Chapter 8Techno Traders

“One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

—Elbert Hubbard

A few years ago, my friend Astrid sent me an e-mail asking if I wanted to join her skydiving team for some practice sessions in the SkyVenture vertical wind tunnel in Orlando, Florida.

A vertical wind tunnel is a round chamber 12 feet in diameter with a coarse screen mesh at the floor to let wind through, and again at the top, about 20 feet off the ground. Several enormous electric fans at the top of the tunnel suck wind through the chamber at speeds of more than 120 miles per hour (or a bit less than 200 kilometers per hour).

This speed is known as terminal velocity, the speed at which the drag from ...

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