Lab d2: Energy and transportation

Energy and transportation

When we speculate about technology and material progress on OboxPlanet, we can take two approaches: huge or science fiction.

A more conservative approach involves envisioning how the current world would be transformed without state restrictions and applying these ideas to specific topics. Consider how private road providers might enhance traffic safety and alleviate congestion. Imagine collaboration between private train systems and trucking companies. Picture whether there would be an increase in canals for cargo transportation or advancements in the size and speed of airplanes. Engage in this imaginative exercise to develop scenarios—it’s an enjoyable thought experiment.

For the Sci-Fi approach we must first decide how many years of progress we want to place the OboxPlanet.

On Earth, numerous talented individuals work for the state, serving as politicians, in the military, central banks, regulatory bodies, and more. Civil servants formulate intricate regulations, which, when implemented in the private sector, demand significant resources and involve numerous legal professionals. On the Obox planet, all these skilled individuals are dedicated to productive and innovative challenges. A conservative estimate suggests that technological progress is occurring at twice the rate compared to Earth, resulting in a lead of 50 years in the last 50 years alone

If we take 50 years, we can wish for just about everything we can imagine and even then, we will miss many of the most important developments simply because we cannot know what is not known yet, we can only extend what we already know. The really lifechanging developments are usually missed. 

We can easily imagine that the OboxPlanet has flying cars, space travel and people living to 200 years old, happy and healthy. No futurologist, 50 years ago, could have imagined i-phones and the internet, what equivalent ideas can you come up with?

This chapter serves as an invitation for you to envision a Sci-fi-like future or contemplate how we might address today’s transportation and energy challenges without state restrictions. Both exercises are intended to inspire optimism. Explore the links in the imagination lounge below for more ideas.

Let us dream and speculate on a few conceivable realities we may find on the OboxPlanet.

Once again, and for sure, there is much more diversity and experimentation.

The Amish still stick to horse and buggies, on the OboxPlanet just like on Earth. They have developed a flourishing business model for short- and longtime visitors. Other communities like things slow, quiet, and safe while other like to experiment with new technologies like monorails, autonomous cars, underground train and tube systems. Competition has driven innovation, and everything is much cheaper, more efficient and of better quality. Digging a tunnel, for instance, is so cheap that tunnels dominate all traffic systems in cities and nature preserves.

Let’s take a closer look at air traffic. On earth, even small technological changes require extensive certification procedures by the Aviation Administrations. Air traffic control on Earth notoriously works with antiquated technical equipment. On the Oboxplanet, air traffic control has improved safety and efficiency to near perfection. Boarding procedures are quick and easy like in the old movies. There are no security checks because there is no threat of political terrorism.

In the energy sector, we compare nuclear power production. On the OboxPlanet, Nuclear technology is clean, cheap, and safe. One reason for that is that on the OboxPlanet, nuclear technology was never developed to produce destruction but to produce energy. There never was a Hiroshima-trauma which hampered research for decades. Nuclear electricity is so cheap that small amounts do not even get charged. It has widely replaced fossil fuels for all stationary energy consumers like heating and cooling., 

What experiences on Earth, past and present, help us understand life on the OboxPlanet?

When we understand the consequences of government restrictions, it becomes easy to understand why transportation, energy and other technological issues are decades ahead on the Obox planet.

State controlled societies, throughout the 20th century, have produced almost no innovations for the simple reason that planning needs a known goal and innovation is to a large degree the discovery of what is not known and therefore cannot be planned. And these states, notably the Sovjet-controlled countries and China, contained the majority of all humans on the planet. In other words: more than half of all humans did not participate in the thechnological innovation process for decades.

And even in the relatively freest western industrial countries, the states control roughly half of all the wealth produced. This means that politicians and bureaucrats decide what projects shall be supported. This was and is not only a waste of money, too often politics hinders innovation actively, see for example the chapter patents and copyrights.

The lack of initiative and innovation can be seen with another perspective. Look at state-run or state-controlled areas of the economy and coompare their change and development to the private sector. Look at schools two hundred years ago and today – little change. Look at public offices, hospitals or even public facilities like trash recycling and compare them to privately run outfits. It starts with the loveless architecture, the minimal upkeep and ends with the generally less interested st

Now it’s your turn:

What scifi scenario would you enjoy? And more down to earth: how do you think little problems would be solved on OboxPlanet? Congestion? Safety and traffic rules? Parking problems? Public transportation?

Things we could learn and implement from the OboxPlanet:

Deregulate and privatize everything.

Some references:

Classic Stossel: Regulation Overload with Peter Thiel

John. Stossel: Private vs. Public, Infrastructure Spending

John Stossel: Free Market Roads