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Manishka Windweaver

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Could the Hyperloop change the world even more than the Internet?

Elon Musk has given hints about a new form of transportation, a Hyperloop, that is a non-scheduled service which leaves when you arrive, is immune to the weather and never crashes. It goes twice as fast as the average airplane.

There are plenty of sites making their guesses about how it works, but I'm not interested in that. For the purposes of this conversation, let's assume that it works really well and it has been expanded to connect the 1000 most populous cities in the world. Let's assume that to get to the furthest reach of the network, it costs 8 hrs and $400.00.

It's been said that the internet erased all the borders and made earth a borderless society. Except that it didn't. Not in real life. We have a virtual reality that virtually erased the borders. This was because of the reduction or elimination of speed and cost of communication.

What if we had a new innovation that reduced the speed and cost of travel. The political borders, security checks at stations may still be there, but how would that change the way humans interact?

The tourism industry would boom. Weekend date in Paris? why not? It was a luxury reserved for the jetsetters back in the LAST millenium!

Tweeting and facebooking your support for social causes? not anymore! We'll be able to get together right in front of the collapsed Bangladeshi factory where Walmart gets its clothes made.

In his talk 'Global ethic vs, national interest, Gordon Brown starts off by showing us the iconic photographs that moved the world into action. He says "What we see unlocks the invisible ties and bonds of sympathy that bring us together to become a human community" How much more could seeing the world in real life do?

When I was 5, I read a Dr. Seuss book that mentioned Zanzibar. How fantastic would it be to take your 5 year old there?

What impacts do you think it could have on society? Politics? Religion? Economics?
Where would you go? Why?
How would you use this new tool to make an impact on earth?


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    Sep 4 2013: Thank you all for participating! I certainly agree with most of you that perhaps I overstated the impact of a better people-moving system. I still do think it's very important, but not as a rival to the internet. I'd call it the next step. Exchanging ideas is important, and interacting with each other is too. I find that we do that on the internet, but we still stick to our cliques in the idea way. We don't especially have to mind our manners with the protection of distance and anonymity. It is wonderful to interact purely on a mental level.

    I think this has led to an increase in knowledge and awareness in general. The next step? implement our new found commonalities with other humans. refine the blind rude printed slugfests with personal, (therefore riskier, therefore less extreme) interaction. A physical immersion into the world we've come to know intellectually. Complete the experience.

    The age of ideas evolved to the age of behavior. That is my hope anyway.

    Perhaps through the hyperloop. Elon has opened the plans up for the world to improve upon. Perhaps through what it evolves into, perhaps something better than that. Is it close? Will bureaucracy delay it? We shall see!

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