Flat Wrong the end piece in Scientific American, in the latest issue (May 2020) got me to thinking about how we could just end this idiocy that leads to many, many people being driven into believing obviously fallacious conspiracy theories.
- Did we actually go to the moon? (hint: we did.)
- Was Obama born in Hawaii? (hint: yes.)
- Is he Muslim? (hint: no.)
- Is QAnon saying anything that's true? (hint: no.)
- Are the Jews trying to take over the world (hint: no.)
- Are aliens here? (hint: no.)
- Do humans cause Global Warming? (hint: yes.)
- Have the Clintons murdered tens of people? (hint: no.)
- Did the Russians help the Trump campaign? (hint: yes.)
- Yada, yada, yada.
A Modest Proposal for a Flat Earth Conspiracy Ending Ride in Silicon Valley.
Silicon valley's Ferris Wheel, three times as tall (over 1400 feet tall):
It turns out you need to be about 80,000 feet high to see the curvature of the Earth. How do you get that high? The cars have to be airtight. We build a SkyBridge to take them up to 80,000 feet. We hook them up to balloons at the top of the wheel and spend three more hours going up and down a set of ropes held up by balloons. You get to see all the way from San Diego to Crater Lake in Oregon. You can see Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. You can see the curvature of the Earth. How much would you pay to TRAVEL TO SPACE?
But wait. We aren't done yet. When you get back down you can take the lazy, sedate funicular train back down to the parking lot... or you can take the most amazing roller coaster in the entire world. The longest, fastest, most spectacular, roller coaster in the world. How do we do this?
Well, first we are starting at 2500 feet, so we go into a 700 foot drop right away, and it's inexpensive as we are going down the mountain side. We do a triple 360 degree loop and then the track ends halfway down, but the cars keep going because they are actually quadcopters and they do free open air loops! Wow! Then they put you back on the track and you do another record 1000 foot drop with three loops and a final 500 foot drop that is, by itself, the largest roller coaster in the world.
Anybody who likes roller coasters will LOVE this one. Three of the largest drops in the world. Extremely fast, smooth and the free flight will be amazing! (and make it safer.)
Now you may have some questions, like can you suspend a set of guide wires that can pull up the cars from 80,000 feet? Well, it turns out you can. you can buy the rope you need today (Kevlar rope of 7.5 cm thickness can individually hold itself up and the cars.) So if you make 10-20 ropes held up by balloons and each car has a pair of balloons helping to hold it up: it's safe, it's simple and it's doable.
And how much do we need to charge for a ride? Let's estimate how much it costs to build. The existing largest Ferris Wheel cost around $300 million. Ours is about 5x as big or $1.5 B. The SkyBridge is relatively cheap. The kevlar rope is cheap, the balloons are cheap, add another $500 million. The Mountain Roller Coaster can't be more than $500 million. Then a parking lot, a funicular and a museum, plus ancillary out buildings and a control tower, another $500 million. So that's about $3 billion dollars (less than the bay bridge.) It's about a six hour ride. So you can run it 18 hours a day and with 50 cars and 50 people per car you can run 5000 people through this system every day. So let's say you get money at 5% and pay off the loans over 30 years and your finance costs are 30-50% of your operating income (maybe a bit high.) To generate this income you need to charge around $300-$500 per ride. Free drinks for everyone! Blackjack and other gambling... are you outside of American jurisdiction or do you have to get an Indian tribe to go in with you? Gourmet food. And junk food. What more could you want? I'd take that ride, for sure!
Thanks for reading.