The Ghosts that Haunt Engineering Visionaries

  • The Gibraltar Bridge
  • The Freedom Ship
  • Tokyo Millennium Tower

Didn’t Need the Future to Tell you That

Let’s be direct — it should have been obvious to all of us at the time that all of these projects were doomed to be non-starters. That should have been obvious to those in the class in discussions about them. It should have been obvious to all others reading news stories about these things at the time. It should have been obvious to any student writing a paper about one of them.

The Right Kind of Idea

The best kind of idea is one that actually can be built, but still sounds like it is impossible. Even more important, the challenges are components that have dependencies that other parallel technologies will open up.

Can Case Studies be Any Good?

I argue, yes. We need to be able to look at Mars One and realize “this will never happen”, but we also need to be able to do this for all the right reasons. At least, I think I can articulate the problem with that succinctly: the maximum revenue stream from their funding model was woefully insufficient for the costs of operation. Nonetheless, many other schemes for colonization of Mars out there are, in fact, viable.

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Alan

Alan

Obligatory analytical writing, online participation account for Medium. Engineering, software, books, space, constant daydreaming.