Are big dreams like colonizing Mars or traveling between LA and SF in 35 minutes actually possible in the 20's?
Elon Musk and the pioneers of trains, planes and automobiles before him were smiled at as dreamers when the public first got wind of their literally unbelievable vision.
Apollo was considered by most Americans to be a waste of money and extravagantly dangerous even after it succeeded. Once Nixon discovered it wasn't polling even 50% he shut it down rather than allow Apollo to achieve boots on Mars in 1982 as NASA had planned. People didn't much cotton to passenger airlines or cars for several decades after introduction because of similar reasons.
What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches? - The Quarterly Review, England (March 1825)
A new source of power... called gasoline has been produced by a Boston engineer. Instead of burning the fuel under a boiler, it is exploded inside the cylinder of an engine. The dangers are obvious. Stores of gasoline in the hands of people interested primarily in profit would constitute a fire and explosive hazard of the first rank. Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action even if the military and economic implications were not so overwhelming... [T]he cost of producing [gasoline] is far beyond the financial capacity of private industry... In addition the development of this new power may displace the use of horses, which would wreck our agriculture. - U. S. Congressional Record, 1875.
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. - Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist
I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years. Two years later we ourselves made flights. This demonstration of my impotence as a prophet gave me such a shock that ever since I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions. - Wilbur Wright (1867-1912)
To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth--all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances. - Lee deForest (1873-1961) (American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube.) Feb 25, 1957.
Space travel is utter bilge. - Dr. Richard van der Reit Wooley, Astronomer Royal, space advisor to the British government, 1956. (Sputnik orbited the earth the following year.)
Look, if a few fools think that removing hours off the transit time between major American cities or enabling our species to become interplanetary has significant merit, and are even crazy enough to think that the silly Pollyanna who reinvented the yellow pages (zip2), financial transactions (payal), solar power for the masses (solar city), electric cars (tesla), and rockets (spacex) might be able to figure out how, call me crazy.
And Musk isn't the only one credibly working towards these goals whose development isn't even a rounding error in the global economy...Can we agree that it's high time we dream and work towards a future that blows away the scarcities and constraints of the present, creates a new frontier with new technology for all humanity, and inspires our youth as we once did?
Or are we having too much fun bitching and fighting over the same old pie?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloophttp://www.weather.com/news/science/space/spacex-elon-musk-humans-mars-20140620