There was a lot to be pessimistic about regarding cars 120+ years ago. πŸš—

They were expensive. They were incredibly unreliable, needing repair on a sometimes daily basis. And roads good enough to drive on were exceedingly rare.

There was little a car could offer you that a good horse couldn’t do much better. 🐎

Looking back on that time from today, the transition to primarily automobile-based transportation seems more-or-less inevitable. We can go unthinkably further and faster now using mechanical power than we ever could have with horses… and with a small fraction of the stink. πŸ’©

The problems with early cars were overcome (mostly πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ), and now we live in a world with exponentially greater transportation opportunities than our great-great-grandparents could have ever imagined.

Which makes me wonder, what would my “intuition” about cars have been, had I lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s?

Would I have seen them as expensive and over-complicated fads, with countless impassible problems, and made the prediction that they were destined to never catch on?

Or would I have recognized that this shift in transportation technology would make the lives of my great-great-grandchildren inconceivably different and more opportunity-filled than the life I’d lived, even if there were problems which might take a few decades to iron out?

It strikes me that the optimistic intuition was more accurate in this case. There were huge problems with the automobiles of a century ago; many of those hurdles would have seemed basically impossible to overcome.

But they were overcome.

I wonder what changes we’re living through that we’re wrongly pessimistic about?

It might take some decades (or 100+ years) to iron out, but maybe those hurdles can indeed be beneficially and positively overcome.