Dec. 17 – Fly Away, Fly Away Home

GabeAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On Dec. 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers demonstrated the first heavier-than-air flight, ushering in a new era in transportation.

Advances in transportation have had dramatic effects on culture worldwide. Today, it is possible to fly anywhere on the globe, without even needing to change planes. Soon, a new revolution will begin, with driverless transportation, both on land and in the air (at sea, too). One of the effects of the air revolution was to make long-distance travel available at a cost more and more people could afford. One of the new business models of driverless cars has them operating at no cost to the passengers – the trips will be paid by advertisers and stores, just like much of the internet is free to users, with the costs paid, instead, by advertisers made possible by all the big data that various platforms collect.


What do you think will be the effect on culture of very low or free transportation, available to anyone, regardless of age or skill or licensing? Particularly:

  1. The effect on parents who now spend hours transporting their children to and from activities?
  2. The effect on immigration, when the cost of arriving at a country’s border drops dramatically?
  3. The effect on commuters, when they can spend their commuting time engaged in more rewarding pursuits?

Image Citation:
[Photograph of The Wright Brothers conquer flight in Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.] (1903).  Retrieved from