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Jeez Dave, we can have a field day railroading... er... hyperlooping Musk right back into oblivion whence he slithered.

1. Musk noun - A greasy secretion with a powerful odor.

2. The Laws of Thermodynamics - does the boy wonder have any concept of energy returned on energy invested?! Self-powering transport??! Putting solar panels on it??! His mumbling and stumbling all through that interview with PanderDaily speaks volumes.

3. Twice the speed of aircraft??! That would involve sonic explosions that have to dissipate somewhere/somehow. But he avers: "It will never crash" blah blah blah.

4. It would cost much less than any other mode of transport??! Pull the other one, Elongated Ego Man. Talking of legs, fuck me, my own limbs have apparently priced me out of the moving around game.

5. Jetson Tunnel... hmmm... well, that sycophantic host clearly offered hers to the poster boy, even asking him if he's ready to retire (with her presumably).

I can't sit still with the excitement - on August 12th I am having a lobotomy and I shall be donating all my extracted unconscious bullshit to the Musky Foundation for Youthanasia on Mars.

John B. Waldron

Is this guy for real? Laughing my ass off...reminds me of my younger days when I and my friends had similar visions, all nonsense of course and all contrary to basic physics. What a joke...as the song goes "that's not working, that's the way to do, money for nothing..."


We interface with Space-X & I can say he does not have a good reputation on the Space Coast of Florida. He is trying to get NASA to give him Pad A or else... Texas or a National Wildlife Preserve that borders Kennedy Space Center. You know the politicians are doing backflips to service this guy & stick it to the taxpayers, all the while bragging about "private space industry".


The big thing the techno-optimists don't get, or don't want to see, is that we've entered the stage of diminishing returns. We're going to be working harder and harder to stay in the same place.

EVs are about using more resources (and money) to create the same thing we've had - private transport. The hyperloop, which is pitched as fifth-mode of transport, is really just high-speed mass transport (a merging of planes and trains). But it would be insanely more expensive and resource-intensive than either trains or airplanes. There's no way in Alpha Centauri that thing would be funded by private enterprise alone. It would need massive injections of federal funds and legislation (land seizures, etc.) - as atnorton pointed out Musk is already doing with SpaceX. (And neither the airplane or train industries themselves started by private funding alone).

Unlike his Mars idea, I don't think this one is technologically impossible in say, a 50-year time frame. It probably wouldn't achieve the speeds Musk imagines, and it probably would only connect adjacent cities. But it's just pipe dream as far as the actual cost and resource usage of it. Musk sees solar panels operating it - but what of the massive energy required to build the thing (materials, labor, construction)? What of the cost necessary to maintain it (especially over the ocean)?

It reminds me of his press announcement here:

Basically, to do the same thing we once did with filling a gas tank, we'd need to swap batteries at the filling station. Ignoring the expense, that'll work for one car. But it's insanity when you consider scaling it up to any reasonable percentage of vehicle use today.

I agree with the Flatland stuff, of course. He has become a captain of industry. The world now owes him, and the only important people are those like him - the ones who can afford his products or are techno-optimists themselves.

Eric Thurston

I got news for Mr. Elon, some other techno-optimist has beaten him to the punch on the tube transport thing.


Steve Wilson

Dave, I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and was sad to hear you are signing off though I certainly understand. How you have kept at it this long is amazing to me. As well as posting every day. You are one prolific writer.

But at the end of the day, I can see where you are coming from. My wife and I spent the last twenty years trying to save kids from drug addiction. Sadly during that time, we had only one success. Several lost their life. I came to the conclusion that they were basically lost souls leading a wasted life and there wasn't much anyone can do about it.

I also came to the conclusion at some point that most humans were doing the same basic thing when looking at the scope of the human condition. I suspect that is where you are and much like me the pain is no longer worth the gain in trying to help the situation.

In any event, I have enjoyed your work and hope that you will post from time to time. Let your "tribe" know how you are from time to time.

Dave Cohen


Thanks for reading DOTE, and for your kind note.

Re: Let your "tribe" know how you are from time to time

Will do.


-- Dave


The video is priceless.

It sounds like a conversation between people that are REALLY high, except Elon has money to throw at the "I'm higher than anyone right now" schemes. The fact that his auto scheme is working out pretty well is proof that some of the ideas gotten when high can actually succeed (if backed by metric tons of cash), but just because SOME can succeed doesn't mean all of them are good ideas, as any stoner can attest.

Dave Cohen

The key to understanding this, Adam, is that the Elon Musk and the interviewer are really high.

And what is the powerful drug they are taking?

Human Wonderfulness, which I have called the Human Conceit, the most powerful drug of all.


-- Dave

Mike Roberts

"a revolutionary new transportation system"?

Reminds me of a revolutionary new transportation device, the Segway, around the turn of the century. It's ironic, and perhaps appropriate, that the company's boss at the time was killed riding one of those revolutionary self-balancing transportation devices. Another hyped invention that found a niche but didn't even come close to matching the hype.

Alexander Ač

Elon Musk is my HERO! :-/


Alexander Ač

Craig "genie" Venter is next.


Oh watching this silly interview reminded me of the Segway too -- remember all the "mystery" around the unveiling, when the project was referred to as "it" -- later revealed as Segway. A cute, if largely useless, invention. thanks for taking on Elon, Dave, he is one annoying little flatlander. And the interviewer seems so enaamoured of his brilliance, hahaha

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