Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How to Prevent Maniac Pilots from Crashing Planes

Just let the passengers fly the plane. Daedalus of New Scientist recommended a similar system for buses:

My cyberdemotic friend Daedalus has been weighing the theoretical advantages of buses against the inconvenience of waiting for infrequent vehicles. Smaller and more frequent buses would be preferable but for the expense of manning them. Daedalus remembers the supermarket principle—let the customer do for himself what a worker once did for him—and suggests that the passengers drive the bus themselves. His ‘collective responsibility vehicle’ has a steering wheel, controls, and TV view of the road ahead, for every seat; and each passenger is invited to help drive if he can. A central mini-computer scans the signals from each steering wheel, accelerator, etc. discards the most extreme values and averages the rest for transmission to the traction unit. Thus individual aberrations (the road-hog, or the man who wants to haul the bus off-route to his own doorstep) have no effect, but the mass knowledge of driving and of the bus-route are pooled. Of course, if everybody wants the bus to take an unofficial route, democracy wins, as it should.
Think of it as crowd soaring or wiki-flying.


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