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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Alon View Post
Sorry, but this is bullshit. Maybe he knows how to make electric cars; I don't know - his cars don't function well in Northeastern weather.
that stupid nyt editorial was soundly rebutted with data logged during his test. every other article i've read on the car has shown that it actually exceeds the stated range.

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People in the US have this fetish for listening to entrepreneurs. The idea being that if someone is tagged as an entrepreneur then his ideas are automatically worth listening to. It's frustrating. Madrid builds subways for about one fortieth the cost American cities build them for, and the CEO of Madrid Metro even talks about the way they did procurement to ensure low costs, and it gets ignored in the American media. But someone with zero experience in the subject bloviates about a technology that doesn't exist and doesn't even come close to existing and he's suddenly a great entrepreneur who probably employs people who understand.
i'd love to read more about the building of madrid's metro - have any links? (sorry, OT!)
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2013, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Alon View Post
People in the US have this fetish for listening to entrepreneurs. The idea being that if someone is tagged as an entrepreneur then his ideas are automatically worth listening to. It's frustrating. Madrid builds subways for about one fortieth the cost American cities build them for, and the CEO of Madrid Metro even talks about the way they did procurement to ensure low costs, and it gets ignored in the American media. But someone with zero experience in the subject bloviates about a technology that doesn't exist and doesn't even come close to existing and he's suddenly a great entrepreneur who probably employs people who understand.
he is not "any" entrepreneur.

PayPal is as far as I know leader in internet monetary transactions. (at least for small volumes at a time)

you talk about cost reduction but thats EXACTLY what Elon is doing at SpaceX, the way NOBODY HAS DONE BEFORE, in 50 years of manned space flight!


and btw, I am not someone "in the US".
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 3:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cabasse View Post
that stupid nyt editorial was soundly rebutted with data logged during his test. every other article i've read on the car has shown that it actually exceeds the stated range.
The data was about things like "he drove at 68 mph instead of 54 mph." That's pre-Interstate divided highway speed. For greenness the cars still lag behind the better-used public transit systems, for performance they're not that great if you want to make it to the supercharger, what's the point?

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i'd love to read more about the building of madrid's metro - have any links? (sorry, OT!)
http://tunnelbuilder.com/metrosur/edition2pdf/page2.pdf

Note, by the way, that nowhere on the list of what Madrid did right is any of the usual US superstar tropes. It's all about procurement issues, conservative construction standards, avoidance of consultants, and contractor incentives that keep costs down.

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he is not "any" entrepreneur.

PayPal is as far as I know leader in internet monetary transactions. (at least for small volumes at a time)
Okay, so he's a successful entrepreneur at things that have nothing to do with the construction of infrastructure. That's "any" entrepreneur, sorry.

Infrastructure does not work like the Internet. The increasing returns effect is a lot smaller, which means that the first mover does not get to dominate the market. The amount of capital required is astounding, which is why none of this ever gets done by the private sector, except for the Chuo Shinkansen, which is built by a company that has windfall profits from the Tokaido Shinkansen. And Chuo comes after decades of experiments with the technology and has had a working test track for years. The workers are usually unionized, and a good business culture is crucial. A political culture that makes it easier to build things cheaply is also crucial - and no, China doesn't build things cheaply at all; try Spain, Italy, and South Korea. The technology is old, so innovation happens gradually, after extensive testing, and often the innovations are not about technology but about better organization and political cooperation (for example, through-service between different private companies).

Meanwhile, people with real-world experience in transportation infrastructure have built high-speed lines at a cost per unit length that would give LA-SF for about $13 billion. But they are not Great Entrepreneurs who sound like they could be Randian heroes, so you never hear about that in the media.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 5:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Alon View Post
The data was about things like "he drove at 68 mph instead of 54 mph." That's pre-Interstate divided highway speed. For greenness the cars still lag behind the better-used public transit systems, for performance they're not that great if you want to make it to the supercharger, what's the point?



http://tunnelbuilder.com/metrosur/edition2pdf/page2.pdf

Note, by the way, that nowhere on the list of what Madrid did right is any of the usual US superstar tropes. It's all about procurement issues, conservative construction standards, avoidance of consultants, and contractor incentives that keep costs down.



Okay, so he's a successful entrepreneur at things that have nothing to do with the construction of infrastructure. That's "any" entrepreneur, sorry.

Infrastructure does not work like the Internet. The increasing returns effect is a lot smaller, which means that the first mover does not get to dominate the market. The amount of capital required is astounding, which is why none of this ever gets done by the private sector, except for the Chuo Shinkansen, which is built by a company that has windfall profits from the Tokaido Shinkansen. And Chuo comes after decades of experiments with the technology and has had a working test track for years. The workers are usually unionized, and a good business culture is crucial. A political culture that makes it easier to build things cheaply is also crucial - and no, China doesn't build things cheaply at all; try Spain, Italy, and South Korea. The technology is old, so innovation happens gradually, after extensive testing, and often the innovations are not about technology but about better organization and political cooperation (for example, through-service between different private companies).

Meanwhile, people with real-world experience in transportation infrastructure have built high-speed lines at a cost per unit length that would give LA-SF for about $13 billion. But they are not Great Entrepreneurs who sound like they could be Randian heroes, so you never hear about that in the media.
The data had a lot more than just speed data, it showed that the guy unplugged the charger to ensure that he didn't have enough range. And even then it didn't run out of power when he said he needed a tow truck. The entire test ride was a fake. Consumer reports have it it's highest rating.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 6:37 AM
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the good news is that according to the LA Business Journals list of wealthiest Angelenos, Musks wealth increased from 2 billion in 2011 to 5.7 billion in 2012... at this pace, he could fund whatever the hell he wants in a couple years
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 6:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Alon View Post
Okay, so he's a successful entrepreneur at things that have nothing to do with the construction of infrastructure. That's "any" entrepreneur, sorry.

Infrastructure does not work like the Internet. The increasing returns effect is a lot smaller, which means that the first mover does not get to dominate the market. The amount of capital required is astounding, which is why none of this ever gets done by the private sector, except for the Chuo Shinkansen, which is built by a company that has windfall profits from the Tokaido Shinkansen. And Chuo comes after decades of experiments with the technology and has had a working test track for years. The workers are usually unionized, and a good business culture is crucial. A political culture that makes it easier to build things cheaply is also crucial - and no, China doesn't build things cheaply at all; try Spain, Italy, and South Korea. The technology is old, so innovation happens gradually, after extensive testing, and often the innovations are not about technology but about better organization and political cooperation (for example, through-service between different private companies).

Meanwhile, people with real-world experience in transportation infrastructure have built high-speed lines at a cost per unit length that would give LA-SF for about $13 billion. But they are not Great Entrepreneurs who sound like they could be Randian heroes, so you never hear about that in the media.


so funny that you kept only the part about him being entepreneur of PAYPAL and decided to completely ignore, conveniently, the part about SPACEX and TESLA MOTORS.


THIS IS NOT the internet.
Video Link



Quote:
The increasing returns effect is a lot smaller, which means that the first mover does not get to dominate the market
exactly like the rocket market, where SpaceX acts

Quote:
The amount of capital required is astounding, which is why none of this ever gets done by the private sector
exactly like the rocket market, where SpaceX acts.
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Last edited by Trantor; Jun 2, 2013 at 7:09 AM.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 8:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Trantor View Post
so funny that you kept only the part about him being entepreneur of PAYPAL and decided to completely ignore, conveniently, the part about SPACEX and TESLA MOTORS.


THIS IS NOT the internet.
Video Link





exactly like the rocket market, where SpaceX acts



exactly like the rocket market, where SpaceX acts.
Billionaire science geniuses who dabble in solar technology, electric cars, and motherf****** SPACESHIPS clearly lack the expertise to venture into high speed rail or other technologies. There are obviously more qualified people so why should we listen to Musk? Did I mention he builds SPACESHIPS?

Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, if Musk has an opinion on toothpaste, I'm listening.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 10:34 AM
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in the 1940s and '50s, there was a whole culture devoted to visions like this. everyday people bought copies of popular mechanics and considered weird futures where they lived on balloons or built negative skyscrapers deep into the earth's core.

the fact that musk's vision is being met with such negativity here is interesting. are we a more reasonable people, free of our mid-century hubris?

or are we a culture in decline?
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  #29  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2013, 6:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
in the 1940s and '50s, there was a whole culture devoted to visions like this. everyday people bought copies of popular mechanics and considered weird futures where they lived on balloons or built negative skyscrapers deep into the earth's core.

the fact that musk's vision is being met with such negativity here is interesting. are we a more reasonable people, free of our mid-century hubris?

or are we a culture in decline?
Close. We've developed an Internet hater culture.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 12:41 AM
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Sounds interesting and I am actually a fan of Elon Musk. However, his claim is that he can do this at a significant cost savings over the current HSR California plan. Right of ways or tunneling, either way is super expensive. I agree that why bother go through all the effort and then create a semi-fast HSR. But his claim that the actual costs would be significantly less are hard to believe.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 2:15 AM
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Considering that "the most he would say is that the Hyperloop is a 'cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.'"

...that doesn't give you a whole hell of a lot to even speculate about.


Pointing out the obvious, spaceships =/= infrastructure.

Spaceships require engineers + money.

Infrastructure requires engineers + money + politics

Politics are by far the most difficult part to deal with, especially in this country.

edit - forgot to mention: infrastructure also requires a lot of land. In places like California, that involves forcefully moving thousands of people out of the way so that you can build your chunk of concrete.

There is also the big fuzzy issue of profitability - and in that case, proven technologies are always going to win.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:02 AM
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I like the guy a lot. Wish we had more billionaires that had such an interest in advancing civilization.
Those should be the only kind that exist.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:07 AM
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^^ Yeah, this. The last time private interests built extensive new infrastructure (100-150 years ago) they got around the political problem with rampant and shameless bribery. That's a lot harder than it used to be. The land problem was pretty easy, too - cities were smaller and more compact, and most of the infrastructure preceded new development in empty areas. Environmental impact statements were unheard of.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:14 AM
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Billionaire science geniuses who dabble in solar technology, electric cars, and motherf****** SPACESHIPS clearly lack the expertise to venture into high speed rail or other technologies. There are obviously more qualified people so why should we listen to Musk? Did I mention he builds SPACESHIPS?

Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, if Musk has an opinion on toothpaste, I'm listening.
Next time the city of Madrid (or country of Spain for that matter) launches a rocket to the ISS, let me know, and I'll agree with you that high speed rail is somehow a more technically challenging project than spaceflight.

I'm not saying Musk is going to pull this hyperloop thing off because that would be utterly stupid since we have absolutely no details. But I am saying that writing him off is equally stupid since we have no details and Musk has created multiple companies that have successfully tackled some of the most "impossible" and technically challenging ideas of our day.

Just some food for thought: up until Musk came along, everyone assumed that spaceflight was something that could only be achieved by governments (or massive pseudo-governmental corporations like Boeing). It only took him about 10 years to eviscerate that notion, maybe he will have blown away your skepticism about this hyperloop idea as well in another 10 years.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:18 AM
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Originally Posted by StethJeff View Post
Billionaire science geniuses who dabble in solar technology, electric cars, and motherf****** SPACESHIPS clearly lack the expertise to venture into high speed rail or other technologies. There are obviously more qualified people so why should we listen to Musk? Did I mention he builds SPACESHIPS?

Honestly, as far as I'm concerned, if Musk has an opinion on toothpaste, I'm listening.
I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  #36  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:23 AM
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Yep, all it takes is for some scientist to stumble on the right mix of elements for a room-temperature superconductor, and not only does this become feasible... but you could start planning to build and test trains the very next day.
Psst.

308K Superconductor

Yield is terrible though.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:59 AM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Considering that "the most he would say is that the Hyperloop is a 'cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.'"

...that doesn't give you a whole hell of a lot to even speculate about.

.
Yeah, what does this thing even look like? Forgive my ignorance if there's a blueprint.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 5:06 AM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Next time the city of Madrid (or country of Spain for that matter) launches a rocket to the ISS, let me know, and I'll agree with you that high speed rail is somehow a more technically challenging project than spaceflight.

I'm not saying Musk is going to pull this hyperloop thing off because that would be utterly stupid since we have absolutely no details. But I am saying that writing him off is equally stupid since we have no details and Musk has created multiple companies that have successfully tackled some of the most "impossible" and technically challenging ideas of our day.

Just some food for thought: up until Musk came along, everyone assumed that spaceflight was something that could only be achieved by governments (or massive pseudo-governmental corporations like Boeing). It only took him about 10 years to eviscerate that notion, maybe he will have blown away your skepticism about this hyperloop idea as well in another 10 years.
I think the point here is that someone who's already demonstrated an amazing capacity for technological advancement and doing the impossible has an idea. And that idea could potentially be huge. Outright dismissing someone who's shaping up to be one of the most celebrated individuals of this century just seems silly. People like him have advanced society by proving their critics wrong for centuries, I say give him a chance before ripping him a new one.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 6:14 AM
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this is a very interesting and complete link on the Hyperlook, from what we know.

http://jacquesmattheij.com/elon-musk-and-the-hyperloop
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  #40  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2013, 3:16 PM
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He might ace the science, but stuff like engineering and politics often get in the way. Something might be possible but just very expensive and disruptive.

That said, of course I'd love to travel this way.
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