The Speculist: I think there'd be traffic...


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I think there'd be traffic...

I agree with Glenn Reynolds about 95% of the time. This falls in the other 5%:

AN UNDERGROUND TUNNEL BETWEEN RUSSIA AND ALASKA? Now there's an engineering project for you. Hard to believe there'd be sufficient traffic to justify it, but . . . .

Perhaps Glenn's being sarcastic and I'm not picking up on it, but I would imagine that a solitary land gateway - offering road, rail, and pipeline connections - between four continents could find some traffic.

I wouldn't start calling this "Viktor Razbegin's Folly."

UPDATE (from Phil):

More on the Hemespheric Highway over on L2si. If nothing else, this new tunnel will give us a distinct advantage over one of Google Maps' most (in)famous sets of driving directions.

UPDATE (from Stephen):

Make that five continents. It would be possible to drive to Africa too.


Glenn Reynolds responds:

Problem is, it's a long way from anywhere. It's nice to connect Siberia and Alaska -- making it, as Phil Bowermaster notes, possible to drive from Paris, Texas to Paris, France. But Alaska itself is a long way from anywhere, and there aren't even rail and road connections to the Bering Strait areas where the tunnel would go.

It's certainly no Sunday afternoon drive. But the value of connecting the new and old worlds would be very important for business. That industrial traffic would be so important that I would speculate a "field of dreams" effect on the rest of the needed infrastructure - build the tunnel, and it will come.


Does the fact that you agree with Glenn Reynolds 95% of the time mean that the Speculists are libertarians? Not being a smartass here - I'm genuinely curious.


I can't speak for Phil, but I do have some admiration for libertarian philosophy, if not the political party. I don't care to throw my vote away to a third party.

Well, I agree with Stephen somewhere between 63% of the time and 97.8% of the time. Interestingly, within that 5% of the time that Stephen disagrees with Glenn, I actually agree with Glenn about 82% of the time. Unless the subject is music, in which case I agree with Stephen about 74% of the time and with Glenn about 52% of the time.

I view politics the way a lot of my friends view religion -- it's mostly a lot of baggage from the past that doesn't do a lot to make people smarter or to accommodate the way the world is or should be.

Many of our ideas about government are grounded in the ancient past or the industrial age. We don't live in either of those eras. I think libertarianism is a great political philosophy...for the 18th century. Communism is an idea born in the 19th century, tested in the 20th, and pretty much gone in the early 21st. Interestingly, some of its foundational ideas -- namely, the means of production passing into the hands of the workers -- are finally happening now, though perhaps not in the way that Marx imagined.

All of that is a long way of saying that I reject most political labels. I believe fervently in individual liberty and individual responsibility. I think technology can empower individuals to be free in ways never before possible. However, I expect the future to be a much more collectivist affair than my libertarian friends will be comfortable with. A lot of intellectual and even physical property is likely to go Open Source. But this won't matter, since our current conceptions of property are based on scarcity -- which I don't think will be a factor in the future.

Important details left out of Bering tunnel report: It's being designed for the use of dogsleds and Siberian riendeer drives to the railhead at Fairbanks.

a dogsled tunnel? really?

If I can choose the resource allocation, I opt for the space elevator over the Alaska-Siberian dogsled tunnel.

Ideally I'd like to see cheap power beaming in from space to enable local production of goods than to haul 'stuff' halfway around the world.

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