Technologic transitions (was: does lack of type declarations make Python unsafe?)
In article <3EEDDA77.E9246F25@engcorp.com>,
Peter Hansen <email@example.com> wrote:
>No roads? What planet do you live on? Where did the horses trot, and
>the wagons roll, and people walk? On the sidewalks, when they were just
>lone parallel strips of pavement running between the cities? Of
>*course* there were roads! In fact, it was the previous generation
>of transportation which *made* the roads, deliberately or not, and
>cars were just an innovative way to take advantage of them.
>Let's see: use cases for early automobiles: they didn't get tired,
>you didn't have to smell their dirty asses as you trotted along,
>they could go marginally faster (even at the early stage), on
>average if not in "burst mode", probably cheaper at that point too.
>Any idea what it cost to maintain a horse and buggy in the city
>when cars came out?
The accounting is more interesting than you might suspect.
I'll summarize by saying that a LOT of the horse->car
transition had to do with factors--often "social"--other
than the obvious technical ones.
Early automobiles were hilariously unreliable. The rubber
tires alone--oy! Also, it might surprise you how bad roads
were, at least intercity ones, in the US, even until World
War II. To paraphrase one experienced friend, "They'd shake
modern cars to pieces on the first trip [expletives deleted]."
Is there a good newsgroup for engineering history?
Cameron Laird <Cameron@Lairds.com>
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