Creative Destruction

September 22, 2010

Do Not Want … Yet

Filed under: Content-lite — Brutus @ 11:59 pm

I spotted a hot-off-the-factory-floor Honda CRZ (I don’t care about the damn hyphen!) on the street in Chicago today. I knew they went on sale last month, but this is the first I have seen. As a former CRX owner, Honda’s development of a replacement for its 80s-era econobox (which was built up to 1991) has been of keen interest to me. The presale reviews I read indicated that Honda got some things right but missed others. My desires align almost perfectly with the CRX but not so well with the CRZ:

  • fuel efficient
  • modestly sporty drive
  • lightweight
  • two seats but large cargo area
  • mechanical reliability

By all accounts, the CRZ hits the second and fourth points but fails on the first and third. Reliability is an unknown at this point, but the complexity of hybrid designs pose some obvious risks. For a hybrid vehicle to get poorer fuel efficiency than the CRX with a traditional engine of 20 years ago is pretty telling to me. Of course, the new vehicle has to accommodate a host of new safety and comfort demands, but still ….

Walking by it on the street, I had the impression is was too large. The side-by-side comparison with the CRX reinforces that impression:

It don’t think it’s a mere trick of perspective. Maybe I’ll swing by a Honda dealer and test drive one, but in its current incarnation, I don’t think I’ll be giving up my 10-year-old Acura for a new car payment on this misfit.

September 5, 2010

Driver Reeducation

Filed under: Content-lite,Navel Gazing — Brutus @ 11:29 am

The Globe & Mail reports on a new attempt to enhance traffic safety by displaying a 3D holographic image of a young girl chasing a ball in the street. The image below looks like a parking structure:

Although this initiative is reported to be temporary, it gives rise to all sorts of questions about unintended consequences, such as what happens when someone swerves to avoid the hologram and hits a pedestrian or ignores the supposed hologram and hits an actual pedestrian in the middle of the street. The question I have, which probably won’t be discussed, is why government agencies are using deceptive practices, in the name of presumed safety, to direct public behavior. Can similar deceptions be expected to trick people into paying taxes or voting for politicians, or going to war? Oh, wait. There’s no need to expect those things. We already have them.

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