Dan, neat that you can announce your own new post inside a comment to another post somewhere else.
So far, all experimental flight vehicles remain experimental and too adventurous for me. Sorry, but I flashed on this as another type of drone – as I did on the small copter I bought for my grandson this Xmas.
This triggers me to tell of my “ideal vehicle”. It is a Daddy Longlegs. The body could hold one person, or a few, in different configurations depending how it is mobile. The eight legs can telescope from a few feet to maybe 20 feet. My dream is to “hike” up very steep mountains in a swivel seat, 10-15 feet above the surface. Collapse the legs down to get a closer view, or park to get out and walk. Somehow I see this quite different from copter hovering. They could also speed down the highway, and in traffic 10 vehicles deep – swarming along in safety. Various arrangements could enable it to navigate smooth or rough waters. When pairs of legs come together they can bring out a strong film that serves as wings, and maybe fly more like a butterfly than like a bird. Just realized, I don’t know how a butterfly flies.
Will be nice to live in a world where considering such innovations are not contrasted with other tasks of greater significance, such as survival. Yet, who can forecast what synergy of seemingly independent innovations can lead to. It would be interesting to read about a study on the history of invention and innovation in search of such synergies. I think we would find many in the discipline of mathematics, where notational innovations open up new domains for exploration.
In teaching my course, LEARNING TO LEARN AND LOVE MATH, to math phobes, I presented maths as a family of CONCRETE languages – having utility in sharing the abstract. Maths are the MOST concrete of all languages! All math is rooted in concrete symbolism, visual patterns. Math genius can build on what they see in imagery. All algebra and calculus can be viewed as formal transformations on concrete symbolism. Having symbol components on “Scrabble” pieces, math operations could be made tangible and comprehensible. I once taught a summer course in physics with calculus to high school students who had only one year of algebra. They learned to read math symbolism without having to compose or perform transformations. My insights on SEMS emerged from this work.
Re-reading the above I am reminded of my Brownian Motion, Random-Walk style of sharing. My students eventually got used to it and liked it; but I also know it can be quite frustrating to others trying to follow my thinking.