Blog Comments

  1. PeterL's Avatar
    Yes, ignorance is a problem there, but horses can be gotten to do things by receiving good treatment, but many people have a problem doing that.

    Actually, I don't think that the power sources for transportation would suffice for the present population.
  2. Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL
    Without motorized vehicles, there would be huge numbers of horses dragging freight and people around, and many of the drivers, etc. would abuse the animals.
    Yes, all of them, really. To make a horse go you have to show it who's boss, which unfortunately means whipping it or kicking it--with or without spurs. But enslaving horses is better than enslaving people to carry other people around on litters. And ask any farmer if he wants to go back to plowing fields with teams of animals. But most people are ignorant about the past, so technology becomes the bad guy.
  3. PeterL's Avatar
    Alternative history is a sub-genre of science fiction, and there is some great stuff in there, but eliminating personal transportation isn't something that has been done, because it would create so many other problems.

    And I just thought of one of the ways in which motorized transportation has been very good. Without motorized vehicles, there would be huge numbers of horses dragging freight and people around, and many of the drivers, etc. would abuse the animals.
  4. Pompey Bum's Avatar
    I agree. And It's a useless thing to speculate about besides. An engine that runs on flammable and combustible toxic waste (which itself produces toxic waste), to be used in a vehicle that responsible for far greater mortality rates than most diseases (at least in the West), would very likely be prohibited today. But today was made by that engine--the concept of place, the pattern of settlement, the reachability of employment, the greater availability of goods, asphalt roads and highways, patterns of crime and law enforcement, the decline (yes, decline) in casual drinking in comparison to previous centuries...Today is not yesterday. Not even close.

    And that's the real point. Speculative history is the same thing as historical fiction. The world got the internal combustion engine when it did, and "knowing how way leads to way" there's nothing we can do about it now--there's no going back nor should there be. And as far as the historical dangers of transportation you mention go, yes, there are a lot of bones on the bottom of that sea. Hand-wringing about this will get us nowhere. We need to go forward. Even a Model T knew that.