Thursday, April 30, 2009

God, this is going to be embarrassing if swine flu DOES become a big deal

Still, it's not.

Things that make me happy:
This essay about how transit-oriented development is not just liberal wackiness. (augh, I said no politics, I know... maybe this can slip by because it's about uniting behind a cause that will help everyone and not just "left is right and right is wrong"?)
"Undeclared" by the Dodos. This album ("Visiter") is RIYL Death Cab meets Animal Collective, and this song is fully on the Ben Gibbard side of the spectrum, and if you don't like it you probably have no feelings. (a song I like without electricity! shocking!)
Biking biking biking!
Ignite Seattle. This was the coolest thing. First, there's a contest for how to build the tallest tower out of five sheets of paper, plus tape, in like a half hour. Recalling my 8th grade science class failure, I shied away at first, but eventually decided to try it anyway. (with Sarah, Daniel, and this other guy named Adam who needed a team). Our result: 37 inches. It looked like a sad giraffe.
But then like 20 people gave 5-minute talks on pretty much just "something that is cool. (and nerdy.)" Everything from "how mitochondria work" to "how we'll manufacture things on small scales in the future" to "people geek out about legos a lot" to "stick maps of the Marshall Islands". Super great stuff. They say they're having this quarterly, and I'm going to the next ones for sure.
Japan tomorrow! (well, I will arrive on Saturday. But I'm leaving tomorrow.)

2 comments:

DKH said...

Mmmm...I'm not particularly sure how that article shows that mass transit is not "liberal wackiness". To me, it reads like a liberal trying to use what he thinks are conservative axioms to get to the conclusion he wants about transportation policy. That's not the same as a conservative actually making the case. Of course, the essay contains no actual analysis; it's just a bunch of hand-waving to construct a chain that sounds like a bad result.

There's probably a diversity of opinion among conservatives, and certainly transportation rights of way are to some extent public goods. But the natural tendency of conservatives should be toward a smaller national government, so I doubt there will be many conservative cheers about the opportunity to direct national policy that way.

Coyote blog has some interesting analysis (with some numbers) of various light rail situations. One interesting post:

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2009/01/light-rail-and-energy-use.html

Or a category in general:

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/category/rail-and-mass-transit

Of course, that is a libertarian blog, so there will be a lot more antipathy to government intervention than a conservative blog.

Dan Tasse said...

Argh! Good try. You almost got me talking politics again. I think I'm a pretty okay debater who checks facts relatively well, but not well enough to effectively convince anyone who already strongly disagrees with me, and thanks to super divisive politics in the last decade, we are all super divided on everything, so an actual debate would probably be fruitless.

(I think the guy in that article actually throws his hat in with the capital-c conservatives. Whatever.)

Thanks for the comment anyway! Good parts of public transit make me happy still, so my comment remains unchanged, but when I bring up something that asks for debate, I like a debate! I'll try to keep (non-food) politics out of it.