Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Yes, there is a Hyperloop Think Tank

There is now a Hyperloop think-tank or trade association. An organization called the Hyperloop Advanced Research Partnership (HARP) is promoting research into the technology and holding events in New York City.

HARP plans to research the technology and promote it, IEEE Spectrum reported. The organization’s members envision an integrated transportation system that combines Hyperloop with other modes.

“We have to integrate with rail, trucking, and other modes, leaving us with a hybrid mixture,” HARP President Dane Egli said. “A Hyperloop—over a long distance, at high speed—may, when it gets to the city, link with a bullet train.”

That makes little sense, but Egli might be hoping not to scare promoters or financiers of other modes of transportation. My guess is that a fully functional Hyperloop would drive rail out of business, although it would increase business for truckers. More trucks would be needed to haul freight to and from the Hyperloop.

Part of HARP’s mission is to survey Hyperloop development and give us a realistic picture on its progress. Egli correctly pointed out that we actually know very little about the status of the technology or industry.

The 30-meter test tube for the Hyperloop is seen in Delft, the Netherlands, May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

“There’s been no comprehensive study yet that has pulled together information on all 10 companies; to know what is the state of the technology,” Egli said of the Hyperloop business.

Dane Egli is currently a program manager at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Field Office. He has also served as director of the National Security Council at the White House and worked at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory.

Is Hyperloop Coming to Colorado Springs?

HARP is also working with some cities including Colorado Springs, the Army and Air Force town that is my home state’s second largest metropolitan area. HARP held a community conversation there on August 16 helped prepare a letter of support for a state Hyperloop project.

The group also plans to create an online clearinghouse for information about Hyperloop. That is desperately needed given all the confusion about the technology out there these days.

Hyperloop One is a Cool Place to Work

There is might be some hope for civilization: SpaceX and Hyperloop One are two of the hottest places for techies to work in Los Angeles. It indicates young engineers prefer companies building real stuff in the real world, to digital solutions.

SpaceX is the number place that techies want to work in Lalaland, LA Biz reported. Hyperloop One was number three, and Virgin Galactic was number four. The digital TV solution Hulu was number two.

Going into space and building superfast next-generation transportation are still more appealing than video games and social media. Thank God, solutions like SpaceX and Hyperloop One might advance and save our civilization some of the other stuff might take us straight back to the dark ages.

Disturbingly, some of the other places techies wanted to work were very questionable. They included Tinder, SnapChat (NYSE: SNAP), the ticket seller Fandango, dating hub eHarmony, Riot Games, and Dollar Shave Club. Hopefully, the preference for serious tech companies among younger engineers is the start of a trend.