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Comment Re:The central pro-escrow argument is idiotic. (Score 2) 73 73

You would think a pair of gloves would render all the police fingerprinting useless, yet haphazard criminals are caught by it all the time. Like everyone else with limited resources, they either catch you because you're important or because you make it easy. Heck, I bet many criminals using computers don't even know what crypto is.

Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 293 293

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect cyclists to have adequate lighting on their bikes at night.

Neither do I. Then again, until the streetlights were turned off in the places I've been talking about, most of them already did.

It's very rare that an entire journey would have street lighting at any time of night.

Around here, it's completely expected. The local authorities have put huge emphasis on promoting cycling in Cambridge over the past decades, and both the streets and the major cycle/pedestrian paths are normally lit during the dark hours, making cycling one of the most efficient and sustainable ways to get around the city. Turning off significant amounts of lighting is a surprisingly cycle-hostile and retrograde step, until you realise it's a different level of local council responsible for making that decision.

Then again, I live in a village with green fields on all sides.

I suspect both the priorities and the expectations in rural areas are quite different to those in densely populated cities or suburbs. I probably wouldn't buy a small hatchback if I lived in the middle of nowhere or a huge 4x4 for driving around the city either.

Comment Re:The title is terrible (Score 1) 211 211

The car insurance industry is making a lot of money on the fact that your driving profile is individual and will trick you into keep paying a high premium despite having moved into a lower risk segment. All autonomous cars of the same model will drive the same way, which makes it a lot harder to price gouge. It doesn't matter if you're 18 or 80, male or female, single driver or whatever. It's one Google car, 10000 miles/year, parked in garage - what are you charging? In fact, Google might easily just offer insurance themselves since they're the driver and got deep enough pockets they don't need an insurance company.

Comment Re:Ha, lower rates lol (Score 2) 211 211

One of the major reasons traffic deaths went down is we redesigned cars so that instead of being able to withstand a crash without injury to the car, they absorb the crash in a 'crush zone', meaning the car itself takes the damage instead of a person.

And this made a lot of lesser crashes that wouldn't have injured the passengers anyway far more expensive because even small damage is distributed on a large area. I was in an accident not so long ago and despite being a fairly low speed collision where the air bag did not deploy, the damage to my car alone amounted to about 1/5th of the sticker price for a new one and in total I think it wiped out everything I've paid in insurance premiums over the last ten years. So I got no reason to complain, really...

Comment Re:Local CO2 (Score 1) 62 62

The sentence in the summary is a bit ambiguous certainly. CO2 is measured as an aspect of air quality in a specific location, not because it is a pollutant in itself. Or if you like, a sound is not necessarily noise, but put a lot of sounds together and you get noise pollution.

Nice try, but no. You're comparing the feel of apples to the smell of oranges.

In anything like a real-world outdoor scenario (see the other post on this page about Mexico City), CO2 levels aren't going to vary enough to have much of an affect on anything locally.

So lumping it together with "pollutants" that do makes no sense at all.

Comment Re:Local CO2 (Score 2) 62 62

It is no more political reason then it would be political to measure the amount of rain that is falling.

Utter nonsense. Even if you assume that CO2 is a "pollutant" (and that's a pretty huge assumption not backed by actual science), it wouldn't have any effect locally unless large areas were covered with hundreds of thousands of PPM. And then it would be easy to tell, because -- the only serious local effect possible -- people and animals would be keeling over en masse.

Rain, on the other hand, has immediate and very local effects.

And as for

pouring into the atmosphere at a rate of more than 100x what nature produces

... man, go back to elementary school. That hasn't happened, isn't happening, and isn't going to happen.

Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 293 293

Thanks for the offer. I think our local councillor here is already taking them on, and we'll certainly be offering to help. We've probably already got enough resources for this if they're interested in actually reading evidence.

As for the other place where my family and some old friends are, unfortunately I'm told their local council have made it pretty clear that they have no interest in reviewing the situation or changing policy in the near future, so it seems for now that battle has been lost. Until something tragic happens, presumably. :-(

Comment Re:Crooks are afraid of the dark, too (Score 1) 293 293

Unfortunately, things are unlikely to change unless there is a drastic event that makes them change back to keeping the lights on. You're going to have to have someone fall and break a hip, get drastically beaten in a robbery, or just get worked over by thugs.

And that is exactly what a lot of us are afraid of.

It is notable that a couple of the local authorities who first tried these changes have since reverted. It's hard to know the real reasons for that decision given all the factors involved, but allegedly the safety implications turned out not to be as favourable as expected.

Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 293 293

The trouble is these decisions at local authority level are always partly motivated by political concerns (often with a NIMBY element) and always have one eye on the money jar.

The actual study this is all based on has quite a few significant limitations, many of which the original authors did acknowledge right on page 1. I set out a some of them in another post in this discussion. Unfortunately, newspaper headlines and biased councillors both have a way of only highlighting the over-simplified conclusion and not all the caveats that go with it.

Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 293 293

Of course you should slow down if you can't see properly. No-one is suggesting otherwise.

On the other hand, forcing people to do so makes formerly cycle-friendly streets cycle-hostile, so now people who might have to come home late are driving instead, undoing years of work to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport.

Or, we could just have sensible, cycle-friendly levels of street lighting to encourage the sustainable, environmentally tolerable, high capacity modes of transport that we actually need.

Sure, you can get dramatically more powerful cycle lights, but most bike shops don't routinely carry them around here and hardly anyone actually has them. So at a minimum, this adjustment for changing street lighting seems to require everyone to buy much more expensive bike lights. At a time when people not buying bike lights at all is a significant safety problem that comes up every year here, I'm not sure that policy is realistic.

Comment Re:Crooks are afraid of the dark, too (Score 1) 293 293

We have looked this up before. If your external windows are overlooking public space and someone's reasonable lighting is partially lighting that space as well, then unless it's obviously excessive it is unlikely there is anything enforceable that can be done, any more than you have an enforceable right to demand council-operated street lighting around your home all be turned off because you don't like it. I'm not even sure there should be anything enforceable that can be done in that situation, but that's just my personal opinion. I'm just pointing out that for lighting under council control, there may be extra steps they can take to moderate the impact anyway.

Comment Re:Crooks are afraid of the dark, too (Score 1) 293 293

Why the fuck would a 80 year old be walking down a dark street alone?

I could counter with the obvious "Why shouldn't they, if they want to?" and point out that a member of the previous generation of that family was still happily and capably walking to visit friends or go shopping at nearly 100, but that doesn't really get us anywhere.

In the specific case I had in mind, I'm talking about the oldest member of a family walking back with the rest of his family to their car, after visiting my family.

That person is perfectly capable of getting themselves to the car without needing help from anyone else, as long as they can see where they are going. In fact, as a matter of independence, I'm quite sure they would want to do it themselves. Most people I know of that generation who are still with us take great pride in maintaining that independence as much as possible and not becoming a burden on others, and I firmly believe we should all help them to do so for as long as they can for basic quality-of-life reasons.

Of course their children would help if necessary, and so would anyone from my family, and so would other neighbours if they saw there was a problem. No-one here is suggesting leaving an octogenarian in difficulties to fend for themselves. I'm just saying they shouldn't be put in those difficulties in the first place if it can reasonably be avoided.

Turning off the lights has a disproportionate effect on older people -- not just octogenarian kind of older, but also drivers or cyclists in say their 50s or 60s who would routinely travel independently and probably wouldn't describe themselves as old, but whose eyesight will nevertheless be far less effective in the dark than it was in their twenties. The cut-off point will be different for everyone, but at some point the effect will be enough to make people who would otherwise have felt confident going somewhere not to go out any more, and I don't think that is a good thing.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark