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Comment Re:Get the power from source to consumer (Score 1) 504

Transmission costs are a fraction of production costs. This is unlikely to change.

Storage is a legitimate concern, but "luckily" large parts of the US are heavily dependent on air conditioning. Some areas need air conditioning at night as well, but I am sure people will start getting creative once daytime energy costs trend towards zero.

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 1) 654

Tell all that to the Danish rails please.

Or perhaps realize that things are not so simple. Adding a plough to the front of a train has exactly the same problem as adding a plough to the front of a car: If the wheel friction is insufficient, the train is not going to move anywhere. Real snow requires dedicated snow ploughs, both on rails and on roads.

Heated switches are great, but when the train passes and large lumps of ice are shaken from the train into the switch, even 10kW heaters give up. Then the switch is stuck until someone gets to it and removes the ice.

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 1) 654

Tracks are cheaper than a dedicated new road for buses (factor in maintenance, plowing, etc).

That would surprise me greatly. Do you have any numbers?

Maintenance and plowing would seem to favour road even more. Roads are relatively easy to plow. Rail switches tend to get stuck, particularly if the temperature hovers near freezing.

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 1) 654

Buses almost by definition can't be faster than driving.

Buses with dedicated lanes can be faster than driving if there is congestion. Bus lanes are a lot cheaper than train track, and buses are cheaper than trains as well.

I still hate buses.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 485

The austerity is there to ensure that the Greeks WILL need €100 billion in a couple of years time. They are unable to deal with the interest on their existing loans, and since they are not allowed to go bankrupt, they have no way out. The agreement dooms Greece to have an ever-shrinking economy and therefore they will have even less ability to service their debt in the future.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 485

If the country tries starving to death, debt rises as a percent of GDP. In order to have any chance at all at paying back the debt, the Greeks need to work, not be unemployed. How else will they produce the goods and services to sell abroad, so they can get the money to pay off the debt?

Unemployment is still steadily rising in Greece. Each worker out of a job means one less worker to help pay the debt.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 485

They are not demanding more money. That is the what the confusion is all about. Greece just wants to go properly bankrupt, i.e. not pay back the money they owe. They will even settle for extending all the loans at a low interest rate, so the economy gets a chance to grow.

New money is only needed because the EU will not accept the losses that already happened. This denial of reality means that anyone with any sense can see that Greek will eventually give up on the Euro, and therefore everyone sane does what they can to get their hands on actual Euro notes rather than numbers on a bank statement. Obviously the banks cannot handle this demand; no country could print paper money fast enough in that situation.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 485

So, at a time with a very fragile government and civil administration in general, risks of unrest and protests, you want to cut the military.

In such a situation, is it entirely out of the question that the military might consider other options, perhaps like Egypt? It would not exactly be the first time in history.

Comment Sunk cost fallacy (Score 4, Insightful) 485

European leaders keep pretending that they are giving Greece new money, when they are merely shuffling old debts around.

The money that was loaned to Greece has been lost. The whole crisis is about everyone involved being unwilling to accept this reality and thinking that the money will somehow magically come back once the Greeks have been punished sufficiently.

It is the same theory behind debtor's prison. It should be abolished for the same reasons.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller

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