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Comment Re:Sounds good to me (Score 1) 319

In many places in the USA there are laws governing what taxis must charge per mile. Check the route using Google Maps and you'll know almost exactly what it costs before calling. When you call, you can also ask them what the price will be and I've never had anyone not provide me an accurate answer. Sure, talking is slower than reading, but you can still get the same info.


Every cab I've ever taken, or heard of, has had a complicated formula for fares. Sometimes it is posted in some partial form, usually not. It varies from driver to driver. There are charges for initial pickup, extra passengers, waiting, luggage, etc. that may or may not be applied. There are things like a mileage fee that varies depending on speed. At low speeds a per minute charge is applied, in addition to the mileage fee. You could take a hundred cabs along the exact same route and get a hundred different fares. The amounts would differ by several hundred percent minimum.

Calling and asking is a crapshoot. They may give you a price but they are not obligated to honor it. See above.

Many cabs I've taken take suboptimal routes. Maybe it is better for traffic, but whether or not it is better the cabbie makes more money.

I will never voluntarily take another cab in my life unless they offer clear, upfront pricing like the ride apps provide.

Comment Re:So how do others manage to stay? (Score 1) 622

There are lots of working homeless who keep their things in a car, sleep in a car. Various arrangements including storage units, friends with an apartment, gyms for showering.

Implausible commutes are common. Sad as it is there are many people who commute 3 hours each way for a menial job.

Lots of people pack apartments, 2-3 adults per room.

Comment Re:You don't own common sense (Score 1) 1103

the side that goes along with the overwhelming amount of research (not to mention common sense) that suggests more guns = more gun accidents (and of course, more gun violence.)

Then I'm sure you can cite some of this research? The actual fact is that in recent decades, firearms accidents and murders by firearm have both decreased while the number of guns in private hands has increased.

Now, if you don't like guns, that's fine; like abortions, if you don't like one, don't have one. But if you're going to talk about an "overwhelming amount of research" about crime, you'd better be able to cite some criminology papers.

Comment Re:I think the difference is (Score 2) 1103

your odds of surviving a knife attack are orders of magnitude better than surviving a shooting.

Not if the attacker has decided to kill you, no. Knife attacks are sometimes done specifically to wound or mutilate rather than kill.

The fact that despite the easy availability of black-market firearms 30% of US murders are committed without a firearm ought to clue you in that it's not "orders of magnitude" easier to survive an attack by other means.

The ancient world killed people with blades quite effectively. The armies of Alexander didn't have guns. Nor did the Romans, the folks who gave us the word "decimate".

But the phrase "Guns don't kill people" is verifiable bullshit.

No, assigning intent to inanimate objects is verifiable bullshit. Hammers don't build buildings. Scalpels don't perform surgeries. Guitars don't play music. Gasoline cans and matches don't burn down buildings. Shoes don't kick people. In all of those situations we understand that it is a person, not an object, which is responsible. But many people have an irrational emotional response to firearms due to their status as a cultural shibboleth, and so lose track of this principle.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 1103

A gun is a weapon, and has a single purpose. It kills. It kills well.

A gun is a tool, which fires small pellets at a high velocity. Pellets can be fired at a variety of targets for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons are both self-defense and aggressive violence against other human beings. They are neither the easiest not most efficient way to murder human beings, efficient mass murderers use fire while poison is easier for killing one at a time. Your local Home Depot is more dangerous than your local gun store. Firearms are, however, the best means of self- and community-defense yet developed. As the cliche says, God made man, but Samuel Colt made man equal.

The U.S.'s murder rate is linked much more to its prevalence of economic injustice and history of racism than to the legal status of firearms. (There is no correlation between a state's murder rate and it's gun laws, but there is one between it GINI score and its murder rate.) Criminologists are pretty clear that gun control laws have little effect on violent crime, and may increase it by decreasing the ability to citizens to defend themselves.

Comment this applies to all EU and Canadian citizens too (Score 1) 116

Under the treaties that the US signed with the EU and with Canada, this applies to all such recordings - even in the US or stored in the US - of any conversations of citizens of the EU and of Canada.

Next time, don't sign treaties which overrule laws passed by Congress.

Comment Re:Not entirely sure (Score 1) 125

I'm a lot more optimistic than you are. There are people alive now who remember when gays were killed without repercussion, blacks were given separate accommodations, women couldn't vote, etc. We are making rapid change towards equal rights. We aren't there yet but we have really come a long way in a relatively short time.

Frankly I'm surprised how quickly gay marriage became widely accepted. I'm also surprised how fast weed has gone mainstream. I'm normally a pessimist but these things give me hope.

Comment Re:Not entirely sure (Score 1) 125

A lot of the crime I see is bicycle theft and graffiti. Once drones are 2 cents each and fully autonomous anyone who tags a wall will be followed by drones until a policeman hands them a paint brush and forces them at gunpoint to paint over their tag. After a while only people with serious mental problems will tag, and they will be forced to clean it up immediately. Way cheaper for everyone overall.

Same thing for bicycle theft. Followed until forced to give it back, and apologize to the person they stole it from. Nobody steals bikes anymore.

Of course we'll need to figure out a way to deal with mental defectives etc. but actual crime, committed to achieve some kind of result won't be possible anymore.

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