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A Crackpot in Real Life!

  1. Oct 30, 2004 #1

    Moonbear

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    I've just scurried back to my hotel room until it's time to head off for my conference...I am not enough of a morning person to deal with the crackpot wandering around the hotel lobby interrupting people trying to eat breakfast. He's going to cut healthcare costs by 50% by eliminating the automobile and replacing it with his transportation system...which sounds a whole lot like a monorail. A little more probing, and he dropped out of engineering school because he already knew how to draw blueprints...his high school had a full machine shop and carpenter shop and auto shop, so they already learned to read blueprints :surprised Instead, he majored in philosophy. By the way, this guy is no spring chicken. I decided I'll leave it for someone else to tell him the technology he describes has existed for probably 20 years already, isn't going to replace the automobile, and the problem with using it in cities isn't because of the lack of technology, but because of the problems with building it in an existing city without shoving people out of homes, devaluing the property around it, and all of the other political issues involved in building such extensive infrastructure in a mature city. Oh well, just venting. And sharing that they aren't just characters on the internet...these are real people who really believe this stuff! :bugeye: [/rant]
     
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  3. Oct 30, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Count yourself lucky. The last time someone approached me like this was in downtown Portland. A street person walked up to our table and whipped out his dingy. I'll take monorails over dingys any day. :biggrin:

    Tsu once met a patient - a retired man with a great interest in hydroelectric power - who had a system in place on the creek behind his house. I know a little about this and was asked to come and take a look. He hadn't produced any significant power yet but "he knew he was close". He had invested his entire life savings on this including the purchase of a $20,000 crane to drop his floating, undershot paddle wheel onto the creek.

    This thing was a monster! IIRC, it was a paddle wheel made of plywood, about 5 ft in diameter, 10 feet long, and it was floating on a pontoon platform [and this massive steel frame], which could be lashed to both sides of the creek. I could hear the plywood paddles slapping the water as I walked up to the house! :uhh: Since I was really up on this stuff at the time, I quickly estimated that he may get a couple of hundred watts at best. He was expecting to run his house on this - 22,000 watts! Since his money was already gone I didn't have the heart to blurt out how bad it really was. The worst of it is that our little local library has a great book about this. Ten pages of reading would have prevented all of this. Anyway, I tried to tell him enough so that he would figure it out.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2004 #3
    yeah, but he can sell the power generated back to the electric company. so it's all free money after the first dozen centuries.
     
  5. Oct 31, 2004 #4

    Nereid

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    His great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,.... grandchildren will willingly sacrifice their first-borns to him for his foresight and wisdom in leaving them such a cornucopia! :wink: (er, in case anyone misunderstands ... NOT).
     
  6. Nov 1, 2004 #5

    Moonbear

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    :uhh: I think I have to agree with that.

    At least I was able to glean from everything he told me that he very likely is brain damaged! It's amazing how much this guy was willing to tell to a complete stranger. He told me he was in a car accident and hit his head and now falls asleep a lot...from where he pointed on his head, I'd say a bit of frontal lobe damage. The guy clearly shows the symptoms of lack of control of what he says and to whom.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2004 #6
    Uh oh, im majoring in philosophy, and I often tinker with blueprints... crap...
     
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