QuickReaction, Friday

Jindal is not enough: Not being stupid (presumably meaning no more Akins) isn’t enough, Bobby. The Repugs don’t get it. It’s not their message, it is their policy. They still believe they’re right on policy and just don’t do the PR right. Which means, of course, that they think they can fool more of you next time. It’s amazing they fool as many as they with their policies wanting to return to an aristocracy and serfdom.

Caterpillar is swindled and lies about it: It’s bad enough that Caterpillar fell for a scam and blew half a bil on a nearly non-existent company but then they lie about it. Did any heads roll? Did the CEOs bonus decline any? Dry financial reports don’t say, but usually corporate types who make these kinds of bonehead moves advance. Meanwhile, somewhere in the U.S. union workers are seeing reductions in benefits promised years ago. Repug economic policy at work.

Twitter gets worse: It’s amazing how people assume social media exists for their benefit and not the other way around. Soon it won’t be any different than having your eyeballs glued open and your ears forced open and they will pour nonstop ads at you so that every now and then you can get some stupid message from someone you actually know. Both Facebook and Twitter will go too far. People are reluctant to change and now that these guys have you hooked you’ll put up with all this nonsense. It’s like oil companies raising the price of gas – over time you might get rid of your gas guzzler, but not this week. So it is like the analogy of boiling the frog. Twitter will get 10% worse (and make them 3% more money) but only 0.1% will quit using it. So Twitter will keep getting worse faster until finally more people quit than Twitter gets in increased revenue. In supply and demand curves it’s called ‘unielasticity’

This is going to happen: The Repugs are experts at creating apartheid states modeled on their buddy Israel. Obama may have won but the Repugs have caught Dems with their pants down at the state level so they own too many state legislatures where they get away with horrible mischief. If there is one thing Repugs are good at it’s acquiring power. They don’t care about the country or the people, just their power and money for a few of their friends. The dictatorship in Michigan is the future and I fear it’s already too late for the Dems to stop it.

Jerry Brown could do better stimulus. Yesterday I saw the story about Jerry Brown’s State of the State message and pushing to spend some of California’s new surplus on high speed rail line. Old-school, Jerry! – why don’t you do something more adventuresome that would really stimulate. Do a self-driving car super highway. Build a new highway (probably no more expensive than the rail line nor needing any more right of way) that is only for self-driving cars. Initially the cars might actually be just short-term “rentals”, i.e. passengers go hire the car (just like a limo) and let it drive them. By having a special highway some of the technical issues of the self-driving cars get easier (for instance, every 20’ along the roadway have ultrasonic transmitters signaling various information, at minimum location). Now the car can easily find the route to follow. Since the cars are smart failure of one of these “guides” doesn’t matter, which is all critical in this, that there can’t be single point of failure and there is lots of redundancy. If the car can easily find the route then most of what it needs to do is then see the other cars and use various avoidance and spacing algorithms. Now a high speed rail would carry maybe 500-1000 people at a time, say at most once an hour (and that would require buying quite a fun expensive trains). Instead the self-driving car thing has less people per car but way more cars therefore virtually a continuous flow. With good cars there is no reason the cars can’t achieve something in the order of 100MPH (whereas the train might, at best, only do 150MPH, unless they really go all out and use something like the TGV or Shinkansen, but even that is probably only a bit over 200MPH). So, yes, it would take longer but given no wait for scheduling the end-to-end difference might be small. It might be possible (right of way would be the problem) to get feeder lines at either end. There isn’t much between LA and SF worth bothering to go to so most traffic would be end to end. But the point is, building something novel and potentially extensible to other places would create industry for California, not just temporary construction jobs.

Still arguing over campaign lies: This is a bizarre story where a Romney campaign aide is still claiming their Ohio ads were valid and complaining that fact checkers challenged them. The new revisionist arguments are very much splitting hairs and still don’t match the obvious literal meaning of certain facts. So why bother? Well, first Stuart Stevens probably wants to get big bucks in some future campaign so he’s trying to salvage his reputation for the bonehead campaign move (might be making him toxic). But, second, let’s not forget the other background. Jeep was owned by Chrysler which was owned by, wait for it, a private equity firm (that was clearly looting what was left of Chrysler just as Bain did). When the auto bailout occurred Cerberus didn’t succeed in ripping off the U.S. government and so they’ve got a grudge against Obama (who did not sell Chrysler to Fiat, though the auto bailout may have assisted that). So perhaps this is really a defense of scumbag private equity vultures.

Please help get this woman some mental health help and then get her institutionalized so we stop hearing about her. Probably the stupidest (except for making a living off nothing) person in the world and one of the most irritating. I actually hope she wins some case somewhere, in about February, of 2017, so she can be frustrated at being too late.

Just say no sucks as way to run the government: Since the Repugs only care about their own power and the wealth of the rich their tactic of shutting down the government by denying all appointments really sucks. Now a Repug court took away the only way the President can keep the government going by overturning recess appointments (and of course then undoing a year’s worth of decisions). The Repugs are cheering the chaos. If they can’t get laws to let business get away with murder, they’ll just do away with the cops instead.

I can’t share Robert Reich’s optimism: Reich correctly diagnoses the fundamental disorder in Repug politics but doesn’t understand that in their regimented world of the supreme daddy figure a little dispute isn’t going to get in the way of gaining power. Yes, Dems would fuss and fight over issues. The only thing that happened was this year it was out in the open, in the primaries silliness (you can bet that won’t happen again). But in the meetings the Repugs are having now they will order everyone to toe the line and they will, because the Repugs do understand unity as path to power. So, Robert, don’t project fair-minded, open-minded, intellectually-alive concepts into the Borg.

Protons are getting smaller? Interesting article but I suspect this will turn out to be the same as the faster-than-light neutrinos CERN did a while back. The experimenters missed something. So hopefully these guys will publish openly and lots of people can skeptically look at their results and find the error. Of course, science does that, contradictions don’t last long as they’re either mistakes or fantastic new discoveries.

Twitter employees cashing in: The new rage, early investors and founders and early employees bailing out on stock even before the IPO. So suckers, when the time for the IPO comes are you buying into a company even the employees don’t have faith in? Social media is just a stock Ponzi scheme.

If you have to ask if Skype is being monitored you are naive and must not be doing anything illegal: Are you kidding, you have to ask if Skype (or frankly any other service) is being monitored by the U.S. and with the cooperation of Microsoft. Of course it is – got your ears on Big Brother? Up yours!

In this case I side with Twitter: Leave it to France to get uptight about some English words creeping into French common parlance and thus officially, believe it or not (there is such an agency) denouncing hashtag and replacing it with mot-dièse (naturally something with a diacritical), so #hastmot to you France.

Another bit of Sarah Palin fades: Tick-tock, looks like the overstayed 15 minutes of fame is about up. Eventually you actually will have to be a hockey mom.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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