Archive for June 10th, 2014

I am intrigued by reports about the role of personalities among a species of community-dwelling spiders.

These critters need to be good at different things, and somehow it works out that those roles get filled. I sometimes wonder if some of the social problems we have now is that we’ve jumbled the roles necessary for societal success, but not yet managed to work out how to gracefully get people to the roles they will be best/happiest at filling. [Of course, there’s merit in finding ways out of official roles, too…]

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I’ve driven Saturns since shortly after they rolled off the assembly line in Tennessee. The cars did what I wanted them to do, the brand idea was great [for a while], and I didn’t have to argue with the dealership [Just imagine what it’s like when a traditional car salesman clashes with a feminist rhetorician. For 20 years of not having to deal with that sort of garbage, I am still grateful].

But THIS: this is awful.

Saturn LogoI was angry enough when GM killed the brand, but letting people die because it would be too much trouble to admit a problem? There should be some kind of warning stamp, perhaps with the image of the ill-fated Space Shuttle mission of 1986 on it, or even just the words “Challenger, go with throttle up“, that engineers can use as a last mark of dissent, or as a first sign of THIS COULD BE BIG TROUBLE. Or maybe the stamp here: http://geekystamps.weebly.com/

When my car lost power last summer, I was very lucky. Those were moments of panic, but I still had a sense of what I could do to control the car, and my momentum was such that I had time to take those actions.

But luck shouldn’t have been necessary.  Luck shouldn’t be why I’m alive and they are not. (I like being alive, but that is not the point of this particular musing…) (I guess it could be said that I’m alive because I am old enough to know how to drive a car without power steering and power brakes…?)

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