Photo by Jan Vašek, 2017

Humans are not indestructible like cartoon characters or gods. Yet throughout history, we have sought to move across the ground, water, and more recently through the sky, at ever increasing speeds — the very conditions most likely to cause irreparable harm should something go awry. Why do we do it?

Even a cursory look at the history of transportation shows an obvious trend towards moving faster. The mysterious part is that…