The Commute From Hell
20/11/2018 by Rose Eveleth
Getting from one place to another is hard. What if we could just teleport? From the physics of how this would work (it wouldn’t) to the ripple effects it might have on politics, urban development, and tourism, this episode is all about what would happen if we could zip instantly from one place to another.
Matt Lubchansky, comic artist and associate editor at The Nib
Zeeya Merali, physicist at the Foundational Questions Institute, author of A Big Bang in a Little Room, cohost of the FQXi Podcast
Peter Norton, historian at the University of Virginia, author of Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City
(Paper from the advertisement: Time to End the Use of Genetic Test Results in Life Insurance Underwriting)
Honestly, I barely remember anything from this episode. What I do remember is that the radioplay in the beginning assumes working teleportation, but almost immediately into the interviews the idea is dismissed (though only after a fun detour about whether your post-teleportation self is the murderer of your pre-teleportation self). And then, establishing that teleportation is impossible, the rest of the episode veers into the potential impact of teleportation on… commute time?!
I mean, I love a deep dive into traffic and urban planning; but I feel that the episode gave both urban planning and teleportation short shrift. And if we ever did get teleportation, I suspect that its impact on commuting etc would be completely unknown and unpredictable.
Listen Date: cannot remember, but November.