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Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 112

I keep having trouble with carriers leaving packages on Saturday and not bothering to ring the doorbell, then going out to church Sunday morning and finding them. I guess that because no other houses in my neighborhood have a doorbell there, they don't bother to look.

The irony, of course, is that package carriers are the main reason I installed a doorbell on that door in the first place.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 112

They both tend to leave random packages on my porch that don't belong to me, as does OnTrac (the other shipper that Amazon seems to use here). Basically, my neighborhood doesn't have consecutive numbering, thanks to me being on a section of street that was added between two existing sections of street, so every time any of the carriers gets a new driver, I end up with packages for the house with a number one below mine, which is approximately half a mile away.

When they do this, it often takes multiple calls over multiple days to get the package removed. One time I got lucky and was able to chase down another FedEx driver who happened to drive by just as I got cut off while on hold with FedEx to call them to pick up a perishable overnight package of food, but the median redelivery time is at least two or three days.

Thus far, they haven't lost any of my packages yet, which could be because the house number below mine is at the end of the road, or maybe it is just just lucky timing. That said, now that I'm employed at a company big enough to have its own shipping and receiving department again, I should really go back to getting all my packages at work. It is just a lot more reliable, in my experience. :-)

Comment Re: we were just heading back into an ice age. (Score 1) 181

Okay, so what you are saying is that over the past 150 years we've stepped up CO2 production so much that what is considered one of the largest drivers of natural climate change (the largest after orbital shifts and solar changes) is now nothing but noise... and somehow this is an argument for the denier side ?

Comment Re:Surprisingly XKCD is wrong ! (Score 1) 181

>Greenland was much warmer in the past than it is today. I am only telling you the truth about the archeology.
Greenland is not the world. The medieval warm period was such a regional phenomenon that the global average didn't even change.

>The 'Greenland only' talking point you have doesn't match the observed evidence.
As per the scientists who debunked that one - Greenland is the only place for which a piece of data exists that remotely matches what he drew for that time period, the rest of the world was much colder than that.
This doesn't mean there haven't been other regional warm periods over time. But global averages have rarely shifted. Regional warm periods are generally offset by cold periods somewhere else.

>Have you never considered that perhaps you don't have all the data?
Oh absolutely. Considered. Investigated. Dismissed after careful scrutiny.

> have you ever considered that the people you disagree with are simply using the Scientific Method better than you are
I have - and then I studied. And it became clear that they have no evidence whatsoever, the claims they make range from deliberate deception through complete and utter fabrication, their conclusions do not follow from their premises, their claims more often than not are internally contradictory, and the data they cite is either misrepresented or flat out lied about, up and including frequently lying about what the temperature is right now, and such to-a-scientist utterly embarrasing mistakes as confusing the arctic and the antarctic.

>have you ever considered that the computer simulations of predicted change may not match reality?
I have - but it's easy to verify that most models have consistently predicted the present well within their published margins of error - and that newer models have done better than older ones (which were pretty good already) and that they openly admit what factors they don't yet model well and account for them by widening margins of error. It's also easy to find that, due to the pressure not to sound alarmist, they consistently undersell when talking to the public - generally speaking about best-case-scenarios, and that where the models deviate from reality it's because reality has been worse. Temperatures higher or ice-melt significantly faster than the press releases said.

> that perhaps the climate 'scientists' did not understand Bode's feedback model at all?
Bode's plot is an engineering principle, primarily in electrical engineering. You're claiming it has something significant to do with climate change that climate scientists have not considered. Well then the burden of evidence is on you to prove this. Go right ahead - if you're right, then you just won yourself a nobel prize. If you won't do it for millions of dollars and lifelong fame... I'll have to assume it's because you cannot, just like whatever bullshit-artist-pretending-to-be-a-scientist told you it was relevant.
So au contraire, something for you to research - since there's a fortune in it for you. Not just the nobel prize, afterward you can expect a tenured position at any university you want (nobel prize winners don't struggle to get work or tenure - lifelong job security is nice) and an endless supply of grant money from fossil fuel companies who will love you for saving their industry.
Frankly - the incentives to disprove climate change outweigh the incentives to push for it by literally lifelong fame and fortune... it's amazing that no scientist seems keen to take that fame and fortune. I can only conclude that, actually, plenty are - but none of them are actually able to do it. It tends to be hard to disprove a theory that is mostly correct.

Comment Re:Cost of Infrastructure? (Score 1) 112

I wonder if Amazon will pass along any savings to customers?

Amazon? No, they won't. Plus, they will drive the other carriers into higher costs which will discourage other competitors to Amazon by raising their shipping costs. It's a win win for Amazon, which is a loose loose for customers.

Comment Re:USPS (Score 5, Insightful) 112

Seriously, loosing the USPS won't be a good thing in the long run.

It's easy to overlook all the good things the USPS does for this country and it's economic system because we have all grown up with the mail arriving 6 days a week, rain or shine, for nearly nothing. First class postage is still under $1 for a letter picked up and delivered door to door, usually in a few days. It's a huge bargain if you ask me. Priority Mail goes for $4 and gets there in less than 3 days. This kind of service keeps this economy going. I understand that the USPS isn't as necessary as it once was, and that's part of it's financial problems, but I believe it's still a necessary function.

What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10? $5? And then they just drop the letter off at the local post office for delivery to your door usually. Same with FedEx. DHL (back from bankruptcy I suppose) doesn't deliver to residential customers and I haven't seen their prices. USPS delivery is a bargain and throwing out all that will only hurt us all.

Perhaps we could scale back delivery days and save labor costs. Say three days a week to the door and only weekday delivery to P.O. boxes? That would drop about half their labor costs, keep service levels high for those who need it, and perhaps allow the USPS to get back to even instead of loosing money all the time.

Comment Re:Wherever data is collected, it is abused (Score 1) 165

I saw the same, making prostitution illegal rarely helps anyone.

I can recall someone discussing something about prostitution being legal and then illegal. It went something like when prostitution was legal the prostitutes would stay put in their "comfort house" or whatever they called it and the police had little trouble with them. There would be the occasional case of a rough customer and the police would have to come out but the prostitutes generally tended to cause no trouble and word of mouth kept them clean.

When prostitution became illegal then the prostitutes could not stay put any more. They needed customers to pay the bills so they'd go where the customers were. This meant hanging out at truck stops, movie theaters, and so on. The prostitutes were no longer just in the part of town that no one in polite company spoke about. They were now all over town. Parents no longer wanted to take their kids to the movies at night any more. If there was a "rough customer" then the prostitutes were reluctant to report it to the police. Diseases spread because the comfort houses didn't have a reputation to keep any more.

Same for things like child labor laws. Parents generally don't want their children working but if it means the kid works or the kid starves then the kid works. If it is illegal then, like the prostitutes, people are less likely to call police if there is a problem.

Then there are the drug laws. People used to be able to get laudanum, a mix of alcohol and opiates, to treat common ailments like pain, congestion, and diarrhea without a prescription. People abused it, for sure, but generally people used it for what was on the label since it was usually a very bitter drink. When that became a controlled substance then addicts would hold up pharmacies for it, a black market developed, and overdoses were common (since the quality varied). Oh, and people that needed relief from these common ailments had to do with lesser medications, go through the time and expense of going through a physician to get it, and then physicians were reluctant to prescribe it because the government... I'm not sure why they wanted to stop this. Seems kind of stupid if you think about it. If someone is addicted then that is a medical issue, no? How does giving an addict a felony record help their addiction?

We should think long and hard about what we make illegal. All too often the cure is worse than the disease.

Comment At what point do we do away with licenses? (Score 1) 165

I've often wondered how useful these databases truly are, like driver licenses and automotive registrations. I had a discussion once where the need for driver licenses came up. I think it had something to do with illegal immigrants driving. So I thought I do some searching on the internet on how many people drove without licenses. The truth is that no one knows and very few people have enough information to even estimate it. There could be 10 million unlicensed drivers out there, give or take about 40 million.

What is clear is that unlicensed drivers tend to get in more accidents. This is not surprising. People with a habit of drink driving will eventually lose their license or die trying. Those that are lucky enough to survive having their license revoked will simply drive without a license. There is no requirement to have a license to drive to own a car. I'm not even sure one needs a license to insure the car either, not that a lack of insurance is going to stop these people.

Now we see police officers abusing these databases for their own personal amusement or enrichment. I say we just get rid of the licenses.

The question then inevitably comes up, if we don't license drivers then how do we (the state, the public, whatever) know that people (you know, not me and you, those other people) know how to drive. I say that every day is a driving test, people that fail will be pulled over by law enforcement. Those that are repeat offenders get noted in a database, and if serious enough of an offense they get put in jail. I just said "database" didn't I? Yes, I did. The database is only of offenders, not all drivers. What if a person gets in an accident or causes problems, how will we know who they are? Same way we do it now when people drive without a license. We can ask them their name. If that's not good enough then ask for some identifying document, like a voter registration card (which in my mind is about the only thing honest citizens need a photo ID for). If that's not good enough then haul them to the station, take their picture, take their fingerprints, and make them sit in a cell until all the paperwork goes through.

What about commercial drivers? Do you want the people driving school buses to not have licenses? What of people hauling radioactive waste? I can imagine quite the competitive business in issuing driving certificates, the local community college does this already as I see their trucks on the interstate with a big yellow "STUDENT DRIVER" sign on the trailer and tractor. If a shady certificate agency is issuing certificates in bad faith then they will lose customers real quick. When it comes to people driving for the government there are driving schools run by government agencies already, like the military driving school at Fort Leonard Wood. I'm not sure how that works but anyone that graduates from there gets the equivalent of a commercial driver license. If it's really that important then we already have the schools and certifications for it. For people driving themselves and their family they should not need a license.

Another note on the driving education, the local community college offers classes for passenger vehicles too. I saw four different course types on their website, commercial, "drivers ed" (two kinds here, "high school" and "AARP"), RV training, and "mandated" (as in people with OWI that are court ordered to take a class). It's not like there is a lack of driver training. What's going to force people to take the training if we don't have licensing? How about not getting pulled over for not obeying the traffic laws? As if there is any enforcement now. Remember where I started? Nobody knows how many unlicensed drivers there are now. This might be because the unlicensed drivers are VERY careful and don't want to get pulled over. The safest drivers out there are probably the guys with brownish skin and just downed a pint at the pub. Yep, I just played the "driving while brown" card.

Everyone uses the DMV as to show the peak of government inefficiency, get rid of it. How are all of those people pushing papers about, issuing little pieces of plastic with a barely recognizable photo keeping us safe? Turn it over to the private sector, it's not like we aren't more than halfway there already, and then instead of our taxes paying for paper pushers we hire more traffic enforcement. No more police abusing the database, we reduce the number of paper pushers in government, no more standing in line at the DMV. I'm finding it hard to see a downside here.

Comment Re:Blocking is illegal, but this isn't... (Score 1) 161

Gee, I will stick to my perspective while you keep changing yours...

First they where selling licenses, but that didn't work with the facts so you dropped that. Now they where denying access to part of the spectrum, which isn't true either...

They where NOT preventing anybody from operating on any spectrum they wished, you could walk outside of the venue and crank up your WiFi hotspot anytime you wished. Private property owners have the right to allow or deny any activity on their property they choose, including restricting if, when and where you may operate your cell phone with the wireless option turned on. Heck, they can even do things like refusing to allow you to enter carrying a firearm, a camera or recording device, carrying candy, drinks or food into the venue. They can enforce a dress code, make you wear shoes and a shirt, make you buy a ticket and/or enter into a contract which governs what you will and won't be allowed to do. How's saying "You can bring that cell phone in, but you cannot set up a private hotspot" not allowed? They could just ban them outright along with cell phones and any other devices they didn't want inside the venue if they wanted after all.

If we don't have such property rights in this country, then why do we call it "private property"?

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