I heard a theory recently that felt right to me: that Elon Musk's Boring Company isn't actually meant to produce usable mass transit. Instead, it's designed to outbid other public-transit proposals and then intentionally fail, so that trust in public transit proposals will be eroded and people will continue to buy and drive cars.

This was cemented in my mind by Boring winning the bid for a tunnel in Ft. Lauderdale - which is so comically unfeasible if you know the terrain under Ft. Lauderdale that it almost can't be anything but a boondoggle. If he's serious about building the tunnel it's going to make the Big Dig look inexpensive and brief.

@noelle it could be that. It could also be another case of Musk not acknowledging that anything is unfeasible, no matter how comically so it is, because he won't look at the physical constraints. I am reminded of his mini rescue sub, for those kids stuck in a flooded cave ... which had a section where the divers had to take off their tanks and wiggle around a bend to get through. No hardshell in the universe would fit through that. But he had one built, and brought it to site.

@noelle the cave rescue sub shows that he also hires engineers and designers who don't ask about the system or environmental constraints that they have to work with, too. Because he didn't build it himself. If anyone on that team asked about the narrowest point of the cave, they were clearly ignored.


Coincidentally I saw a debunking video on one loop project today. It was.. interesting 🤔

@humanetech @noelle
Whoaaa, Tesla's self-driving software is not even good enough to be trusted in completely closed track tunnels they built to their own specs?

@noelle every silicon Valley (an area which is slowly expanding to cover the entire west coast) company (or, as they call themselves: startup) since Uber has followed Uber's model of lobbying, erosion of protections of their workers and their competition, deregulation and so on and so forth

Uber lobbied against the taxi industry and against worker protections
Airbnb lobbied against the hotel industry and consumer protections in the fucking apartment rent industry

Musk hates public transit, he has "admitted" so frequently in interviews, he doesn't see the point, and it grosses him out

but because he's still stuck in the wrong kindergarten, nobody told him "don't yuck my yum". and so he is very determined to destroy it, and replacing it with his overpriced cars

the people running these companies don't care about the collateral damage their companies do to the people, the only thing they care about is their own goals, and not too interfere too strongly with their friends' goals

@meena @noelle it doesn't work like that.

You could say that too from Edison, Ford, etc...

@pthenq1 @noelle enough has been said on these two (even tho i have my own thoughts and feelings)

but their kind of capitalism is over

this is a new kind of capitalism, to the point that people are saying it's no longer capitalism.

we can start from analogues, but it needs new analysis.

@noelle see also: hyperloop as a scheme designed to outbid actual high-speed rail systems and then go nowhere

@noelle i think the magnetic hyperloop concept is valid though. if the company fails it would be for reasons other than having a sound idea


I suppose it could be like the automobile and oil industry buying up streetcar companies and dismantling them a hundred years ago.



So things like that DO happen…

But, honestly? (a) In the absence of evidence this no more than a conspiracy theory and (b) my theory is that Musk is stupid enough to believe his own hype.

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Hic quoque abibit.

Just Ellie (and perhaps some of her toys).