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Comment Different measuring stick (Score 4, Interesting) 66

If people are emotionally invested in a poor decision, then they will retroactively justify it in a lot of ways.

One person's poor decision is another person's awesome decision. Let's use a different car company - Ferrari. Nobody buys a Ferrari because of the reliability ratings in Consumer Reports. They buy it because of the looks, the performance, the badge, or other reasons. The decision tree and evaluation of satisfaction about the purchase simply won't be based on whether it is as reliable as a Toyota Camry. Tesla is somewhat in the same boat. Reliability is pretty far down the list of reasons why someone buys a Tesla in most cases.

Remember that Consumer Reports has a particular view point on their evaluation of cars. They apply the same ratings to all vehicles regardless of whether those ratings actually are relevant to the buyers of those cars. This isn't a case of post-hoc justification of satisfaction. It's that the measuring stick for satisfaction is a lot more complicated than how reliable Consumer Reports thinks the car is. Consumer Reports provides useful data but you have to understand that it is data from a very specific view point which may or may not be relevant.

Comment Cost of repair (Score 1) 66

There's another useful metric - cost of repair.

It is useful but not publicly available. Tesla isn't going to break this number out on their financial statements and Consumer Reports doesn't have access to the real number. One might be able to make an educated guess at it but there would be some very substantial error bars on that calculation.

They're about $7 billion in the hole and still a year, at least, before their mass market car ships.

Which is why their stock valuation is astonishing. I think Tesla is a pretty good company doing very interesting things. But their market capitalization is bat shit crazy. It is completely unjustifiable given the size and any reasonable analysis of the near term prospects of the company. It doesn't make sense that an unprofitable company selling 50,000 vehicles a year has a market cap half the size of General Motors market cap. Tesla simply isn't going to be big enough or profitable enough any time soon to justify that valuation.

Comment Beauty in the eye... (Score 1) 66

Besides, I personally think the model X is one of the least attractive cars you can buy.

That's a matter of opinion. My sister agrees with you but I think the Model X looks fine - at least compared with any other crossover SUV. I don't think it's as pretty as the Model S but it doesn't offend me visually. Different strokes for different folks. Personally I think the Nissan Leaf is FAR uglier than the Model X as well as far less practical if we ignore the vastly different price points. I don't really get why Telsa is the only company that has wrapped their head around the idea that an ugly hatchback with a 100 mile range isn't anything to get excited about.

It seems like something designed only for hipsters.

Ahh, I get it. You don't like it so it must be something designed for your designated generic ill-defined douche bags - aka "hipsters". You don't have to like the vehicle and I get it if it doesn't suit your needs. But I know several people personally who own a Model X and "hipster" doesn't remotely begin to describe any of them. Most of them are people who simply are techies who like the geek factor and performance that comes with a Tesla. A few are greenies who also happen to be car enthusiasts. Reliable or not the cars Tesla makes are among the most interesting vehicles you can buy today regardless of price point.

Comment Not unusual for the luxury car market (Score 1) 66

Most people expected those to take time to get right.

There is more to quality than taking your time. I've worked as a quality engineer in the auto industry. The hard part is installing a company culture that values quality while still being able to manage costs effectively.

But the issues with poor build quality was simply horrendous and would have been unacceptable for cars costing well below the Model X base price.

I guess you've never dealt with cars in that price range much before. Nobody buys a car with a six figure price tag because of its reliability. Super cars are notoriously unreliable. Nobody buys a Lambo or a Ferrari or even a Land Rover for its reliability. People buy them for their features, looks, and brand but almost never because they don't expect to see the inside of a repair shop. Part of this is because high priced cars tend to have the latest gizmos as well as a lot of them so there simply are more places for things to break. Given how much they are pushing the envelope on car design and features I'm not really surprised there are some quality problems with some Tesla cars. But when compared to the cars they are currently competing against their quality seems to be roughly par for the course compared to their nearest competition like BMWs or Mercedes. Toyota/Lexus is probably the exception that proves the rule as they tend to lead the pack on quality though their cars also tend to be rather conservative and boring me-too designs.

Now that's not really an excuse for poor quality but if you are going to compare apples to apples Tesla isn't really out of the ordinary in the market they are selling to. And to their credit Tesla seems to take dealing with problems that arise in their vehicles seriously and proactively. It indicates that the Model S is now roughly average build quality which these days is actually pretty darn good. If you want to argue that Tesla should be better I won't disagree. Personally if something costs that much money I don't think it's unreasonable to expect it to be well designed and well built.

Comment Analogies and missing the point (Score 1) 205

Hawaii is a really nice place for humans to live: the weather is perfect, it's lush and beautiful, there's all kinds of fun things to do like swimming, surfing, scuba diving, exploring rain forests, etc.

Way to miss the point. We explore Antarctica too for lots of very good reasons and it is anything but hospitable. Mars is very similar but with the degree of difficulty turned up to 11. There are plenty of good reasons to go there in person. Learn to understand what an analogy is and stop thinking so literally and being so short sighted.

Comment Engage your brain (Score 1) 205

So the only reason to go to Mars would be tourism? That's not a compelling case.

Holy missing the point Batman! Of course there are more reasons to go to Mars than tourism. Science research, preservation of our species, joy of exploration, financial gain, engineering, military dominance, and the list goes on and on. Use your brain and think of a few more. It's not hard. The point is that relatively little of this is possible by just sending robots just like there is a difference between knowing that it is 85F and sunny in Hawaii and actually being there yourself.

Comment Figurehead (Score 1) 105

What I always find somewhat funny about that is that Bush was suppose to be the dumbest fucking person on the planet yet all these people in congress were fooled multiple times by him which should be fairly telling about the quality of the people in the house and senate.

It wasn't Bush doing the fooling. He was effectively little more than a figurehead who could get elected. The real movers and shakers were people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest. They were the tail that wagged the dog. Bush wasn't a strong enough leader to dominate the room when they were in it. Furthermore when the CIA, NSA and the rest of our "intelligence" agencies were feeding bad information it becomes hard to make a properly informed decision even at the best of times.

That said, a lot of congress isn't terribly bright or capable. Certainly not our best and brightest except maybe for purposes of looking out for their own interests.

Comment Re:Fickle as the wind (Score 1) 105

BS. Most of the politicians voted for it because the war was very popular with their constituents at the time.

The war was NEVER popular with many/most constituents. What the politicians were worried about was being vulnerable to the (bogus) argument that voting against the war meant they were "soft on terrorism and getting voted out of office as a result. While there was a portion of the population that was very hawkish just like with any conflict, most people were not at any time in favor of starting a war with Iraq. There was no evidence that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks and the case against Iraq was obviously shown to be a fabrication. No, congress voted to support the military action (there never was a declaration of war) out of political expediency and based on what turned out to be false information.

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