Re: NEWS: Supersonic failure?

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 20:47:21 MDT

At 11:36 PM 4/23/01 +0100, J Corbally wrote:

>>Keep on packing your paperbacks when you are taking a long-haul flight
>>because supersonic planes are never going to take off.

>Guess I'll have to get that copy of "The Spike"

It won't help. THE SPIKE (2001 edition) is a substantial hard cover. :)

I suspect the spikish viewpoint would not be all that surprised if
commercial super- or hypersonic planes never make it. My general argument
is that singularity technology depends on the substrates being able to get
progressively smaller and/faster and/or cheaper. We don't have cities on
the moon for the same sort of reason we don't drive around in hypersonic
Porches the size of matchboxes, and I don't think we should expect to see
commercial aircraft changing radically any time soon. They're boxes for
moving humans around safely and reasonably cheaply. What *will* change, as
it has already, is replacement of much travel by virtual presence at the
speed of light. But I don't think that will kill face-to-face jumps around
the world either, or ever-growing tourism; I do kinda expect to see the
re-emergence of slow, incredibly luxurious lighter-than-air craft, e.g.,
though, the sort of thing Bucky Fuller imagined 30 or more years ago (but
this time built out of buckminsterfullerene).

Damien Broderick

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