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Commentary,  Culture

Why Nots

A few useful products and ideas we need in the world. Instead of talking about problems, create and implement some solutions. Here’s a varied list, let’s see what comes of them.

Slave/robot Scouts (Drones)

Why are they still not using drones running ahead of trains to check the tracks, especially after all the recent accidents? I mentioned this idea long ago… And I’m going to keep hammering on it.

A protective drone like this should be required. Basically like those old pump carts you’ve seen in old movies, but fitted with a drive system and cameras. A semi-autonomous computerized system would control it, while allowing oversight from the conductor’s chair. They are intended to send back an alert on encountering any abnormality. That these are not legally required is puzzling, and whether they want an excuse to have derailments is something that must be considered.

Trains used to require cabooses, an end car to house the crew. The crew was responsible for checking the load, maintaining the hardware, track switching and shunting, and keeping a lookout for problems at the rear. Most of those problems have been addressed with better hardware, automated defect detectors and end-of-train devices (EDT) or sense and braking units (SBU). So they already have partial automation in place. Why not anything for the front, then?

Their excuse would be, “Oh, those would be ineffective, costly, and would interfere with railroad crossings.”

Well, with cameras in all directions, relaying back to the conductor, it’s obvious they would be more than effective. Costly, no. An expense, yes, but we the public can’t bear the expense of their continual derailments and crashes. As far as crossings, that’s exactly a main place they are needed. They’d need to be well ahead of the train and to slow down there. I’d suggest one wait just at the perimeter for the crossing gates to close in locations so equipped, then go to the other side of the crossing and wait there until the train almost arrives, then speed ahead, resuming its journey.

You know, to even have to work to try to sell an idea like this, when it should be obvious, shows that we’re dealing with incompetents in the railway industry. Well, now that the idea is out there, it’s all on their heads for any crashes that occur in future.

Speaking of drones, automation and robotics, why aren’t all these so-called robots we hear so much about recruited for picking up trash and cleaning public areas? They could be configured to keep roads and sidewalks clean, working in the early morning hours. Cost is not an issue, as this would be a way to test and improve them, and familiarize the public with them, part of R&D and promotion. Also, they could be used to remove flotsam from harbors and keep those clean.

They’re obviously too costly and inflexible now for anything but fixed application; that is, in factories, doing a repetitive task, so it’s hard to figure what all the hype is about.

And, again, you’d think they’d prioritize their development, because these devices would be an ideal new industry that could really spark consumer spending. If introduced correctly, you can imagine people flaunting their new robots like they flaunted their cell phones when those were a new thing. If the car industry helped create a prosperous middle class, how much could the robotics industry bring? Plenty.

Investment

Why is there no legal structure so that small investors can invest in, say, building a new apartment building, and get a small return on their money for that investment? If you know the construction will be by a good builder, and can count on demand, as there always is for decent housing, its a sure bet. There are a lot of “sure bets” so that investments for everyone could be set up as safe, but they want you blowing your money on bad investments or crypto Ponzi schemes.

In fact, any attempts at new ideas for small investors will be met by, “Oh, you have the stock market for that,” when that’s a tool meant to extract money from non-insiders.

Simple Court

Why not a sort of judicial mechanism called “simple court” where matters of, say, $1000 or less are settled, immediately? All stores and customers could agree beforehand to allow simple court to adjudicate all matters, with no need for any political change or any big effort. That this is not already in place shows we are all somewhat shameful for not even taking the time or effort to improve our lot in the simplest ways, merely waiting for the master to tell us how to behave.

Stretching out near-meaningless quibbles into multi-year marathons is one indication of a worthlessly corrupt system; a make-work project to give meaning and the big $buckaroos$ to a parasite class composed of lawyers and judges.

I remember the time I was on the phone for hours to get someone to fix my electricity when I was moving into an apartment. The power company had converted to a completely automated system, with no way to contact a human, and, of course, it was a monopoly so you had to deal with them. Well, the system was functional for just activating and deactivating, but whenever there was some anomaly — in my case, the electric meter was bad and blocking the power — the geniuses had somehow not prepared any simple contingency plans. The scam was, they had that monopoly, and there was nothing a person could do about it. They set things up to be as profitable as possible, have as small a staff as possible, and damn the public. Those swine should be liable for lost time, and it should be an immediate compensation; hence, “Simple Court.”

With that, we could eliminate the worthless BBB. Why not? They are a time suck that does nothing to really help you with any problems you have with business low-lifes. They’re an advocacy group, not an ombudsman. At least they could devote themselves fully to that advocacy and not play pretend games that they’re something they’re not.

Useless Car (and Other) Magazines

I used to wonder, why car magazines weren’t more hands-on. Instead, they were always sort of an Architectural Digest, but for cars, with pretty pictures and puffy nonsense prose. For example, why didn’t car magazines figure out and publish a translation from EPA range estimates (gas mileage) to real world measured figures & give a rough multiple of how to go from EPA to real-world, giving their own real-world testing for long-term tests. Remember, EPA is only a consistent standard for measurement for each maker, not real life, which is understandable, if not super useful. Magazines were so much less than they should be, exhibiting lack of effort in favor of tiresome repetition.

While we’re at that, why didn’t they publish studies of the lifespan of every model of car, and all the foibles associated with each one?

My big peeve was, why not do a full car restoration, month-by-month, with instructions of exactly what they did and how, with photos, receipts for parts, and an accounting for time, that a person could use to do a restore themselves?

In other words, why didn’t they make themselves useful?

They want to do things as cheaply as possible, but still get paid for it, like most places. The advertisers can’t be too demanding of the content either. They’re probably obsessed with said content all being “woke” now anyway.

Well, with the internet, we have educational videos and such, and the car magazines have had to get more creative to compete, and now you can find restoration logs, and such, or people showing exactly how to repair or replace parts on your car, and so on, on their own websites. What a change!

About a century ago, long before Popular Mechanics magazine was taken over by scum, it had useful projects for boys to complete. Those boys must have been pretty handy with tools and had a good workshop. Probably much too ambitious for today. They published a four-volume set of about 800 pages each, The Boy Mechanic, with all the projects a boy could ever want to tackle, presumably taken from articles published in the magazine itself. This spirit is certainly lost today, where they want everyone to be cell phone junkies, only.

Car Training

Everyone should be trained and tested in performance driving before being let loose on the roads. Much goofy driving is by young people wanting to see what they or the car can accomplish, and that is satisfied by being allowed to find out for themselves by testing their limits. It teaches people respect for the driving process, and a sturdy awareness of their limitations.

It’s clear why this blindingly obvious path is not taken: Automakers want to pile on these complex, costly, but largely ineffectual cost-adding “safety” features, for one. How daft do you have to be to not see that when these devices fail and are taken out of the equation, drivers will be now particularly helpless and hopeless? When you encourage lack of attention to the road, you’ll get lack of attention to the road.

To counter this prudent and sensible idea, all they do is forward the stupid and easily refuted plea that, “If they’re trained in fast driving, then they’ll all be driving like maniacs!” One bad thing about doing research for this blog is the constant reminders of how easy it is to trick the public and condition them into foolish behavior and acceptance of a stupid and self-destructive society, and this simple example should make it crystal clear that we’re played for fools.

Street Trees

Why not have the trees lining city streets planted in concrete vaults that can be conveniently removed and replaced at intervals before the tree becomes over-sized and its roots start to heave the pavement? They may not be stupid enough to have this atrocity in your town, but there are many places where they plant trees and they grow gigantic, their root structure bulging and destroying the sidewalk and making walking hazardous. Odd — where are the worthless “inspectors” when it comes to this? It’s stupid and a hazard having the sidewalk mounding and cracking all over, and no one seems to see it or dispute it.

They could either replace the trees with smaller ones and replant the old ones in the park (while they’re still of a manageable dimension), or use plants with a less-disruptive root structure. Like Palm trees. Those, of course, won’t work in cold climates, though, but there are various other non-tropical bushes and trees that could be used. If you must have those gigantic old oaks and such, prepare a strip down the median or on either side that is large enough to accommodate the roots. This would have to be reserved for the wider boulevards, of course.

Utilities Savings

One blogger reported that he covered the vent in his hot water heater and gets very hot water just from the pilot light, never have to ignite the full heating element! Well, if that’s so, and it makes sense — try putting your finger in the pilot light to see if there’s any energy there, and now imagine that energy quantity over the course of a day — why are we being buggered so bad with high energy costs?

You know what they’ll say, “Oh, ventilation!” Well, it’s so little from clean burning natural gas you won’t be affected, but you can still put vent holes to the sides so it traps most of the heat, still allowing the hot combustion gases to escape.

Wasted Space

Why so much waste of space in homes? For example, why aren’t toilet tank covers nice and flat to provide a work surface, an extra shelf? Sure, you can build a top for one, but they should be flat by default (also this would aid in installation, so you could lay a level on it and ensure your toilet was mounted correctly).

The Charity Car Initiative

Why not introduce a new idea, learning about freedom through an important initiative: “Charity Car Repair?” It is powered by the observations and reports of other motorists.

If you see some buffoon with a spewing exhaust, someone can report the car. After, say, two or three reports from different individuals, the owner is compelled to bring their car in for repairs. Not by the heavy hand of the law, but by public shaming. People will see your old stink bucket on the road, look up your car in an online database, and see that you’ve been reported but ignored the reports. Peer pressure will likely do the rest. As this isn’t government related, everyone gets paid, no freebies, and no taxpayers get ripped off. If you can’t afford to pay the engine fix in one lump, your repayment terms are set to be very liberal, but eventually you will be able to pay it off, or otherwise you wouldn’t have money to afford gas, either. The car would have a lien until paid.

Now, the repair would be guaranteed, again by peer pressure. People that do a bad repair would have to repay the owner (not “try again” and probably fail). If you read the news, you may recall the foreign politician who said that all politicians are idiots, greedy, conniving and can’t be trusted. This would be a way to avoid those goons and demonstrate freedom by example, no need for a useless government program.

The charity aspect would rely on charitable donations to hire the people to run the website, send out letters/emails to offenders, and so on. The charter would fix the size at a very limited number of workers and even limit the amount of donations they could receive. Also, the charity would be allowed one secretary, one handyman, one PR person, one programmer, and so on, with those few the only ones being paid, at market rate. If the work became too much, they’d encourage others to set up a new charity doing the same thing, to relieve the burden, but the enforced small size of each one of these operations would ensure no one organization and group of people becomes too influential or powerful.

Other than this construct, no more charities! Why not? All they are is frauds. It has been proven, time and again, beyond doubt, that charities must be prohibited. Soup kitchens run by churches or any charity not dealing with money is okay.

Don’t think that phony charities are stand-alone frauds. There is synergy and interaction between all large organizations. That is to say that, yes, the governments and churches and universities and corporations all are culpable for these big lies, and work together and support each other in the deception. Even if the crises they claim to represent are actually real, charities still siphon off the greater portion of funds received.

They are embezzlers, in other words.

Red Cross Spent Half a Billion Dollars to Build Six Homes in Haiti

From Time Magazine, June 3, 2015:

The American Red Cross raised more than half a billion dollars to bring relief to Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake there, but it grossly overstated what the money bought.

Although the organization claimed to have provided housing to more than 130,000 people, it actually only built six permanent homes, according to a report by ProPublica and NPR.

In Africa, any “aid,” that does manage to arrive, has long been known to go to “warlords,” and other thieves and leeches of officialdom, never benefiting the needy, in fact ultimately making them worse off, as it gives their enemies even more wealth and power. The rest of the money goes back into kickbacks to the politicians that authorized the aid in the first place, or their cronies.

Here’s the ProPublica.org reference.

The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the [2010 Haiti] quake, nearly half a billion dollars… The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.

This is typical and only one of what seems to be endless scams from most charities. Use your head, donors. Why don’t charities ask for people’s time and talents? For example, regarding the Haiti situation, they’d ask for an architect to draw up plans for small, economical housing units for people. Another request: deliveries of sand, concrete, shovels, mixers. All equipment could be used equipment, in fact that would be preferable or the Red Double-Cross would probably sell it off and pocket the cash. Then another request could be for some space on a ship to deliver all this stuff, and so on. You’re a lunatic if you still give money to any of these bastich charities.

The Poo-poo Problem: Garbage Disposals in the Toilets

If all waste were directly processed for fertilizer, we wouldn’t have these absurd excuses of “fertilizer shortage” to allow vast food price hikes and omens of famine.

They have a bad habit of putting used t.p. in the garbage in Latin American countries. Finally one hotel owner put up a sign in the rooms that it was a myth that t.p. clogs the toilet, and it’s unsanitary to put your poo-poo in the wastebasket. Obviously half-wits can abuse the process and put in too much paper in the toilet at a time, but that’s abuse, outside the operating scope.

So why not have disposals on the toilets to grind it all down? The slurry, along with the waste vegetable slurry from the kitchen sink would mix into a fine compost-able material which would be fed for processing — each town, then, would have its own fertilizer plant, and be supplied with its raw materials for free. You know, government is great at forcing people to do things, why can’t they force this, something sensible, for a change?

Speaking of another toilet paper issue, they bitch about cutting down trees for toilet paper, and yet, I’m sitting here with a notebook made out of sugar cane paper, and you presumably can use any weed like that for t.p. So — deforestation is yet another deliberately-created problem fostered by greed and lies.

Extra Buttonholes

Why not an extra finished buttonhole on the button side so you can put a cufflink/waist-link in if the button breaks? One can carry the backup link at all times in that spot, or just use it in place of the button. Some pants already have a hidden inner button and hole for security, but that’s not quite as good.

Universal Language

Why is there no universal language, based on common words we already have, like, wifi, Kleenex, McDonalds? Spanish and English share thousands of words, why is there a problem communicating? We already share multiple words, why not link via the common ones to all languages. Instead, short-sighted imbeciles say, “Oh, that’s bad, Kleenex is used for ’tissue’ all over and that’s bad!” when of course it’s the opposite: It helps us communicate. A very simple subset of verbs needs to be created. Go, make/do, bring/carry, give, etc. Why aren’t linguists working on this problem, to create a simple language for travelers or international business people?

Don’t say Esperanto — it has failed. Obviously English is already the de-facto common language, with many, many English-as-second-language speakers all over the world. But English, too, could participate in the common scheme, which would borrow a lot of English, like the world already has.

Mosquito Saran Wrap

Why not mosquito saran wrap? That is, a sticky mesh that can be placed over windows, as a temporary seal against those buggers. It would be on a roll like plastic wrap or wax paper (though somewhat more heavy-duty).

It’s laughable how you’ll walk into a junk store, which is basically all of them these days, and find them filled with an endless array of sameness, a cornucopia of Chinese crap overflowing the aisles, all the same in all the stores, and so very rarely does one see a new product on the shelves. Well, there’s plenty of things that could be made to help our lives, but no, its all the same, berets and sparkly glitter and rows of bright plastic toys and complete utter nonsense. Even the useful stuff is designed and built to break after a short time.

The bastiches that make this useless crap need to retool to make products that are innovative and useful for our lives, not things that amuse because they’re colorful and sparkly, but don’t serve a damn purpose. A product like this mosquito wrap would be very successful — it would be useful for temporary repairs, as in a torn screen door, or for places like hotels that don’t have screens on their windows, or the screens are torn or broken.

A few points: It would have to be reasonably thick and sticky to hold up to at least a gust of wind. It should have inch and centimeter gradations printed on it so you can just count off, then tear off your measured amount (it would only need to be marked every 10 inches or so, then reset to 1 again for printing and manufacturing ease). It might be somewhat costly, but would sell well since its hard to put a price on avoiding those blood-suckers buzzing around.

Useless Jobs vs. Useful Jobs

Why did the job of “porter” ever become a thing, and how do they think they’re useful? They only irritate the hell out of me, after me doing all the work of schlepping bags, sometimes for blocks, then they come in for the last five steps all the way to the elevator. Yet, why no useful services for tourists, someone to escort you to a supermarket or show you ropes re: the buses or something. That would be worth paying for, and give some gainful employment to idle youth. It would be good work for all those beggars out there too… There are a million and one useful things people could be doing. How about young people learning to handyman or run errands for people on an as-needed basis?

And why is there no formal business for contracted maintenance?

Why no weekly contracted maintenance for hotels, restaurants, etc., like we contract a cleaner to come in? There’s not a one without something leaky, slow drains, stains on walls, chips in furniture or fittings, bad lights, loose or shaky or stiff sliders, dirty windows or window slides, dirty fans. This would avoid the need for, and much cheaper than, a full-time man, ensure there was plenty to be done when the contractor arrived, even if only preventive maintenance, and provide jobs, and be an economical measure for the hotel.

Here’s an example of what I’m driving at. I recently read that people were having a hard time finding handymen. Yet it shouldn’t be hard to find a plumber. Also, there are a lot of handymen that could do simple repairs, that may look initially difficult, but don’t actually require an “official” plumber.

What you’d do is sign up for these businesses, and say, “I’m available to do , just call me if required. If you weren’t immediately available the agent company would just call the next person on the list.

Well, the why not here is that we’re running into this trend in the legal system and government to require “certification” for these professions. Obviously this is a societal problem that needs to be addressed at a deeper level. We need universal training in schools in simple repairs. Professionals should only be needed for initial construction. Beyond that, all things, like changing a light switch, should be designed as modular replacements the average person could do. And people should be trained in and know soldering to be able to replace a pipe as required, which it rarely is.

Lampshades

why can’t the light bulb container/packaging be designed as a makeshift lampshade instead of a throwaway? Once you took it off, you could unfold it into a simple shade that would suffice temporarily until you found a replacement shade, or for places where you just don’t bother with a shade, like the garage.

DC Power Plugs

A friend long ago speculated that homes should supply low-voltage DC from the wall socket. This would be a terrific savings: one larger transformer and rectifier instead of countless ones for your laptop, cell charger, other chargers, and on and on. I suppose it could supply a fixed and standard voltage, say, 12 volts, and your device could step down the voltage internally with a simple circuit, if required.

A Piece of the Action

Why not, instead of working for all salary, work with part of your compensation being (voting) shares in the company? Why not indeed? In fact, it beggars belief that this isn’t the routine way of doing things, but of course they demand mindless wage-slave drones and don’t care about motivation or pride, except gay pride. Again, the same old clues: They don’t care about their employees, because businesses don’t exist to serve people, but to oppress them, including customers and employees. They refuse to instill an environment where the staff has concern about the quality of the company, or its output. In fact, the larger ones, as government supported monopolies, just don’t give a damn, and want to damage their people. It’s a very serious problem, but an inevitable one, when it is a known fact that the management suite is often composed of sociopaths.


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