Follow

SOCIALIST REALISM: Before the cosmonaut can take their first step, an army of workers must crunch numbers, fabricate parts, draft blueprints, and test and design rocketry.

CAPITALISM: uuuhh Elon Musk makes the rockets go.

@interneteh
god i remember somebody gave a slideshow on elon musk in my presentation class, the number of times they kept saying "elon musk [did/made/invented] X" was infuriating

@iitalics The number of people who don't know we had electric vehicles in the 1800s and the market decided we had to go with gas is pretty amazing

@iitalics we even had STEAM cars. yeah they were huge and basically tanks, but I kinda want to live in the alternate history where steam cars won out

@interneteh @iitalics i read that theres a lot of evidence that steam cars would have been more efficient, cheaper, and more powerful if R&D had gone into them, but gas was more powerful in the short run and it became a sunk cost

@cosine @iitalics they're quieter too, so nobody can hear the imminent crushing.

I shit you not, but electric and steam vehicles were commonly thought of as effeminate, so that's one reason they didn't catch on

@cosine @iitalics they often say EVs or hydrogen vehicles will require a huge infrastructure build out to service them, as though every gas station in the world was just naturally occurring

@interneteh @iitalics @cosine I think hydrogen would be more doable and less dependant on really shit practices like making us dependent on lithium and cobalt.

@stuff @iitalics @cosine @interneteh Now compare cars versus bicycles with their riders practicing safe social distancing and following distance. You still score favorably with Not A Car.

@interneteh @cosine @iitalics also, like a widespread electricity infrastructure would be difficult to build, like if there wasn't already ubiquitous electricity distribution network reaching everywhere.

@Stoori @cosine @interneteh @iitalics Except it doesn't reach everywhere. Geographically, most of the country is kinda solarpunk, having to pump water out of the ground or collect it from rain for household use, shitting in an outhouse or having a septic system, and having solar panels or wind.

@cosine @Stoori @interneteh @iitalics Heck, one of the oldest companies in the region is Aermotor Windmill, which makes household wind turbines out of Broken Arrow since around 1870. And their wind powered water pumps are the iconic American farm windmill.

@interneteh @cosine @iitalics Wait, you're saying toxic masculinity is the reason we didn't get electric cars to begin with???

@InvaderXan @interneteh @cosine @iitalics ...Sadly, it wouldn't surprise us. After all, toxic masculinity is why our computers are running bloated software, as tech bros had pushed out all the people in the industry that dared criticize said software and show them where they could make it better.

@InvaderXan @interneteh @cosine @iitalics it's true, they were marketed to women because they were easier to operate and couldn't go very far

@interneteh @cosine @iitalics with electric vehicles, that's one of those that's technically correct but misleading because the causal relationship is backwards

Electric cars really weren't realistically viable; electric storage is hard, and so a realistic electric car needed power distribution tech we didn't even know how to build. As a result, prototype electric cars were slow, short range, and lacking in power

Those characteristics made them seem "effeminate" to the sexists of the time, but that's not the reason they didn't succeed in the market

@cosine @interneteh @iitalics indeed steam engines lived on much longer in the train world, and their technologies were improved continuously until the 1950es. But as far as I understand, they were replaced by diesel and electric engines because those had much better fuel efficiency, and required less costly infrastructure and personell to run (and electricity was also a much cleaner and versatile technology).
I wonder though if there is still development potential in steam engines.

@cosine @interneteh @iitalics but I guess that doesn't change the fact that diesel has a higher energy density than coal or wood and therefore you don't need as much of it to go the same distance.

@daniel_bohrer @cosine @interneteh @iitalics

Also before small motor cars became popular, petroleum spirit (gasoline) was near enough an unwanted byproduct of oil refining as it was too dangerous for light, space heating and cooking (too easy to cause uncontrolled fires), motorists also wanted faster cars (outside urban areas, formal speed limits didn't exist in many countries until the 1960s) and society became more and more dependent on car-related mobility..

@daniel_bohrer @iitalics @interneteh @cosine Diesel-steam is a thing. The Washington Park & Zoo Railway has at least one diesel-steam in their fleet.

@daniel_bohrer @cosine @iitalics @interneteh Isn't a gas turbine engine basically a steam engine? Some sports cars have them.

@daniel_bohrer @cosine @interneteh @iitalics Technically, we all still use steam engines. Non-renewable power stations all generate electricity using steam turbines. Even nuclear power stations.

@InvaderXan @daniel_bohrer @cosine @interneteh @iitalics modern steam turbines are way better than the steam engines, other than being harder to fabricate..

@interneteh @iitalics Yeah, I don't think steam cars were bound to happen. It takes a mechanical engineer to run a boiler of any significant size safely.

@iitalics @interneteh relatively huge but pretty impractical: you had to send your chauffeur to start burning fuel to heat them up some 20 minutes before they were ready to start (and this afaik was near the end of their development, train engines took hours).

Also, afaik they were great at going fast, less so at being controllable. (again, much less of an issue with trains)

The fact that they existed back when motoring was still an hobby for the rich, and not a mean of transportation for the working classes probably helped a lot in making them a viable alternative in their time.

@interneteh Want to stoically gave forward will giving Laika stoic socialist chin scritches

@interneteh I approve the sentiment but I seriously doubt socialist realism is devoid of “Stalin makes the rockets go”, given its history.

@koz_ross ID'd in the photo captions. It's the Monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow. Man those Soviets could name the shit out of a monument

@interneteh ive never heard of this monument before but it's absolutely gorgeous

@alayna you should see the whole thing. It's amazing.

@interneteh These kind of "lots of ppl carrying lots of crap towards the glorious future" statues seemed to be a thing in socialist bloc. Reminds me of at least these ones in Beijing & Pyongyang...

Needless to say that the statue pair in Pyongyang is at least twice bigger than the one on Tiananmen Square.

@interneteh goddamn that rocketry mural is *powerful*. like i'm admittedly a complete art dunce. i went to art college to learn how to draw because i'm a fool, but on the countless museum trips i went to i saw plenty of famous pieces that everyone described as "powerful" or "moving" and the only response they ever got from me was "i guess that's neat". but that mural is something that *actually* moves me

@interneteh Great Man of History Theory + "There's No Such Thing as Society" = this bullshit.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!