Ok, I have a friend who jumps all over me on any e-mail typo. He made
the big mistake of sending me a question about what new features the
2070 model MX-5 has.
There is no way I am letting this go, but I need help with ideas.
Asuuming that Mazda is still producing our beloved roadster 64 years
from now, what sort of new features would you expect them to have added
in the year 2070? :-)
Geez Pat, I hardly know where to start.
One thing I can virtually guarantee will be hands-free auto-hover, giving
it a substantial leg up on the more manual competition.
Assuming it's hydrogen powered, it might have that exciting new feature
where trace amounts of this fuel are extracted from the atmosphere as you
fly along. What could be more satisfying than a free fill-up?
Somewhat less efficient process should you choose to drive. Of course
driving entails other challenges as you might expect being on the ground
among the land-bound riff raff, and that's only if you've been trained in
that arcane practice.
Full environmental controls which sense minute changes in skin temperature
and respiratory rate of each occupant directing the perfect conditioned
and oxygen enriched air flow right where it's needed.
Not new, but still of great value is the full suite of accident avoidance
sensors and devices. Between the direct link to the GPS system and the
LASER scanning and ranging monitors tied right into the propulsion and
guidance sub-systems making it actually impossible to collide or crash,
even if you try!
Something else that's been out for quite a while, but only on the better
engineered vehicles is nearly organic homeostasis and self-repair. A
matrix of sensors and active probes feeding into the on-board quantum
computer detects the smallest degradation and risk of failure, invoking
either a corrective nano-bot to restore equilibrium, or to effect repair.
One interesting twist on the above is rumored to be introduced on the 2071
models - perpetual updating. Sure these vehicles will cost substantially
more, should they actually reach market, but it's a one-time purchase.
The absolutely cutting-edge nanotechnology will be capable of implementing
not only adjustments that would otherwise have required a recall, but will
actually be able to "re-manufacture" the car on the fly to continuously
provide all current features.
For the first time you'll be able to pass your Miata along to offspring or
purchasers with their confidence that what they are receiving will be
identical to what's in the showroom at the very moment.
All the expected entertainment and creature-comfort features that are
options on lesser vehicles are standard on this Mazda, the pride of China:
Interfacing with the Global Entertainment Enterprise - World Integrative
Zone, also known as, that's right, GEE-WIZ. All the music and holorama
spectacles you could hope to find, including the collaborative and
interactive world-wide-jam network. Beauty here is you could be flying
along (another reason to not bother with driving) and plug your interface
controller into the collaboration console and suddenly find yourself
engaged in microtonal explorations with a stranger in the Chinese
Hemisphere. How cool is that?
Full food synthesis capability, but not just those lifeless supplement
cubes, but actual organic meals including synfruit, synveggies, synmeats,
and a rich choice of beverages including the most popular psychotropic
and stimulicious proto-fluids to replenish while they refresh, thank
Even though the worst of the terrorism that plagued the last seven
decades has finally been brought under control through the repentant
George WHW Bush, president of the Non-Chinese Hemisphere and his War on
the War on Terror along with the aggressive genetic re-engineering and
extensive lacing of the food and water supply with all manner of
controlling and reformative medicaments, this new beauty is fully
equipped with the latest in defensive and offensive weaponry. Should
something even as crude as a missile be fired in your direction, it would
be detected virtually at launch and immediately destroyed by a
high-energy particle beam, followed by a close-radius painting of the
launch area with energetic neutrons and helium nuclei - no threat from
that area again.
Finally, and this rumor is truly treading the edge of fantasy and folly,
some believe Mazda has finally perfected the Flux Capacitor after
digitally enhancing the entire series of Back To The Future, cloning
Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, and pouring billions of credits
into the two MIT research centers - Midway Institute of Technology and
Manila Institute of Technology. Thankfully, the Mr. Fusion power supply
wasn't needed due to the impressive advances in hydrogen and enhanced
I mean, how would you like to beam into your beloved Mazda Miata MX-5243,
strap on the brain-wave interface headband, think her into a lazy banked
turn at 50,000 feet, kick in the Flux Capacitor and find yourself in the
year 2007? Imagine, the streets are maintained, many folks - rich and
poor alike are still living on the ground, Miatas of that time running on
gasoline I believe they called it, before the earth's petroleum reserves
were depleted, had to be driven as they so quaintly characterized it, had
a TOP speed of 130 miles per hour, or roughly the stall velocity of your
MX-5243, those awful collisions and crashes, oh the humanity!. But just
picture the look on the faces of these primitives as they caught sight of
your mind-boggling mechanical perfection. A caution however, they were
quite savage in those days, led by and under the influence of power
hungry and ignorant leadership. Should they get their greasy hands on
you, even for a moment, you might never get back to the future...
Frank, I'm so impressed I may go back and read every post you've ever
written! Damn man, seriously, are you a writer or something? You haven't
been watching enough TV cause your creativity is extremely active! I suspect
intelligence on multiple levels here. Pat is going to be blown away!
Nice work, I'm glad I didn't try my hand at that one before you got a hold
I am not worthy..........
Thanks Chris for the kind reaction - that's the ONLY nice thing anyone's
said to me today!
No, I'm not a writer, at least only inadvertently, but if you look closely
you'll see the semi-plausible speculation of a science teacher. I'm not
sure why I was so engaged by PWS's challenge but it is an interesting
exercise. The practical benefit is that this is one way to start the
process of developing either new technology or new capabilities and uses
of existing technology.
To do the job right you'd have to give some serious thought both to what
might be developed in that time frame from current research and
engineering, and what might come along either out of the blue or as spun
off of current trends, and then place that in some prediction of how the
world might be at that time.
Actually, I could have gone on and on. I think what I wrote just
scratched the surface, though several things were probably too extreme
even given the passage of 64 years. A different approach based upon more
controlled development of present vehicles might have ultimately been more
interesting and certainly more practical.
Looking forward to any other takes on this scenario.
Ad hoc signature for 10/9:
Tomorrow the 60 degree pool gets closed for the season here in WNY -
always tough and emblematic of nature's victory over man, and in the VERY
near future, after Tuesday's final oil change my beloved 2002 black/tan LS
gets tucked into the garage and replaced by a rapidly aging 1996 Jeep
Grand Cherokee - running close to one-half the mileage and one-hundredth
the fun as the roadster - effectively turning a gallon of gas as powers
the MX-5 to nearly 30 miles and selling for $2.50 per gallon into the
Jeep's 15 miles per gallon at an equivalent cost of $5.00! Oh the pain...
On Sun, 08 Oct 2006 23:44:58 -0500, Chris D'Agnolo wrote:
I have to completely agree with Chris, I am floored and I nominate this
"best response ever to a silly question on r.a.m.m.".
A science teacher with excellent writing skills sounds like a sc-fi
writer waiting to happen.
Since most sci-fi written today is horrible, imo, you would have another
edge. One exception is Greg Bear.
Most of the really good sci-fi was written in the '50's and '60's,
though it can be painful to read about people aboard spacecraft using
tape drives and I recently re-read "Stranger in a Strange Land", where
only one phone call could be placed from a house at a time.
Robert Heinlein couldn't imagine more than one land line, much less
mobile phones that almost everyone carries. They had developed
hovercraft and manned missions to Mars, but had not quite figured out
how to run two or more landlines into a very wealthy person's house. The
statement was, "I can't make the call, boss, you are on the phone". :-)
Seriously, your post had a Douglas Adams quality to it, humorous yet
informative. I would definitely give it a try if I had that combination
of knowledge and ability.
It will run on frijoleum, currently the most powerful fuel known to
man. There will be a passage built into the seat that will direct the
gas directly to the intake, raising the 1.6 to around 3,500 hp @
2,500rpm. The range of the vehicle will depend entirely on the
quantity of refried beans (frijoles) eaten before the trip....
On Tue, 10 Oct 2006 21:54:54 -0500, Chris D'Agnolo wrote:
Candy that melts in your mouth, not in the console bin...
Not tonight my friend. I've been doing database programming for hours and
am about to deliver the product by e-mail before spending a little
quality time with my guitar and eventually crawling off to bed.
Just went out to the garage to grab some Altoids out of my Miata's
console bin, and there she was - gleaming in the soft overhead light as if
radiant with sweat, a bit intoxicated from the BMW synthetic 10W50 I
plied her with this afternoon, top seductively down almost in mockery of
the gathering gloom just outside her sanctuary, seats beckoning "come sit
on me, take me for a ride master..."
Hey wait...bad bad combination here of geekly fatique and a dirty mind.
Factor in the heartbreak over closing my pool yesterday and the impending
seasonal sheltering of my beloved ride, marking the end of a spring and
summer of faithful companionship and unencumbered fun, and I just might
say something I'll regret.
She was there for me Chris. Always there. Never asking more than to be
enjoyed. Respect, pretense or genuine, didn't even matter. All she cared
about was how much pleasure she could bring. If she got off in the
process, all the better, but her joy was in the giving.
And I flogged her Chris. Flogged her mercilessly. Not even a knock or
ping. Even when I filled her up with that lousy house brand. I'm still
ashamed when I think about that 87 octane swill. Been trying to make it
up to her with the good stuff, 93 freaking octane, last two fills. You
know what that stuff costs Chris? Wouldn't be having too much fun with
one arm and one leg now would I?
But none of that mattered Chris. She was always there for me. Always
there. For me, and me alone. If she had been a dog she'd have wagged her
tail pipe whenever I walked into the garage. If she had been a cat she'd
have leaked some of her precious fluids on my feet.
No, I never took her for granted. Not once. But I've got to tell you
Chris that the times we could have gone somewhere, or gone a little
further, or maybe a little faster - well, they'll haunt me all winter
long. There'll be those dark and heavy nights when I'll awaken drenched
in sweat from a dream of sun and wind and twisting roads and motion,
breathtaking motion...and her. And if I drag myself to the back window
hoping to catch just a glimpse all I'll see is that damned Jeep and
falling snow, and the reality of slow crawls to work and back will jar me
back to a reality I'd rather not inhabit.
There will be a blueish glow from the fusion reactor in the front, evident
through the grille.
The fusion engine will be driving the rear wheels through a four speed
transmission brought back by popular demand of drivers finding it difficult
to shift 51 times going from 0 to 100 in 1.5 seconds.
The wheel-thread surfaces will use nano-activators in them to establish and
reversibly peel away mechano-chemical bonds with a dry road surface, but
commercially viable systems can achieve no more that 7 to 9 g of mean
adhesion on a good surface. Worse, on a wet surface, adhesion will plunge to a
precariously low 2 g or less, as the nano-activators are still limited in
creating the needed active-control micro-pressures and viscous shear stresses
to generate traction on submicron road roughness passing by at 1500-2000 mph.
It is expected to take at least 3 to 5 more years before in-thread processors
reach the computational speed to pro-actively resolve every submicron roughness
feature, rather than sampling them statistically. Until then, the Miata speed
limiter will activate at subsonic speeds on wet roads.
Needless to say, the thread is magnetically suspended using superconducting
magnets. Classical "tires" are still allowed at nostalgic events, when
conducted on bicycle paths, but just image a sidewall rolling over when you
are trying to take a sharp curve at, say, Mach 1.5.
A protective shroud will automatically be raised when you reach transonic
speeds on the Intersonics, since the greater air penetration into the cabin
may yank off your oxygen mask. This is another good reason for Miatas to
stay off the Intersonics and leave them to SUV drivers. As is the fact
that a SUV which is aerodynamically lifted off the road because of its
excessive frontal area may come crashing back down on a Miata.
And you don't need the Intersonics anyway, since Miatas come (optionally)
with a teleportation device to transport the Miata instantaneously from
the end of a mountain pass to the start of the next mountain pass.
Of course, all Miatas come for safety reasons with a heads-up, through-mountain
display. Note however that this is not really X-ray vision through the mountain
as many unsophisticated people believe. The info of what is beyond the curve
comes from satellite data superimposed by the windscreen on the image of the
mountain side. Since the total amount of info that can be pushed out of
satellites is severely limited, a well known problem, the info of the other side
of the mountain wall will have been buffered and may be microseconds out of
date. And it will have been severely compressed, making it hard to distinguish
between a deadly 18-wheeler, a nasty motorcycle, or a harmless pedestrian.
The driver should probably assume the worst.
There is a cheat mode to warn of gravel or sand in the middle of the curve,
but this is not considered fair play by Miata aficionados. Also the satellite
data at that level of detail are likely to be hours out of date; the gravel
may well be gone by the time you get there.
All Miatas come with an antigrav button for when the driver comes in too hot
into that mountain hairpin. But the energy requirements for anti-grav are
astronomical, and the Miata driver has only a few milliseconds to decide
whether he wants to spend the rest of his life as a miserable pauper or just
end it all right now.
Renegade satellites operated by China are programmed to recognized US police
and give proximity warnings, but possession of receivers for those satellites
is illegal in most states. Also, most police cars jam these signals; however,
it is legal to detect this *jamming* of signals, and most Miata owners use it to
detect the proximity of police patrols.
At constant dollars, the Miata would be much cheaper than 80 years ago, when it
was first introduced, except for the magnetic levitation devices required to
provide a virtual shelf for holding cups anywhere along the length of the
dashboard. Do not drop a screwdriver on the virtual shelf, though, since
the magnetic field may pull the shift and manual brake handle sharply forwards
and upwards. Accidents caused by this abuse are not covered by warranty.
Miatas will still come in many colors, but there will be a polluter-fee for
nonwhite Miatas, as the additional energy required to make them keep up
with other traffic adds significant greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Adding a lot of chrome to your white Miata is a further way you can be
Leon van Dommelen :) Bess, the Miata :) Bozo, the Miata :)
On Wed, 11 Oct 2006 11:53:28 +0000, Leon van Dommelen wrote:
Good stuff Leon. A serious thought experiment on this topic has genuine
merit, though it was fun bouncing off the topic for a bit there.
Fusion should be happening controllably, reliably, cleanly, and cheaply by
then, and what can be done with that amount of energy is going to be
More nanotechnology in tire design for sure. We have no concept of
traction if all we know is rubber and asphalt.
Mag-lev and practical superconducting applications should be well within
technology of that time so the nanotech tires would just be a passing
Heads up display absolutely, or maybe something unimaginably exotic at
this time but conceivable given current understanding and technology -
mental imaging. Direct input into brain centers of perception and
awareness would both overcome the dangerous distractions of controlling a
vehicle moving at high velocity in crowded lanes, and also allow
indulgence in those pleasurable distractions knowing you're still coupled
to environmental concerns.
Spatial awareness enhancement through far broader views afforded by
satellites and databases and sensors and data processing, which if coupled
by accident avoidance technology that should be completely foolproof by
then may cause the word "accident" to drop out of common usage. Redundant
systems at both ends would also banish "failure" at least from concern.
Pollution won't even be an issue. There should be no step in the energy
production process that results in any harm to the environment. However,
what will be left of the environment well before those accomplishments
occur is an open question - at least I pray it's open...
p.s. Oh yes, I used to love white cars and the ones I owned are still my
favorites, but my heart has turned black, black and tan!
Well, you know, experts trying to forecast the future for much less than
65 years, at times when progress was much slower, has been a great cause of
mirth when the forecasts where reread at the designated time. So one might
as well have some fun right now. :)
Fusion has always been interesting. It has been progressing at a glacial
pace, but nothing has stopped it. As far as I know, we are now inching
from working systems to useable systems.
Will they be able to predict the future 65 years in advance? :)
Some people have them in Florida. I assume they must have a reason. ;)
Leon van Dommelen :) Bess, the Miata :) Bozo, the Miata :)
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