Here's the steps to this dance:

1. Flying car woo gets profiled in NYT
2. Everyone clicks because, hey, flying cars!
3. Investors throw money at "as featured in NYT" startups
4. $400B later, someone will demo 3 wingless "flying cars" on rails in a tunnel…
A fundamental obstacle to having anything smallish fly around is that, unless you just hang it from a gas bag, it will be noisy as hell. But this never stopped drone hype and I am sure it will be no barrier to fundraising for this next VC bonfire
What's described in the article is just a variety of ultralight aircraft that could be made into a luxury air taxi service if we repealed a ton of aviation safety regulations (like requiring a pilot). My favorite is the one that costs $150K and has a 25 mile range.
If a bunch of recreational pilots called for the elimination of half the FAA so that ultralights could rain down on Manhattan during the first big thunderstorm, they would not get a NYT profile. But computer programmers arriving at the same place from first principles get respect
Why can't Silicon Valley just build the public transit system of any fourth-tier Japanese city? Why does money that could pay for that a dozen times over get funneled into this shit, or firing Bezos into space?
But that's the state of innovation in America. Any fun technology targeted at individual wealthy users gets funded, often on promises of regulatory repeal. Meanwhile the most modest attempts at public works, no matter how much they improve quality of life, have no chance.

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More from @Pinboard

13 Jun
Glad to see this (and previous tweet) in data form. This is why there won't be a Great Slate in 2022. Elections down to the county level are now so strongly welded to national politics that the name to the left of the (R) or (D) on the ballot simply doesn't matter.
One way around this problem (the Justice Democrats approach) is to pick districts that you know will be solid D and try to move them in a preferred ideological direction in the primaries. But this strategy only reinforces the polarization.
I'm very proud of our support for one of the few exceptions to this rule, Jared Golden in Maine's second district. But if there's a way to transfer that to other parts of the country and break through the strict party identity, I have not found it, and money just can't change it.
Read 9 tweets
10 Jun
Clyburn is 80, Pelosi is 81, Hoyer is 81, Feinstein is 87, Leahy is 81, Biden is 78, Sanders is 79. The luminaries of the Democratic Party are so old they're not even boomers. Feinstein is clearly senile. But they intend to die in office, with the country.…
They should let wolves return to Congress, to more naturally thin the herd. Major Biden can handle the White House
Meanwhile in the Supreme Court, Stephen Breyer is 82, but with luck and good health can survive for another two years until Republicans retake the Senate.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
This article is an instructive example of the fantasyland I see some Democrats living in. It's written by a political foe of Lauren Boebert and interviews people who voted against her, in a city she lost, averring that Pueblo is in mid-backlash against her…
(Disclosure: I fundraised for Boebert's opponent). The real story of Pueblo is much more interesting—a deindustrialized Rust Belt city that somehow wound up at the foot of the Rockies, and where a large Latino population consistently votes with low turnout
There are cities and communities like this throughout red state America. Reading, PA is another one that comes to mind. Democrats have assumed that the Latino vote was just theirs for the taking, since Trump was so obviously anti-immigrant. But these places remain unmobilized
Read 9 tweets
9 Jun
Super tendentious framing in this tweet, implying that the other 17 intelligence agencies lean the other way. The body of this person's article clarifies that two agencies support the other hypothesis; and the remaining 15 are presumably ambivalent.
Another example of extremely tendentious framing in a Nature "explainer". You'd never guess from the wording of this statement that out of a half dozen major pandemics since modern laboratories have existed, one (1977 flu) is already known to be iatrogenic.
We need more honesty in our explainers, even if it comes at the price of muddying the picture being explained. Pandemic journalism has not served us well.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jun
Same energy as when I invited my friends over but realize I don't want to clean the house
I guess we're supposed to celebrate having a daughter of immigrants travel abroad to tell potential migrants to go fuck themselves in their own country, instead of a grandson of immigrants saying it from the White House.
That there's a functional legal process to immigrate to the US is a lie Americans tell themselves, but for Harris to go to Guatemala and lie like that is an insult. Guatemalans aren't even eligible for immigrant visas in 2022 because more than 50,000 came over the last 5 years. Image
Read 5 tweets
7 Jun
It was the perfect crime, right up to where the Feds got the private key and didn't even have to put on pants to go seize the crime money.
So to recap:

1. Ransomware crime team hacks Colonial Pipeline
2. Shortages due entirely to panic buying ripple across East Coast
3. FBI obtains secret crime key in unclear circumstances
4. FBI agent bites into donut and hits 'return' key, recovering significant chunk of ransom
I don't know who will star in this heist movie, but the soundtrack will be Yakety Sax
Read 6 tweets

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