2012-12-10 01:08 am
Entry tags:

What if the car was invented today?

(The canonical location of this blog post is now What if the car was invented today? on my web site.)

What car technologies would we choose "if the playing field were level again" (-Felix21 on HN) and we didn't already have gas stations *or* electrical fueling stations to bias our choice of fuel?

Counterfactuals are surprisingly complicated. The basics have already been invented for other reasons (internal combustion engine, battery, electric motor, etc) so any sort of car should work fine aside from the infrastructure (power distribution, roads). Which sort is best depends on e.g. whether there's cheap oil (there might be if we hadn't used so much oil already) and what people are using cars for (people would be used to another mode with different capabilities; I've read that humans regardless of transit mode tend to prefer about an hour commuting per day and the distance of an hour depends on the prevalent mode). Random thoughts follow:
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2012-07-27 08:31 pm
Entry tags:

Time

(The canonical location of this blog post is now Time Measurement on my web site.)

Much software is based on the assumption that, given the moment X bajillion seconds from now, you will know how many times the earth will have turned since now, how many times the earth will have gone around the sun, and what date it will be.

Unfortunately, these assumptions are false.

Indeed, our very calendar is based on the assumption that the earth goes around the sun once for every 365.2425[1] days[2].
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