GeekNights Thursday - Cars


I read Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. Haven’t read any of the others in the series, should I quit while I’m ahead?


Ender in Exile is pretty non-crazy, but it’s not as good as Game or Shadow.


Ender’s game the book is crazy good. Orson Scott Card is just plain old crazy. At one point in time I’d read all the Ender’s universe books. (I’d read up to shadow of the giant by 2005)

It’s important to realize there’s basically two only semi related series. What you can call the Ender saga and the Bean saga.

Ender’s game > Speaker > Xenocide > Children is basically Ender’s story.

Ender’s game > Ender’s Shadow > Shadow > Shadow > Shadow is basically earth after Ender’s story. Everything else I’ve never read so I can’t comment on. I will say general quality diminishes over time with this guy.

Ender’s game is basically lightning in a bottle. Trying to recapture it is just wasted effort.


No no no no no. The book after Ender’s Game isn’t Ender’s Shadow, it’s Speaker for the Dead, which is an amazing book, better than Ender’s Game.

Ender’s Shadow is literally a cash grab. It was going to be a tie-in novel written by another author, the first in a series that would open up the world of Ender’s Game for others to play in. They don’t particularly make that much money with the new book, but each time a new book is released, it puts the original book in the mind of the general public and sales of the original book go way up.

This is like what has now happened to Hitchhiker’s Guide. Pay an author to write a new book, the author gets some money for that book, but Douglas Adam’s estate gets 100% of the extra money for the extra sales of the original.

But with Ender’s Shadow, Orson Scott Card started making some notes about what the next stories could be, then got excited about it, and decided to write the stories himself.


I’m honestly not sure I agree, It’s real hard for me to put anything above ender’s game. If you put a gun to my head and made me pick a second best book in Ender’s universe I’d say Speaker for the Dead.

I do agree you’re following the wrong series. At least Speaker for the Dead continues Ender’s story and gives some closure to some of the insanity at the end of that book. The main issue with following Ender to the end is Mr.Card gets increasingly more preachy as the books go on. You can even see it in Speaker his strange ideas about marriage and souls and just general Mormonism start creeping out.



Cars are over as a thing, only want SUVs now.


Hope not. My disdain for a car grows proportionally to it’s size.


Well SUV nows runs the gamut from a full off road ready vehicle to a taller version of a small hatchback with a more upright seating position.


Car companies CALL everything an SUV to make it sell to a certain market.


My next car will, in all likelihood, be either an AWD hatchback or compact SUV, preferably as either a hybrid or pure electric.


I’m still holding out that my next car will be self-driving.

Barring that… I’m considering just leasing some shitbox short-term every winter for skiing. Skiing is honestly the last use case I have for cars these days.


If I had so much money I could afford a car and a parking spot and such and such, I would probably just get the same car I had before only newer and more fully loaded with features.


Not to mention, taxes. Remember the Subaru Brat’s frankly dangerous rear-facing seats in the bed, to qualify as a passenger car instead of a pickup?

Hope you got strong hands, because you’ll be holding on a while. We’re realistically no closer to full self-driving cars than we were two years ago. There’s been tiny incremental improvements, but no tangible progress on the big issues that are keeping us from level 4-5 autonomy. Hell, we don’t even have a truly level 3 vehicle yet - there’s an Audi that claims to be, but isn’t really, it’s just marketing wank. And Tesla claims to be, but they literally cannot seem to stop their cars from doing things like swerving into barriers or driving into stationary objects at speed in otherwise completely normal situations, so they’re just lying as per usual.


Even if I owned a car, I’d still take the train to all the Northeast cons. The cost of parking rapidly approaches the cost of the train tickets, and the train is usually* faster.

*barring the Russian Roulette of Amtrak failures.


Hell, unless I have a compelling reason(like, I’m helping out a friend exhibiting to move stuff), I literally only drive to one convention in my own city, and that’s Comicstreet, because I can easily get parking for the day for six bucks. Every other convention, fuck it, I’m taking the train.


I hope one day we can have huge cars that are also full electric and affordable. I love my pick up truck and loved my huge Pontiac that was my first car, I just love big comfy cars.


If you only need a car for a week or so at a time, is there something that makes renting one for like $200* less convenient than leasing it all winter?

*NYC price may vary, but that was my price for a week’s car rental last month.


I think we’ll get there before we get to self-driving cars. My boss has a Telsa Model 3 and while it may not be “affordable” to you as of yet, it has at least crossed the threshold of being affordable (thanks to tax incentives) to tech company middle-management. This is a big step up from previous models which were pretty much only affordable to tech company venture capitalists. It’s also fairly roomy, though I’m not sure how it compares to your old Pontiac.

Tesla, for all their warts, are at least starting to push other companies to introduce electric cars as well as improving the tech for the motors and batteries. Hopefully it won’t be too far off when you’ll be able to get an electric pickup. Hell, given how torquey electric motors are compared to gasoline/diesel, once they get the battery capacity issues figured out, they’ll probably be better for many pickup applications than the old dinosaur burners.


With the exception of the original roadster(which used induction motors), Tesla uses pretty standard three-phase four-pole induction motors, same as basically every other electric car and hybrid on the market. They might be quite large, but the form of it is pretty much one of the most common electric motor designs around.

They haven’t made any battery innovations, the only real innovation they made was basically taking the same concept we use for laptop batteries, and scaling it up - all previous electric cars up to that point used fewer large batteries, Tesla’s innovation was to use huge amounts of small batteries to fit the same power in a smaller form factor. They’ve made no chemistry changes to a standard 18650, and their new battery is basically the same chemistry, just in a slightly longer casing.