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Comment Re:Texas is a free market state (Score 1) 211

Exactly! As long as the federal government keeps their thumb on the scale for wind power, these situations will continue. This isn't the only case of negative pricing for unneeded electricity, it happens in any grid where the law is that the ISO is required to buy wind power, whether it is needed or not.

Comment Re:A non-free market acts erratically. So? (Score 1) 211

I'd take an irrational, varied marketplace over a tightly controlled ones any day. You'll find after doing some research that many of the "irrational" markets are due to influence by regulators (such as the federal reserve controlling banking, keeping interest rates lower than the market would, as an example), or rent-seeking companies getting government favors.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 1) 184

THE MARKET® should be building massive housing projects in order to fill a need for inexpensive housing. Why is that not the case? Maybe because the people who run the show like sitting on a very valuable resource (buildings), so they elect officials who put plenty of restrictions in place, such as height restrictions, "open spaces" or historical districts, in order to keep their resource scarce and expensive.

Not saying that in a true free market landlords might attempt to sabotage new entrants with other methods, but at some point someone would be able to break the cartel.

Comment Re:We need accountability (Score 1) 128

Well, thank goodness the people who run banks aren't running nuclear power plants. I wouldn't want one of those idiots programming my iPhone, let alone putting them in charge of anything really important.

Believe it or not, there are still people who are accountable for their actions, and will take the time to do things correctly the first time. They don't get a lot of attention but without them society would crumble. I've met quite a few technicians in the electricity industry, and they are some of the most methodical and sober people I've ever met. They understand both the responsibility of service and dangerous nature of their work. While I've never met a nuclear plant operator, I trust that the same level of professionalism and responsibility, magnified, is the rule.

Comment Re:We need accountability (Score 1) 128

Where do you think the operators live? Do they get flown in for their shift every day? Don't be an idiot.

People live in the same sealed containers as nuclear reactors for months at a time, in nuclear submarines. They receive a lower dose of radiation during that time than we do, because water is a very effective blocker of gamma rays from outer space.

Comment Re:Environmentalists will cause the next nuclear a (Score 1) 128

Shoreham Nuclear Power plant built, but never started after massive public protest:

Much of the protest was organized by various environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society. The tactic they used was to introduce FUD over the lack of a "workable" evacuation plan and convincing the local government to not sign off on the plan proposed by the plant operator.

Interesting side note: One of the alternatives proposed by the protest group was solar power:


Note that the ad was sponsored by the Oil Heat Institute. When you wonder where all the money comes from for these protests, the speaking fees for the army of environmentalist speakers and authors, all those studies written at all those environmental think tanks, ask who has the most to lose? Could it be the incumbent players in the fossil fuel industry? Do you think they are worried about wind turbines that only work 30% of the time? What do you think backs up all that wind and solar? What's going to happen to those gas turbines if they replace coal with an energy source that can run up to 97% of the time and then only powers off at a scheduled time (and has a 2nd, 3rd or 4th unit right next to it to maintain service)?

Comment Re:in other news... (Score 2) 236

Exactly, however it seems the acceptable business model is to sell eyeballs, not product. The first company that can provide me the same product as Gmail (ubiquitous email across multiple devices, all updated in real time), without the tracking and forced advertising gets my money. But anyone coming to a VC meeting with a pay-for-play product is going to be laughed out of the room.

Comment Re:Zoloft is a 1000 times worse (Score 2, Interesting) 187

Yea, I used to think the same thing until I dated a woman who was bipolar. There are people out there with real problems, problems that aren't easily solved by "shake it off and take a lap." You probably went to the wrong doctor, who instead of taking the time to find out what your problem was (or wasn't), put you on the pharma cure.

Comment Re:The cops and prosecutors love it (Score 3, Insightful) 144

Exactly why the various three letter agencies are hovering up all the digital data.

And if the case is somewhat sketchy, with a lot of circumstantial evidence, if they can pile on the flimsy evidence to overwhelm the jury they will. And of course that works the other way too, if there's good evidence that might introduce doubt or exonerate the defendant, if the defense doesn't have a good discovery mechanism, it will never be known.

If you've ever served on a jury you know that the DA will always have multiple charges against the accused. Some of them might not much of anything to do with the major reason for prosecution, but as long as the jury finds the defendant guilty of something, the DA counts it as a win.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky