Thursday, November 15, 2018

All of a sudden Silicon Valley is like - we don't know what to do with all these cars that were suppose to take cars off the road.

It would be hilarious, but cities are starting to get stabby with the ways they try to "incentivize" people.


  1. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, November 16, 2018 4:23:00 PM

    Outside the cities will get a bit stabby too, have no fear of that. :-)

    I'm pretty sure that the next election will involve about "two million" lost Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach County ballots that magically turn up in a warehouse somewhere in Northwest Florida ...

    And oddly enough, every single one of the ballots will have a down-the-line party vote for the Republicans.

    "We're pretty sure these are the real ballots and the ones down in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach are 'replica' ballots, so we're demanding that these be counted" -- some Northwest Florida elections official who's got cheeks so big he could be confused with a squirrel with his mouth stuffed with acorns

    So with that in mind, I suspect that the way that the Bay Area will "take cars off the roads" will involve registering them in Kern County. :-)

  2. Texas,

    The poetry of your metier is beautiful.

    "some Northwest Florida elections official who's got cheeks so big he could be confused with a squirrel with his mouth stuffed with acorns"

    I am SO stealing that line.

  3. Crocodile tears?

    If you have been reading this blog for a while then you probably realize that I identify as a "conservative".

    Conservatives spend a lot of time jumping up-and-down pointing out the theatrics of the other side.

    That doesn't mean that conservatives don't engage in theatrics. In fact, I would be disappointed if we didn't. Theatrics make complex ideas interesting and make points-of-view "sticky".

    Trump is a master of theatrics. That is a good thing if you are a conservative and a bad thing if you consider yourself a progressive.

    One must wonder if Trump's hand-wringing over rising interest rates is mostly theatrics.

    If a business slow-down is in the cards then Trump wants the carnage cleared before November, 2020. If the slow-down had started before Nov 2018 then voters would have blamed the Republicans, the party that is nominally the more conservative.

    With Democrats in control of the House and baying like hounds to destroy Trump, Trump has the perfect scapegoat if/when GE (and Tesla and any five, medium sized banks you care to name) goes into reorganization and property values tank. It is not Trump's way to "play nice" and settle for a bone. He plays for the win and does not allow the other team to control the tempo of the game.

    In a perfect world, interest rates would slowly rise to the point where it made economic sense for people to put money in the bank. I contend that is 3% more than the rate of inflation.

    In a perfect world, the speed with which rates were raised would result in a rate of sovereign, business and personal liquidations that the economy could recognize and absorb the write-downs, redeploy the real assets and still show a little bit of real growth.

    I don't think that is going to happen because I think the time frame for that sure-footed absorption of malinvestment would extend way beyond 2020.

  4. Boom and bust cycles exist because it is not the nature of economies to do anything in a sure-footed and smooth way. Markets are messy; they overshoot and undershoot. Technocrats want things smooth, so they want to "Manage" markets. That never works as well as they think. The Fed has successfully managed 0 of the last 13 soft landings.

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, November 18, 2018 5:48:00 AM

    A list of things I am not: a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, a Socialist, a Communist, a Globalist, a Nationalist, a Terry Wrist, a Gee Haw-Dist, a leather sofa, a wicker chair, a French-fried tater, a Green, a salad with only green things in it, a hot dog with ketchup on it, a clock that points at the correct time twice per day.

    A list of things that I am only grudgingly because of poor timing: a Sunday morning commentator. :-)

  6. How the Prius can kill you. If it snows you might want to park that deathmobile.

    REally shitty engineering forethought.

    The always interesting Eric Peters reports:

    Something strange – and dangerous – happened to me the other day while I was out test-driving a new Toyota Prius.

    The car decided it was time to stop. In the middle of the road. For reasons known only to the emperor.

    Or the software.

    I found myself parked in the middle of the road – with traffic not parked coming up behind me, fast. Other drivers were probably were wondering why that idiot in the Prius had decided to stop in the middle of the road.

    But it wasn’t me. I was just the meatsack behind the wheel. The Prius was driving.

    Well, stopping.

    Like almost all 2019 model year cars, the Prius has something called automated emergency braking. It’s a saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety system meant to correct for distracted driving – or just slow-to-react driving.

    Sensors embedded in the car’s front and rear bumpers scan the perimeter and if they see something in your path that you don’t – or you haven’t applied the brakes in time to avoid hitting whatever it is – the system will automatically brake for you.

    . . .

    This instance of non-emergency braking may have occurred because we had an ice storm the previous day. Everything got shellacked with a coating of the stuff.

    I scraped the ice off the windshield and side glass before I headed out – as people have been doing for generations – so that I could see. The problem – I suspect – was that the car couldn’t see.

    Those sensors embedded in the bodywork were probably still covered by ice, giving the car a case of temporary glaucoma. As a result, the Prius may have thought it saw something in the road – and slammed on its brakes to avoid hitting what wasn’t there.

    To prevent this from happening, those sensors must be kept clean. Especially if there’s no way to turn off the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety system tied into those sensors. Which in most cases, there isn’t.

    But people haven’t been advised about keeping those sensors clean – at least, not strongly enough. There is info to that effect in the fine print of the owner’s manuals of most cars quipped with this feature, including the Prius.

    But even if one is diligent about checking (and cleaning off) the car’s various embedded sensors before one begins driving, what about while one is driving?

    Weather happens sometimes.

    It was sunny and clear when you left the house – or are on your way home from work – but mid-trip, it begins to snow or sleet . . . and the car’s entire front end (where those sensors are embedded) gets coated by slush/slurry/road spray . . . and the car can no longer see very well or even not at all.

    What then?

    There aren’t warning icons/buzzers in the gauge cluster of any new car equipped with this system (so far as I have been able to determine) to let you know that it’s time to stop and wipe off the bumpers because the car can no longer see – and (like your grandma, who also can’t see very well anymore) might just do something unpredictable.

    This is arguably . . . dangerous.

    The car braked hard, too.

    I can now describe what the dashboard of a Prius tastes like. Needs A1.

    There's more at the link, including a video report on the incident.

    I'd never heard of this problem before: but then, I also haven't driven a car with predictive emergency braking before. After reading Mr. Peters' report, I'm going to do my best never to get behind the wheel of one, thank you very much!

    Who approved this system for production without thinking of so basic a problem, anyway?

  7. Yeah. I've been seeing those stores too. I guess we never really expected them to take off enough that snow would matter.