The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


A few posts back, I wrote about the many, many accomplishments of Elon Musk and the companies he runs. I also noted that his demonization by many on the Left and a few on the Right has a lot more to do with ideology than common sense. 

Yesterday, I ran across a blog post that demonstrates the power of Musk's insistence on developing tech that defies conventional thinking. That power manifests in remarkable new products and systems, lower cost, higher quality, and a distinct and measureable benefit to society. Most of his critics (on the left particularly), think virtuous words are all that matter, rejecting tangible accomplishments and an insistence on merit.

The blogger, Brian Wang, noted that environmental lawfare and ponderous government regulation have made it difficult to improve our above-ground, land-based transportation infrastructure. New railroad routes and highways have become nearly impossible to build. The alternative, underground transport (e.g., subways and the like), face fewer legal and governmental obstacles but have been exorbitantly expensive. For example, using existing tech and machines, subways cost about $1 billion per mile! Maybe that's why Wang notes that only 20 miles of subway tunnel have been built in the USA is the last 20 years!

Enter Elon Musk and The Boring Company. Wang writes:

US subways and tunnels costs of $600M to $4B per mile and most cost $1B/mile.
Europe/Japan subway and tunnels cost $200M-$1B/mile.

Phase 1 of the New York 2nd Ave line, [96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street stations and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) of tunnel], cost $4.45 billion. A 1.5-mile (2.4 km), $6 billion second phase from 96th to 125th Streets is in planning as of 2023.

Elon Musk's The Boring Company (TBC) has [developed] its Prufrock-2 tunneling machine. It can dig up to 1 mile/week. 

A tunnel the length of the Las Vegas strip (approximately 4 miles) can be completed in a month.

Prufrock-3 is faster, with the medium term goal of 1/10 human walking speed, or 7 miles/day. If TBC produces 1 new Prufrock machine per month, then TBC will be introducing 600 miles/year of capacity ...

One Prufrock-3 machine per month is twelve- 4200 miles/year of capacity. Forty Prufrock-3 machines by 2028 for 10,000 miles of tunnel per year even with some machine downtime.

Time to go underground!

BTW, Musk completed a 2.2 mile underground loop in Las Vegas last year at a cost of $25 million per mile. That's about 40 times less than the average cost of subway tunnels in the U.S.!

Also time to recognize that Musk (yet again) has already and will continue to contribute far more to our society than any of the virtue signaling environmentalists or corrupt politicians who villanize him.