I recently read some news on Auto Express that the next Bugatti Veyron will hit 270mph. This is extremely good news to those who think that 250mph is still slightly pedestrian and extremely bad news to those politically correct spoilsports. Whatever the reason, this has got me thinking again about the big Bug and what it means to motoring and basically humanity as a whole.

To those that do not agree, please do tell me one significant engineering achievement that blew your mind away. The Three Gorges Dam? It’s just concrete blocking a very large river. The Taipei 101? It’s just another tall building that will be replaced by another (has it been replaced? No matter, it isn’t important). I honestly can say that aside from James Cameron giving us Avatar, nothing really awsome like a Lunar Landing or a Pyramid was made in the last 10 years.

You see, the Bugatti Veyron isn’t just a super sports car that holds all the Top Trump Cards. It does various production car records and that is all fine and dandy. It should also hold the record for the most thirsty car in the world when it gulps down the oily stuff faster than an alcoholic emptying that cheap bottle of whiskey but this also isn’t the reason why humanity should praise the Veyron. The reason is that I believe the Veyron is the only engineering feat in the last decade that is worth mentioning.

Of course, one can also blame those bean counters or those in finance and accounting. These are the people that hold back projects as well as hopes and dreams. These are also the people that structure our economy so that there is such a thing as inflation (deflation almost never occurs these days). Want to build a stairway to the moon? Well, someone with a calculator is going to tell you that it’ll cost a bazillion dollars and since you don’t have any colleteral, no one is going to lend you the money to do so. In those days, no one told the Wright brothers that they shouldn’t build that plane of theirs or stop Louis Pasteur from finding penicillin due to a lack of test tubes. But cost always goes up and I actually blame the internet and social networking for slowing down humanity’s progress.

Ever since humanity discovered the internet things have basically gone downhill. Yes, the internet has brought about near instant sharing of information and dis-information throughout the world. We now get to receive news and everything else instantaneously. In the not so good ol’ days, a letter from Singapore may take a good week or so to arrive at an address in Bristol, UK, but now a person in the UK is just an instant messenger, a video-call away or a social network portal away. Everyone can even know what you ate whether they want to or not. Everyone can enter a networking site and poke, finger or whatever they virtually want to do to their friends or total strangers. But aside from bringing the world closer what have Facebooklets, Iphones, Blackberries, Blueberries and other communicators actually done to help advance the human race?

These Web 2.0 applications and smartphones have made people’s life so connected until they get wrapped up in chatting with each other or playing virtual farms, cities and other what nots until they forget things that are really important. Like curing cancer, Aids or trying to map the Human Genome a little bit faster than what’s been done today. They haven’t even sent another man to the moon recently, they haven’t sent someone to Mars 40 years after setting foot on the moon. They haven’t discovered cool Star Trek stuff like teleporting or worm holes.

I blame this on internet chat like MiRC and the discovery of games that allow networking (like Doom and Quake) as well as the internet cafes in the 1990s. This carried on till MySpace appeared and now with Facebook and Twitter it is more important to know about what so and so ate for breakfast instead of finding a cure for any of the major diseases or increasing the average human being’s lifespan by a couple of hundred years or so.

It is this actual lack of inventing due to being too worked up in creating the next Facebook or the next Twitter that if you looked back at the last decade or so the only thing that really, really impressed me the most was the Bugatti Veyron. Some may say it lacked some soul and character but heck, it moved goalposts a good mile or so from its closest competitor. Those that hype about crossing 260mph via the media but never did it need not apply.

Anteater looks aside, it was and still is the most significant achievement that the human race has done over the last decade and therefore I await its replacement gingerly.