Witness the article yesterday on Casper, Wyoming that has seen a wild-eyed increase in homeless people burgling various structures (the apologists call it "squatting" -- which is true but preceded by burglary, which is a felony) and crapping on the streets and in other public places which wildly raises the risk of serious (indeed, what were all the leading causes of death pre-sanitation systems!) disease.
Do you believe homelessness is new? Of course it isn't. In the 1990s I used to make a practice during the Christmas season of buying loaves of bread, peanut butter and jelly along with some cheap plastic sandwich bags, making up some sandwiches, and then attempting to give them to the bums on Lower Wacker Drive. Once I was threatened with arrest by one of Chicago's "finest" for doing it (I wasn't a "licensed food vendor" you see, although I was giving away said food.) I told him to go ahead and cuff me if he really wanted to, but I had a suspicion that my mug on the evening news wasn't going to reflect well on the department. He left me alone.
But what went along with that is that I got more refusals than takes. Ditto if a bum accosted me coming out of a restaurant asking for money. I frequently had a "doggie bag" and, being that I wasn't exactly broke, it usually had something pretty good in it too -- often a part of a steak or similar. Never once did said bum want the food -- not once. Always money -- and why? Because they were going to buy booze or drugs with it. It wasn't hard to figure out even then.
But they didn't crap on the streets. Why not? Because they all knew that if they did they'd get arrested and while a night in jail meant a meal it also meant no drugs or alcohol and the same dynamic played out there that did with the doggie bag -- they had no interest in being "housed", even just overnight in the lockup, if it meant no booze or drugs -- and it did. So they didn't crap on the streets and didn't throw their needles around on the street either, and you know damn well most of them were using and everyone has to take a dump once a day or so.
Let's pivot a bit. This article, from 2015:
So yeah, bring on the automation. But let's cut the crap about "safety benefits" until I can climb in the back seat and punch in a destination, leaving as my only remaining manual task refueling when the tank gets low.
Do remember that in 2016 a Tesla drove under an 18-wheeler trailer that was making a left turn onto a state highway in Florida at speed, decapitating the driver. It is alleged that a portable DVD player was found in the vehicle (well, what was left of it) positioned such that it was likely it was in use and running a movie. The so-called "autopilot" was reported to have been in use. I wrote about it at the time.
What I originally posted on this topic was eight years ago. Today we are no closer to actual "self-driving" vehicles on an open road, unconnected basis than we were then. Oh sure, people claim otherwise but the facts are that exactly zero such vehicles have been delivered to customers. I cannot buy one no matter how much money I have; they don't exist.
How many people have bought a "feature" that allegedly, in the future, will deliver this capacity? I don't know, but I do know that touts are all over the Internet claiming that it'll happen -- and Elon Musk, who controls Tesla, is one of the loudest leaders of a fanboy cult on this matter, with the latest being an alleged video he posted of him tooling around a California area without his hands on the wheel. Oh, and said touting is all over his platform "X" too -- big shock, right?
But do note about that latest "demonstration" -- he was in the driver seat the entire time; he did not climb in the back with a six pack of beer, drunk well beyond legal limits and thus risking his driver license and a criminal DUI conviction if in fact his vehicle wasn't "fully self-driving."
Which it wasn't and isn't.
Now tell me why eight years later from "autopilot" being sold to the public Elon hasn't had to either put up a working implementation that actually delivers on the claims or refund all the money taken, with interest and penalties for making a claim that thus far, there is no evidence can or will be delivered? Indeed how many of those vehicles have been destroyed (by fire, collision, theft, mechanical failure, etc.) yet the funds were collected for a thing never delivered -- and never will be as the vehicle no longer exists as a road-worthy means of transportation?
Let's be clear: There is no such thing as "full self-driving" or anything called an "autopilot" for a car until you can get into the back seat of the vehicle while intoxicated or in possession of open intoxicating beverages, designate the destination for the vehicle to travel to, and have zero capacity to physically control or be responsible for the vehicle and the damage it might cause to persons or property along with no liability for being intoxicated as you are not in control of said vehicle and, in fact, you're not even "intoxicated in public" because you are entirely enclosed within your private property. That is, you have no liability insurance premium to pay when the vehicle is used in such a mode and you can go somewhere while literally blind-drunk without a care in the world; the company that sells said vehicle is liable for the vehicle's operation in its entirety because you're not driving -- the computer it sold you is.
Speaking of which if you have to pay a subscription fee on a recurring basis you weren't sold said computer that is capable of that alleged "full self-driving" either and any representation you were, either explicitly or by implication, is a lie as well. A thing I buy is mine -- the money has changed hands, so have the goods, and that's the end of it.
If you are sold something that is not what it was claimed to be whether by inference or direct representation that's against the law and doing that is supposed to result in criminal prosecution and restitution for everyone who paid and didn't get what they bought.
Has there even been a hint of prosecution for any of this -- or even a "stop sell" order? No. Why not?
How about "driving assistance" generally? Blind-spot monitoring is great, right? Perhaps it might be -- right up until it doesn't work as expected. What happens then? How long is it before you've trained every driver on the road, effectively, that they no longer need to turn their head and look before changing lanes? Human factors -- including laziness and learned dependence -- are real and disclaimers in owner's manuals don't change them. At least said "assistance" features are honestly marketed as what they truly are: Assistants -- much like your coffee maker "assists" you in heating water and pouring it through coffee you placed in a filter.
But let's not kid ourselves -- if you're selling something that damages driving capacity generally why are not you, as the manufacturer, liable for that? You should be -- right? You would be if there was a 50 gallon container of vodka and a straw delivered inside each new vehicle that the driver could suck on any time he wants, so why aren't you when you create dependence on a thing that is expensive, not universal, and habituates someone in a way that when it is withdrawn or absent their driving skill is damaged.
Remember the "Great Financial Crisis"? What caused it? People being enticed to take out fraudulent loans to buy real estate which every single state and local government loved as it drove property tax collections higher along with all the "GDP" from building said homes, selling said homes, running title work on said homes, collecting transfer tax stamps on the deeds, commissions collected by Realtors and then spent in the economy and similar.
How many people who suborned or made knowingly-false statements on those loans went to prison? Zero.
How many bankers who, I remind you, on multiple occasions were caught on tape or in emails stating that the securities they were selling as "good credit" were in their opinion vomit went to prison? Zero.
But for those bogus claims that these were "money good" securities how many would have been sold? Probably pretty damn close to zero if not zero. The "excuse" that the buyers were "skilled market participants" is irrelevant to whether the representations made were knowingly or recklessly false. They were.
It is now floating around that one of the hedge funds that was in the center of assembling and peddling this garbage in the run-up to 2008 is at it again, this time in the AI space. Is what they're doing now illegal whether "in name only" or otherwise? I have no idea; at present these are (best as I can determine) correlations and claims, not known facts. Of course if it all blows up in the everyone's face and whacks your stock portfolio by half or more again, as it did the last time, do you think anyone will be investigated and go to jail for their part in it?
Why would you ever believe that given the relatively-recent -- oh, last 20 or so years -- of history?
How about illegal immigration? How many millions of people have flowed across our southern border even though they know it is against the law, and why have they done so?
That's simple: Nobody goes to jail for doing it, being involved in it, promoting it or even directly assisting it unless you stuff said people into a trailer and a truck and then said people come rolling through a regular entry point. Then people get arrested.
But if the same people cross outside of a regular border entry point, even with assistance, nobody goes to jail.
Not the people doing it nor the people employing those who come here illegally and those who assist them.
Indeed we even stick said people into what were high-class hotels in places like NYC which they then trash as they have no reason not to: They have no respect for the property of others -- which they demonstrated by entering illegally in the first place -- and no expectation they'll be held accountable for destroying said property and thus that's exactly what they do just like the people crapping on the street and destroying property in Casper!
How about the purveyors of various nostrums that prove worthless and worse, the people making them gamed the trials and that is later very clear? Who remembers "you won't get the virus if you take this" claims? Who made the claims and why were they not prosecuted when it was proved the claims were false? Remember that Dr. Birx herself admitted on the record that her claims were "aspirational"; that is, she had no evidence and she knew it at the time but she hoped it would be true. Yet off she walked into the sunset with all of her money and property, as did Fauci, and in fact so have thus far all the pharmaceutical makers. That's not their first rodeo in this regard either and all of it stems from the same root cause!
Is this the only such instance? Nope. How much has Pfizer and other pharmaceutical firms paid in fines over the last couple of decades? Some of those are criminal -- yet have those fines deterred behavior? Obviously not if further similar conduct happened again, right? It doesn't take much looking around to realize that the conduct certainly did not stop in 2012, as evidenced by the continuing stream of fines and penalties.
What do you think Burisma and related items was about? Money. Nobody gave a damn about the people in Ukraine and they still don't. The defense contractors all love the money, the evidence is that millions went to the Biden family directly, during Joe's time as Vice-President we deliberately and willfully interfered in and helped foment Maidan, an actual shooting-included overthrow of the government, which led directly to the now-current war and thus our nation, including both parties in Congress and our current Administration not only were involved in it eight years ago they still are to this day.
Essentially everything wrong with our society today comes down to the same point: Laws are meaningless unless enforced, and the reason we have laws is that there is a decent percentage of the population that will use every possible advantage, fair or foul, to get ahead defined as taking money from other people. If the means are fair then voluntary exchange it is and that's all to the good -- but if they're foul then the law is supposed to be evenly enforced against all, no matter the size of the scam or the power of the people running it, both putting a stop to it and imprisoning those doing it.
Without the law to constrain said people that is actually enforced those who care only for money will take everything they can get and do not care if they ruin your life, property or even kill you outright in their pursuit.
It is not that they're trying to kill you it is that they simply do not care if you live, die, are impoverished, or are sold something that is defective, never delivered at all or have your life and/or property destroyed as a result of their actions.
They care for one thing and one thing only: Personal benefit for themselves, everything else be damned.