If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I, for one, welcome our new self-driving overlords

Let's take a diversion away from the Presidential campaign to discuss self driving cars.

They are coming. Eventually people will not be allowed to drive on roads. Get over it. There is no ethical dilemma. It starts with something like this (a lane of a highway to test things). The lower rates of accidents and deaths will do two things: 1) it will push insurance rates for self-driving vehicles lower and 2) it will pressure politicians to "do something".

Rich people and fleets will be the first owners of these vehicles. That'll cost some jobs in the taxi/Uber worlds (eventually that's a lot of jobs, starting in big cities). Long distance truckers are also likely among the first job victims.

As the fleets grow and private ownership shrink, the jobs in the auto insurance world will also shrink. Eventually, humans will be banned from driving on public roads. That'll mean the end for most body shop workers, parking attendants, parking police, traffic police. It'll also mean the end for most of that parking ad traffic fine revenue. Courts need less judges and other people dealing with traffic violations. Of course there will be less need for lawyers. A lot fewer people working at the DMV.

As more people make the switch from owning a car to hiring a ride, there will be less cars needed. Fleets will prefer more uniform designs to simplify maintenance. Don't be surprised if body style equates to a certain fleet. With less cars and less customization, far fewer auto workers are needed.

Since robots drive better, they can drive closer together. For some roads, that'll mean an extra lane or two in the same width. Robots can drive closer together and/or faster, further increasing road capacity. There will be a lull in road construction (likely at least partially replaced by road reconstruction.)

There will be less need for parking. The fleets will need to park but they don't need to be in the best parts of town. Street parking will disappear. Partly used for pick-up and drop-off but maybe adding some wider sidewalks.

Subways will still hang around for a while but eventually, if ridership drops so much, they could be repurposed as underground expressways for the cars.

Motorcycles likely would be banned (on streets) too. They just cause too many problems. Cyclists might get dedicated roads and/or times of allowed use.

With fleet ownership, EVs with swappable batteries make more sense.

You should eventually see some "sleeper" vehicles for longer distance and overnight trips. There could be small ones for individuals or families. There could be large ones for large unaffiliated groups. The large ones could caravan to hub-spoke centers to create a virtual passenger rail line. This could lead to less air travel.

And what will replace all these lost jobs? Well, as the cost of transportation goes down, the people that do have jobs have more spending money. That boosts jobs in general. We might put more people to work fixing and restructuring our current infrastructure. I expect the transition to banned humans to be slowly phased in and telegraphed years in advance. It will not be painless for everyone. If things are too painful expect delayed transition plans. But, by then, the whole world will be moving on this path and to remain competitive, it will happen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Your anti-test vote

If you live in an noncompetitive state then you should feel free to fully express yourself and vote for whomever you want. You can do this knowing full well that your vote is meaningless to the race so it might as well be meaningful to you.

If you live in a competitive state and are not planning to vote for one of the people who is competitive then you are saying that you don’t care which of those people wins. You’ll be just as happy/sad with either one. The country will do just as well/poorly with either. You won’t even bother to check the news Wednesday morning to see who won. If all that applies, vote for whomever you please. Otherwise, hold your nose and vote for the one you think would be better (or less worse) for the next four years.

The above applies unless someone other than Clinton or Trump becomes competitive in the race (by which I mean it becomes more than a two-way race), a dubious prospect.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

A cross between a leopard and a hippo?

Thanks to Gary Johnson's beacon-of-knowledge brilliance that will be his Howard Dean Primal Scream moment - What is Aleppo? - I think we can safely write off my Tuesday post about anyone other than Trump and Clinton getting Electoral votes. Probably wasn't the best day to wake and bake.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Trump's unfavorables don't matter as much as Clinton's

Both Trump and Clinton rate incredibly unfavorable. Clinton's unfavorable rating is the lowest ever for a major party candidate. Except for Trump. Theoretically, that should be worse news for Trump than Clinton but it's the other way around.

If a third party can win somewhere (say, Johnson in New Mexico) then there is at least the possibility of the House deciding the next President. Unless Trump falls far short (>15%) in the popular vote, he'll be the only "legitimate" choice that the Republican House could pick.

Clinton beating Trump down only helps if she get 270+. Otherwise she might as well pound sand. Trump, should be propping up Johnson and Stein in any state where either of them can move votes away from Clinton. It doesn't matter if they go for Trump. He only needs Clinton to get <270 p="" to="" win.="">
You will not see Trump's taxes. He will not black box his business. He will not put out any real positions. None of these hurts Clinton and that is the only thing he should be focused on.

Clinton needs to either quickly reform her image (a dubious possibility) or be very careful where she is hitting Trump. In Utah she has very little chance of winning. Trump or Johnson (or that Evan whoever) could win there. Trying to split that vote so she can win Utah with <40 a="" act.="" dangerous="" high-wire="" is="" of="" p="" the="" vote="">

Friday, September 02, 2016

Political lies of the century

1800's: two acres and a mule

1900's: a chicken in every pot

2000's: a taco truck on every corner