Duh: “I remember when a burger, fries and a drink used to be about $2.50″
Me: “That inflation’s a bitch ain’t she ?”
Duh: “Well, no, its those damn liberals wanting to raise the minimum wage!”
Me to myself: “That moment when someone chooses not to understand ….”
What I should have said:
“Consider the government’s data on salaries: For the fiscal year that ended in March, wages and salaries grew an average 1.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employee Cost Index. During the same period, consumer prices rose 2.7 percent. And there is little relief in sight.” – CSMonitor
I don’t want to be an asshole. I’m not terribly well equipped to disabuse people of their tightly held mythos’.
If I had a better grip of all this stuff - http://www.bls.gov/cpi/ maybe I could.
Its time we got serious.
We love our cars, trucks, we love things that move and make our lives easier, for some its bikes and buses, for some its trains and aircraft. All of these things to a varying degree are going to change drastically in the next 15 years, transportation usage then will look substantially different from today, as it did 60-70 years ago.
Personal forms of transport that rely on liquid hydrocarbons are to increasingly become luxuries, air travel will suffer a similar, likely more pronounced effect. Peddle power and mass transit are likely to surge in popularity where a transition to them is easy, in between, certain electric vehicles & alternative fuel vehicles will fill gaps. Continue reading
Bigger than privacy
Thelma Grimes is correct that our expectation of privacy should be a thing of the past in a world of facebook and markets for our personal preferences and shopping histories.
The most dangerous invasions of privacy though come from the National Security Agency, using everything else Thelma mentioned quite rightly because of how techno dependent we are, but the NSA is part of the framework in government that can make that data count.
The NSA trawls all of America’s phone and email meta-data and stores it for 5 years, the pictures built from these data are not about what brand of cereal we are buying, but to potentially aid in terrorist or other criminal prosecutions. The potential for abuse in that period, perhaps spanning into other administrations, is great. Watergate redux?
Recent news is that the DEA has been receiving “tips” from the NSA & other agencies which have led to convictions, but details would not dare be admitted in court unless they have a convincing “parallel construction” on how they were arrived at and exactly what sparked that investigation.
Simply stating that “there is no privacy” is missing the bigger more important argument, expectations of surveillance put a chill on vigorous democracy. Today the meta-data and email are used to build networks of what we are told are ruthless America-haters, tomorrow, unchecked in secret, where will these powers be applied next?
A common refrain is “I have nothing to hide”. Correct, and now you never will.
Batteries suck. ~80% efficient charge and discharge cycles and low relative energy densities pose problems for builders of electric transportation. Tough shit, we need to figure this one out.
Batteries themselves are the subject of furious research in the material sciences world (carbon nanotubes and 3d printing!! don’t'cha know will one day revolutionize everything in sight !) squeezing the watt-hour/kg ratio as far as we can means a lot to electric vehicle development.
I’ve been bitten repeatedly by dumb shit people say, who’s doing the biting ? me, my tongue has been bloodied so many times in the last few months because I have a phobia of exposing people as idiots.
Perhaps I’m a little unsure of my self or the superiority of my grasp of facts, but I just can’t bring myself to call out idiotic statements. Perhaps its also because I’m out numbered; the dumb is numerous.
Instead I rant about the day’s topic on twitter or in these pages, how delightfully high-schoolishly stupid. Continue reading
I spend a lot of time looking into the current state of peak oil, or as I like to refer to it some times “PEO”, peak economic oil, for the sake of saving confusion.
I find conversations around peak oil often become lessons on economics, energy extraction and the big one: Energy Returned On Energy Invested, which often leads to discussion of the EROEI of other energy sources or fuels. I find this is useful as it helps me, and I hope whoever hears me, think deeper about energy usage.
(Aside: Recently I gained deeper insight into an area I attempt to think about a lot, the energy/water nexus.)
I recently read this on the NYtimes Dot Earth blog: Earth Scientist Explores the Biggest Climate Threat: Fear.
I labeled it as a perspective from a western techno optimist.
I’m glad to see plenty of realists (and chicken littles too) piling on in the comments section, all the best comments have a theme; “I don’t see that much fear, I see plenty of ignorance, that, is our biggest problem.”