Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, November 06, 2008

  What I did on election day

I managed to avoid the election almost entirely, although, here, I'm nearly getting mowed down by Jessica “La Capitana”, on her longboard. She's good. Too good, sometimes, she catches everything she even looks at.

I have been riding a longer board myself, as a compensation for for my age and inertial problems. The board's appropriately named "Tombstone". On this day, however, Tombstone was in need of maintenance, and I was on a shorter board, that not only was less stable but had laminar flow problems. I managed to stand up once all day... so spent the rest of my time admiring Jessica's, Trev's, and Ben's moves.

Speaking of moving... I moved from my air conditioned apt/office, 30 meters from the beach, to sharing a house with a couple buddies further inland. The positives are - lots more room - I can set up the music studio far better - our own internet (and a real IP address so I hopefully can get back into IPv6 land), a small backyard, a great front porch....

The downsides - too many ninos & ninas during the day, and no air conditioning. I am not sure if me or my gear can survive the lack of air conditioning. I've been moved for 2 days now and my fingers have swollen to 30% bigger than normal, and my super-computer - the water cooled one - refused to boot when I got here. I also liked having an office in the center of town, it gave me hope one day that I'd build a viable business there.

Ah, well, change is good. I like the added space a lot, and I'll be immersed in more spanish on a daily basis, and get closer to achieving my goals for this past year, by next year.

Should have some good waves next week....

So anyway, I managed to avoid the election entirely up until 7PM when I wandered into a bar that was showing the horserace with a bunch of talking heads hovering over the early returns.

I showed up just in time for the hologram. While this might be gee-whiz technology, all I could flash on was a few of the holographic characters from an old British SF show whose name I struggle to recall. SMEG!

So, I started arguing with people - a McCain supporter on the one side, who felt that somebody else should fix his road - or if he did, he should charge an exorbitant toll - and an Obama supporter on the other who spouted so much optimism about the two (now one) party system that I started calling him "Comrade" - and before I got entirely POed and left I told the McCain guy to build his own damn road and charge whatever toll he could get away with, and quoted PJ O'Roarke and H.L. Mencken at the Obama guy...

... and stomped home and finished plugging more stuff in.

For the record, the quotes were:and

I am really glad the election is over. I have a backlog of far more interesting things to deal with....

Labels: , ,

 
Comments:
'His' road eh?

Well, when he up and purchases 'his' road from everyone who uses it, and the folks who originally bought it, and takes care of all the issues surrounding the rights in land, taking into account everything since creation, then he can charge a fraking toll on 'his' road, as /then/ it will be his.

Fraking capitalists. I'm sick of them, comrade.

:)

Capitalism in commerce, in the sense of a town, or village, with a blacksmith, an accountant, a grocer, butcher, habadasher, farrier, etc. Is the *only* thing that works. For all things held in common, it does not work, at all.

We all know this. It isn't news.

His road indeed. Want it fixed?
the fix it, and ask the other folks for help. That's called responsibility.
---

All that aside,

Nice pic, thanks for sharing. Keep it up, don't ever stop and long boards are forever.
 
Well, that was exactly what I said: "Build your own [expletive deleted] road, and charge whatever the traffic would bear".

My starting argument with die-hard libertarians and some republicans tends to start with the need to create and maintain crucial infrastructure, like roads, water, electricity, all of which have to cross the commons in order to work well.

Without these things "land" is only valuable as grazing or forest areas (which, IMHO, is a good thing - one think I really like about Nica is how undeveloped the eastern/northern portions of it are - you can see this by looking at satellite images on google maps)

That said, there many ways to get a general purpose roads paid for that do not rely on general taxation... you can have a homeowners association pay for upkeep and maintenance, for example.

Gasoline taxes make sense in more developed countries (but when much of the traffic is horse and cattle, what do you do?).

So far as I can tell, all are in use in Nicaragua. I'm told (but have not verified), that the last 40km of road into Costa Rica is actually maintained by the landowners surrounding it, as it is in their best interest to do so.

There's general property taxes, but these tend to pull towards the center of town rather away from it (not a bad thing, either IMHO, I've had people make compelling arguments against America's superhighway system as destroying the efficency of the cities and bringing the riff-raff out. I had actually got into this argument with this person because I approve of bad roads - the surf beaches can only handle so many surfers, and the better the roads, the more surfers. The better the roads, the higher property values go, which would make it too expensive to live here, etc etc)

As in all systems, people compensate for the problems. The trade offs are interesting. Here, Bad roads = slow speeds (where bicycles are frequently the fastest transport), and expensive cars (land rovers are darn useful).

The slower speeds have a benefit -
Horses and ATVs are first class citizens on these roads, and a you'll see a family of 3, no helmets. getting by on a small single cylinder motorcycle, moving at 15kph, in relative safety. The slower speeds also make commerce inland more difficult.

It is clear that instead of investing in road infrastructure, that those who can, invest in good vehicles. (actually, *great vehicles*. Land Rovers are amazing)

Those bad roads also cause massive repair bills for the people that own vehicles. This has spawned a fiercely creative and talented set of mechanics, capable of using bailing wire to jump a fuse, and tape to hold a transmission together.

I hope, perhaps, I instilled
An enlightened sense of self interest in finding a way to fix his own road into the McCain supporter. I doubt it.

Me, I hope to get a sailboat. The best road is a liquid one.
 
Hey, this is fun.

Read my lips "No More Development".

We are too many by a simple factor of 3. We don't need more roads, we (and everything else living on this planet) needs LESS roads. Not more.

Rational speeds make sense. Give yerself an outside, and figure that whatever passed for human 200 thousand years ago, is something you could probably interbreed with. So, that's about 1000x more adaptation at moving at a walking pace. Walking pace works. Faster is handy, but very overrated.

It isn't *needed*. Wanted, yes. But isn't a necessity. Antelope travel routinely about 5x what we do, and can hit about 3x our best in a flat run, and keep it up. Interestingly enough, they also have about 10x our vision power, and 2x the heart/lung capacity for the same weight. We ain't built to go all that fast. I like it. we all like it. But we don't need it.

An antelope, on a clear night, can see the rings of saturn, and the moons of jupiter.

Land Rovers are amazing. Right up until they run out of fuel. Then they get kinda useless. Bicycles otoh, , ,

Man, I could play this for hours.

Liquid roads, yeah man. now, that's nice stuff. A sailboat will take all of your time, and money, but what is time and money for?

N'joy!
 
"Dave? ... Dave? ... I can feel my mind going, Dave. ... ... Weren't you Mike before? ... Would you like to hear a song?"
Spoken by the HAL 9000, in "2001, Remembering ... Sort Of"
 
Ed:

"Daisy, Daisy..."
 
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