Rearviews in the Rearview

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Elon Musk wants you to pay more for your next new car – even if you don’t buy one of his cars.

The CEO of Tesla is “petitioning” the government to allow him – and everyone else – to eliminate rearview and exterior mirrors from new cars – in favor of in-car displays fed images by cameras. He says this will result in better aerodynamics and so, improved efficiency.

He doesn’t say what it will cost.

And not just Tesla buyers.

If this “petition” is successful, the rest of the industry will ape Elon – for the same reason you can’t find a new car without an LCD touchscreen or with a physical key for the ignition and door locks.

Elon is a media (and mandate) manufactured trend-setter. He is presented as “hip” and “with it.” The rest of the industry will not want to appear doughty and fuddy-duddy.

Besides which, there’s money in it. For Elon and them, too. Both up front – at purchase time – as well as down the line, when the time inevitably comes to replace a no-longer-functioning component which is also a mandatory saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety component.

Nothing like a mandated “market” – something Elon specializes in.

But how much will this cost us?

First, let’s consider what we had, what we have – and what is on deck.

For decades, we had a purely mechanical rearview mirror consisting of a housing – usually metal or plastic – and a small piece of mirror. A $15 item – maybe – that did its just perfectly well and usually lasted the life of the car. My almost 50-year-old Trans-Am has its original rearview mirror – and it works as well today as it did back in the summer of ’75, when my car rolled off the line.

Outside rearview mirrors were more or less the same. A housing – metal or plastic – plus the small piece of mirror. Even when the first power-actuated mechanisms came online, they were still relatively simple and so relatively inexpensive.

What Elon wants won’t be.

We can get a hint of how much it won’t be by considering what it already costs to replace current rearview and side mirrors – which have become partially electronic. Most now include sensors and LED lights (part of the Blind Spot Warning system – the blind spots having been created by government saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety mandates that have turned car interiors into tank turrets with slit-eye views of the outside world).

These are no longer just simple housings with a piece of mirror that cost less than $50 to replace if need be.

Damage one of these hybrid mechanical-electronic mirrors and the replacement cost is often $300 or even more, depending on how electronicized the mirrors are. They’re also very car-specific (like a modern car’s headlight “assemblies”) whereas in years past many models of car used the same side mirrors – or could use generic mirrors – which kept replacement costs reasonable.

Not anymore.

Same with the inside rearviews, which have become electronicized “black boxes” integrated with the windshield. It is not uncommon to have to spend $1,000 or even more to replace a broken windshield because of the rearview mirror – which is longer just a mirror. It often includes an LCD  display and cameras.

Get ready for the doubling down.

To eliminate exterior mirrors entirely, it will take more cameras, erupting like zits all over the car.  The images of the outside world will be conjured on a larger LCD displays inside the car.

In Teslas, everything is displayed on one hi-res flatscreen. Several other cars have a similar set-up. They are already aping Elon.

When the screen goes dark – or pixilates – it will have to be replaced.

This will not be cheap.

In part because of the technology and in part because the screen will be – is – brand-specific and proprietary (i.e., you have to buy the replacement from whomever built your vehicle at top-dollar mark-up) but also because almost no one will be able to replace it themselves, as they could easily do with a mechanical mirror you glued or screwed into place. Replacing the flatscreen will mean a trip to the dealership for the install and “programming” – at $100 per hour labor.

Probably a couple hours’ worth.

As the car ages, the cost of fixing – or replacing – this technology may outweigh the value of the car, urging it toward the recycling bin even sooner. This will be very green indeed – in terms of manufactured demand for new cars.

In the meanwhile, you won’t be able to see . . . anything when the screen goes dark.

Because everything was displayed on that screen. In the physical rearview days, if the glue lost its stick and the thing fell off, you still had both your side mirrors. And if you lost one of your side mirrors, you still had your rearview.

It is probably true that no car in the pre-electronic age ever lost all of its rear views at the same time. In the electronic remote-view age, this will probably become common due to sudden blackouts of the LCD screen.  Or because the cameras on the exterior are covered by snow. And you can’t scrape cameras, buddy – not without scratching the paint

Another cost – just not in dollars, per se.

And probably, unavoidable.

Also the  cost of insurance –  which will increase in proportion to the replacement cost of all this technology. We’re already paying higher premiums because of the cost – actual as well as potential – of electronicized rear and sideview mirrors.

Because of gadget-addledness. Because of tedium.

Cars have become so good – and so homogenous – that they’ve become boring. In order to make them interesting again, electronics are being used to perform every imaginable function – up to and including driving the car. This is considered “cool” – even if it offers no meaningful advantage.

A rip-tide effect is generated.

Consider, for example, how hard it has become – how almost impossible it has become – to find a new car that still has a key for the ignition (and doors) rather than a fob and buttons to push.

A key in the ignition starts the engine as quickly – and easily – as pushing a button, will probably outlast the car and if it ever does get lost or needs to be replaced, it’ll cost a couple of bucks  . . . but not a couple hundred bucks, as keyless fobs often do.

As remote-view camera/LCD flatscreen “mirrors” will.

Americans have become like seagulls pecking at a piece of tinfoil on the beach. Anything that glints or blinks grabs their attention.

And their wallets, too.

. . .

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

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    • I’d be surprised to discover that you knew or know either of them well enough to make such a comparison.
      P.T. Barnum knew well of which he spoke when he said that “(n)obody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.”

  1. Eric,
    I work on systems that are tied into all this electronic stuff for exterior trim engineering. It first becomes a top end luxury option and then eventually rolls down to standard or as your buddy ELON wants, MANDATORY.
    It is all part of the ADAS system the OEM are forced to do or marketing/greenCEOs wants in the vehicles. Don’t even mention the prohibitive cost for all this. Throw in ELECTRIC, and even the vacuum folks Dyson just waved the surrender flag.
    I see it everyday as the system integration group is next to my group and the battle between engineering groups to get it to work is 24/7. It affects every inch (mm now that all vehicles are METRIC!) from bumper to bumper and every sub group of the vehicle. Hop in your future 2022/3 SUVs and behind all that fluff and puff will be hundreds of modules planted on the body metal wherever the lucky engineer can find fought after real-estate. Job security are the Harness folks (unless you screw up and then your out which is common due to the one little oops then the “recall”). Massive harness cables and wires snaked under all that “trim”.
    As 1 out of every 10 vehicles are under a recall right now, the #1 reason: Electrical/software/mechtronics. The environment vehicles encounter, the electronics/electrical cannot handle the harshness much less the infinite complexity of road conditions and situations.
    Silicon Valley came up with computers and other neat electronic things. But that maxed out and they need to keep their industry going so lets destroy the phone industry, then the appliance industry, and other numerous products. I just want my refrigerator to be cold, that’s all. Now their greedy industry has their bullseye planted on the back of the transportation industry (Planes, Trains and Automobiles as we head to Chicago). Vehicle industry will be the toughest as mentioned, vehicles encounter infinite variables of conditions which is why we resisted it.
    That SilVal module/electronics from climate controlled Bay Area of fruit nuts isn’t fun to replace in -40F heat sink of International Falls, MN because it can’t handle it. Then we thermal shock it to “air conditioned” Death Valley where we burn our hands instead of getting frost bite yanking the failed electronics. Throw in just few items such as snow, ice, salt, swamp water, grease, acid, CokeCola, and YES cat pee (requirement for seats now!!) for added environmental conditions. Throw in voltage/amperage test balancing especially hard cold crank or hot starts when the massive spikes/drop volt/amp from the 13.5V occur. Throw in variation voltage to be “more fuel efficient”. That is just the start as rough road durability shacks it all to pieces anyhow.
    NO PROBLEM, SilVal is in bed with the DC folks (money and kickbacks) and SilVal = GOOD & SAINTLY and Transportation = BAD & EVIL.
    FOLLOW THE MONEY (on paper, under the table and those congress folks who get paid $174K/year but are millionares fairly quickly).
    So as us seasoned OEM engineering are finishing our time, the younger engineers coming on board bright eyes and bushy tails. Even the younger folks are seeing the future. When a young software integration engineer pulls into the employee parking lot with his old S10 pickup, he bought it because “it doesn’t have the electronics”, he knows as he is shoving the technology into future product. Next row over, another engineer parked his just purchased sweet ’78 Lincoln Mark V boat mobile which is ECU free. We all are looking for those older vehicles to OWN not because they are “classics” to have, but needed to survive. I am pushing the final limits on an ’02 Outback. Hundreds of “classics” parking out front while we “develop” the future in the back.
    SO Elon and his mirrors, HAH, can we say for an example: “BACK UP CAMERAS” that got forced ramrodded in and no time to do it right. We are still fixing that forced requirement mess. Maybe the industry needs to tank big time and us surviving engineers can pull out our tools from the trunks of our “classics” to develop “future” vehicles that people can use, looks great and most importantly AFFORD. I miss my T-Top ’86 5.0 GT Stang while humming that old Waylon Jennings song “Back To The Basics Of Love”. Will the industry get back to the basics, the jury still is out.

    • Hi Toasty,

      Thanks for this; it confirms what I’ve been told by other engineers (off the record) as well as what I see myself, each week – developing ever faster lately.

      It’s a kind of mania to electronicize everything – and what you say about Silicon Valley is one aspect of the etiology (so to speak).

      I am also looking for something pre-1980 as a daily driver to replace my truck when it finally goes south. Of course, I expect these old cars to be outlawed – directly – or indirectly, via onerous fees which must be paid in order to be allowed to drive them.

    • If these engineers are smart enough to design such capabilities, one has to wonder why none of them are smart enough to design undetectable workarounds and sell them, making a boat-load full of money, which would empower them to make even better ones for future vehicles that could come on the market before the vehicles do, making such vehicles sell better as a result.

  2. OT but I think I’m starting to understand why people here hate those “baby on board” stickers. Saw someone with one today so I looked in their car as I passed out of curiosity and uh… she was texting. So she wants everyone to drive on eggshells because of her baby, but can’t even be bothered to watch where she’s going herself. Good grief, that’s almost stroller pusher levels of logic.

    • Hi Chuck,

      Those “baby on board” stickers began appearing the ’80s… a first sign of the emerging Safety Cult and its unctuous busybodyism.

      A baby is on board? So? What about grandma? Or me or you?

      How about these people mind their business?

      • Maybe it is time for the “baby on board” signs to be supplanted or replaced by ISO 7010-compliant signs with green circles surrounding handgun outlines…
        If such caught on, the green circle could be replaced by a blue one, indicating mandatory…

          • It would be like it was back when I first moved to this small city.
            A friend of mine, who had a business and new all of the LEOs in town, told me, half jokingly, that if they spotted someone walking down the street with a sidearm, they’d give them, at most, two lookovers. The first one would be to identify the weapon. If the weapon was capable of being useful, they’d get a good look at the person so that they could identify him in case they needed him to help them.
            Unfortunately, that situation was changed by a past police chief who ran off all of the older officers and built a department based on young suckups. If it were up to me, I’d close the department and give the money the city had been giving to the sheriff’s department, which is headed by a native CLEO, who after serving in an elite military agency, went to the state LEO academy and has been the sheriff ever since.
            I avoid the city cops like the plague they are, but I’d trust any of the deputies with my life.

    • SC, I’ve found when somebody has one of those stickers, they are inevitably terrible drivers. I wish we all had the ability to speak to each other(at times)when driving. The last one I saw I wanted to tell her to pull over and put her baby in my truck cause she was going to kill it.

      I see single vehicle wrecks all the time, esp. on the interstates. It’s always women and nearly always with children. One accident I saw was a long little Ford car of some sort, whatever came after the Pinto or maybe later, a new car. There were tiny black marks in the inside lane and began to swerve and got a bit wider before they disappeared off pavement, The car was upside down and there were already people going her direction pulling up so I continued on. A week later or so I saw two crosses there and later saw a first responder who told me it was a young woman and her baby daughter. As for the cause, it appeared it was sheer head up butt and inability to control a car.

      Saw it again another day, in the morning and the wreck ended up on the other side of the interstate on the service road. I saw a child lying on her back in the grass and lots of couple of cop cars. I later found out that woman simply lost control(no doubt doing everything but driving)and rolled that Dodge pickup but she and her child both lived. They might have been belted in since roll-overs are about the only way I see seatbelts as being worth anything. Coming up on a slight curve on the interstate I saw a woman simply drive into the guard rail and then bounce across both lanes and into the other guard rail. Easy one for the insurance adjuster, totaled Chevy pickup. Don’t know what happened to the occupants. But young women with a phone stuck in their ear(always the left ear, go figure)are the most dangerous drivers out there including drunks. Cops will tell you they have a dangerous job but their number one cause of death on the job is heart attack and almost tied with car wrecks that are mostly caused by being on the phone. I’d be fine if the ban of using a cellphone without having to do more than push a single button like is imposed on truckers(no phone in your hand)were imposed on everyone. Buy a headset, use a system with the stereo and blue tooth or stay off the phone.

      • How can one operate a push to talk microphone held in one hand while never causing enough fatalities to prohibit doing the same thing with a cellular phone?
        If it weren’t for the sheer ignorance of congresscritters in particular and the general public, the technology to block the operation of a cellphone in the hand of the driver of any driver of any vehicle would have become as common as the seat belt, long before analog cellphones were replaced by digital ones.
        Something I’ve done a couple of times for fun is to call SimpliSafe and ask them if their system is designed to detect the deployment of a cellular blocker and alert dispatch of its impending sabotage before its contact is blocked thereby. I’ve alway been told that could never happen because use of cellular blockers is prohibited. Only the crickets remain after I point out that burglary is also prohibited. SimpliSafe, as far as the ignorant operators can tell me, operates only when dispatch is called by the device. If dispatch regularly and routinely called the devices, in similar fashion to how premium wireline-based alarms have always been continuously monitored, SimpliSafe would be failsafe as well as SimpliSafe. It is similarly simple to monitor all GPS-equipped cellphones for the indication of a sudden deceleration, indicative of an accident, and to trigger a call to said cellphone to ask if assistance is required. This is what OnStar does.

        • V, I think you’re confusing a simple button to push to talk with looking at a cell phone to dial a number. It’s not speaking on a cellphone that’s dangerous, it’s looking at one. I’m unaware of a cell phone that requires the simple push of a button to make a call. OTOH, using a headset that only require you to push a button to make a call, you never have to take your eyes off the road.

          And texting is ridiculously dangerous for most people. I can’t text and drive, esp. a big rig. I don’t really understand why people text when they could be having a conversation anyway.

          • There are plenty of cellphones that can be dialed without touching or looking at them. I thought everyone had heard of Siri, and I don’t have have anything Apple…
            Alexa will soon be in car dashboards.

            • That’s a DOT mandate. It won’t be in trucks. If you can speak on a cellphone without holding it in a commercial vehicle that would be legal. Besides, the DOT’s entire existence is to make laws to generate money.

              You can’t wear a headset with dual headphones. Never mind that if the truck is loud inside, you can’t hear anything anyway. If it’s quiet, you can’t hear anything from outside either. My boss pulled right up beside me and paced me. Later that day he asked if he’d scared me. I had to ask how he would have scared me. He said he’d laid down on his horn right beside my door. I never heard a thing.

              • I can’t remember any time when I’ve heard a car’s horn next to my truck’s cab unless the window was open, and I’ve never worn any kind of headphones while driving anything. I’d mask the truck’s noise with the stereo.
                I would have told my boss that I wouldn’t have allowed him to pace me, which is something I didn’t tolerate before I had a CDL either. If someone is doing that to me now, I slowly and increasingly crowd their lane until they pass or fall behind. With the advent of tiny cars with big engines, it seldom happens unless the driver is being a dick.

                • My boss was just messing with me. He did his thing and then went on much faster. He though he might give me a start. I saw him coming half a mile away. I wondered why he slowed and stayed at my door. I looked over and got no visuals for wanting to speak or anything and we both had phones so I just blew it off. He’s not a truck driver and doesn’t understand the noise I was hearing and he was trying to overcome. He had one truck so loud I put foam plugs in my ears and could hear the stereo but couldn’t hear anything but noise without them.

                  It won’t come as a surprise to you I detested that truck, no, I hated the thing.

    • I go through a not very busy intersection on my way to work every morning. It is roughly centered between 3 elementary/middle schools in a straight up middle class neighborhood.
      Every morning there is a least one woman going through the intersection head down on her phone.
      EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. This is not an exaggeration.

      • Do you imagine that you are having a unique experience every morning?
        If so, your situational awareness might be as impaired as hers.

          • She just dropped her kids off so no worries for the rest of the day.

            I noticed two head-on collisions recently on the same morning on the same highway. The dead were two women and an 8 year old boy…..poor kid. No mention made of other people and there had to be at least one other person in each case, the boy was driving or they were in an Elonmobile.

          • That must be why you didn’t say it was always the same woman.
            It was the behavior they shared, not their identity.
            You are always seeing visual entrainment.

      • Back when the patch was so crowded it was insanity, there was a 4 way stop in Garden City, Texas and 158, the big road, was under construction becoming a 4 lane.

        You’d line up 6-12 deep at times from every direction. 4 ways aren’t tough to figure out…..unless you’re a woman. I’ve seen times we were all stopped because one couldn’t figure out who was next. It was a really bad place to dawdle.

        • I’ve been cut off at four ways by equal numbers of men and women, but disproportionately by texters. One would think they would have the sense not to hold their phones up level with their heads, but they frequently do, making it easy to see why they aren’t paying attention to right of way. If I were a cop, most of my tickets would given for failing to yield and failing to signal.

  3. If it were possible–i.e. legal–someone could get rich beyond Elon Musk’s wildest dreams by building and selling brand-new 1955 Plymouths.

  4. Elon (Levon), Elon (Levon) likes “his” money, he “makes” a lot they say, spends his days counting, in a garage, by the motorway…” ♪♫♪

    How are people like this different than Epstein? Aside from not yet being strangled in prison, I mean.

    The uncles, not just Sammy, have many poseur poster children “representing.” Cuz words ain’t worth the paper they are printed on & pics are worth a thousand of ‘em…but moving pictures – cameras! – that’s the svengali hypnotism jackpot!

    Infinite regresstitution…is the oldest “profession.”

    “To become a true martial artist – to become a whole person – one goes thru a long process of personal change & development. {If one already was so geared & rigged} Change is not merely a series of points or events from the past to the present; in point of fact it is a discontinuous trend. The Greeks had a metaphor of time in which the past is in front of us while the future sneaks up from behind us. {McFly! In a mirrorless tesla delorean.} What is intriguing about this reversal of a common perceptual experience of time is that it makes people think differently. {Possibly. But if so, those ones always thought differently.} When a person looks both ways in time, he discovers that he can only look forward as far as he can look back. The interweaving of the past-present-future pulls him along the thread of everyday life. The further along he moves along this continuum, the more he cherishes the conceit that the lessons learned from the past might yet inform & improve the world he leaves to his children. But the meaning {but not thew a priori premises truth\s} of past events an be altered by what a person does today or what may happen in the future. Thus one is reminded of the interpretive circularities of the past-present-future. In this respect, if students & teachers can learn a new way to approach the martial arts, then they will have the ability & confidence to finally think & act for themselves. {Mebbe, if the ability’s already there. Beyond that, this would fall under “cherished conceit.”} Martial arts instructors belong to a profession that is particularly susceptible to following the standard party line. {Not particularly; one ringy-dingy party lines, lillipution threads, be everywhere} The only cure for it is an injection of skepticism & independent thinking, an unwillingness to simply take things for granted.” {If such an injectable existed, it’d be a schedule 3 “illegality” – substances that lead to substance must be controlled, else how will them that eats out others substance “make” – take — a living? Such a substance would abuse the color o’ law permission to abuse. & abusers just know that abuse•abuse don’t equal disabuse but, nonetheless, has gotta’ be disabused – unless & until the abusers can figure out ways to abuse the disabuse. Like’s been done with marijuana. ☻} ~ The Martial Way & Its Virtues, FJ Chu

  5. they will keep crushing the people financially and taking liberty away cause they do not fear the most heavily armed populace in world history cause they know they are cowards. the only way to stop these people is violence or the real threat of it. it makes me laugh when gun owners say they want to take away their guns. there is no difference in having the guns or not. they are not being used. I think say they want to take away the guns so the cops could kill the white hating communists opponents…the fake right

  6. The much predicted recession and subsequent cash liquidity crisis should relegate Tesla to be auctioned on the court house steps.
    The media is infatuated with Elon. Look for his 15 minutes of fame to be extended, even after his star fades.

      • That depends on what happens. We pore folk might make the best of it since we know how to live without money. I can live off the land.

        Back in 2000 I saw the wealthy lose their money hand over fist. It didn’t affect me to any degree. My father, who wasn’t wealthy but well off, was hemorrhaging money like a sinking ship due to investments. For a while it was $16,000/day. Of course that drops as your investments dwindle. I began to get interested in trading stock after that and eventually did much better than all those typical stock companies you see. I eventually spoke a technical language they didn’t understand. It was a hard learning curve but I loved doing it.

        Of course the govt. couldn’t tolerate me making money when everyone else was losing their ass. I give Morningstar and the Motley Fool a lot of the credit for my “brief” success. I also learned if you weren’t part of Wall Street you were going to get fucked regardless of how good you could trade stocks.

  7. The front view camera in my 2018 Camry has already cut out for several minutes on my twice while driving at night. Fortunately, for now, this only affects the useless nanny systems, with no other inconvenience other than the bid red icon on my dash telling me the car isn’t saaaaaafe, but what about when the tech replaces the side and rear view mirrors without an alternative?

  8. It is worse than you say, Eric.
    DLS (dirty little secret):
    Replacement parts will not only be expensive “dealer only” items, they will cease to be manufactured after a fairly short interval. My guess is eight years.
    Which means, when a “mandatory safety feature” fails, and no replacement part is available, the vehicle must be scrapped. No more NAPA store, no more Pep Boys, no more Pick a Part.

    • Replacement part suppliers have already figured out that it will be profitable for them to start buying any replacement parts from their makers as the automotive manufacturers discontinue doing so. There is a growing number of entrepreneurial companies that specialize in selling parts that the dealers can’t get from the manufacturers anymore, and, in fact, they are finding that an increasing amount of their business is coming from dealers who are well positioned to continue to do what they have always done, take care of their customers.
      Gary North has figured out a way to make this really work for his mechanic. He and his wife never buy anything but used minivans. When they have one that becomes impossible to keep running, they sell it to their mechanic and apply the value to future repairs. The mechanic is growing a part recycling business with a growing number of customers who also favor minivans.

  9. Great article. But, no thanks. Musk is a Marxist. Many of his ideas are rather stupid and silly and hardly practical. Like a good socialist, he is only concerned with putting money in his pocket. I do not want to be staring at more inside screens or have to try and interpret what the pictures mean on the fly. Looking in a plain old mirror, you can quickly access the situation around you without having to think about what you are seeing. And the expense? Ridiculous. This is why I tried to buy a vehicle without more gadgets, gizmos and electronics because they are prone to failure if you plan on keeping your car for a long time.

    I hear that in Canada they can give you a $360 ticket if they see your cell phone in view in your vehicle. Even if it is just sitting in a cup holder doing nothing. Why do I need more distractions inside the car while driving? They are adding all this crap as a prelude to every car being self driven and probably programmed using Microsoft coding. Again, no thanks.

    After reading about the many electrical problems with the newer cars on, I can see that eventually car will not be affordable for most people and highly subject to the whims of the electrical guts. A main computer module costing $1200 is insane. So are $300-$1,000 mirrors.

    • Hi Tom,

      Musk is not a Marxist. He’s a narcissistic, self serving, crony capitalist douche. When libertarians call people like Musk Marxists, it’s as weird and incorrect as when liberals call people like Musk, libertarians.

      Kind Regards,

        • Hi SPQ,

          All communists are thieves but not all thieves, living off GovCo, are communists. Communism and Marxism have actual meanings, and those who espouse them promote particular beliefs. The most relevant ones are that the entire means of production should be owned and controlled by the State, private markets and entrepreneurship should be banned and profit is proof of exploitation. The latter two are derived from the false labor theory of value. Marx accepted this false theory and argued that profit can only be achieved by stealing the “surplus value” created by the workers. This belief led to the assertion that the capitalist class can only survive by the exploitation of the “worker”. Of course, this is all nonsense.

          The economic system that dominates the Western world is much accurately described as a soft form of Fascism, than anything else. Fascist theory asserts that private ownership of the means of production should be allowed, but only if it is controlled and directed by the State. To a large degree, that is the world we live in.

          Musk is neither a Marxist nor a Communist. He certainly does not want the State to seize control of his assets. His views are much closer to those of Mussolini than Marx. He wants a political/economic system that allows him to collude with the State, for great personal gain. That is not Communism. What is the purpose of misusing words or developing one’s own private understanding of their meaning? Calling Musk a Communist or Marxist is as idiotic as calling him a libertarian (which many do).


          • Mussolini was a fascist, not a communist. Marxists believe, as indicated in the planks of the Communist Manifesto, in state ownership of the means of production. Fascists don’t require ownership, just total political control of the means of production. This is why ones position on the left-right socialism political spectrum is academic since control is 99% of ownership, making communism and fascism functionally synonymous.

    • Thanks, Ancap!

      I’ve been feeling better lately; my shoulder issue (probable partially torn rotator cuff or maybe just a dislocation/impingement) being under somewhat better management via Goody’s Powders and the stretching exercises I’ve been doing. I’m still not getting a full night’s sleep… but I am getting some. I went for almost two months with literally no sleep to speak of and felt I was beginning to come unglued.

      • Anti-inflammatories work better than analgesics.
        Try celery seed and fennel seed, as I used to end my 9 and 10 point lower back pain years ago. They are safe (being food), non-habit forming, and very inexpensive.

          • Turmeric’s action is biochemically different from celery and fennel seed. It is more effective against intracellular inflammation than they are, but that is very dependent on the presence of capsaicin as a cofactor.

                • I’m a bit of a hot pepper fiend and find I get some relief at times. It causes my sinuses to drain and often alleviates a headache. Just used my netipot that helped some.

                    • Capsaicin actually does your entire body good, guts and all. It’s the faint of heart who can’t tolerate it. I’m not sayin g a person can just start eating habaneros but you can work your way up to it. I got started when I was about 10. We had food in the house that only I could eat.

                      Over a few decades I got my parents eating the hot stuff. It was a learning experience and a good one for them.

                      My mother never drank alcohol but when she started drinking my dad’s beer when we were eating I knew she was getting a hot tooth, so to speak.

                      It makes a difference when you grow your own too.

    • Not meaning to be offensive but does anyone “actually believe” they read the comments! The creeps probably laugh their buts off at our inability to control the harm they do to us and the economy. Their job is to create a reason for existence and their six figure salary and benefits up the wazoo. Parasites….

      • Yes, this public comment thing can work. There was organized effort to stop GM from getting a DRL mandate through public comment and that worked. This is one small area where showing people don’t want something still can work.

  10. Musk, Zuck, Bezos, Tim Cook……….who do you think is most effectively using technology to enslave the populace?

    Elon appears prominent, maybe because he goes out his way to publicize what he’s doing. Zuck doesn’t duck publicity either. Bezos is somewhat more discrete. Little Timmy Cook is keeping very busy behind a dark wall of secrecy.

    So many villains. So few heroes.

  11. They won’t fix them when they break,,, they’ll just drive around without any view of what’s behind or beside them. So much for safety.

    Yep,,, worshiping Mr. Digital, most Americans aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer these days.

  12. The passenger side view mirror used to be an option. The only cars from my youth that had one were the ’73 Coronet we inherited after grandpa died and the loaded out ’76 Charger Daytona. The Charger even had a mechanical “remote adjuster” on the dashboard so mom didn’t have to f*** with it while dad “oversaw” the adjustment process.

    If you didn’t have a side view mirror on the passenger side you TURNED YOUR HEAD! Of course that’s getting to be darn near impossible with todays’ adult sized child safety seats. Sure it’s cool to see Recaro seats in a modded out S2000, but the factory stuff that keeps you in one position and high backs that block views aren’t really all that helpful. Especially when you start to cramp up.

    But the claim that it will improve fuel economy is pretty dubious. Sure, it will probably improve efficiency by a 10% or more, but in actual numbers that’s going to be pretty marginal. Drag coefficient doesn’t directly translate to MPG. 10% better is almost not worth mentioning and that’s if the wind tunnel testing actually transfers to the real world. But they’re already on the road in Europe and China so we’ll probably see them here soon enough.

    • The best way to improve fuel economy is to turn off the marginally efficient engine.
      I’ve had three Econoline vans, 1974, 1980, and 2003. The biggest improvement in them has been dramatically lower friction in the wheel bearings, especially in the 2003, which I frequently find myself having to brake going down a hill far more than with than the 1974 or the 1980.


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