Podcast 308

Cars. A prominent British auto collector said recently the driverless car will have a catastrophic impact on the auto industry, sooner than you think. Recently a few stories about the twentieth century romance with the automobile may have caught your eye. The son of a collector in France, who’s vintage Ferrari’s, Spyder’s, and Maserati’s were forgotten for decades, and an auto dealer in Pierce, Nebraska who saved his unsold inventory, resulting in a stunning collection of hardly driven Chevy cars and trucks from the 1930’s onward. Nothing says twentieth century like the car. From the Model T and Al Capone’s 16 cylinder Cadillac to the muscle cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s. This is not a technical automotive discussion, more a talk about how automotive technology conveyed independence and freedom for the first Model T owners, all the way up to the baby boom generation. For many, the car IS the American Dream. With student loan debt averaging around 8 thousand dollars, credit card debt and rents increasing, today’s young adults struggle to afford a car, and many don’t want one anyway. What conveys freedom today? The smart phone and the technology and communication it brings. While many are nostalgic for an easier time – cruising the Dairy Queen or main street on a Friday night – disruptive changes technology brings can be frustrating and frightening … but they can also inspire. Today’s new technology actually does convey independence and freedom in ways Henry Ford couldn’t imagine. Today’s industrialists in Silicon Valley and Seattle, worry about artificial intelligence; smart machines some believe threaten humanity. Meanwhile, Bill Gates and those following in his footsteps are rushing to create autonomous software and machines that can do everything from pick fruit to work as medical orderlies. There is a new world coming, and its coming fast. Many of our social institutions were created for the twentieth century world, which will soon be left in the dust, and it doesn’t seem like we’re ready to accommodate new ideas like the Driverless Car, autonomous machines, robotics and many other innovations. What happened to the romance of the open road, and the Plymouth Road Runner? It got stepped on by an iPhone. Now what? (Editor’s Note: I like this podcast because it also includes a lot of memories from my childhood, and some great car songs.) Sponsored by My Complete Basement Systems, and Depotstar

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