself. Just like you. Had to be first.

                    • So what is your problem Brent. You said that you now follow the speed limit. So driving a couple of miles per hour too slow for you is a punishable offense. It is obvious that you made it through your travels. According to Eric you can not get anywhere without driving over the speed limit. So Brent what is your solution? Do we blow their brains out for not driving at least 10 mph over the limit? You have mental problems. Being delayed for 5 seconds makes you have a stroke. I am sure you were about 3 feet behind the lady.Clover

        • clover, I can improve your driving in seconds. Just come to Tx. and pull right out in front of me when I’m doing 75 with a dozer or, like this last week when I was hauling a big track hoe. It won’t be fun for me since the DOT will come up with some reason I was at fault(always the truckers fault, always)and ticket me for some thing….maybe my windshield washer hose was disconnected or my backup light wasn’t working but they’ll find a reason. But I won’t have anywhere to go so you’ll be out of all of our miseries. I won’t be like Big Joe and the school bus, I’ll just try to stop as best I can and run over your sorry ass.

          Who was that genius who said a big rig stopped loaded as fast as not? Maybe he’ll be with you and can get a lesson in physics.

        • Grade F–. After your last grade Clover you should have improved your trolling, but instead you’ve doubled down on your fabrications. The simple fact is that you’ve argued endlessly that you can’t be bothered to wait for a gap in traffic so you pull out in front of people and force them to brake. But you won’t do it with semitrucks and trains. Why? If you think your principle is sound you should. You count on the other guy having self preservation in mind because it saves you effort.

  11. I don’t think technology is always neutral, and too much technology is too much. Choice? Not really, not when what starts out as options soon becomes mandatory, and not necessarily through government fiat. When the buying public speaks, the dissenters are stuck, and the public swallows any shiny techno-capsule it’s offered. Evidently only the Amish have the wit to choose which technology they want, on the basis of how it fits with their previous beliefs and lives.

    No doubt the Dunsel Auto-Drive 666 will not only be gobbled up the vacant-eyed car buyer, but will keep a real-time log on everything he does and everywhere he goes that’s constantly uploaded to the NSA facility in Utah. And he will love it. Car ownership is like a microcosm of America and freedom–from independence and liberty to convenience and sparkly gadgets.

    I’m sorry for my kids, who will never know what it’s like to ride in a 340 Cuda drifting in power slides on gravel roads, or race motorcycles on country backroads, or to take for granted that the sensation of driving would be forever.

    • Hi Ross,

      Yeah. Cell phones, as a for-instance. Not mandatory, but de facto, you pretty much have got to have one because prolly 95 percent of the population does. Even though only about 10 percent – if that – actually needs one. We’re carried along by the ripe tide.

      It’s a very subtle, very clever strategy – if it’s deliberate. And it may well be.

      More in keeping with Brave New World than 1984. In the former, the people are “happy” and believe themselves to be “free” – and in a way, they are. Free not to think, free to be endlessly distracted, free to be absolved of responsibility for decision… taken care of.

      That is the world that’s congealing, isn’t it?

      • “My uncle has a country place, that no one knows about…”

        Funny you should mention cell phones. Rarely do I see a man in a grocery store without these electronic leashes describing every potential purchase to wife/girlfriend: “Well, dear, they have the traditional blend for $4.99 or the bold ‘n spicy for $5.99; which one should I get?”

        Meeting someone somewhere at a specific time is an art that has vanished. Tried to do this with a friend of mine and the concept was beyond his comprehension: kept trying to call me to see where I was, “Dude, I told you I’d meet you at the west side of the parking lot at 4:00, stop calling.” Bear in mind that this is no kid, but a grown man in his mid-40s.

        Driving itself may be a lost art if men like “Elon Musk” [if that is indeed his real name] has his way.

        • Hi Colorado Confederate,

          I also rage against these machines and the de-civilizing effect they are having on human interaction.

          More and more, I feel like the savage in Brave New World.

      • Yup – big corporations are our new imperial overlords, and they have the politicians in their pocket. They will outlaw and regulate everything from energy consumption to driving, but will be rich enough to afford their own mega-mansions and private racetracks where they can drive themselves.

  12. Social engineers have two warring factions of human livestock with which to build their societal optimizing pyramid schemes. (According to evolutionary biologists, anyway.)

    The R-strategists, the clovers, the useless eaters, the consumer locusts, belong to the Regal category.

    The Regal category is typified by the philosophy: Individuals exist for the benefit of society.

    The Regal’s life philosophies are: Ethnocentrism, racism, material growth, and expansion.

    They are the worshippers of quanity. They believe in acquiring resources in a centralized location, and then profligately distributing this booty to solve all of societies ills. And to increase their power and control

    The Regal’s Politically advocate: Powerful central government, imperialism, uniformity, intolerance, censorship, severe punishments, and witch-hunts.

    The Regals are also the victors of the two world wars. They live well through welfarism and warfarism. The more chaos and disorder they can spread, the more their enemies, the K-strategists are killed and their superior productivity and self-discipline are nullified.

    The K-strategists, were the rulers of the earth for nearly 200,000 years. They came to power at the same time that anatomically modern humans began taking over the world.

    The K-strategists, the Kalyptic’s life philosophy is that: – Society exists for the benefit of the individual. They prize Individualism, tolerance, human rights, and protection of natural resources.

    The Kalyptics Politically advocate: Decentralized government, democracy, tolerance, and peace. They abhor disorder and fighting, because these activities are wasteful and destroy the accumulated wealth the K-strategists have spent their lifetimes acquiring.

    The conventional wisdom is that the two cannot co-exist.

    That you have to choose either team blue, team Regal authoritarian plenty for everyone in the ruling group with spoils obtained by hook or by crook.

    Or you have only the other choice of team red. Team Kalyptic moderation and rigid morality and frugality. Of making do with what you have, and not engaging is risky and unknown strategies. Of tradition and constancy.

    Now most of us see ourselves as self-sufficient and self-controlled. That we are the good guys, that take great care to have offspring. That we fully invest all we have in our children and our endeavors, and treat every little bit of capital and sustenance as sacred and inviolable.

    The Regals staged a coup with their Centralized Banking schemes. And their worldwide collusion of diverse ruling classes to from a small cabal of centralized power blocs that dictate what everyone else must do, and not do.

    It’s only been a 100 years now, though it sometimes seems like the Grasshoppers were always in charge, and the Ants were always the providers for the Grasshoppers whether they like it or not.

    But this is not the case. Trying to wrest control of our society by way of violence is an R-strategy. We should consider abandoning this madness, and redouble our efforts to create order in the midst of their schemes.

    All we need are isolated pockets of sanity and rightness, and in no time at all, we can begin to progress, and not need to concern ourselves with being in charge or retaking the majority.

    Because we believe in quality, and not quantity. The clovers and the producers of the world alike all prefer quality over quantity, when given a chance. All we’ll have to do is to survive and thrive enough to offer that alternative.

    Even if the majority of people are broken down, and nothing but better idiots, even if they are in the main hopelessly incompetent and pathetically dependent.

    Even if the overal majority require the control, and can’t handle anything on their own. That doesn’t mean we have to join them. We just have to do better, to be better. And people’s natural preferences will do the rest.

    For now, almost nobody remembers that people once were able to handle a great deal more by themselves. (And this is greatly favored by Regal strategists). But we remember.

    We have the literature that has survived. We can see the photos of the remains of the K-strategy civilizations that brought us to where we are today.

    Their attempts to spread unstoppable chaos will fail, if we offer a viable and relatable alternative. It is writtten in our genetic code. And hard wired into our brains. Over many thousands of years. This is not so easily negated and disabled.

    The Musk and Brin future is already here. And it is greatly increasing in power and influence. But we are still here also.

    To paraphrase what Charles Bukowski once wrote:

    We are still here, leaning against our machines.
    We still look out there. Look off there. To where dark meets dark.

    These last hundred years have been one hell of a crazy ballgame. We’re behind, but it’s not over yet.

    Now its our turn to bat. It finally our turn to try to score and to turn this game around into something we can truly enjoy playing. If we can only enjoy ourselves. Then they’ll all enjoy watching us. And before long, they’ll even begin participating in our game and that’s when we’ll finally start winning again.

    • So…
      Let em ask about the r/K set, where do the Vikings, Mongols, Goths/Visigoths/Vandals et al, fall in?
      It would seem they have aspects of both r and K selections, raiding being simpler than building for one’s self.
      But at the same time, the training of youth to partake in raiding would be very much K-selection, I think.

      Could it be that r/K really only works for those who live in an overly-civilized world? Meaning, it’s not useful for a less industrial world (I’m not conflating industrial and civilized, but there’s a change in the civilization when industry becomes normal.)

      So, while the French weren’t off raiding, and they DID deal with the Norseman (Normandy is named for the Norsemen who took up residence there, I understand) – they likely had high investment in children as well. Just a different direction for the training of the young.
      Rapier is different from long sword, for example; farming requires different skills from raiding. But both fall back on certain principles, such as strength and endurance, ability to read weather, seasons, etc.

      So while there were those more ant-like, or more grasshopper-like, I’m willing to bet their nature was refined as civilization progressed, and in essence deteriorated (or was more likely knowledge-farmed) to produce the egregious examples we see now…

      • Personally, I try to transcend groups, I seek mainly to objectively understand both kinds of humanity. The world needs both yin and yang.

        I know there’s a place for both, and once the imposition of centralized force is mitigated, they will reach a state of harmonious dissonance.

        1) Type r:
        The all you can eat buffet people. Those who enjoy unlimited quantity of everything cheap, easy, and plentiful.

        2) Type K:
        The connoisseur fine dining people. Reservation only. Highest quality of a carefully selected offering of only that which is the best. Lots of mandatory rules to follow, or you’ll be thrown out. The best is available only for the best, a limited selection of things expensive, complicated, and rare.

        3) I recommend this conservative take on r/K to you;

        Anonymous Conservative: Understanding political thought through evolutionary psychology.

        From the blog:
        One of the weirdest things for K-strategists is to enter the bizarre world of r-selection, where not only do people not see any problem with what is wrong, they actually think that what is right is evil.

        They actually believe in their r-selected morality so much that if you propose a K-selected principle to their children, even one that will help their children avoid diseases and form loyal a pair bond with a monogamous mate, they grow enraged.

        If you don’t understand r/K Selection Theory, you don’t understand the world today, and can’t predict what the world will be like tomorrow. It is going to be a wild ride.

        4) What are r and K?

        r and K come from evolutionary ecology, where they describe two fundamental psychologies seen in nature, designed to adapt an organism to either a glut or a shortage.

        Rabbits are r-strategists, designed to exploit free resources, like fields of grass. The five psychological traits inherent to the r-strategy are docility/conflict-avoidance, promiscuity/non-monogamy, single-mom’ing, early sexualization of young, and no loyalty to a competitive in-group. All help this glut-exploiting psychology to out-reproduce everyone else.

        Wolves are K-strategists, designed for when resources are too limited for everyone to survive. The five traits of a K-strategist are competitiveness/ aggressiveness/protectiveness, competitive mate monopolization/ monogamy, high-investment two-parent rearing, only mating when mature, and high loyalty to one’s competitive in-group. All these traits either help you win, or produce fitter offspring, so they will win.

        Society’s political battle is one between a glut-exploiting reproductive strategy of rabbits and a shortage-surviving reproductive strategy of wolves. All of politics and much of history are r vs K.

  13. What social engineers do is spend years, even decades breaking people down, building better idiots, creating incompetence and dependence and then roll out the control, their control. Justified because people just can’t handle it themselves. There’s a reason they took the school system first.

    Nobody remembers that people once were able to handle a lot more themselves.

    • Indeed. However, it can have some benefit for those of us not entirely reduced to the level of helpless infants.

      I just picked up a very nice, high end, ‘broken’ washing machine from some very wealthy but otherwise helpless folks. It was less than two years old. I assume still under warranty but since they wanted it gone as they had bought a new one, I wasn’t questioning it as I loaded it in my truck.

      Got it home, plugged it in and whir, click, click, but no water. Removed the hoses, looked at the screens on the inlets and yup, solid with mineral deposits. Removed screens, cleaned with CLR, replaced and now it works perfectly.

      Free to me, one very expensive washing machine. Selling my old (also free for same reason) one now.

      • Me2, funny how people have changed in ability along with the passing of time. Mama had one of those old Cone Action Frigidaire washers that would clean anything, the old up and down action. In this part of the country it got to where in the 70’s or so all those old washers(not my wife and I, still used one)got moved to the mudroom or the outside washhouse while the new, fancy job for the girls sat in the house and did a sorry job on a working person’s clothes.

        When her washer went agly I tore it down as a teen-ager, ordered parts and fixed it. Years later it broke again, I ordered transmission parts and fixed it again. Not but a year or less later something else went wrong and I tore it down(it was ancient by then), ordered the parts, stopped by Mama’s house to repair it and there sat a new, less capable, lighter weight machine….but brand new and shiny. So I inherited my first washer and that gave my wife and I two of those since the first one we bought used with my wife hoeing cotton for it. You could sell those left and right if you could find them and the spare parts. They had various settings so it was fairly much as good as anything that’s come since, better for dirty clothes by far. But now we have power useage, water useage concerns, but the most important part, washers don’t last like those nor clean like those. If I could find those washers new I could bootleg hell out of them. Lots of people had one in the house and one of those somewhere else for farm, oilfield, etc. use. I didn’t expect my clothes to last forever but it was sure nice for them to be clean. All those old high phosphate detergents didn’t hurt em a bit.

      • Me2 the rich people probably moved. If the water was so poor as to lime up water screens after less than 2 years then how the hell did it get clothes clean?Clover

        • clover, just so you’ll learn something, other things than lime build up and what’s even worse is basic rock like gypsum. Gyp clogs filters and eats up metals faster than lime. Every time I hear the washer filling slowly or realize it’s taking longer than normal I pull the hoses and clean the screens. And of course it’s not all gyp since we get a bit of sand past the separator but gyp will do it toot sweet. I no longer have any metal plumbing because of it. Pex is better in every way and cheaper to boot. Even new expensive faucets now have Pex coating inside.

          Borax is the very thing to get clothes clean with hard water as is salt.

          • My well water is high in iron. Even with a filter that catches the big chunks, toilets, etc., turn brown quickly after cleaning. You can bet that if my washer quits, I’m checking the hoses.

          • TSP is good for laundry and dishwashers too. still available in the paint department, but make sure you get the real deal and not a substitute.

              • Yes, that’s why it’s still available in the paint department. But why is it helpful for laundry (and dishes)? Because the P in TSP stands for Phosphate, the stuff the watermelons demanded be removed from laundry and dishwasher detergent.

    • Saw a cartoon once that had 2 stores, 1 on each side of the street. One said “Mike’s Fix-it Shop” – Mike standing in doorway bored to tears. Other one said “Ed’s Throw It Away and Get a New One Shop.” Line around the block. And a pile of ‘junk’ in the side yard behind a fence.

    • For once you may be right Brent. There is no bigger of an idiot than you are. Throw the rules of the road out the window is what you say because you have the right to drive poorly and make others look out for your poor driving.Clover

        • Mithrandir so you call me a liar? The rules of the road say not to tailgate. Brent does it. The rules of the road explain merging lanes and what to do. Brent does not follow it. The rules of the road says you are turn right in a right turn lane. Brent says he can go straight. The rules of the road say to use your turn signals to tell people behind you that you are changing lanes. Brent uses his horn instead behind such people to try with all his might to block the idiots that legally change lanes in front of him. Why is it Mithrandir that you support poor driving?Clover

      • *YAWN* I’ll grade that troll an F.
        It’s repetitive, it’s a complete fabrication, it doesn’t even match what you’re replying to. It shows no effort or intelligence what so ever.

      • Clover, I laugh at you!!! You cannot read the English language for comprehension, like a failing 4th grader you divine meanings out of posts that are just not there. Nobody here “throws the rules of the road out the window”, as you so idiotically state. If anything, we know and follow the rules of the road far, far better than you do, show courtesy to fellow drivers and generally assist in smooth traffic flow. While you, on the other hand, are an impediment to anyone getting anywhere or getting anything accomplished

  14. Then one day when all us mundanes are safely belted and locked into these abominations they will then deliver us to the Soylent Green factory.

  15. So, hundreds of thousands of people die every year in car accidents. Traffic plagues or cities. There’s a huge demographic that is immobile due to the fact that they can’t drive. Oh, but we shouldn’t try to solve these problems because one day it might be faux pas for you to drive your horribly inefficient gas guzzler. It’s called social progress and rate of adoption. No one is forcing these things upon you. We’re just leaving you in the dust.Clover

    • Actually, it’s only about 30,000 annually (see here: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview ).

      And: I don’t have an issue with the technology. I have an issue with it being forced down our throats – and paid for not by free consent but via extortion.

      Can you read?

      And: Do you really believe self-driving cars will reduce congestion? How, exactly? Unless there is a radical reduction in the number of cars on the road – or a radical increase in road capacity – autonomous cars are not going to have much (if any) positive effect on congestion.

      What will happen is that your freedom to go where you like, when you like – and how you like – will be even more regulated and controlled than it is now.

      Or do you really want to claim that we’ll be more free once the government has such control over us?

      • No, he’s seen the self-driving cars in a group video with the communication between the cars where they’re all packed less than a carlength away from each other traveling at highway speeds.

        Of course, what YOU know is that in the REAL world, each car has vastly different:
        braking capability
        weight, both car and contents, which are all variable and can be controlled for
        steering capability
        different state of maintenance on said systems such as brakes and steering
        electronics from different manufacturers

        In the REAL world, the only things that can be relied upon are the visual sensors and the capabilities of those vehicles to react, which is, yes, quicker, but not subject to any fudging or fuzzing like humans are so good at doing.

        It is a LOT of moving parts, and while when all of the cars are the exact same manufacturer in the exact same state of repair, interesting things like high-density highway driving ARE possible, in the real world, things go off the skids very quickly. Or, you can require every car have a calibration session every drive. I’m sure that’ll go over real well when it comes to adoption of the technology.

        All of this self-driving will work OK in a variegated diverse condition if the cars stay below ~20 MPH or enough buffer is provided for these variances in real-world conditions. So, lots of the supposed benefits touted by those clovers are hype and cherry-picking.

      • what is this site ? One of elon P R Stuntsters pretending to be something it is the opposite of ?

        elon belongs nin the guilty lineup of people responsible for untold thousands of deaths slave miners have experienced in the mining operations in 3rd world countries who mine lithium bearing nonferrous ore bodies that become lithium batteries sent into our countries infrastructure before it was know they are responsible for innumerable fires in cars, battery operated tools, apple stores, planes, retail stores, or anywhere the lithium battery scam exists in our world.

        Tesla is a bankruptcy waiting to happen when final arguments are exposed in a fair hearing for responsibility for death because of faulty engineering designs untested before retailing, approved by the regulators who are legalists, and not scientists.

        Sodom obamas gang of czars responsible for funneling mUsK billions for kickbacks bear responsibility for conspiracy to commit murder. elon and anyone with enough common sense to search for data that exposes lithium energy as the unstable fire starter it is. Elon well knew what he was doing, his irresponsibility for knowing the danger of laptop lithium batteries yet still continuing on makes him? absolutely responsible for untold death to mostly common people he has little concern for their life or death, like his political donor recipient who funnels him? billions in return for cash contributions these gangsters deserve what they give out and worse for knowingly killing innocent peoples throughout the world

        • I said essentially the same thing to people I know who drive a Prius and feel so earth friendly for it, nothing but PR for themselves. And damned if it ain’t one ugly sucker too.

          I tried to impress on them the huge amount of pollution caused in undeveloped countries leaving streams and lowlands virtual toxic waste dumps.

          People put on blinders and see what they want to see.

    • “Traffic plagues or [sic] cities” – yes, because the gunvermin own the roads (or almost all of them, anyway) and have no incentive to make them efficient.

    • The reality of self driving cars will be more congestion not less. Why? Because they will follow mandated programming that comes from followers of the Nader/Claybrook tradition. Many years ago when I went to Germany I learned that my style of driving was the norm there and on roads laid out in the 1600s were crowded but flowing well. Throughput was easily many times what it would have been in the USA. People accelerated promptly and briskly. There was even a flashing yellow signal to tell drivers to prepare for the green. In the USA decades of ‘speed kills’ and other nonsense have wrecked throughput. People wait seconds after the car in front of them has started moving to move themselves. They accelerate at what I consider a sub-bicycle rate. The list of congestion causing teachings goes on and on. So instead of the motorama dream of nose to tail 100mph travel we will enforced agony.

      On the surface streets grid lock will be worse than ever because now those drivers who do not cause congestion will be mandated into congestion causing behaviors via the self driving car. The interstates will be long spacings at 55mph. There will be no passing. No relief. No escape.

      And then the problems with automation. For safety the cars will shut down and park if the smallest trouble occurs. You want to nurse the broken car home? No. It will stop and you wait for an official tow. Check engine light? Don’t ignore it, the car will eventually turn itself off on you. The centrally managed system will have all the problems of centrally managed anything. Welcome to automotive hell otherwise known as the control freaks’ dream of shared misery.

    • Drew Troxell – “No one is forcing these things upon you.”

      Gee, you really can’t think of anything that has been ‘forced’ upon us recently? Did you even read the article?

      Government regulation = force.

      A well deserved clover for you.

      • 8 – I think he was trying to say ‘traffic (and you do know what that is) plagues our cities’ – giving him the benefit of the doubt, that kinda makes sense.

  16. Maybe Elon should be made to visit Konawa, OK, to see how saaaaafety is faring there, w/o coercive enforcement.

  17. Google now has a couple of their self-driving cars operating on Austin’s streets.

    The legislators are in a tizzy, as there aren’t any laws regulating this, either for or against. There was a law proposed during the recently ended session, but it didn’t pass, probably because it was more about setting up roadside transponders than self-driving cars.


    The interesting thing I find is the automatic assumption that a law is needed to *permit* an activity to take place.

    And yes, I agree with you that once the cars have been proven to be safe (i.e. significantly safer than a human driver), their adoption will proceed. First by the rich, because new technology is always expensive. But as the costs come down, they’ll be bought by the merely wealthy, who will appreciate the multi-tasking ability the cars give them. They’ll be able to work on their commute, coordinate their weekends, and so on. I expect to see news stories in the future about how self-driving cars contribute to urban sprawl, as they let people live further out and not arrive at work mentally frazzled.

    Will it ever become mandatory? Probably not in my lifetime, but I’m not discounting it.

    • Self-drive cars will definitely create more congestion, as those that can’t pass even the most idiotically simple licence tests after some 200 tries, will be able to use one, not forgetting underaged teens. Same goes for the aged that can no longer drive on their own will be on the road.

      I’d be happy with a full auto pilot car, providing I can switch to full manual.

  18. I am sure they will use the same arguments as gun control which is equally unconstitutional. I question how well a self driving car will work though. It is one thing to make it work on the interstate and another thing entirely to make it usable on all of the back roads and even two lane highways. The cost in lives of the technology itself could be high. What happens when the programming gets a bug and your car is suddenly doing 120 with no one in control? What about hacking of the system by terrorists? Can you imaging hacking the system and suddenly all the cars running around one of the DC loops go full throttle until they crash?

    • “Can you imaging hacking the system and suddenly all the cars running around one of the DC loops go full throttle until they crash?”
      ‘And I think to myself, “What a wonderful world!”‘ Couldn’t happen in a better place, because there is so little productive activity inside the Belchway.
      But who wants a ‘Musked’ car. Doesn’t sound appealing to the olfactory senses.


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