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Comment: Re:Wealth Pooling (Score 1) 187

by bennomatic (#46449589) Attached to: Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?
Yes, there is definitely a divide between the most ideal definition of Libertarian and the more common implementation. You're clearly a thinker, and I'd trust proposals made by you to be worthy of debate.

Most of the folks I've met who claim to be Libertarian are either more of the greedy sort, or are at least ideological purists, even to their own detriment. To go back to the garbage example, there are self-proclaimed Libertarians I've spoken with who would rather buy their own can and haul their own trash at a cost of X (plus their time) than be "forced" to be complicit with a government program for hauling trash, even though it only costs .5*X.

Even if the goals are lofty, idealogical purism is typically more destructive than not. See RMS for a fine example.

Comment: Re:Wealth Pooling (Score 1) 187

by bennomatic (#46447211) Attached to: Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?
You make a good point, but I'm not sure we're quite to a place where remote-piloted garbage trucks will be considered safe, except maybe in the dead of night when there's few other vehicles on the road.

Even then, though, in my locality, they don't force everyone to use a uniform (i.e. easily lifted by a robotic arm) garbage can. There's a strong libertarian bent in Oregon, so forcing everyone to pay $2/month or buy outright the type of can that'll interface with the truck isn't going to happen. As a result, probably 2/3 of my neighborhood uses their own, cheap cylinder cans, requiring that the garbage guy gets out and lifts.

It's my understanding that the garbage utility wanted to simply give everyone the cans and bury the cost because of the savings through efficiency. However, that was greeted with scorn; people who, on principle, didn't want to pay for other people's cans nor be forced to pay for their own, rallied to ensure that they would continue to be allowed to use whatever can they wanted, damn the cost to everyone else.

Comment: Wealth Pooling (Score 2) 187

by bennomatic (#46423095) Attached to: Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?
If you look at places like San Francisco and the way wealth is pooling there, it's easy to understand why traffic congestion is growing faster than the economy.

If you put a bunch of rich-ass people together in one highly-concentrated place, even if all of them are working from home or taking Google busses to work, they're going to need services. Grocery stores, plumbers, babysitters, teachers, restaurant workers, you name it. Many of those sorts of jobs are not ones which are compatible with telecommuting--if my garbage man starts working from home, I'm going to be pissed!--and most of them are not of an income level which would allow a comfortable residence within the city where the job is. If you're making $30,000 a year as a teacher, spending $2,000 a month on a 400 sq ft studio apartment so you can walk or bike to work doesn't leave much left over for food and the like.

So inevitably, thousands upon thousands of workers need to commute various distances to keep their jobs and live in some level of comfort.

I realize that SF, as a peninsula, is a fairly unique scenario: it provides a high-value destination with severely constrained access points. Maybe not the actual logical conclusion of all similar circumstances, but a useful indicator of how things might play out in areas where money is aggregated into smaller and smaller groups who then take over relatively small and very desirable locations.

Comment: Re:100% write? (Score 1) 444

by bennomatic (#46030883) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?
I was working on a project with a large bank, and during one of my calls, the bank's project manager told me a comical story about their back-up procedures. They had switched from tapes to hard drives, and every day, when the truck drove up for that office's data back-ups (not actual banking data, but backups of all the administrative systems in that office), due to contracts which were still in force after years, it was a huge trailer truck with nothing to put into it but a single 3.5" hard drive. The contracts apparently specified a vehicle that could handle peak data activity with old-school tapes, and hadn't been amended.

Beyond cost, it just amazed me that they were putting a huge empty truck on the streets of Manhattan every day, and I wondered how many times that got repeated each day.

Comment: Re:Amazing how times change. (Score 3, Interesting) 444

by bennomatic (#46030761) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?
I'm just kind of amazed that Seagate is still around. I remember some years back, there was a huge fraud scandal where they were claiming huge volumes of unsold inventory to be sold in order to keep their stock price up. They were storing the drives in 18-wheelers and, at night, they were backing the trucks up against each other so that if an investigator wanted to break in, they had to physically move the truck, giving them time to respond. It was crazy.

Comment: Re:Captured at the end of the War (Score 1) 123

by bennomatic (#45590047) Attached to: Japanese Aircraft-Carrying Super Submarine From WWII Located Off Hawaii
They do call it "scuttled" if the vessel had been taken over and was under full control of the people who sank it. It was not sunk in battle, but after a surrender.

I saw a pretty cool show about these subs. They tooled around to multiple targets, only to be called to the next just as the current target was removed from their objectives. Not a single attack was launched from these amazing machines. If the timing had been a little different, history would include at least a few very interesting twists.

Comment: Re:Holy Crap!!! (Score 1) 187

by bennomatic (#45539905) Attached to: Art Makes Students Smart

There's a rare subset of kids who are smart, driven, and interested particularly because they see what a sad waste of energy their parents are.

I have a friend like that. She is so different from her siblings in her intellect and drive, and while she's a lot like her mother in some ways, as much as she loves her father, she's nothing like him. He's 6'4" and skinny as a rail, she's 5' and round. He's uneducated, extremely conservative and a bible thumper, and she's college educated, heavily invested in the sciences, and herself an educator. He...

Well, about five years ago, her mother confided to her that for a couple of years before she (my friend) was born, she was having an affair with the the husband from another couple that she (the mother) and the father had been playing bridge with. I saw a picture of the biological father, and he's the spitting image of my friend's first son. It's crazy.

And guess what? He's educated, a successful entrepreneur, politically liberal, involved in his religious community but not a bible thumper. I'm sure there's some nurture in there, but nature seems to be pretty important, at least in her case...

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe