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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old October 15 2013, 10:23 AM   #166
Gov Karnstein
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Re: Technological Stagnation

DarthTom wrote: View Post
farmkid wrote: View Post
I have to agree. Most people I know would rather take a bus to get to work, for example, but don't because it would require significant walking, more time, and restrictions on when you can travel. In my case, for example, if I take the bus, I have to walk 1.5 miles to the bus stop (in temperatures ranging from -20 to 100), then ride two buses for nearly an hour. On top of that, I have to hope I don't miss it, because it only runs once per hour. Or, I can drive and go whenever I want and get there in 15 minutes. Hmm, tough choice.
Public transportation is great until you have to make multiple stops, go to the grocerey store and get large/bulky items or a lot, or have a family and/or young children.

I've spoken with several friends who have young children and it's just too much effort to coordinate the transportation and the children at the same time.

Obviously some people have no choice - but given a choice I think anyone with young children prefers a car under most circumstances.
Urban design would need to change as well. Our current sprawl can be attributed to private cars as much as anything. Abandoning private cars for public transit as the mainstay would force a rethink on urban and suburban planning. Whether that will happen is another thing.
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Old October 15 2013, 03:56 PM   #167
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Life is definitely easier with kids if you have a car, at least where I live.

Going back to the OP, a few months ago a guy in space (Chris Hadfield) asked a question on Twitter and I answered him in real time. I wouldn't have imagined doing that even ten years ago. I don't think we're stagnating.

It's funny because this touches on something we were discussing in class a while back. Studying the Hoover Dam, I was skeptical that our society would have the will to launch such an ambitious and difficult engineering project today. Then a week later we learned about the Yucca Mountain Project, which, let's just say, was quite ambitious and difficult (of course, the fact that the feds canceled it does sort of speak to my original point).
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Old October 15 2013, 04:05 PM   #168
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Gov Karnstein wrote: View Post
DarthTom wrote: View Post
farmkid wrote: View Post
I have to agree. Most people I know would rather take a bus to get to work, for example, but don't because it would require significant walking, more time, and restrictions on when you can travel. In my case, for example, if I take the bus, I have to walk 1.5 miles to the bus stop (in temperatures ranging from -20 to 100), then ride two buses for nearly an hour. On top of that, I have to hope I don't miss it, because it only runs once per hour. Or, I can drive and go whenever I want and get there in 15 minutes. Hmm, tough choice.
Public transportation is great until you have to make multiple stops, go to the grocerey store and get large/bulky items or a lot, or have a family and/or young children.

I've spoken with several friends who have young children and it's just too much effort to coordinate the transportation and the children at the same time.

Obviously some people have no choice - but given a choice I think anyone with young children prefers a car under most circumstances.
Urban design would need to change as well. Our current sprawl can be attributed to private cars as much as anything. Abandoning private cars for public transit as the mainstay would force a rethink on urban and suburban planning. Whether that will happen is another thing.
I suspect it will happen when it is forced to happen, which would be after we have an energy crisis from which there are no easy "outs."
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Old October 15 2013, 08:09 PM   #169
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Public Transportation is a joke, well a joke the further away from a town or city that you live. For most people living in more rural areas a car is a neccessity not an option.
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Old October 16 2013, 12:14 AM   #170
Gov Karnstein
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Re: Technological Stagnation

And yet, folks managed to do so before cars, they can again.
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Old October 16 2013, 04:09 PM   #171
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Re: Technological Stagnation

People also got along fine before telephones and electric lights, but I think most would now consider those to be necessities.
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Old October 16 2013, 10:25 PM   #172
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Re: Technological Stagnation

They aren't necessities either except so far as to keep life working as it currently goes. In their absence life wouldn't end, society would readjust.
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Old October 17 2013, 01:19 PM   #173
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Life without internet? Impossible!
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Old October 18 2013, 07:29 PM   #174
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Re: Technological Stagnation

If everyone moved closer to where they worked, caught the train and bus for holidays and ordered their shopping online we wouldn't need so many cars on the roads.
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Old October 18 2013, 07:45 PM   #175
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Rural areas, tend to have limited bus routes, and are miles away from the nearest train station. So a car is needed.
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Old October 18 2013, 08:39 PM   #176
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Re: Technological Stagnation

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Public Transportation is a joke, well a joke the further away from a town or city that you live. For most people living in more rural areas a car is a necessity not an option.
Why, it's the Model T Ford made the trouble,
Made the people wanna go, wanna get, wanna get,
Wanna get up and go seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve,
fourteen, twenty-two, twenty-three miles to the county seat.
Yes sir, yes sir
Who's gonna patronize a little bitty two-by-four kinda store anymore?
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Old October 18 2013, 10:02 PM   #177
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Re: Technological Stagnation

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Rural areas, tend to have limited bus routes, and are miles away from the nearest train station. So a car is needed.
Should petition their local council for a bus route then
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Old October 19 2013, 04:06 PM   #178
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Re: Technological Stagnation

That wouldn't make any sense, because then you're using a bus to drive 20 miles to pick up one passenger instead of using a small car.
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Old October 19 2013, 08:03 PM   #179
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Re: Technological Stagnation

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Rural areas, tend to have limited bus routes, and are miles away from the nearest train station. So a car is needed.
Should petition their local council for a bus route then
If you note I said limited not none (though that might be the case in some areas).

But even with those with bus routes might only get one every couple of hours and not before 07:00 or after 23:00. Give the 24hr world in whcih we live those might not be conveniant times to get to work.

I live in a rural area and when I was at college, it would take 3 buses and a minimum of 2 hours to get home. Longer if I had to walk the last 3.25miles along a 60mph road with no pavement. Compared against 30 mins or so in car once I could drive.

It might be fair to say that the issues facing those that live in Urban areas differ in some respects than those that live in Rural areas. True they share some of the same issues. But sometimes unless we have actually experianced those issues it is not always easy to understand why they are important to the other side.

Take Broadband (in the UK)for example, it is generally cheaper and faster in the more urban areas. But you know what annoys many in the rural areas not so much that they are getting a slower service, but they are paying more for it.
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Old October 24 2013, 02:38 AM   #180
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Re: Technological Stagnation

Into Darkness wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Rural areas, tend to have limited bus routes, and are miles away from the nearest train station. So a car is needed.
Should petition their local council for a bus route then
To get even close to the level of bus coverage needed to meet the needs of those living in rural areas would probably require more miles driven by the busses than are currently driven by the cars. Another serious problem is the limited amount of stuff you can transport on a bus. People in rural areas commonly go to town once every week or two at the most because it is so far. Do you really think it would be reasonable to bring home enough groceries to fill a couple of shopping carts on a bus? It would probably take at least a couple of hours to get home, so forget ever buying frozen items.

I don't think people who have never lived in a real rural area really appreciate the realities of living in rural America. I went to high school with kids who drove an hour each way to school every day. My home county is about the size of Rhode Island, but the population is only about 15K, mostly concentrated in one corner of the county. Those on the other side of the county would routinely drive as far as 50-70 miles to go the grocery store. And my county was actually more populated and closer to cities than many others in the state. I've lived in places like that, in London (UK) and nearby areas, and in several places in between. I've seen how public transportation can work in areas of moderate to high population density and how it absolutely can't work in areas like where I grew up.
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