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Wait But Why Interviews Elon

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Great blog and some interesting tid bits thrown in such as...

I had a chance to visit the Tesla design studio (no pictures allowed), where there were designers sketching car designs on computer screens and, on the other side of the room, full-size car models made of clay. An actual-size clay version of the upcoming Model 3 was surrounded by specialists sculpting it with tiny instruments and blades, shaving off fractions of a millimeter to examine the way light bounced off the curves. There was also a 3D printer that could quickly “print” out a shoe-sized 3D model of a sketched Tesla design so a designer could actually hold their design and look at it from different angles. Deliciously futuristic.

Delicious indeed :biggrin:

Although I thought there was a similar thread into which this ought be merged, I am delighted to find that Part II of the monograph ;) now is out.

If you really desire understanding, or - similarly - if there is something that you don't understand; have trouble comprehending - then my mantra is Go Back To First Principles. And Tim Urban consistently does as fine a job at doing just that as anyone I ever have encountered. He's not perfect, thank goodness, but he's very, very good.
And now back to the new blog entry. I'm up to Henry Ford and I think that puts me only about one-third the way through.
It's very long - but a great read.

I mean, I didn't learn anything, but I have been following these topics for a long time (the week after my son was born, Jan 1990, is when I started thinking about electric cars, for example). And there are a few minor points where he oversimplified something, left out an important point, glossed something over, etc. But then I've never read (and certainly never written) anything this long and complicated that didn't do at least some of that. Overall, I'm impressed with what he put together and how well he explains things.

It really sounds like an echo of my own learning process, and why I moved from buying sub-$20k economy gas cars to ~$100k Teslas. I didn't need the cars, I didn't want to spend the money, the risks were large when I made my purchases (Tesla was very nearly out of cash both times) - but I really support the mission. Tesla is not perfect; like any other automaker, they have made some strategic and many tactical errors along the way. But Urban explains well why their mission - so different than the other automakers' - is important.
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What a great article. Everyone in the world should have to read this. Problem is, I can't think of anyone (not one person) in my circle of friends and/or family who would even remotely be interested in reading this. Most people don't care and it's a shame.

Here's a highlight from part 2:

The battle going on isn’t about gas cars vs. electric cars. That one’s already decided. This is a war about time. Oil companies will try to slow things down, and they may succeed—but they’re not winning this one. I just don’t see how they could. A company that makes lantern fuel can stay strong for a while by shielding the public from understanding what a light bulb is, but eventually, people will figure it out and lanterns will be out of business, bringing the lantern fuel company down with it. Greasy hoods are old, noisy-acceleration is old, overheating engines are old, oil changes are old, and it won’t be long before everyone realizes that. Driving a gas car is like littering on a camping trail, smoking on an airplane, and throwing a big stack of paper in the trash, and it’s just a matter of time until public disgust catches up to it. A fun field trip in 2050 will be taking your grandkid to see an old 20th-century gas station and explaining how it worked.
Sorry, re-reading myself, I think I should have been more … subtle. ;-)

It is indeed a particularly interesting blog post. I have been following Wait but why for a few month now, and I am always waiting for the next post !
As noted in the earlier thread more people need to pay attention to this story. The diffusion of this information throughout society is slow absent some type of discontinuity that immediately focuses everyone's attention. It would be nice if we could avoid that.
The biggest revelation is that... combustion is just reverse photosynthesis. In plain english, what we (as a collective species) and in our everyday activities are blowing something up, we need to make sure our replacement rate is the same as destruction rate to make sure that we can continue to have things to blow up. It's self preservation and all of this is a moot point if there is nothing left.

That should be simple enough to understand but many do not... and for those who do may not want to read a very long blog post.