Not-So-Smart Summoning

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If you doubt there’s a double standard when it comes to saaaaaaaaaaaaafety, consider the fact that the government isn’t recalling or even investigating Teslas equipped with something called “Smart Summon,” a feature that is causing driverless Teslas to bump into other cars and – inevitably – people who happen to be in the way.

Tesla owners who are too lazy to walk to where their car is parked push a button on their remote to summon the car, which drives itself from wherever it is parked to where its owner is waiting. The problem is the driverless Teslas are glaucomic; their hazy electronic eyes don’t see cross traffic in time – or they back into it. They have very poor peripheral vision and – if we were dealing with a human driver – would likely have their license revoked on the basis of not being able to pass a vision test.

The DMV used to fail driver’s license applicants who couldn’t back into/out of a parking lot without knocking over the cones placed at either end.

But it’s ok to let a car back itself into other cars – and people.

Scores of “accidents” – which aren’t, really, as they were all avoidable – have occurred all over the country since the technology was “enabled” by Tesla just a couple of weeks ago.

More are inevitable. At some point, a pedestrian who happens to be in the way – but isn’t noticed by the car’s rheumy electronic eyes – is going to be maimed or even killed.    

This is arguably unsafe.

Glaucomic old lady

More actually unsafe than, say, not wearing a seat belt or disabling an air bag – actions which aren’t the least bit dangerous to others, at any rate. But a run-amok Tesla is dangerous to anyone who happens to be nearby.

But no “call” for an immediate recall – or at the very least, that this dangerous technology be disabled until the cars stop backing into things and pulling out in front of moving things that have the right-of-way.

Leaving aside the saaaaaaaaaaaafety issue, there’s also the legal issue. Who is responsible for the damages caused by a glaucomic and driverless Tesla? If you are run over by one, do you sue the driver who “summoned” it? Or is the company which knowingly put defective – it doesn’t work – technology in its cars and then sold those cars to people and told those people it was safe to use – the proper object of a class-action suit for criminal recklessness?

As a thought experiment, imagine the response of NHTSA – anointed proctor of Our Safety – and the “consumer advocates” who presume to advocate for consumers who’ve never given them proxy power to do so – if any other car company sold a non-electric car with cruise control that caused the car to suddenly accelerate and run into things. Or which had a defective drive-by-wire system that put the transmission in Reverse rather than Drive, resulting in the defective cars backing into things.

The answer hardly requires elaboration. There would be an immediate ululation from NHTSA, et al – and very shortly thereafter, an edict requiring the immediate recall of every “affected” car.

But when Tesla foists dangerous, defective cars on the public roads the reaction is  . . . amusement. How funny! Look at the Tesla almost pull right in front of that car! Watch it back up into the path of that car…

Hilarious.

Even more so the get-out-of-jail (and civil court) mumbo-jumbo Tesla posts on its web site:

“You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and its surroundings at all times and be within your line of sight because it may not detect all obstacles. Be especially careful around quick-moving people, bicycles and cars.”

Italics added to emphasize the hilarity.

Imagine you back up into someone and smash their car – or them. You go to court and tell the judge: “I did not detect all obstacles.”

Note also the Teslian gaslighting. It is the fault of “quick moving people, bicycles and cars” if they get hit by a not-so-smart summoned Tesla.

How does one apply the brakes remotely, by the way?

Remember, the driver isn’t in the car. He is “monitoring” it as it drives itself to where he is waiting. If he sees the car about to run someone over, what does he do about it? Frantically press the “off” button?

Is there an “off” button?

Or is he expected to “monitor” the car’s driverless movements so that if it does run someone over, he can summon EMS?

So why does Tesla get away with this – and everything else?  The answer is as simple as it is frightening. Tesla is indulged because Tesla is serving a purpose and that purpose is to make EVs seem cool and inevitable. To make people believe they are The Future – before most of them have any clue what that will actually mean.

Tesla has been propped up by subsidies and mandates for 15 years in order to change the image of electric cars – and Elon Musk has wildly succeeded at this. People also bought into the image of OJ Simpson – what a great guy!

And then they found out what was behind the smile.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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97 COMMENTS

    • Must watch film. Took me a few dozen viewings to realize that my wanting a director’s cut without the voice over and horrible pacing was probably intentional.

      Another must see is Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. That’s one that really could use a director’s cut since I’m sure being his first time directing outside of Monty Python he was given a ton of “notes.” The strange details like the security screening at the restaurant and party, the general decay of everything, and no one actually doing any work. He absolutely nailed it.

  1. The fact that people are videoing Teslas navigating a parking lot proves there is exactly one car anyone is interested in, Tesla. Don’t bother buying anything else, Lambo, Ferarri, Zed, it will not impress anyone. The question in my mind is when will the other majors be forced to merge.

    “But no “call” for an immediate recall –” Tesla software is updated wirelessly. Recalls are for mechanical issues.

    Non Tesla autopilot takes over when driver falls asleep: https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=uNBGC_1570522790

    • People always watch and take video hoping to see something crash. That’s why they form a crowd outside of ‘cars and coffee’ events and buy tickets to NASCAR and other auto racing events. They want to see crashes. Tesla motors products like to crash via their automated features and sometimes catch fire too. It’s exactly the sort of public spectacle people are looking for. It’s a new way to crash and sometimes burn. So yes of course the fact people are videoing Telsas proves something about the car, that people expect it to crash.

  2. First I’ve heard of “summoning.” But even before this, the word I’ve been using is Teslasik.

    If you’ve read some testimony of people who have been thoroughly fooked up in lasik basic training, not to mention the post-op aspects that aren’t allowed into the visual field until *after* payment has been posted, you’ll understand why.

    (With, lasik, as with vaccines, pinto gas tanks, & every other damn thing, the hindmost devil “taken” – sacrificed — are dismissed & conveniently ignored – when they’re not being vilified {or paid off}. And the argument – rationalization – one of ‘em anyway, is the one I got, & that all have heard, from a wackjob undescended testicle descendant of the Göring clan(destinely stupid) I once had the experience, ultimately displeasurable, of interacting with: yeah, but a lot of good things come out of war. Like penicillin, he said. Like these dipshites say as well: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673487/

    So much for theory of mind. But eversomuch more for ipso facto of hivemind. And the willful screwing shut of eyes otherwise rationalized\denied as “the unseen.”

    Cuz looking at it, seeing it, would screw all those hustle calculations & change all those nets from “green & black” to the red they in fact are.

    Knew another who lamented the good ol’ days of WW2 & how “this country really came together” during it. This one, unlike the undescended testicle, was smart as hell. But even those tend often to have a wide streak of retarded to ‘em.)

    I “gotta” (she’s parta’ the family, her own entity, not a possession) whip smart dog that comes of her own volition, & when summoned, too. Botched teslasik “patients” look at their jalopies & see dogs, possibly. I guess that’d make teslasik dealers petshops & puppymill operations. Pavlov puppymills.

    What say you about this Croatian “Tesla” I read about the other day? (That’s pretty close to Serbia, so almost Tesla Tesla, eh?)

    Last time I was in & posted you responded. I have been re-responding ever since. 18,546 words, or possibly double that, & counting. A posthole to China. Or maybe a guest shreditorial.

    I do like shredded wheat. And to shred the we’t. Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down so ya don’t have to keep pickin’ ’em back up every time you knock ‘em down. It’s a labor savin’ device that increases workout efficiency…& I ain’t even an optimist. ☻

      • Exactly what I said (wrote). About the topic at (left) hand (not knowing, or caring, ‘bout what the right cross is up to). Even if you really no comprende any, you’re gonna’ hafta ask specific question\s. Happy to answer those.

  3. Any self-driven car would have to run over a large number of people in a single incident to become the subject of a class action lawsuit, which of course, would be preceded by an in rem seizure, which would resolve the instant case.

  4. Even more reason to find a well-cared for VW Beetle and something like a ’65 Plymouth Valiant with three-on-the-tree and a Slant Six and use them as daily drivers. The day I don’t know how to “pahk a cah” (Massachusetts or Utah Wasatch Front pronunciation), please, just shoot me…

  5. Mistake #1…EV’s. Mistake #2…they can drive themselves. Mistake #3…they will enhance freedom. If and when they ever become forced as the only means of transportation, it will be akin to driving around in a jail cell on wheels. When the computers can be coded to match the human brain and then fail-safed, they might be ready to drive us to never-never land. Otherwise, EV’s get a pass because of fake global warming and the desire of the control freaks to save a planet that does not need saving. Since I have experience writing computer code, many moons ago, it first needs to be perfectly written in accordance with the usage of the specific language and then it has to make logical sense to get from point A to point B and all points beyond. Syntax and logic, where even a missing character can result in a massive failure to execute a desired command. Logic? Looking around the country and the world, that is one item that is quickly escaping into space and becoming an extremely rare commodity amongst humans.

      • eric, I wouldn’t argue with you. The chemicals they put in their bodies in the name of nourishment is hideous. I recently saw a video of how common core math works. It was maddening. A simple problem like 24 divided by 3 had more than a dozen steps, none of which made send to me. This hasn’t been done by people who’ve come up with a better way to do math, it’s obviously a way to keep kids from learning math. It would take days to a test we did in match class in grammar school in a few seconds or less since that would be one you’d look at and know the answer. But knowing the answer isn’t good enough. They have to be able to write out every convoluted step of it. You should find a YT video of this and see what a perversion of simple math it’s become. You’d be disgusted and then mad, mad as hell as I was.

    • Mistake number 3: What is the practical difference between an EV and a golf cart, which are frequently used as regular automobiles in many places?

        • Not all EVs cost $70,000. All alternative electricity sources are subsidized by the government, so it really doesn’t matter how the electricity is used.
          If it weren’t for federal government subsidies, we wouldn’t have solar power, wind power, or ethanol in our gasoline.

    • Amen, Fred!

      I just don’t get the fascination with these baubles. Are people that bored? That overflowing with money such that it’s worth it to them to spend so much of it for a car that backs itself out of a parking spot and thus enables them to avoid walking 50 feet and doing it themselves? No time is saved – as it takes the same amount of time to stand there and wait as it would have taken to walk to the car and just go. Probably, it wastes time – as I know I can walk to a car and back it out and be on my way faster (and more safely) than a glaucomic Tesla can back itself out and gimp to its owner’s side…

      • Or the auto park and auto trailer feature some of the new Ford trucks have. I would laugh at people at a boat ramp or hauling a trailer that can’t back it up on their own or someone who can’t even park their own car.
        My neighbor across the street has a new driver, teenage son. He learned to drive in a vehicle that has the back up radar. Our poor trash cans get knocked over at least once a week and his son says he was listening for the radar to chirp to let him know he was close. Well apparently the radar aint that good and poor jr is neglecting his other senses to compensate.

      • the white race has lost its ability and sense of survival. they are to fat lazy and cowardly to save themselves from the slow motion genocide. after 35 years of trying to wake them up getting nowhere I say they deserve it

        • How would the white race still be around if it had lost its ability to survive?
          What is a sense of survival, something like a sense of intelligence? In modern America, they are both rather narcissistic.

        • Oh, FFS! There is no such thing as the “white race”!? That’s tribalist and collectivist thinking, the exact same thing the left traffics in.

          • Maybe it should be called the off-white race since “black” people are really shades of brown. Even black helicopters are really very dark OD.

      • Around 30 years ago, from my office window in an industrial unit on my lunch break, I watched a fairly overweight 30 something drive in to the parking lot of the gym across the street, one of those glass front wall mini-mall ones. He drove around the lot three times looking, I suspect, for the closest parking spot.

        Once parked, he got out, cup of something McD in hand, and walked the 20 feet into the gym, then proceeded to the coffee machine for a refill. Next, wandered around talking to a couple of people until his drink was finished. Drink done, he got on the stationary bike and pedaled leisurely for about 5-10 minutes. Left and went back to the vehicle. He drove, still in the same parking lot, about 200 feet to the Chinese buffet.

        It was a bit of an eyes-now-open moment as it really struck me at that moment how soft, pointless, coddled and lazy society was becoming.

        With the dozens of new ‘help you be absolutely helpless’ technologies today, I shudder to think of what the people and society of 2050 will look like.

        We need another Carrington Event to clean the gene pool and reset priorities.

        • When I go shopping, I see almost nothing but land whales. a lot of them looking through the glass in the ice cream section.

          And their kids are even fatter. Makes you wonder how they even got pregnant. Blow gun or turkey baster maybe?

      • Eric,
        What kind of bauble fascination do you get?
        We should all be looking forward to the approaching time when we will be able to get baubles for pennies on the dollar, if our fascination drives us to.

  6. “so using a ziplock and mini weights I think I figured the minimum weight to make AP2 stop complaining to touch the wheel. I’ll now build a piece to nicely hug the side of the steering wheel and sew it together.

    Anyone ever tried a permanent solution that’s not a bottle of water or an orange to the steering column?

    The way I see it’s my car, it’s a free country, I should be able to shut that down and take responsibility for it as I am regardless if I crash.” sic

    https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/autopilot-steering-wheel-hack.108331/

    Ok, fine. You want to be free to override the autopilot? Cool. Then pay the full price for your vehicle. And make sure you have enough liability insurance to cover any damages caused by your lunacy. And be prepared to face manslaughter charges if you kill someone. Because Musk made sure his lawyers are better than whatever trial monkey you can afford, and it says right in the EULA you clicked “agree” on you won’t alter anything on the vehicle.

    By the way, this is a problem I have with many Libertarians (although this guy probably wouldn’t call himself one). They want the best of both words. The Wild Wild West when it comes to their freedom, but forgetting the personal responsibly for their bad decisions. Gun stores failing to properly instruct their customers on the responsibilities of owning and securing firearms. Failure to purchase the proper amount of liability insurance for a vehicle (or just lying to the insurance mafia because everyone else does too).

    • Instruct customers on their responsibilities? Well who built the nation of morons that require this? It wasn’t shop keepers, retailers, and manufacturers of these goods. In 1875 if someone bought a firearm it was almost always correctly assumed they knew what they were doing with it. Now today we have to assume the opposite? Why is that? Who built this nation of idiots?

      Well lets start in the 1840s where the first bricks were laid by Horace Mann and his ilk and those he served. This nation of idiots was built. Year over year of building better idiots through the government schools through dumbing down tasks, through every conceivable way. Making people dependent.

      The problem isn’t the gun store or libertarians. The problem is that idiocy and freedom are simply incompatible. Freedom was done away with by and large by building idiocy.

      Step one to solve the problem is to undo the first step of creating it. Get rid of the Prussian model “public” schools.

      • Brent – “Instruct customers on their responsibilities? Well who built the nation of morons that require this?”

        Dude. We have jars of Peanut Butter, with a big warning that says “WARNING : CONTAINS NUTS”.

        And you already know the answer, government schools and participation trophies.

        • And now we have two things that are factually lowering IQ with microwave especially affecting boys and they have no clue why. The other being vaccinations that affect boys more also. Microwave drops their IQ about 4-5 points and vaccination is as high or worse due to causing a great amount of autism.

          All this is to make money for large corporations. In fact, it’s a double dip for the medical Industry when you factor in they’re one and of the same with big Pharm. The problem with Roundup causing cancer is helping it all along. Idiocracy is well and growing.

          But it won’t be as benign as that I fear. The equivalent of a stupid football player dealing out the death sentence for big crowds will stop the need for autonomous machines to do the same.

          In the future I see, it will be the equivalent of Master’s Blaster killing just plain old Blaster.

          • Just wait until we have 5G blasting microwave radiation at us from all sides to immerse us in wireless internet 24/7. Of course the technocratic Elites know what is best for us.

            • When 5G is “blasting microwave radiation at us from all sides” it will also be causing so much cochannel interference that it will be rendered unusable.

              • Sweden mandated 5G a few years ago. Now the health crisis is so bad they’ve shut it down. I’m sure there were places you could barely think and probably felt like the old hot dog getting warmed up.

          • What they call autism is often not so much IQ related but other issues like sensory overload, anxiety, social abilities crippled, etc.

            • Autism is not an intellectual impairment but a communication impairment.
              Nobody has written more about this than Temple Grandin, an autistic who has several patents for animal management equipment and is a tenured university professor.

              • Furthermore Autism is yet another way to marginalize certain people by labeling them with a disorder. Doing so when they are children is horrific. IMO they can turn a Dilbert into a cripple.

                I have no doubt that some form of modern chemical attack is also at play that works to create the very severe cases as well. But hey these scientists and doctors treat people as if they are fungible machines instead of individuals.

                • Temple Grandin was very fortunate to have a mother and a nanny that understood what her problems were who worked to overcome them. In one of her books she makes the comment that when she has spoken to groups in silicon valley, she has recognized that many of the people employed in IT there have Asperger’s syndrome, which is a very mild part of the autism spectrum. It is through her writing that I have self-diagnosed my own Asperger’s. While she recognizes autistic spectrum “sufferers” among those groups she visits, she deliberately doesn’t bring their conditions up, because they would be poorly treated by those who do not understand them. She also say that we are lucky to have Aspies working in high tech because it wouldn’t be what it is without their special kind of genius.

          • I know. But peaNUT allergies is generally the concern.

            Weird. The one associated most with being the “nut allergy” problem is not even a nut. But the same people have the same reaction to actual nuts too, right? Nuts.

      • Well sure, it’s easy to blame Uncle for this, but only because we (actually our grandparents and great-grandparents) fell for the marketing. We were sold on the progressives’ promises of Utopia without effort if we’d just do what they say. Odd that it became a global phenomenon, at differing levels of acceptance. So we’re left with addle minded masses who desperately want everything but aren’t going to put in the work to get it. Then when their disillusionment settles in they demand even more control over their lives. Control Uncle is more than happy to provide.

        No school taught me anything about firearms. My father and a family friend did. No school taught me any morals. My church, parents and circle of friends did. One thing my parents failed to teach me was math. My father didn’t feel qualified to do so, or he was too caught up in his midlife crisis or whatever, but I had a terrible time learning algebra, trig and never got the chance to learn calculus. The schools did a horrible job of it. I’m certain one reason I’m an anarchist (and a cable guy) today is because of the failure of the schools to teach me math. If I had children there’s no way I’d trust the schools to teach them anything so important as morals or operating inherently dangerous tools.

        I used to believe in common sense. The almost Jungian view that there are parts of our brains that are hard wired to understand cause and effect. Much like a dog will chase prey by accurately predicting the future location where they will meet without having to know calculus. Maybe the 50% of the nation that’s on some sort of psychological pharmaceutical has that part of their brain suppressed. Maybe recreational drugs destroy it. Or maybe it could just be that we’ve lost any concept of death because it is so rare that we no longer understand risky behavior. Or because survival requires so little effort.

        • Although my knowledge of math, being a engineer, is quite extensive, I made sure that my kids at least understood basic arithmetic and algebra, and especially the “Rule of 72” when it comes to finance. Once they had a firm grasp of the latter, they well understood why to avoid credit card debt like the plague, and thankfully, none of them have significant financial problems.

          The #2 son especially is a success story, but I don’t claim all the credit. This kid has a significant speech impediment when he was little, but he worked through it. He also had trouble with math before his LDS mission, taking the same pre-algebra class THREE times. When he resumed his studies, he perservered and, after four years, got a degree in Chemical Engineering, and now has several years professional experience, has a great job in NV, and pulls down SLIGHTLY more than his old man (at least at the day job). Time for your truly to get his old ass in gear and not let the kid upstage me!

          • 72 is a handy number. I use 70, as it’s closer to the natural log of 2.

            BTW, I graduated at the top of my class with a MS in Chemical Engineering. It took me three years to find a job, due to the importation of brown street-shitters who counted as minorities for AA purposes.

  7. You raise a good point about the programming and sensing devices: The code is most likely written by a passel of code slaves in India, and the sensors are made by literal slaves in China…all to save a buck, none of which is reflected in the price, mind you.

    And should “summoning” become commonplace, add to that parking lot attendants, meter maids, etc. who will be out of work.

    • Some years ago I had a job to oversee a bunch of Indian code slaves and most of them are the most clever but stupid people you can imagine (you can’t imagine, really).

      They will work for a week to write a thousand lines of code to fulfill (or not!) a requirement that a decent programmer could do in ten lines.

      • I’ve seen things like that starting from when I was in engineering school all the way to my last annual review.

        Human resources and management have no metric to track such things and they consider the people fungible. But it gets worse than that.

        Using your example they will fire the guy who did the job in ten lines and ten minutes for being lazy because he didn’t look busy enough and replace him with the guy who maybe does it in a week and a thousand lines and be pleased with the lower salary cost for the hard worker.

        • Brent – “fire the guy who did the job in ten lines and ten minutes for being lazy because he didn’t look busy”

          Yup. Once had a boss that would come and question why I was not doing something (salaried employee) while two other ‘peers’ were always frantically working. I would explain I have finished my assigned projects and they haven’t. Doofus would then say I should ask for more work if I am done. Even though I was getting roughly the same pay.

          What Doofus did not grasp was that I produced more finished and correct work in a shorter time the other two combined. I explained this very carefully at my next review, with documented finished project comparisons, when I asked for a significant raise. I was told that I would not be getting a raise because I spent too much time not working.

          Result? I slowed my work to the point of being on par with my ‘peers’. I always looked busy, even though I was often just killing time. Projects would be finished but I would continue to ‘work’ on them until the peers finished a similar amount of work. Boss never bothered me after that even though productivity suffered and late deliveries became common.

          When I left that company, eight months later they closed their doors. I had started looking for a new job right after the raise was refused as it was obvious that the management noticed the superficial look of working but had no idea what actual work was being performed and by who. Writing was on the wall at that point.

          • Hi Anon,

            And this is why I work for myself. I may have a dick for a boss… but he doesn’t care whether it takes me an hour or all day to get the job done. So long as it gets done and done well.

            • Hi Eric,

              I was born in Australia and moved to the States when I was 6. I’ve never become a citizen, but I do have resident alien status. A good friend quipped once, “How does he keep his prices so low, cheap immigrant labor!”
              Cheers,
              Jeremy

              • Jeremy, reminds me of an old song. He was born in Oklahoma. His wife’s name is Betty Lou Thelma Liz. He’s not responsible for what he’s doin, cause his mama made him what he is.

          • Yeah, on a “tour of duty” in San Diego, I got charged with supervising five other software engineers. So I analyzed the complexity of the change requests, and assigned the most straightforward ones to the other “engineers” and worked myself on the issues that I had no idea how to do at first.

            So then I get asked for help for the simplest changes (literally just one or two lines of code plus all the “paperwork”). Other changes got “done” but then I had to go back and re-do the whole thing later at the last minute. It would have been less work and faster for me to have just done everything all by myself without having to babysit a bunch of guys who accomplished nothing.

          • Every good experienced programmer has a similar story. When you get 5 times or more done than the other guy and then get dinged for not looing as busy or taking time to kiss the boss’ buttocks- you learn. My trick was to get it done in an hour and surf (before blocking and filtering) or play DOOM for the other 9 hours in a day.

            • If you were as good at business as you are at programming you could hang your own shingle and make more in a hour than you make in the 9 hours you wasted.

              • In that case “he” wouldn’t do any programming at all, just hire some other guys and contract them out.

                If you can sell widgets, why bother making them?

                • It would depend on being able to find programmers that wouldn’t screw off like s/he does.
                  When I was learning FORTRAN in votech, there were no female students studying anything but COBOL. There are still emulators running COBOL on mini mainframes but only supercomputers use FORTRAN to communicate with their mainframes.

                  • The outfit I used to work for seemed to do pretty well hiring people that screwed around. Of course, for a while they had me to take up the slack – ha!

                    The software lead on one project was a nice lady who seemed fairly competent. But when I tried to describe how I could keep two different versions on my desk PC for compile/test purposes without making a permanent change to the archive, she just looked at me like I was from Mars!

                    • In other words, there are coders and there are programmers. In addition, there are also system analysts, who usually get to be such by seniority than by competence or knowledge.

          • Wasn’t this one of the big problems with OS2 and the IBM/Microsoft partnership? I read somewhere that the Microsofties were cutting out thousands of lines of worthless code that the IBMers wrote. IBM management measured everything in “KLOCS” or thousands of lines of code, so they claimed Microsoft was doing negative work.

            Meanwhile Microsoft realized OS2 was a dead end and began shifting resources over to the NT project. Once IBM figured out that optimized software was a good thing, it was too late.

        • Unfortunately, Dilbert’s “pointy-haired” boss is all too REAL. I’ve dealt with those idiots through years of working with the military and in civilian employment.

          I had the best deal going waaaay back ca. 1979-80 when I went full-time as a janitor, earning some bucks for my mormon mission. I got transferred to a high school (back then, it was the “snooty” one), and my district supervisor and I had an understanding…as long as my work was up to par, if I got done early, and most reasonably competent janitors could, if they hustled, do the eight-hour shift in six. The other guys would find a place to “hide” and play cards or “chew the fat”, but “Pete”, if he came by in his Dodge Tradesman van, would “draft” someone, or even the whole crew, if you were done, and have you help out at a nearby elementary school or one of the two middle schools that “fed” the high school. Mondays through Thursdays, though, as I was still taking nine units of upper-division engineering course work during the day, if I got done early, I could go to the Library and do homework, and”Pete” would let me be (“On Fridays, unless you’ve got a Church dance, which I’ll let you slide on, your ‘ass’ is MINE…). He was actually a great boss to work with as long as you did your job well enough and didn’t cause problems, he understood that I was 20, a college student, and did have a social life.

        • I was always chided for doing no work and relaxing in my chair when I had already finished my work.

          Hey, when you’re experienced and good at your job, you SHOULD be done before the others. I wasn’t about to do fake work or the work of others.

          • I’ve had similar. I would be doing more than everyone else on the team and get it done but then I was lazy for not asking for more work. Um I’m already responsible for more parts on the project than everyone else put together.

      • Yeah, my first programming job (after switching careers mid-life) was upgrading a huge mess of an old DOS based test simulator. That one was Made In America.

  8. It wasn’t all that long ago, really, when the peasants in a particular place would have enough and go up to the castle and kill the baron and any of his men stupid enough to defend him. That’s part of what kept the “noblemen” in line, the very real threat of a very bad death.

    Now we don’t knows who they are, where they live, they don’t depend on us for their support, they can fly away, they have murderous psychopaths to defend them that likewise don’t need the peasants, and they can screw with us from anywhere.

    Ain’t it grand?

    • Bill,,,
      In these days it’s the banks and bankers,,, namely the Fed. They have made credit cheap and the money worthless. Inflation at greater then 10% (and increasing) per year means a devaluation of 100% every ten years or so while the wages remain stagnant. There is no way of “saving” for retirement or for anything if your living underwater as most today are. Unions won’t help,,, their pretty much under the control of Corpgov. Today’s UAW strike is a godsend to the manufactures that have over supplied their dealers.

      Digital has allowed them to watch what everyone is doing and storing the information for later use. They can now track you as you drive real time with the use of license plate readers and your phone. They can monitor your conversations while on the phone or when its idle in your pocket. They will know when / if you try to organize a opposition and you won’t be able to stop it because even the most ardent “patriot” is hooked on these digital devices and will never willingly give them up.

      Get the word out?,,, they have already introduced censorship using their partners in crime,,, corporations via hate speech laws. Sites like this they just monitor knowing who, what and where we are. They will eventually eliminate these sites as well but as the old saying goes,,, one problem at a time.

      Their nonsensical Globull warming hype has brought us electric cars that are dependent on the grid as part of the takeover. They will drastically limit the speed of your travel. Since a credit card is necessary at these charging stations they can easily refuse you and can easily brick the car. TSA is now at airports and now bus / rail stations and can easily deny you travel.
      And lastly they are corralling weapons. They are even going after black powder flintlocks in many areas.
      So, no weapons, no secure communications and no ability to travel pretty well limits the options.

      It wasn’t that people are/were preparing for war with the government,,, it was the people had the potential to do so and thus government pretty much minded their bees wax. Today the bankers, bureaucrats and LEO’s feel pretty secure and thusly going for the gold.

      Ten to twenty more years of this and all of humanity will be enslaved,,, that is what remains of humanity.
      Food for thought.

    • Airports aren’t worth much if the power is out. At least not for Gulfstreams and Learjets. Bush planes will still be able to take off and land, and if they use a piston engine, run just fine on 95 octane if you can find some unadulterated by alcohol.

  9. I mentioned in the previous thread on ADAS systems that the automotive industry has a lot of functional safety processes, and I’m familiar with it since I work in the industry.

    However, if any major automaker did what Tesla does in terms of releasing untested self-driving features, someone would be in front of congress explaining themselves and people would be fired, shortly before the NHTSA came down on us like a ton of bricks.

    I don’t understand how Tesla can get away with behavior that is blatantly illegal for the rest of the industry.

  10. Reminds me of the James Bond movie where he is driving a car with his cell phone. At least in that scenario he was still “driving”.

  11. “How does one drive defensively against poor programming”

    I don’t ride anymore due to texting morons regularly crossing the center line….. SO……

    A very large lifted truck with 3/16″ formed plate steel bumpers.

    A couple of years ago I slid off the cattle path to my house. Smacked a 5″ dia. tree with the front bumper at about 15 mph. Tree lost badly. Silly little driver-less car would fair worse, I am sure.

  12. Eric, I’ll tell ya, I’m getting leery of going out on my scooters. Most people I drive around I can somewhat judge what they are going to do. Not all,,, but most. You cannot judge what a pile of silicon and 100,000 lines of code is going to do. If it “sees” some kind of aberration it’s liable to slam on the brakes or do a sudden lane change, or both. More scary, I have seen people completely turned around, doing something in the rear of the car oblivious of what their car is doing apparently having those fancy new cruise control or self driving features.
    The parking lot thing is REALLY scary. My motor is more apt to NOT be seen when one pulls out in front of me. And what if there are 2, 4, or more of these things in the same parking lot, all being “summoned”? What a mess.

    How does one drive defensively against poor programming and even poorer sensing devices all approved by nonsensical government bots?

    • I have a 2014 Focus with a line or two of bad code. If you park with the key in the ACC position, the radio will shut off in 90 seconds to save the battery (Low battery – Audio Off) while leaving the lights and ventilation fan on.

      I just brought it it for a recall to change some dubious computer code problem but he wouldn’t correct my real code problem. He even dishonestly wrote up the order as if the car had an old battery in it.

      Even though the car did this from day one, the dealer technician wants me to buy a new battery (I already had one replaced under warranty) or use a trickle charger every day. He won’t acknowledge that the code is FUBARD.

      • This would be easy to solve by moving the supply wire to the radio to an source of power not under the control of the computer. Leaving the lights and fan on in ACC is an anomaly in itself.

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