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Old 03-10-2007, 12:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
It aiways comes back to oil now doesn't it?
The more of it we use, the more economic growth is generated, the more profits are reaped. Industry doesn't want to sacrifice a large chunk of their profit margins, therefore our government perpetuates this pyramid scheme of ever increasing consumption in a world of finite natural resources. It won't last forever. But, the elites of our society act as if it will, since they are the ones that will hold all of the remaining wealth in the world when all is said and done.

Conflict of interest. We could have a sustainable society, but the wealth gap would have to shrink dramatically and overall power distribution would need to be less centralized for high living standards to be preserved. Those on the top of the pyramid would rather have the Mad Max scenario if that's what it takes to retain their power and wealth.

As a result, the rest of us see an ever increasing tax burden, a government that is growing in size exponentially, diminishing civil liberties, diminishing privacy, and diminishing overall freedom, more wars, increased security risks from abroad, and greatly reduced chance of solving the problems we face in this world.

The federal goverment, along with the oil, auto, defense, securities, banking, and other major industries just won't budge out of everyone's way. By the looks of things, they'd rather drive humanity to extinction if that's what it takes to make the most profit, than to allow for the problems that humanity faces to be solved at the expense of some of that profit.

Fuel efficiency, taxes, and automobiles are all a sizable part of that big picture. Tom Gage of AC Propulsion said it rather succinctly in a slide on a presentation he gave about the state of EV technology: "Use less oil or fight more wars."


If our politicians, industries, and other key figures in our society find that decreasing our oil use is a problem(at least to them), then we already know with whom the real problem ultimately arises from.
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Toecutter View Post
The more of it we use, the more economic growth is generated, the more profits are reaped. Industry doesn't want to sacrifice a large chunk of their profit margins, therefore our government perpetuates this pyramid scheme of ever increasing consumption in a world of finite natural resources. It won't last forever. But, the elites of our society act as if it will, since they are the ones that will hold all of the remaining wealth in the world when all is said and done.

Conflict of interest. We could have a sustainable society, but the wealth gap would have to shrink dramatically and overall power distribution would need to be less centralized for high living standards to be preserved. Those on the top of the pyramid would rather have the Mad Max scenario if that's what it takes to retain their power and wealth.

As a result, the rest of us see an ever increasing tax burden, a government that is growing in size exponentially, diminishing civil liberties, diminishing privacy, and diminishing overall freedom, more wars, increased security risks from abroad, and greatly reduced chance of solving the problems we face in this world.

The federal goverment, along with the oil, auto, defense, securities, banking, and other major industries just won't budge out of everyone's way. By the looks of things, they'd rather drive humanity to extinction if that's what it takes to make the most profit, than to allow for the problems that humanity faces to be solved at the expense of some of that profit.

Fuel efficiency, taxes, and automobiles are all a sizable part of that big picture. Tom Gage of AC Propulsion said it rather succinctly in a slide on a presentation he gave about the state of EV technology: "Use less oil or fight more wars."


If our politicians, industries, and other key figures in our society find that decreasing our oil use is a problem(at least to them), then we already know with whom the real problem ultimately arises from.
I pretty much agree with all of the above. Do you think there are any "human functional governments" in the world? I am thinking that maybe the Social Democracies of Scandinavia are the most human-livable places. What is your opinion? Who is "getting it right"?

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Old 03-12-2007, 01:41 AM   #13
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Personally, I think that the actual system that was closest to getting it right on a large scale was the U.S. in its early days. But many of the people that ran it were extremely flawed since they allowed such things as slavery(however, it would be fair to note that for the era they lived in, they did a better job than virtually anyone else). The people that run it now are orders of magnitude worse.

In the present, as much as I despise the amounts of regulation and bureaucracy these forms of government have, countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland seem to have their **** together very well. While I think America's system of government is a lot better, its execution is so piss poor and its leaders so corrupted that I have nothing but disgust for the direction this country is headed and for much of its history.

But superior to large scale governments are small scale communities. A lot of Native American tribes were prospering, with nary a written law. Many of them(although not all, probably not even a majority) functioned perfectly fine without war, and virtually none of them had huge disparities in wealth or power.

It would be nice to see our government attempt to shrink its capacity to legislate and for the most fundamanetal property right, property over your own body, to be understood. But there just isn't much money to be made or power to weild by going the simple route...
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:54 PM   #14
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recently Wisconsin froze the gas tax to prevent it from going up with inflation... from the news paper artical that I read about how those damb fuel efficent cars aren't giving the state enough money, and causing the whole system to fail... (unlike it was when more efficent cars were on the road 10-20 years ago) so what's the answer? GPS tracking! all cars need a GPS tracker and you get billed bassed on miles driven... ummm right... a side affect of reducing the amount of gas you use is that more efficent cars put less wear on a road, semi trucks do pay alot of money in taxes, and other fees just to be on the road, and maybe that should be more, but I think a better answer is a $1 rase in the gas tax.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:04 AM   #15
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One thing that the politicians won't admit is that the system is the problem, and not the FE cars.

While trucking does pay a lot in taxes, it is nowhere near the fair share for the roadwear that this industry is responsible for. Just as non-motorists shouldn't be subsidizing motorists, motorists shouldn't be subsidizing the trucking industry.

The Minnesota DOT, for instance uses .0007 as a multiplier to compare the damage of a semi truck and a passenger car or pickup. Take the truck and multiply its road wear by .0007 to find how much roadwear a passenger car or pickup is causing.

http://www.lrrb.gen.mn.us/apg/esal.htm (See Table 2)

Invert that .0007, and your typical 18 wheeler is causing more than 1400 times the road wear over the typical passenger vehicle.

I've read on other sites(oil drum, elsewhere) that the roadwear a tractor trailer creates is 10,000 times more than a passenger car, and that the Minnesota DOT figures were very biased in favor of the semi trucks. This figure is much more believable given that the road wear a vehicle induces is proportional to the cube of its weight!(2 times the weight, 8 times the road wear) Comparing a 3,200 pound passenger car and a 50,000 pound tractor trailer, well...

At the optimistic 1400 times the road wear of a car, given the nation's fleet of 4 million tractor trailers each travelling an average of 2,300 miles a week(115,000 miles a year at 50 weeks operational), this will cause about 240 times the roadwear as a fleet of 225 million passenger cars travelling each an average of 12,000 miles per year.

Maybe a good solution would be to make the shipping companies pay for the road wear. They'll have three options: a) pay the money for the damage they cause instead of shirking the bill onto the taxpayer, b) use less profitable and less expensive rail, or c) go out of business.

Last but not least, there ain't no fucking way I'm letting anyone put a GPS in any car I drive. I'll do everything 'illegally' if it came to that. We have a little something called rights that our government would do well to acknowledge.

If they want that revenue, they should get it at the source of their expenses.

Fuel taxes shouldn't be raised, but fuel subsidies should be eliminated. All of that money being used to protect oil assets in the middle east, subsidies to the oilies, ect. should be ended outright. All of the personal and property damage caused by burning fuel should be accounted for in its price. This would allow gasoline to reflect its true cost, which is around $10/gallon. All of that money gathered to compensate the public shouldn't be pocketed by the government as a tax, but paid TO the public as refunds.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:28 AM   #16
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Not to mention blackboxes, the C5 Corvette being among the first of vehicles to pioneer their use.

http://www.mulhollandraceway.org/MHR...ml#Black Boxes
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:40 AM   #17
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You're probably on dialup. It takes forever to load even on DSL.

I'll post what MHR has typed:

The C5 Corvette "Black" Box Debacle
30 June, 2001

"I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent enforcement."

- Ulysses S. Grant


I overheard something about this on television heading out the door the other day. One foot out the door, I didn't have time to set the up VCR. Later, I did happen to generate a "no comment" from one of GM's relationship managers:


Image: Reply from GM

Well, the specter that the good Eric Arthur Blair (aka: George Orwell) was ahead of his time looms large, as 1984 looks to finally be upon us. Reports are surfacing from the Corvette contingent that their cohorts are being informed ex post of their involvement in automobile accidents that "black boxes" were present in their C-5 Corvettes that absolutely nobody knew about.

Our a priori suspicions are confirmed: the unit is indeed a cockpit device. Most worrisome was the likelihood that these "black boxes" could have been an integrated component, with a remote access, or GPS enabled feature. However, if this black box in fact turned out to be a stand alone component (we hoped this would be the case), then that would certainly make our C5 friend's jobs much easier. In fact, it turns out that this is indeed the case.
We suspected that it would be a cockpit or inner firewall component. But, turned out to be a console component, located right under your radio (right under your nose, and a little to your right!). Here's a low resoluton screen flash of what the device looks like (Someone was kind enough to send this in; first pict., you're looking down upon it):


Image: What the black box looks like

And, this is where you'll find it:

Image: Black box location

I don't think we're going to need Einstien to figure this one out.

We were caught by surprise. We have no idea of how long these devices have been proliferating in car culture, much less how comprehensive their diffusion has been, what cars have them, which ones don't... much less whether or not simply unplugging it completely disables it (we suspect not). We doubt this module can be somehow reset (we suspect, in order to maintain data integrity, that GMs algorithms write directly to ROM, with the record permanently stored, that cannot be erased or manipulated). What's worse? We're absolutely clueless as to how one would electronically ferret out such a device. If not for the internet, cost of acquiring what little information we've gathered on this issue, thus far, would have been astronomical. Every door we knocked on at GM or Chevrolet was promply slammed in our face.

What we do know is that either proprietary NHTSA or GM software is prerequisite to access the data recorder via a lap top PC through your C-5s diagnostic module. After you shunt, and while you're layed up in the hospital licking your wounds, an NHTSA guy (or perhaps a GM guy) is going to sneak over to where your C5 awaits repairs, sit in your driver's seat, "Lookie what we got here, little Johnny crashed his pretty C5. Bet he feels real bad, heh-heh..." help himself to a bite from that left over Snickers bar you were munching on, pocket a few quarters you keep handy for toll roads, "lookie here, nice cell phone... hmmm, wonder what's in the glove compartment. Ah! The chump left his wallet in the car, too! heh-heh..." boot up his PC, download your crash data, make tracks, get the hell out of Dodge, with you never the wiser? It stinks.

Getting a hold of a GM lap top? We could write a log-out trojan horse that activates on any subsequent attempt to connect to, or download data from that module --a trojan horse that activates on connection, that closes the application, or boots down that PC. The software firm Superchips, Inc that engineers electronic performance solutions for the Corvette is best equipped to accomplish this task.

Downloading crash data via the vehicle diagnostic terminal? Sending an engineer into the field to do so personally? That's archaic; a 20th Century mentality. It would be so much simpler to extend their "On Star" navigation feature to the Corvette if not for the singular purpose of enabling their engineers to acquire your crash data via telemetry. Nonetheless, simply relocating your diagnostic terminal elsewhere, or modifying the port would completely thwart such a download. We don't know whether or not the module requires replacement of the module ex post of a download (we suspect not), or whether or not the lap top used to retrieve the data automatically resets the module, or wipes it clean (not likely). It sure would be nice to get a hold of an NHTSA or GM lap top, and tinker around; see what's in there.

GM looks to have played their cards very close to their chests. Nobody knew a thing about these devices. Everybody in car culture got caught napping on this one. What a PR nightmare this is going to be if 60 Minutes gets a hold of this. I'd been waiting for a coupe version of the Z06 (or better: a small block 427), but then something from earshot on the boob-tube the other day... the likelihood looming ever larger of Corvette aficianados being fingered by black box data extracted from their own cars? We can only wonder what else GM could be doing these days that they don't tell us about.

The C5 contingent looks to have been caught napping, as well. It's certainly not their fault: Perusing every square inch of Chevrolet's Corvette web site, no mention is made anywhere of any sort of data redirect device dedicated to anything other than feeding output to the driver. Due to the wealth of redundant Corvette related information on the internet, nobody in our driver's group inadvertently stumbled across a thing related to black boxes or data recorders in C5 Corvettes; I had to make a concerted effort to gather up what little we've acquired thus far. All I heard was a whisp from a cable television docummentary from earshot as I was one foot out the door about some poor schmuck whose testimony was contradicted by the crash data recorded by his own car...

No one thing certain. All a personal injury attorney or the Highway Patrol have to do is fiddle around the courts a couple days, buy a couple rounds of coffee and doughnuts, make a little small-talk, finagle a subpoena from a friendly judge (...who likely plays second base on the police department's softball team), fly out a GM engineer from Detroit, and all that data is going to come spilling out: your rate of deceleration (?V), your velocity (V), revs, pressure you applied on the brake pedal, throttle position, yaw. Oh, and how quick the air bag deployed, too, but who really cares about that? Small comfort that it doesn't record conversations, or serve as a homing beacon for which our wives could use to track us down when we're out having too much fun.

Cat's out of the bag now. It's only a matter of time before your friendly local insurance company is going to start demanding that data ex post of your traffic accident. That this device was so easy to locate, and that it isn't integrated into essential componentry is a signal indication that we are indeed in the infancy of the diffusion and proliferation of data recording devices in car culture (either that, or it's gone on so long, without detection, that no incentive exists to conceal these devices via componetry integration). Mere discovery of this device will no doubt prompt automakers to be a little more clever about the placement and remote axiom of these peculiar devices. Nevertheless, this sorry affair begs many questions: which cars have them, and which ones don't? How do we ferret out these devices? Pay General Motors $55 thousand dollars for the privilege of being a 175 mph human crash test dummy? Shouldn't manufacturers be required to pay you for your crash data?

In our humble opinion? It stinks.

"Give me your decisions, never your reasons; your decisions may be right,
your reasons are sure to be wrong." - Lord Mansfield
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:39 PM   #18
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Amen.

If you try to convert a new car to electric or lower a diesel engine into it, you will run into a lot of problems with all the parts being integrated. This means that small EV companies won't be able to get a foothold by converting new cars, unless they find new cars that lack this heavy integration(getting very rare), and all the small repair shops that can't afford $50,000+ in proprietary equipment won't be able to work on new cars driving them out of business so all that remain are large chains and dealer repair centers. Never mind your average Joe doing his own work on a new car these days; it's getting next to impossible.

If Tesla or AC Propulsion both go under, EVs are probably fucked. The big automakers just aren't going to roll them out in the U.S. until the oil is gone(if they ever do), despite the huge demand for them and despite the technology having been viable for long range, high performance, and affordability(in mass production) for over 10 years.
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