Auto-suggest helps you quickly narrow down your search results by suggesting possible matches as you type.
Showing results for
Search instead for
Did you mean:
Avoidable Contact #57: Tragic failures, and tremendous triumphs, of the tyrannous clean sheet
"According to scientists, the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly." Surely you've heard this. It's a seductive phrase, because it allows us to express our misgivings regarding Science-With-A-Capital-S. Those misgivings are often well-founded—the "reproducibility problem" in modern science is a genuine elephant in the room, and many studies are published with great fanfare only to be silently withdrawn shortly afterwards—but the flight of the bumblebee shouldn't be used as a metaphor for them. Bumblebees fly just fine. They do it by flapping their wings forward and back instead of up and down. A few scientists correctly noted decades ago that there wasn't enough wing surface on a bee to support traditional wing-powered flight, but that's like saying that there isn't enough flipper surface on a human body to let us swim.
Maybe we are in for a golden period of sorts for the next 5-10 years, because automakers won't be able to develop many "clean-sheet" designs of traditional (internal combustion) passenger vehicles while simultaneously developing the electric-vehicle platforms that society and government will dictate. Instead, we will have better-every-year iterations of existing platforms and technologies in some car and truck lines. Wishful thinking, perhaps?