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Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 408

As to your post, it was a similarly remarkable waste of my time.

But going to nowhere? Not having a purpose? Nope, not the Gravina Island Bridge. It always had a purpose, and did have planning. You could argue it wasn't a prudent decision. Arguing it went nowhere just makes you sound like a bombastic blowhard. Which does describe many a person, but it isn't a good thing.

This is why you are an idiot. This is a variation of the Nirvana fallacy. My argument isn't wrong because the label doesn't perfectly describe the situation. That's not even relevant.

Given that this is the second time you've made a deeply flawed argument based on your interpretation of colloquial English (the first being your interpretation of "Happens all the time" as being equivalent to "Happens every time"), maybe you should stop doing that?

A "bridge to nowhere" serves such a small population (sometimes even none at all, if the bridge genuinely never connects to anything), that even before planning begins, it's quite clear that it's lifetime benefits will never come close to its costs. The Gravina Island Bridge is a classic example of that.

The key here is that there isn't a qualitative or quantitative difference between a costly bridge which is perfectly useless and a costly bridge which has a very small usefulness compared to its cost. Given that our societies make large-scale, poor decisions like that, it then is reasonable to consider whether they're doing it for the high speed rail proposal of the story.

Here, the story tells us that the US government currently thinks California will spend up to ten billion dollars on early stage construction for a segment that connects no major population centers. That is a demonstration of a remarkable lack of planning and relevance here consistent with what I noted earlier.

I'll note also that the project has fantasy ridership numbers in addition to its fantasy cost numbers. Elsewhere someone has noted that someone claims that one would need $160 billion in roads and airports to match the capacity of the rail system. $160 billion > $68 billion right? Even if we took the cost figure as accurate (hopefully, you understand my opinion on that), we still have the problem that ridership isn't capacity.

And it certainly will be the case that the ridership for the first phase of construction, which doesn't cover any significant population centers, isn't going to fill $10 billion of roads and airports. Past that, we'll just have to see. But it's likely IMHO that the actual ridership of the high speed rail would be comfortably covered by $68 billion in roads and airports.

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 408

In their eyes, if Elon Musk or Google were doing it, it'd be the best thing ever.

Depends. But such a mass transit scheme that's has a decent chance of being profitable without requiring tens of billions of dollars of California taxpayer money as input is probably worthy of your respect as well.

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 408

Happens all the time.

Nope. If it happened all the time, then no trains, highways, or airplanes would be used at all.

My sentence doesn't mean what you think it means.

Reality, of course, is that while people can be wrong, they are fallible human beings after all, they aren't always, and they do think about what they're doing.

Except, of course, when they're not thinking about what they're doing.

On the other hand, which were constructed with thought and consideration. I'd add more, but my sentence was getting awkward.

Consider the fallacy you're committing here. Just because some transportation infrastructure isn't total shit doesn't mean that California's high speed rail will achieve that threshold.

You seem to not realize that you are arguing against a priority in transportation based on nothing more than offering a handy catchphrase, when in reality, the bridge which you so blithely dismiss, did go somewhere, and did have a purpose. Except, of course, when it didn't.

At least give them the courtesy of some effort towards thoughtful consideration, rather than whatever popular slogan grabs your attention. Reserve that for after school television programs. Let's get the next ten words. Ante up, poindexter.

Or you could stop being an idiot. The damning thing about this project is that it started with a high cost which will only get higher, a poor use scenario, and fantasy numbers for ridership. I also note that no advocate is prepared to deal with the inevitable TSA interference which currently is the only reason it compares well to air passenger service.

Comment Re: Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund (Score 1) 408

But it is being built by contractors not the government.

Who let us note are much better than government agencies at scoring contracts. You have to realize here that businesses will take the fast route to profit. If I give a business a million cars, I don't expect them to become good at driving and making their profit that way. I expect them to become good at selling cars because that's the more profitable way.

And what's this bit about a "free market"? Where's the other competing high speed rails?

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 408

That would be found in the multitude of existing trains, whose operations can be scrutinized, and compared to the existing highways, airplanes, and even boats that exist.

You do know that they don't just decide to build trains, highways, or airplanes, without any idea what's going on, right?

Happens all the time. I think the current story is such an example. We also have the "bridges to nowhere", many which were constructed by precisely the lack of competence and judgment you seem to think doesn't exist.

Comment Re: Awesome (Score 1) 129

By that token the government should pay for my education because when I graduate I will help move the country forward, generate more tax revenue, reduce the unemployment rate, and create more jobs.

Unless, of course, you don't. Maybe they should bill you the full amount of your education when you turn out to be a waste of oxygen?

Comment Re: Awesome (Score 4, Informative) 129

And mostly fail if you look at the launch record..

Take a gander at Falcon 9's launch statistics. 30 launch attempts with 4 failures (including one while test burning the engines). "Most" would be 16 or more, not 4.

Even if we try to inflate the number of failures by including Falcon 1 (3 failures of 5 launch attempts) and all 6 Falcon 9 first stage landing failures (even though not a one of those counts as a launch failure since NASA didn't pay for even one of those), we still end up with 13 out of 35 launches. 18 is "most".

That's brazenly wrong.

You sir, have the credibility of CNN.

Look who's projecting.

Comment Re:Support High Speed Rail (Score 1) 408

Certainly, few people drove on the first five miles of controlled-access highway --- but the fully built-out Interstate system is used by many millions. To describe the entire project as only the Central Valley segment is foolish at best and malevolent at worst.

The obvious point here is that they are building a rather useless stretch first rather than incrementally building a line that is useful from the start. Even most urban transportation gets that part right.

My view is that this a bait and switch based on the sunk cost fallacy. They'll build this nearly useless stretch and then discover, as usual, that the useful portions of the train's routes will be more costly than expected.

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 408

Rather than acknowledge that there are circumstances under which spending money on trains actually saves overall because it reduces problems with the road

What evidence exists for that position? Let us keep in mind that we don't actually know how much the trains will cost either, but it's likely more than even this cost overrun estimate. Then that alleged $10 in savings becomes something far smaller or even negative in sign.

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