Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Oh, Elon

A frustrating thing is that people "like me" said this at the time, and pointed out that even if the technology wasn't magic nonsense, the cost estimates for it were (specifically, if the cost of "hyperloop" excludes things like "buying land to put the hyperloop on" it seems cheap!).
Marx: I think it also goes back to what I was saying earlier in terms of the distraction that Elon Musk has achieved really effectively. To try to distract from real solutions to the problems that the automobile has created and things that would require less car dependence and to actually offer people alternatives to the car and to instead kind of intervene and say, no, actually, I have these ideas that are going to be even better than that, and we should pursue those instead to try to sap energy from alternatives. So the Hyperloop, for example, he admitted to his biographer that the reason the Hyperloop was announced—even though he had no intention of pursuing it—was to try to disrupt the California high-speed rail project and to get in the way of that actually succeeding.

I would say the Boring Company just kind of slides in there as a way to distract from efforts to improve public transit and have a greater focus on transit as a means of solving these problems with the automobile. Instead of, say, building subway systems he could say, look we’re going to build these really cheap tunnels, you’ll be able to take your car into it. And later he said, why also make it so people who don’t have cars can use it, too. And that promise doesn’t exist any longer either. And that’s really good for him as an automaker.
A dozen years of additional uphill fights on sensible transportation policy because of Uber, Elon, and their media/politician fans.

Can debate how important this, like all of my peculiar obsessions is, but for years this Musk/Uber stuff was EVERYBODY IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET level of enraging for me. Ah, well, Atrios right for the wrong reasons, YET AGAIN.