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Neil21
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Whither Warstler?
Toggle Commented Jan 27, 2015 on Basic income: some issues at Stumbling and Mumbling
@Justin What do you think would be a good number of coffees, or a better bonus level, to attract better-than-hot-dog-stand organisers?
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Probably the best-designed map data app UI I've ever seen. I'm going to have another go at Lilac after seeing this http://midrisemixeduse.tumblr.com/post/93447816503/five-metrics-to-judge-a-regulating-plan
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Also reminds me of Dalarymples from The Meaning of Liff: >> Dalarymples are the things you pay extra for on pieces of hand-made craftwork - the rough edges, the paint smudges and the holes in the glazing
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2014 on Decorporatization at Stumbling and Mumbling
Venkat is skeptical about the twats' prospects: In every sexy-work market, automation takes away the most profitable irreducible-variety segment and leaves behind a pure attention economy segment subject to the highly random celebrity and fashion dynamics of the Internet age. This follows from the fact that people choose sexy work mostly due to conspicuous production (status and identity) considerations. They are effectively working for attention, not money. But much of the attention (which is the scarce commodity all sexy sectors compete over) is cornered by a few at the top, leaving dregs for the rest. The Internet merely creates pocket change in the long tail and more churn in the short head. It doesn’t really change industrial-age winner-take-all dynamics. Certainly, there is room for a few artisan-of-the-week spots in the hand-made coffee mug sector. Every year, maybe a few hundred such artisans will have a profitable year. The rest of their careers will be spent waiting for the next break. The majority will have no breaks at all and crash out of the sector, to be replaced by new hopefuls. http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2013/07/10/you-are-not-an-artisan/ Whole thing is essential reading.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2014 on Decorporatization at Stumbling and Mumbling
First, America needs to differentiate streets from roads, thus: http://stroadtoboulevard.tumblr.com/post/27940910862/streets-roads-and-stroads Then, toll the roads and maintain the streets with property tax. No privacy concerns. Maybe a congestion charge for the latter, if your muni really wants. Further reading: streets and roads are not like teachers and doctors http://stroadtoboulevard.tumblr.com/post/65666982427/streets-and-roads-are-not-like-teachers-and-doctors
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Interesting that, on this of all blogs, the word 'coverage' doesn't appear. (Ridership does, I see.) The e-robotaxis + e-robobuses world envisioned by the end would seem to map pretty directly to coverage + ridership goals. Good thing. Now, about those unions... (Actually on that, I think the easiest transition would be to replace retiring drivers with robots, i.e. shrink the pool at the natural rate. To the extent that driverless buses can be deployed more quickly, drivers could be redeployed as roving conductors among the much-enlarged fleet, spot checking tickets, and meeting and greeting.)
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I realise this was probably beyond the scope of research, but when zipcars become robotaxis the politics of sprawl repair get a heck of a lot easier. It's harder to moan about your god-given right to a free parking space everywhere you go, when e-robotaxis are dropping aged customers off for a few bucks a journey, and only stopping to charge off-street.
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I'd like to see the link made to municipal land use and street design policies. "Gas prices are rising. We talk to a municipality that's rejected federal highway boondoggles and focused development around beautiful streets and efficient transit."
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I was going to write a full response over on http://technooptimist.tumblr.com/ but there's so much of interest here, I'll just append. I haven't seen Brad Templeton or Neil McGuigan mentioned yet. Here's Brad's roadmap http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/roadmap.html and Neil on insurance (among others): http://vancouverdata.blogspot.ca/2012/08/googles-self-driving-cars-are-going-to.html @zefwagner is spot on. The biggest risk is unions (political, not tech or capital) and transit is still required on arterials by the geometry of congestion. @Kyle sounds confused. He is labouring under the common misunderstanding that sprawl is the result of free market choices not policy. He imagines robotaxis would travel at high speed, which I don't (same price and time as a transit trip, but private and door-to-door, is enough of a value proposition). @Ben completely misses the robotaxi market growing out of carsharing. To be fair, even guru Templeton seems to assume private ownership far too often. @Scott is scared by driverless cars, but presumably not by human-driven cars, skytrains or autopilot. Not a credible forecaster. @Lee provides a plausible path, akin to Templeton's. @Mike is spot on @Ari re "people like driving" is bunkum. People also liked riding horses. Economics and infrastructure (safety/pleasantness/ease) determine dominant mode choices, not some independently arrived-at personal preference. Re accidents, robotaxis never make the same mistake twice, unlike humans, and they perfectly record the scene of the crime. Google's biggest issue is making the cars the less timid: they're programmed to slow if uncertain, unlike human drivers who often accelerate in panic. As an urbanist and environmentalist, I can't wait for robotaxis. I see car2go and modo offering bookings that arrive at my door, and then cars that drive the whole way. I see EV startups Fisker, Coda, Tesla, Better Place, hiring LiDAR specialists and former members of Thrun's team, to get fleets of their cars operating as robotaxis. I see mining companies, who already run autonomous trucks, partnering with UBC to trial made-in-BC robotaxis for mining communities with DUI issues. Just as Nevada changed their laws to attract Google R&D so should smart suffering BC towns. Automation is the killer app for electric vehicles, by the way, by enabling easy taxi/sharing (and so lowering the cost of access) and because they can go charge themselves. Electric robotaxis on demand undermine individual car ownership. Without the sunk cost of the car in the driveway, it's much easier to walk for more trips. As behavior changes, so follows identity, and demand for pro-pedestrian-propulsion planning and streets will rise. Of course we don't all switch to robotaxis overnight, and every commuter can't take a robotaxi. Car2Go and Modo didn't start in sprawling Surrey, and neither will Robotaxi Inc. But robotaxis work in lower density environments than carsharing, so it helps expand the market. The recent Uber debacle in Vancouver bodes poorly for our being near the forefront of the robotaxi world. Ditto our strong union culture bodes poorly for robobuses. This is a shame for taxpayers and travelers. I recommend Venkat on the Future Nauseous, and how we don't notice the future when it arrives, because it comes via metaphor extension: http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2012/05/09/welcome-to-the-future-nauseous/ Ditto Whistlecars evolving out of Carsharing.
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