“Outages”, by Eric Peters

One of the really cool things about Teslas is that through software, Tesla has absolute control over your movement. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

An interesting item in the news the other day got almost no attention.

The thing that got attention in the news was the news that a “ . . .problem with Tesla servers on Friday once again left hundreds of drivers unable to enter and operate their electric cars.”

No analysis of the italicized implications was offered.

Ergo, it’s well to considering them.

For the past 120 years or so – since the first cars began rolling under their own power – it was taken as a given that the people who owned them controlled them. The keys were a physical symbol of ownership because he who held the keys controlled the car. Parents would threaten to withhold the keys from their teenaged drivers, if their grades slipped, for instance.

But once you were no longer a kid, if you held the keys then the car was yours. You used to see dangling-suggestively keys in car ad copy; the implication being – this could be yours (and by implication, no one else’s).

Not anymore.

Not if it’s one of Elon’s electric cars. Because Elon holds the keys – and you never will, no matter that you’re not a teenager, you paid for the car and Elon isn’t your father. But he is your overlord. He and his fellow managers intend to lord it over all of us – and electric cars are the perfect vehicle for that.

They have two plugs – one physical, the other virtual.

You use the physical plug to charge the thing up.

They use the virtual plug to determine how much and how fast you’re allowed to charge up – and (cue Emperor Palpatine voice) many other things, besides. Including whether they allow the car to move, at all – regardless of its state of charge. A signal is sent over the airwaves and the car bricks – perhaps because you’re not Jabbed. Perhaps because of some wrongthinkful thing you Tweeted. Perhaps just because.

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