Re: TRANSPORTATION: Replacing Cars with Shuttles
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:57:39 EST

In a message dated 98-11-17 11:33:20 EST, Peter C. McCluskey writes:

> ( writes:
> >Do such suits pose a cost to automakers? Of course. And I think most pe=
> >ople
> >think they should. One only has two alternatives when approaching produc=
> >t
> >safety: Private suits and central government regulation. Which is more
> Wrong. Reputation is at least as valuable a mechanism as those two.

Good point, Peter. In the example of autombiles, there's a wealth of reputation information available through the "car press" and sources such as Consumer Reports. However, unfortunately, the former tend to be very selective in their reporting (auto journalists like to drive and report on GOOD cars, and they do take advertising revenues from manufacturers) and the CR approach tends to be broad but not necessarily deep. Likewise reputation information from acquaintances and friends tends to be unsystematic. Frankly, as far as safety issues go (the original question), the adversarial system tends to be well-focused and designed to allow a full airing of both sides' evidence.

> Your basic point that lawsuits don't stop large innovations is correct -
> irresponsible lawsuits are almost always aimed at the deep pockets of
> industries that have already proven successfull, not at the kind of
> that start new industries.

That's right, but there aren't many small start-ups in the automobile industry.

 	Greg Burch     <>----<>
	   Attorney  :::  Director, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
	           "Good ideas are not adopted automatically.  They must
	              be driven into practice with courageous impatience." 
                                    -- Admiral Hyman Rickover