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Every motorcycle has more than one way to turn the engine off.

There is a simple, mechanical switch – in addition to the keyed ignition switch – that one can use to easily and immediately shut everything down in an emergency. Not just the engine. The emergency kill switch cuts power to everything – and without using the primary ignition key.

This can be helpful when the bike has just crashed and engine is still running and the rear wheel is still spinning and the bike is laying on top of you with gasoline dripping on you.

Airplanes with piston engines have two ignition systems – in case one fails – and multiple redundant systems for flight controls, in case the primary controls stop working. This can be important at 30,000 feet.

It’s interesting – telling – that cars aren’t required to have back-up systems for any of their critical controls. There is no mandate from the government – so ostensibly concerned about our saaaaaaaafety – that cars come equipped with a secondary “kill” switch that can be used to mechanically shut down the engine in the event of an emergency.

No mandate for redundant controls.

But hey, we have back-up cameras. And buzzers to remind us to “buckle up.” And air bags – which might kill us rather than protect us.

A car has an ignition switch, of course. Just oneIn the past, you could use this to physically (mechanically) cut off all power to the engine, which would shut the engine off. But most new cars have electronically controlled ignitions now. Push-button ignitions. When the button is depressed, a signal is sent to the computer and it decides to turn the engine on – or off.

But what if the button doesn’t work? What if there is a glitch?   

What if the computer decides not to shut the engine off?

There is no redundancy. No other way to shut off the engine, no way to over-ride the computer.

This is arguably not very “safe.”

And yet, the government does not seem to mind. Indeed, it is encouraging more of the same – and worse.

Steering is now controlled electronically in a growing number of new cars. Meaning, the steering wheel isn’t directly – mechanically – connected to the hard parts which cause the wheels to turn. Instead, steering “inputs” are translated by the computer, which then turns the wheels using servos and actuators – small electric motors and such. It operates on the same principle as drive-by-wire throttle control, which uses throttle position sensors (rather than a mechanical cable, as in the past) to tell the computer how fast to rev the engine.

But what happens if the computer interprets the signals it receives incorrectly? Or does not receive them at all? Or some other thing  . . . at 70 MPH?

With a curve up ahead.

There is no redundancy requirement. No mechanical way to over-ride the agglutination of electronics and assume direct control of the car. This goes doubleplusgood – doubleplusbad, actually – for automated cars, which their manufactures intend to build without steering wheels at all.

Or brake pedals.

The government – the one so concerned about our safety, remember – is on the verge of approving this.

It is simply taken for granted that technology – especially computer technology – is infallible. Which is an idea that’s palatable only to the doe-eyed Eloi – the intellectually flaccid who are ignorant of technological things. The government bureaucrats and politicians who constantly warble about “safety” and who shower us with mandated this and mandated that depend on this childish understanding of things – this faith in unknowable things – in order to shore up their own status as  quasi divinities who do know.

Of course, it is these very divines who have made cars less safe via their mandates. One example of this being the mandate that every new car’s roof must be capable of supporting the entire weigh of the car if it rolls on its back. But now it is hard to see what’s around the car – including cross traffic.

Or the mandate requiring the rear end of a car to be able to absorb a massive hit from behind. Which has made the behinds of cars enormous and enormously high – which has made it very hard to see what’s behind the car.

The car companies are just as guilty as the government divines, too. They are the ones installing – as a for-instance – electronic parking brakes in more and more of their latest models. Eliminating any direct, mechanical control. Push the button, a signal is sent, the computer turns on an electric motor, which engages the parking brake. There is no mechanical connection; no more emergency brake. No way to stop the car in an emergency. If the motor doesn’t work, if the power shuts off – no emergency brake.

It’s not very “safe.”

Yet few seem to care – at least, among the Eloi.

It is interesting that motorcyclists and pilots – who tend to be people aware of the fact that technology is not fallible – are exactly the people who insist on redundancy even in the absence of mandates. Skydivers are another case in point. There is always a second chute – because it is always possible the primary might fail. People who jump out of airplanes are aware of this – and plan accordingly.   

Such people are not Eloi – and therefore hugely skeptical of government divines and their mandates. They are personally interested in their safety. Which is why they insist on redundancy.

The car business – and car buyers – might want to give it some thought.

. . .

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  1. You might want to edit this

    “It is interesting that motorcyclists and pilots – who tend to be people aware of the fact that technology is not fallible ”

    You’re missing an “in”.

  2. Reality

    Nothing Can Halt the Collapse of Western Civilisation

    But new inventions widely adopted can at least mitigate things. Despite all the state’s thefts, each brand new thing that didn’t exist before makes us all that much richer. Of course the state works overtime trying to influence the new inventions being developed so that things stay according to their plans.

    The things I can do with this laptop I’m typing on are truly miraculous. It’s not all doom and gloom, although it is a shame how fragile all this new stuff is.

    Nothing can be done to halt the decline of a civilisation; it is an irreversible, inevitable process that occurs with every civilisation. Concerned citizens must learn to live in a hell called heaven without losing hope. The community is now senile and can no longer do anything sensible, so it is futile to try to:

    1 Arrest the decline in the community by making changes, because the community will only accept changes for the worse.

    2 Publicly promote the truth as this can only earn official denial and private persecution.

    3 Control events by gaining a position of influence, for only the worst are promoted.


    4 Sensible Citizens Must Learn to Live among Lunatics

    5 Sensible citizens must discover how to live in a community full of people who are slaves to their feelings and so lack shame, honour and the ability to think clearly: lunatics who deliberately discard all tradition to embrace delusion, so winning poverty, chaos, violence and communal senility.

    Only Sensible Things To Do

    The only thing a sensible citizen can do is:

    6 Minimize the distress of others with your actions. 

    7 Think clearly by using plain and blunt words at all times. 

    8 Learn the new science of Philosophy to understand what is happening to humanity, as well as explain this to others.

    9 It is also the duty of all unselfish citizens to silently endure the increasing excesses of our senile community to avoid accelerating our demise.

    10 And to resist the tyranny demanded by— his society, which is trying to rob and enslave him;—and inflicted by terrorists who are trying to enslave or kill him.

    11 To escape poverty, slavery and sudden death, citizens should evade both these tyrannies the best way they can.

    And for me there are two other tasks, to try to:

    12 Persuade the few sensible citizens of their communityʼs demise by spreading the word.

    13 Save the tangible fruits of civilisation already in existence, which are Books that have already survived one Dark Age by such authors as Suetonius, and Tacitus as well as those of our own civilisation such as Erasmus, David Hume, Edward Gibbon, and Edmund Burke.

    14 Life is for living, and despite the ever-present growing shadow of decline, citizens should enjoy those fruits of civilisation that are still available, rather than lament those that are lost. Always remember that during decline time makes everything worse; so it could be that our present will be regarded by the future as a golden age, when poverty, chaos, death and destruction were not commonplace.

    Consolation: Justice is Done

    15 It is difficult to endure the constant stream of lies and glaring injustice without a desire to use violence to rectify both, but the minority of unselfish citizens should try to console themselves with the notion that regardless of whether a community is waxing or waning, justice is done: when the multitude is unselfish they win by increasing wealth and order, but when the multitude is selfish they win increasing poverty and chaos.

    • I think that in many instances, new inventions are bringing about the demise of Western Civilization on an accelerated scale. Just think: Radio>TV>computers>smart phones.

      Suddenly, the net of surveillance and control has enveloped society like never before. It seems that not one new invention is not tied to electronics and shared information and tracking and remote control.

      Walmart’s new Scan & Go system, and Kroger’s and others similar systems mean that everything one buys and when they buy it will be recorded and stored (“Your receipt will always be available ‘ for easy returns’ “) and tied to your name and phone number and financial info….

      Tyranny on the scale we are seeing, would never have been possible without all of this technology.

      • Hi Nunz,

        I will get flack for this – but I agree.

        Consider cars as a microcosm. The easier they became to drive, the lower the skill/competence of the average driver. It’s a sick, cruel joke that most current family sedans are quicker than most V8 muscle cars once were – and it took nerve and skill to drive a V8 muscle car well.

        I would not mind traveling in time back to 1960. Starting my career then. I’d be old – and retired – now.

        • Eric, trouble with being old is: Like you said, YOU’RE old enough to remember when things were a lot better; a lot freer. I’m older than you, and I remember when things were a lot better and a lot freer than they were in your good old days. The older ya are these days…the worse things look today, because the further back ya go, the better it was.

          I remember in my teens in the late 70’s/early 80’s, people who grew up in the 30’s telling me about their day….and it even made the 70’s depressing by comparison! I think the only thing would have been if we were born long enough ago to be dead now. We would have lived in some of the best times, and avoided this– although if we had lived in the 40’s, we probably would have been strung up for not cheering the war that they threw then (And dealing with all the lemmings who were cheering it and sacrificing their sons for it, would have been a lot worse than the war sentiment we have today. At least we have a little company today in our opposition- and the whole country isn’t totally obsessed every minute with it).

          Darn right about the cars, too! I think the cars of the early 60’s were among the best. Not the fastest or bestest handling or anything…but they were simple, durable….and “real”- I mean, they didn’t isolate ya as much from your surroundings- amd there was just something about being surrounded by metal, and a real metal dashboard…and yet they were more refined than 50’s cars. When I was a kid and there were still lots of early 60’s cars on the road and in parking lots, it sure looked a lot better than any time since. Those cars were emblematic of a simpler, more honest time.

          • Nunz, you are 100% correct.

            The youngsters may call it middle aged grousing, and there always has been a tendency for the older generation to wax nostalgic about “The Good Old Days”, but facts are facts.

            Thirty years ago, you could still walk down the street and be reasonably sure you were not under total surveillance.

            • Anti, I remember, c.1978, I was walking down the street in Queens, and at a cross street, a cop is walking across, and he eyes the late-teen/maybe 20 year-old in front of me- a kinda grungy-looking skinny white kid. The kid looks at the pig and says “FUCK YOU!”- and the porker just continues on his merry way. Imagine that, today!

              Not that we were really free…but we had a lot more freedom than we now do, what with legislation increasing exponentially every year, and the effects of media and school brainwashing now being pandemic for a couple of generations- it’s truly a different world.

              Yeah, even statists look back in nostalgia….but just because it may have been a fun time in their lives, and they could do things that they are not able to do today [not because of the state, but because of their own physical limitations, or obligations or circumstances, etc.]- but yes, we are talking about something completely different: When the state wasn’t as dominant; wasn’t into micro-management; wasn’t seeking to alter culture and beliefs and values; wasn’t involved in interpersonal relationships…..when one could still largely be left alone, and….what made it even better: Before all of this technology, if you were a halfway decent forger with a copy machine and some white-out, you could do some creative paperwork and secure even more freedom by looking “legit”, and at least keeping the fuzz moving along.

          • The anti-war movement of the 30s and very early 40s was squished when Pearl Harbor was attacked. And we know it was fedgov that kept doing things to the Empire of Japan until they did attack. That’s how it works over and over again.

            • Exactly, Brent. -A technique that is employed here in the US, and has been employed down through history, over and over again….and it NEVER fails to work. People never learn. They just keep falling for same simple trick, over and over, one generation after the next.

              You can be sure, if the Orange Trojan decides to start a war with NK or China, he’ll just keep quiet about it, and our own government will blow something up here and blame it on them…..after all, ‘gotta have something to elicit war spirit and patriotism’!

          • Yeah, I remember those days in the ’70’s and ’80’s as well. The oldsters even back then we’re always complaining about the younger generations as well. They had somewhat of a point concerning the actions of some of the hippies, but it never ceased to amaze me how they could have proudly gone to war in order to fight fascism and communism while supporting the same policies at home. I really got some nasty looks from them for criticising FDR.
            The hippies we’re no better. They were party animals in their youth, yet they slammed that door shut behind them by joining and supporting MADD! Now here I am as a guy in his mid 50’s criticising other generations. The difference is that I am using reason and being consistent in my judgements. The WWII generation somehow got mislabeled as the greatest generation.

            • Hi Brian,

              You (and others) are right that most of us wax nostalgic about our fading/lost youth. But that of course is not the same thing as mourning the loss of freedom which has occurred over the past 20-30 years and which is unprecedented. Until the 1990s – that is to say, for most of the country’s history – one was generally free to travel without having to present “papers.” One’s bank did not routinely – as a matter of obligation – narc out your transactions to the government. It was generally necessary to get a warrant from a court before armed government workers could search you or your property or read your mail. One did not have to present ID to buy cough syrup. One could smoke in a privately owned bar. Nosey neighbors didn’t sic armed government workers on parents of 12 year-olds who let their kids play outside without an adult standing by at all times. One did not have to “buckle up” for safety or wear a helmet on a motorcycle.

              Some of the above may sound petty, but the point is exactly that. We were not constantly hounded by the government. Mostly, we were left alone unless we broke a fairly serious law. I remember this world. It existed not all that long ago.

              And I mourn it.

              • Eric, Brian, and all,

                I was thinking about this conversation last night- how freedom has steadily declined. And although it’s been a steady but gradual process pursued by the tyrants for 100 years now here in the US, I think a major factor which explains why it has become so exponentially blatant more recently, is that we now have several generations of kids who were thrown into daycare when they were babies or at most toddlers…then pre-school; then public school (Where the brainwashing and social conditioning starts immediately now- as opposed to when I went to school- where we may’ve learned some junk science and “social studies” in K-6, but for the most part, it was still reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic- with no attempts to change our values or impart political ideas, or feminize usor shame our culture).

                Then college. So the first third of their life is spent being indoctrinated with nonsense….and most emerge knowing nothing of the real world, and barely being fit to work in a cubical for the next 40 years.

                Basically, they’ve created a race of non-thinking, dysfunctional dependent slaves, who can not function without the state, and who shake even at such a prospect. People who do what they are told without thought or reason. If they see something, they say something. They’re all a bunch of little safety monitors, who are out to ensure the safety of you and your children by calling the armed government goons any time they see you failing to follow what the never-ending stream of 10-second sound-bytes preach as being the proper thing to do.

                First, we had the power structure put in place.
                Then we had that power structure forcibly enforcing itself via it’s agents.
                Now we have the people themselves who are promoters and upholders of that power structure, and who help “them” enforce it.

                All that remains is for a few loose ends to be tied up- as is being done now through technology. Get rid of cash, etc.

                We are on the very verge of the fully watched, fully controlled society. Not somewhere down the road, but already largely in place right before our eyes.

            • Wow, Brian! A PERFECT synopsis! You NAILED it!!!

              It’s always been hard for me to understand how such contradictions can exist- until I realized that they exist because all sides are steeped in authoritarian collectivism; they don’t just want to be left alone; they want a state to forcibly impose their brand of utopia on everyone else.

              It was harder to see that in the hippies, as they appeared to be rebelling against the established order at the time- but it wasn’t really government and it’s coercion and violence they were rebelling against, it was instead the traditional values which the state still upheld and represented at the time.

              Now that the tables have turned and the state embraces and enforces the ideals of the hippies, and seeks to destroy traditional values, the former hippies have no problem with the state- as it now represents them.

              And I got to see the hypocrisy of the war crowd close up, too. My own mother, who is the gentlest, sweetest woman you’d ever want to meet- was a Marine wife near the end of WW2. Like many Americans, she’d condemn any actions we might take ourselves to forcibly rectify a harmful situation…but of course has no problem with whatever some drunken soldier or pig does….and now matter how perverted and crooked the politicians may be….as soon as they proclaim someone to be an enemy of the empire, suddenly they are the upholders of freedom and truth and justice, and their chosen enemies are “those lousy Japs” or “Those lousy North Koreans!”.

              It’s hard for us logical, reasonable people to figure this out, because what we are looking at, is the actions and thoughts of illogic, because it is the result of manipulated emotion and brainwashing.

  3. This country is obsessed with blaming technology for everything, instead of blaming the operator of said technology. Automobiles, firearms, computers, smartphones. All need to have more “intelligence” installed.

    I’m generally in favor of autopilot systems. I have nothing against fly-by-wire systems if they’re well designed (and as Eric points out, having redundant backup systems when appropriate). But it should be a both-and not an either-or setup. Very high performance military jets have autopilots. Every commercial and business jet has an autopilot. They also all have a stick or yoke for manual control. And they have pilots who are extremely well trained and “aware” of their situation, even when the autopilot is engaged. They are trained to be so. Even the low-end Sport class pilots -who’s aircraft usually won’t have an autopilot, are trained and have to be certified (by their peers, although the FAA issues the license) before they get their airman certification.

    You probably wouldn’t trust a 16 year old kid who bought a hammer at Lowes yesterday and watched a youtube video about carpentry to build your deck. You might not trust someone who has been swinging a hammer for years without any training either. Yet that’s exactly how we train automobile drivers in the United States, and they’re all out there, no one ever calling them out for their poor skills. Do we blame the hammer for the bent nails and shoddy construction? No we blame the idiot swinging it. Then we attempt to throw a bunch of technology at the problem instead of trying to get the idiot some training. But air nailers require a whole lot more specialized maintenance than a hammer. And for sure they are much more expensive.

    This isn’t about John Henry being beaten to death by the steam drill. It’s about how technology should be used. And about getting the basics right before you introduce a bunch of technology. But Silly-con Valley wants to require a dog for all automation. Why a dog? Well, he’s there to bite the operator if he tries to touch the manual controls.

    • The more they use technology to take the place of simple human actions and decisions, the more incompetent people become, and the less control they have over the very things which they are supposed to be controlling (Which instead end up controlling them).

      E.g.:How much less competent are drivers today, now that we have ABS and traction control and automatic trannies?

      Not to even mention the cost of all this technology! -Both in terms of purchasing it, and repairing it when [not if] it fails; and the loss of privacy and freedom which much of it entails.

  4. Fighter planes have fly-by-wire controls, said to make the vehicles much more reliable and agile than if they had purely mechanical controls.

    But then, fighter planes have ejection seats, and miles of distance between themselves and the ground.

  5. Eric,
    That’s just the tip of the iceberg problem with the coming robot cars. Just the tip. It gets far worse and combating it will be tremendously expensive and require inventing technologies that don’t currently exist at any price. Just the basics of sound engineering practice require work that just isn’t being done on robot cars. Today I read an article that even added more to my assessment. I knew that people would have to keep the sensors clean but these things need to be cleaned with alcohol and compressed air. They are exposed to the weather.

    Maybe if I get in the writing mood I’ll write something out.

    • This has been happening all winter to my Cherokee. Sensors have been shutting off due to mag chloride contamination all the time. Of course the confuser just complains and instructs the driver to clean off the sensors.

  6. A horse and wagon looks better all the time. No such nonsense with them. For a redundant stopping system shooting the horse is always an option. At the risk of sounding heretical on a car site, I have never liked automobiles or driving. At the same time I’m not trying to stop anyone who does. To each their own. I enjoy reading the political commentary and libertarian philosophy. I also use articles like this to attempt to gauge gov’t control. Eric finds things that are real good indicators.

    Eric, if you are going to use Newspeak use it correctly! There is no such word as doubleplusbad. It is doubleplusungood! 😀

    • Horse vs. car is the PERFECT analogy to illustrate freedom vs. tyranny; sound economics vs. central bank consumerism fractional reserve economics!

      Think about it:

      With a horse: You can have a self-replicating vehicle whose fuel you can produce entirely on your own, at home if you have a few acres (or buy/barter for with any bumpkin in your own community); which lasts 20 years without repair; which possesses an actual brain and can do things on cue/at your command, without any technology or outside control; whose only byproduct or “exhaust” helps plants grow and builds the soil, and is in no way harmful to humans or the environment; can be operated by mere children; does not require a huge and expensive infrastructure which requires perpetual maintenance, in order to operate (smooth-paved roads); is not noisy and unsightly; does not alienate it’s users from their environment; can be recycled easily and economically into various products at end of life; etc. etc.

      Versus cars…which are the exact opposite……

      Is it any wonder that governments the world over have fostered motorized transportation?

      • Horses are very expensive in cities and create quite an unsanitary mess. Also they don’t last that long when being worked hard. Motoring solved problems and is far superior.

        Government took advantage of the invention of the motor vehicle to grab power, not the other way around.

        • “Horses are very expensive in cities and create quite an unsanitary mess. Also they don’t last that long when being worked hard.”

          Just replace “horses” with “government employees” and you’re there. Personally, I’d rather deal with Mr. Ed.

        • I make no claims that horses are practical everywhere, or for everyone. Motor vehicles have some definite advantages.

          Most certainly gov’t took advantage of them for a power grab. Because of them licenses were started. While I can understand wanting to prove a minimum level of competency to operate one, they evolved into identification papers that you are expected to have. Even if you don’t have a driver’s license you are expected to have some form of gov’t ID. And what is with renewals? It’s not like your driving ability is checked.

        • Horses are only expensive in cities because they’ve been made that way by government making the infrastructure inhospitable to anything natural, by instead artificially making it so that all must rely on mechanized transport; and by “zoning” and taxes, and the existence of that artificial car infrastructure, which have made it so that anything to do with horses must be brought in from far away, and even the keeping of a horse or cow or chicken- a once common thing in any city- is now either impossible, or extremely expensive.

          Transporting a rider or pulling a wagon is not “working a horse hard” (Unless one is using a horse that is bred only for looks, show, racing, and recreation- as many are today. (That’s the sad thing- the once mighty, fearless and strong horse, has been bred into a delicate pet, since they are rarely used for anything practical these days).

          And even if they didn’t last 20 years….since they are self-replicating, and you could easily have many more horses from just two- it meant that horses were easily replaceable, because anyone with a few acres on the outskirts of the city could breed them- and thus a thriving free-market existed, and so horses, unlike cars, did not cost 25% of one’s yearly income.

          Sanitation was easy before everything was cemented over (Of course, in many cities, government got into the act and screwed it up)- and the thing was, without the automobile infrastructure, people did not have the ability to travel great distances at hight speed, so instead of everyone commuting, people lived and work in the same community, where walking was good enough for the average person. If you had a small business, you could live in an apartment above it or a house behind it (Of course that is largely impossible now, due to legislation and the false economy created by government)…and the suburbs, instead of being 60 miles away….were 3 or 4 miles away (In NYC, Harlem was once the suburbs for the Wall Streeters and businessmen of lower Manhattan…).

          Horse transportation was a means of preserving freedom, in that it kept the means of transportation entirely within the bounds of individuals- no huge corporations needed; no billions of dollars worth of government infrastructure needed; No insurance; no reliance on wars and the huge infrastructure which is needed to supply petroleum products; no need to create conditions which keep people laboring in car factories or on oil rigs, or fighting in wars….

          Horses still plied the streets of NYC in my mother’s lifetime- she remembers hearing the clippity-clop of them going down W.47th Street, from her bedroom window when she was a little girl. It wasn’t terrible…it was nice.

          Vendors used to come around in wagons, selling all sorts of things, from housewares to fresh food grown on local farms. Imagine that! Some old immigrant would scrape-up a few bucks and buy an old horse and wagon…and be in business. No “license”; no insurance; no loan. You wanted to do it…you just went out and did it! Today, those same men would be sitting watching TV and collecting Socialist Security or unemployment or some such…or working in some dingy factory or at Walmart, and having their urine tested.

          Creating a totally artificial environment which is hostile to natural things and the traditional way of life, was THE turning point which allowed government to make virtual slaves out of every city-dweller- who are now totally dependent upon government and government-created corporations for every aspect of life. City and suburb dwellers have been reduced to a mere captive labor force, who are forced to participate in the system- which ultimately perpetuates that very system….simply because they have been alienated from the land and all things natural, on which life ultimately depends.

          • And ironically, now they’re doing the same thing to cars, that they formerly did to horses: Making it so that cars are becoming needlessly expensive; and increasingly making the infrastructure inhospitable to driving.

            Brent, imagine 25 years from now (if the world were to go on that long, and if this system could sustain itself that long) some young’uns in “the ride-share economy” having a conversation, and someone saying “It was great when we had cars!”; and then someone piping-up “Cars were expensive and dirty and dangerous. Thank goodness the government used technology to solve that “problem”!…”

            • People in suburbs have been feminized to the extent that they’re physically incapable of breathing and functioning in the natural world of feces, dirt, and sweaty filthy working men and domesticated animals.

              They also require HVAC systems to always keep their world in a narrow band of temperature and humidity. Their can be no bugs or germs. Imagine if the boy in the plastic bubble has become every man.

              The only hope is this fatal conditioning is overcome.

              By the same token, people in rural areas have become stupefied to the extent that they’re physically and mentally incapable of navigating and functioning in the hyper-productive zones of high density and high debt production and value creating zones.

              This is a parallel fatal conditioning that also must be overcome.

              The autistic bumpkin must be able to competently navigate a 14 lane expressway and order his groceries online for curbside pickup on a cell phone and have Amazon drop ship everything to his house.

              They have to be able literally go to war in hive competitions to do such simple things as find a place to park his car. Figure out to hyper-specialize in a single niche task on the 27th floor of an AI controlled living skyscraper where half the employees are sentient robots, or whatever the next winning Borg work environment is going to end up being.

              Neither the pussy urban hipster, or the stubborn anachronistic rural malcontent is a whole and complete human being.

              They both will be thrown in the woods. The real world doesn’t care about either of your special snowflake demands.

          • This isn’t a look back thing. I have physically held the very printed materials from the 19th century in my hands and read them.

            I’ve read the articles from before the automobile was anything more than a rich man’s toy. Horses were a huge problem in cities. Paved streets or not. There was no push for automobiles yet and it was a big problem.

            • I know, Brent- in the bigger cities, like NYC and Chicago, it really was a problem- but again, it didn’t have to be that way. It wasn’t the horses…it was government. Those paved (Cobblestone and Belgian block) streets were never designed to deal with the waste of horses; you had corruption in sanitation, with the streetsweepers (just as everything else was corrupt- and still is)- and tens of thousands of people being packed into every square mile in tenements, who were all reliant on stuff brought in from elsewhere via horse and wagon, for their sustenance…in an environment that was never purposely designed to accommodate so many people, and of course it’s going to be a mess…just as those same streets now are jammed with cars and buses and trucks, and it can take an hour to drive 2 miles; and the streets are noisy and inhospitable…but we don’t blame that on the cars…we blame it on the foolishness of high-density population, and of trying to accommodate cars on narrow roads and street grids which were laid out 200 years before the car was even invented, right?

              Either way, you have what is essentially very poor attempts to jam as many people as possible into small areas, and there is really no way to make that pleasant- but things were a lot more pleasant when every street wasn’t jammed with cars, and the worst thing people had to complain about was a little horse crap.

              There really is no way to solve the problems of high-density living…because we weren’t meant to live like that.

              • If you only knew what is involved with feeding, keeping and training horses. It’s a list that never ends and you’d damn sure want a robot somewhere to take care of all of them. Horses worked hard need more than simple grazing plus you need to know a lot about horses to use one daily.

                Just wait till you are bending over doing something with reins in your hands and that horse bites a big hunk out of you….or goes bananas from seeing something it takes as a danger.

                Probably most people having this horse conversation have never had a horse that just flat wasn’t in the mood to haul your ass around do a little ditty such as swiping your ass off on a tree or buck you off or roll over and literally kill you in the process.

                You don’t need a road with a horse either and why would you use one if it’s rutted or slick, both killers for you and the horse. And then you can take off cross country and have a million things happen like fall off and embankment or hit an unseen fence in the dark.

                I grew up doing this shit, literally, horse shit and had one nearly kill me one day just cause it wanted me off. I’ve seen it my entire life and there’s lots of cripples and corpses who were really good with horses and some crazy ass thing occurred….like a rattlesnake….or something that a horse thought was a snake.

                And many horses just get in a mood and it’s not a lot of fun, esp. when you’re in a hurry to catch one, saddle it or hook it to a wagon. At least my car doesn’t get playful and reach out and take part of my ear off.

                Tack sometimes fails even when you think you’ve kept up with it and have seen no problems. Buckles just suddenly break or maybe a big rat got to the saddle the night before and chewed halfway through a strap cause there was something on one side they liked. You looked at the strap and it was complete….on one side. The list is never-ending. I don’t ride a horse anymore cause it kills my back and I do some of the toughest trucking you probably can’t imagine 10-12 hours a day. I’ll take the trucking any day over horseback. I rarely see a cowboy so dedicated as to take the horse to town in weather like we just had with howling winds and freezing precipitation. The horse has no heater and can lose it’s sense of direction just like man can in a blizzard. You can both curl up and die together hoping daylight will sort it out or hoping it will get better and you can tell one thing from another when it “should” be daylight. Yall go ahead, ride your horse and I’ll stop and shoot it when there’s a bad accident and call you an ambulance.

                • 8, one of my neighbors has a pair of Percherons he actually uses for real work- haying and plowing, etc. and even pulling a road cart (I’ve ridden in it, on the highway).

                  Local Amish have working horses too. It’s a different world compared to the fancy recreational pet horses.

                  Admittedly, I’m not a horse person- I’ve only had donkeys and cows….but real working horses aren’t that big of a deal.

                  I was always under the impression that my grass wasn’t good enough for horses. My neighbor with the horses has the same grass….I even used to supply him with my fescue cow hay….his horses did fine on it. He clued me in that only the high-strung skinny-legged fancy horses need rich grass.

                  Up until the last 80 years or so…horses were it- what everyone used. The thing is, not everyone needed a horse- just by reason of the fact that cars didn’t exist, it kept things so that walking was just fine for most folks.

                  Now people spend 2 or 3 hours hours a day commuting…because cars made that possible- and instead of keeping things local and making communities integral and keeping one’s community nice, everyone is transient, and we have these vast areas that exist just for certain purposes, where people go to “work”, and then nights and weekends those places are ghost towns- and if you don’t want to commute, you still have to live in ugly crowded places. So what have we gained?

              • Dirt or paved makes no difference. It only breaks down so fast to begin with. And rain and snow makes dirt roads well mud.

                Cities became dense in part because of transportation needs. To have enough people within walking distance of factories and such. Things which without the countryside stays trapped in 1815.

                City streets aren’t really that narrow. The public way for arterial roads on many streets was very wide because of the needs of horse drawn traffic and such. One of the things the anti-motoring movement does is say streets are too wide and unfriendly to people because of the automobile. But then find 19th century photos of the very streets they are complaining are too wide because of the automobile and they were just as wide then.

                I would never want to stable or take care of a horse. It doesn’t cost me much to leave a car idle. But a horse eats and makes a mess to clean if its used or not.

                Lastly Chicago is not a very dense city BTW. Most of the city is zoned for single family homes. Zoning, the government, prevents it from becoming dense.

                • Brent, in the lower density places…horses weren’t a problem. Those weren’t the people who complained about them. It was the people who lived in the crowded places who had the problem.

                  The streets in the heart of the city, when the grids were laid out, were just …..streets- and originally became lined with with small wood-frame buildings. There was never any provision made to deal with manure– like gutters into which it could be swept and collected, and then used for landfill or fertilizer, etc.

                  Before long, those small wood-frame buildings were replaced with large multi-family buildings…population density increased greatly, and thus so did horse traffic…on those same roads with no provision for waste removal…other than sweeping it to the side…when it got done….and maybe collected in the better areas.

                  I agree though- wide streets suck. But the thing is, that is why they are clogged with traffic. Even if they were wider, more people would use them, and so traffic would be just as congested…and they’d be even more inhospitable for pedestrians and the people who live along them. The problem is the population density, and the need (or desire) to travel relatively long distances quickly.

                  In NYC the subways were supposed to solve that….LOL- now they’re just as congested as the streets.

                  Point is, if people are going to live in such density (even close single-family housing on small lots is high density) there are going to be problems, inconveniences and unpleasantries, no matter what. Anything which may solve one problem, will just create others.

                  • Anything dense enough to be a city with six or seven figure populations is going to have a problem if horses are the primary transportation power source. I would rather live in the automobile pollution of 1968 than in a fecalized environment. Especially a more expensive one.

                    Even a low density suburb is going to have problems that no army of poopsmiths can solve.

                    • You’re both obsolete anyway, so what does it matter?

                      Horse culture and Automobile sprawl can’t even compete against minimalist Germanics who are accustomed to 2 or 3 times your population density.

                      Even worse, the Chinese working class is working 14 hour days while thriving in a density you can’t even fathom.

                      Most likely, you can look forward to a future where more and more things become unreal virtual trinkets, instead of tangible material reality.

                      It is the only way you’re going to compete against a hard nosed world of men who aren’t such delicate creampuffs as Americans have sadly become.

                      The world is never going to cater to such urban classes of people who require a pristine hygienic suburban bubble, that not even a chicken or a garden can be tolerated.

                      Or a rural class of people that breaks out into autistic hives everytime there are more than 20 people to be found within a single acre of area.

                    • Hi Tor,

                      That made for interesting reading this morning!

                      Speaking for myself, the resentment and frustration arise from memories of what was. I am old enough to personally recall a tolerably free America. Yes, there was an income tax and so on, but the constant petty affronts were far fewer. We were not micromanaged to the extent that we are today. Even the Chinese do not endure this, from what I gather. They live under an authoritarian government, but it does not pester them to buckle up and such. They do not live in a feminized authoritarian country.

                      And, of course, they have no memory of the kind of freedom we once had. Indeed, they remember life under Mao, under a worse tyranny than we endure today – and so are grateful for the liberty they now have.

                    • @Brent, horse poop is probably the most inoffensive of all poop- like George Costanza said on Seinfeld “I dont manure”. It’s already most of the way to being dirt when it comes out of the Obama…err…horse’s ass.

                      Where ya been, man?!

                      Yeah, what you say is why I live in the sticks. We can keep things “real”; aren’t easily controlled; and life is pleasant and enjoyable living in the natural environment instead of amongst concrete and steel.


                      Even in openly communist countries countries, they don’t have the level of micro-management of every aspect of everyone’s lives, like they do here in the US and Canada (& Australia, NZ, Britain…).

                      They (the Chinese and other commies) don’t use your children as a weapon against you; don’t have a billion rules for every little aspect of one’s life.

                      I think what we’re seeing in this country, is the implementation communism- only instead of doing through overt violent revolution, they have done it through legislation….just using the violence on those on whom the brainwashing has not been effective; those who don’t go along quietly with the program- as such acts of violence are rarely criticized by the masses, since those upon whom they are used are labeled as “criminals”.

                      And quite frankly, that is a more effective revolution in a culture where “they” are in control of the media and compulsory “education”.

                      There’s no fighting against that revolution- no matter how bad it gets, people do and believe what they have been taught to, because they fundamentally believe in it- Stockholm Syndrome gone wild.

                      Check this out: An interview with someone who lived through martial law in the former Yugoslavia (Ignore the fact that the interviewER is Daisy Luther – Someone whom I normally poke fun at and rebuke, along with other “prepper” wingnuts)


                      Scary stuff- but this is exactly what we have to look forward to here if we stay. It’ll even be worse here, because I’ve known a couple from Yugoslavia for 40 years, and they’re nowhere near as brain-dead and compliant as are most Americans. Our fellow Americans will do even more to help our captors, and route us!

        • Yup, the several thousand tons of horseshit left daily on the streets of New York somehow go unregarded by the Anti-Auto brigade.

      • In time, we’ll probably have the technology to build a vehicle with the same qualities as an animal – self-repair, sensors to perceive its environment, propulsion to move through said environment, a computer intelligent enough to make decisions about avoiding obstacles, etc., all self-contained and not reliant on a GPS uplink.

        But that’s a real-world KITT with Star Trek replicators and a fusion reactor. I don’t believe Musk has one of those on the drawing board.

    • Hi Loneworlf,

      I understand why many people no longer like driving; it is mostly because of what the government has done to make it an expensive, burdensome and frustrating experience. Once upon a time, a car really did mean freedom. It does not anymore – hence the young (in general) no longer being much interested.

      On Newspeak: Thank you for the correction! 🙂

      • Hi Eric,

        In my case I just have never cared driving. Cars are noisy and they stink. I also have trouble understanding them. I can read a repair manual and see what needs doing, but it loses something in translation in my brain. None of it makes sense to me. I’ve never been able to grock HOW they work, though I can tell you how. Kind of like a monkey with a puzzle.

        Gov’t crapola has made it even worse. Not just mechanically, but with what is required to be able to operate them. When Minnesota bowed to the feds on RealID permission slips I had enough. When it expires I’m done!

        I do like looking at old cars. The pickups from the ’40’s and ’50’s are real cool looking. I could stand having one of those. Muscle cars can be fun to look at, but not something I would want. Thankfully there are people like you that enjoy fussing with them. That way people like me can enjoy looking at them!

        • Lonewolf [Darn! I should have picked that username!]

          You’ve verbalized something which I’ve often thought about. I’ve always wondered how it is that any young person today could possibly understand modern cars.

          I mean, for my generation, it was a lot easier, because cars were still simple. You’d start by learning about how a lawn mower engine works….and then it would be easy with cars, because they operate on the same principles- the cars just being being bigger, and having a little more equipment, which was easy to understand once you grasped the way engines and such worked.

          Today it’s a whole different ballgame though! You still have the basic engine, which still operates on the same principles as the lawn mower engine….but there is now just so much garbage added on- electronic systems which do things which used to be done by simple mechanical means…with other electronic systems on top of them, that have to interact with yet other systems (And all so that the car will get 1/10th of an MPG more- but when one little thing in that system goes awry, it cripples the whole car!).

          I just don’t see how anyone coming up these days has a chance to understand…and even if they do, why bother?- as it’s getting to the point where everything is either non-serviceable or so proprietary that only the manufacturer has the ability to diagnose and repair it. And all for what? The newer cars are bland and boring- all look-alike cookie-cutter blinking beeping toys, in which you sit surrounded by plasticand feel isolated from the road and environment.

          • I agree.
            My first car was an original Cooper S in the late 60’s.
            Talk about easy to work on.
            If you needed to do serious work on it, and you did, you did, You’d get a couple of mates, an old mattress, tip it on its side and the sub-frame was out of there in 15 minutes.

  7. The proposed regs I have been reading about seem to insure there will be no way to override the car computers. No steering wheels almost a certainty, I am guessing some states would even ban them. To protect against liability for insurance companies and automakers for the most part.

    I am guessing it will be hard to impossible to sue people like Musk over his tech failures when you become a victim. Just like it hard to sue the government or it’s employees.


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