Garbage Wars

Seattle has gone too far in trying to ensure people recycle properly, and compost their garbage. In my town, over the summer we switched to town-supplied trash and recycle barrels that will work with shiny new hands-off garbage trucks. Reduces labor, except all the workers who no longer man the trucks remain employed by the town. Makes things safer. Especially when the new trucks actually work. My theory on the whole thing was “follow the money.” Who would benefit from the purchase of the new trucks and all those barrels? Who would make money on a dramatic increase in recyclables? And yes, the town was being held over a barrel by the regional trash facility planning to hike its fees, giving them an incentive.

While it has surprised us just how much recycling we generate, and most such stuff does go the right place, we, and other in town, were horrified by the word, before the thing rolled out, that cameras on the ruck would allow them to monitor and penalize you. We started using opaque trash bags, which were better in other ways, in case they did this. On the plus side, while they’d prefer that people compast garbage, it is not required. For many of us, it would not be viable, unless it were a third category of stuff being picked up by the town. Further, that still leaves foods that aren’t compostable, like raw meat trimmings. Or sad incidents like an entire package of spoiled chicken or – gasp! – bacon.

Religion… Meh

There is positive research on raising religion-free children. This is what we have been doing, and the findings, plus what has long been known in criminology, don’t surprise me. No offense to my religious friends, but to sell a child on a religion, you are encouraging belief in a fantastical story, a set of “facts” that are circularly supported by faith. Morality exists apart from religion. If religion touts some of the same morality, great. You don’t need religion to tell you to be excellent to each other, not to harm people if you wouldn’t want people to harm you, or that certain things are inherently wrong. You don’t have to suspend your rational mind to be a good person, and you might just be less susceptible to behaving as a bad person due to irrationality. At any rate, interesting stuff.

Bad Judge on “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino”

I know, it’s France and what would a French court know about how the Internet works, but still, what an absurd decision. Write a review, get high search result placement, get fined?

Well, maybe not that absurd. I once wrote elsewhere about local news, a matter of public record, and thought I would get an offer I couldn’t refuse when Google didn’t clear the results out of cache fast enough, even after I promptly took it down in fear for my safety. And that was a case of people simply not understanding how the Internet worked, and how Google worked. At least that’s just people, not a judge or other legal authority.

What Are 21 Years Worth?

As far as I am concerned, these people are owed gobs of money. False accusation, conviction and imprisonment is one of the most heinous things you can do to a person short of murder. How do you repay twenty-one prime years stolen from a life? If I were the jury rewarding damages, I don’t think I’d consider a miliion a year per person the be excessive. I’m not sure I’d consider it to be enough, for something that has no price. Everyone involved in railroading them deserves to be sued into poverty. As Glenn Reynolds notes, this was one of many cases.

We The People

It’s important to remember we are in charge and, as V would say, our government should be afraid of us. Snowden has clarified that things are backward.

If you read the post linked above without also clicking through and reading the link it contains, you are missing out. I only have the vaguest memory that there was ever a scandal regarding something called INSLAW, so I looked it up and found it fascinating. Especially given that it involved case management software that was so early, and made me think of software with which I’ve been involved, but used for nefarious purposes, and used/adapted heavily for making connections every which way between people, not just documents or legal cases.

It seems like we’re on a precipice, windmilling our arms, trying to maintain balance, but we’re failing… and perhaps we’ve been closer to the edge for longer than we could preceive.

Exit Six Pub and Brewery For The Win

Frankly, I had no idea that Frappucino was a trademark. I just thought it was a type of coffee-based drink. Be that as it may, even if Starbucks served drinkable coffee, I would have laughed my tail off and appreciated this brilliant response to an absurd cease and desist letter. I’m sure everyone was totally confused that a beer on tap could be a coffee-based drink designed to emulate or detract from that vended by Starbucks to people whose taste or options lead them not to go somewhere better.