Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lefties and Their Protests

I'm not one of those bloggers who merely lifts other people's work--I lift specific pieces and add commentary, under the auspices of "fair use".  What commentary could I possibly add to this, though, except to say that it doesn't surprise me that it's happening in the SF Bay Area?
SO LEFTIES WERE ALL OVER TWITTER RIDICULING this letter in the Wall Street Journal, mostly on the grounds that its author is rich, and has a fancy penthouse place. (Ironic, given the digs some of said lefties enjoy.)

But then there’s this: Protesters show up at the doorstep of Google self-driving car engineer. “Protests against tech giants and their impact on the San Francisco Bay Area economy just got personal. According to an anonymous submission on local news site Indybay, an unknown group of protesters targeted a Google engineer best known for helping to develop the company’s self-driving car.”

More here: “Is the anti-tech worker sentiment nearing a boiling point? And are tech workers and companies responsible for the world’s ills? Protesters have now reportedly targeted an individual Google employee, not just the buses carrying workers like him. And whereas previous protests by other groups have addressed complaints such as gentrification in San Francisco, a flier accompanying the protest at the Google engineer’s Berkeley house is basically a diatribe against capitalism. . . . That means this has gone past the stage where people roll their eyes at the quaint protesters. Google has reportedly hired security guards for its shuttles, and Brandon Bailey wrote that the company has also launched a private ferry service.Could things get worse? Let’s go back to Lennard’s mention of the animal-rights activists’ protests against biotech companies: One of those activists, Daniel Andreas San Diego, is believed to have been responsible for the 2003 bombings of Chiron in Emeryville and Shaklee in Pleasanton. No one was injured, but San Diego remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.”

When Tea Partiers show up at somebody’s house to protest, I don’t want to hear any complaints about civility. But you can bet that the press will act like nothing of the sort has ever happened before.

UPDATE: From the comments:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as ‘bad luck’.”
More and more of late I’ve been getting this ominous feeling that we are about to have an extended period of bad luck.
When you adopt policies that promote stagnation and make the economy more of a zero-sum game, jealousy becomes much greater. And many commenters note that the Google crowd, via its generally left-leaning politics, has enabled such. True enough.


maxutils said...

This is just silly. Suppose we do develop a viable 'driverless' car? What, exactly, will that replace? Not the passenger, who is presumably going to a job or ding something else useful. Not a public transit system, because of liability issues. Not a delivery service, unless you also create a robotic device to get the packages out and take them to the door ... the SF problem with google is largely due to the bus service they are running between the south bay and SF, which the city is (probably correctly ) feeling is not paying it's share of parking fees, and the influx of workers tied to Google, and other Silicon Valley workers driving up rents ... which is just economics, and they should get over it. Why do you think Google needs to run busses at all? Because their own workers can't afford to live in SF!

allen (in Michigan) said...

Real autonomous vehicles will replace taxi drivers, mass transit and package delivery drivers. They'll also hammer the conventional automobile manufacturers because autonomous vehicles won't have to live up to, in large measure, the performance specifications of conventional automobiles.

Single-seaters will become economically viable since you'll only use, and pay for, the car when you need it and a quick buzz to the local supermarket doesn't require five seats. When you own the car you buy it for the exceptional situations because if the capability isn't there to meet those exceptional situation's needs the vehicle's useless. Or at least it imposes a hardship which could've been avoided by spending some more money at buying time.

When you're buying time on a car you buy what you need for the intended use not for all, conceivable intended uses.

By the way, vehicle autonomy will result in a real market for electric cars.

Electric cars now must compete with internal combustion-powered cars in all particulars. Range, power and size all have to roughly comparable. But if you're just going a couple of miles and by yourself, all those "range, power, size" considerations go away and the inherent simplicity of electric cars, when not forced to compete with gas-powered cars, lends itself to short-range, low power and small size.

Vehicle autonomy means very little human interaction's required. The vehicle delivers itself to your door and when you're done with it it finds itself a charging station and waits patiently for the next fare.