Where Is My Flying Car?: A Memoir of Future Past
Most of the book is framed around the titular flying car. There are tons of ch ...more
But this book attributes the absence of that industry to a broad set of problems that are keeping us poor. J. Storrs Hall (aka Josh) looks at the post-1970 slowdown in innovation that Cowen describes in The Great Stagnation. The two books agree on many symptoms, but describe the causes differently: where Cowen says we ate the low hanging fruit, Josh sa ...more
In this self-published, Kindle-only book (just $4.12 CAD! Apparently it's $π USD) J. Storrs Hall digs deeply into the question of why we don't have flying cars, which is ostensibly the focus. However I think the back half of the title "A Memoir of Future Past" is actually the focus: why isn't the future (i.e., the present) as awesome as we thought it would be? Why don't we have cheap, near-infinite clean energy? Why are healthcar ...more
Here, Dr. J. Storrs Hall explores why we don’t yet have flying cars and uses the answers he finds as launching off points for a broader discussion on the causes of The Great Stagnation that started in the late 1960s.
Broadly speaking this is a book about how the future could be even more glorious than what was envisioned in the 1960s, how we lost ou ...more
I would consider this an antidote to Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us Or the Environment Not a perfect book, but sufficiently well argumented one. For example Hall reversed the Jevons Paradox for me. Paradox being in the fact that if something (like a car engine) becomes more ...more
I'm familiar with Tyler Cow ...more
Well, I finally got around to finishing this book, and it's actually fantastic if you can slog through it. This is the first book I've seen in a long time that has any coherent view of what the future should be, that isn't just that our phones will get faster and our cameras will have more megapixels. It's inspiring as hell, though not without flaws.
Started off great, but it meanders aggressively and was unable to maintain the author's or my attention. His claim i ...more
However, the book covers this topic almost in passing, offering pretty simplistic (though totally fair) assessments of why the stagnation occurred.
Instead, a very sizable portion of this book is dedicated to the literal discussion of "Where is my flying car?" From the size and efficiency of electric battery's, to engine horsepower and weight, t ...more
Turns out to answer where is my flying car we need to dive deep into the progress studies, nuclear, avionics, civil engineering, nanotechnology, history and so much more.
This book is a perfect example of why I love to read. Very smart author spends 10 years researching multiple domains and I can just read the summary ...more
At times it was therefore harder for me to get through the book. I'm afraid I also have to disagree with the author on some topics like nuclear energy. Sure it’s an exciting power source but what to do with the waste? He doesn’t really answer that.
Overall I can recommend this book to people interested in science and science fiction. ...more
I'm not sure I'd want to live in a city like it's painted in the book though—the sound of thousands of flying machines would be ear-deafening. ...more
Over the first few chapters, we learn that we could build flying cars today with current technology, but power and desig ...more
[Imported automatically from my blog. Some formatting there may not have translated here.]
The disappointing answer to the book's title: still workin' on it.
But since I started reading the book a few days ago, I've kept my eye peeled for news. And it's pretty easy to find. A couple weeks ago, there was a Christopher Mims column in the WSJ: The Biggest Problem With Flying Cars Is on the Ground. (I.e., where are they going to land?)
But perhaps more sobering, from Reason's wonderful Katherine M...more
For a ...more
On the flying car question, it turns out, we could technically have flying cars today within the affordability of many people and within a couple decades most people. It’s technically feasible. And it would be very ...more
No, really. Read the reviews linked above instead.
The book is hard to summarize, and it's organization could really use some work, but I really appreciated the ideas. The Stripe Press edition is more streamlined than the original. Some of the arguments against climate change activists should ...more
- There is no fundamental reason why we can’t have flying cars, nanotechnology, nuclear batteries, floating cities, robots, and a whole host of futuristic technologies
- Life would be awesome if we had these things
- We don’t have them because technological progress is being strangl ...more
Blade Runner was set 2019; despite its bleakness, it still figured androids indistinguishable from humans are exploited to work on space colonies. Where's all of this now.
The engineering and scientific analysis is fairly interesting; u ...more
The book consists of three parts. It starts with an overview of what SF writers and futurologists in the 50s thought we would have by now (hence the flying car in the title). It continuous with the second part that describes today's status and why we don't have certain things that we were promised (such as that flying car on the cover) And finally it ends up with what's ahead for the future, should we choose to go the route that Hall wa ...more
The book does go into some long and meandering tangents about aeronautic and half-lives of different fissionable elements that seem extraneous but are both essential to making the authors argument and fascinating in ...more