Discussion:
Is too much democracy responsible for the rise of Trump?
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Ted
2017-11-08 14:42:00 UTC
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http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6

"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."

"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
Kevrob
2017-11-08 16:28:46 UTC
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Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
Posting a tinyurl is fine, but let people know
what site it will land on.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookings_Institution

The home of "consensus liberalism." I was reading stuff from Brookings
over 45 years ago, when I was a high school debater.

We've had well-organized outlier candidates who did not actually
represent the majority opinion of the rank-and-file of one of
the two entrenched parties grab the nomination before. George
McGovern did that, based on his mastery of procedural rule changes
that his wing of the Democratic party manged to adopt before the
1972 convention. He co-chaired the commission that proposed the
rules changes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGovern%E2%80%93Fraser_Commission

McG got thumped, running against an incumbent (Nixon) who had
yet to implode from Watergate.

Jimmy Carter exploited those rules as well, while the several
candidates who would have represented the mainstream of the
Democracy fractured the traditional vote. George Wallace also
did extremely well in the 1972 primary season, until he was shot.

The top 3 popular vote winners in the `72 Democratic primaries:*

Hubert Humphrey - 4,121,372 (25.77%)
George McGovern - 4,053,451 (25.34%)
George Wallace - 3,755,424 (23.48%)


https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/06/14/is-too-much-democracy-responsible-for-the-rise-of-trump/

H R Clinton supporters probably don't consider the outcome of
the 2016 election an "excess of democracy," as the system created
to put a brake on that, the Electoral College, allowed Trump to
win without a national popular vote majority. I voted for neither
of these egregious major party choices, and while I might prefer
a different way to elect a president, the EC worked the way it
was supposed to: preventing a choice of supermajorities in certain
sections of the country from determining the election. It is supposed
to make a candidate appeal to the whole country.

There's an old political joke: if ghod had wanted us to vote,
he'd have given us candidates.†† Turnout was down in 2016, with
an open seat, v the 2012 election that featured a popular
incumbent in little danger of losing. Trump vote totals matched
those of Romney, but Clinton garnered less than Obama. The distribution
of those "missing voters" flipped a few states.

It was an absence of participation, compared to 4 years earleir, that
gave us Trump.

Kevin R


* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries,_1972

† Maybe a multi-party first round, and a national run-off, like they do in
France, or instant-runoff voting. What I'd really love is voting for
electors individually, perhaps by congressional district, without them
being required to pledge to a particular slate. That's pre-12th
amendment, though. Perhaps have the EC meet to vote for Prez, and, only
after that's determined, vote for VP. We have planes, trains, automobiles,
telephones and the internet, nowadays. Doing it all in one day isn't
required. We don't even require the ordinary elector - you and me -
to only vote on election day, in more and more of the country.

†† Jay Leno usually gets credit for the quip.
This is alt.atheism. Ghod not being around to give
us candidates explains a lot.
v***@gmail.com
2017-11-10 21:15:25 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
Posting a tinyurl is fine, but let people know
what site it will land on.
WHY?


Are you afraid you will read something that debunks some of your bullshit?
Kevrob
2017-11-10 23:22:16 UTC
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Post by v***@gmail.com
Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
Posting a tinyurl is fine, but let people know
what site it will land on.
WHY?
Are you afraid you will read something that debunks some of your bullshit?
Maybe I just have been Rickrolled* one too many times.

If the host site is a known source of bunk and blather, I'd avoid it.
At the very least, post who wrote the article.

Kevin R

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling
Rick Johnson
2017-11-11 22:19:36 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
[...]
Posting a tinyurl is fine, but let people know what site
it will land on.
WHY? Are you afraid you will read something that debunks
some of your bullshit?
Maybe I just have been Rickrolled* one too many times.
Oops. And i apologize for that O:-). Although, i have a
feeling that back in the 60's my rick rolling skillz would
have been far more appreciated. At least by a certain sub-
culture, anyways. :-)
Jeanne Douglas
2017-11-11 10:48:59 UTC
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Post by Ted
Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
=20
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the =E2=80=9Ctyranny of the majority=E2=80=9D have slowly eroded, repla=
cing more
Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan=
=E2=80=99s
Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
=20
"As Achen and Bartels write, =E2=80=9CThe political =E2=80=98belief sys=
tems=E2=80=99 of ordinary
Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.=E2=80=9D For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargi=
c voters,
Post by Kevrob
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
=20
Posting a tinyurl is fine, but let people know
what site it will land on.
WHY?
Because it's good manners. Why else?
Post by Ted
=20
Are you afraid you will read something that debunks some of your bullshit?
--
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http://www.mimousenet.com/mimo/post
Malcolm McMahon
2017-11-08 16:45:00 UTC
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Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
The most important mechanism of Democracy is VOTING AGAINST. Democracy doesn't work by choosing the best leaders, but because whoever winds up in charge knows that if they piss off their electorate with what they do they'll be out at the next election.

The problem is that there are constant efforts to subvert the process, and the stable needs regularly cleaned out to maintain any real democratic process.
Evolve This Then We Will Talk About Science
2017-11-08 17:50:05 UTC
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Post by Malcolm McMahon
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
The most important mechanism of Democracy is VOTING AGAINST. Democracy doesn't work by choosing the best leaders, but because whoever winds up in charge knows that if they piss off their electorate with what they do they'll be out at the next election.
The problem is that there are constant efforts to subvert the process, and the stable needs regularly cleaned out to maintain any real democratic process.
So for you Solon was NOT a democratic Leader..... Yet the Athenians thought he was. The Athenian Constitution by Aristotle.
Malcolm McMahon
2017-11-09 11:45:10 UTC
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Post by Evolve This Then We Will Talk About Science
Post by Malcolm McMahon
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
The most important mechanism of Democracy is VOTING AGAINST. Democracy doesn't work by choosing the best leaders, but because whoever winds up in charge knows that if they piss off their electorate with what they do they'll be out at the next election.
The problem is that there are constant efforts to subvert the process, and the stable needs regularly cleaned out to maintain any real democratic process.
So for you Solon was NOT a democratic Leader..... Yet the Athenians thought he was. The Athenian Constitution by Aristotle.
How could he have been, given that he's credited with laying the foundations of Athenian democracy? That implies he ruled before democracy was established.
Wise TibetanMonkey, Most Humble Philosopher
2017-11-09 13:44:22 UTC
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Post by Malcolm McMahon
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
The most important mechanism of Democracy is VOTING AGAINST. Democracy doesn't work by choosing the best leaders, but because whoever winds up in charge knows that if they piss off their electorate with what they do they'll be out at the next election.
The problem is that there are constant efforts to subvert the process, and the stable needs regularly cleaned out to maintain any real democratic process.
Thus GW Bush was REelected after getting the country into two disastrous wars.

It doesn't get any better than that.
a322x1n
2017-11-09 16:24:20 UTC
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Post by Ted
Post by Ted
the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replaci
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in
Sullivanâ
€™s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief syste
ms’ of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research,
reflection, and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is
simply too much to ask."
..and yet, Hillary Clinton, her liberals supporters and like-minded
people somehow believe the Electoral College must be dismantled for
the direct popular vote for President Of The United States (POTUS).
And yet, the _majority_, 2.8 million, of the voters made the right
choice. The Electorial College put the Oval Office into the hands
of a lunatic.
Cloud Hobbit
2017-11-09 23:27:25 UTC
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Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
Post by Ted
the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replaci
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in
Sullivanâ
�™s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief syste
ms’ of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research,
reflection, and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is
simply too much to ask."
..and yet, Hillary Clinton, her liberals supporters and like-minded
people somehow believe the Electoral College must be dismantled for
the direct popular vote for President Of The United States (POTUS).
And yet, the _majority_, 2.8 million, of the voters made the right
choice. The Electorial College put the Oval Office into the hands
of a lunatic.
Should the need arise, he will be removed, just like Nixon almost was had he not resigned. The GOP will not allow anyone from their party to destroy it without a fight.
a322x1n
2017-11-10 00:03:28 UTC
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Post by Cloud Hobbit
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
Post by Ted
the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy
from the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, repl
aci
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in
Sullivanâ
ᅵ™s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief sy
ste
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
ms’ of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not letharg
ic
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research,
reflection, and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is
simply too much to ask."
..and yet, Hillary Clinton, her liberals supporters and like-minded
people somehow believe the Electoral College must be dismantled for
the direct popular vote for President Of The United States (POTUS).
And yet, the _majority_, 2.8 million, of the voters made the right
choice. The Electorial College put the Oval Office into the hands
of a lunatic.
Should the need arise, he will be removed, just like Nixon almost was
had he not resigned. The GOP will not allow anyone from their party
to destroy it without a fight.
They'd need a two thirds vote in the Senate! And the Democratic Party
would be very reluctant to add their votes to remove the best thing that
has happened to the Democrats in a long, long, time! VP Pence would
simply be too good a President and make it impossible for the Democrats
to Return to the Oval Office or the majority in Congress. A President
Pence would also be able to gut the Democratic Party in its weakened
state.
No, unless the Republicans win two thirds of the Senate, they're going
to have to endure President Trump for the next four to eight years.
a322x1n
2017-11-10 13:41:12 UTC
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Post by a322x1n
VP Pence would
simply be too good a President and make it impossible for the
Democrats to Return to the Oval Office or the majority in Congress. A
President Pence would also be able to gut the Democratic Party in its
weakened state.
...unless the Republicans win two thirds of the Senate, they're going
to have to endure President Trump for the next four to eight years.
I think you meant this to read "Democrats".
It takes a two thirds vote of the Senate to throw a President out of
office. So, as it stands, the Republicans would need Democratic help
to get rid of trump (fat chance) unless they win two thirds of the
Senate seats. (No Democrat in his or her right mind would want a
"President Pence".)
Post by a322x1n
"VP Pence would simply be too good a President and make it impossible
for the Democrats to Return to the Oval Office or the majority in
Congress. A President Pence would also be able to gut the Democratic
Party in its weakened state.
I'm guessing President Trump will not run in 2020*. However, VP Pence*
will run for POTUS in 2020, again in 2028.
* Trump would be 75 when re-taking the oath of office in 2021. Pence
would be 62.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-11 21:55:37 UTC
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Post by a322x1n
VP Pence would simply be too good a President and make it
impossible for the Democrats to Return to the Oval Office
or the majority in Congress. A President Pence would also
be able to gut the Democratic Party in its weakened state.
...unless the Republicans win two thirds of the Senate,
they're going to have to endure President Trump for the
next four to eight years.
I think you meant this to read "Democrats".
It takes a two thirds vote of the Senate to throw a
President out of office. So, as it stands, the Republicans
would need Democratic help to get rid of trump (fat chance)
unless they win two thirds of the Senate seats. (No
Democrat in his or her right mind would want a "President
Pence".)
Yeah, well... someone should inform Maxine Waters before
it's too late! :-)
Kevrob
2017-11-11 22:35:05 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
................................................... (No
Democrat in his or her right mind would want a "President
Pence".)
Yeah, well... someone should inform Maxine Waters before
it's too late! :-)
OIJ did write "right mind." :)

Kevin R

Neither R nor D. You boys and girls slag each other some more,
as the popularity ratings of both of Those Two Parties continue
to drop.

Kevin R
Rick Johnson
2017-11-11 22:58:43 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Neither R nor D.
Oh, neither am i. And add an "L" and a "GP" to my list of
"non-affiliations" as well. Heck, come to think of it, it
may be much easier for me if i simply check the "block all
incoming connections" on my political firewall. Or i could
just take a hammer to my wireless card and save myself the
nuisance.
Post by Kevrob
You boys and girls slag each other some more, as the
popularity ratings of both of Those Two Parties continue to
drop.
I'm gleefully watching as these two wretched parties unravel
like an old, unfashionable Xmas sweater. Who likes to be hot
and itchy anyway?
Don Kresch
2017-11-10 01:35:56 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
Post by Ted
the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majorityâ€? have slowly eroded, replaci
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in
Sullivanâ
€™s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief syste
ms’ of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.� For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research,
reflection, and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is
simply too much to ask."
..and yet, Hillary Clinton, her liberals supporters and like-minded
people somehow believe the Electoral College must be dismantled for
the direct popular vote for President Of The United States (POTUS).
And yet, the _majority_,
Of whom?

Also: show that the majority has the right to rule.

Don
aa#51, Knight of BAAWA, Jedi Slackmaster
Praise "Bob" or burn in Slacklessness trying not to.
a322x1n
2017-11-10 02:13:03 UTC
Reply
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Post by Don Kresch
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
Post by Ted
the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy
from the “tyranny of the majorityâ€? have slowly eroded, replaci
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in
Sullivanâ
€™s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief syste
ms’ of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.� For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research,
reflection, and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is
simply too much to ask."
..and yet, Hillary Clinton, her liberals supporters and like-minded
people somehow believe the Electoral College must be dismantled for
the direct popular vote for President Of The United States (POTUS).
And yet, the _majority_,
Of whom?
Also: show that the majority has the right to rule.
Show me where the minority has a right to rule.
Don Kresch
2017-11-10 13:26:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Don Kresch
Post by a322x1n
Post by Ted
Post by Ted
the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy
from the “tyranny of the majorityâ€? have slowly eroded, replaci
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in
Sullivanâ
€™s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief syste
ms’ of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.� For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research,
reflection, and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is
simply too much to ask."
..and yet, Hillary Clinton, her liberals supporters and like-minded
people somehow believe the Electoral College must be dismantled for
the direct popular vote for President Of The United States (POTUS).
And yet, the _majority_,
Of whom?
Also: show that the majority has the right to rule.
Show
Evasion snipped.

Show me where the majority has the right to rule


Don
aa#51, Knight of BAAWA, Jedi Slackmaster
Praise "Bob" or burn in Slacklessness trying not to.
v***@gmail.com
2017-11-10 21:13:23 UTC
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Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
If you don't like democracy, go live in Iran or North Korea.
Jeanne Douglas
2017-11-11 10:32:55 UTC
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Post by Ted
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
=20
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the =E2=80=9Ctyranny of the majority=E2=80=9D have slowly eroded, replaci=
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan=E2=
=80=99s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
=20
"As Achen and Bartels write, =E2=80=9CThe political =E2=80=98belief syste=
ms=E2=80=99 of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.=E2=80=9D For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic =
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
If you don't like democracy, go live in Iran or North Korea.
Where did he say he didn't like democracy?
--
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http://www.mimousenet.com/mimo/post
Cloud Hobbit
2017-11-11 20:02:15 UTC
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I guess the pledge of allegiance has it wrong when it says to the Republic for which it stands.

The U.S. is not a democracy.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-11 22:28:48 UTC
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Post by Cloud Hobbit
I guess the pledge of allegiance has it wrong when it says
to the Republic for which it stands. The U.S. is not a
democracy.
Yep. That pesky old Pledge of Allegiance is a real hard case
i tell ya. A true delinquent. Always stirrin' up trouble.

Why just the other day, its criminally insane ilk (aka: the
national anthem), got a certain segment all hot and
bothered. Can someone please tell me what is supposedly
racist about these lyrics?

Oh, say can you see,
By the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed,
At the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket's red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Beats me...
Rick Johnson
2017-11-11 22:36:43 UTC
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On Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 4:28:50 PM UTC-6, Rick Johnson wrote:
[...]
Post by Rick Johnson
Oh, say can you see,
By the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed,
At the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket's red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
Dammit! That's the last time i trust Google lyrics. The last
line should be:

"Ov'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave".

PS: Yeah, that's right. I don't know the lyrics by heart. So
fucking sue me!

PPS: Hopefully Schmidt and Co. didn't fuck anything else up!
Kevrob
2017-11-11 23:13:37 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Rick Johnson
Oh, say can you see,
By the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed,
At the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.
And the rocket's red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night,
That our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave,
For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
Dammit! That's the last time i trust Google lyrics. The last
"Ov'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave".
PS: Yeah, that's right. I don't know the lyrics by heart. So
fucking sue me!
PPS: Hopefully Schmidt and Co. didn't fuck anything else up!
Read all 4 verses.

http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/

Verse 3 includes:

"No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,"

Hireling refers to Britain's professional soldiers, which
included mercenary units (the Hessians) in the Revolution.
I found at least one Swiss unit hired by Britain fought
in the War of 1812: Regiment de Meuron.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regiment_de_Meuron

"Slave" could refer to those loyal to George III, subjects,
not citizens, or to African-descended folks held in slavery
in the US, some of whom signed up to fight for the British.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-08-30/historians-disagree-whether-star-spangled-banner-racist

Some black Americans fought for the USA. After the fighting, some
who sided with the UK left for what is now part of Canada, or for
Trinidad, to enjoy the freedom they had been promised.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Refugee_(War_of_1812)

There were similar emigres after the Revolution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Loyalists

Maryland, where Fort McHenry is, was a slave state, and remained one
until after the US Civil War, even though Lincoln managed to keep
it in the Union.

One can understand an African-American taking the position that
Key was applauding the death of such as Britain's 2nd Corps of
Marines, who were in the Battle of Baltimore.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_Colonial_Marines

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_North_Point

Kevin R
Rick Johnson
2017-11-12 00:10:32 UTC
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On Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 5:13:39 PM UTC-6, Kevrob wrote:
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Read all 4 verses.
http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/
"No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,"
Hireling refers to Britain's professional soldiers, which
included mercenary units (the Hessians) in the Revolution.
I found at least one Swiss unit hired by Britain fought
in the War of 1812: Regiment de Meuron.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regiment_de_Meuron
"Slave" could refer to those loyal to George III, subjects,
not citizens, or to African-descended folks held in slavery
in the US, some of whom signed up to fight for the British.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-08-30/historians-disagree-whether-star-spangled-banner-racist
Hmm, i admit that third verse contains troubling semantics
that could be offensive to some. Seems like a good
compromise would be to retain the first verse and drop the
rest. I doubt many americans know/care about those verses
anyhow. The first verse is enough to invoke a patriotic feel
without boring people to death.

Now play ball!
Kevrob
2017-11-12 00:44:38 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Read all 4 verses.
http://www.dictionary.com/e/star-spangled-banner/
"No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,"
Hireling refers to Britain's professional soldiers, which
included mercenary units (the Hessians) in the Revolution.
I found at least one Swiss unit hired by Britain fought
in the War of 1812: Regiment de Meuron.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regiment_de_Meuron
"Slave" could refer to those loyal to George III, subjects,
not citizens, or to African-descended folks held in slavery
in the US, some of whom signed up to fight for the British.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-08-30/historians-disagree-whether-star-spangled-banner-racist
Hmm, i admit that third verse contains troubling semantics
that could be offensive to some. Seems like a good
compromise would be to retain the first verse and drop the
rest. I doubt many americans know/care about those verses
anyhow. The first verse is enough to invoke a patriotic feel
without boring people to death.
Now play ball!
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.

"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."

Kevin R
Rick Johnson
2017-11-12 02:40:44 UTC
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On Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 6:44:40 PM UTC-6, Kevrob wrote:
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.
"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."
Yeah, i can do without all that god mumbo jumbo. I like the
first verse because it highlights the glory of war.
Specifically: victory. The rest of it just bores me to
death.

I have a short attention span (Thanks Media!)

Speaking of ADHD... We were just talking about the vegas
shooting. Hmm, but does anyone remember the truck that mowed
down bicyclist? (i almost forgot about that one!) Seems like
ages ago now. What about Orlando? Centuries? Yep! This news
cycle moves so fast that we've become accustomed to a new
mormal.

Anyhoo, back on topic...

It sure would be nice if we humans could one day create a
society that finally, and truely, separated church and state
*AND YET*, still respected individual liberty? No state
churches (not even the watered down variety from across the
pond :-P). No "In God We Trust" propaganda. No religious
symbols in public places. Just people who understand the
importance of keeping one's private life, well, private.

What a novel freaking idea!

But i don't believe the USA could ever be such an idealistic
shining secular city on a hill, because there are just too
many gremlins in the gravy. The christers would howl and
moan about "god given rights" as hinted in the DoI, as if
the founders were reenacting the mythical mountain fable of
Abraham and his stone tablets when they wrote the DoI and
constitution.

Of course, the 1776 version cleverly removed the idol
worship and sex orgies of the legacy biblical story. Which,
for me, kinda takes all the fun out of it. Every good
fiction author knows that wild sex and a sprinkle of
idolatry is what keeps those books flying off the shelves at
B and N. Heck, it's what every prodestant house wife
secretly desires.
Alex W.
2017-11-13 16:11:30 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.
"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."
Yeah, i can do without all that god mumbo jumbo. I like the
first verse because it highlights the glory of war.
Specifically: victory. The rest of it just bores me to
death.
The glory of war?
Not a good phrase to be using on Remembrance Sunday ...
Post by Rick Johnson
I have a short attention span (Thanks Media!)
Look, a shiny thing!
Post by Rick Johnson
Speaking of ADHD... We were just talking about the vegas
shooting. Hmm, but does anyone remember the truck that mowed
down bicyclist? (i almost forgot about that one!) Seems like
ages ago now. What about Orlando? Centuries? Yep! This news
cycle moves so fast that we've become accustomed to a new
mormal.
Anyhoo, back on topic...
It sure would be nice if we humans could one day create a
society that finally, and truely, separated church and state
*AND YET*, still respected individual liberty? No state
churches (not even the watered down variety from across the
pond :-P). No "In God We Trust" propaganda. No religious
symbols in public places. Just people who understand the
importance of keeping one's private life, well, private.
Now you are delirious...

This will never happen and can never happen.

Firstly, because even individuals who keep their religious convictions
private will act on them, either as voters or as elected officials. It
is unavoidable, as those beliefs form part of the person's value system.

Secondly, it is in our nature to gang up, to form associations and
little tribes. This means organised faith, or "religion". And as such,
they are organisations which may legitimately display their insignia in
the same way as any other organisation or corporation, charitable or
for-profit.

Thirdly, this watered-down version we enjoy in our enlightened lands is,
IMNSHO, the least bad option. It turns religion from a virulent force
for groupthink and conformism into a reasonably benign social service, a
public utility, forced by its own irrelevance to behave in socially
acceptable and non-political ways.
Post by Rick Johnson
What a novel freaking idea!
But i don't believe the USA could ever be such an idealistic
shining secular city on a hill, because there are just too
many gremlins in the gravy. The christers would howl and
moan about "god given rights" as hinted in the DoI, as if
the founders were reenacting the mythical mountain fable of
Abraham and his stone tablets when they wrote the DoI and
constitution.
It is no bad thing to view either the DoI or the Constitution with due
reverence.

It only becomes problematic when such respect is turned into veneration,
when it is treated the same way as sacred scripture (and as often as not
using the same sort of language).
Post by Rick Johnson
Of course, the 1776 version cleverly removed the idol
worship and sex orgies of the legacy biblical story. Which,
for me, kinda takes all the fun out of it. Every good
fiction author knows that wild sex and a sprinkle of
idolatry is what keeps those books flying off the shelves at
B and N. Heck, it's what every prodestant house wife
secretly desires.
Isn't that why they invented assorted genres of trashy literature?
Bodice rippers and romance novels fill the gap quite adequately...
Rick Johnson
2017-11-13 18:59:42 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.
"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."
Yeah, i can do without all that god mumbo jumbo. I like
the first verse because it highlights the glory of war.
Specifically: victory. The rest of it just bores me to
death.
The glory of war? Not a good phrase to be using on
Remembrance Sunday ...
Well, i'm kinda old fashioned, you see. In Roman legion sort
of way. "SPQR"
Post by Rick Johnson
I have a short attention span (Thanks Media!)
Look, a shiny thing!
Where? <_<

Where? >_>

Where? ^_^

Where? v_v

Damn you Alex!

Stop toying with me.
Post by Rick Johnson
It sure would be nice if we humans could one day create a
society that finally, and truely, separated church and state
*AND YET*, still respected individual liberty? No state
churches (not even the watered down variety from across the
pond :-P). No "In God We Trust" propaganda. No religious
symbols in public places. Just people who understand the
importance of keeping one's private life, well, private.
Now you are delirious... This will never happen and can
never happen. Firstly, because even individuals who keep
their religious convictions private will act on them,
either as voters or as elected officials. It is
unavoidable, as those beliefs form part of the person's
value system. Secondly, it is in our nature to gang up, to
form associations and little tribes. This means organised
faith, or "religion". And as such, they are organisations
which may legitimately display their insignia in the same
way as any other organisation or corporation, charitable or
for-profit. Thirdly, this watered-down version we enjoy in
our enlightened lands is, IMNSHO, the least bad option. It
turns religion from a virulent force for groupthink and
conformism into a reasonably benign social service, a
public utility, forced by its own irrelevance to behave in
socially acceptable and non-political ways.
Harmless in its current form, true, but the church maintains
a "tenticle in the doorway", so to speak. And should the
dark ages ever return, and they possibly could, the church
would quickly regain control. So yes, while not a threat
today, the threat remains a real possibility. But the good
news is, more people are becoming aware of the cruel nature
of religion every day. So there is hope.
Post by Rick Johnson
What a novel freaking idea! But i don't believe the USA
could ever be such an idealistic shining secular city on a
hill, because there are just too many gremlins in the
gravy. The christers would howl and moan about "god given
rights" as hinted in the DoI, as if the founders were
reenacting the mythical mountain fable of Abraham and his
stone tablets when they wrote the DoI and constitution.
It is no bad thing to view either the DoI or the
Constitution with due reverence. It only becomes
problematic when such respect is turned into veneration,
when it is treated the same way as sacred scripture (and as
often as not using the same sort of language).
Well, i admit the language of the DoI and constitution can
be romanticized, but is that really a bad thing? Short of
the subjective references to god and the gender inequality
peppered throughout the text, most all of the language
concerns ideals of human rights that have been accepted by
not only secular organizations, like the modern day humanist
folks, but also most sane governments and many religions
around the globe. These ideals represent the best morals we
as humans have been able to recognize since we first climbed
down from the jungle canopy. So while i agree that we must
be careful not turn these ideals into some new found
religion[1], we also must admit that they're about as
egalitarian as could be imagined (with exception of the
tidbits i mentioned above). Which is why i have posted my
revised version of the DoI with these exclusionary and
subjective tidbits removed or restated in more inclusionary
terms. And i believe that any reasonable person who could
travel back to 1776, would agree that the original language
was not inclusionary enough. But hindsight is, as always,
20/20.
Post by Rick Johnson
Of course, the 1776 version cleverly removed the idol
worship and sex orgies of the legacy biblical story.
Which, for me, kinda takes all the fun out of it. Every
good fiction author knows that wild sex and a sprinkle of
idolatry is what keeps those books flying off the shelves
at B and N. Heck, it's what every prodestant house wife
secretly desires.
Isn't that why they invented assorted genres of trashy
literature? Bodice rippers and romance novels fill the gap
quite adequately...
You know, most of the so-called "sins of society" (as
historically described by the self-righteous leaders of
olde) are a direct result of our innate tendency to micro
manage every aspect of other people's private lives. Heck,
if these theist housewives would have enjoyed a more
fulfilling sex life, instead of the same old boring regiment
of the missionary position, she may not have been drawn to
such "seedy" and intellectually unfulfilling literature.
Heck, they may have even taken interest in _real_ thought-
provoking literature. Why, what a novel idea?

With that in mind, and in the spirit of true altruism --
because, let's face it folks, that's the kinda guy i am ;-)
-- i would like to offer our theist friends a complimentary
service with the goal of "expanding her sexual horizons". So
if your wife is willing to learn a few new tricks, then for
noodles sake, send her over to my place for a few sessions.


[1] and not because the ideals are "unsound", but because
emotion can be such a dangerous force in our social dynamic.
Don Kresch
2017-11-13 22:51:01 UTC
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Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.
"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."
Yeah, i can do without all that god mumbo jumbo. I like the
first verse because it highlights the glory of war.
Specifically: victory. The rest of it just bores me to
death.
The glory of war?
Not a good phrase to be using on Remembrance Sunday ...
Dulce et decorum est pro patria morti.


Don
aa#51, Knight of BAAWA, Jedi Slackmaster
Praise "Bob" or burn in Slacklessness trying not to.
Alex W.
2017-11-14 10:54:50 UTC
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Post by Don Kresch
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.
"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."
Yeah, i can do without all that god mumbo jumbo. I like the
first verse because it highlights the glory of war.
Specifically: victory. The rest of it just bores me to
death.
The glory of war?
Not a good phrase to be using on Remembrance Sunday ...
Dulce et decorum est pro patria morti.
I have been to the battlefields of Normandy and Flanders.

Nothing sweet about it.
Don Kresch
2017-11-14 13:59:24 UTC
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Post by Alex W.
Post by Don Kresch
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Kevrob
Very few USofAians even know about verses 2-4. 4 is the
source of the defacement of our currency with a religious
saying.
"And let this be our motto, In God is our trust."
Yeah, i can do without all that god mumbo jumbo. I like the
first verse because it highlights the glory of war.
Specifically: victory. The rest of it just bores me to
death.
The glory of war?
Not a good phrase to be using on Remembrance Sunday ...
Dulce et decorum est pro patria morti.
I have been to the battlefields of Normandy and Flanders.
Nothing sweet about it.
Don't you remember the poem?

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
-- Wilfred Owen


Don
aa#51, Knight of BAAWA, Jedi Slackmaster
Praise "Bob" or burn in Slacklessness trying not to.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-14 15:04:12 UTC
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On Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:59:25 AM UTC-6, Don Kresch wrote:
[...]
Post by Don Kresch
Don't you remember the poem?
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
-- Wilfred Owen
I don't know what sort of rhetorical point you are
attempting to make here, Kresch, but it sounds like Ol'
Wilford's glass was half empty. And possibly his brain as
well.

Of course, as the trench warfare of WW1 was absolutely
brutal -- hell on earth they say -- i suppose i should cut
Mr. Owen some slack. But i blame the commanders for this
butchery, who's primitive tactics of sending men into walls
of machine gun fire and/or poison gas was about as bone-
headed a way as you could fight a war. And as the body
counts prove, amounted to certain death. It seems as though
these commanders were under the impression that if only they
sacrificed enough soldiers to appease the "war gods",
victory would be bestowed upon them -- incompetent boobs! --
and if it were up to me these commanders would have been
executed for high treason.

Do not believe the state propaganda: the goal of war is
_not_ sacrifice, nor is it death, no, it is *ABSOLUTE-
VICTORY*. Victory that is earned from the utter destruction
of one's enemy, not the sacrifice of one's self -- the
latter being the mores of a death cult!

One achieves glory not in sacrifice nor death, only in
*LIFE*, and only in *VICTORY*. So spare me the pessimistic,
demoralizing, woe-is-me emotional *BULLSHIT*. I have neither
the time nor the patience to suffer these "poetic fools".

Owen was not cut-out to be a solider, and his infectious
pessimism may have caused the unnecessary loss of countless
soldiers (heck, for all we know, the skulking little scumbag
may have sacrificed them intentionally!). And he would have
done the world a greater service by staying home and keeping
house!
Don Kresch
2017-11-14 18:21:48 UTC
Reply
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On Tue, 14 Nov 2017 07:04:12 -0800 (PST), Rick Johnson
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Don Kresch
Don't you remember the poem?
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
-- Wilfred Owen
I don't know what sort of rhetorical point you are
attempting to make here, Kresch,
The same as Wilfred's: the irony/sarcasm of using that phrase.
That, as Sherman said, "War is hell". And it is. How many people
throughout history suffered PTSD as a result of needless wars? How
much damage has been done because some assclowns decided to have a
measuring contest?
Post by Rick Johnson
Of course, as the trench warfare of WW1 was absolutely
brutal -- hell on earth they say -- i suppose i should cut
Mr. Owen some slack. But i blame the commanders for this
butchery, who's primitive tactics of sending men into walls
of machine gun fire and/or poison gas was about as bone-
headed a way as you could fight a war. And as the body
counts prove, amounted to certain death. It seems as though
these commanders were under the impression that if only they
sacrificed enough soldiers to appease the "war gods",
victory would be bestowed upon them -- incompetent boobs!
That's one of Wilfred's points.


Don
aa#51, Knight of BAAWA, Jedi Slackmaster
Praise "Bob" or burn in Slacklessness trying not to.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-14 19:46:03 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
Rick Johnson
Post by Rick Johnson
I don't know what sort of rhetorical point you are
attempting to make here, Kresch,
The same as Wilfred's: the irony/sarcasm of using that
phrase. That, as Sherman said, "War is hell". And it is.
How many people throughout history suffered PTSD as a
result of needless wars?
Too many. Heck, in the old days they would execute soldiers
as cowards who were suffering from conditions beyond their
control (aka: shell shock)
Post by Rick Johnson
How much damage has been done because some assclowns
decided to have a measuring contest?
Well blame ghod for that! If only the bastard hadn't
designed the penis to be so strait and true, perhaps it
wouldn't be practical for us gents to always have measuring
contests. Hmm... if only the penis were shaped more like a
pretzel, then maybe, just maybe, we would have realized
world peace by now? Something to think about...

Man1: "My pretzel has more knots than yours!"

Man2: "No! _my_ pretzel has more knots!!!"

Oh shit.

We're screwed.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Rick Johnson
Of course, as the trench warfare of WW1 was absolutely
brutal -- hell on earth they say -- i suppose i should cut
Mr. Owen some slack. But i blame the commanders for this
butchery, who's primitive tactics of sending men into
walls of machine gun fire and/or poison gas was about as
bone- headed a way as you could fight a war. And as the
body counts prove, amounted to certain death. It seems as
though these commanders were under the impression that if
only they sacrificed enough soldiers to appease the "war
gods", victory would be bestowed upon them -- incompetent
boobs!
That's one of Wilfred's points.
I know. And i did apologize for being so rough on him. But
pessimism is an infectious sentiment. And it absolutely
destroys troop morale.
Don Martin
2017-11-12 15:26:20 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Maryland, where Fort McHenry is, was a slave state, and remained one
until after the US Civil War, even though Lincoln managed to keep
it in the Union.
Should you ever visit Baltimore, be sure to see Federal Hill. It is
directly across from Downtown on the south side of the Inner Harbor.
If you pay attention to land forms, you will notices that this "hill"
is remarkably rectangular and uniform of slope: it is artificial.
During the Civil War, a battery of cannon, trained upon Downtown,
graced its top. Lincoln was serious about keeping Maryland in the
Union.
--
aa #2278 Never mind "proof." Where is your evidence?
BAAWA Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief Heckler
Fidei defensor (Hon. Antipodean)
Je pense, donc je suis Charlie.
Smiler
2017-11-13 04:23:54 UTC
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Post by Don Martin
Post by Kevrob
Maryland, where Fort McHenry is, was a slave state, and remained one
until after the US Civil War, even though Lincoln managed to keep it in
the Union.
Should you ever visit Baltimore, be sure to see Federal Hill. It is
directly across from Downtown on the south side of the Inner Harbor. If
you pay attention to land forms, you will notices that this "hill"
is remarkably rectangular and uniform of slope: it is artificial.
During the Civil War, a battery of cannon, trained upon Downtown, graced
its top. Lincoln was serious about keeping Maryland in the Union.
A battery of cannon trained on your town can be very persuasive.
--
Smiler,
The godless one. a.a.# 2279
All gods are tailored to order. They're made to
exactly fit the prejudices of their believers.

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Don Martin
2017-11-14 00:15:40 UTC
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Post by Smiler
Post by Don Martin
Post by Kevrob
Maryland, where Fort McHenry is, was a slave state, and remained one
until after the US Civil War, even though Lincoln managed to keep it in
the Union.
Should you ever visit Baltimore, be sure to see Federal Hill. It is
directly across from Downtown on the south side of the Inner Harbor. If
you pay attention to land forms, you will notices that this "hill"
is remarkably rectangular and uniform of slope: it is artificial.
During the Civil War, a battery of cannon, trained upon Downtown, graced
its top. Lincoln was serious about keeping Maryland in the Union.
A battery of cannon trained on your town can be very persuasive.
And Baltimore was the chief economic engine for the entire state. Hold
a gun to the head of the leader, and the followers are sure to come
along.
--
aa #2278 Never mind "proof." Where is your evidence?
BAAWA Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief Heckler
Fidei defensor (Hon. Antipodean)
Je pense, donc je suis Charlie.
Smiler
2017-11-15 02:51:12 UTC
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Post by Smiler
Post by Don Martin
Post by Kevrob
Maryland, where Fort McHenry is, was a slave state, and remained one
until after the US Civil War, even though Lincoln managed to keep it
in the Union.
Should you ever visit Baltimore, be sure to see Federal Hill. It is
directly across from Downtown on the south side of the Inner Harbor.
If you pay attention to land forms, you will notices that this "hill"
is remarkably rectangular and uniform of slope: it is artificial.
During the Civil War, a battery of cannon, trained upon Downtown,
graced its top. Lincoln was serious about keeping Maryland in the
Union.
A battery of cannon trained on your town can be very persuasive.
And Baltimore was the chief economic engine for the entire state. Hold a
gun to the head of the leader, and the followers are sure to come along.
Yep.
--
Smiler,
The godless one. a.a.# 2279
All gods are tailored to order. They're made to
exactly fit the prejudices of their believers.

---
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v***@gmail.com
2017-11-12 18:58:07 UTC
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Post by Cloud Hobbit
I guess the pledge of allegiance has it wrong when it says to the Republic for which it stands.
The U.S. is not a democracy.
A republic is a system in which the people elect representatives to make their laws and govern. A true democracy is where the people make the decisions themselves.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-12 19:42:19 UTC
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Post by v***@gmail.com
Post by Cloud Hobbit
I guess the pledge of allegiance has it wrong when it says
to the Republic for which it stands. The U.S. is not a
democracy.
A republic is a system in which the people elect
representatives to make their laws and govern. A true
democracy is where the people make the decisions
themselves.
A true democracy is defined as two wolves and one sheep
voting on what's for dinner. Which means (thankfully) the
USA is a Republic. Some perfer the term "representative
democracy" over republic. But i perfer the obvious dicotomy
of "replublic" myself.
Jeanne Douglas
2017-11-11 10:34:54 UTC
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Post by Ted
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
=20
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the =E2=80=9Ctyranny of the majority=E2=80=9D have slowly eroded, replaci=
ng more
Post by Ted
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan=E2=
=80=99s
Post by Ted
take, used this development to his advantage."
=20
"As Achen and Bartels write, =E2=80=9CThe political =E2=80=98belief syste=
ms=E2=80=99 of ordinary
Post by Ted
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.=E2=80=9D For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic =
voters,
Post by Ted
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
If you don't like democracy, go live in Iran or North Korea.
Oh, I forgot--Iran IS a democracy. Unfortunately, the ayatollahs can keep the democratically elected from doing anything too progressive (where progressive is is defined as not strict adherence to the Quran).
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Ted
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
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Post by v***@gmail.com
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird democracy from
the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly eroded, replacing more
representative means of democracy with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s
take, used this development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief systems’ of ordinary
citizens are generally thin, disorganized, and ideologically
incoherent.” For Achen and Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters,
but unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of our
hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful research, reflection,
and debate on every issue and then vote accordingly is simply too much
to ask."
If you don't like democracy, go live in Iran or North Korea.
Anybody who likes democracy should vote straight Democrat. Do you?
Rick Johnson
2017-11-11 22:14:28 UTC
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Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird
democracy from the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly
eroded, replacing more representative means of democracy
with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s take, used this
development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief
systems’ of ordinary citizens are generally thin,
disorganized, and ideologically incoherent.” For Achen and
Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters, but
unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of
our hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful
research, reflection, and debate on every issue and then
vote accordingly is simply too much to ask."
What A and B fail to realize is that the pitfall of modern
democracy is _not_ so much that it requires "thoughtful
research, reflection, and debate" -- no, these intellectual
interests will only _benefit_ a society -- , but that our
fast-paced modern lives are so _busy_ that the majority of
us do not have time for thoughtful research, reflection, and
debate. Therefore, the analysis ignores the inherent failing
of modern democracy, specifically: mental and physical
exhaustion. And after the media tumbles everything through a
giant spin cycle, people are just tuning it all out and
reaching for the low hanging emotional fruit. Mostly, the
tomato.

A democracy cannot be healthy when the people do not
participate in an intellectually meaningful way. Which is
why our democracy is so much like a circus these days.
Ted
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Ted
http://tinyurl.com/yd49m6b6
"the original barriers the Founders constructed to gird
democracy from the “tyranny of the majority” have slowly
eroded, replacing more representative means of democracy
with direct ones. Trump, in Sullivan’s take, used this
development to his advantage."
"As Achen and Bartels write, “The political ‘belief
systems’ of ordinary citizens are generally thin,
disorganized, and ideologically incoherent.” For Achen and
Bartels, the problem is not lethargic voters, but
unrealistic ideals. The expectation that, amid the rest of
our hectic lives, we should all engage in thoughtful
research, reflection, and debate on every issue and then
vote accordingly is simply too much to ask."
What A and B fail to realize is that the pitfall of modern
democracy is _not_ so much that it requires "thoughtful
research, reflection, and debate" -- no, these intellectual
interests will only _benefit_ a society -- , but that our
fast-paced modern lives are so _busy_ that the majority of
us do not have time for thoughtful research, reflection, and
debate. Therefore, the analysis ignores the inherent failing
of modern democracy, specifically: mental and physical
exhaustion. And after the media tumbles everything through a
giant spin cycle, people are just tuning it all out and
reaching for the low hanging emotional fruit. Mostly, the
tomato.
A democracy cannot be healthy when the people do not
participate in an intellectually meaningful way. Which is
why our democracy is so much like a circus these days.
That's an interesting insight.
Cloud Hobbit
2017-11-11 22:24:19 UTC
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If local and federal government would spend money on fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would be more free time.
Instead they try to force everyone into mass transit which gives us less.

Something to think about.
Jeanne Douglas
2017-11-12 08:42:52 UTC
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Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would be more free time.
Instead they try to force everyone into mass transit which gives us less.
Something to think about.
Public transportation is awesome. You have no stress. You can read or watch video or go on Facebook or read your email. Or even work if you need to. When you're stuck in traffic in your car, you can do nothing. It's wasted time.
--
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Kevrob
2017-11-13 18:07:44 UTC
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Post by Jeanne Douglas
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would be more free time.
Instead they try to force everyone into mass transit which gives us less.
Something to think about.
Public transportation is awesome. You have no stress. You can read or watch video or go on Facebook or read your email. Or even work if you need to. When you're stuck in traffic in your car, you can do nothing. It's wasted time.
It is a giant ball of stress when: it adds an additional 2.5 to 3
hours to my daily commute; I have to make transfers and the bus line
and/or the train doesn't keep to the schedule; when the bus line cancels
runs for unexplained reasons, leaving you stranded 10 miles from your
destination with no alternate way to get home, or only a much more
expensive one (cab, Uber, etc.)

I live in commuting distance of New York City, and try telling Long
Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, PATH, or MetroNorth riders that
their commutes are "stress free." As for the NYC subway or the bus
lines there, or out in the `burbs, there's everything from track fires
to panhandling loons to deal with on the trains. The bus, everywhere
I've ever had to take it, is the ride of last resort for normal folks
with a job, but the one of first resort for every wackaloon who would
have been kept in the asylum in the "bad old days." One bus I used to
regularly take was infested with middle school kids, whose school
district gave them weekly passes rather than put them on yellow buses.
Grown people, trying to read a newspaper or book on the way to work,
surrounded by tweens without filters or any sense that the space they
were in was shared with anyone else. Eventually, the pleas from the
taxpayers got the kids off the regular bus onto school buses.
High school kids still rode with passes, and some behaved themselves,
as they were old enough for punishment, if caught breaking the law,
could have consequences. Others just didn't care. Buses would pick
up and let off at a major transfer point in the downtown business
district in one city I worked in, and police being called to quell
fights breaking out between rival groups of "students" were not
uncommon.

The lack of flexibility of public transit is annoying, also.
My employer recently moved a major department from the facility
I work at to one 60 miles away. If they move my department there
someday, I could drive there. I'd never be able to get there
on transit. The system map isn't designed for commuting except
for into and out of an urban hub. Commuting from suburb to suburb
is a hopeless task, or so time consuming and expensive (buying fares
on more than one system when transfers aren't honored) that one
would quickly tire of it.

Mind you, I've been carless a good portion of my life, though I
do currently have something I can drive. In American society, not
having a motor vehicle limits one in significant ways.

Kevin R
Rick Johnson
2017-11-13 23:47:17 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Jeanne Douglas
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on
fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would
be more free time. Instead they try to force everyone
into mass transit which gives us less. Something to
think about.
Public transportation is awesome. You have no stress. You
can read or watch video or go on Facebook or read your
email. Or even work if you need to. When you're stuck in
traffic in your car, you can do nothing. It's wasted time.
It is a giant ball of stress when: it adds an additional
2.5 to 3 hours to my daily commute; I have to make
transfers and the bus line and/or the train doesn't keep to
the schedule; when the bus line cancels runs for
unexplained reasons, leaving you stranded 10 miles from
your destination with no alternate way to get home, or only
a much more expensive one (cab, Uber, etc.)
I live in commuting distance of New York City, and try
telling Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, PATH, or
MetroNorth riders that their commutes are "stress free."
As for the NYC subway or the bus lines there, or out in the
`burbs, there's everything from track fires to panhandling
loons to deal with on the trains. The bus, everywhere I've
ever had to take it, is the ride of last resort for normal
folks with a job, but the one of first resort for every
wackaloon who would have been kept in the asylum in the
"bad old days." One bus I used to regularly take was
infested with middle school kids, whose school district
gave them weekly passes rather than put them on yellow
buses. Grown people, trying to read a newspaper or book on
the way to work, surrounded by tweens without filters or
any sense that the space they were in was shared with
anyone else. Eventually, the pleas from the taxpayers got
the kids off the regular bus onto school buses. High school
kids still rode with passes, and some behaved themselves,
as they were old enough for punishment, if caught breaking
the law, could have consequences. Others just didn't care.
Buses would pick up and let off at a major transfer point
in the downtown business district in one city I worked in,
and police being called to quell fights breaking out
between rival groups of "students" were not uncommon.
The lack of flexibility of public transit is annoying,
also. My employer recently moved a major department from
the facility I work at to one 60 miles away. If they move
my department there someday, I could drive there. I'd
never be able to get there on transit. The system map
isn't designed for commuting except for into and out of an
urban hub. Commuting from suburb to suburb is a hopeless
task, or so time consuming and expensive (buying fares on
more than one system when transfers aren't honored) that
one would quickly tire of it.
Mind you, I've been carless a good portion of my life,
though I do currently have something I can drive. In
American society, not having a motor vehicle limits one in
significant ways.
I believe the inherent issues you describe with PT are the
major reason why, even in the major metropolis, and even in
specific cases that would benefit commuters, it is not the
prefered method of transport. Reasons include:

(1) The impracticalities of multiple transfers
(2) Late arrivals or last minute cancelations
(3) Pestering panhandlers, rowdy teens, and all around
rude/disturbing behavior from fellow passengers.
(4) BO and biological hazards (germs, feces, urine, etc...)
(5) Violent altercations
(6) Lack of flexibility
(7) Loss of autonomy
(8) And the ever-present threat of terror attacks. Any place
large groups congregate is a prime target.

Put it this way: i wouldn't want my child riding a bus or
train/subway alone. A plane is frightening enough, but not
as frightening as the aforementioned modes of transport.
Jeanne Douglas
2017-11-14 01:58:29 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Jeanne Douglas
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would be more free time.
Instead they try to force everyone into mass transit which gives us less.
Something to think about.
Public transportation is awesome. You have no stress. You can read or watch video or go on Facebook or read your email. Or even work if you need to. When you're stuck in traffic in your car, you can do nothing. It's wasted time.
It is a giant ball of stress when: it adds an additional 2.5 to 3
hours to my daily commute; I have to make transfers and the bus line
and/or the train doesn't keep to the schedule; when the bus line cancels
runs for unexplained reasons, leaving you stranded 10 miles from your
destination with no alternate way to get home, or only a much more
expensive one (cab, Uber, etc.)
I live in commuting distance of New York City, and try telling Long
Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, PATH, or MetroNorth riders that
their commutes are "stress free." As for the NYC subway or the bus
lines there, or out in the `burbs, there's everything from track fires
to panhandling loons to deal with on the trains. The bus, everywhere
I've ever had to take it, is the ride of last resort for normal folks
with a job, but the one of first resort for every wackaloon who would
have been kept in the asylum in the "bad old days." One bus I used to
regularly take was infested with middle school kids, whose school
district gave them weekly passes rather than put them on yellow buses.
Grown people, trying to read a newspaper or book on the way to work,
surrounded by tweens without filters or any sense that the space they
were in was shared with anyone else. Eventually, the pleas from the
taxpayers got the kids off the regular bus onto school buses.
High school kids still rode with passes, and some behaved themselves,
as they were old enough for punishment, if caught breaking the law,
could have consequences. Others just didn't care. Buses would pick
up and let off at a major transfer point in the downtown business
district in one city I worked in, and police being called to quell
fights breaking out between rival groups of "students" were not
uncommon.
The lack of flexibility of public transit is annoying, also.
My employer recently moved a major department from the facility
I work at to one 60 miles away. If they move my department there
someday, I could drive there. I'd never be able to get there
on transit. The system map isn't designed for commuting except
for into and out of an urban hub. Commuting from suburb to suburb
is a hopeless task, or so time consuming and expensive (buying fares
on more than one system when transfers aren't honored) that one
would quickly tire of it.
Mind you, I've been carless a good portion of my life, though I
do currently have something I can drive. In American society, not
having a motor vehicle limits one in significant ways.
I haven't had a car in 30 years and I live in LA. 95% of the time I'm perfectly happy with our public transportion, though I do know that that's because I live in an area with great coverage.

A car is nothing but a money pit.
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Rick Johnson
2017-11-14 03:13:00 UTC
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On Monday, November 13, 2017 at 7:58:35 PM UTC-6, Jeanne Douglas wrote:
[...]
Post by Jeanne Douglas
I haven't had a car in 30 years and I live in LA. 95% of
the time I'm perfectly happy with our public transportion,
though I do know that that's because I live in an area with
great coverage. A car is nothing but a money pit.
And here we have the flip side of the coin!

For all it's woes, PT saves the average american on average,
35,000 for the purchase price of a new car, and somewhere
between another 1-5 times that much over the lifetime of
ownership.

Cars are too expensive. And although i can afford to buy a
new car, i find myself, at least these days, looking for a
way to separate myself from these "beasts of burden".

However, even though a reliance on PT can save the average
person potentially tens of thousands of dollars, PT is
restricted to only urban areas, and, let's not forget!, in
these urban areas taxes tend to be very high. So, unless
you're co- habitating with Anthony Kiedis in his cardboard
box located "under the bridge downtown", there are some
additional costs incurred for living in the metropolis.
Cloud Hobbit
2017-11-14 19:24:50 UTC
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I don't see how PT saves anybody money when they need on average 7 dollars in subsidies for every dollar they collect in fares.
Alex W.
2017-11-12 10:07:06 UTC
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Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would be more free time.
Instead they try to force everyone into mass transit which gives us less.
Something to think about.
So you'd rather have to drive in stop-and-go rush hour traffic twice a
day than on a train doing what you want?

On public transport, I get to read my paper or a book. I can whip out a
laptop and do some productive work. I can wind down from the day's
stress by listening to some music. I can do all of that while having a
cup of tea or coffee (or even a drink). Can't do any of that while
stuck behind the steering wheel of a car that costs me more a month than
a season card for the trains.

Something to think about.
Jeanne Douglas
2017-11-12 12:30:16 UTC
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Post by Alex W.
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would be more free time.
Instead they try to force everyone into mass transit which gives us less.
Something to think about.
So you'd rather have to drive in stop-and-go rush hour traffic twice a
day than on a train doing what you want?
On public transport, I get to read my paper or a book. I can whip out a
laptop and do some productive work. I can wind down from the day's
stress by listening to some music. I can do all of that while having a
cup of tea or coffee (or even a drink). Can't do any of that while
stuck behind the steering wheel of a car that costs me more a month than
a season card for the trains.
Something to think about.
And pretty much exactly what I said.
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Rick Johnson
2017-11-12 14:58:10 UTC
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Post by Jeanne Douglas
Post by Alex W.
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on
fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would
be more free time. Instead they try to force everyone
into mass transit which gives us less. Something to think
about.
So you'd rather have to drive in stop-and-go rush hour
traffic twice a day than on a train doing what you want?
On public transport, I get to read my paper or a book. I
can whip out a laptop and do some productive work. I can
wind down from the day's stress by listening to some
music. I can do all of that while having a cup of tea or
coffee (or even a drink). Can't do any of that while
stuck behind the steering wheel of a car that costs me
more a month than a season card for the trains. Something
to think about.
And pretty much exactly what I said.
All those productivity and de-stress points cannot be
denied, but i wonder... will the self driving car mean that
investment in public transport will be a giant loss roughly
a decade from now?

Sure, PT will always have the advantage of decongesting the
roadways, but if you can sip coffee and surf the web or
sleep in your own private transport "pod" instead being
pestered by the noise and flatulence and BO of the other
obnoxious riders, i think the personal transport pod will
win every day of the week and twice on sunday. Not to
mention the personal safety issues we see in large cities
with people being robbed and raped on PT (or while
navigating through subway terminals).
Alex W.
2017-11-13 09:29:54 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Jeanne Douglas
Post by Alex W.
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on
fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would
be more free time. Instead they try to force everyone
into mass transit which gives us less. Something to think
about.
So you'd rather have to drive in stop-and-go rush hour
traffic twice a day than on a train doing what you want?
On public transport, I get to read my paper or a book. I
can whip out a laptop and do some productive work. I can
wind down from the day's stress by listening to some
music. I can do all of that while having a cup of tea or
coffee (or even a drink). Can't do any of that while
stuck behind the steering wheel of a car that costs me
more a month than a season card for the trains. Something
to think about.
And pretty much exactly what I said.
All those productivity and de-stress points cannot be
denied, but i wonder... will the self driving car mean that
investment in public transport will be a giant loss roughly
a decade from now?
Self-driving cars are a ways off yet. The technology is not yet ready
for mass roll-out, and once it does hit the streets, I suspect that its
first uses will be in delivery services and public transport. After
all, a bus will always drive along a predetermined route which makes the
task far easier for the boffins. This alone should ensure not only the
survival but the expansion of public transport.

The other issue will be absolutely massive resistance by the general
public. While most countries are not as totally, madly and deeply in
love with the motor car as the US, most of the world is quite deeply
attached to car ownership and driving. It is a mark of adulthood, more
practical and versatile than mass transit, offers personal mobility and
independence, is one of the clearest indicators of status and success
(or absence thereof). The marketplace, therefore, is where self-driving
cars will face its biggest challenge.

As for financial loss, few if any public transport systems are
financially self-sustaining as it is. Their economic benefit lies not
in their ability to make money itself but in enabling and increasing
economic activity in general. Thus, I would not see the death of mass
transit schemes anytime soon. They are simply too valuable.
Post by Rick Johnson
Sure, PT will always have the advantage of decongesting the
roadways, but if you can sip coffee and surf the web or
sleep in your own private transport "pod" instead being
pestered by the noise and flatulence and BO of the other
obnoxious riders, i think the personal transport pod will
win every day of the week and twice on sunday. Not to
mention the personal safety issues we see in large cities
with people being robbed and raped on PT (or while
navigating through subway terminals).
For every crime committed on public transport, I will show you ten cases
of car theft, traffic accidents, and car-jackings. Where are you really
safer, on a New York subway platform or in your car?
Rick Johnson
2017-11-13 17:43:24 UTC
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[...]
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Sure, PT will always have the advantage of decongesting
the roadways, but if you can sip coffee and surf the web
or sleep in your own private transport "pod" instead being
pestered by the noise and flatulence and BO of the other
obnoxious riders, i think the personal transport pod will
win every day of the week and twice on sunday. Not to
mention the personal safety issues we see in large cities
with people being robbed and raped on PT (or while
navigating through subway terminals).
For every crime committed on public transport, I will show
you ten cases of car theft, traffic accidents, and car-
jackings.
If your numbers are correct, that's a one to ten ratio. Hmm,
for every PT rider, I wonder how many autos are on the road?
Post by Alex W.
Where are you really safer, on a New York subway platform
or in your car?
That question couldn't honestly be answered without some
reliable statistical data. And you couldn't just compare
crime stats without also considering the aggregate number of
cars on the road / and PT riders.

We know that airline travel is safer than automobiles, but
outside of rare events like hijackings (which are almost
unheard of these days), violent crime is rare during air-
travel and/or in airport terminals. Not sure why this is? My
suspicion is that we've always known airline travel to be a
ripe target for terrorist, and has been long before 9/11.
And as such, the security is aggressive.

However, in the case of PT, i'm highly skeptical of crime
reporting as these projects are typically "pet projects" of
city managers or mayors, and they have a tendency to keep a
tight lid on anything that would undermine the public's
faith in their "pet projects", yes, even violent crimes,
because when the public feel unsafe in their own city, they
vote for new management.

Why, just this year, BART refused to release a videos that
captured multiple incidents involving gangs of violent teens
attacking and robbing riders. And in one of the more
troubling cases, a group of approx. 60 teens boards a train
and robs seven people.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/07/09/bart-withholding-surveillance-videos-of-crime-to-avoid-stereotypes/

We've seen these "flash mobs" engage in all sorts of
thuggary in major cities across the US. And, AFAIC, these
flash mobs are a form of terrorism.

And even BART has admitted the crimes rates are up. But of
course, they try to spin the stats as much as they can:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Crime-stats-show-where-surge-in-BART-robberies-is-11108092.php

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/01/mapping-crime-at-bart-stations/

Suppressing evidence of gang violence is a betrayal of the
public's trust in government, and in any sane political
environment, would be a high crime. This anti-transparency
and elitist attitude that is sweeping through our federal
and local governments mush be brought to an end. Democracy
is undermined when the public is denied valuable
information. And crime data is arguably one of the most
important pieces of information that a citizen can utilize
to protect themselves, and their loved ones, from becooming
victims. But more importantly, the public has a right to
know if their elected officials are incompetent.

I hereby propose that rigorous audit of the Bay Area's local
governmental budgets be conducted by an independent special
prosequtor, with the goal of uncovering every waste, fraud
and abuse that is undermining the Bay Area's ability to fund
more aggressive security measures at _all_ points along the
BART system. If BART sees a rise in ridership, then a
proportional rise in security must be implemented
immediately. And for the local managers to throw up their
hands and say "Well, the public will just have to accept
that more riders means more crimes"... is an abject failure
of duty, and constitutes willful neglect of public safety.

The first directive of _all_ governments is to provide a
safe environment for _all_ citizens who fall under its
jurisdiction, and any government who cannot provide a
reasonable expectation of public safety has _itself_ become
a danger to the public, and henceforth, every duty that
proceeds _after_ the first directive must be ignored, with
all funds and governmental resources reallocated and laser
focused on the first directive until such time as a
reasonable expectation of safety can be enjoyed by each and
every citizen of said jurisdiction. Futhermore, if said
managers cannot restore the public safety in a reasonable
amount of time, they must be relieved of their duties, and
an interim team of emergency managers must be brought in to
restore this safety so new election can be held.

It as often been stated that the Untited States Constitution
is not a suicide pact, but year after year, we watch
helplessly as our infrastructure slowly deteriorates; our
national debt skyrockets; our political atmosphere becomes
evermore polarized; and our major cities become cesspools of
crime where roving bands of punk-ass thugs commit violent
crimes against our fellow citizens with absolute impunity.
And while we are being preyed upon, and while our cities
crumble around us, our leaders are living the 1% lifestyle
with tax payer funded armed guards and gated communities.
Something is wrong with this picture. And, for the most
part, we as citizens, only have ourselves to blame.

We allowed this to happen.

We allowed this to happen we stopped caring about real
issues, and allowed ourselves to be lead around by the nose
with the emotional pandering of political Charlatans.

We allowed this happen when we stopped holding elected
officials responsible for their abject failures and in-our-
face corruption.

We allowed this happen when we stood by idoly as the binary
party system build impenetrable fortresses around itself,
walls that no other party could ever hope to breech!

But most of all, we allowed this to happen when we forgot
that freedom and liberty are far more important than a few
petty priviledges or self gratifying handouts. We've allowed
this to happen because we've allowed greed and envy and
jealousy to consume us. To blind us to the real truth. The
truth that, we, the people, are being preyed upon by our
elected officials. The "political class".

Because, believe it not, we are the ones in control. We are
the ones who hold the power over this great nation. But
we've got to take our faces out of our telescreens for five
minutes to look around, and ask ourselves who is the _real_
enemy to our freedom? Who is the _real_ enemy to our safety?
And who is the _real_ enemy to our liberty?

Is it really those mean old republicans?

Or those mean old democrats?

No.

Those are our shipmates, and regardless of the petty
difference we may harbor against them, we are all trapped on
this same ship, and bound by the same fate. And our capitans
are drunken filthy blowhards who care nothing for our safety
or well being. And their negligence and incompetence is
going to get us _all_ killed. Or worse.
Alex W.
2017-11-14 10:49:30 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Sure, PT will always have the advantage of decongesting
the roadways, but if you can sip coffee and surf the web
or sleep in your own private transport "pod" instead being
pestered by the noise and flatulence and BO of the other
obnoxious riders, i think the personal transport pod will
win every day of the week and twice on sunday. Not to
mention the personal safety issues we see in large cities
with people being robbed and raped on PT (or while
navigating through subway terminals).
For every crime committed on public transport, I will show
you ten cases of car theft, traffic accidents, and car-
jackings.
If your numbers are correct, that's a one to ten ratio. Hmm,
for every PT rider, I wonder how many autos are on the road?
Post by Alex W.
Where are you really safer, on a New York subway platform
or in your car?
That question couldn't honestly be answered without some
reliable statistical data. And you couldn't just compare
crime stats without also considering the aggregate number of
cars on the road / and PT riders.
Absolute numbers are not the right metric, I would suggest. Time spent
in transit or miles travelled would be better yardsticks for comparison.
Post by Rick Johnson
We know that airline travel is safer than automobiles, but
outside of rare events like hijackings (which are almost
unheard of these days), violent crime is rare during air-
travel and/or in airport terminals. Not sure why this is? My
suspicion is that we've always known airline travel to be a
ripe target for terrorist, and has been long before 9/11.
And as such, the security is aggressive.
It is also far easier to implement security in air travel, for the
simple reasons of manageable numbers of travellers. For instance, Grand
Central Terminal handles 750,000 passengers every day (and a million on
holidays) but JFK airport deals with just over 160,000. The numbers
alone make policing railway stations far harder to police than airports.

Another reason, IMO, is the purpose of such travel. Most people on mass
transit are commuters and shoppers. We cannot possibly subject such
travellers to the same sort of scrutiny as air travel passengers who
will typically go for longer distances, longer periods and carrying a
lot more luggage.
Post by Rick Johnson
However, in the case of PT, i'm highly skeptical of crime
reporting as these projects are typically "pet projects" of
city managers or mayors, and they have a tendency to keep a
tight lid on anything that would undermine the public's
faith in their "pet projects", yes, even violent crimes,
because when the public feel unsafe in their own city, they
vote for new management.
That cuts both ways, though: keep crime stats artificially low, and they
find it hard to shout about improvements in safety.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-14 14:11:59 UTC
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[...]
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
However, in the case of PT, i'm highly skeptical of crime
reporting as these projects are typically "pet projects"
of city managers or mayors, and they have a tendency to
keep a tight lid on anything that would undermine the
public's faith in their "pet projects", yes, even violent
crimes, because when the public feel unsafe in their own
city, they vote for new management.
That cuts both ways, though: keep crime stats artificially
low, and they find it hard to shout about improvements in
safety.
A good point, and a tactic that has been employed to great
effect in many districts as an excuse to raise taxes. When
faced with rampant crime, or in the case of PT these flash-
mob thugs, the people never demand a transparent audit of
the budget so they might understand _why_ there are not
enough police or firemen on the streets, nope, they just
blindly agree to raise their own taxes!

And that is why the redundant procedures i outlined earlier
in this thread are so important. This blatant manipulation
of the mobs cannot be allowed to continue. Mobs have certain
emotional weaknesses that can be exploited by the pols, and
we have seen this exploitation time and time again.
Malcolm McMahon
2017-11-15 15:22:09 UTC
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Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Jeanne Douglas
Post by Alex W.
Post by Cloud Hobbit
If local and federal government would spend money on
fixing and increasing our roads and freeways there would
be more free time. Instead they try to force everyone
into mass transit which gives us less. Something to think
about.
So you'd rather have to drive in stop-and-go rush hour
traffic twice a day than on a train doing what you want?
On public transport, I get to read my paper or a book. I
can whip out a laptop and do some productive work. I can
wind down from the day's stress by listening to some
music. I can do all of that while having a cup of tea or
coffee (or even a drink). Can't do any of that while
stuck behind the steering wheel of a car that costs me
more a month than a season card for the trains. Something
to think about.
And pretty much exactly what I said.
All those productivity and de-stress points cannot be
denied, but i wonder... will the self driving car mean that
investment in public transport will be a giant loss roughly
a decade from now?
Self-driving cars are a ways off yet. The technology is not yet ready
for mass roll-out, and once it does hit the streets, I suspect that its
first uses will be in delivery services and public transport. After
all, a bus will always drive along a predetermined route which makes the
task far easier for the boffins. This alone should ensure not only the
survival but the expansion of public transport.
It actually looks like the likes of Uber will get the first mass market autonomous vehicles.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-15 20:43:13 UTC
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On Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 9:22:11 AM UTC-6, Malcolm McMahon wrote:

[Speaking to the future evolution of public transportation, Malcolm said: ]
Post by Malcolm McMahon
It actually looks like the likes of Uber will get the first
mass market autonomous vehicles.
A thought provoking observation concerning the future of PT
that i had completely missed. And it makes perfect sense!
Such implementation is obviously the most practical path
that provides a "less challenging" enviroment for the self-
driving car to get its proverbial "feet wet".

(STEP 1) Begin the _real_ beta testing of self-driving cars
in the transportation sectors that already have *CLEARLY
DEFINED* starting and ending ponts -- such as is currently
provided by trains, subways, and buses or simple commuting.

(STEP 2): Once the software can handle these finite
logistical problems, *AND* the general public becomes
comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars[2], begin the
more difficult task of conquering the remaining sectors.

You know, this sort of technology has me very excited about
the future. And what excites me most is that this technology
has the potential to put governments around the globe _back_
in their rightful place -- as the rule makers, _not_ the
managers of entire sectors of our economy.


[1] Short of a few stubborn-old-farts, of course.
Malcolm McMahon
2017-11-16 15:32:15 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[Speaking to the future evolution of public transportation, Malcolm said: ]
Post by Malcolm McMahon
It actually looks like the likes of Uber will get the first
mass market autonomous vehicles.
A thought provoking observation concerning the future of PT
that i had completely missed. And it makes perfect sense!
Such implementation is obviously the most practical path
that provides a "less challenging" enviroment for the self-
driving car to get its proverbial "feet wet".
(STEP 1) Begin the _real_ beta testing of self-driving cars
in the transportation sectors that already have *CLEARLY
DEFINED* starting and ending ponts -- such as is currently
provided by trains, subways, and buses or simple commuting.
(STEP 2): Once the software can handle these finite
logistical problems, *AND* the general public becomes
comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars[2], begin the
more difficult task of conquering the remaining sectors.
It doesn't appear to me that navigation is the challenge. The challenge is other drivers. other vehicles, and, of course, cyclists and pedestrians Which can happen on a fixed route.
Post by Rick Johnson
You know, this sort of technology has me very excited about
the future. And what excites me most is that this technology
has the potential to put governments around the globe _back_
in their rightful place -- as the rule makers, _not_ the
managers of entire sectors of our economy.
We will always need governments to manage public goods, which includes stuff like roads, clean air etc.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-16 16:46:38 UTC
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Post by Malcolm McMahon
It doesn't appear to me that navigation is the challenge.
The challenge is other drivers. other vehicles, and, of
course, cyclists and pedestrians Which can happen on a
fixed route.
Agreed. Navigation systems _themselves_ are fairly well
advanced these days. But the "navigation infrastructure",
and more importantly, the systems that will _control_ this
infrastructure, will be facing many potential threats that
require careful security considerations. With the biggest
threat of all being terrorist or roque-state hacking

Yep. It's not just some pimple-faced kid hacking into
government computers from his mother's basement for kicks.
;-)

Bad actors will be attracted to this most vital
infrastructure system because of how much damage they could
do. Just imagine how disruptive a day's long shutdown could
be. Millions of autos dead-stopped on freeways and in city
streets; people stranded and agitated; etc... And even
_after_ the system is restored, vital infrastructure
supplies would be running low for days (petroleum, food,
water, etc...). So if a few taxis go down and some unlucky
folks are late for work or a movie -- that's irritating --
but it's not a major hit to the economy, nor will it
initiate the kind of social havoc that usually occurs only
during natural disasters. These are the real problems that
we have to prepare for.

If our taxi missed a turn and had to loop back around the
block to get to our destination, no big deal. Such is only a
minor bug, and can be solved later.
Post by Malcolm McMahon
We will always need governments to manage public goods,
which includes stuff like roads, clean air etc.
IMHO, problems like these are best solved when government
creates some basic ground rules, steps back, and allows
private industry to decide how best to manage and solve
these problems. We all know that government contracts to
build roads and bridges are notorious for corruption and
budget overruns. So instead of managing and awarding these
contracts, pay a private party to do it. Or, better yet,
create a logic program that awards contracts to those who's
pricing is reasonable and who's management style and results
show a history of competence.

To be fair, there are pro and cons to both governmental
management and private "for-profit" management.

In the former case, there is no _real_ motivation for any
government to spend money wisely, because they are spending
_other_ people's money. And even though we would like to
believe that mismanagement of tax dollars translates
directly into election losses, the truth is, only in the
most egregious cases of mismanagement or corruption are the
incompetents removed.

In the latter case, while corporations _are_ motivated to
spend money wisely -- because if they don't, they won't have
any to spend at all-- the solution for them is either (1)
Premium pricing, or (2) undercutting the wages of workers in
order to maximize profit.

The key to solving this problem is to (1) hire a competent
private sector company (2) pay them a _reasonable_ price to
complete the job, and (3) most of all, demand they pay their
employees a _reasonable_ wage. And any company who refuses
to invest in our people, can go pound sand!

And although such a system may indeed undercut free market
economics -- i really don't care. i'm not about to stand by
as corrupt politicians and profit-over-everything executives
sink their hypodermic fangs into our economic system and
suck the lifeblood out of it. If someone can offer a free
market solution to this problem -- one that does not exploit
the working and middle classes -- then, by all means, let's
hear it.
Malcolm McMahon
2017-11-16 16:58:33 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Malcolm McMahon
It doesn't appear to me that navigation is the challenge.
The challenge is other drivers. other vehicles, and, of
course, cyclists and pedestrians Which can happen on a
fixed route.
Agreed. Navigation systems _themselves_ are fairly well
advanced these days. But the "navigation infrastructure",
and more importantly, the systems that will _control_ this
infrastructure, will be facing many potential threats that
require careful security considerations. With the biggest
threat of all being terrorist or roque-state hacking
Yep. It's not just some pimple-faced kid hacking into
government computers from his mother's basement for kicks.
;-)
Thus far, these autonomous vehicles are happy enough with the "navigation infrastructure" designed for humans, plus GPS. You need to watch any routes through which a virus might be introduced into the car itself, but there seems to be no great need for extra infrastructure.

Eventually the vehicles will start communicating with one another, but it'll just be a matter of optimisation of traffic flow. It won't happen until almost all human drivers are out of the way.

I'm far more worried about the criminal uses to which autonomous cars are likely to be put.

Plus the games that irresponsible kids are likely to play with the car's reactions to pedestrians. Fancy passing through a really bad neighbourhood in a car that a couple of lad can slam to a halt without any risk to them?
Rick Johnson
2017-11-17 01:42:38 UTC
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Post by Malcolm McMahon
Thus far, these autonomous vehicles are happy enough with
the "navigation infrastructure" designed for humans, plus
GPS. You need to watch any routes through which a virus
might be introduced into the car itself, but there seems to
be no great need for extra infrastructure.
Admittingly my wording may have been a bit clumsy there. I
didn't intend to suggest that we need a new or different
kind of road system, rather, that GPS navigation is not
always fool proof. IOWs, there remain some kinks to be
worked out. And, IMO, beta testing is really the only way to
do that. Of course, the biggest challenge of the self-
driving car is not getting from point A to point B -- that's
"fairly" simple these days -- the big problem is avoiding
all the dynamic crap in between (aka: other drivers,
construction zones, pedestrians, bicyclist, or even black
cats who might to decide to cross your path)
Post by Malcolm McMahon
Eventually the vehicles will start communicating with one
another, but it'll just be a matter of optimisation of
traffic flow. It won't happen until almost all human
drivers are out of the way.
I'm far more worried about the criminal uses to which
autonomous cars are likely to be put.
Plus the games that irresponsible kids are likely to play
with the car's reactions to pedestrians. Fancy passing
through a really bad neighbourhood in a car that a couple
of lad can slam to a halt without any risk to them?
In the old days a spooked driver would just "floor it" and
speed away safely as street punks flung from the bumper like
bowling pins. -- but not so much in the era of self-driving
cars! Hmm. That's clever. It would be an easy way to rob
someone. And here again, we have another fine example of why
the second amendment continues to be so vital for american's
safety and liberty. O:-)
Alex W.
2017-11-18 09:43:09 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Malcolm McMahon
Thus far, these autonomous vehicles are happy enough with
the "navigation infrastructure" designed for humans, plus
GPS. You need to watch any routes through which a virus
might be introduced into the car itself, but there seems to
be no great need for extra infrastructure.
Admittingly my wording may have been a bit clumsy there. I
didn't intend to suggest that we need a new or different
kind of road system, rather, that GPS navigation is not
always fool proof. IOWs, there remain some kinks to be
worked out. And, IMO, beta testing is really the only way to
do that. Of course, the biggest challenge of the self-
driving car is not getting from point A to point B -- that's
"fairly" simple these days -- the big problem is avoiding
all the dynamic crap in between (aka: other drivers,
construction zones, pedestrians, bicyclist, or even black
cats who might to decide to cross your path)
AKA the randomness of life, something we humans are born and bred to
cope with...

I suspect that the biggest challenge of the entire concept will be the
legal dimension. Who will be responsible for the actions and conduct of
the car? Who will be legally liable? Can the driver be held
responsible if he has no control? What happens if there are situations
where damage to persons is unavoidable?

Until that is sorted out, self-driving vehicles will not take off.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-18 23:30:45 UTC
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Alex W. wrote:
[...]
Post by Alex W.
I suspect that the biggest challenge of the entire concept
will be the legal dimension. Who will be responsible for
the actions and conduct of the car? Who will be legally
liable? Can the driver be held responsible if he has no
control? What happens if there are situations where damage
to persons is unavoidable? Until that is sorted out, self-
driving vehicles will not take off.
And there are already plans and schemes being hatched
between the political class and the corporations, to limit
the liability of self-driving car makers.

Hmm.

In the legal system, the ideal of "justice" really doesn't
matter. What matters is how well you play the "game". The
rich play this game very well because they can afford to
hire crafty advocates. But the holy grail of the game is to
control the laws themselves. And if you can exempt yourself
from the law, then you are, in effect, a god in this legal
system.

And that is why i despise the legal justice system.

When i was a boy i assumed there must be some fundamental
truth and/or morality to the legal system -- and i fear that
many folks grow old believing this lie -- but boy was i
wrong! My discovery that the so-called "justice system" is
fundamentally unjust, caused me to adjust my evolutionary
vector towards STEM, philosophy, logic/reason. The
intellectual pursuits which intend to solve natural enigmas
and discover fundamental truths. Not the pursuits which
engineer chaos, stratification, and sow seeds of discontent
(law, politics, etc...).

"Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their
respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the
agents of injustice." -- David Thoreau

All of which led me to the final conclusion that government
_itself_ is fundamentally flawed. Because where else, save
the *SENATE*, is our western democracy more flawed? For the
Senate is the very _source_ of these unjust laws. The Senate
is nothing by a extravagantly adorned, marble-walled factory
of injustice, pumping-out coercion tactics with one goal in
mind -- the systematic destruction of individual will.

But, as we know, the law only applies to the "little
people". Celebrities; the 1%, and (of course) the political
class are not held to the same standard as the other 98
percent. And what is most ironic to me is how modern folk
seem to miss that such a system more closely resembles a
_monarchy_ than a democracy. In the days of Kings and
Queens, no "noble man" or "gentlemen" would suffer severe
punishments. Typically the punishments were socially or
fiscally punitive, whereas, the same crime would send a
citizen to prison or even the gallows. Western democracy is
no different in this regard. And this filthy propaganda that
western democracy is a system *OF* the people; *FOR* the
people; and *BY* the people -- is a farce!

Go ahead and ask the Congress members if you don't believe
me. They can tell you all about how wonderful it is to
decided their own salary. As well as exempting themselves
from ObamaCare, so they can keep their 1%er quality health
plans. And deciding how many days a year they get paid by
_us_ to go on vacation.

Yeah.

They're living the dream that only monarchs have known.

"Let them eat cake!"

"Let them be distracted by the Kardasians!"

But most of all...

"Let them get back to _work_ so they can afford to pay the
taxes that subsidize our extravagant lifestyles. Because
after all, the 1%er lifestyle is not getting any cheaper
these days!"
Alex W.
2017-11-19 17:46:02 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Alex W.
I suspect that the biggest challenge of the entire concept
will be the legal dimension. Who will be responsible for
the actions and conduct of the car? Who will be legally
liable? Can the driver be held responsible if he has no
control? What happens if there are situations where damage
to persons is unavoidable? Until that is sorted out, self-
driving vehicles will not take off.
And there are already plans and schemes being hatched
between the political class and the corporations, to limit
the liability of self-driving car makers.
Germany, the world's pre-eminent car making nation, has already passed
legislation firmly placing responsibility with the vehicle
operator/owner. While this may be good news for Mercedes, Volkswagen
and BMW, it will do nothing whatever for sales of self-driving cars.
Why would I accept responsibility if I have absolutely no control
whatsoever?
Post by Rick Johnson
Hmm.
Hmm indeed.

Oh, shiny thing!
Post by Rick Johnson
In the legal system, the ideal of "justice" really doesn't
matter. What matters is how well you play the "game". The
rich play this game very well because they can afford to
hire crafty advocates. But the holy grail of the game is to
control the laws themselves. And if you can exempt yourself
from the law, then you are, in effect, a god in this legal
system.
And that is why i despise the legal justice system.
The legal system is merely a baroque, byzantine and brobdingnagian
expression of the complex system of social codes of conduct that arise
in any society. A wandering tribe of Kalahari bushmen or an
undiscovered tribe of Amazonian Indians has systems governing and
regulating human interaction every bit as intricate as the US legal
code. And in those codes, too, there are winners and losers, those on
top and those who are made to obey, those who are good at gaming the
system and those who are pawns.
Post by Rick Johnson
When i was a boy i assumed there must be some fundamental
truth and/or morality to the legal system -- and i fear that
many folks grow old believing this lie -- but boy was i
wrong! My discovery that the so-called "justice system" is
fundamentally unjust, caused me to adjust my evolutionary
vector towards STEM, philosophy, logic/reason. The
intellectual pursuits which intend to solve natural enigmas
and discover fundamental truths. Not the pursuits which
engineer chaos, stratification, and sow seeds of discontent
(law, politics, etc...).
When we were boys, we believed many strange, untrue and downright
laughable things...

:-)

The issue, IMHO, is not the legal system itself but its labelling. It
is not justice and has nothing to do with the pursuit of the same. As I
stated above, it is a system for regulating human interaction in a given
society/jurisdiction, no less and no more. Any resemblance to real
ideals is purely coincidental. Accept that, and the legal system
becomes a much less offensive playground.
Post by Rick Johnson
"Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their
respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the
agents of injustice." -- David Thoreau
All of which led me to the final conclusion that government
_itself_ is fundamentally flawed. Because where else, save
the *SENATE*, is our western democracy more flawed? For the
Senate is the very _source_ of these unjust laws. The Senate
is nothing by a extravagantly adorned, marble-walled factory
of injustice, pumping-out coercion tactics with one goal in
mind -- the systematic destruction of individual will.
But, as we know, the law only applies to the "little
people". Celebrities; the 1%, and (of course) the political
class are not held to the same standard as the other 98
percent.
Well, and then there is "no win, no fee" -- the legal equivalent of the
six-shooter, the great equaliser. Any piece of drug-addled trailer
trash can pick up the phone and ring 1-800-ambulancechaser and get
justice (or at least a nice fat settlement) at no personal outlay.

Note also that in some respects we hold celebrities and politicians to a
far higher standard than we do ourselves. A politician who is caught
using "company transport" for private use faces immediate opprobrium,
howls of outrage and calls for his resignation ... but when we wage
slaves and office drones fiddle our expense accounts a bit or use the
company car to drive the kids to Little League, that's perfectly
alright, a justifiable perk of the job. A celebrity who opens their
mouth on a social or political issue is shouted down -- they are only
film stars, musicians, C-listers, they should shut up and stick to what
they are doing -- but who among us ordinary foot-soldiers of democracy
will speak up in the corner tavern to criticise the armchair political
analyst at the other end of the bar who is proud of avoiding jury duty
and hasn't bothered to vote in decades?


And what is most ironic to me is how modern folk
Post by Rick Johnson
seem to miss that such a system more closely resembles a
_monarchy_ than a democracy. In the days of Kings and
Queens, no "noble man" or "gentlemen" would suffer severe
punishments. Typically the punishments were socially or
fiscally punitive, whereas, the same crime would send a
citizen to prison or even the gallows. Western democracy is
no different in this regard. And this filthy propaganda that
western democracy is a system *OF* the people; *FOR* the
people; and *BY* the people -- is a farce!
Beg to differ. While it was rather harder to effect justice upon
members of the nobility, when it was done, they faced harsh justice
indeed. Moreover, they were ruled by codes of conduct which were every
bit as inflexible and hard as for the lower orders -- but these were
unwritten, informal. And so were the punishments. Infringements might
not be prosecuted through the courts, but failure to be invited to a
courtly function of being ostracised by one's noble neighbours were
measures that spelled social death and were a personal, familial and
dynastic catastrophe. When socially or fiscally punitive punishments
lead to ruin for entire families in a society where such spelled extreme
danger or life and limb, that is arguably equivalent to a quick walk to
the long drop.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-19 20:44:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 11:46:07 AM UTC-6, Alex W. wrote:
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Germany, the world's pre-eminent car making nation, has
already passed legislation firmly placing responsibility
with the vehicle operator/owner. While this may be good
news for Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW, it will do nothing
whatever for sales of self-driving cars.
All this sounds highly suspicious to me. And after skimming
multiple articles online, i cannot find one reference which
supports the claim that Germans are responsible when the
automated system is in control. Do you have any links that
might be supportive of this claim? Not calling you a liar.
Just curious.
Post by Alex W.
Why would I accept responsibility if I have absolutely no
control whatsoever?
personally, i try to avoid all situations for which my legal
jeopardy[1] outweights whatever benefit i may gain. But alas,
with an ever expanding smorgasbord of rules, regulations and
laws, this task becomes more seemingly more difficult every
day. ;-)
Post by Alex W.
The legal system is merely a baroque, byzantine and
brobdingnagian expression of the complex system of social
codes of conduct that arise in any society. A wandering
tribe of Kalahari bushmen or an undiscovered tribe of
Amazonian Indians has systems governing and regulating
human interaction every bit as intricate as the US legal
code. And in those codes, too, there are winners and
losers, those on top and those who are made to obey, those
who are good at gaming the system and those who are pawns.
So, IOW, i should stop bitching and learn to game the
system? Why, i wonder what Big Brother would say about that?
;-)
Post by Alex W.
When we were boys, we believed many strange, untrue and
downright laughable things...
No doubt we were foolish. But our foolishness opened an
entire universe of possibility to us. Of course, that was
before society systematically beat us over the head with a
large hammer until we conformed to its will. And not by
learning "good manners" -- like which fork is for the salad,
and we shouldn't talk with food in our mouths -- but also
how we must _think_. Even how we must _feel_.
Post by Alex W.
The issue, IMHO, is not the legal system itself but its
labelling. It is not justice and has nothing to do with
the pursuit of the same. As I stated above, it is a system
for regulating human interaction in a given
society/jurisdiction, no less and no more. Any resemblance
to real ideals is purely coincidental. Accept that, and
the legal system becomes a much less offensive playground.
Ah ha! I knew it! You _are_ advocating for Machiavellianism.
Post by Alex W.
Well, and then there is "no win, no fee" -- the legal
equivalent of the six-shooter, the great equaliser. Any
piece of drug-addled trailer trash can pick up the phone
and ring 1-800-ambulancechaser and get justice (or at least
a nice fat settlement) at no personal outlay.
And that sort of disassociation is what has undermined the
american healthcare system.

(Warning: Don't misinterpret any of the following as being a
personal attack on you)

For instance, an insured american can walk into a doctor's
office and give a $20 co-pay for medical services --
including a physical exam and multiple tests -- but such a
system shields the patient from the reality of healthcare
costs. And while there are indeed montly insurance premiums
to factor into that equation, the entire system is designed
in a way that _rewards_ superfluous usage, and
simultaneously, obfuscates the actual costs of services.

In effect, the system persuades completely healthy people to
routinely visit the doctor under the false pretense that by
doing so, they are snatching a good economic return on their
montly investment. But the truth is, the more they use the
services, and the more _others_ do the same, the more
premiums rise. The system is in-effect harnessing the strong
emotions of greed, jealously and envy for its own economic
gain.

And who is all that good for?

Well it's good for the doctors...

It's good for big pharma...

But most of all, it's *REAL* good for big insurance
companies who are raking in montly premiums like never in
the history of health insurance.

IOWs, the whole system works like a giant feedback loop,
tricking customers into overusing the services so that
inflation becomes a fundamental force in the system. And in
any other field, such a business model would be considered
*CRIMINAL*.

Of course, in the past, *BEFORE* the individual mandate, you
could jump ship if the prices got too high. Not anymore. Not
unless you want to run afoul of the IRS! Hmm, if the ACA is
not the most insidious, freedom robbing, corporate-state
scheme ever hatched in the history of civilization, then i
don't know what the *FUCK* is!

Welcome to america folks. The only place on the face of the
earth where so-called "free people" are forced to buy a
commercial product against their will.
Post by Alex W.
Note also that in some respects we hold celebrities and
politicians to a far higher standard than we do ourselves.
A politician who is caught using "company transport" for
private use faces immediate opprobrium, howls of outrage
and calls for his resignation
Most people just call that what it is: a slap on the wrist.
;-)
Post by Alex W.
... but when we wage slaves and office drones fiddle our
expense accounts a bit or use the company car to drive the
kids to Little League, that's perfectly alright, a
justifiable perk of the job.
Some companies do allow such things. As a fringe benefit.
Post by Alex W.
A celebrity who opens their mouth on a social or political
issue is shouted down -- they are only film stars,
musicians, C-listers, they should shut up and stick to what
they are doing
You red my mind! O:-)
Post by Alex W.
-- but who among us ordinary foot-soldiers of democracy
will speak up in the corner tavern to criticise the
armchair political analyst at the other end of the bar who
is proud of avoiding jury duty and hasn't bothered to vote
in decades?
Ouch! That one was below the belt. You know darn good and well
that i'm the loud-mouthed arsehole at the other end of the
bar who shirks his civic duty and has the gall to brag about
it. Guilty as charged! O:-)


[1] Alex, i'll take civic duty for 400 please... ;-)
Alex W.
2017-11-19 22:28:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Germany, the world's pre-eminent car making nation, has
already passed legislation firmly placing responsibility
with the vehicle operator/owner. While this may be good
news for Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW, it will do nothing
whatever for sales of self-driving cars.
All this sounds highly suspicious to me. And after skimming
multiple articles online, i cannot find one reference which
supports the claim that Germans are responsible when the
automated system is in control. Do you have any links that
might be supportive of this claim? Not calling you a liar.
Just curious.
Just googled some German language sources. On January 25, 2017, the
German government proposed a law regulating autonomous driving.
According to this, the driver of such a vehicle may engage in other
activities while the vehicle is on the road but is required to be able
to instantly take control of the vehicle should the situation require
it. This act will also make a black box mandatory, in case of accidents.

How's your German?

To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian as I had in my
recollection. That said, current law is quite unequivocal: no matter
how advanced the car or how many high-tech safety and assistance systems
your vehicle has, the responsibility always rests with you as the driver.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
Why would I accept responsibility if I have absolutely no
control whatsoever?
personally, i try to avoid all situations for which my legal
jeopardy[1] outweights whatever benefit i may gain. But alas,
with an ever expanding smorgasbord of rules, regulations and
laws, this task becomes more seemingly more difficult every
day. ;-)
Welcome to the century of the fruitbat.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
The legal system is merely a baroque, byzantine and
brobdingnagian expression of the complex system of social
codes of conduct that arise in any society. A wandering
tribe of Kalahari bushmen or an undiscovered tribe of
Amazonian Indians has systems governing and regulating
human interaction every bit as intricate as the US legal
code. And in those codes, too, there are winners and
losers, those on top and those who are made to obey, those
who are good at gaming the system and those who are pawns.
So, IOW, i should stop bitching and learn to game the
system? Why, i wonder what Big Brother would say about that?
;-)
Welcome to the party, friend. Do you have a grub stake?
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
When we were boys, we believed many strange, untrue and
downright laughable things...
No doubt we were foolish. But our foolishness opened an
entire universe of possibility to us. Of course, that was
before society systematically beat us over the head with a
large hammer until we conformed to its will. And not by
learning "good manners" -- like which fork is for the salad,
and we shouldn't talk with food in our mouths -- but also
how we must _think_. Even how we must _feel_.
All societies do so.

Ours is weird, unusual and downright aberrant in the latitude it permits
us in these regards. A very great deal of what we consider acceptable
in the widest socially supported sense would meet with incomprehension
and extremely big hammers in other places and other times. In that
regard, I suggest you should consider yourself lucky.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
The issue, IMHO, is not the legal system itself but its
labelling. It is not justice and has nothing to do with
the pursuit of the same. As I stated above, it is a system
for regulating human interaction in a given
society/jurisdiction, no less and no more. Any resemblance
to real ideals is purely coincidental. Accept that, and
the legal system becomes a much less offensive playground.
Ah ha! I knew it! You _are_ advocating for Machiavellianism.
Not in the least.

I am a realist.
Some people call it cynicism.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
Well, and then there is "no win, no fee" -- the legal
equivalent of the six-shooter, the great equaliser. Any
piece of drug-addled trailer trash can pick up the phone
and ring 1-800-ambulancechaser and get justice (or at least
a nice fat settlement) at no personal outlay.
And that sort of disassociation is what has undermined the
american healthcare system.
(Warning: Don't misinterpret any of the following as being a
personal attack on you)
For instance, an insured american can walk into a doctor's
office and give a $20 co-pay for medical services --
including a physical exam and multiple tests -- but such a
system shields the patient from the reality of healthcare
costs. And while there are indeed montly insurance premiums
to factor into that equation, the entire system is designed
in a way that _rewards_ superfluous usage, and
simultaneously, obfuscates the actual costs of services.
"Superfluous" ... that would rather depend on whether they find
something or not, would you not agree?
Post by Rick Johnson
In effect, the system persuades completely healthy people to
routinely visit the doctor under the false pretense that by
doing so, they are snatching a good economic return on their
montly investment. But the truth is, the more they use the
services, and the more _others_ do the same, the more
premiums rise. The system is in-effect harnessing the strong
emotions of greed, jealously and envy for its own economic
gain.
And who is all that good for?
Well it's good for the doctors...
It's good for big pharma...
But most of all, it's *REAL* good for big insurance
companies who are raking in montly premiums like never in
the history of health insurance.
Up to a point.

For example: your and my lifetime chances of being handed a diagnosis of
cancer are now as close to one in two as makes no difference. What does
make a HUGE difference is the timing of this diagnosis: whatever the
form of cancer, the earlier it is spotted will have a bigger impact on
your odds of long-term survival than your age, sex, life habits,
personal wealth, location or insurance policy small print. This, in
turn, makes regular and frequent (as in 6-12 monthly) checks a sensible
option. So from a strictly personal perspective as an individual keenly
interested in remaining on this ball of mud for as long as possible, all
this medical expenditure is well worth it. And depending on your age,
productivity and assets, it may also make overall economic sense to send
you to the doctor more often than you might need.
Post by Rick Johnson
IOWs, the whole system works like a giant feedback loop,
tricking customers into overusing the services so that
inflation becomes a fundamental force in the system. And in
any other field, such a business model would be considered
*CRIMINAL*.
Erm ... have you ever looked into the business model of consumer finance?
Post by Rick Johnson
Of course, in the past, *BEFORE* the individual mandate, you
could jump ship if the prices got too high. Not anymore. Not
unless you want to run afoul of the IRS! Hmm, if the ACA is
not the most insidious, freedom robbing, corporate-state
scheme ever hatched in the history of civilization, then i
don't know what the *FUCK* is!
Welcome to america folks. The only place on the face of the
earth where so-called "free people" are forced to buy a
commercial product against their will.
Post by Alex W.
Note also that in some respects we hold celebrities and
politicians to a far higher standard than we do ourselves.
A politician who is caught using "company transport" for
private use faces immediate opprobrium, howls of outrage
and calls for his resignation
Most people just call that what it is: a slap on the wrist.
;-)
You must be a lucky feller, to consider losing your job from one day to
the next a slap on the wrist.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-19 23:49:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Just googled some German language sources. On January 25,
2017, the German government proposed a law regulating
autonomous driving. According to this, the driver of such a
vehicle may engage in other activities while the vehicle is
on the road but is required to be able to instantly take
control of the vehicle should the situation require it.
This act will also make a black box mandatory, in case of
accidents.
Oh, that's slick!

So basically: The car-maker is on the hook until the
nanosecond the computer fails, then, the driver becomes
responsible for everything from that point forward,
*REGARDLESS* of whatever laws of physics the diver may be
victim to?

For instance: Consider a situation in which the computer
fails a nano-second before the car hits a patch of black ice,
causing it to careen into oncoming traffic.

So who's at fault according to Angela Merkel? The car maker
or Claus (the Lederhosened German on his way home from the
beer hall)?
Post by Alex W.
How's your German?
Urm, embarrassingly it's as thin as my moustache. :-#(
Post by Alex W.
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian
as I had in my recollection. That said, current law is
quite unequivocal: no matter how advanced the car or how
many high-tech safety and assistance systems your vehicle
has, the responsibility always rests with you as the
driver.
Well that's total horse poo. Who's going to buy a self-
driving car and then accept responsibility for software
glitches? Not me.

Nein! Nein! Nein!
Alex W.
2017-11-20 07:13:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Just googled some German language sources. On January 25,
2017, the German government proposed a law regulating
autonomous driving. According to this, the driver of such a
vehicle may engage in other activities while the vehicle is
on the road but is required to be able to instantly take
control of the vehicle should the situation require it.
This act will also make a black box mandatory, in case of
accidents.
Oh, that's slick!
So basically: The car-maker is on the hook until the
nanosecond the computer fails, then, the driver becomes
responsible for everything from that point forward,
*REGARDLESS* of whatever laws of physics the diver may be
victim to?
For instance: Consider a situation in which the computer
fails a nano-second before the car hits a patch of black ice,
causing it to careen into oncoming traffic.
So who's at fault according to Angela Merkel? The car maker
or Claus (the Lederhosened German on his way home from the
beer hall)?
Audi is currently testing autonomous cars on speed-unlimited autobahns.
They can do this because these are not production cars. Their rule is
that the driver has to be ready to assume full control when the computer
decides he should, within five seconds or so of potential shit hitting
the fan.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
How's your German?
Urm, embarrassingly it's as thin as my moustache. :-#(
OK, now you look like Steve Buscemi in my mind.

That one's on you.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian
as I had in my recollection. That said, current law is
quite unequivocal: no matter how advanced the car or how
many high-tech safety and assistance systems your vehicle
has, the responsibility always rests with you as the
driver.
Well that's total horse poo. Who's going to buy a self-
driving car and then accept responsibility for software
glitches? Not me.
Nein! Nein! Nein!
Why not? Most of us already do so. Mobile phones glitch regularly. So
do computers of all sizes. And cars do as well -- been there, had that.
When we put money down for any product with even a somewhat
sophisticated software, we accept these glitches as part of the bargain.
IF you do not believe me, try suing Microsoft or Google for failure to
provide error-free performance.
Rick Johnson
2017-11-20 15:57:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
On Monday, November 20, 2017 at 1:13:50 AM UTC-6, Alex W. wrote:
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Audi is currently testing autonomous cars on speed-
unlimited autobahns. They can do this because these are not
production cars. Their rule is that the driver has to be
ready to assume full control when the computer decides he
should, within five seconds or so of potential shit hitting
the fan.
Hey, a lot can happen in five seconds when you're flying
down zee autobaun at 193.121 kilometers per hour giving your
french girlfriend a moustache ride -- Ja?
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
How's your German?
Urm, embarrassingly it's as thin as my moustache. :-#(
OK, now you look like Steve Buscemi in my mind.
That one's on you.
I wonder when Steve B. will ever get the award he most rightly
deserves for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- *AHEM* --
most likely to get bumped-off or told to shut-the-fuck-up"?
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian
as I had in my recollection. That said, current law is
quite unequivocal: no matter how advanced the car or how
many high-tech safety and assistance systems your vehicle
has, the responsibility always rests with you as the
driver.
Well that's total horse poo. Who's going to buy a self-
driving car and then accept responsibility for software
glitches? Not me.
Nein! Nein! Nein!
Why not? Most of us already do so. Mobile phones glitch
regularly. So do computers of all sizes. And cars do as
well -- been there, had that. When we put money down for
any product with even a somewhat sophisticated software, we
accept these glitches as part of the bargain. IF you do not
believe me, try suing Microsoft or Google for failure to
provide error-free performance.
True. But when your iPhone "glitches", it doesn't drive you
off the side of frickin' cliff!


###############################################################################
###############################################################################
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###############################################################################
###############################################################################
###############################################################################
#######[ FUCK! ]###############################################################
###############################################################################
#######WKxddkN#################################################################
###WWNkc. ,xKN##############################################################
##WW#k. .'dN############################################################
WWW##Ko. .'''.. :K############################################################
xxxxxxxc;lxdddl;:OW############################################################
.,lON#########################Xkc:lld0W#######################
:K#######################Wx. .dN######################
.k######################Wk,. ,K####[ YOUUUUUU! ]#####
;K######################NNKo. .O######################
dW########################W0; :X#####################
,K##########################0l::OW#####################
oW####################################################
.O####################################################
:X###################################################
oW##################################################
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'O#################################################
,0################################################
cN###############################################
.O###############################################
oW##############################################
,K###############################[ DAS AUTO! ]#
lN#############################################
.oXW##############################NN#####WNW###
'xN###########################Ko,,loood:'oKW#
.;xX#########################0' ,K#
.cdkX#####################WKxl' .oN#
;0########################K: cKW##
Alex W.
2017-11-21 07:43:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Audi is currently testing autonomous cars on speed-
unlimited autobahns. They can do this because these are not
production cars. Their rule is that the driver has to be
ready to assume full control when the computer decides he
should, within five seconds or so of potential shit hitting
the fan.
Hey, a lot can happen in five seconds when you're flying
down zee autobaun at 193.121 kilometers per hour giving your
french girlfriend a moustache ride -- Ja?
Ja, indeed.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
How's your German?
Urm, embarrassingly it's as thin as my moustache. :-#(
OK, now you look like Steve Buscemi in my mind.
That one's on you.
I wonder when Steve B. will ever get the award he most rightly
deserves for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- *AHEM* --
most likely to get bumped-off or told to shut-the-fuck-up"?
It would be a reward most richly deserved.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian
as I had in my recollection. That said, current law is
quite unequivocal: no matter how advanced the car or how
many high-tech safety and assistance systems your vehicle
has, the responsibility always rests with you as the
driver.
Well that's total horse poo. Who's going to buy a self-
driving car and then accept responsibility for software
glitches? Not me.
Nein! Nein! Nein!
Why not? Most of us already do so. Mobile phones glitch
regularly. So do computers of all sizes. And cars do as
well -- been there, had that. When we put money down for
any product with even a somewhat sophisticated software, we
accept these glitches as part of the bargain. IF you do not
believe me, try suing Microsoft or Google for failure to
provide error-free performance.
True. But when your iPhone "glitches", it doesn't drive you
off the side of frickin' cliff!
Reminds me of the time I rode in my brother's Porsche in the Black
Forest (Germany) when his satnav told him to turn right NOW ... right
off a mountain road and down a cliff. For once in his life, he
displayed good common sense and ignored his car.

Anyway, we use these gadgets for so much these days and are so dependent
on them, glitches can be catastrophic even if there is no cliff involved.

And aside from that, it is fundamentally as offensive to me that we are
being sold defective goods as it is for so many of us to accept this sad
state of affairs.
Smiler
2017-11-21 02:09:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex W.
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Germany, the world's pre-eminent car making nation, has already passed
legislation firmly placing responsibility with the vehicle
operator/owner. While this may be good news for Mercedes, Volkswagen
and BMW, it will do nothing whatever for sales of self-driving cars.
All this sounds highly suspicious to me. And after skimming multiple
articles online, i cannot find one reference which supports the claim
that Germans are responsible when the automated system is in control.
Do you have any links that might be supportive of this claim? Not
calling you a liar.
Just curious.
Just googled some German language sources. On January 25, 2017, the
German government proposed a law regulating autonomous driving.
According to this, the driver of such a vehicle may engage in other
activities while the vehicle is on the road but is required to be able
to instantly take control of the vehicle should the situation require
it. This act will also make a black box mandatory, in case of
accidents.
How's your German?
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian as I had in my
recollection. That said, current law is quite unequivocal: no matter
how advanced the car or how many high-tech safety and assistance systems
your vehicle has, the responsibility always rests with you as the driver.
Post by Alex W.
Why would I accept responsibility if I have absolutely no control
whatsoever?
personally, i try to avoid all situations for which my legal
jeopardy[1] outweights whatever benefit i may gain. But alas, with an
ever expanding smorgasbord of rules, regulations and laws, this task
becomes more seemingly more difficult every day. ;-)
Welcome to the century of the fruitbat.
Post by Alex W.
The legal system is merely a baroque, byzantine and brobdingnagian
expression of the complex system of social codes of conduct that arise
in any society. A wandering tribe of Kalahari bushmen or an
undiscovered tribe of Amazonian Indians has systems governing and
regulating human interaction every bit as intricate as the US legal
code. And in those codes, too, there are winners and losers, those on
top and those who are made to obey, those who are good at gaming the
system and those who are pawns.
So, IOW, i should stop bitching and learn to game the system? Why, i
wonder what Big Brother would say about that?
;-)
Welcome to the party, friend. Do you have a grub stake?
Post by Alex W.
When we were boys, we believed many strange, untrue and downright
laughable things...
No doubt we were foolish. But our foolishness opened an entire universe
of possibility to us. Of course, that was before society systematically
beat us over the head with a large hammer until we conformed to its
will. And not by learning "good manners" -- like which fork is for the
salad,
and we shouldn't talk with food in our mouths -- but also how we must
_think_. Even how we must _feel_.
All societies do so.
Ours is weird, unusual and downright aberrant in the latitude it permits
us in these regards. A very great deal of what we consider acceptable
in the widest socially supported sense would meet with incomprehension
and extremely big hammers in other places and other times. In that
regard, I suggest you should consider yourself lucky.
The French even control what words you can use.
--
Smiler,
The godless one. a.a.# 2279
All gods are tailored to order. They're made to
exactly fit the prejudices of their believers.

---
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
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Olrik
2017-11-21 05:14:14 UTC
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Post by Smiler
Post by Alex W.
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Germany, the world's pre-eminent car making nation, has already passed
legislation firmly placing responsibility with the vehicle
operator/owner. While this may be good news for Mercedes, Volkswagen
and BMW, it will do nothing whatever for sales of self-driving cars.
All this sounds highly suspicious to me. And after skimming multiple
articles online, i cannot find one reference which supports the claim
that Germans are responsible when the automated system is in control.
Do you have any links that might be supportive of this claim? Not
calling you a liar.
Just curious.
Just googled some German language sources. On January 25, 2017, the
German government proposed a law regulating autonomous driving.
According to this, the driver of such a vehicle may engage in other
activities while the vehicle is on the road but is required to be able
to instantly take control of the vehicle should the situation require
it. This act will also make a black box mandatory, in case of accidents.
How's your German?
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian as I had in my
recollection. That said, current law is quite unequivocal: no matter
how advanced the car or how many high-tech safety and assistance systems
your vehicle has, the responsibility always rests with you as the driver.
Post by Alex W.
Why would I accept responsibility if I have absolutely no control
whatsoever?
personally, i try to avoid all situations for which my legal
jeopardy[1] outweights whatever benefit i may gain. But alas, with an
ever expanding smorgasbord of rules, regulations and laws, this task
becomes more seemingly more difficult every day. ;-)
Welcome to the century of the fruitbat.
Post by Alex W.
The legal system is merely a baroque, byzantine and brobdingnagian
expression of the complex system of social codes of conduct that arise
in any society. A wandering tribe of Kalahari bushmen or an
undiscovered tribe of Amazonian Indians has systems governing and
regulating human interaction every bit as intricate as the US legal
code. And in those codes, too, there are winners and losers, those on
top and those who are made to obey, those who are good at gaming the
system and those who are pawns.
So, IOW, i should stop bitching and learn to game the system? Why, i
wonder what Big Brother would say about that?
;-)
Welcome to the party, friend. Do you have a grub stake?
Post by Alex W.
When we were boys, we believed many strange, untrue and downright
laughable things...
No doubt we were foolish. But our foolishness opened an entire universe
of possibility to us. Of course, that was before society systematically
beat us over the head with a large hammer until we conformed to its
will. And not by learning "good manners" -- like which fork is for the
salad,
and we shouldn't talk with food in our mouths -- but also how we must
_think_. Even how we must _feel_.
All societies do so.
Ours is weird, unusual and downright aberrant in the latitude it permits
us in these regards. A very great deal of what we consider acceptable
in the widest socially supported sense would meet with incomprehension
and extremely big hammers in other places and other times. In that
regard, I suggest you should consider yourself lucky.
The French even control what words you can use.
Nope. They don't. They never did, and never will.

In French-speaking countries, usage is king, just like pretty much
everywhere else, whether in print or speech.

But in France they have the Académie française, which establishes the
rules, grammar and the definition of words in French. But just see it as
a club : they have no authority nor any kind of power.

Businesses making dictionaries or grammar schoolbooks take the Académie
as a guide, but pretty much do whatever they want.

In Québec, we have something similar : The Office québécois de la
langue française. We have our own rules and our own vocabularies, but
not our own grammar. Same with English countries, BTW, like Australia,
the USA or even English Canada, even if there are no official language
academies.
--
Olrik
aa #1981
EAC Chief Food Inspector, Bacon Division
Alex W.
2017-11-21 08:36:22 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Olrik
Post by Smiler
[...]
Post by Alex W.
Germany, the world's pre-eminent car making nation, has already passed
legislation firmly placing responsibility with the vehicle
operator/owner.  While this may be good news for Mercedes, Volkswagen
and BMW, it will do nothing whatever for sales of self-driving cars.
All this sounds highly suspicious to me. And after skimming multiple
articles online, i cannot find one reference which supports the claim
that Germans are responsible when the automated system is in control.
Do you have any links that might be supportive of this claim? Not
calling you a liar.
Just curious.
Just googled some German language sources.  On January 25, 2017, the
German government proposed a law regulating autonomous driving.
According to this, the driver of such a vehicle may engage in other
activities while the vehicle is on the road but is required to be able
to instantly take control of the vehicle should the situation require
it.  This act will also make a black box mandatory, in case of
accidents.
How's your German?
To be fair, this new law does not seem to be as draconian as I had in my
recollection.  That said, current law is quite unequivocal: no matter
how advanced the car or how many high-tech safety and assistance systems
your vehicle has, the responsibility always rests with you as the driver.
Post by Alex W.
Why would I accept responsibility if I have absolutely no control
whatsoever?
personally, i try to avoid all situations for which my legal
jeopardy[1] outweights whatever benefit i may gain. But alas, with an
ever expanding smorgasbord of rules, regulations and laws, this task
becomes more seemingly more difficult every day. ;-)
Welcome to the century of the fruitbat.
Post by Alex W.
The legal system is merely a baroque, byzantine and brobdingnagian
expression of the complex system of social codes of conduct that arise
in any society.  A wandering tribe of Kalahari bushmen or an
undiscovered tribe of Amazonian Indians has systems governing and
regulating human interaction every bit as intricate as the US legal
code.  And in those codes, too, there are winners and losers, those on
top and those who are made to obey, those who are good at gaming the
system and those who are pawns.
So, IOW, i should stop bitching and learn to game the system? Why, i
wonder what Big Brother would say about that?
;-)
Welcome to the party, friend.  Do you have a grub stake?
Post by Alex W.
When we were boys, we believed many strange, untrue and downright
laughable things...
No doubt we were foolish. But our foolishness opened an entire universe
of possibility to us. Of course, that was before society systematically
beat us over the head with a large hammer until we conformed to its
will. And not by learning "good manners" -- like which fork is for the
salad,
and we shouldn't talk with food in our mouths -- but also how we must
_think_. Even how we must _feel_.
All societies do so.
Ours is weird, unusual and downright aberrant in the latitude it permits
us in these regards.  A very great deal of what we consider acceptable
in the widest socially supported sense would meet with incomprehension
and extremely big hammers in other places and other times.  In that
regard, I suggest you should consider yourself lucky.
The French even control what words you can use.
Nope. They don't. They never did, and never will.
In French-speaking countries, usage is king, just like pretty much
everywhere else, whether in print or speech.
But in France they have the Académie française, which establishes the
rules, grammar and the definition of words in French. But just see it as
a club : they have no authority nor any kind of power.
I would quibble with you on that. The AF may not have legislative
powers to enforce usage, but they have considerable institutional
authority of the social and cultural kind. It would be a brave minister
to use "banned" terminology in his speeches and official publications,
and for a school to teach or accept in written tests the colloquial
rather than the AF French would be quite the controversial policy.

IOW, I reckon the French are like most of us: we use one form of
language when we communicate amongst ourselves, and a different version
when things get official, serious, formal. The dichotomy in French is
simply more visible and more contested because there is an activist
guardian in play.
Post by Olrik
Businesses making dictionaries or grammar schoolbooks take the Académie
as a guide, but pretty much do whatever they want.
In Québec, we have something similar :  The Office québécois de la
langue française. We have our own rules and our own vocabularies, but
not our own grammar. Same with English countries, BTW, like Australia,
the USA or even English Canada, even if there are no official language
academies.
Very generally speaking, the main difference between the languages is
that English has DEscriptive resources (dictionaries, grammaries, etc)
whereas the French, Germans and others have PREscriptive authoritative
sources. An English dictionary will explain the meaning, type of usage
and spelling of a word, and will simply point out local variations in
all of these. What it will not do is to insist that one particular
usage is the only correct one. Both approaches have their uses.

Alex W.
2017-11-18 09:36:29 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
[Speaking to the future evolution of public transportation, Malcolm said: ]
Post by Malcolm McMahon
It actually looks like the likes of Uber will get the first
mass market autonomous vehicles.
A thought provoking observation concerning the future of PT
that i had completely missed. And it makes perfect sense!
Such implementation is obviously the most practical path
that provides a "less challenging" enviroment for the self-
driving car to get its proverbial "feet wet".
(STEP 1) Begin the _real_ beta testing of self-driving cars
in the transportation sectors that already have *CLEARLY
DEFINED* starting and ending ponts -- such as is currently
provided by trains, subways, and buses or simple commuting.
(STEP 2): Once the software can handle these finite
logistical problems, *AND* the general public becomes
comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars[2], begin the
more difficult task of conquering the remaining sectors.
That's going to be a herculean task. For comparison: self-flying
aircraft have been technologically quite possible for a number of years
now, but have never been introduced because every survey and focus group
gave a clear verdict: the public recoiled in horror at the prospect of
sitting on board an aeroplane without a pilot.
Post by Rick Johnson
You know, this sort of technology has me very excited about
the future. And what excites me most is that this technology
has the potential to put governments around the globe _back_
in their rightful place -- as the rule makers, _not_ the
managers of entire sectors of our economy.
Just wait.

For a certainty, if self-driving cars do become popular, they will upend
the entire concept of car ownership. A switch to a model of shared
ownership schemes or even hire at will/need is more than likely. In the
first instance, this will drive many carmakers and suppliers into ruin,
requiring massive government intervention. Secondly, such a change will
effectively turn individual travel into a form of public transport --
especially when we take into consideration the other revolution from
internal combustion to electric vehicles. And that will call government
back onto the playing field.
Post by Rick Johnson
[1] Short of a few stubborn-old-farts, of course.
I shall be quite happy to be a stubborn old fart...
Rick Johnson
2017-11-18 21:47:15 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
That's going to be a herculean task. For comparison: self-
flying aircraft have been technologically quite possible
for a number of years now, but have never been introduced
the public recoiled in horror at the prospect of sitting on
board an aeroplane without a pilot.
Oh, no doubt the public's apocalyptic fears will be a source
of friction. We humans are always more comfortable when we
are in control. Though, control, is mostly just a delusion.

Shocking. :-O

I know! ;-)

In a similar spirit, we've seen just how powerful nostalgia
can _be_, as has been observed in a years-long battle
against those who clung -- sometimes viciously -- to legacy
analog TV signals. And for what boneheaded reasons, i have
yet to fully understand, but hey, tell that to the folks who
are stocking-up on incandescent light-bulbs like it's the end
of the world or something.

For cryin' out loud people!

You can buy a 60 watt equivalent LED for a few bucks these
days. But woe be to those who dare try reasoning with them.
As explaining the advantages of LED technology to some of
the more "clingy folks", may just get you wacked on the head
with a stick!

#_%

Of course, the digital revolution eventually claimed
victory, but _only_ after an expensive campaign of bribes:

"'Ello there Joe-Q citizen. Here's a nice new digital TV
antenna -- will you support digital TV now?"

"Urm? Hmm? I dunno. Can i think about it for another year?"
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
You know, this sort of technology has me very excited
about the future. And what excites me most is that this
technology has the potential to put governments around the
globe _back_ in their rightful place -- as the rule
makers, _not_ the managers of entire sectors of our
economy.
Just wait. For a certainty, if self-driving cars do become
popular, they will upend the entire concept of car
ownership. A switch to a model of shared ownership schemes
or even hire at will/need is more than likely. In the
first instance, this will drive many carmakers and
suppliers into ruin, requiring massive government
intervention. Secondly, such a change will effectively
turn individual travel into a form of public transport --
especially when we take into consideration the other
revolution from internal combustion to electric vehicles.
And that will call government back onto the playing field.
Oh, i never underestimate the government's ability to
callously implement the ruthless lessons gleaned from
Machiavelli's play book[1].
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[1] Short of a few stubborn-old-farts, of course.
I shall be quite happy to be a stubborn old fart...
Well, as Mike Rowe[2] would say: "Hey, it's a dirty job, but
somebody has to do it!"


[1] aka: "Never let a good crisis go to waste". Which is an
esoteric reference to ruthless and tyrannical political
theory going as far back as Machiavelli. Well-known in
modern times due its usage by Chicago's mayor: Rahm Emanuel.
(apparently Rahm didn't get the memo that his intent should
be kept secret). Shame on you Rahm! Shame on you!
Machiavelli must be rolling over in his grave.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Jobs
Alex W.
2017-11-18 22:19:11 UTC
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Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[...]
That's going to be a herculean task. For comparison: self-
flying aircraft have been technologically quite possible
for a number of years now, but have never been introduced
the public recoiled in horror at the prospect of sitting on
board an aeroplane without a pilot.
Oh, no doubt the public's apocalyptic fears will be a source
of friction. We humans are always more comfortable when we
are in control. Though, control, is mostly just a delusion.
Shocking. :-O
I know! ;-)
Illusion or not, it seems to be a major factor in our behaviour.
Post by Rick Johnson
In a similar spirit, we've seen just how powerful nostalgia
can _be_, as has been observed in a years-long battle
against those who clung -- sometimes viciously -- to legacy
analog TV signals. And for what boneheaded reasons, i have
yet to fully understand, but hey, tell that to the folks who
are stocking-up on incandescent light-bulbs like it's the end
of the world or something.
There are hundreds of boneheaded reasons -- one for every channel
pumping out yet more crap. Quantity does not equate to quality. Being
offered 1,001 channels of digital dross makes life harder. It increases
the signal to noise ratio, and it requires me to spend far more time
hunting down something watchable than I would like.

The second point is that when the signal degrades with digital, it is
cut entirely. No picture, no sound. With analogue, I at least had the
choice of deciding how much degradation -- fuzziness, jerking images,
white noise etc -- I was willing to tolerate in order to watch a
programme.
Post by Rick Johnson
For cryin' out loud people!
You can buy a 60 watt equivalent LED for a few bucks these
days. But woe be to those who dare try reasoning with them.
As explaining the advantages of LED technology to some of
the more "clingy folks", may just get you wacked on the head
with a stick!
For a long time, the nay-sayers had a point. Until a few years ago, LED
did not offer the colour spectrum we wanted. IOW, the light was too
hard, too bright. That's changed now, though...
Post by Rick Johnson
#_%
Of course, the digital revolution eventually claimed
"'Ello there Joe-Q citizen. Here's a nice new digital TV
antenna -- will you support digital TV now?"
"Urm? Hmm? I dunno. Can i think about it for another year?"
So?
Companies do this all the time, to build market share and gain converts
to a new product or service.
Post by Rick Johnson
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
You know, this sort of technology has me very excited
about the future. And what excites me most is that this
technology has the potential to put governments around the
globe _back_ in their rightful place -- as the rule
makers, _not_ the managers of entire sectors of our
economy.
Just wait. For a certainty, if self-driving cars do become
popular, they will upend the entire concept of car
ownership. A switch to a model of shared ownership schemes
or even hire at will/need is more than likely. In the
first instance, this will drive many carmakers and
suppliers into ruin, requiring massive government
intervention. Secondly, such a change will effectively
turn individual travel into a form of public transport --
especially when we take into consideration the other
revolution from internal combustion to electric vehicles.
And that will call government back onto the playing field.
Oh, i never underestimate the government's ability to
callously implement the ruthless lessons gleaned from
Machiavelli's play book[1].
Post by Alex W.
Post by Rick Johnson
[1] Short of a few stubborn-old-farts, of course.
I shall be quite happy to be a stubborn old fart...
Well, as Mike Rowe[2] would say: "Hey, it's a dirty job, but
somebody has to do it!"
Nothing dirty about noble last stands!
Post by Rick Johnson
[1] aka: "Never let a good crisis go to waste". Which is an
esoteric reference to ruthless and tyrannical political
theory going as far back as Machiavelli. Well-known in
modern times due its usage by Chicago's mayor: Rahm Emanuel.
(apparently Rahm didn't get the memo that his intent should
be kept secret). Shame on you Rahm! Shame on you!
Machiavelli must be rolling over in his grave.
In Britain, this takes the form of a practice known as "a good day to
bury bad news", the phrase being coined by a government advisor on 9/11
suggesting to her government bosses to undertake policy changes or make
unpopular public statements while the public, the press and the
opposition are distracted.
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