You Learn Something New Every Day

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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

Sometimes I get angry about Aristotle, because so much of his thinking about the natural world was unscientific just-so stories, like "the earthly sphere is imperfect, but the heavens are perfect, therefore heavenly bodies must move in perfect geometrical shapes", and it feels like he advanced thinking by a hundred years and then made it stagnate for the next thousand, because everybody said "Well, the great Aristotle said X, so it must be so".

But apparently some of my conceptions about his thinking were the result of bad capsule explanations, too: while Aristotle did think that heavier objects fell faster than lighter ones, his explanation was a little more sophisticated than that, being that the speed of a falling object was the result of a constant, the weight of the object, and the density of the fluid it was falling through - and apparently this is actually not such a bad approximation for human-scale stuff falling through air or water.

But just the other day I learned about John Philoponus, a 6th-century thinker who had much more correct ideas about matter, inertia, and the nature of the universe. He was one of the first to hold that the heavens and the earth have the same physical properties, and the stars are not divine, and he viciously took down Aristotle's theories on motion and falling objects:
But this [view of Aristotle] is completely erroneous, and our view may be completely corroborated by actual observation more effectively than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights, one many times heavier than the other you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend [solely] on the weights, but that the difference in time is very small.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

Over a hundred years ago, the Roosevelt administration took a surprisingly enlightened and long-term view, and created a scholarship program for Chinese students to study in the US, pointing out that we would gain respect and leadership, and promote a lasting peaceful relationship with China.
The Boxer Indemnity Scholarship was a scholarship program for Chinese students to be educated in the United States, funded by the Boxer Indemnity. In 1908, the U.S Congress passed a bill[citation needed] to return to China the excess of Boxer Indemnity, amounting to over 17 million dollars. Despite the fierce controversies over returning the excess payment, President Theodore Roosevelt's administration decided to establish the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program to educate young Chinese generation. President Roosevelt recognized this program as a chance for "American-directed reform in China" that could maximize U.S's profit by improving the U.S- China relations, bridging China with American culture, and promoting U.S's international image. Instead of mimicking the European Imperialism and use military means to reap short-term financial gain, Roosevelt established the program to insure peace and trade in China in the "most satisfactory and subtle of all ways", while helping United States gain respect and take its leadership position in the world.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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JD
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by JD »

I was vaguely aware that there used to be more regulation on trucking, but I'd never really thought much about it until I read this Slate article titled "Will robotic trucks be sweatshops on wheels?" the other day. (First mistake: reading a Slate piece. Also, Betteridge's Law of Headlines.) tl:dr: Trucking regulation improved safety, service quality, and equity, and trucking jobs were good jobs, and when we repealed trucking regulation, trucking jobs became less-well-paid and truckers had to work longer hours. The author does state "Prior to deregulation in the 1980s, trucking companies, known as carriers, needed licenses, known as authorities, from the Interstate Commerce Commission to haul particular goods to and from particular locations," but that's about it.

I went and did a little research, and holy crap, that description barely scratches the surface of regulation. Firstly, trucking regulation was instituted in 1935, mostly at the behest of railroad companies, which had been losing business to them (and apparently some established trucking companies who wanted to block new competition). And yes, the heart of the regulation was that trucking companies had to apply for "authorities" (technically, Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity) from the Interstate Commerce Commission to haul specific goods between specific locations.

Back in 1935 they could get an authority if they had documented proof they'd already been serving a particular market (and apparently the ICC was very strict about what counted as proof); thereafter they could only get an authority by applying to the ICC and showing that that market was unserved. But the ICC would first ask existing carriers if they had any interest in that authority and would deny the application if they said yes, which effectively blocked new carriers even in routes that were currently unserved. The ICC was hostile to mergers and acquisitions between carriers, and to the transfer of authorities; they could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars when they did change hands. And the limited nature of authorities meant there was a lot of inefficiency in this horse-trading: if you had an authority to go from Spokane to Columbus, but you wanted to go to Dallas and couldn't get the authority, your best option might be to try and find somebody with the authority to go from Columbus to Dallas!

Also, carriers had to file pricing proposals with the ICC 30 days before they went into effect, and any carrier who complained could block the new pricing. Not that it mattered too much, because in 1948, carriers were explicitly exempted from the antitrust laws and encouraged to set uniform rates, from which they could not discount more than a set percentage! And - although it seems like most authors don't want to go into this too much - the very closed nature of the business seems to have empowered the Teamsters and the Mafia. No wonder it was high-paying: it was literally a damn cartel. I had no idea we had such a frankly Soviet system of regulation here; I can only hope that some day the hospital industry gets its turn.

https://www.estes-express.com/about/his ... regulation
https://www.insuremyrig.com/history-of- ... f-trucking
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/news/ ... mmission-3
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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Eric the .5b
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Eric the .5b »

I want to say Milton Friedman wrote about that situation in Free to Choose, while the regulations were still around. They were a Hell of a thing.
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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The repeal of trucking regulations was spearheaded by that bastion of free enterprise Ted Kennedy. Presumably as a big FU to the Teamsters.
It was signed into law by that champion of deregulation Jimmy Carter.
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Kolohe
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Kolohe »

All these regs I think were the main plot point of Smokey and the Bandit. And the squeeze on independents was I think the main premise behind Convoy.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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Kolohe wrote: 26 Oct 2020, 09:31 All these regs I think were the main plot point of Smokey and the Bandit. And the squeeze on independents was I think the main premise behind Convoy.
Smokey and the Bandit main plot point was a commercial for Coors beer* which deliberately limited its distribution to several western states and successfully created a black market for it in the east.

There was no premise behind Convoy beyond, Truck Driving + CB Radio - Authority = Hit Song



*Which is closer to water than even Budweiser.
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Aresen
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

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Kolohe wrote: 26 Oct 2020, 09:31 All these regs I think were the main plot point of Smokey and the Bandit. And the squeeze on independents was I think the main premise behind Convoy.
Any movie featuring Burt Reynolds was automatically on my 'Do not watch' list.
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Warren
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Warren »

Aresen wrote: 26 Oct 2020, 11:48
Kolohe wrote: 26 Oct 2020, 09:31 All these regs I think were the main plot point of Smokey and the Bandit. And the squeeze on independents was I think the main premise behind Convoy.
Any movie featuring Burt Reynolds was automatically on my 'Do not watch' list.
There's a whole lot of joy you are denying yourself there.
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lunchstealer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by lunchstealer »

Today I learned that Calvin Coolidge kept a pet raccoon in the White House named Rebecca.

From the wikipedia on the subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_(raccoon)
Rebecca came from Mississippi.[1] She had been sent to the White House to be served for the 1926 Thanksgiving dinner, but the Coolidges decided to keep her as a pet instead.
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Aresen
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Aresen »

"cherophobia" - Cherophobia is a phobia where a person has an irrational aversion to being happy. The term comes from the Greek word “chero,” which means “to rejoice.” When a person experiences cherophobia, they’re often afraid to participate in activities that many would characterize as fun, or of being happy.

###

We're all familiar with the concept of 'tempting fate' in the sense of not saying something is going well in order to avert the possibility of things going wrong, but I had no idea there was such a thing as an actual aversion to being happy. I think this is different from a person who sabotages their own happiness through self-destructive behavior.
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

Those who know history are doomed to deja vu. - the innominate one

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Mo
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by Mo »

Warren wrote: 25 Oct 2020, 18:36 The repeal of trucking regulations was spearheaded by that bastion of free enterprise Ted Kennedy. Presumably as a big FU to the Teamsters.
It was signed into law by that champion of deregulation Jimmy Carter.
Carter was our greatest deregulatory president and it’s not even close.
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lunchstealer
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Re: You Learn Something New Every Day

Post by lunchstealer »

Mo wrote: 02 Dec 2020, 01:05
Warren wrote: 25 Oct 2020, 18:36 The repeal of trucking regulations was spearheaded by that bastion of free enterprise Ted Kennedy. Presumably as a big FU to the Teamsters.
It was signed into law by that champion of deregulation Jimmy Carter.
Carter was our greatest deregulatory president and it’s not even close.
Yeah, understanding this bumped his rating in my mind so far.
"Dude she's the Purdue Pharma of the black pill." - JasonL

"This thread is like a dog park where everyone lets their preconceptions and biases run around and sniff each others butts." - Hugh Akston

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