“Emotional Needs”

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H.G. Wells wrote about a time machine but Aldous Huxley – author of Brave New World – may actually have had one. And used it to to travel to our now, jotted down a few notes and then returned to the early 20th century  to write his chirpily depressing picture of what tomorrow will look like:

A world of endiapered adults who remain perpetual children, perpetually distracted by imbecile pursuits – because distracted imbeciles are much easier to herd than conscious, thinking adults are to bayonet-prod in the desired direction.

Well, here we are – almost.

Talking cartoon characters will be displayed inside the automated cars of the impending Future – to keep the endiapered imbeciles within droolingly quiescent and vacuously smiling as they are meatsacked to whatever destination the controllers input. Perhaps the mall.

Perhaps, in time, somewhere else.

They won’t know the difference and – far more important – won’t care. They will be entertained.

This is no kidding. It was on display at the CES Technology Trade Show in Shanghai last week. Not one but several former (or soon-to-be) car companies, which are transitioning into “mobility” companies – had kiosks and PR people on hand to show the wares.

The automated car will become a kind of Boob Toob on wheels, with “virtual reality  experiences” embedded within to keep the meatsackeds’ minds off what’s happening without – and generally.

Audi is among the most urgently Brave New Worldian former car companies now peddling automated “mobility” – which it must, since it has committed to selling nothing but electric boxes differing from one another only in shell size and shell color. Add automation – the colorful box controlled by Audi/Uncle – and there’s not much to do inside the box.

Well, people might think or even read – but that could lead to trouble. They might begin to think about how they’d like to be in control of their lives.

And so, Holoride.

Which will “…allow passengers to swim with whales or through sunken ships …” echoing The Feelies Huxley wrote about in his depressingly predictive novel. The Feelies differed from movies – which had plots that had to be followed and dialogue that needed to be listened to in order to understand what was going on – with images and sensations designed to titillate and amuse in the way that a cat is amused and titillated by a ball of yarn. The difference being the yarn is real and cat is acting out normal cat behavior, i.e., it is exercising itself in a manner natural to a cat.

It is not natural for adult human beings to ignore reality in favor of a holographically created version. The enstupidation of adults via talking cartoon characters projected all around them in a VR-confected crib – not in the ebonicized ghetto sense – would be funny if this were the ‘90s and we were considering the next Adam Sandler movie.

But this is no movie.

“Once customers do not need to drive anymore,” says Audi’s senior director of China Business and Customer Experience (and perhaps future World Controller) Boris Meiners, “…then the question is what kind of things can we offer to customers inside this car.”

“We want to fulfill people’s emotional needs,” says Tetsuro Ueda of Nissan – also present at the  CES China show.

Children have “emotional needs.”

It is (or was) a characteristic of adults to pay attention – not just to the road, but to reality. Children live in fantasy world of genies and talking lions at head of armies of gnomes battling evil sorcerers  . . . and now adults will swim with VR whales inside their automated boob toobs.

They are also likely to be swimming with ads – product pitches custom-tailored to the already established inclinations of the data-mind meatsacks within. Why not plan an automated trip to the beach – and stay with us at Marriott – inserted (perhaps hypnopeadically woven into) the whale swimming VR “experience”?

Meiners and Ueda do not mention this but it’s a fair bet they’ve been thinking about it. Corporations are as mercenary as government; neither gives anything away for free – especially when they can force you to buy in.

As this column has made mention of previously, the in-car ad/data-mining business is projected to be the business of the car business within perhaps as few as five years – by which time a majority of cars on the road will be mining (and selling) your data and a large percent of those “suggestively selling” you things, in the loathsome lingo of pushy peddlerism.

But people’s “emotional needs” will have been met. They will be entertained as they are meatsacked to the Feelies.

Huxley’s World Controller Mustapha Mond described the “optimum population”:

It is “modeled on the iceberg  . . . eight-ninths below the water line, one-ninth above it.”

And we’re almost there – or will be, soon.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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103 COMMENTS

      • jeremy – Yeah, I think that’s the whole point. None of it makes sense… for Now. But the tech is very rapidly improving across the board. Also, for most people most of the time, the vast majority of road trips are relatively short distances. THat plus the fact that most people live in cities, so the, what do they call it, ‘autonomous ride-sharing’ will make big strides forward in the short term.
        So I suppose that there will be a mix of ICE and EV, with the increases going into EV over time.
        And of course, none of that is intrinsically any problem at all… except that govt and assorted busybodies will be lathering regulations and whatnot all over the whole scene until it’s choked off and skewed beyond repair.

    • Hi BDev,

      It’s fatuous.

      Bear in mind that you can buy a brand-new economy compact for less than $15k. The car will have AC and all the basic necessaries. It will last 15-20 years with decent care and will probably not need several thousands of dollars in repairs before then – which the EV will, to replace its battery pack.

      On economic grounds, no EV can touch the economic merits of any current IC economy car.

      EVs also cannot touch IC cars on practical grounds, either.

      The IC economy car can go at least 300 miles on a full tank (many go 400) under any conditions and can be refueled to full in less than 5 minutes. No EV approaches this.

      It’s literally insane.

      • Hi Eric,

        “Bear in mind that you can buy a brand-new economy compact for less than $15k.”

        Absent ridiculous safety fatwas and trade barriers, one could buy a decent economy ICE for well under $10,000. I have a carport with electricity. I rarely drive more than 20 miles at a time and, unless I’m going on a trip or traveling outside of my city, never more than 50 miles. Something like a Fiat 500, with a worst case 80 mile or so range, that cost $12,000 to $15,000 new would make economic sense and be very appealing to me.

        Alas, such a car does not exist, only overpriced toys for the affluent subsidized by people who can’t afford them.

        Cheers,
        Jeremy

        • A plug in electric CJ5 jeep would work perfect for us. The Cherokee has to be plugged in many winter nights just to be sure it will start in the morning, and to make it easier on the engine since it will only be run a short distance.

          But it would have to be Cheap! Otherwise, how do you justify perhaps $30K up to what, maybe $80K? versus $3500 for an old jeep and a bit of gas ???

      • As I said to jeremy above, I agree… for now. Whereas tech and economic improvements to ICE cars will only be very modest from here on out, the tech and economic improvements in EV will continue to leap and bound. So it’s only a matter of time. I imagine there will always be ICE available, and desirable models restored and maintained for hobbyists sake.

        • BDev, now that there’s a dedicated EV racing series (Formula E), the EV tech will improve even more rapidly. It’s been said that, if you want a car problem solved, put racers to work on it. We’ve seen this while racing ICE cars, so there’s no reason why we won’t see the same in EVs now that FE exists.

          Even though FE is only on season 5, they’re already using the Gen2 car, which can go the whole race distance; car swaps are a thing of the past. The Gen1 car had a 28 kwh battery, while the Gen2 has a 52 kwh battery (double the Gen1 battery would be 56 kwh), or a little less than double the size; to put it another way, the Gen2 car’s battery is 93% the size of two Gen1 batteries combined, yet it can now go the whole race.

          Much of the battery management is software related, and there are numerous improvements being made to it all the time. A vehicle manufacturer can try something on the track, and within 18 months, it’ll be in their EV road cars. I’m EXCITED to see what improvements will be made in EVs!

          • Oh, and I forgot to tell you that the Gen2 car has 25% MORE power and torque! It accelerates harder and goes faster, yet it can last longer too. Not only have the batteries improved; the motors have improved also.

            • Hi Mark,

              The fly in the soup (with your argument about EV racing) is cost. Which is no object in racing at this level, because winning is what matters. A carbon fiber chassis makes sense . .. in racing. But it is just too expensive to make sense in an ordinary street car.

              One can assert/hope/wish that racing developments will become cost-effective in street EVs… but it is just speculation (again) which is getting to be a very tired and worn out recording.

              I’ve been covering EVs since the early ’90s. Not much has changed, fundamentally. EVs cost too much; they don’t go far enough; they take much too long to recharge. They aren’t as durable. Which is why these things cannot survive without the mandates and the subsidies.

              Remove these, and I will be the first to cheer when an economically sensible and more practical EV (vs. IC) car appears.

              But I am not holding my breath.

        • Hi BDeV,

          The improvements to IC cars are only “modest” because Uncle forbids the massive ones. Were you aware that VW had a diesel-powered economy car in the works capable of averaging 100 MPG? Such a car could easily be built and sold for a profit – not with a subsidy or mandate – for under $20k. Half (or less) the real cost (unsubsidized) of the Nissan Leaf. With a range of 600-700 miles and the ability to refuel in less than 5 minutes.

          And a useful service life at least twice that of the Leaf or any other EV (due to the EV’s battery pack, which will not last 15 or 20 or even 10 years).

          Uncle has outlawed such low-cost/high-economy cars – first via saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety mandates, which have made new cars ludicrously heavy and thus extraordinarily fuel-inefficent and then by decreeing C02 to be an “emission” – which it is, but it’s also a harmless one.

          So we’ll get expensive electric “solutions” – which for the record aren’t “emissions”-free, either.

          The whole thing is a greasy con premised on lies and fantasies for the sake of… what? There is no practical/economic reason for electric cars. They are expensive toys, that’s all.

          Which is why the got-damned things have to be mandated – and subsidized. Take that away and electric cars return to being what they were 20 years ago.

          Toys, made in tiny numbers.

          • Eric,

            I wish VW could have built and sold those cars; I’d have bought one in a heartbeat! Since I like to drive, I’d have probably opted for a diesel Golf. When one of the car mags did a comparo of the diesel vs. gasoline Golf in Germany, the diesel did well vs. its gasoline powered sibling. They took the two on a road trip around Germany to see how each would drive, and to check the fuel economy of the gasoline vs. diesel Golf. The diesel golf got like 40-50 mpg in very SPIRITED driving; that’s great! Unfortunately, VW got slammed, so that was that…

            • Meh, you’re not missing much, MM. VW’s are a lot like EVs, in that they’re very expensive to repair, and don’t age well. What ya save in gas on one of them TDI diesels that gets better than 50MPG….you lose on early demise and high cost to keep it going. Think about it: When’s the last time you saw an old TDI (Or any ‘modern’ older VW) on the road?

              • That’s a good question! I see some old Ford Foci (plural of focus) on the road, even some first gen ones like I used to have. You don’t see many VWs, either gas or diesel, on the road now that you mention it…

          • Al Gore and his minions wouldn’t been able to auction off “carbon credits” if VW had been able to manufacture and market these high-mileage diesel/electric hybirds; hence why VW had to be “dee-stroyed” by Uncle’s insane crusade against them. Not just VW, but even Mercedes-Benz has backed off from diesel cars in North America.

            Even large multinationals like VW aren’t safe from corporate cronyism. Of course, we don’t care about VW, they’re just a bunch of Nazi Krauts, after all, the Beetle was endorsed by Hitler, right? Sheesh…

            • Hey, I LIKED the old Beetle! My late mother did too, even though she never owned one; she liked its unique character, as there was nothing like it before or since. The old VW had such a unique character that you could tell what one was BEFORE you saw it…

              My uncle owned a couple of old Beetles. He drove ’em cross country and everything. They were easy to fix too. Plus, you could make, shall we say, unconventional repairs to the things and they’d still run? One of my uncle’s old Beetles had a fuel pump held together with a C clamp; I kid you not…

              My late mother HATED the new Beetle! She hated the new Beetle with a passion that surprised me. She said it wasn’t a REAL Bug, and there could only be ONE VW Bug-the original. She said the new Beetle was a mutation, and would derisively refer to it as such whenever she saw one. Though she never owned a Beetle, she liked it for what it was and what it represented.

              • Those old Beetles were the epitome of simplicity and economy- truly a volkswagen-the ‘people’s car’- in that you literally fix just about ANYTHING on the vehicle with simple, common, everyday hand tools- and there was little to go wrong. You could take the motor out of an old Bug literally in 20 minutes, without even a hoist; or take the whole body off the floor pan by unscxrewing about a dozen bolts…..

                SCREW all of this high-tech garbage! THAT was a car- they just never died; and lasted forever. Look how many are still around! There are more 50-60 year old Bugs on the road than there are 10-20 year-old VW junkboxes.

                • I never owned a Bug, either. I wish I had though, because its virtues are what I like in a car: stone cold simplicity, reliability, ease of maintenance, and economy.

                  • I’ve never owned a Bug either, MM. I don’t like small vehicles…but if I ever come across a good deal on an unmolested old Bug, I’d likely buy it, just to admire and fool with (Almost had one about 6 months ago!)- Their simplicity and durability are what good engineering should be about- and just the nostalgia they bring back by just looking at ’em- makes ya think of when they were a common everyday sight, everywhere!

                    Only downside that keeps me from fully embracing ’em as drivers is, if you ever get hit in one, things aren’t gonna go well for ya.

                    I had one down in my storage yard back in NY years ago, that was in a tight spot and needed to be moved for access to another car. My friend and I literally just picked up the front end and pivoted the car 45*- and we’re not big guys (Both 5’10” c. 180)

                    • I know that old VWs didn’t provide much collision protection. One of my mother’s friends was killed in one…

                    • Yeah, that was their only down-side.

                      I’ve always driven big, heavy, safe vehicles. With all the loons out there- or even the fact that I could screw up (Despite rumors to the contrary, it IS possible…)- it’s just not worth dying or being seriously life-alteringly hurt, for the comparitively few perks of driving something that offers little or no structural integrity, and which guarntee that even in a minor accident, you WILL bang your head on something.

                      ONE time in my life- when I was young, I was having trouble finding an affordable full-sized pick-up….so I relented and bought an S-10 ….temporarily- against my better judgement- I figure “Meh, I never get in accidents”.

                      And of course, it was within the brief period that I had that truck, that someone pulled out of a stop sign RIGHT in front of me (He thought it was a 4-way stop -He was a Polak!)- and I don’t think I was doing 20MPH, ’cause I jad just pulled away from where I lived, half a block from that intersection.

                      That truck folded faster than Superman on laundry day! I walked away- miraculously- but seeing the damage nearly made me sick to think what would have happened if i had been going a mere 35 or [gasp] 50.

                      Pretty much, had I been doing more than the 15 or 20 that I was doing, I’d either be in a wheelchair now- or would have at the very least had a long painful recovery, and wasted months if not years of my life.

                      Stuff like that is sobering. I’m GLAD it happened, because we all need little reminders of our own mortality, and how fragile life and good health are- and if we can learn that lesson without suffering harm, it is a blessing, which just may save us from sitting in a wheelchair one day or having a permanent disability, or losing everything we have.

                      Sooner or later, everyone screws up- whether it ourselves, or the other guy- and all it takes is ONE time….which sometimes is nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time- like this guy I knew who had the green light coming home from work, and got broadsided by a drunk in a full-sized pick-up who blew the red (guy I knew was driving a little sentra or Corolla or some such)- and now he has pain every day of his life with back problems (and has for 20 years now)…and spent weeks in the hospital, and several YEARS recuperating.

                      In my book, nothing is worth that. That’s why I don’t ride motorcicles on the road, either.

                      All it takes is wrong wrong move- by you or the other guy- and your life can seriously change or end. It can happen even if YOU’RE doing everything right.

                    • Oh, and the irony is: With that S-10, I didn’t even have to have been driving it at the time. I had already found and purchased an F250- and the S-10 at that point was just my second vehicle! (The Polak was driving a late 70’s Impala…..by contrast, you could hardly even tell it had been hit!)

                • Morning, Nunz!

                  Your point in re commonly still seeing old Beetles – the classic ones – vs. much newer VWs – is telling. Twenty years from now, my bet is you’ll still regularly see old Beetles – the classic models – while you’ll almost never see one of the Beetle-looking (’98-’19) new ones.

                  Hell, it’s rare to see a first-generation (’98-’12) New Beetle already.

                  • My thoughtsd exactly, Eric! It is already pretty rare to see a ‘new’ Beetle- VCan’t remember the last time I saw one on the road….and I always notice when I do, ’cause I loathe the damned things.

                    You’ll never see a ‘new’ Beetle with high miles, either- ’cause once the trannies go (and they don’t last long- double clutch; double trouble; quadruple the expense to repair) it’s time to throw the car away- not to mention all of the electrical issues, and deterioration of all the plastic parts. (Could you imagine plastic parts on an OLD Beetle?!)

                    • My youngest has a 99 new beetle. Everything you pointed out is true. Germans make crappy electronics and plastics, and they are full of both. Unfortunately, teenage girls think they are “cute”. I’ve never owned a old beetle but I’ve had dozens of air cooled type 3’s, a couple karmann ghias, and a bus. Wish I still had more than a squareback, a trike, and a kit car. I think I like them even better than my mechanical MB diesels, though those are pretty good too.

  1. You know, I was just thinking about media franchises like Mad Max (not recommending you watch it; a fair bit about it is morally disgusting) which portray the end of civilization as a hand-to-mouth struggle in a bombed-out wasteland, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they portray an incomplete apocalypse. Civilization has been mostly destroyed, but humanity itself is still alive and kicking. The race and the battle, the bread and the water, the joy and the pain, relationship, hope, imagination… all the things that define human experience and make this imperfect life what it is, are still there. People are still people, and still crazy. A tyrannical, perverted warlord can take your very lifeblood, but they can’t take your soul if you don’t let them.

    Such media thus become relics of an older time, when we thought civilization would end with one last roar of the guns and the engines as good and evil rose up to fight for the future.

    Now, it seems likely that civilization will end not with a bang, but with a whimper, so faint that those inside it won’t even realize it has ended. They’ll be comfortable sitting in their VR pods, realizing dimly if at all that life itself doesn’t really count for much anymore – that somewhere along the way to their safe, sustainable, inclusive, diverse utopia, something essential was lost.

    I never thought I’d say anything like this, but I would 100% rather have people riding bicycles than riding around in these things. Bicycles can be freakishly annoying sometimes, and I still think that riding them on mountain passes (and/or at night) amounts to prison shanking car culture, but at least the bicyclists are getting something – fresh air, exercise, scenery, SOMETHING – out of it. It damages other peoples’ experiences, but it is, itself, an experience. This VR robocar garbage, on the other hand, is nothing. Literally nothing. A complete dearth of anything at all. It is so against everything I stand for, so against humanity in general, that the merest possibility of its existence hurts me deep inside to even think about. Like, it actually disturbs me on a very basic, primal level.

    I may not be in the best position to say things like this, being deep into video games and the internet myself, but the difference with me is, when I’m out and about, I want to be out and about. Even just driving for work. All the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen as a result of my current job… the Seward Highway, Homer, Dillingham with the ice and driftwood floating by off the coast, Barrow where you can see the end of the world and live to tell… I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it for the world, and if anyone thinks it can be replaced or simulated by VR, they can stick that where the sun don’t shine.

    • Hi Chuck,

      Very well-said. Orwell’s 1984 was for decades cited as the warning about The Future. But Huxley’s Brave New World – written before WWII – was far more prophetic. If you haven’ read it or read it recently, read especially the dialogue toward the end between World Controller Mustapha Mond and the Savage. It is right on the money and pertains exactly to what you’ve written.

  2. My “emotional needs” are fully satisfied drifting my Cayenne down a twisty road. If I want to be isolated from the driving experience I’d buy a Toyota.

    • I drove about a ’13 or ’14 base model Camry rental recently and it wasn’t even that isolated. The steering was light and kind of numb, but it had few driver-interference devices (no more than usual, anyway) and the automatic, which was a “mere” 6-speed, did not second-guess in sport mode.

  3. @EricPeters this piece really hits home, after I discovered the joys of motorcycling at 40 years old – it forces you into a tactile, reality-connected experience that puts you fully in the present moment and completely at one with your surroundings. Now contrast this with the “self-driving car” phenomenon, and its broad appeal – an opportunity to escape from the ‘dullness’ of reality. The commercial fails to ask the question of, with so much artificial VR-style stimulation, what’s the point in GOING anywhere? Won’t a trip to the mall or a visit to a friend’s house seem boring by comparison. Childlike cartoons arrayed before the bedazzled eyes of hypnotized young woman, real-life portrayed as boring. “Give up your flesh and a new world awaits you.” – The Animatrix

  4. Yes, this VR stuff inside cars would be very strange. Or as a substitute for actual driving. But for people who live in large cities (Shanghai, NYC, Tokyo, London, Paris, etc.) it would be a fair substitute for the real thing, perhaps. That might motivate VR users to try or buy the real thing.

    As for the emotional end, nothing new on that re: autos. I’m sure we are all familiar with the TV or online video ads showing new vehicles. Lots of pretty women and good looking guys. People staring at cars zooming down the Pacific Coast Highway or other very scenic drives. These have long been some of the most expensive ads on TV to produce. Lots of brainpower for something so seemingly simple. “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Not really new, but VR is another venue.

    Muscle cars and high performance vehicles have always been designed with the male ego in mind. Likewise, mini vans, etc. are made to appeal to the car pool mamas. And in Texas, a bit of both for huge SUVs, which line up dutifully at school entrances at 3:00 PM on school days. Mama feels powerful, lots of room, safe, with 300+ HP. Unless the kids attend elementary school at the Daytona Speedway, all overkill. But Daddy and Mama both like them.
    Emotion drives capitalism once the basics are covered. One concern though: VR and plastic sex dolls may just kill off the human race. Something to ponder.

  5. What happened to “seeing the USA” ???

    There’s still a lot of pretty country out there, especially if you get off the interstates.

    • Yeah, the “Total Recall” virtual vacation doesn’t sound so “science fiction” anymore, does it? in another decade 75% of society will look just like the floating-blob people in “WALLEE”. Soylent Green menus just might include veal at that point, too!

  6. The good news is: Since none of the high-tech futuristic social-engineering companies are making any money, but rather, losing hundreds of millions per year- they and those which throw their lot in with them or seek to emulate them will fare the same- regardless of how much taxpayer/Soros/investor money they are handed- and they (along with most of their supporters) will be going down the drain early-on when the economic crash begins in earnest.

    The bad news: Good old government coercion and control at the barrel of gun-wielding mercenaries (Which our society seems to produce in droves) will still be around to take up the slack…..

  7. I’ve noticed that E-Loon and his fanboys most common response to Tesla fires is to point the finger at all the other IC auto fires, and say “why are you picking on us?” They know exactly why, and for the same reason the Pinto was targeted in the past. Sure, 1 in 7 auto fires may be a Tesla, but the other 7 are not the same car or manufacturer. When one company and/or model vehicle is 1 out 7 others of any of various makes, it raises concerns. It’s the reason Pintos, Chevy trucks, and others were targeted, because of a higher rate of model specific incidents, even though they were also a fairly small number in overall vehicles worldwide. Using other brands as an excuse to whitewash his own vehicle’s lethal shortcomings is evasive and cowardly, at best.
    Furthermore, had premium luxury brands such as Licoln, Caddilac, Benz, BMW, Volvo, etc, been burning up with any regularity, even they would have done a major recall and refit program just to save face. The high price and poor construction quality of a Tesla is just is just one example of how worthless our money has become in recent years.

    • E-loon: “See? It’s global warming causing all of my cars to catch fire, I tells ya! Get rid of all them ebil ICE cars, and the environment wouldn’t be so hot! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Next question [takes hit off of doob]… Uh…dividends? Uh…the check’s in the mail!”

    • Then there’s the fact that the Pinto was not the most dangerous car made even though it could and did toast some people. And the fact that Chevy trucks possibly could have been a problem….but actually weren’t. We’ve seen various people pick out certain products to diss, mostly because they were being paid to do so. It’s not new and it won’t go away. And then there’s the opposite, the claim that nuclear power is so safe, when that hasn’t actually been the truth. And that those “accidents” that happened, for the most part, were easily avoided(for the most part), if they’d been built to spec and so many people weren’t getting shit rich for looking the other way. Chernobyl had a fail safe switch that would have worked had boron rods been used but due to those same payoffs, cheaper graphite rods were used that actually caused the explosions. Boron, shut down, graphite, blow up.

      To put it another way, this is the way corporatism and govt. work hand in hand….and they both have paid shills and liars to draw negative attention to the competition.

      • I looked into the Pinto lethality stats once or twice, and both time found that it was one of the safest cars per 100,00 units sold, around 6-7 fatality rate. You know what was in both researches as the most lethal car in 1973? The Datsun B-210 had the highest mortality rates at about 75 fatalities per 100,00 units sold, or per 1 million miles driven.
        Not that I even know how they got that info, but it certainly didn’t jibe with the infamy the Pinto garnered even then, let alone now. I think the reality is that the facts will come out in the wash in ten years. I will say, though, body parts falling off in the rain on day 1 doesn’t strike me as very impressive. With misaligned doors and body/chassis electrical bugs galore, this looks more like an Edsel, than a Pinto, frankly. At least Ford had the decency to pull those aside before too many customers got shafted.

      • Yeah, 8, funny how old Ralph Nader and the other Marxist ‘consumer asshokits” don’t say a word about the Teslas- no matter how many fires, or auto-pilot accidents, etc. If anyone were so ignorant as to not realize the true agenda of such creeps, that fact alone should remove all doubts.

        GTC- Statistics can easily obscure reality (That’s why ther pols love ’em!)- Fatalities per 100,000 is very misleading. Lamborghinis would appear to be one of the safest cars out there…but only because not even 1 in 100K owns one.

        It’s deaths per accident of a particular vehicle, vs. the same stat compared to other vehicles, which would show relative safety or lack thereof- and even that can be misleading- as, say you’re comparing a sports car which is normally driven fast, vs. a minivan which is usually driven conservatively, etc…….

        No denying it- if your Pinto took it in the ass at a decent impact….there would be free fireworks.

        • Not necessarily. That one in 76 was squashed by that black and white Fury and ruined in the front on the front of that Chevelle. Probably nobody ever got over the whiplash in it….if they survived.

        • Nunzio,

          “funny how old Ralph Nader”

          Why do you hate on old Ralphie?

          Personally I’ve always taken him with a grain of salt.

          He has done a bunch of good as far as showing Govco for what it is.

          Actually I’m behind him 100% on his current crusade – 737 MAX.

          I won’t be the first to say that if his daughter wasn’t murdered by Boeing, he would at least be neutral if not supporting Boeing. But I’d like to see him pull some shit like he did with Robert Bork and the Saturday Night Massacre of Watergate fame.

          Besides Nunzio, you and old Ralphie have something in common. No TV.

          • I’d like to take him with a bag of salt in a smoker. The sumbitch picked on a perfectly good car not knowing shit about the subject, just like a lawyer.

            I’ve been screwed by state and federal lawiers. They both tell complete lies to pad their own pockets.

          • Does Ralph still not own a car? There’s nothing like car advice from a guy who doesn’t even own one! (I was gonna buy him a Corvair or a VW bus…but…..)

        • I agree, and I am in no way defending the Pinto’s reputation, nor anyone elses either, lol! I’ve driven most every car that was out there for the general puyblic, and few that were not. Worked on nearly all of them in some capacity or another. Some took abuse better than others, and some were just down right cheap, flimsy, or drove like an ox cart. It was rare to have a sturdy car that had precision handling, great fuel economy, and durability all in one package, and it kinda still is, lol!

  8. I don’t understand the rush to driverless vehicles. What is the advantage? Fewer accidents? If so, at what cost — slavish observance to laughable posted speed limits? A nation of robot “grandma” drivers on the road?

    How can such a vehicle possibly replace human judgment in even moderately unusual situations? Is that obstacle in the road a cinder block or a cardboard box? If the latter, what’s inside it? Will a driverless vehicle negotiate its way around it or come to a complete stop?… Why is that car ahead of me sitting in the left lane with his right turn-signal on? What if its driver is planning to get back into my lane — will my driverless car slow down, or stop, or do nothing?

    Doubtless the “geniuses” working on this unnecessary “advancement” are confident in thinking “what could possibly go wrong?” Well, we’ll find out when the first driverless tractor-trailer plows into 20 cars on I-95.

    • Ain’t never gonna happen. Humans love (and won’t surrender) the control and freedom afforded by cars under their control. And no conceivable computer program could ever be developed to foresee all the conceivable situations that arise on even a short drive on public roads And if even if it were possible to so so it would require confiscating all old cars and putting them in the crusher to keep them from “causing” accidents with the BNVs (Brave New World cars).

    • Just had a article from Jalopnik come up on my phone…..and I don’t know why, don’t read the rag.

      They were dissing the new Silverado for being ugly, in, not quite as ugly as a Ford or Ram or (fill in the blank)? They all damned ugly to me. But then they go on and refer to “our electric future”. Oh, no shit? Why is that? Somebody’s going to eventually point out and others will finally realize what they’re saying: Electric cars are not less polluting, potentially, much more polluting considering the battery pollution doubled with natgas(very little), coal(plenty), and nukular(shrub wording).

      The devil’s in the details as they used to say. Evidently, details no longer matter or either people are just too stupid to understand “details”. Anyway, GM’s off 2% in sales on their pickups. They say they aren’t worried, instead concentrating on “profit” and not sheer amount of sales. It’s not too hard to believe that since they’re so heavily involved in China, re, Chinese military.

      And nobody, absolutely nobody besides possibly myself, ever mentions the bad taste Americans “should” have in their mouths over moving 4 plants and 15,ooo jobs to Mexico last year.

      Nice to know you make a decent product that makes more money for a corporation than anything else they make…..and they jerk the rug out from under you…and your family….and community….and send it to Mexico while we(the workers, actual taxpayers)are being double dipped by the Mexican and S. American invasion which congress is now considering(in the process)the new “medical bill” for illegals, money the govt. wouldn’t even consider trying to provide for legitimate Americans.

      All this shit is just too much. We(legal, natural born people)are being sold down the river faster every day. And some say “Naw, we’re not headed for civil war”. Yeah, sure, Jimmy Joe Jeeters, it could never happen, just like getting electrocuted by the radio falling into the bathtub has never taken a life. What say yee Jimmy Joe? Cat got your tongue? Why you so quiet?

  9. Boob tube on wheels…that means another billion dumb butt ads and more intrusion upon your privacy. I’ll gladly pass. I don’t even watch TV or listen to much radio as it is. My entertainment is movie and music specific, not mainstream. And what dolt pretends to understand my emotional needs? The Internet has become the tool of big brother for the purposes of rendering us inept in designing our own lives and for controlling our thoughts without us even becoming aware this is happening. Our environment has become totally polluted by those who pretend they know what we need, want and desire. My vehicle is a safe haven where I can go and shut out the nonsense if I want.

  10. What to offer me inside my car? If I do survive until the brave new world forces me into one of these infernal contraptions, the answer is: STFU and let me read my book.
    It’s bad enough being yammered at while I’m standing at the gas pump. I’d prefer quiet when I do that task. That way, I can hear Granny’s Buick bearing down on me when she’s confused the two pedals. Or I can hear the pursesnatcher, carjacker or mugger creeping up behind me. Or I can just listen to my own thoughts. I’m sure private thoughts will soon be on the open market, but for now, I’d like to enjoy mine in peace.

    • Hi Amy,

      I loathe the chattering gas pumps, too. Constant noise – which is an assault on our private world – which is done to keep us as distracted and unfocused as possible. I am convinced that, if they could, the corporate/government nexus would require everyone to wear VR goggles at all times and be fed a steady diet of Oprah and Anderson Cooper and various insipid guitar-strumming sales pitches voiced-over by a chirpy androgynous script reader.

      I keep hoping John Galt will knock on my door and offer to take me on board his FTL ship and off this rock!

      • Glad I’m not the only one who HATES those things! WTF can’t I have a little peace and quiet while I pump my gas?

      • eric, I blame you for this. Until your first article about fuel pump tv’s I hadn’t seen one. It was barely a week before I pulled into a 7 11, hmmm, sounds ominous, to be subjected to gas pump tv.

        I was making several 160 one way trips last year when I needed to go to Wally before coming back to the house. It was easier to just gas at Wally than go back a ways to a known brand. I always figure mileage so the next trip I noticed I’d gotten better mileage with the Wally gas than the Chevron or Shell I had used. So I tried Wally again, got better mileage. A couple more times and now I’m a Wally gas fan for another reason, no gas pump tv. It’s distracting as hell, especially when someone is using the same pump on the other side and you can hear both, which are not synced….or at least didn’t sound it. I have tinnitus and don’t need any other noise.

        I was driving a Freightliner yesterday and listening to the radio. After a while, I just turned off the radio and focused on the sound of the turbo. It was music to my ears……and didn’t increase the noise level which the radio must do to hear it over the rest of the drivetrain sounds. I also notice my shifts are smooth as butter with no interference.

        I’ve ridden with a lot of other drivers and hearing a grk every shift is fairly common. Those are the guys who don’t roll into the throttle, just poke and slam.

        • Oh man, when the 1st audio pumps came out 10 years ago it was enough to make me ill. I despise being solicited, and it is non-stop 7 days a week on the phone. I want a few small portable EMP devices to leave as a present for these operations that just don’t know the meaning of the word “NO”.

          • Muggles, the younger crowd don’t understand the “slow hand”. Conway said it right. Back in my “Youte”, I knew girls who couldn’t get it fast enough”. I always wondered why since it’s something to savor for as long as you can. I think they were working on the “you’re bad if you like it” syndrome their previously horny mama’s told them.

            Slow down and ….learn and enjoy. It’s just MN and she’s got the right idea. The Frenchies liked it all and then the Brits turned it into a reason to burn at the stake. Not the men, the women.

    • Amy& Eric Peters: what is it with these gas station speakers blasting news and ads 24/7, or asking Q if u need car washed on the screen at the pumps? all this while pumping gas? Maybe I should blast my radio to drown out the bastards.

      • Hi Laura,

        They see us as a captive audience – which we are, for as long as it takes to fill up. But even though it’s only a few minutes, it’s incredibly obnoxious. We are there to buy gas – not be peddled to. I keep wondering how long it will before they install LCD screens at checkout lines and force us to “learn more” (gawd) about whatever it is they want to sell us.

        • I am sure the day is not far off when ads start appearing on the visual display units found in all new cars. They will obliterate any music on the system.

    • But Amy without the ads blasting at the pump how will you possibly know about all the corn-sugar infused treats available inside?

      • That’s right….and you owe your lack of health to the big corporations. After all, what would this country be without corporations who don’t have to be liable and still be declared the same as a person. SCOTUS ruled so. You can jack with SCOTUS…or IRS.

  11. What about my emotional need for a powerful and loud V8? If there are no more such engines, can I qualify as being deprived and well get some sort of handout ?

        • Shotgun, it is to some extent. But Brent, whether he wants to admit it or not…and I think he just did. He does want to haul ass on the interstates. There is a time and there isn’t a time.

          I’ve hauled ass, even faster than 120mph on interstate for long periods of time(you have to be close to my age to appreciate the first radar detector that would pick up K band for miles) the Escort, a product of Mike Valentine. Back in the day you could speak with Mike and he’d give you his heartfelt advice. When I was considering buying the new Passport, he advised me the Passport was a bit more discriminating and some more powerful. He was exactly right and I used to run an Escort turned backward and the Passport turned forward. Keep one on each side of the dash and no problem.

          It was the first real radar detector. I had others before but only the only one before the Escort was the Whistler….that still resides in my gun safe.

          With speed rated tires and a good vehicle, you could do over 120 on lots of roads. I once covered the distance from Ruidoso, NM to Roby Texas, a distance of 345 miles, with a stop for fuel and to let the wife vomit for a while, in 4 hrs. and 5 minutes. It’s two lane all the way and I did meet a NM DPS who was doing close to what I was. He never hit the brakes and it would have done him no good to do so.

          Back in the day, there were state troopers who would meet you with you doing well into the triple digits and hit the brakes…..and when you didn’t, let off and go on. They knew it was an exercise in futility.

          I once met one on US 180 doing about 135 at the top of a hill, and he was going close to that. We just sorta raised an index finger and neither slowed. We barely had a chance to see one another. That’s what I call the ‘good ol days’.

          Back then there was actually some respect for each other. I’ve gotten the raised index finger I returned doing well over 100 and neither one of us made an effort to slow down. I know those guys were laughing their asses off, meeting another person with mirror sunshades(they all wore back then). Far west Texas everyone was hauling ass. 50-60 miles between towns(tiny towns), you just hammered down and went on.

          • Eight, sounds like a wonderful time…. like the stories my dad used to tell me…. Another thing I remember – he told me that even if you did get a ticket there were no points to follow you around, if you were out of state it hardly mattered because they would never care to follow it up anyways!! What happened to that kind of useful government incompetence!!

  12. HG Wells also wrote about the future world the self proclaimed elites were building. The products were “The Shape of Things to Come” and the film “Things to Come”. The utopia our technocratic elite would build for us.

  13. Off topic but: I’ve kicked over a hornets’ nest of EV fanbois on another forum. I need you all to feed me every single link you know about CO2 not causing CAGW, the dangers of hydrogen fluoride, alpha climate cultists admitting they’re just using the climate cult as a Trojan horse, any possible reason you can think of to dunk on EVs. I’ve had it with these people, wanna just source spam them and let them sort it out.

    • There’s plenty of info out there. For starters, back in January a UN official admitted the real reason behind the scam:

      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism/

      A few other quotable quotes:

      “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

      “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme

      “It is a remarkable fact that despite the worldwide expenditure of perhaps US$50 billion since 1990, and the efforts of tens of thousands of scientists worldwide, no human climate signal has yet been detected that is distinct from natural variation.” – Bob Carter, Research Professor of Geology, James Cook University, Townsville

      “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection,” says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. “The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated. – Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair IPCC Working Group III

      You can do a search on the “Climategate” emails, where it is revealed that a group of climate “scientists” falsified data and even plotted to rewrite history in an attempt to remove the Medieval Warming Period from the history books.

      Then look up what Reid Bryson, father of modern climate science, stated before his death. (In short, he called the idea of human-caused global warming “absurd” and “a bunch of hooey.) Likewise, look up what world-renowned physicist Freeman Dyson has to say about it, for example:

      https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/letters-to-a-heretic-an-email-conversation-with-climate-change-sceptic-professor-freeman-dyson-2224912.html

      There’s a lot more but hopefully that’s a few things to get started with.

    • Hi Chuck,

      Look into these people: Judith Curry, John Christie, Bjorn Lomborg and Freeman Dyson. Others, like Tim Ball, Willie Soon, Patrick Michaels, Patrick Moore, Richard Lindzen, William Happer and Christopher Monckton are also excellent but, they have been falsely smeared to such a point that quoting them will not be accepted among the lunatic left you are battling.

      A few points:

      – avoid using the term fraudulent, this will immediately alienate anyone you are hoping to influence.

      – challenge the term “denier”, as no credible scientists “deny” any of the well established science, these people are skeptics of CAGW, with good reason.

      – point out that the “consensus” does not mean what many assert that it means. All credible “skeptics” are part of the so called “consensus”.

      – point out that, while the basic science is “settled”, the fundamental issue that is still debated is the likely ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity).

      – everything else equal, and absent feedback mechanisms, the effect of a doubling of CO2 is about a 1C rise in average temperature (ECS =1).

      – everything else is not equal, as the climate is far more complex than the simple experiments used by John Tyndall in the mid 1800’s.

      – all models assume an ECS of 1.5C to 4.5C or more due to a doubling of CO2. All of these models run hot compared to the empirical evidence.

      – all models assume a net positive feedback mechanism to explain the feared “runaway effect”, empirical evidence suggests otherwise.

      – systems subject to positive feedback mechanisms are inherently unstable, which begs the question, “why are we still here?”

      – the modern temperature record (1880 to today) does not correlate to CO2 concentration.

      – all of the claimed warming since around 1998 is due to adjustments in the temperature record.

      If you research the specific claims that I have made, you will find a lot of good stuff. I also made two tactical suggestions: avoid claims of fraud (even if you think they’re true) and reject the term denier.

      The climate hysterics make three demonstrably unsupportable claims:

      – the science is settled

      – the confidence level is high (95%)

      – skeptics are “deniers”

      1) The only science that is settled is that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas and the understanding of radiative forcing due to increased CO2 concentration in a controlled environment. Everything else (the actual temperature record, likely ECS, feedback mechanisms, natural variability, etc…) are not settled, and probably never will be as we don’t fully understand extremely complex systems.

      2) The 95% confidence level asserted by the IPCC is entirely unjustified. This is demonstrated by the fact that the temperature record has been adjusted many times over the last 30 years. Absent these adjustments, the hottest years on record occurred in the 1930’s. Again, avoid claims of fraud as these are unnecessary and will alienate your audience. It should suffice to point out that if claims of certainty and routine adjustment are incompatible. Research Tony Heller for good information on the temperature record.

      3) Using the term “denier” is meant to evoke images of holocaust deniers and is intended to equate climate skeptics with them and preclude honest discussion. It is an ad hominem attack that is unworthy of scientific debate. Any scientist that employs this tactic is acting as a fanatic, not a scientist.

      Cheers,
      Jeremy

      • That’s a great info dump, Jeremy. I’ve had bits and pieces of much of it gathered over the years, but stored in little files all over the place where it’s not easy to put together and reference. I’ll be using this!

    • It depends on the crowd. Most people who believe in man made climate change are “repeaters”. People who repeat what authority tells them and think they are smart. The rest are despicable people.

      In another forum I recently presented a plot showing how trivial a greenhouse gas CO2 above 300ppm is. One particular dufus who seems to have an obsession with me went on the attack saying the plot was from some website that had to ties with evil energy companies and more. Of course it isn’t. I’ve been using it for years and years. Longer than that website existed. Wikipedia even uses the same plot. It can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_band

      if you go to tony heller’s website, real climate science dot com (sorry wp gets upset with more than one link per comment) you can find all sorts of useful science from the US temperature record and why the US temperature record is best there is. Especially how he discovered that the estimates and adjustments to the US temperature record are essentially a perfect correlation to CO2 concentration. The signal is coming from what authority do to the data. The measurements do not show it.

  14. So what about those of us who have “emotional needs” that can’t be fulfilled in VR? Are we just to be discarded as inconvenient? You gotta catch me first!

  15. “We want to fulfill people’s emotional needs”

    I have a 67 Chevelle SS for that. I’m pretty sure Audi isn’t capable of fulfilling my emotional needs.

    The scary thing is that Diaper Man in photo 2 was once a US Senator.

  16. I wonder what kind of cute CG shit you see when the car drives head on into a semi, or when a bunch of AGWs run up to the car and riddle it with 100 rounds? I bet they have some really cool graphics like the film “Heavy Metal” huh? Will a cartoon coroner appear to scoop up your remains in a little cartoon box? I hear fire is pretty hard to accurately depict in cg, so I really hope they get that right, too! Will it simulate mortal agony, or will you get a complimentary morphine injection through your temple so the horror of reality won’t spoil your “virtual experience? Wow, I can hardly wait until I get one!

  17. Eric,

    You ever listen to this?

    https://publicintelligence.net/aldous-huxley-1962-u-c-berkeley-speech-on-the-ultimate-revolution/

    “That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say, and this is a problem which has interested me many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago, a fable, Brave New World, which is an account of society making use of all the devices available and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, to say, mass produced models of human beings arranged in some sort of scientific caste system.”

    A decade or more before this talk, his brother Julian had formed the world standardization group ISO vis a vis UNESCO.

    When Aldous speaks of controlling oligarchy, scientifically standardized citizenry, and people who will love their servitude, he is simply providing a summary of dinner conversations with his family.

  18. Eric, off topic but I don’t want to search for the relevant article this belongs in.
    Look at Mark Reus’ comments on ECU programming:
    ““(the mid engine Corvette C8 ECU) is very, very well done in terms of being able to connect,” Ruess told MC&T. “But also to have the capacity and capability for things like Super Cruise, AV and EV. That pipeline that is created with Global B and cybersecurity to be part of that is very, very robust.”

    Does that mean tuners will have absolutely no access to the Corvette C8’s ECU? Reuss seems to think not, although it doesn’t sound like GM wants just anyone to have the keys to controls.

    “I don’t wanna cut anybody out from an aftermarket standpoint, but we have to pick and choose who are the good guys,” Reuss said.”

    Read more: http://gmauthority.com/blog/2019/06/mid-engine-corvette-c8-ecu-will-be-under-lock-and-key/#ixzz5r83cswGJ

    http://gmauthority.com/blog/2019/06/mid-engine-corvette-c8-ecu-will-be-under-lock-and-key/

    • RIP Corvette, it’s been an alright run of 66 years. I must wonder if that number is in any way significant, perhaps indicating that one of America’s most iconic nameplates has been sacrificed to the devil…

    • That C8 paint job is really something isn’t it? It used to be that GM used “spackle paint” for the trunk interior, but I guess the world really has turned upside down, or inside-out, as the case may be. Well, it will at least camouflage the bird crap, lol!

  19. Interesting that the Holoride video has this text below it by the poster:

    “No matter how far you go, a ride should make you happy, maybe even smarter or more
    productive.”

    You will be happy, if you’re smart, and be a better worker drone because “Arbeit macht frei”…now, if I could only remember where I heard that…

  20. They can keep their “entertainment”. The majority of the time, I happen to enjoy the drive itself and being in 100% control of my vehicle. So called virtual reality entertainment while riding is for the weak minded. Nothing beats a leisure drive with the top off the Wrangler or the T-tops off my Oldsmobile on an off day from work. Call me old school,old fashioned or set in my ways. But these so called improvements are lame and they can keep it!

    • I am in the No-A/C No-Radio club when i drive by myself, even in the Houston Summers. I like to feel the weather outside and hear the sound of the engine to make sure I’m still alive.

      • Ditto. I have an ’81 Goldwing that still has a working factory radio. 15 years ago that would have still been exciting just to show it off, but now there is nothing but crap on th the airwaves, so why bother? I am also more interested in car/bike noises and the environment as an experience, as well. Rode through a hurricane-ish downpour on the Silverwing yesterday afternoon, and laughed myself silly from the exhilaration of the cold rain vs. the hot sun 30 seconds earlier! I did not ride at all last year, and I was depressed the whole time. Yesterdays ride in the downpour reminded me again what “living” is all about!

        • P.S., I had afemale friend with me during the rain-ride, and she started complaining that her nipples were freezing; which only made me laugh even more! Get THAT experience in the automated “virtual dildo” ride they want us all to “experience”, lol! BTW, females now have “blue-tooth” toys, so there ya are, lol!

  21. Well the cartoon gal is saaaafely on the road by herself….In reality there would be wall to wall cars with everyone in group orgies. One small hiccup with GPS, a sensor goes, or someone hacks in…. that’s it…. the end of digital dream world and the beginning of blood and guts reality.

    “A world of endiapered adults who remain perpetual children, perpetually distracted by imbecile pursuits – because distracted imbeciles are much easier to herd than conscious, thinking adults are to bayonet-prod in the desired direction.” ,,,,,,, Endiapered….. You made that up, didn’t you!

    It is impossible to shame the idiots of today. They walk around like Zombies in the stores swiping and pecking or talking (more like yelling) to a co-idiot at the other end of their lousy connection. At least in my time the pay phone booths were sound proofed a little and mostly outside. Watched a modern family in a store recently…. the father? yapping away on his box,,, the mother and children each tapping away on their boxes. Didn’t see anything in their cart, guessing they were too busy to shop. Yesteryear that idiocy would be laughed at,,, today it is normal. In some places they have slowed the speed limits downtown because of the idiots walking in front of moving traffic.

    Notice how the AGW’s are so into DUI,,,, According to USAToday 1 in 4 accidents is caused by cellphones and that was in 2014. I’ll bet it’s far greator! In 2016 28% of accidents were DUI. Do you see any texting traffic checks by AGW’s? Hell I see them on cell phones and diddling with their SMODS console going down the road but of course “they’re trained”.

    It’ll be fun to watch when these autonomous cars get more numerous….

  22. Well, they can’t get an emotional response out of us by designing a cool car, so why not try the gadget route?

    I got around to watching the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference keynote yesterday afternoon. They continue to feature “animojis,” animated faces that can be used in texts and other applications. Clearly it is a feature meant for little girls who used to play with Barbie dolls. But presenting it right up front of the iOS section of the keynote makes it sound like they’re actually serious about wanting adults to use this product. Then again, girls aren’t allowed to play with dolls anymore because that’s not proper STEM, right?

    • One thing I noticed is the move away from the natural world for kids. In the 90’s it was about large mammals, dinosaurs, whales and everything were all the rage in schools. Kids saw some discovery channel show on digging up fossils and wanted to be one, even if a job didn’t exist for it. At least this was the natural world they were involved with. Today it is much different, STEM, robots, coding, VR, AR, augment your brain, implants. Death to the spiritual and physical world. Disconnect from life. Materialism not spiritualism. Books today are all about science and social justice of today, transgenderism, hurt feelings. Books I kept for my son to read are based on old folk tales, heritage, stories from cultures handed down and put into childrens books. Stories with ghosts, spirits, animal gods. Not even white ethno european stories. Stories of native americans, south american gods, myths, legends, demons. If you cut off that imaginative side of the brain we will all be holograms soon, and nihilists probably.

      • Natural areas will be reserved only for the elite. Everybody else will live in little concrete box in a overcrowded city.

        • Brazos & Rich, this tech and your comments remind me of the novels by William Gibson (the guy who coined the term “cyberspace”) and Bruce Sterling. But then reality is beginning to remind me of the novels by Gibson and Sterling!

    • I’m on the extreme other end. There was a time (back when I was younger and emojis were still called emoticons) that I would use one occasionally, when I thought it really added something to an otherwise well-written post. Now I’m on the edge of declaring all “emojis” (when did they become called that anyway) to be heathen by default.

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