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I think a large reason the Hyperloop is being created (or at least proposed / discussed) is the fact that CA's high speed rail project was a disgusting, bureaucratic mess. The mere fact that Elon Musk, who has become known for making ridiculous and outlandish ideas come to life, has brought attention to this fact is a positive. The fact that the media is talking about it, people are talking about it, is a positive. No one was talking about the fact that the leader of the free world can't build a fucking innovative method of transportation. An out of date, overpriced train system was not and would not have been talked about except for the fact that Elon Musk open sourced an outlandish design with a sci-fi name. And it's fucking awesome. It's fucking EXCITING.
The fact that Musk is now asking engineering students - from around the world - to send in proposals for the pod is also a positive. It's innovative. It gets people talking. It gets people excited for the future again.
It's not about building something. It's not about making money. It's not about convenience.
It's about the future—a future where the US is not in last place building stupid trains for buckets of money. The US is like Microsoft was 2 years ago. Out of date, out of touch, bloated, and ridiculous. Slowly sinking. Unable to build anything innovative. Unable to do anything reasonable. Too obsessed looking in the mirror and the massive amounts of money coming from out-of-touch people and enterprises who haven't upgrade their systems in 15 years either to see that EVERYONE around us is doing new things that people actually want. Hindsight is 20/20. The simple shift in structure and ideation at Microsoft has reinvigorated their position in the tech world. It still may be too late, but the mere fact that they are trying and making substantial changes to their business strategies that are in line with what consumers want and their competitors are doing is enough to give people hope.
Too bad Elon Musk is one person who has no real control what the disgusting mess of a bureaucratic system the US has become. Musk '22? (lol)