Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Soheil's Village

Yeah this just happened by the way:



I bought a RaspberryPi with some relays and a CPU cooler water pump, a large tank of water, a bunch of solars panels and batteries. I hear Coyote melons thrive in the desert. Let's see if my Raspberry cronjob fails me now.


Monday, August 4, 2014

ZipCar Attracts People with no Passion for Cars: Making the Roads Less Safe

It seems like a good idea to just hop into a car and get somewhere specially when you don't own the car and don't have to worry about it. Companies like SideCar and ZipCar let you do exactly that. What they're also letting you do is to not care much if you hit someone else's car, you don't have an incentive not to do that, after all you own neither one of the cars. It's like how people treat leased cars, their argument for badly treating the car and having dings on the bumper and all over the car is that it doesn't matter because it's a lease. I have several issues with that philosophy, sure maybe in 3 years after the lease is over it won't matter but what about while you're driving the car? Does it not matter that the car you drive every day is aesthetically less so? I think it does mater, and it does matter to the people who lease cars it's just that it's their excuse for being careless with their cars. At best they're misunderstanding the problem that just because you're leasing a car doesn't mean you should care so much less for it to allow it to look worse more quickly. This is just simple bad logic. But that's not the topic for this post so I won't get into it more.

When you hop into a car that you don't own for a few hours only, it's taking the problem above and multiplying it by a number greater than 2. It's like a honeypot of careless, bad drivers. This makes cities less safe and more accident prone. In San Francisco for example, in addition to this type of cars you have a combination of bikers and inherently bad drivers because of lack of practice and inappropriate environment for learning how to drive. In Los Angeles for example drivers take driving seriously because if every one follows the rules and drives more aggressively the traffic moves faster and drivers in LA inherently know that because majority drive for hours every day.

Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA

Bikers are also the same people most likely to use a services like ZipCar on occasion. As they have a tendency to compete for street space with cars they mainly are likely to develop a dislike for cars. And when they get behind the wheel they project the same attitude to other drives but this time they're in a car too.

This seems like a perpetual downward arrow scenario where overtime the number of bad drivers increases in a city more rapidly as there are more and more bad drivers. This will cause a city to become hostile to good drivers and nice cars. Overtime it won't make sense for people to drive nice cars in the city in fear of others hitting it. As nice cars and therefore a great number of nice drivers stop driving or moving out of the city altogether the city becomes unsafe and a place for small, ugly, dinged up cars with horrible drivers everywhere. Welcome to the San Francisco streets.

The alternative is adopt a communist-style bike filled streets like that of China or India, and I think if no measures are taken to prevent this trend soon that's exactly where SF will end up.

China, Source: Hoffington Post