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About PennDrago

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  1. I was reading an article today which states that Bono (from the band U2) and Carly Fiorina (the ex-CEO of HP) are up for the job. Frankly-- I think this is disgusting......I don't know if I can say anything else about it.... for all you who care to read: Bono (edited for broken link)
  2. I was always told Hydrogen power couldn't be done-- that is was a myth. GM's Billion-Dollar Bet The hydrogen car has been a long time coming. GM is betting $1 billion that the end of internal combustion is near. By Dan Baum VIEWED from the proper angle, Detroit's Renaissance Center — six medium-high office towers surrounding a cylindrical 73-story giant — is a mighty glass hand giving the finger. Hulking by the iron-gray waters of the Detroit River, this is the führerbunker of the tired old industrial economy: the headquarters of General Motors. These days, the company is on a PR tear to tell the world it is "reinventing the automobile." At the Detroit Auto Show in January, the company rolled out a radical prototype called the AUTOnomy, and a drivable proof-of-concept version debuts in September at the Paris Auto Show. How radical is it? It dispenses with just about everything that makes a car a car, such as the engine, transmission, steering wheel, and gas tank. Rather than spitting out carbon monoxide and other smog-causing gases, it emits nothing but water because it runs on hydrogen. With few moving parts, it will last for decades. It will generate more electricity than it uses and be equipped to apply the surplus to power the owner's house. Manufacturing will cost a fraction of what it takes to build a traditional car, because the AUTOnomy will contain many fewer components. And it will be ready for mass production by the end of the decade, which in the automotive world is a week from Tuesday. I park my rented Pontiac Sunfire in the Renaissance Center garage and open the trunk to retrieve my laptop. As I do, a slab of snow slides down the rear window and straight into the open trunk. I stand for a minute contemplating this. The same people who are promising to reinvent the automobile can't figure out how to design a car that doesn't dump snow into the trunk. I'm reminded that, out of bullheaded arrogance, GM has lost more than half its 60 percent market share since the 1960s by making ugly, often slipshod vehicles. It missed the rise of the small car in the '70s and the SUV in the '90s. Now ponderous, elephantine General Motors is claiming not only to be able to read the post-gasoline future but to accelerate it as well. What's going on here? WHAT'S GOING on is that after decades of tinkering with nonpolluting cars in a desultory, "chump change budget to satisfy the enviros" kind of way, GM is getting serious. To be sure, there is cause for skepticism. The hydrogen fuel cell has long been the miracle that remains perpetually 10 years over the horizon. Wired itself wrote in 1997, "Fuel cell momentum is now so great that its emergence as a predominant technology appears just short of inevitable." GM CEO Rick Wagoner is fond of calling the fuel cell car "the Holy Grail," which may be a truer assessment than he intends. "The Holy Grail is something you spend your entire life looking for," grumbles David Redstone, editor of the newsletter Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Investor. "The whole point is that you never find it." Detroit's eco-car efforts have been largely a matter of public relations. As they cynically wrap themselves in the Earth Day flag by promising hydrogen-powered cars, automakers have been using their muscle to keep federal fuel-efficiency standards exactly where they were when enacted in 1975. Freed of stringent regulation, the Big Three have reaped billions selling high-profit, gas-guzzling SUVs. Look at the window stickers on GM's current crop, arrayed in the Renaissance Center lobby - Chevrolet Avalanche: 13 city, 17 highway. GMC Denali: 12, 15. Cadillac Escalade: 12, 15. My Pontiac GTO got better mileage than this 33 years ago. Individual engines have become more efficient, but because "light trucks" (SUVs, pickups, and minivans) constitute half of all vehicle sales (54 percent for GM last year), national average fuel economy is at its lowest since 1980: 20.4 mpg. In January, the Bush administration scrapped a $1.5 billion Clinton-era program to develop an 80-mpg car by 2004. Instead, the White House launched FreedomCAR (the "CAR" stands for cooperative automotive research), promising $125 million next year plus more later to help automakers in pre-competitive hydrogen power research. The initiative set no hard goal or deadline for producing an H2-powered car, so environmentalists see it as a Big Oil/Big Three/GOP plot to distract the public from the need to mandate immediate, radical increases in fuel efficiency. The New York Times wrote that the only freedom that FreedomCAR will bestow is on "the manufacturers, now relieved of the obligation (absent strong new fuel economy standards) to produce serious breakthroughs in the next few years." Which may be true. Point is, though, it doesn't matter. Even if Bush's hydrogen-car initiative is a cynical ploy, even if the Big Three are hiding behind hydrogen promises to prolong the reign of the V-8 and oilmen secretly want to strangle the fuel cell in its cradle, simple geology is carrying us toward a post-gasoline future. Petroleum's days are numbered. GM executives themselves understand that. Some say the oil will last 20 more years and some say 50, but nobody says forever. "The internal combustion engine is an incredibly efficient source of power, but we've wrung the towel," Wagoner concedes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dan Baum ([email protected]) wrote about intelligent transport systems in Wired 9.11.
  3. This will be a death blow to a huge industry. Yet, I can safely say I saw it coming when that project in NYC started making noise.
  4. My theory was as follows: People, who felt isolated due to their moral beliefs, that used internet forums as a means of communicating with others in similiar positions would have (I should have said report) a higher instance of depression then the general public. Pd
  5. When Greenspan testified last week before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the notoriously obtuse chairman was quite succinct. According to Greenspan: "Why did corporate governance checks and balances that served us reasonably well in the past break down? At root was the rapid enlargement of stock market capitalizations in the latter part of the 1990s that arguably engendered an outsized increase in opportunities for avarice. An infectious greed seemed to grip much of our business community. Our historical guardians of financial information were overwhelmed. Too many corporate executives sought ways to "harvest" some of those stock market gains. As a result, the highly desirable spread of shareholding and options among business managers perversely created incentives to artificially inflate reported earnings in order to keep stock prices high and rising. . . . . . It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past. It is that the avenues to express greed had grown so enormously." I am going to go out on a limb and say that Greenspan is not an Objectivist. Mr. Greenspan (since I know simply telling you won't do)
  6. Thats a good point and something I hadn't considered before taking on this very scientic evaulation, so I thank you for your insight.
  7. The only sort of "competing" verisons of the bible come from difference sects of chirstianity (minor differences within the wording of the text...not really all that important to outsiders) or the "gnostic gospels" which may or may not have some sort of historical backing to them....historians tend to say no.
  8. I did the same thing...and I am in the same boat....apparently we are screwed. The answer wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected it to be.
  9. I was in the process of putting together a series of thoughts on this -very- scientific method. And, I had come across that statistic (8%) as well. I was amazed at the response of people as well. and Elle (and other mods), so far as my posts go if I have made an error and you correct it-- it isn't going to hurt my feelings. Paul
  10. Are you sure about this? I was under the impression that the land is simply being disputed as to which country does own the land-- I will have to do more research into this.
  11. I just checked the link and it worked fine and I am on a different server and computer then before...so I would persume that your computer hates you. Nigeria getting 60% seems high. Also what baffled me about it is the multicorporation team involved has the right to inspect for Oil for the next 8 years...then has to give up 50% of the territory. What is strange to me about all this was (according to an article I read...and can no longer recall where) was that a few years ago Sao Tome was literally BEGGING companies to come in and drill and then as opposed to being thankful for the jobs and economic growth that come with a devoloping plant and site they squeeze the companies for everything they can. Yet, then, companies were weary of the idea of Nigerans (I presume this is the correct form for a citizen of Nigera) would swim out to the platforms and kill people in their sleep. I guess 60% is "be nice money. Keep your citizens in check) Yet #3 on the worlds most corrupt country list...well...we'll see. Yet, still, it will be nice to have a large basin of oil that isn't controlled by the Arabic world. Hopefully, Nigera and Sao Tome don't try to pull the same sort of nationalization of the plants as we saw in the Arabic World. Edited to Answer Hal's question. From what I understand, Sao Tome and Nigera was debating who owned the maritime rights (the oil basin is at sea). Another factoid I've picked up since posting this is that, apparently, 5% of Nigeras oil supply disappears each year (people of influence using that influence to steal the oil and..well..obviously sell for a profit) so I don't know if I would personally want to be involved working with such a government.
  12. and it is about bloody time. If I remember correctly Sao Tome sits on the worlds largest untapped oil reserve-- and it sounds like companies are finally willing to start drilling there-- (in the disputed waters between Nigeria and Sao Tome) Information
  13. You know it is sad by the time you were a freshman in high school you had gotten further along then I ever did. Alg II.
  14. well while 25 is hardly enough to have my theory confirmed or denied-- it is shaping up about where I thought it would be.
  15. The issue of the monetary cost upon others is something I hadn't actually considered. Though, with glossy ad via the mail, is the entire cost of the mailing covered within the 50 cents of postage? I realize that the postal service is set up in such a way that it can make a profit, but is a 50 cent mailing enough to cover the cost of say...a new york based business sending me mail about great mortgage rates (note: I live in saint louis) I don't actually have a cost sheet for the postal service but I would suspect the cost of handling the mail (in new york), sorting the mail (for interstate delivery), shipping/flying mail to saint louis, sorting the mail again (for delivery to my address), and then the delivering of said mail to my house-- would cost well more then 50 cents. The rest is subsidized by tax dollars. I hadn't actually considered the cost burden placed first upon my ISP and then upon myself. (from spam.abuser.net) The free ride. E-mail spam is unique in that the receiver pays so much more for it than the sender does. For example, AOL has said that they were receiving 1.8 million spams from Cyber Promotions per day until they got a court injunction to stop it. Assuming that it takes the typical AOL user only 10 seconds to identify and discard a message, that's still 5,000 hours per day of connect time per day spent discarding their spam, just on AOL. By contrast, the spammer probably has a T1 line that costs him about $100/day. No other kind of advertising costs the advertiser so little, and the recipient so much. The closest analogy I can think of would be auto-dialing junk phone calls to cellular users (in the US, cell phone users pay to receive as well as originate calls); you can imagine how favorably that might be received. We can't emphasize this strongly enough - the receiver pays for the spam, not the sender. "Well," you might argue, "the receiver doesn't really pay any money, because they have a flat-rate ISP account." But, that's not true. The big online services have metered rates, and so do many ISPs. Furthermore, in some major cities in the U.S., all phone calls, even local ones to an ISPs dial-in modems, are metered. On top of that, the spammers are exporting the problem to Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and Africa. Many countries around the world have no flat-rate services whatsoever, and in Europe, for example, phone rates are often much higher than in the U.S. No matter how you stretch to justify it, the recipients of spam are getting the shaft from spammers.
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