Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Call the Technology Police

Avedon: "The future is happening somewhere else while America gets dragged back into the 13th century."

She isn't the only one to notice.

Consider what Japan has decided to do with an estimated $76.3 billion: make the legendary shinkansen obsolete.

Magnetic trains zooming at a landscape-blurring 500 kilometers (310 miles) an hour will connect Tokyo and Nagoya by 2025, one of Japan’s biggest railway operators said Friday.

The new magnetically levitated, or “maglev,” trains would slash the 100-minute travel time down the country’s busiest transportation corridor and are envisioned as a successor for Japan’s iconic bullet trains, or shinkansen, first introduced to the world in 1964.

Right off, damn, that’s embarrassing. We haven’t even got bullet trains yet. Here in the Bay Area, CalTrain runs what it calls Baby Bullets, which are normal trains in express mode. They probably top out in practice around 50 mph, and since they don’t stop every mile or so and have no lights or traffic to deal with, they make far better time than the standard trains. But they’re not bullet trains, not like Japan and France have.

But noooo, we prefer the glory, honor, and sacrifice of war. One commenter calculated that for the $420 billion we’ve spent so far in Iraq we could build a maglev train system approximately equivalent to half the existing interstate system, perhaps five east-west and seven north-south routes...

Of course, these are electrically powered, and electricity can be generated by solar or wind power locally to feed into the system.

The speeds at which these trains travel are equivalent to commercial airliners. In effect, an interstate train system at these speeds would be a real alternative to highway or airplane travel. Independent of oil.

Which makes them absolutely undesirable to oil companies and those who own them.

Technological suppression seems a big part of the corporate agenda of those who would rule us.

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