I've got about 140 hours in on PC, and I may be at the crest of what I can do. I've got my suit and tool and ship maxed out for inventory, with suit and ship maxed out with upgrades. Some 20,000,000 units in the bank. Learned 2 of the 3 alien languages (halfway through the last one, by now). I'm pretty much down to achievements at this point, and jumping from system to system. Visually, it's got a lot of appeal. It's pretty soothing to play -- a bit like "Endless Ocean". I didn't really expect to get great spaceflight mechanics or anything like that. I pretty much grind out on burglarizing Operations Centers and Manufacturing Facilities, looking for new tech blueprints to make a handful of technologies and materials I don't already have
So what's it missing?
In sum, I think the framework is there onto which a lot of stuff can be built. The basics have been hung on that framework. More stuff needs to be hung on it, and quests that describe the lore and stories behind and with that stuff needs to be included. It's a big sprawling universe and it's too empty and quiet and dull once you've advanced through the basics. Level one has been great, but I'm done with the tutorial and I'm not seeing the next level. If the makers wanted the open universe to be a blank slate onto which I can make or live my own in-game story, the universe needs to have the tools for me to make that story and decorate the setting to suit... the models are out there... second life, the sims, StarWars Galaxies, EVE. They're such a small shop (less than 20 people or something?), and creative talent for story and artwork and the tools development to gird those efforts is probably not an easy reach. This is the cost of fast and light, I guess. I'm optimistic that it will fill in over time, or that a sequel will handle the next generation of the game, but I sense that I'm almost done with it.
Funny, that "ramming" took 18 months, and I recall the GOP whinging about fictitious "death panels", "job-killing (didn't happen), "deficit exploding" (actually reduced the deficit) all along the way and for dozens of months afterwards... no constructive GOP contributions, no new or different ideas to add except "no change, not now, not ever" from the GOP. The PPACA was a total concession from the start to the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Inst, as an alternative to universal gov't health care. Obama stood back and let it happen and constantly invited GOP voices to the conversation. It's still a private health care system, but with some guard rails, some negotiated rules of cost and fair play and some requirements for infrastructure improvements. To this very day, the only GOP proposal has been to repeal the whole thing and no proposals have been made to address the problems the PPACA was passed to address. It's not perfect, by any means. My state has some real problems with making it work, but it can be improved, and it probably will be.
Pedantically, you cite Pelosi who said that "we have to pass the [health care bill] so that you can find out what's in it", and it's a great quote. Pelosi was trying to say that people needed to see it in action and how it worked in order to understand what it does in a practical sense. The neat thing about what people say and write is that we can each interpret the remarks from our own point of view. You certainly took what best fit your worldview, but Pelosi did a good job of clarifying her remark, so I'll take her words for what it meant, thanks.
I usually don't reply to AC posts, but something here needs to be cleared up. Bulk-rate "junk mail" is exactly what is keeping the postal service in the black, given that the number of letters has fallen off dramatically with the advent of electronic communications. Incidentally, bills go via bulk rate postage, too.
If you don't want junk mail in your box, you can contact the people that send it and get taken off their mailing lists. I do this every five years or so. It's a bit time consuming, but it does work.
I'm a little confused by your response. The postal service is written into the constitution, but the laws for funding of the pension obligations was written by Fedex and UPS and passed by the congress after a little campaign cash got passed around. I'm struggling to remember a law that the postal service got written on their behalf. Can you furnish an example?
The security and dependability of the mail was a big deal to the founding fathers, because it ensured privacy, facilitated commerce and provided the handling for unfettered communications between the people and the government. The logistical conditions are different, today, but those same elements still apply. It's the infrastructure of a free society, in gross terms. Voter information, tax forms, subpoenas, government invoices, correspondence with government agencies and branches of government, benefit payouts all need a dependable and timely way to get to people that is not influenced by or unduly affected by private industry. Everyone needs that stuff, so a basic foundation of affordable service for all citizens is necessary.
Postage actually used to be a tax when I was a kid, but they changed it to a service back in the eighties, if I remember correctly, and this opened up the private letter delivery market for UPS and Fedex and the rest. It's really the exact opposite of your contention that the USPS took over a commercial niche. The postal service can still be sued for liability, so I don't know what kind of immunity you're talking about. What offenses are you thinking about?
A computer without COBOL and Fortran is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup and mustard.