Saturday assorted links


'How are those cadavers doing?'

Our top story tonight - those cadavers are still dead.

California has been slouching towards becoming a third world country for a few decades now. This is their new milestone in that effort.

You're thinking of Louisiana and Mississippi.

#6, values: "Decomposition analyses show valuing hard work would have been even greater without demographic changes like an increase in college graduates."

I guess on average graduates think life is like college! :-)

5. Haiti doesn't have trees; well, not many. Is this just a coincidence, or does Cowen hate trees? I like trees. And Haitians. We know Cowen doesn't like trees, what does he think of Haitians?

2) Omits Jan Mossin who would have shared the 1990 prize if he was alive.

5. Sounds as if President Martelly and Moise graduated from Biden/Clinton School of Government.

Some day CA will have electricity 24 hours a day.

When they deregulate tree-cutting.

3. Electric power outages

major power outages will become the new norm in U.S. -- California is just the canary in the coalmine.

wacko leftist politicians and environmentalists are earnestly destroying the once great American power generation & distribution system.
(chilled cadavers are the least of our problems)

Technical progress in society is not a permanent ratchet effect -- technological standdard of living can easily stall or reverse, if not supported by the political governmental system.

Most everyone will eventually need some type of backup electricity source... as the main grids become increasingly unreliable.

Pfft. Nobody, no service, in the world has 100% uptime. It might be possible, but as you push the nines, it gets expensive.

(99% uptime is two nines, 99.999% is five nines)

So here's the real question, if you priced out one more nine for American consumers, would they actually want to pay for it?

Or would they just stupidly insist that perfection should be available now at the same price?

I looked it up here once. US uptime normally ranges somrwhere between 99.6 and 99.95%

previous discussion

This is one of your more amusing posts. Something akin to "Russians Hungry, But Not Starving".

Again, pfft. Look at this map. Lower is better. Some small countries with little wild area do better, but the US, Canada, Australia, Norway are similar.

png map

If that link doesn't work, original here:

I live in the interior of BC, and we have regular outages. The longest I have experienced is 5 hours, likely due to a wet snow that has brought down multiple trees. The ones in California are days long. The outages aren't about uptime, they are about the utility shutting the power off.

As I said, your comment is very amusing.

Pfft three times. The longest outage I've experienced in California was a scheduled 4 hours for major work.

If you don't want things like that you need a fully redundant grid, and nobody wants to pay for that.

And of you live where there are things like floods, wildfires, or ice storms what exactly are you going to do for 100% uptime?

It would take making every house and building off-grid capable.

Here is my power company's reliability report. Better than the US/Canadian average:

Derek’s comment is over the top.

That said, it doesn't seem like California has a plan to deal with this outside of shutting off the power.

It’s not an easy problem to solve for, and the public choice equilibrium appears to be a terrible one.

So far, this hads been one regional power company, PG&E. Per the report above, PG&E has been good overall:

"Compared to 10 years ago, PG&E has reduced the average annual amount of time customers experienced a sustained outage from 158.0 minutes in 2009 to 126.3 minutes in 2018. This is a 20 percent improvement. In the same period, PG&E also reduced the average number of times customers experienced a sustained outage in a given year from 1.173 to 1.079, an 8 percent improvement."

Not exactly 3rd world.

Still something is going on with the fire risk, and I think some kind of bargaining about future liability is going on.

PG&E agreed to an $11 billion payout for the Paradise fire.

Hey, speaking of periodic regional disasters, if the Midwest floods so much, why doesn't everyone just live in boats?

- just trying to get in the MR spirit

From the article:

Unknown to most Haitians until he was handpicked by his predecessor, Michel Martelly—who also came to power through elections mired in fraud—Moïse was presented as a successful rural businessman from outside Haiti’s political class, a banana exporter nicknamed Nèg Bannann, or Banana Man. Less advertised was that he was also an auto-parts dealer and a supposed road-construction magnate. According to two reports published earlier this year by Haiti’s Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes, in 2014, before he’d officially become a Presidential candidate, Moïse received more than a million dollars from Martelly’s government, funds that were allocated for road construction and repair in the northern region of the country.

With smart phone penetration at 63%, and assuming two per family, an two kids per family, that means everyone should know by now. Hence the revolt.

We the corrupt N.O. gov will give u the contractor the permit BUT must hire my bro in law roofer to supply ur framing materials.

4. My information on Blackboard is that it had less to do with the usability of the software and more that the company is just a bad company. They developed a reputation for not even returning calls to institutional buyers or not turning up to bid meetings.

They produce such bloated junk that teachers don't even use it but the schools still pay for it. In other words, Blackboard is garbageware that steals taxpayer money.

Over time, legacy software becomes unusable and unsupportable. At some point you need a fresh start. Blackboard is beyond that point.

#6 I’m not surprised if this is true elsewhere. In my county (and presumably much of USA) K-2 students all have the same letter land curriculum, ‘specials’, and other activities. The teachers seem to have a lot of training to standardize the classroom experience. I suspect the k-2 experience is similar within other schools too.

I was surprised, though not from personal experience as a teacher. But I thought that "teachers matter" and that the problem with US education was one of not having incentives that reward "good teachers" and punish "bad teachers". But doesn't this paper (so maybe it's just one paper and will be found problematic) imply that there is no reason to design an incentive structure to identify and reward "good teachers"?

PG&E is a private company. California communities fortunate enough to have government-run utilities, such as East Bay MUD, Sacramento MUD, LA Water and Power, Redding utilities, hell, even Weaverville, in the middle of the forest, are doing fine.

And government-run utility rates are much cheaper than PG&E's. Go, socialism!

Won't be private much longer

PGE is the whipping boy for the Cal legislature. Whenever a dufas politician needs clicks, they dump some stupid requirement on PGE. Hardly a private company, and a monopoly by government decree.

Live here, and once a month, yet another form arrives for me to sign and become socially enginnered. I am old, I get a special, poor a special, so on and so on. New windows, courtesy of some business user.

Then note history, this is the third time, since Davis, that supply regulations fouled up the grid resulting in high price volatility or billion in taxpayer subsidies. The same legislature routinely fouls up the liquid fuel supplies.

I am displeased to hear that there is corruption and impurity of motive in some government officials in some places. Government officials should always be pure of heart and motivated only to do the Right Thing (as Spike Lee taught us), Serve the People (as Mao wisely advised), and promote Human rights (which some people believe President Trump is not doing enough of), while never "rounding" anyone one up (which some people believe President Trump is doing too much of) or violating their Natural Rights (which would be inappropriate). It likewise goes without saying that Power Companies should never allow service to be down, allow cadavers to thaw, or permit forest fires to break out. The Japanese government just yesterday allowed a typhoon to hit the country. That is unacceptable.
Why can't other countries be more like Brazil?

There was no collusion between the Japanese government and the typhoon.

AG Barr will be providing a summary letter on our findings.

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