</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David Hall @ Mar 2 2003, 10:33 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Seems like whatever's easier wins, and the loser sometimes...but rarely...goes away. Planes beat trains but trains still roll, although as a little more than a novelty. TV beat radio, FM beat AM, CD's beat vinyl (maybe one of the closest analogies to what we face).
In all of the above examples, the "losing" medium is now the novelty, and more expensive. It is FAR more expensive to take a train from LA to Seattle than to fly. An AM radio of the quality that was standard thirty years ago is now several hundred dollars. And I saw a turntable at Tower Records the other day for 329. Remember when they were 99, even for direct drive?
I'd argue that in most of those cases it became use the right tool for jobs. Trains aren't gone. They carry tonnes of goods every day. Even in the passenger mode outside of North America they haul people. With almost all those things on your list people went with the strong suits. TV is great but kind of hard while driving on the highway. FM may sound better but if all you're getting is the weather and traffic does it matter?
Passenger trains still work quite well in some parts of North America. Be it subways or other shorter commuter trains. I wouldn't want to take the train cross country if I was in a hurry but if I had 200 tonnes of hypo to ship I wouldn't want to deal with the airlines either.