Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Come, D'Artagnan. We're saving the Queen!"

Ok, so we're really not saving the Queen. A) I'm not in England, and B) She doesn't need to be saved. However, automobile manufacturers have to be saved, and not just from poor money-management and a collapsed demand structure.

The automakers need to throw away the notion that attractive cars must have tons of horsepower and performance ability. Practicality and desire and all those psychological reasons why Ferrari, Audi, Aston Martin, etc., design their cars the way they do needs to be revamped across the industry. Look, Mercedes-Benz and BMW already have- great cars that look absolutely horrible.

Seriously, why- in all that is petro- do "econo-box" cars look so horrifically, and utterly banal? Why do cars destined for commutes, where owners choose MPG over OMG, or entry level cars end up looking like it was designed by whoever designs oil bottles.

Some of the entry/commuter cars do need to be quirky enough to attract buyers. Quirky does work, but the car has to be quirky. The Scion xB (I'm a previous owner) was quirky. The Prius *was* quirky, but now it's mainstream.  The Yaris? It looks like a reject from the Dig Dug arcade game. Nissan's LEAF? Juke? I used to like Nissan's designs. Not so much. It just looks that automakers are forcing a "quirky" look, making all the cars the same- ugly. I love Audi cars. Look at the line-up. They all share common lines and looks. BMW, similar. Ford SUVs as well. Automakers need to pare down the designs and build the "look" of the nameplate.

Basically stop making ugly entry cars. There should never be another Aveo, Fiesta, Sonic, Yaris.  There's nothing wrong with building an attractive econo-box. Volkswagen's been doing it for years.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Put the lotion in the basket."

There are two kinds of people that you need to surround yourself with: People that pay you, and people that cost you. Ideally, more people should pay you rather than cost you.

People that pay you
I'm not talking about pure monetary transactions, but rather the ability for people to pay you intellectually, emotionally, and physically (and any other **-ally characteristic). That means someone who pays you in information (no, the Internet does not count), like someone who mentors and guides your life and career.
People that pay you in emotions are those that support and guide you. They are the good friends, best friends, and those that you enjoy having fun with.
Physical payers are those that help your physical needs like work out partners, spouses, inspirational people.
Identify those that pay you, and spend more time with them.

People that cost you
People that cost you are the ones you spend giving out your information, emotions, and the like. These are the people you help build up and create. They also include the ones that can drain you. Those that cost are also anoynomous in nature. Meaning you may not know who is costing you directly. Samples of these people include trash-talking Internet users- those that get you worked up on Facebook, YouTube, or message boards. Or in my case, idiot drivers.
Look at those around you, and see who costs you the most. You want to limit your obligation to protect the pay/cost benefits.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stupid is as stupid does

Of the news stories I've had the unfortunate occurrence to read/skim, here's my synopsis/one-line recall:

TSA idiot throws coffee at pilot who asked her to mind her language and the N-word.
Toddler drowns in washing machine when mom leaves it for a second.
Multiple traffic violator mother of 3 arrested when texting and hold a baby while driving.
Multiple stories of fast-food rage where the obese "customer" charges an employee, jumps over the counter, or drives their vehicle through the restaurant, just because the eatery is out of chicken nuggets or something just as retarded.
Horrible, horrible decisions made from unfortunate adult advertisements posted on Craigslist.

What I want to know is: What the NERFHERDER is wrong with people? Are they truly that stupid, or has the information age pulled the curtain back, exposing us to the stupidity our society is capable of?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Drivers make me want to punch a bunny.

Why are there people that can't figure out how to drive? It isn't that hard once you have a few years of driving under your belt.

An old man in an Audi A8 takes a wide left, moving from the inside lane to the outside lane on a two-lane left turn lane. No signal, no look, nothing.

Teenage girl moves into the far right lane over a solid white line where the new lane is. Nevermind the fact it's my lane, and I'm there. She doesn't check and crosses right over, and I had to slam on the brakes. If I had an old crappy car, I would've let her crush the front end of my car and promptly flip her on her lid.

More often than not, in my experience, crappy drivers aren't always driving crappy cars. They have nice ones. The new Acura TSX/TL/MDX, Mercedes Benz SUVs, BMW 5/7 series, etc. I've come to expect crappy cars will be driven horribly, because they're crappy cars. But with nice luxury cars I've never expected to have horrible drivers. But now I do.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A favorite quote of mine

"Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.." - Ian Malcom, Jurassic Park

I love this phrase from Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. In context, a mathmatician (or chaostician, if Ian had anything to say about it) argues that scientific power requires no strong disciple for using that power, just because it's available. To apply it to today's standards, sure, you can definitely post that video of last week's party on Facebook and YouTube, but should you?

That's an example of gross oversimplication, because the should/could argument can apply to very complex decisions. And it's something that is grounded in some morality, not just pure discovery. Just because we have the technology, ability, and knowledge, to create something, that does not mean it's something that should be done. Our goals, morals, and laws dictate the should/could decision. In absence of laws, our own morality will provide direction.

I've often thought of many things that fall in the should/could bucket. I've been involved with should/could decisions. Inside me I knew what the right choice was, even though others around me didn't. Too many people focus on the "we could" because it can be new, thrilling, and something "no one's done before!" Perhaps no one has done it before because it's not something that should be done.