Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I was at a conference yesterday where they were talking about electric and autonomous cars. I don't sit in for many of the talks these days because I become very frustrated. The basic theme is - we are going to get people out of their cars. And I see none of that happening. It's like they con't understand people at all!

People are really annoying and our cars are our little privacy bubble that we can escape from them for a little while. Even if it means sitting in traffic for two hours.

Anyway... I expected it to be a lot like all the others I've been to. But it wasn't. They were actually talking about a plateau and a wall to adoption. I was very surprised. I didn't even think they were that self aware honestly.


  1. Tell them to target Gen-X. Free candy!!!!!!!
    Make the first ones white vans and have them play the ice cream tune.

  2. First we have this:


    and then we have this:


    Next we will have this:


    “In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper told a Senate panel as part of his annual “assessment of threats” against the US.

    What he leaves unsaid is that the Govt. is already doing it against the people they are supposed to be serving.

  3. https://www.cpomagazine.com/data-privacy/fisa-court-ruled-that-fbi-improperly-used-nsa-surveillance-data-to-snoop-on-americans/

  4. "They were actually talking about a plateau and a wall to adoption ..."


    Not yet, but worry about these people getting there.

    We've seen this all before.

    The plateau.

    The wall.

    Have you ever visited Disney World in Florida?

    Maybe they have this bit at Disneyland in California as well, but there's this thing called the "People Mover" that's been there since the "Tomorrowland" section opened some time in the 1970s.

    While you're riding around on the "People Mover", you're swept quickly by an architectural model of Walt Disney's vision for the future city, but it's not his actual vision: it's a variation of Le Corbusier's "Cite Radieuse" with hub-and-spoke commuter rail laid alongside an American autobahn system, and Walt Disney merely embellished it with some mid-20th century affectations and a few tips of the hat to H. G. Wells.

    Nobody really explains how the two would continue to coexist when the autobahn would reliably deliver people to their homes while the rail system typically wouldn't even deliver them to the last quarter mile.

    Urban planners eventually realized that unless you can get a public transit system to make an effort to get people within the last quarter mile, people won't want to use it, and so that's why London's systems work while Tri-Rail from Palm Beach County down through Dade County doesn't really do much.

    In fact, you can't get people out of their cars to do errands unless the maximum walking distance is roughly a third of a mile, and typically much less.

    And so this whole "we are going to get people out of cars" line?

    Yes, step one: redesign everything built in America since 1895, because all of it has evolved to depend on a hierarchy of roads that now depends on the autobahn design in the form of the "Eisenhower Interstate System" ...

    If they could do it small and cheap, I know of some Caribbean islands that would gladly take this stuff, one of which already has a form of a transit system that's operating as a tourist attraction.

    But they didn't move people around on that transit system: sugar cane was deemed worthy of the cost of movement, not people, at least until the price level supports for sugar fell through the floor, requiring those people to reinvent large parts of their economy around tourism.

    A shared mini-bus system on that same island that uses the local roads more reliably delivers people close to their homes for a bit less than one US dollar per trip, while the tourist train was roughly five times that much.

    Haussmann created designs for Paris in the mid-19th century that led to orders to knock down large portions of Paris for "urban improvements" at the scale these people want today, and the public debts that governments issued for these developments were only paid off in the past decade or so.

    Yes, it took roughly one hundred and fifty years for Paris to pay off its own experiments with "architecture by grand designers", and let that be a lesson for everyone else.

    That's because Haussmann started with a budget almost equal to a New York City budget in the mid-1950s that would be good for a half century.

    Combine this historical backdrop with Silicon Valley's ongoing love affair for the "smile or die" philosophy of the mathematician-philosopher Leibniz (who I've mocked elsewhere) and you'll see where this really goes ...

  5. "Have you ever visited Disney World in Florida?"

    No. Because I am an adult and don't have children.

    I agree with the above though. I just got sucked into one of these conversations with a Neiman Marxist neighbor. I don't even remember how we got on the topic of transportation. She said something about the train possibly due to traffic and I replied - people don't use the train more because it doesn't go everywhere. She said well - it should. To which I replied - I don't really think we can afford that. And then things got sketchy. I don't even remember what I said because I'm sure my brain was filled with - I live in this neighborhood. Don't burn bridges.

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, October 18, 2019 5:16:00 PM

    I am also Uncle Capital of Texas Refugee, doncha know ...

    Although the siblings trust me a lot less after I showed their kids how to make fruity super-saturated sugar candy gel out of Kool-Aid, water, sugar, and the microwave oven, and then sent them home with a small fortune worth of Kool-Aid packets.

    "It took six hours for OUR SON to calm down from the sugar high!"

    Just six? I thought I must be slacking off because I was pretty sure it'd last for eight at least ... :-)

    Also fun: "D'ya like coffee? We're gonna do something called an Affogato which is a little coffee with a LOT of ice cream!"

    I'm also not supposed to give them four shots of espresso in a little cup with two big scoops of vanilla custard ice cream in it because it took hours for the bouncing to stop.

    Borrow your siblings' kids, it's lots of fun. :-)

  7. I am an only child. I had a teenage mom and I guess I broke her. She had a hysterectomy at 25.