Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Origin of the Automobile

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was nothing. And then millions of years later in one small spot of a vast earth, there was something. One of those somethings was a rock that had pieces of metal embedded in it. One day, lightning struck the rock and liquified the metal, and when it cooled, it cooled into the shape of a circle. Then, millions of years later, a violent storm sent a long, straight piece of wood hurling through the air with such force that it pierced the metal and became stuck to it. Over the next millions of years, the exact same set of events were repeated again and again and again in the very same spot.

So…there are four metal circles with four shafts of wood sticking out from each of them lying in close proximity to one another. The chaos of the winds had managed put the circles equidistant from each other, each with their shaft pointing in the direction of one another, forming a box-like shape on the ground. This crude box was the beginning of the “automobile”.

Over the next millions of years, metal from other rocks was re-ignited and hurled through the air and as it cooled, it hardened at precisely the correct angles so that articulations were formed amongst the four circles and their shafts of wood. One long strip of wood became connected to one shaft of wood in the box in such a way that it could control the movement of them all.

Over the following millions of years, the chaos of thousands of other violent storms hurled materials toward the metal box that enveloped it in such a way that they formed a canopy, and the parts were protected from the elements. Later, in a different series of events, lightning struck sand and made glass, which found its way to the box and became wedged into the other materials as sort of a window in the box. This exact thing happened several more times.

So…there is a box-like “chassis” with “wheels” attached and held together by “shafts”, articulated by “axles”, covered with a metal “body” that had “windows” of glass in the front, back, and sides.

That melange of metal, wood, and glass sat in that state for millions of years until one day, another, smaller box began to form inside the larger box. Over the course of another millions of years, more chaotic events resulted in the coming together of the parts of that small box at just the right angles as to work together to be able to combust something, someday.

While all this was occurring, directly under the box that was coming together on the surface of the earth, large amounts of decayed plant material had sunk far into the earth and became heated and pressurized deep in the ground and eventually became coal.

Millions of years later, a lump of coal worked its way up and out of the ground it was buried in and entered the small box.

Millions of years after that, lightning struck the box inside the box and caused the coal to ignite.

Millions of years later, an inter webbing of exhaust pipes appeared protruding out of the small box and ran along the length of the bigger box. Then there appeared a sac-like container into which many pieces of coal found their way. Over millions of years, precisely timed lightning strikes caused the small box to ignite on a continuous basis.

The first “auto” had built itself! Millions of years of chaos had produced a single working machine! The “mobile” part would come later…after millions more years of random events occurring in the exact order needed to produce an entire working system that would have the ability to access an energy source, convert that energy from one form to another, and find a way to maintain that cycle. And the different colors! The box would eventually be in the right place at the right time when the wind blows blueberries at it to make it blue, or have cochineal scales nest on the body then be doused with boiling water and alum blown in on the wind to mix with the bodies to produce a nice carmine color. And one day, the box might find itself in India near a Circuma longa plant, where its rhizomes would dry out and blow onto the box, turning it yellow.

So…that is how the complex machine now called the automobile came into existence and evolved over time to what it is today. We will leave Mass Production for another talk at another time.

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