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Comment Re:Of Course (Score 1) 120

It amazes me how much the other manufacturers completely missed the boat on fast charging networks. It seems that they simply stereotyped EVs as niche products for niche dirtie hippie buyers, and that anyone who wanted a "real car" that could go on road trips without excessive hassle would just buy an ICE.

Tesla's bet that EV buyers would, in fact, strongly want to road trip, and a "charge while you take a meal break" rate of charge would allow for that (~120kW max rather than ~50kW max for CHAdeMO and most CCS) is probably the single most fateful decision they've made in terms of their success so far - selling about as many nearly-six-figure and over-six-figure EVs in the US as their competitors sold mid-to-low-5-figure EVs.

Comment Re: Of Course (Score 1) 120

Add to the list "has Motor Trend drooling about how much better it handles than a BMW 3-series". And the ability to get AWD + air suspension. And I can't wait to see the specs on that performance package ;) The SR is already as fast as a 330i and the LR as fast as a 340i (but $5k cheaper than each, before incentives and operating cost savings) - and adding power on EVs is a lot cheaper than with gasoline.

I'd also stress the "efficient without being a weirdmobile" aspect. Tesla has really honed in on the optimization point here, how efficient you can make a vehicle be without having it start to look either unusual or dorky. So just ignoring the economies of scale that come from having invested far more in EV tech than all other manufacturers, all others start out at a disadvantage, in that if they try to make something look "sportier" or "more aggressive" to take market share away, they increase drag (thus cutting range, or increasing battery costs and vehicle mass, both while simultaneously reducing charging-miles-per-hour). They could go the other way and try to eke out some extra efficiency by, say, going down to 16" or less wheels (but people already complain about aero wheels, let alone little ones), or adding wheel skirts (most people don't want them), or tapering the trunk more (but then you lose trunk space), or going with a more aggressive roof taper (cutting rear passenger space), or swapping out aluminum panels for composite or magnesium (but then you seriously increase the cost), etc.

Yes, there's a ton of fancy "concept vehicles" out there, but concept vehicles are just glorified art pieces. Look at what happened to, say, the Mission E - now that we're seeing the actual vehicle, it's turned into just a glorified Panamera. Doesn't even look as nice as a Panamera. But this sort of stuff always happens. Concept cars act simply as ads, to get you interested in what a company is doing in hopes that you'll later get over your disappointment and buy the final product anyway.

Comment Re:well, OK (Score 1) 192

No, ICEs face huge taxes and EVs avoid them, like I explicitly stated.

No, a Tesla does not produce 17,5 tonnes of CO2 to manufacture. That was not a peer-reviewed "study" and was based on data that was never valid let alone currently valid. More to the point, Tesla is moving toward having their production entirely solar powered.

The problem with watering with saltwater is that you leave the salts behind in your soil. And basically turn it into a salt pan. And nothing grows on salt pans. Forget the problems with biofuels in general, that right there is a showstopper.

Comment Re:well, OK (Score 2) 192

It's anything but "pays you to own one". It's just that ICE vehicles are super-expensive, while EVs are just "normal priced". The other incentives, like parking, don't amass to that much money on average, and there's no tax deduction or rebate or anything like that (like the US's deduction).

On one hand, the government misses out on all of those sales taxes for EVs. On the other hand, I'm sure that a lot of people were buying a car specifically because they could afford an EV and wouldn't have purchased a vehicle otherwise.

Probably the biggest reason Norway is in front is that their per-capita incomes are so high - they spend more on vehicles, period, and EVs compete far better on the high end than the low end (although that inflection point keeps dropping). Aka, adding more electric motor power is a lot cheaper than adding more gasoline power, but batteries are a relatively fixed cost. In Iceland, our incentives aren't much different from Norway's, but we're only up to 20% adoption rates (that said, part of that is also due to how terrible our EV infrastructure is; Norway's is awesome, and keeps getting better).

Comment Re:I know how to fix this (Score 2) 308

Labour costs are too high for manual sorting like is widely used in China. As always, it'll need to be tech to the rescue. For example, modern plants can use processes like cryofreezing to make even foams brittle, crushing/grinding waste it into granules, separating by density, and optical sorting (spectral analysis) to assess colour, transparency, composition and quality.

Comment Re:It's too far from the strip (Score 1) 294

Short hops aren't really what Boring Company is about. It's about long stretches - having a long, limited-access "fast lane" with a bunch of onramps and offramps serviced by car / passenger elevators. With a route this short, you'd never get up to speed. Sort of defeats the purpose. There's going to be significant overhead with just starting and ending a tunnel - importing the TBM, digging the initial pit, lowering it in, setting it and its tailings system up, etc. Boring Company is designed to be able to bore faster (much faster head rotation via advanced alloy, highly cooled, hot-swappable cutting discs, and via the TBM pushing off tunnel side walls rather than end walls), but that does nothing on its own to reduce initial TBM import and setup costs (apart from the fact that their TBMs are rather modest sized, since the tunnels are single-vehicle on a sled and need no lane margins).

Comment Re:Sex trafficking is a supply and demand problem. (Score 1) 321

Lol, how did I know that that article's source was going to be Petra Östergren? Literally whenever anyone wants to claim anything against the Nordic Model, it comes down to her rantings ;)


The Swedish case thus seems to support the claim of a causal link from law to reduced trafficking. Furthermore, there are indications that traffickers consider the legal rules surrounding prostitution when choosing destination countries. For instance, Swedish police investigations using taped phone conversations show that traffickers have problems due to the Swedish law which criminalizes buying sex since; (i) time is lost because street prostitution is not viable; (ii) Swedish men fear being arrested which requires a lot of (costly) discretion; (iii) to avoid detection, several apartment brothels have to be used; this is costly and often requires more local contacts. Furthermore, victim testimonies have shown that traffickers prefer to operate in countries where prostitution is tolerated or legalized and the Latvian police have concluded that Latvian traffickers avoid Sweden due to the effect the Swedish law has on the profitability of their business (Ekberg 2004).

But hey, what's peer review when you can cite the unsupported minority opinion of a well known opposition activist...

Comment Re:Sex trafficking is a supply and demand problem. (Score 1) 321

1. So your concept of men is that if they can't pay for sex, they'll go out and rape someone? Man, you really have a terrible opinion of men.

2. As for your claim that Sweden is the "rape capital of Europe", Wikipedia sums it up nicely with lots of references:

UNODC report[edit]
A frequently cited source when comparing Swedish rape statistics internationally is the regularly published report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In 2012, according to the report by UNODC, Sweden was quoted as having 66.5 cases of reported rapes per 100,000 population,[29] based on official statistics by Brå.[30] This is the highest number of reported rape of any nation in the report. The high number of reported rapes in Sweden can partly be explained by the comparatively broad definition of rape, the method of which the Swedish police record rapes, a high confidence in the criminal justice system, and an effort by the Government to decrease the number of unreported rapes.[note 1][20][31][21][32]

Unreliable data for cross-national comparison[edit]
For more details on this topic, see Swedish rape statistics.
The UNODC itself discourages any cross-national comparisons based on their reports, because of the differences that exist between legal definitions, methods of offense counting and crime reporting.[29] In 2013, of the 129 countries listed in the UNODC report, a total of 67 countries had no reported data on rape.[19][29] Some majority-Muslim countries missing data—for example Egypt—classifies rape as assault.[33][34] A crime survey funded by the UN and published in The Lancet Global Health concluded that almost a quarter of all men admit to rape in parts of Asia.[35][36] Some of the countries with the highest percentage of men admitting rape in that study, China and Bangladesh for instance, are also not listed or have relatively low numbers of reported rape in the UNODC report.[29]

Do you think that China and Bangladesh have low rape rates?

Comment Re:Sex trafficking is a supply and demand problem. (Score 5, Informative) 321

I don't know every country which has it, but I can tell you that it's that way here in Iceland, too. And Finland. Denmark is the only Nordic which doesn't use it.

After Sweden introduced their ban on purchasing sex, violence against sex workers reportedly went up

This is a lie based around this report. The short of it: Since the law passed, the following reports of changes have occurred:

Verbal abuse: +17%
Hair pulling: +167% (but still only a third of those surveyed reported any hair pulling)
Being struck with a fist: -38%
Rape: -48%.

Because when you consider them all together and equal, it's a net increase of 7% (52% to 59%), that's "violence is up". But most of those cases are verbal abuse. The most extreme examples, such as rape, went down by half.

Street prostitution decreased by 50% and indoor prostitution by 16% since the law was passed. The rate of prostitutes seeking help from the police decreased by 41%, but rather than this being some sort of "afraid of the police" situation (they're not legally liable for anything), rates of seeking help from ProSentret decreased by 54% - an even greater amount. The simple fact is, severe violence dramatically decreased since the Nordic Model was adopted.

The estimates on the number of prostitutes operating in Sweden dropped significantly after the law was passed, and are 1/10th the number as in (lower population) Denmark. A study by Durex found that Sweden had the lowest percentage of the population (among 34 countries surveyed) of men paying for sex, at 3%. But as for:

as did the number of "johns" going to Denmark for sex.

Obviously, just on the face of this, this is stupid. The concept that you'll get the same rate of people visiting prostitutes when they can get it where they live vs. where they have to drive for hours (Stockholm to Copenhagen = 10 hours round trip) and pay ~$50 each way to cross the bridge (let alone the super-expensive Nordic gas prices) is nonsense. Furthermore, the rate of people going to Denmark to buy prostitutes has not increased. A large majority of the population in countries with the Nordic model strongly support it, not just "politicians". Only 25% of Swedish men and 7% of Swedish women support repealing it.

Comment Sex trafficking is a supply and demand problem. (Score 4, Insightful) 321

It's not that there aren't people who want to work in the sex industry - there absolutely are. However, as studies repeatedly bear out, the number who want to is far below the demand; most people who work in the sex industry don't want to be there, and abusive trafficking is an inevitable consequence of this situation.

Making prostitution symmetrically illegal doesn't solve the problem. By making it illegal and aggressively policing it, yes, you cut down on part of the demand. But you also cut down on the supply. And since the ratio of clients to sex workers is far greater than 1, it's much easier to crack down on the "supply" side of the equation, thus increasing the trafficking motive. On the other hand, making it fully legal causes a boom in demand (and especially sex tourism), which usually is associated with a trafficking boom.

I'm personally a fan of the Nordic system: purchasing sex is illegal, as is pimping, but selling sex is perfectly illegal. After all, if your goal is to stamp out trafficking and protect abused women, why would you throw them in jail? The Nordic system cuts demand without cutting supply, thus heavily damaging the trafficking motive; it's been very successful. There are some things you have to be careful about, of course - for example, in the first version of the Swedish laws they had problems with landlords kicking prostitutes out, out of fear that they'd get caught up in anti-pimping / anti-brothel laws (the laws were later amended to address this). But in general it's been shown to work well. It also makes it so that prostitutes are unafraid of having to deal with the police, which means better crime reporting and an all-around better environment for them.

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