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Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Americans, if we decided to build something again, like we used to, what Big Thing would we do?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14664points) November 9th, 2011

Eerie Canal, Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, Eisenhower Interstate System, Apollo Program, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Transcontinental Railway, Washington DC from a swamp…

What should we do? What could we agree on to leave to our children?

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22 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Rebuild Detroit around more than one product!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

High speed rail line from SF to LA to NY, to Florida, OK, Denver can be a hub.

ragingloli's avatar

a massive internment and forced labour camp for illegal mexicans, muslims, “libruls”, socialists, communists, atheists, gays, trade unionists, feminists and spongebob

zenvelo's avatar

A fuel and cost efficient SST.

AstroChuck's avatar

A colony on the moon and in space as well as a space elevator to make things safer and more cost effective.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

A huge diamond phallus.

TexasDude's avatar

@Mchael_Huntington this question isn’t about minecraft…

Qingu's avatar

Moon base.

CWOTUS's avatar

What we could do: massive geothermal energy projects.

What we will do: more football stadiums built with taxpayer funding for millionaire players and billionaire owners and upper middle class spectators.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Yes for high-speed rail.

wonderingwhy's avatar

A nation wide, future-facing, robust, minimal loss, self leveling, smart grid with attendant battery technology.

Blackberry's avatar

Number 3 for high speed rail. It’s common sense. We could have used the money from the Iraq War, but noooooo…..

Qingu's avatar

I would totes support a smart grid; the battery tech would need to come from private corps though. Or at least a partnership.

rojo's avatar

Personal modes of transport that are, clean, efficient and relatively inexpensive.

TexasDude's avatar

A gumdrop trampoline factory.

Mamradpivo's avatar

High speed rail!

mattbrowne's avatar

Airships. Tourists love slow travel. Imagine enjoying the view of the Rocky Mountains.

ragingloli's avatar

@mattbrowne
filled with hydrogen!

mattbrowne's avatar

@ragingloli – The other day I was wondering about a “hybrid concept”. Yes, hydrogen. Surrounded by some very light and dense material. Then a layer of helium. Which would keep the external air and the hydrogen apart. Not sure if this is feasible. Would have two advantages. Hydrogen is cheaper. And lighter.

ragingloli's avatar

@mattbrowne
I do not see the point of that.
Any object capable of puncturing the material surrounding the hydrogen would make the helium layer useless, since it would puncture the outer layer as well, resulting in a mixture of hydrogen and air, despite the helium layer. It would ignite the outer shell, burn it away, the helium dissipates, then the middle layer ignites, exposing the hydrogen, and then: Hindenburg.

If the material is strong enough to be punctured at all anyway, that would make the helium obsolete.

rojo's avatar

Seems that quite a few folks suggest high speed rail but I cannot see it. Here in Texas and out west, it would cover a lot of ground quickly yes but I think that there would be some societal resistance to its use. Most folks just prefer to use personal transport and, here at least, it is a pick-up. I can’t see being able to carry much on the train. In the more densly populated portions of the country, where train travel is more the norm, would you not just be shaving seconds off a short trip? Would you even be able utilize the high speed aspect? Sure, maybe you could live in Florida and commute to NYC but why would you want to? No disrespect to NYC meant. What I mean is would people just move further away yet maintain the same commuting time? What is the advantage?
Anyway, just my two cents worth.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ragingloli – It might buy the pilot some time. The problem is that helium is so expensive. There must be some way to avoid hydrogen getting ignited. Hindenburg was a long time ago. The Titanic sank too and we still got icebergs and luxury cruisers.

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