Tesla’s 14th Victim . . . So Far

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Tesla may have just killed its 14th victim; there are at least 13 confirmed kills so far  – as the result of Autopilot. Excluding auto-immolation.

This qualifies Tesla for serial killerhood.

But no FBI investigation – or even a recall.

Instead, an “advisory” from the National Highway Traffic Safety (sic) Administration that drivers of Autopiloted Teslas must always “keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times” – which is right up there with Don’t Squeeze the Charmin.

What is the point of Autopilot and “autonomous” – automated – cars if you have to pay any attention at all?

If, on the other hand, it is necessary for them to pay attention – which NHTSA concedes by warning of its necessity –  then Autopilot is inherently dangerous precisely because it is inevitable that people won’t pay attention. Do the passengers on a cruise ship go below to check whether the ship is taking on water? Are they expected to visit the bridge, to make sure the ship is headed in the right direction? That the captain isn’t drunk or asleep on the sofa? The whole point of being a passenger is to not have to pay attention – whether you’re a passenger on a cruise ship or a passenger in an Autopiloted/automated car.

But Tesla gets away with building cars designed to encourage drivers to become passengers; to take their hands off the wheel – and their eyes off the road – and then blames the driver when the car drives itself into something.

Or someone.

It’s as ridiculous, perplexing – and unjust – as holding the Costa Concordia’s passengers responsible for the ship wandering too close to shore and onto the rocks.

So why does Tesla get away with what amounts to the same thing – only worse because, it’s not just the passengers on these electric Costa Concordias that end up on the rocks but any poor soul who has the misfortune to be in the vicinity. Who didn’t sign up to be a passenger, or take his hands off the wheel.

Because it’s Tesla.

Or rather, because Tesla sells electric cars exclusively and that is a project that cannot be interrupted by petty concerns about the cars being dangerous.

The actual concern being to replace all non-electric cars with electric cars – no matter what it takes.

And then to replace the driver.

Doubt it? Listen (if you can bear it) to the fingernails on the chalkboard voice of urban planner Seleta Reynolds:

“LADOT is using its long legacy of cutting-edge innovation to prepare for an increasingly autonomous, shared and connected future. This starts with digitizing our assets. LADOT is exploring LiDAR technology to map out all of its curb space, nearly 15,000 miles of curbs through the city. This also starts with creating open source tools like the Mobility Data Specification (MDS), which uses APIs [application programming interfaces] to help LADOT digitally manage the world’s largest dockless scooter program.”

She and her fellow planners – this includes Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder – aren’t hiding their agenda. It is no mere coincidence that Musk’s grandfather, Joshua Haldeman was one of the first technocrats – a term coined by themselves – back in the 1930s. These technocrats regarded – and regard – themselves as a scientific elite possessed of superior wisdom, the possession of which endow them with the right to manage society using technology.

These people are the grandfathers of the corporatist movement that came in its wake – the unofficial but very real merger of Big Business and Big Government.

Thus

Just as Tesla has served as the government-subsidized, preferentially treated vehicle for changing the public  image of electric cars from boring and ugly to sexy and speedy – in order to shift people’s attention from their costs and hassles – so also the government’s eye seems oddly unable to focus on the recklessly dangerous automated driving tech built into every Tesla.

More evidence in support of this contention? Tesla’s cars are the only cars with automated driving tech that does not require the driver to “keep (his) hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times.” You may have seen videos confirming this fact. Other cars that aren’t electric cars (e.g., some of the latest Cadillac, BMW and Mercedes cars) but with similar automated driving technology – such as steering “assist” and so on – will automatically disengage if the driver takes his hands off the wheel for more than 30 seconds or so.

This makes it impossible to take a nap behind the wheel – without eating the wheel.

Tesla, however, is allowed to sell new cars without that failsafe. Or rather, that less dangerous.

It’s interesting, isn’t it?

Drivers of other cars, of non-electric cars, are also scolded – are ticketed – for glancing briefly at their cell phones but Tesla is allowed to sell cars that are cell phones. Which have huge built-in touchscreens that require the “driver” to tap, pinch and swipe – because all of the Tesla’s controls are integrated into the touchscreen.

And not just the controls.

How about the TeeVee? You can watch live-stream videos while not-driving your Autopiloted and Internet-connected Tesla. I could do the same while not-driving my ’76 Trans-Am, too . .  . if I brought along my laptop and propped it up on the dashboard. But I’d be subject to a ticket for doing so – and a lawsuit if by doing so my Trans-Am drove itself through a red light and into the flanks of another car whose driver assumed there was one behind the wheel of mine.

The reason I get the ticket – and the lawsuit – is because my Trans-Am isn’t electric. If it were, then all would be forgiven.

Or at least, allowed.

. . .

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

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81 COMMENTS

  1. As a Geology Major in College there were important thing to know about our environment , historically, not just chemically, or biologically. #1 is that carbon dioxide is NOT a global killer that will turn our planet into a suffocating greenhouse, as politicians seem to have the public convinced.
    Please view this as it is one video example of some of the actual scientific facts that politicians do NOT want the public to know, otherwise their lies and machinations would become powerless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjlmFr4FMvI
    The cycle of planetary fuel formation and its subsequent use have very different implications if you stop listening to the politicians and try to understand the geophysical properties of our environment and our actual use of it. In actuality, human industry could never “create” enough CO2 to kill the planet, because, we are in fact in danger of not releasing enough to generate adequate agriculture to even sustain the present world population. Cold oceans are NOT a good thing for plant life as we need it, and the reason human life managed to flourish to this point is because of the emergence from an ice into warmer climates that release trapped CO2 from the ice age. The world is a contained system which we are, in fact, NOT damaging. We will be fortunate if CO2 levels rise to high enough levels to sustain current human population growth, not vice-versa. This is why something more than an “education” in liberal arts matters in society, unless you just want to be ass-raped and slowly starved to death by politicians who, frankly, don’t know a damn thing about geology, chemistry, or biology, and don’t have time or the inclination to. In, fact, it’s to their benefit that ignorance prevails, because this gives them the control they need over everyone else.

    • These facts have been known to geologists, chemists, and biologists for a very long time. Don’t believe me?
      You don’t have to take my word for it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQHhDxRuTkI
      The threat of widespread success by poorer nations is what our politicians and other Globalist Totalitarians fear, to say nothing of their fear of their own populations not being under their thumb of fiscal oppression and control.

  2. Touch screen controls – Uggggh. These things are the worst controls possible, and all the idiots out there think they are so “cool” because they’re on a screen (actually making them much, much harder to use because you have to look at them, instead of being able to just go by touch with knobs and buttons). A major huge example of new technology propelling us ever backwards.

    • Charlie, I recall when a screen the driver could see as illegal. Good, I’m thinking. Next thing you know, everything on the damned things are controlled via screen. The scenarios. 200 miles to the house and an 84 year old driving not interested in driving nor maintaining a decent speed. An 80 year old on the passenger side, bsing with the driver. Me, in the back, wanting to get it over and not at 60 mph and wanting more than anything, for the 84 year old to look at the road.. I asked for some music but he couldn’t get it done, couldn’t even change the settings on the a/c.

      Company policy said no alcohol in the vehicle. I dreaded the trip to the point I poured a big Gatorade bottle full of Evan white, wrapped it in a cooler and since neither of the other two could smell, I drank myself home, a few times scared I wouldn’t make it, esp. on a two lane when he held up traffic.

      Hell, I was so wired I couldn’t even tell I was drinking. And the rest of humanity is so spaced out by cellphones and such they’d be better off drinking with some knob controls. My 2 cents.

    • BMW (IIRC) took this a step further. They introduced gesture controls for their infotainment system. Yeah, good luck learning sign language! You’ll need it to operate the HVAC “controls”.

      Rube Goldberg was way ahead of his time.

  3. “… if I brought along my laptop and propped it up on the dashboard. But I’d be subject to a ticket for doing so – and a lawsuit if by doing so my Trans-Am drove itself through a red light and into the flanks of another car whose driver assumed there was one behind the wheel of mine.”

    I rode in a taxi in Buffalo 15 years ago, where the street-sh itter import at the wheel was driving while watching the latest Bollywood production. A bit unnerving, to say the least.

    • Hi Anon,

      Tesla’s future profitability is predicated on EVs being mandatory – and unavoidable. And then, upon most people signing up for perpetual rentals – as few will be able to afford to buy these things.

      • eric, Tesla isn’t the only car maker to get most of its profits via China. FWIW, GM is hanging on with truck based SUV’s and trucks due to a profit of $30,000 per vehicle average. And no, I don’t even recall where the article was that cited the statistic. It seemed right on to me since 20 years ago they were holding up the entire structure with those same vehicles clearing about $10K or above per vehicle.

        There’s got to be a lot of profit or that runway I saw with 10,000 new GM trucks on it would be the death knell.

        As an aside, they don’t care about taking care of bidness. One whistleblower said that a part of the truck factory he worked at had a bad roof to the tune of filling the entire run of trucks interiors during periods of precipitation. And no, they didn’t dry them out. They finished them, rolled em out to sit there and steep…..probably the cause of the huge amount on an abandoned airport.

        And they wonder why I want to get my 93 fixed and rolling again. It was a great truck, durable as hell and never gave me a moment’s problem except for the fuel line under the intake that went to the front to the drain. Why the hell it wasn’t just stuck off to the side of the filter housing is a mystery to me. Oh well, it was hell getting it on and clamped down but it worked and will continue since I used a triple SS layered hose.

        I had transmission lines get smashed and rubbed on Red Dog. I replaced them with this stuff. It just never goes away….but it costs a wee bit more than some tiny steel lines.

  4. Without fake global warming, most of this stupidity never gets past the thinking stage. At least one good thing will evolve from auto pilot and super safe vehicles…we won’t need auto insurance…right? These monstrosities will be immune to crashing so we won’t need to be insured. I imagine that even if a tree was gonna fall on an automatic vehicle, it would start its self up and move out of the way. With tens of millions of these things on the roads, a few thousand “deadly incidents” will be seen as the cost of technology and acceptable as defined risks. After all, it is “green” technology and that is the wave of the future as the Marxists have dictated.

      • Bob, I read that this morning. It shows what I’ve always said about global warming. There is enough data now to prove it exists, but the cause just blows holes in the CO2 and human excuse. In ’18 the sun had a record event since man has been able to judge them. It came closer to the earth than anything ever before that we know of. I’d be ok shoving Greta’s parent’s heads up each other asses.

  5. I was recently driving up and down US 19 north of St. Pete FL, a flat 8 lane grid with 40 lites in 40 miles and an ingenious system for making left turns across four lanes of whipping traffic that comes in flows (most of the time). A yuman behind the wheel has to make a split second decision. “Do I go for it now or do I wait for that oncoming traffic flow to make me wait another, I dunno, minute?” My friends tell me that accidents, some of them deadly, happen “all the time.” What’s a Borg Machine supposed to do on roads like this as left turn traffic piles up in the leftmost lane while the traffic in the next leftmost lane goes flying by?

  6. “Unsafe at any speed.” A corvette going 100mph is safer than these murder machines.

    Why aren’t politicians trying to ban assault cars? Cars are murdering people. So ban the cars! What are they waiting for?

  7. Tesla auto pilot hasn’t claimed any victims at all. The only victims have been those of distracted driving, ie: their own fault. Auto pilot doesnt claim to be a complete solution. Part of it being in beta is to act as a test and a way to collect metrics so that we can eventually realize an autonomous driving future.
    The NTSB is right in classifying it as distracted driving, because that’s what it is. Good that despite media buzz and hysterical and uninformed citizens, they have the restraint and clarity to see things for what they are and not come cracking down on something like some typical clueless govt official. Comparing the relationship of passengers and Cruise ships to drivers and their cars doesn’t even resemble reality. The best course of action is to hold individuals responsible for their actions and allow the innovators to work on the things that will build the next chapter of advancement. THAT is the libertarian way.

    • If it’s not a complete solution, then it’s not “auto pilot.” It’s a corporate beta testing project with the public as involuntary guinea pigs, the exact opposite of “libertarian.” Good luck with the lawsuits. And buy the way, government subsidies and urban planning coercion aren’t the “libertarian way” either, you doctrinaire jackass.

    • Hi Jake,

      You miss the whole point! How is a driver not distracted by tech that encourages precisely that? It’s disingenuous to assert otherwise. What would be the point of Autopilot – if the driver has to keep his hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road at all? If he takes them off even briefly, it is a safety hazard if the Autopilot tech is fallible. If, on the other hand, it’s infallible, there’s no need for a “driver” at all.

      I agree with you in principle that the individual is responsible for his actions/non-actions but to claim that Tesla bears no responsibility for encouraging drivers not to when the tech is fallible makes no sense to me.

      Tesla itself is as Libertarian a company as ZIL or Trabant. Just flashier.

      Musk himself is a loathsome technocrat – a person who believes in the scientific management of society by people like himself.

    • If Ford or GM or Toyota did had that system and that record they would be held responsible. They have been held responsible for far less.

      Audi was skewered because people pushed the wrong pedal!

      Tesla Motors makes a product that greatly reduces the need to pay attention then hides behind the drivers not paying attention. Audi has to take the blame because idiots pushed the wrong pedal because they were closer together than the big three cars they were used to.

      Sorry, there’s a clear double standard going on.

    • The fact that it’s marketed as “Autopilot” should be enough to hold Tesla Motors liable. If any other auto manufacturer pulled the same stunt, they would probably be forced into “Chapter 11” mode, if they’re lucky. But since TM only manufactures electric vehicles, Elon and his “Musk-eteers” get off scot-free.

  8. Musk need s to suffer the same fate as the creator of the “Segway”, i.e. at the “hands” of his own creation. Of course, it didn’t put an end to the Segway garbage, but it’s a start, lol!

    • Additionally, I found this: https://blog.equinix.com/blog/2019/06/04/connected-vehicles-when-the-leader-doesnt-always-win-alone/?itx%5Bidio%5D=869041869&ito=1905&itq=5dcedb18-63c4-4f94-abe2-68b452621069

      And, after reading it, note that the article does openly admit that digital technology needs lots of things that don’t exist in the driving environment to work anywhere near the capability of a human driver. Now, as a human driver, I don’t have to manufacture or purchase anything other than the automobile of my choice, to do all of that. So, the question left is WHY?
      Many will say, as this article does, to improve life for everyone. How, exactly? I lived quite well, better, even before the advent of all this techno-crap forced into my life. While certain aspects of technology can enhance one’s individual living experience, I don’t see that being true for improving individual mobility. in fact I see the opposite, just with what we have before us today.
      But I believe the true answer lies in just one word in the article’s last paragraph, CONTROL. And it didn’t say “consumer control”, either. Well, you decide. Be a drone in the collective hive if you wish. Either give me the freedom to live without it, or expect resistance to become violent as opposed to its current state of passivity. Mind you, this all fits in with the “tribal mentality” of today’s politics, so don’t expect resistance to get any easier.

      • Article == blah blah blah

        But yeah the only way it’s ever going to work is in a controlled environment, like airspace but even then the birds don’t follow the rules. If they built a new highway with a buried “wire” system that guided and managed the traffic then it would work for certain cars only until a deer jumps the fence. Fine by me, I’ll just take the two lane.

        • That wire would totally screw every computerized vehicle. And when the junk truck came along and an engine block fell off…… I mean, how deep would it need to be? And how much voltage would be required at a “safe” depth. It just ain’t gonna work. A big wreck on one highway and all the ones that feed into it are taken down. I could poke holes in that scenario till my hands fell off.

          • The junk truck wouldn’t be allowed on the highway in the first place, in theory there would never be a wreck because nobody is switching lanes around and trying to pass. The “wire” could be anything … maybe a series of wireless tx on posts every so often? I’m not trying to promote such a system, I’m just saying that the ONLY way a land vehicle auto-pilot would really work is in a totally controlled environment where every vehicle is connected and coordinated with the highway system computer – sort of like how air traffic is managed in airport zones and above 10K feet.

            But I don’t really see the point in it because the infrastructure would be so expensive (and as you point out, fragile) that we might as well go to Mars instead. The rich people who would use it will just fly across the country instead, which is why those same people can afford to buy 100 mile range electric cars to show off around their neighborhood.

    • I remember when Fred and Ginger were “going to change the world.”

      I took a look at them and said they were just motorized scooters with a niche market.

  9. It isn’t about money anymore because they can feel they are losing control of the masses.

    How do you control and destroy an army? Take control of or stop their ability to:
    1) Communicate
    2) Fight
    3) Move

    To achieve this
    1) Attacks to destroy the First Amendment
    2) Attacks to destroy the Second Amendment
    3) Attacks to destroy car ownership and internal combustion

    We are already at war people, get ready for the physical war that is coming.

    The Tree of Liberty is thirsty.

  10. Most corporations avoid liability by forcing consumers to sign/agree to EULAs and having attorneys on standby for the inevitable. Tesla, on the other hand, just has to manufacture EVs exclusively.

  11. I remember the outcry over the Pinto’s exploding gas tank, Ford ended up paying out big bucks to settle lawsuits. Funny how Tesla has immunity.

    • Hi Mike,

      A claimed 27 people died, supposedly due to the defect. Ford recalled 1.5 million Pintos and sold well over 3 million. At 14 dead so far, excluding immolation, Tesla is more than half way there with far fewer cars on the road. Teslas are objectively more dangerous than the Pinto ever was.

      Cheers,
      Jeremy

    • Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.

    • Well we KNOW the videos attempting to “prove” that the Chev pickups with side tanks under the bed floor and outside the frame members that would”explode” on side impact were staged….. someone got hold of the raw footage of their “tests” and noticed a flame of some sort lighting off a second or so prior to impact, igniting the fuel srayed out of the struck tank. GM hit the liar (was that one a Nader stunt as well> I KNOW he doctored the Corvair “unsafe at any speed” rollover meme and killed a fine motorcar. The mid engined full independent rear suspension version was almost ready for release then Nater popped his bogus film.

      • Hi T,

        Yup. Every car has a “design weakness” of some kind relative to other cars. A 1990 Mercedes S Class doesn’t offer as much crash protection as a new S Class – but the ’90 offers much more crash protection than a new Hyundai Elantra. (Not that the Elantra is “unsafe.” But it is a compact-sized car and so much less able to withstand impact forces than a full-size car.)

        I owned a ’64 Corvair as well as several old VWs, with essentially the same layout (rear-engine, swing axle). The “danger” came from incorrectly inflated tires and inept driving. Note that early Porches with similar layout are esteemed for their handling and never derided as “unsafe.”

        Nader went after the Corvair because he was a shyster lawyer and – possibly – because the Corvair was too innovative. It was a much better car than the same-era VW. It had more than adequate power, a much better heater and very spacious. It was a viable family car. Yet it was also simple, like the Beetle, and very easy to self-service. Very good gas mileage for its time, too.

          • Anon, I was about to say Nader went after Corvair because he was a Nazi…..or some similar. Call it what you will, he’s a shyster lawyer and seeks to make money by destroying in stead of building. Add in the fact that he’s never had a DL and there you go……

            • “Add in the fact that he’s never had a DL and there you go……”

              Aha! So that’s why Nader was so adamant about banning simple and fun to drive cars. Guess he figured that if he couldn’t drive, then no one else should. lol

              • Yeah, blue, he’s right of out a bad commie movie. He’s from Connecticut along with George Bush and family. He became convinced that bad car design was the main cause of accidents and not driver error, when he was a non-driver…… in college.

                Ivy League college just naturally makes you know more than your inferiors. As AOC said, referring to herself “They(you and me)just don’t want to do what their betters(her)want them to do.

  12. The hot product at CES this week isn’t the “smart fridge” or the robot that delivers toilet paper, it is LIDAR. For years there’s basically been one company, Velodyne, that had a LIDAR system good enough for use in autonomous vehicles. It was bulky, mechanical and expensive. Several companies were demonstrating all-electronic high power LIDAR systems that are suitable for machine vision and mapping. Most of the industry believes LIDAR is essential for level 5 autonomy, but Tesla’s system uses cameras passively.

    • I’m an engineer who works on lidar based autonomous vehicle technology, and I’m very familiar with many of the lidar units out in the market. You’d be surprised how cheap they are in volume. Velodyne announced an $100 unit, and Bosch has some cheap stuff as well. In addition to lidar, we also have radar, all kinds of road measurement sensors, and really accurate gps known as RTK.

      Lidar is essential because camera based perception is currently an unsolved problem, and anyone who says differently is lying. Cameras get you two dimensional images, and to calculate things like distance to objects, you have to identify the objects, and then track motion over time and stereo parallax to figure out the distance. Our eyeballs and brains have millions of years of evolution behind them to allow them to do that, while computer based vision has a couple of decades.

      The state of the art today in camera based perception has no understanding of the world, no notion of object permanence (if something briefly goes behind something else, it doesn’t exist as far as it’s concerned), no idea that a tree is a very strong object, or that the cyclist you saw a moment ago still has to be around somewhere. All it does is analyze images, frame by frame, and try to find the grey area to drive on between lane markers of some sort. It’s really very fragile. Cameras have sharper vision than humans, but nowhere near as good with contrast, such as when driving into the sun. Cheap lidar is almost blind in rain and humidity. None of these things work in snow very well. GPS/RTK can get you fixes down to 2cm, but become inaccurate in urban environments. The one saving glory that we have is that lidar can accurately measure the distance and speed of stuff near you. No matter how dumb your autopilot, you can have a lidar based fail-safe that panic brakes when something comes too close, too fast, without having to solve the general problem of perception.

      Tesla is absolutely reckless in its disregard for human safety. Eric is right, they’re allowed to get away with what others can’t. Look at what happened to Boeing as a comparison.

      • Great explanation, thanks OL. So our two eyes connected to our brain is still way better than anything else out there, and I’m guessing for many moons to come?

      • And what Boeing did is 100% the result of government regulation plus the way software is done. Software people and scientists have no business putting products out on the market because their systems do have two centuries of procedures designed to prevent screw ups.

        Had government regulation not existed or even been sensible there would have been no reason to retain the old 737 airframe. An entirely new plane could have been designed that would respond and fly exactly or almost exactly like the old 737, but with all the things that were wanted. No software nonsense required.

        The 737Max is something that exists only because government made that the cheapest path for Boeing’s customers.

        • by products here, I mean physical products that can cause people harm. Nobody is going to be hurt because a video game or spreadsheet didn’t work right. Nobody is going to harmed because scientist’s paper was wrong. But when they start flying aircraft, driving cars, making drugs, and more then there’s a problem because they lack the systems to predict failure and properly remove or mitigate the risk.

          • Don’t forget that the FAA allowed Boeing to “self-certify” the Max safety requirements and testing. And not just the Max.

            Craploads of money stolen from the citizens to fund government agencies that then abandon their responsibilities and mandates so the Fox can guard the hen house. FAA, FDA, and so on.

            Hell, IIRC, I think the top guy at the FDA just left a top position at Monsanto a few years back.

            • The revolving door between the FDA and big Pharm has been going on for decades. Idiots worry about gun deaths while the medical establishment kills 225,000/year. Yes, Dorothy, that is 2.25M people per decades.

              Of course now our vehicular homicide rate is not only up from years ago but to a new record of over 40,000 people.

              It’s not just the vehicles faults either, in fact, I’d bet it’s rarely the fault of the vehicle. Once again we get back to drugs, the very ones my doctor tries to push off on me every visit. No thanks, I don’t need a vaccination or a psych drug.

              I nearly shit the day I found out my wife was taking Zoloft. I chewed her ass and she said “Well, the doctor said it would help me take the pain”. I told her what taking the stuff would eventually lead to. I didn’t go off the deep end, just told her and shut my mouth. I was proud to find out a few months later she hadn’t taken it in a couple months. It was easy to tell but I had never mentioned it.

              Now if all those horrible gun owners would get a script, we could have mass killings everywhere daily cause they’d definitely hide their guns.

              • Don’t even get me started on the medical profession, 8. I’ve seen some real horror stories. These days the lot of them seem to act primarily as pushers for the pharmaceutical conglomerates. Everyone older person I know is on some kind of prescription medications, frequently a mix of them with some needed to attempt counteracting the negative effects of others. Not to mention the myriad of mercury-laden vaccinations the proles line up for. (They look at me like I’ve sprouted two heads if I’m asked what prescriptions and vaccinations I take and the answer is “none”.)

                Unless physically injured I stay away from doctors.

                • Think I’m gonna be able to drop a couple. Seems like CBD oil is addressing my nerve problems caused by Shingles and a broken leg.

                  Of course if I could just take a hit of pot every day it would be ok. That’s not in the cards for me though……and it pisses me off to no end.

                • Almost all of the old boomers I know are what I call “medical hobbyists”. Think of it as a combination of hypochondria and self-righteousness. They speak about their doctors as if they’re infallible gods. I hardly ever feel sorry for them when they have complications from an operation they were duped into getting.

      • quote: ” Our eyeballs and brains have millions of years of evolution behind them to allow them to do that,”
        That is one completely unverified theory or explanaiton but that one falls pretty flat. You maintain that humans (or pre-humans even per your likely parameters) managed to survive for milions of years with radically sub-par vision? Avoiding predators, finding, identifying, and taking prey? Avoiding all manner of other hazards accurately and quickly enough to maintain physical integrity when the world out there is trying to tear you apart?

        There is another theory that works well: that pair of eyes and the musculature that controls and directs it, together with all the “wiring” and “processors” to provide the detail necessary to survive and thrive, was simply designed that way from the git go. YOU know that any system tends toward simplifying.. deteriorating… devolving. We’re even finding that our very DNA does not replicate accurately all the time, it “drops” things along the way. REgressive genes, over many generations of reproduction, vanish, removing that end of the cnaracteristic genome from the gene pool, thus from the population. You actually hold tha ttime and chance have on their own with no exterior input developed what is by far the most sophisitcated sensory system operating in the electromagnetic spectrum, a system so sphpisticated even the best sicnetists can come nowhere near replicating ia small portion of its functional capability?
        I’ve got a pet chikkin can fly to the moon and back in a week, all by her li’l ol’ self.

        • Hi T,

          This subject is very interesting; there’s a book by a biologist (I believe) named Michael Behe (if I’m remembering it correctly) that essentially makes the same argument about the irreducible complexity of the eye. I don’t necessarily agree with the intelligent design theory but this book is pretty compelling. Anyone interested in the subject will enjoy reading it.

          • Eric

            Richard Dawkins long since refuted the old argument about the supposed “irreducible complexity of the eye”. IIRC he published a refutation in the mid-80s, although he’d articulated it in debates and speeches well prior to that. He wasn’t the first to make the refutation either. Far from it in fact. He just presented a variant in an easy to understand form. The argument is of “irreducible complexity” is not consistent with reality. That is, it is false.

  13. “Drivers of other cars, of non-electric cars, are also scolded – are ticketed – for glancing briefly at their cell phones but Tesla is allowed to sell cars that are cell phones.”

    That is an excellent comparison. Teslas are cell phones. Never thought of them like that. Here in Floriduh they have those digital signs across the interstate that says “Don’t drive and text,,, Put it down!, IT’S THE LAW!!!!!”
    In Canada it’s against the law to even have a cell phone visible in the car. No where do I see something like “No automated Driving,,, Keep hands on the Wheel,,, IT’S THE LAW!!!!!”

  14. Teslas and Cruise ships. Appropriate as I would never use either.

    But Tesla and Cruise ship users do seem similar. Someone babysit me so I can turn into a mindless Wall-E scooter blob.

    WTF happened to the responsible adult?

    • “Someone babysit me so I can turn into a mindless Wall-E scooter blob.

      WTF happened to the responsible adult?”

      You pretty much answered your own question. Most people will do anything to avoid responsibility; even if it means (iron) curtains for our freedom.

    • what happened? Two generatioins of gunnit skewlz that have firmly established several patterns in culture. Things like “you get a trophy just for showing up. boys and girls are completely interchangeable. Don’t do this because bad consequences can get you. . but no worries, WHEN they do (not if) we will protect you from those consequences. Personal responsibility has been replaced by the collective. WE know what is best for you trust uS. Any attemt or lack thereof is sufficient but if yuor attempt does not get what you want, we’ll take care of you. Little Johnny (XY chromosome)can be whatever he wants to be.. an airline pilot, a submarine captain, the president, a poilceman, a girl, a pregnant girl, a homeless druggie.. they are all equal,

      No wonder teen suicide is so high.. they are told this stuff and when they come face to face with reality they can’t handle it.

      • Well-said, Tionico!

        The demoralization is, I suspect, calculated and deliberate. Make people feel adrift and powerless and they will beg to be controlled by the powerful. I am not surprised many young people incline toward socialism – for all the reasons you’ve adduced. Thwart/control them; then make them resentful and envious. If you don’t have what you want, it’s because someone else does – and you have the right to take it from them.

      • Tionico, I read an interview with a military person. She spoke of the “males” that are in the military now who aren’t men, who will most likely never be men because they have no background of being treated as boys/men. They’re the very group who commit suicide yet have never been in combat. Evidently, what military expects from them is something they can’t deliver. Pussification is killing this country.

        A huge part of this is broken homes, no male parent is the worst of it. Yeah, a kid needs both but a boy needs a man to emulate and learn from. His mama will cuddle him and tell him everything’s ok when it isn’t. ”

        The world I grew up with wouldn’t have tolerated pedophiles with young boys in a bar dressed as girls. Even a hint of it would have somebody disappeared.

  15. People just don’t want to hear the warnings for some reason. We are all kooks for merely pointing it out!

    But get this: Many of these “planners” are very, very open about curtailing individuals vehicle use. The local “planner” would like to HALVE car trips in the region (NW Indiana outside Chicago). Yes, by HALF!

    Never mind that the whole area is very decentralized and spread over three counties (and never was centralized to begin with). There is very little “mass transit” and the area would be very difficult to serve by it. If anything, most residents of the area wish the area was even more spread out (most would like bigger yards or acreage), not pushed towards being more dense (another goal of said planner). So if anything car trips will continue to increase, likely doubling again over the next decade or two.

    • This is the very reason TPTB wants to get rid of IC vehicles. They’re too practical and are not range-gimped.

      Of course the sheep don’t want to hear the truth because they want to be babysat, and they will fight the rest of us tooth and nail if we dare try to uproot the system.

    • Chicago area transit regionally is the most stupidly laid out transit anyone could ever conceive. If you live away from the loop and work in the loop then it works for you. If you don’t well then it doesn’t. Everything goes to the loop. You go to the loop then go where you want. And if you want to go away from the loop in the morning or into the loop in the afternoon well, what little is offered isn’t likely going to work for you. They wouldn’t even put in stations that made sense along the lines. If you wanted to say go from the south suburbs to Sox Park you had to take the metra to the loop then double back. They finally put in the station after people working for decades to get it.

      But what do the new urbanists want to do here? Stifle driving but leave transit the same politically controlled mess it has been forever. They want the power to dictate people’s lives to them through transportation.

  16. Wall Street even goes so far as to chastise automakers for not doing like Tesla Motors. The reason they do not is because what TM is doing cannot and does not pass basic engineering procedures designed to stop products with such glaring flaws from reaching the market. The nature of paying constant attention to an automated system is fundamentally at odds with itself and reality. Reduce driver load and then expecting them to pay full attention because of the system’s gross limitations and flaws is going to kill people.

    The autopilot crashes seem to come from a defeciency a TM vehicle owner discovered through his own testing a fair while back. He did some late night testing on Chicago’s Dan Ryan expressway. The Dan Ryan has a number of merges and splits making it ideal to determine what the car does. The end result of this and circumstances of the crashes give us the answer. TM’s “autopilot” cannot “see” stationary objects when moving at highway speeds. It plows right into them. This would be a showstopper at any company with a sound engineering department and lack of government protection. This would have never been released anywhere else.

    • We can only hope Elon has spent more time and money, and has better coders on the Space-X side. Imagine a Falcon 9 coding error causing a pad loop-de-loop…

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