“Crushed Every Four Years”

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If you’ve been wondering what’s behind the electric car/automated car push, Ford’s John Rich just let the cat out of the sack:

“We will exhaust and crush a car every four years in this business.”

That business being the automated/electric car business.

Rich should know, since he’s the head of Ford’s Autonomous Vehicles Operations. He really means automated, of course – since the very last thing the cars he’s talking about are is autonomous.

Look it up for yourself.

Autonomous means independent from external control.

Nothing could be less autonomous than a car entirely under the control of the governmental-industrial combine which lays downs the operating parameters (via the programming) of the car, over which you have no control whatsoever. How do you control a car without a steering wheel, brake or accelerator pedal?

A car you don’t even own?

Instead, a ride you share.

And it isn’t even that – because sharing implies freely letting someone else borrow or use whatever it is, whereas what Rich and the rest of the car industry have in mind is perpetual renting. Serial payments, deducted automatically on an a la carte basis or via a “subscription.”

You own nothing – and that which you do not own, you do not control. Orwellian doublespeak conveys the opposite of this inarguable fact.

The only thing under your control about an automated/ride-shared electric car is whether to get in the thing – and when to get out – and even that can be suborned externally  if they decide you don’t deserve a ride (extrapolate from OnStar’s well-known ability to unlock a car remotely, via over-the-airwaves signaling).

Forget about spur-of-the-moment drives to wherever you like, whenever you like, as long as you like and how you like . . . and without anyone else even knowing about it.

People are babes in the woods about what’s coming. Some of it is already here. Has been here, for years. And they haven’t even noticed.

It takes time to build a hog pen.

ABS; traction/stability control – which you don’t control. In many cars, you can’t turn it off, either. The question isn’t why you might want to but why aren’t you allowed to. It’s still technically your car. And yet, it’s increasingly not under your control. The car industry has been clawing back control, piece-by-piece, in order to get people used to a new kind of car.

And to get them used to no longer driving it – which they barely do anymore.

The sun is setting, fast…

Things like ABS and traction/stability control – which became common back in the ’90s – weren’t too intrusive. At least not to the sensibilities of the average A to B driver. But people who drove noticed – and despised – the intrusion. The pre-emption. They loathed the principle these intrusions established.

The can’t-say-no-to-it taking away of control over their car.

There are perfectly sound reasons for wanting to be able to lock up the tires and put the car into a controlled skid. A skilled driver will know all about this. Contrariwise, there was skill in knowing how to avoid locking up the tires and how to steer out of a skid. It used to be taught. It was once expected as a minimal competence.

All snatched away – supposedly for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety but actually for control.

Cars used to be 100 percent under our control.

No interference with brake/throttle/steering. The radio didn’t peremptorily mute when you put the shifter into reverse. The computer didn’t put the transmission into neutral if you tried to back the car up with the door open. All part of the package now.

Soon, they’ll be under their control entirely – the principle having been established decades ago via the acceptance of can’t-say-no-to-them ABS, traction/stability control and all the rest of the creeping electronic kudzu.

If these things keep use saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe just imagine how much saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafer we’ll soon be.

Note how pushy it’s gotten over just the past three or four years. Driver “assists” – Lane Keep, Brake and Speed Limit – increasingly unavoidable in new cars and soon impossible to avoid. Speed Limit “Assist” having been mandated already. It all congeals. In order to “assist” you from “speeding,” control over throttle will be wrested.

It already has been wrested, in case you didn’t know.

A computer (and the coder who wrote the software) controls the throttle in pretty much every car made since circa 2005 or so. You are allowed the fiction of control, for now – so you won’t get restive while the pen is built around you.

Brakes are under the car’s control, too – which means under the control of those who programmed it.  Not you. If the car decides it’s time to brake, it will. It can just as easily be programmed to stop – or to not move in the first place.

Once the “assists” are ubiquitous and can’t be turned off and every car is wired in to the “Internet of Things” via the 5G network they’re building around us at this very moment, it’ll be time for us to hand over the keys but keep on paying.

The era of the automated electric car will have arrived.

They’ll be short-lived cars, too.

Ride-shared/automated electric cars will be in service almost continuously, wearing out much sooner – but collecting far more in ride-shared debits/subscriptions than single monthly car payments.

That is where the money is, you see – which is the happy flip side of control.

The car industry is tired of the petty 3-5 percent margins on the sale of individual cars to individual people. And of cars that last much too long.

A paid-off car is a bad car.

By renting a single car to many people, you make a lot more money. And not just by selling transportation but by crushing it. Instead of once every 15-plus years – which is usually how long an individually sold/individually driven car lasts – every four years, as Rich says.

Of course, someone’s going to have to pay for all that newness.

Guess who?

The price of crushing automated electric cars every four years will be folded into the cost of your ride-share. Which will also cost you control over your mobility – that term having passed into the Lexicon of doublespeak along with “autonomous” and “assist.” All of their former happy meanings palimpsested into uglified new ones, while retaining the superficial emotional appeal of their original meanings.

Like “freedom.”

. . .

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64 COMMENTS

  1. I love not having antilock brakes or traction/stability control. I drive a 76 Lincoln. It is a huge beast, but corners surprisingly well. Sometimes I slide a little bit as I push it through the turns, but I just let off the gas a little, give a slight wheel correction, and it goes right where I want, like a good skier. The acceleration is lousy, because it needs a new exhaust system (clogged cats, I think). I am also planning on an engine rebuild for increased horsepower. In spite of the poor acceleration, I almost always leave the lemmings way behind coming out of a light. Newer cars are supposed to accelerate well, but I see a lot of impaired drivers out there, who have an acceleration disorder. I kind of like the sound of my tires squealing a bit as I accelerate or sling that beast around a corner. I have nicknamed it the Battlestar Galactica, after a column you wrote, Eric. No computer vulnerabilities. I love driving.

    • Actually, I need to correct that statement about the Lincoln being huge. It is just the right size. All the other cars are way too small.

    • Excellent, Dr. Jim!

      I think the reason most people don’t drive anymore (turtle-crawling away from a red light isn’t driving) is because they’ve been so gas-lit about driving that they either don’t dare or actually consider real driving to be “unsafe.”

      The American volk has been Sovietized….

  2. Happy to have dropped out of so many things in the modern world: debt of all kinds, LA big city life and now any consideration of buying a new car or anything post 2005. If something happens to my newest, late 90s will be an ideal era to shop.

    Still, I have to laugh when internet “enthusiasts” make the claim that they prefer manuals because they give them more “control”. Sorry pods, .Gov preempted that control long ago. They may give the illusion of control, but that’s all you’ll be allowed, peasant. For now.

    No, I’ll keep and fix the three I have. I refuse to enable these toxic pests.

    • Still driving my 1989 F150. Every day.
      Straight 6, 4 speed (3 + granny) Borg-Warner T18.
      Computer controlled fuel injection (Intel processor).
      Three sets of spark plugs, including the originals, since brand new.
      Single cab, long bed.
      I do not want a new “pickup” with dual cab, short bed, 4 cyl automagic and bed sides so high you would need a skip loader to load anything in it.

  3. I’m no expert in these areas, but I have to wonder about the environmental impact of crushing cars every four years.

    After all, buying even “green” products doesn’t necessarily help protect the environment, because buying stuff, period, is part of the problem.

    If the stated goal is to reduce resource consumption and pollution of all kinds, then it stands to reason that you’d make cars and other appliances and tools such that they’re designed and built have a longer service life and thus aren’t disposed of as much. Kinda like the old school VW Beetles.

    But that gets in the way of profits…so that’s about as likely as seeing the sun rise in the west on the day a Jewish Pope is elected.

    And another thing: I can see sooooooo many ways that “mobility as a service” compromises freedoms: If you, say, owe fines, taxes, or child support, your access could be turned off. If you violate the “terms of service” or “community standards” like, say, going to certain forbidden places, your access could also be turned off. And in emergency situations, access could also be misused: We’re evacuating you whether you like it or not, and we’re cutting off service during the declaration of disaster.

    • I frequent hole in the wall businesses and restaurants frequently. Places you only know of by word of mouth. Places that don’t have a website or facebook. I truly expect them to be wiped out of existence with automated driving (beep boop, destination does not exist, error). What about small town road side stands of produce and pop up shops? Not part of the borg not part of the cars database.

      • Braz, what about small towns/rural areas, period! No taxis or Uber or mass-hysteria transit out here.

        “Yeah, send me one’a them Yubers; make it a dually with gooseneck ball, ’cause I gotta take 12 cows to the auction…”

        Should be interesting!

        • I get my cantaloupe at the liquor store and watermelons at the church. I sold a pickup a couple days ago so I could build another pickup and all I wanted off the old one was the sliding gooseneck hitch I built 20 years ago. Mooooooo……

        • Another thing is child seats and kids toys. What if your youngins leave their favorite toy in the Proletariat Mobile and it goes off to crack town never to be seen again? What adult wants to lug around a car seat to put in and out of Proletariat Transport every damn time? The pencil necks that thought up this slavery obviously have no plans to use them because the simple tasks we don’t even notice with our own personal cars become nightmares with the vehicle as a service model. Or like you said in rural towns will be portioned 3 Proletariat Mobiles for a town of 15,000 and none of the directions will work or travel on unpaved roads…

          Maybe the only bonus of these is for hearse work because that is the only way they’ll get me in one.

  4. I’m on the coast in SC. Just yesterday the robo-calls went to everyone I know informing us that the governor had issued an evacuation order and reversed lanes on the interstate. My mother got one on her land line, I got both a call and a text on my cell. Coincidentally to this article I had a mental flash of automated “Johnny Cab” cars pulling up to thousands of houses while orders went to the Personal Tracking Devices (cell phones) instructing compliant subjects to evacuate immediately. My little mental flash (maybe it was a mini-stroke?) concluded with thousands of barely comprehending faces peering out of little windows as they’re carted away.

    Sure be easier than cattle cars

    • Buy more guns and a lot more ammo. WTSHTF, ammo will be one of the best bartering commodities to have. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters?

      • I honestly hope that I don’t survive beyond a week into that. The idea of eating canned bullshit and trading ammo is not my idea of a great life. Fuck all of that.

        • Swampy, You live in the city or something? Why would you have to eat canned anything? If you’re largely self-sufficient now, and not dependent upon Uncle….and not living in some crowded place full of ghetto-bangers and leftists, you likely won’t even notice a difference when TSHTF.

          Who jumped out of the windows in the Great Depression? Those whose lives revolved around the system and the wealth they could glean from it; those in the big cities. Most country-dwellers didn’t notice any difference.

          Keep the ammo for your own use…just in case…. What do others have that you’d want? They’d probably rob you, anyway. Cash will be king….have a good stash of cash saved up. Those who did during Depression 1.0 not only got through it well…but prospered afterward- having been able to buy things like real estate and valuable for literally pennies on the dollar. (Forget gold…that’s only for those who have enough to worry about long-term wealth preservation. You couldn’t give gold away in the Depression!)

          The free-shit army will likely kill each other off early on, and their nonsense will be confined to the cities where they live. Our biggest worry will be Uncle, and his mercenaries…and even if Uncle stops sending them their paychecks, they’ll still have the weapons…and will use them as they always have, for robbery and oppression (THAT is why we need to be well armed).

          I hope to be out of here by then- but who knows…it looks like it may come before I can make it out- and if that’s the case, well, quite frankly, I think it will actually be an improvement- as it will be somewhat of a return to normal life; more people will get back to worrying about themselves and reality, instead of serving Uncle and corporations….

          Sadly though, I don’t think Uncle will go away. Maybe a little,. temporarily- but ultimately, just as during the first Depression, I think he will use the opportunity to garner even more power and control- I mean, the Great Depression was essentially the birth of modern bureaucracy in this country.

          But DO NOT buy into these scenarios that these “preppers” picture- as they are dreaming, and very unrealistic. Only thing I can say, is that if you aren’t in the sticks already, make it your business to get there, now. Not only will your life be better and freer now…but you’ll likely be unaffected by what is to come.

          Like where I live: Everyone here is well armed. Neighbors respect privacy, but’ll help in a heartbeat if need be; and I feel sorry for anyone- be it someone from the far-away city who manages to make it here, and thinks he’s gonna loot others…or locals who try and do the same, ’cause they’ll be coyote food on their very first attempt.

          I look at what is to come as a return to reality and sanity, from this artificial Uncle-created bubble economy. For those who already live in the real world and practice sound personal economics with hard commodities and no debt, I don’t think we’ll notice much of a difference, other than that there may suddenly be some very good deals around.

          Heck, a friend’s grandmother bought up some prime NYC real estate during the Depression, for literally 10 cents on the dollar. She was just a regular lower class working person who managed to save…and after the Depression, those deals catapulted in value so much that she became rich. (Personally, I don’t want to be rich, nor engage in that type of thing…but just to show ya…)

        • I’m trying to stay around just in order to make life very miserable (if only even for a very short time) for those who try to cram this bullshit down our throats.

          But for now life out here in Montucky is just about the same as it has always been, if you don’t get all hysterical about the “news.” No reason to be anything but peaceful until you absolutely have to be.

          • T’is true, Anon. Just look at the Amish.

            Many of our problems arise because we want the “benefits” and conveniences of the statist’s world. Go into debt; work in an office; buy smart-phones and “smart” appliances; live where ya have all the modern conveniences; watch TV…. and then lament that we’re not free.

            But if we practice the principles of free living, and live where we have the space to do what we want and not be corralled, we may not be totally free, but we’ll be free from 90% of the garbage which plagues most people these days.

            Much of the time, we are not robbed of our freedom, so much as we trade it away.

            • “But if we practice the principles of free living, and live where we have the space to do what we want and not be corralled, we may not be totally free, but we’ll be free from 90% of the garbage which plagues most people these days.”

              Nunz, we’re a powerless minority.

              This is the notification I received from AKC’s legal dept. last week: https://www.akc.org/legislative-alerts/hattiesburg-ms-urgent-alert-city-council-votes-tuesday-9-3-19-ban-home-based-breeding-inspect-animal-owners-limit-pets-take-action-now/

              This is Agenda 21 in action. It’s even gotten to the point if you’re not a licensed vet you can’t practice animal husbandry. Every bit of this is designed to nudge people into cities and corporate employment.

              • Oh, believe me, Handler, I know. Things have been like that in NY forever, which is why I left there; and why I plan to leave this shit-hole of a country soon…

                But relatively speaking, one can still have a relative semblance of freedom, if they choose where to live carefully; avoid voluntarily participating in techno-tyranny; guard their privacy; etc.

                No, not the level of freedom that all should have everywhere….but….well…more than say in CA or NY or IL or NY; more than in a city or populous area….

                I mean, I can keep what ever animals I want on my land; build what ever I want (No zoning; code enforcement; building codes); I can go down to the store and buy ammo without ID or any questions asked; have a gun within 10 minutes by just filling out the Feds NCIS bullshit background check thingy, etc.

                We still do have some choice. Granted, it’s getting less and less, as the tyranny spreads further and further, encompassing the entire country like the cancer that it is……and it’s not gonna last, as they chip away at it day by day….but I’m certainly refreshingly freer than anyone who lives in CA or NY,; and even a person who lives in a metro area here in KY is freer than any NYer or CA-munist…and I am freer than they.

                I guess what I’m saying is that the contrast between the freer places and the commie places is still quite startling.

                Maybe I can appreciate it somewhat more too, having lived in commie NY- where even in the 80’s I was less free than I am here, today.

                Even such things as choosing what kind of neighbors one lives amongst…. I now live among farmers. Big difference between how they’d react to some commie legislation vs. the liberal twats I lived among in NY!

                When they tried to implement a state income tax in TN just to my south a few years ago, residents bore arms and surrounded the capitol, and broke windows. The tax idea was abandoned. Imagine iof that had been NY. Not a peep would have been heard; and if the people would try that in NY, there would have been a mass genocide. (The only way you’d get a bunch of armed citizens amassed in NY is if ya tried to regulate grape soda and Kool-aid, ’cause no law-abiding white people have guns in NY)

                • I understand what you’re saying, but the clock is ticking. At the rate these counties and municipalities are adopting those PETA-written ordinances, I probably have around 5-10 years left of doing my life’s passion. The public is too brainwashed by animal rights propaganda to defend unfettered animal ownership (private property rights).

                  • I know it, Handler- It’s disgusting.

                    Before 10 years, that shit’ll even be here where I live. (I’ll be long gone).

                    And where are all of these PETA asswipes when the pigs are always shooting people’s pets???

  5. All of my current vehicles have “non-expiring” plates/registration and there is no emission or any other kind of inspection.

    I’m just trying to figure out how they are someday going to tell me I can’t drive to town to buy groceries?

    The Leftists hate cops, but yet they somehow expect them to enforce “1984” ???? That occupation looks like it may get a lot more dangerous in the future.

    • Who is going to oppose the cops, who have more weapons at their disposal than most countries. The leftists actually love cops and totalitarianism.

      • shit swamp, I live in Texas. I can drive around and speak to people all day that have more weapons and ammo than cops. Automatic reloaders sell better in Texas than anywhere. 80% lower receivers are getting downright cheap, $37. I hope a fire doesn’t break out under my bed. But if it does, there’s always the safe in the barn and the storage buildings full of old style wooden cases. In MY part of the world, institutions such as banks have huge private firearm collections……and they all work, not to mention those same collections are backed up at home by collections not shown.

    • Leftists don’t hate cops, they hate cops who are not enforcing their agenda. Once the cops are enforcing THEIR laws, NO lives will matter, and those cops who gun down the enemies of the Party will be celebrated and rewarded.

  6. To be fair, John Rich said that cars would be crushed every four years since he expects autonomous cars to always be driving, and at the end of four years, based on his projections, they’ll be worn out. A four year old car with 500,000 miles on it might well be used up.

    I work in this field, and I see how self driving tech is being developed. It’s already deployed for predictable things; trucks at shipyards, trucks in quarries, parking shuttles, etc. It’s a very long way off from private ownership of autonomous cars, so all of these theoretical scenarios assume that people pay for rides, and don’t own the cars. You wouldn’t actually want to own one of these datacenters on wheels, they’re too complex.

    Imagine a scenario, though, where you can own one less car in your typical two car family. If two people ever need to go somewhere at the same time – one summons a self driving thing of some sort. You can still go for a drive at a whim in your own car.

    What worries me more is internal combustion no-go zones. Those will preclude all of us from getting to popular places. Also, the self driving datacenters on wheels need lots of power, and currently, they’re not a good match for battery powered vehicles. Our car computers, albeit prototype ones, pull several thousand watts of power when on.

    • “Imagine a scenario, though, where you can own one less car in your typical two car family. If two people ever need to go somewhere at the same time – one summons a self driving thing of some sort. You can still go for a drive at a whim in your own car.”

      How is this an improvement over owning two cars? Or even worse, how is this an improvement over owning just one car?

      • It’s up to you – if it makes no sense for you, don’t do it. However, as America becomes more urban, and parking space is expensive, it makes sense for some people. Different strokes for different folks, you know.

        I think a lot of people will be forced into this model, due to the ever increasing cost of cars thanks to our government masters, and to car companies deciding to build rolling entertainment centers as opposed to simple cars.

      • And if one were to desire the “benefits” of not having two cars, and yet needed to each go separate places, how does what is proposed differ from merely calling a freaking taxi?!

        -As if we need a gargantuan infrastructure of electric chargers, and self-driving EVs, summoned by “apps” on smart-phones, controlled by programmers and car manufacturers and tech companies….just accomplish what has been possible for more than three quarters of a century now, by merely placing a phone call to a guy who rents a small office and who employs a few people who drive cars that say “Taxi” on the side?

        But taking taxis sucks…and the modern alternative being proffered will suck just as much…and probably a good deal more. We’re going backwards…but people don’t notice, as long as it’s couched in high-technology and virtue-signaling verbiage.

        • Uber is hilarious to me. I get offers to go to work for them. All I need is a 4 door car(don’t have a car), a clean background check ha ha ha ha, and to move at least 60 miles where somebody might want to use Uber. Oh, I’m all excited now.

          I wish an old buddy was still alive to get those offers. He came home(lived in a small town unfortunately)on New Years’ Eve and his 3 car wide driveway was blocked by several cars down the street.

          He wasn’t in a good mood and after looking it over, he did the only thing he thought was a good idea. He dropped her down into low range 4WD with lockers front and rear. He pushed half a dozen cars down the street all at once, to get into his driveway. The evening went downhill from there, not only for him but the “autonomous” cars that drove themselves along the curb while their drivers were partying.

  7. GM, Siemens and several other companies are working on automation projects here in Austin. I get the emails from recruiters all the time.

    I’m not overly worried about the future arriving anytime soon. I get recruiting emails only because they have to send those out as part of the H1B visa application, and most of those “engineers” are not all that capable.

  8. “Public transportation is becoming more popular, now that your generation (20 somethings) are starting to forgo all the trouble of owning a car…”
    -My Boss

      • ****”They seem to be against owning anything, including themselves.”***

        DANG! BG, THAT is my new favorite quote! Says it all- and so succinctly! If cars still had bumpers, it’d make a great bumper sticker!

      • Ahem, there is a certain group of people that promote this universalism and anti-identitarian way of life. You could say it was a religion but some days it isn’t. They want everyone else to give up their self, their identity, but never for their own kind, they are immune to their own medicine.

  9. I can only conclude that my future will not be a bright one. None of my vehicles have all that crazy stuff save for ABS. I will not submit to the futurist’s plans. More than likely, My name will be added on to the “Enemies of the State” list down the road.

  10. On a flip side – i bet this will be brilliant for the economy – and our politicans who will use it to calculate GDP/employment/etc etc….. jobs created making cars, and more jobs created to crush them…. we actually have reached the point where people are paid to dig a hole and then fill it up again!!

  11. “And to get them used to no longer driving it – which they barely do anymore.”
    +
    “the principle having been established decades ago “.
    =

    Cruise control!

    It all started with cruise control! I’ve never liked nor used cruise- I like to be in complete control of my vee-hickle. Cruise establishes a bad precedent….as we’re seeing. I doubt it was intentional (When cruise first appeared as an option in top luxury cars, no one had any clue that all of this crap would come to pass 50 years later- and the car companies were still autonomous businesses back then- as opposed to gov’t boot-lickers)- But at least with cruise…one always had the option to of whether or not to use it; and the default position was “off”.

    This article just made me realize why I’ve never liked cruise.

    • I beg to differ (again lol). I’d say that it all began with the advent of the “smartphone”. Ever since then, people seem to be uninterested in doing anything that requires critical thinking.

      But I have to agree with the cruise control. I tried it once not too long ago and found it to be quite unsettling.

      • I found cruise control to be one of the best things to ever come along many decades ago. You can stay at the exact speed you want and not always have to be modulating the go-pedal. It’s a real advantage in a big rig also. For reasons I have never understood, a big rig will pull better with the cruise on. I’ve spoken with many drivers who have noticed the same thing. It’s especially useful on long runs since big rig pedals are not particularly easy to hold down. A day of trucking without cruise control compared to one with cruise is a no-brainer for truckers and others who spend hours at a time behind the wheel. It may not be a big advantage in the NE but the rest of the country with big, wide highways it saves hell out of the operator.

        The cruise on my pickup doesn’t work and it’s a PITA. Try holding one at 75 up and down hill. The grades are often so long on the interstates I’ll look down and be going 85-90 when I don’t want to be. I have a CDL to protect and want to run as fast as I legally can but not fast enough to get a speeding ticket.

        • 8, people in west TX, with long stretches of open highway and little traffic get an exemption for the cruise!

          What kills me, is that it’s just as popular in croded urban areas…..like NY- where it is absolutely ludicrous to even try using it- as you can’t go 100 feet without having to vary your speed.

        • I like cruise control driving across Wyoming where there is hardly any traffic. But I’ve found that with our little four banger car at least, I can get better gas mileage driving manually even though my speed varies more. If I let it slow down to 76 or 75 on a hill, then I can get over the hill without the car shifting down and buzzing 4500 rpm.

          So if it’s pretty flat I use cruise but if it’s somewhat hilly I drive manually.

      • bluegrey,

        “ I’d say that it all began with the advent of the “smartphone”.”

        And I’d say you were correct sir!

        According to wiki, “Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion.“

        Does it appear that a whole bunch of people have their attention focused on their smartphones?

        Is a person’s peripheral awareness reduced when they walk in front of a bus while texting or fall off a cliff when taking a selfie?

        Do Siri Suggestions work?

        • I did see a girl fall off a balcony taking a selfie. The phone survived.

          But reading in Dr. Mercola today there is a many times peer reviewed study done recently, one of many. It shows a 4.5 point reduction in IQ of boys whose mothers had a 1mg gain in fluoride in their urine. Over boys and girls both, the average was 3.77 points.

        • Ha! I’ve always referred to people “walking around hypnotized by their cell phones”- Guess I was righter than I knowed! ( 😉 )

          In NY now (started a few years ago already), on the commuter railroads- they actually play announcements on the station platforms admonishing the lemmings to watch where they’re going, ’cause so many people were tripping in the gaps between the platforms and the trains, because they have their heads buried in their cell phones as they walk- instead of up their asses where they’d normally be.

          • Ahh, Nunzio. I found my assholiphone useful while I was in the E room to let people know where I was.

            I won’t be caught dead using one in public like that. But this time it was useful.

            Was even able to text with my BFF in LA at 5 am with a IV in my arm and laying in a hospital bed. I thought that was pretty cool.

            But it will stay in pocket or car out in public as usual. I play more solitaire on it while watching TV than I do talking, reading texting

            • Yowser, Bos! They do have their charms when used in a sane manner- like the time I blew my tranny on a country road, on a Sunday, miles from anywhere….

              I was actually an early adopter, back in the mid 90’s- because it allowed me to get all of my business calls at the time, instantly, instead of having to use the then still extant payphones to check messages and return calls.

              Soon as I got out of that business though, and moved to the sticks, I stomped that damn phone (Literally) and just got a pay-as-you-go Tracfone, for rare emergency use.

              Cellphones are actually a pretty cool thing…it’s just the way that most people use them- like they’re addicted to them; and the fact that people allow them to act as repositories for everything they think, see, do and say; and as a tracking device, that is really disconcerting. And the thing is: They don’t care. They value the convenience and the feeding of their addiction more than their privacy.

              People used to expect that ever-advancing technology was going to help solve all of our problems- but of course, it turned out that it’s just making them worse. Not that the technology is necessarily bad- but rather how people use it and abuse it; and how it always seems to play into another layer of control and surveillance for tyrants.

              I miss payphones. If ya kept a few quarters (previously dimes) in your pocket…you were good. No surveillance; no distraction; no monthly debt.

        • I saw a video where the guy driving along on a motorbike ride right into a sinkhole in the middle of the street, while chattering away on his cell phone in his ear. (Weather Channel bit).

          My Honduran stepson tells me it happened there to a guy but that guy died.

      • But bear in mind, BG, that cruise was around long before the advent of the cell phone; back when the only electronics in the average person’s daily life were a transistor radio, and maybe a TV set, assuming they had gotten a “modern” tubeless one.

        I think cruise helped prime people for letting machines take control. The phones just opened the flood gates and made it much worse.

        • When I think of the advantages of cruise it would have to be 1976 coming back from the east coast with a 14 foot trailer on a 98 with the cruise set at 120. With 2,000 watts of radio, we easily made ourselves known and the truckers out there called off the clovers and said “Yall need to move over and get out of the way. We have a couple Texas boys that are in a hurry.”. We thanked him and he just laughed. Many truckers laughed as we went by. We could communicate with them when our gap was 30 miles. That trailer had “Austin use only” on the back that I covered up with duck tape. Cruise is the very thing that enables you to drive with both legs steering while rolling one. Don’t leave home without it.

    • Me too. I use cruise on occasion, but largely don’t, largely because I have become lazy. I don’t know how people can use it due to the fact that there is serious capacity collapse on our rural freeways. Too much flow conflict. Too many cars on the road. I used to mock people who use it.

    • Actually, cruise control and cup holders are a necessity because of mind numbingly slow speed limits. One of the ways I’ve avoided a speeding ticket for 25 years (since I decided to exercise my second amendment rights on a regular basis- without permission)- has been to set it to about 5-7 over and forget it. When I have to regulate the speed myself nature takes over and I catch myself at a natural reflex limited comfortable speed of 80+ At which point your mind and skills are engaged, and you aren’t interested in having a cold drink or surfing the web or texting a client.

      • I love the things. Set it on 80 and cruise, literally. The only problem I have is clovers and those mega trucking companies with speed limited trucks at 62(I was corrected by a recruiter when I said I’d drive a truck at 60 mph the day hell froze over). Well, 62, so much difference.

  12. Interesting thing about all these assists – they are there to keep us safe, but the new generation of armoured cars for our dear leaders you can turn it all off! was just watching a review of the new X5 VR6, and it said that you can turn all the crap off incase you need to ram or run through something to get away…. If its really for safety – why can the most secure armoured cars turn them off!!

    • See, that’s the thing. It’s not about safety; it’s about control. So of course the “dear leaders” would scream bloody murder if they were denied the option of disabling the assists.

  13. Interesting. Your article seems to point out a change in the Deep State’s plans. “1984” may be the longed-after end-state for them, however, technology has offered a “frog in the pot” detour through “Demolition Man” and “Minority Report” before we get to “Red Barchetta” and then eventually “1984”. How crafty of them. It separates free will from mobility prior to the boot-stomping phase, thus lulls many into the required sonambulant state, saving much effort on their part.

    • TPTB are doubtless keeping that boot poised just above our collective throats, alá 1984, but it seems to me that Huxley had a closer vision of the world today. Insouciant and distracted proles happily pressing the up and down buttons on a figurative elevator, utterly pacified by their Soma-screens and other drugs, virtual sex, kabuki theater politics, and whatever else it takes to insulate them from reality. The most compliant animals are contented ones.

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