I was about to upvote one of your posts (possibly for the first time ever) because you were actually making some sensible, factual comments. And then I read your last paragraph.
6927 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007
There is a fundamental principle of English Common Law that I and everyone else have the right to "Go about our lawful business without let or hindrance" ("let" meaning "permission" in this case).
Our law is based on the idea that any thing that isn't expressly forbidden is permitted (or was, successive recent "democratic" governments have been trying to whittle away away at these rights, but, the point is that, at present, I do not have to carry an ID card simply to prove that I have the right to walk down the street.
To argue that introducing an ID card "seems far better than what you are dealing with right now." only demonstrates that what we are dealing with right now is fundamentally fucked up, an ID card would just make the situation worse, not better.
Forget about the ropey acting and dodgy special effects, the Doctor as Merlin, Ace as the Lady of the Lake, the Brigadier as Arthur and the new Brigadier Winifred Bambera (Winifred is derived from Guinevere...)
This episode should have been included. "What are you going to to [to stop the battle] just run down there and shout 'Stop'?" "Yes!"
Thank you for the offer of an Economics Lesson, but since I studied the subject at A Level, I think I'll decline and just point out the flaws in your post:
1) "The market automatically makes us use ALL resources at the appropriate level of efficiency depending on their rarity/value."
Balderdash. In a completely free market, products, energy and so on will be sold at whatever price the customers will bear. This is why, for instance, we currently have the nonsense of the retail energy companies saying "it's not our fault that prices are going up, it's because of the wholesale cost" whilst forgetting to mention that they are buying the power from generators which they *also* own!
Their retail arms are only making small profits because their wholesale arms are coining it in as they have a tacit cartel agreement with their fellow generators that nobody will rock the boat by cutting the wholesale price and they know that the consumers are stuck with buying it at whatever price they're told it is.
2) "If you want to make people save energy and use it more efficiently, you are going to have to raise its price considerably"
Again, balderdash. Why do we now buy fridges and freezers etc which are more energy efficient than the ones that were available in the past? Because they are cheaper to run! If you have the choice between paying X to run a fridge every year or 50% of X, why would you buy a less efficient fridge when you need to replace it?
3) "There is NO justification for forcing energy prices high".
I agree entirely and I wouldn't argue for that as it's short sighted and ignores the fact that energy (like petrol etc) have a relatively inelastic demand curve, whereby pushing the price up causes only a small reduction in the quantity used.
So, inconclusion, more efficient use will either bring down the amount of consumption or (at the least) slow down the rate of increase of consumption. Either way it's win-win.
> I, personally, strongly dislike inefficiency (like the inefficiency of the wind power generation, for example).
And the fact that cars are about 30% energy efficient whilst bicycles are 98% efficient?
> as your things become more and more efficient you can afford to run more of them at the same time.
Yes, you can. It doesn't mean you *have* to or need to, though.
> the total energy requirements of humanity are going to go up even as the efficiency of the consumption will continue to increase.
True, but as I pointed out above, at the very least we can affect the rate of change (in the mean time we can wait until we sort out Fusion which I have been reliably informed is only 30 years away... ;-) )
The problem is that many people don't bother listening to anything beyond the rants of the "hard line greens" and, just as in many other situations, tar all people who have a vaguely similar philosophy or belief with the same brush as the extremists.
Lewis, as always, goes to the opposite extreme, citing the claims that "renewable power simply can't provide anything like the amount of energy required for any large proportion of the human race to live a reasonably comfortable life" and this "requires most of the human race to remain in miserable poverty", but misses the point that this assumes that to have a "reasonably comfortable life" requires people to engage in some equivalent of the ridiculously profilgate energy expenditure that the USA and Europe indulge in.
I have said it before and I will say it again, we need to use energy MORE EFFICIENTLY! For instance, switching on the air con when it gets a bit warm or the heating as soon as it gets a bit chilly is simple, but it is NOT necessary if we actually put some effort into designing our buildings correctly and getting from A to B can be done much more efficiently than driving vehicles the size of a small truck whilst carrying a single occupant.
No hair shirts are required, no living in houses lit only by a single bulb, no thick jumpers necessary, we are supposed to be an intelligent species, but until we actually start *using* that intelligence instead of just short-sightedly worrying about how much it's going to cost (and how that will affect someone's election prospects or the interests of the big businesses who only pay attention to their dividends and bonuses) we are going to end up screwing ourselves into the ground and not solving the fundamental problem!
Obviously this needs to include a pulse monitor to ensure that it's still on the child's wrist. Or perhaps it should be lockable with only the parent having the key. And whist they're at it, why not include a remote electric shock device if they discover their child has wandered off the direct path home or has stopped off at a friend's house...
"If there was a significantly better free online map, I would use that."
But how do you know? If someone comes up with a better map which should, organically, go to the top of the search rankings, but Google keeps prioritising its own offering, how will you or anyone else find out about it?
Re: Tesco - They (and the other big supermarkets, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons) got to be Oligopoly suppliers because a decade or so ago they started selling bread at 7p a loaf and tins of beans at 3p each, ie at well below even the cost of production. This had the effect of driving all the small suppliers out of business, even those who were supplying better products and giving better service, because they simply couldn't compete when the vast majority of people were simply buying on price.
Getting back to google: Try this example, then, you open a copy of the Yellow Pages (which has been bought out by Google) and instead of finding it listed in A, B, C order, you find it goes Google, A, B, C. Most people will start at the beginning (hence why companies change their names to A1 Computers, 1st ABC Computers, .1Computers etc) but again you're getting one company prioritising its services over all others.
Or try this one: Financial Advisers used to be able to claim to be Independant whilst prioritising their own company's financial products over others which was to *their* benefit because they got bigger commissions from them than the ones which would actually have been best for the customer. Do you think that the government was wrong to make sure that people were kept informed of whether or not they were actually getting impartial advice?
Ensuring fair competition is not "manipulating the market", in fact it is the antithesis of it.
PS @Steve Knox - Building a bigger (or sillier) Straw Man doesn't make your arguments any better.
Once again we get the tired old arguments of "maybe Tesco should advertise Asda" and other such straw-man nonsense.
As Dr Mouse says, if he wants a map, he goes to google, types in a post code and there's Google Maps with all the others pushed down "below the fold". Sure, google makes it easy to find and nice and convenient, but it makes it easy to find their products before all others.
So imagine this: Google does a lucrative deal with Fox News so that every time you search for a news story, Fox's version of events and their opinions are prioritised above all others. Would you still be happy then?
Is that giving you what *YOU* are looking for or what *THEY* decide is best for you to see?
Here we go again...
The fact is that, for most people, Google is not just *a* search engine, it is *the* search engine. Do you "search" for something online or do you "google" it?
When a company is in such a market dominating position as Google is, it is no longer sufficient to say "well people can go somewhere else" because most people don't even know that there is anywhere else to go in the first place.
So they go to Google, expecting to get at least a semblence of impartiality in their search results, but, instead, get Google's preferred service at the top and others relegated to lower position *even if* those others might actually have had higher organic result rankings and that is an abuse of a monopoly position, just as it was when Microsoft restricted the browser choice market.
The fact of the matter is that monopolies are generally very bad for consumers because they end up restricting choice and that is the point at which regulators need to step in.
You are free to have as many Commandments as you want. You are free to obey as many of them as you want. I respect your (and their) right to do this.
All I, and others who think like me, would like is that *YOU* respect *OUR* right to have different beliefs and not have you and your ilk telling us that we can't do something because you don't like it.
So is it that the petitioners are so incapable of controlling themselves and their browsing habits that they want the Government to block this site because they fear that if they accidentally visit it, they'll instantly be sucked into a world of infidelity?
Or is it that *they* are Paragons of Moral Virtue but fear that their partners are not (or, at least, don't trust them or are incredibly insecure about the strength of their relationships) that they want it banned Just In Case someone else is corrupted by its seductive message...?
Or maybe it's just another example of "Please ban this to stop someone else from doing something which *I* know they shouldn't be doing"?
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