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User Journal

Journal Journal: Establishment vs Establishment 1

The framing of the 2016 election is that this is the establishment vs the anti-establishment. Clinton represents Washington DC. Trump represents the masses.

This is bullshit.

Comment Re:Making 26 YOs work 80 hour weeks is easier too. (Score 2) 231

I agree they're not much good on a smooth floor, but I use a broom for that. They work very well in that environment. We've had a Dyson for a long time and aside from eating its skinny little belts trivially if you clog it with hair, it's a very good machine for us. And it pulls stuff out of the carpet that other vacs don't, which is its mission...

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

When arguing ICE vs EV, I get the impression that noise and vibration is considered a good thing with ICE.

Some people seem to think so, and in a sports car that's as may be, but in other kinds of cars it's not so much. The thing is, that's not really a big problem. There's only a small amount of pleasant noise from my Audi (all real, none generated) and there's really no discernible vibration because of the fancy-pants engine mount setup, which is not even active. It's just good. The real benefits of EVs are not so much in sound (although there are some there) as in efficiency. When the batteries become cheaper, and when typical range gets a bit better, they will become ubiquitous for this reason.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

One day you should actually drive an EV instead of just spurting unjustified nonsense.

You can get a lovely used luxury car with better interior quality than a Tesla for around ten grand in very good condition. (The best examples of older luxobarges seem to run about that.) Per dollar, it walks all over the Tesla. Yes, the Tesla is a better car. It's not a hundred thousand dollars better. Used Teslas won't be that cheap for decades.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

I've watched the Jay Leno's Garage on his Doble. It was an amazing thing. But the system takes up too much space. Compare the Doble to a Fiesta with a 1 liter Ecoboost engine and there's no contest in any category. Physics limits how small a steam system can be; it could perhaps be more compact than in the Doble, but how much more? If you're going to go that far in your quest for a new-old engine, NASA's proven Stirling engine tech is probably a better example.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

Whatever you do, don't take a Tesla test drive. It will make you hate your slow, noisy, polluting ICE car forever.

What makes me hate my ICE car is unreliability. But when it's working, my A8 Quattro is not exactly an unpleasant driving experience. You can get a spectacular (old) one for ten grand and the price difference will pay for fuel just about for life. I should have spent more on mine :p

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 231

There are many other (large) industries that rely heavily on batteries. They've been heavily researched for over 100 years.

Yes, but so have ICEs, and they still suck. Only minor improvements in efficiency have been realized in the last forty years. A forty year old turbo diesel still provides pretty good thermodynamic efficiency. It does it without producing much CO2 as a result, although it will tend to crank out quite a bit of NOx. Over that time, automotive ICE efficiency has improved by only in the low double digit percents, while electric motor efficiency has about doubled — and it's over three times as good as an ICE.

Cars are fun, I like engine noises as much as or even more than the next guy, but ICEs blow.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 231

There is already an awesome battery tech, holding about 10kWh of energy in a small package that already exist, it's good old gas. The only problem is that it takes 100 millions years to produce.

The other problem is that you can't just feed it into an electric motor. You have to either feed it into a fuel cell which is lame for many reasons which I should not need to enumerate here, or you have to feed it into an ICE which is lame for even more reasons which etc etc. Or an external combustion engine, but (stationary generation aside) that only really works for trains and it's not really convenient there, either. Electric motors are wonderful in every way compared to ICEs, and batteries are wonderful in most ways compared to fuel cells despite their many annoying failings. In fact, you can't efficiently build a fuel cell car without including battery in the motive power system.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1, Insightful) 231

EVs would have been overtaken by ICE technology regardless of whatever conspiratal notions you are imagining.

ICEs still provide a superior driving experience per dollar, and most people who have an EV wouldn't have one if not for subsidies... to compete with the entrenched energy monopolies' subsidies.

Comment Good on him (Score 2, Interesting) 231

Better battery tech is about the most important thing in energy today, because it will let us make more use of "alternative" energy sources (you know, ones which were in use to do work long before anyone was using electricity, or building ICEs or steam turbines or even steam engines) right now. The only thing that might be even more compelling in the short term would be a safe way to store apparently physics-defying quantities of hydrogen and release small or large amounts of it later as necessary without having to expend a lot of energy to do so, but even that has less applications than a better battery.

One (okay, I) wonder[s] where battery tech would be today if EVs had remained dominant and not been pushed out by subsidized oil and coal.

Comment Re:That's bullshit (Score 5, Interesting) 309

The only actual way to reduce teen pregnancy is to encourage them to stop fucking so much

You have figures for all the other methods. What are the figures for "encouraging them to stop fucking so much"?

The birth control available to them _does not work_.

The figures quoted say otherwise. True, the worst contraceptive you mention is successful with 72% of users across a year never having a problem, however the pill is successful for 91% of users (over a year), and the CDC includes reversible birth control measures that are more than 99% effective in the chart you mention.

It's also worth mentioning that the failures aren't necessarily a function of the devices themselves so much as user error. Condoms usually "fail" not because they break or anything else obvious, but because people who rely upon them frequently decide to chance not using them. Almost all versions of the pill can be rendered useless if combined with certain drugs - notably many antibiotics - and are more than 99% effective if used properly.

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