We study the wave propagation speed problem on metric measure spaces, emphasizing on self-similar sets that are not postcritically finite. We prove that a sub-Gaussian lower heat kernel estimate leads to infinite propagation speed, extending a result of Y.-T. Lee to include bounded and unbounded generalized Sierpi\'nski carpets as well as some fractal blowups. We also formulate conditions under which a Gaussian upper heat kernel estimate leads to finite propagation speed, and apply this result to two classes of iterated function systems with overlaps, including those defining the classical infinite Bernoulli convolutions.
For autonomous Tonelli systems on $\R^n$, we develop an intrinsic proof of the existence of generalized characteristics using sup-convolutions. This approach, together with convexity estimates for the fundamental solution, leads to new results such as the global propagation of singularities along generalized characteristics.