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Comment: Re: So, how does it smell? (Score 2) 126

by dasunt (#46500783) Attached to: Solar-Powered Toilet Torches Waste For Public Health

Sounds like something straight out of the humanure book.

IIRC, the compost in a properly setup and maintained system will destroy pathogens, at least according to the tests the author did.

IMO, the technology/cost of this biochar system seems like it could, in most circumstances, be spent better elsewhere, since a humanure setup should cost less and be able to be built with mostly local materials.

Comment: Re:Looser immigration (Score 3, Interesting) 303

by dasunt (#46444379) Attached to: Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city (oh wait, that's precisely what's happened in many areas because of this, silly me).

You say this like it's a problem.

When my grandmother's grandfather first came to this country, they lived in a section of the city that was so heavily associated with immigrants from their part of the world that the main boulevard was nicknamed after one of their more disgusting habits. The immigrants had their own churches, frequently with non-English records. They had their own newspapers, frequently in their native language. They kept their own food, their own culture. They even had their own colleges.

Now that section of the city is home to another large immigrant community, complete with their own newspapers, religious institutions, restaurants, etc. There's a different derogatory nickname for that same section of town, but the name is still a dig at the immigrants.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

I see no cause for concern that the latest round of immigration will turn out any differently.

Comment: Re:How to kill a market (Score 1) 191

by dasunt (#46263021) Attached to: Elon Musk Says Larger Batteries Might Be On the Way

If I could rent the same truck that I own, it would be worth at least considering. But it isn't an option, no one rents such vehicles, the people who would rent them, own them.

I can rent a 24 to 26' flatbed truck. I can rent a pickup, such as a Dakota or Quad Cab Ram 1500. This is all local.

What do you need that you can't rent?

Comment: Re:Gold has value in a working economy (Score 1) 249

by dasunt (#46198745) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades

Why were people willing to trade gold for food, but not, say, rocks for food?

Right now, I have a family member that trade rocks for food, although money is an intermediary store of value.

Some people want large rocks for landscaping, building retaining walls, whatnot. *shrugs*

They'll even truck rocks across the state so they have the right rock.

It's not too odd if you think about it. Gold is just a special form of rock, purified. It's rare enough to be valued, yet common enough to still be useful as a unit of exchange. But, like the common rocks, it doesn't have any innate value. Nor does any other precious metal. Tis is easy to demonstrate - if precious metals had a specific value, their prices wouldn't fluctuate in regards to each other.

Comment: Re:A short list of things that are like the Holoca (Score 1) 683

by dasunt (#46076181) Attached to: VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

0 dollars of income taxes are spent on the roads. 0%. Roads are maintained with the excise tax on gasoline.

Maybe that's the case in your country, but in the United States, road funding tends to come from a variety of sources.

Specifically, road funding tends to come from the general fund for state roads, and out of local funding sources for local roads - this includes stuff like income taxes and property taxes. Roughly speaking, road users are subsidized, for good or bad.

For the United States state spending, you can find a chart here for how much each state actually takes in via user fees, and pays out on roads. The best state is Delaware, where for every $1.00 spent on roads, about $0.60 comes from user fees. The worst state is Alaska or Wyoming - where for every $1.00 spent on roads, about $0.05 comes from user fees. The average is about $0.32 from user fees for every $1.00 spent.

Again, I can't say how your country funds roads, but in the United States, a strong argument can be made that income taxes, as well as other sources, funds roads.

Comment: Re:People are tired of the endless guilt trip. (Score 4, Insightful) 846

by dasunt (#46013485) Attached to: Global-Warming Skepticism Hits 6-Year High

We do want to do good, however there are so many tradeoffs we need to think about, and with science showing us more, it overwhelms us, and in essence paralyzes us. So we choose what science we choose to follow and what we choose to disregard as a coping mechanism. It is emotional, it isn't about being stupid, of ill informed, it is just about being emotional on your choice.

I'm going with being stupid, emotional, and ill informed, plus I'm throwing in lazy. Look at your examples - grocery bags: Use the reusable ones, wash the damn produce once you take it out of the bag, and use reusable containers for other food. Grab the small car. Last time we used a van, it was for camping a year ago with friends, and they supplied a van they rarely used. Last time we needed a truck, we borrowed it, for yard work. We could have just as easily rented them, and it would be easier than trying to convince ourselves that we need a car, a van, and a truck. And cheaper! That large tree? If it needs to come down, it needs to come down. If not, it can stay. As for food, some of the best food for us tends to be food we make from scratch - which tends to take up less space, weigh less, and is easier to transport and store than eating out all the time or buying premade food. And don't give us the BS about time - there's plenty of easy one pot meals that only require a bare hint of foresight and setting a timer on the stove once it starts cooking.

People are stuck in their habits, and they are trying to justify those habits, for the most part. It's amazing. Frugality and being environmental often goes hand in hand. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Arrange your life in such a way that trips can by done by foot, bike or bus. Preplan a bit. It's a time saver, cheaper, and healthier.

So, personal story time: We live in a small house, ridiculously small by American standards. It's cheaper to live there (and less CO2!). Plus, the yard is just big enough for our hobbies, and nothing more, so we can get by with just a shovel and a manual push mower - which gives us more exercise, while being cheaper (and less CO2 than a gasoline mower and a snowblower). We're on bus lines, which means we don't need two vehicles. Ideally, we'd need zero and rent an hour car when needed - I think we're close to that point now. We're now both on bus routes to work - one bus each, no transfers. Pretty damn nice. The house is small enough that we don't have the urge to pack it with junk, which is, once again, cheaper. And since we don't have a house packed with toys, we have the urge to head out more (ideally on foot or bike), which contributes to our health. Oh, and we tend to cook from scratch which is, once again, cheaper.

We've upped our income significantly quite recently since my better half got her second degree, and a job, and someone told her that we now could now afford to buy a larger home. The idea caused us to laugh. We already could afford more, but we're already saving money, and we'd rather save more for better things down the road (and early retirement). Why get caught up in the rat race where everyone is convincing everyone else that their wasteful lifestyles are needed? We figured it out - we have the good life. And unlike so many people, our debt is minimal, gets quickly paid off for the most part, and we aren't living from paycheck to paycheck. If we need something, we can get it without worrying too much about the price. But we both realize that we don't need a lot of things. And that's benefiting us while benefiting the environment as well.

Comment: Re:Murica Fuck yea! (Score 1) 635

by dasunt (#46010561) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

So, by "harder to repair", you mean a good metric set of sockets, a good SAE set of sockets, and perhaps a code reader (if you can't borrow one from an auto parts store?

I get sick of the "new cars are harder to repair" meme. IMO, it's due to a bunch of people who never updated their skills. They are automobiles, not some black box. Understand how it works, and you can repair it.

Comment: Re:My Jeff Dean story (Score 1) 173

by dasunt (#45973915) Attached to: The Mystery/Myth of the $3 Million Google Engineer

When we were planning our breakfast, he was staying St. Paul because a charity his wife is involved with was having a board meeting. He wanted to pick a place he could WALK to, which is kind of challenge if you're in downtown St. Paul. I was thinking "Walk? You don't have a town car? A rental? Or a self-driving car?"

  • The Saint Paul Hotel - 350 N Market St, St Paul, MN âZ
  • Crowne Plaza St. Paul - Riverfront Hotel - 11 Kellogg Blvd E, St Paul, MN
  • Embassy Suites St. Paul - Downtown - 175 E 10th St, St Paul, Minnesota âZ

I could go on. As much as I love dissing on Shelbyville, it does have hotels downtown.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe