Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 08, 2016, 12:09:43 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread  (Read 10745 times)

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2012, 01:56:48 PM »
Storms like this tend to bring out the best in some people and the worst in others.

There was stories of people having their generators stolen before the storm even hit, and sightings of Craigslist ads selling generators worth about $500 new, jacked up to as much as $2000. Also stories about criminals posing as utility workers, knocking on people's doors, tricking them into letting them in and then robbing them.

There is a local curfew here, to help prevent looting and robberies.

They DID give preferential treatment when restoring power to various neighborhoods around here, and continue to, but for VERY GOOD reasons. They restored parts of towns that were considered more important than others. Anybody that lived very close to a hospital were among the first to get their power restored. Hospitals have backup generators, but they can't run them forever. They were given top priority to get them back on the grid. This was followed by major chain drug stores, where people need to fill vital prescriptions, like Wallgreens (which also sells food, batteries, candles, ice, etc.), then supermarkets, some gas stations, convenience stores like 7-11, Quick Check, libraries (they have internet, too), etc. Residential service in general isn't a priority, and only gets restored as a result of something else important in the neighborhood needing to be restored.

The poorest of the poor were kind of taken care of before the storm hit. Most church run food pantries in my area were giving out bags of canned goods and other nonperishables, the weekend before the storm hit.

Another thing that seems to be popular here is businesses with power advertising the fact and allowing people to come in and charge their laptops and cell phones, for free. In addition to Wallgreens doing it (no purchase necessary), there is a nearby Thai restaurant telling people to come on in and charge their electronics, while they enjoy their meal.

Wallgreens had a "buy one, get one free" sale on big jar candles, as soon as they could open again.

And if the power outage continued longer, I would have found myself cooking 10 lbs of chicken legs and sharing the leftovers with my neighbors in my building, due to not being able to properly store them without electricity.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2012, 02:21:03 PM »
They DID give preferential treatment when restoring power to various neighborhoods around here, and continue to, but for VERY GOOD reasons. They restored parts of towns that were considered more important than others.

As did our local utility here despite the allegations of one toady mayor.

There is a fundamental difference between setting priorities and what is irresponsibly referred to as "discriminatory" behavior.

Unfortunately, in our current "gimmee" culture, some people will routinely have trouble understanding the difference.

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2012, 02:27:42 PM »
Unfortunately, in our current "gimmee" culture, some people will routinely have trouble understanding the difference.

And that falls right into what I said about bringing out the best in some people and the worst in others.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,406
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2012, 02:39:20 PM »
Unfortunately, in our current "gimmee" culture, some people will routinely have trouble understanding the difference.

And that falls right into what I said about bringing out the best in some people and the worst in others.

Very much so. And glad to see that you and 40 are back online and ok.  :Thmbsup:

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 09:04:55 PM »
Ok...these are the three last things I want to say about Hurricane Sandy in CT:

KeystoneKops.jpg

1. We still ain't ready worth a damn.

Despite assurances by those in power, and tens of billions spent on "preparedness" and "homeland security." the Northeastern United States still remains unable to effectively deal with even a moderate regional emergency. I shudder to think what a repeat of a natural disaster on the scale of Katrina would do to this area.




vogun.jpg

2. Voluntarism during emergencies may become a thing of the past.

After hearing about the plight of the elderly people who were being sheltered in her town's Senior Center, my sister thought it might be nice to bring them some homemade cookies since she (to her amazement) had power restored while most of her town was still out. She got up at 6:00am and spent a few hours making over six dozen cookies, which she then brought over to the Senior Center. However, when she got there, the prissy town bureaucrat in charge declined to accept them - or let her hand them out - because the shelter was "dealing with the general public" and my sister's cookies were "privately made."

She then unhelpfully suggested my sister bring them over to the volunteer fire department building about a mile away. "They'll probably take them," she was told. So my sister did - only to find the firehouse locked up - and nobody home.

This afternoon, she and I consumed about two dozen of her cookies while we talked about her morning over a pot of coffee.

My sister's conclusion: "Never again." :-\



john-hurt-sutler-warner-bros-pictures-v-vendetta-605755.jpg

3. You can't expect rational or responsible behavior from some elected officials when the chips are down.

Read this story about how utility crews were being subjected to abuse in the wake of a city mayor accusing the utility of having a policy to restore power to the "wealthier" surrounding communities ahead of the "poorer people" in his city.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:19:40 PM by 40hz »

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2012, 10:01:10 PM »
1. We still ain't ready worth a damn.


Seems to me that there are a few areas that contribute to the problem. The major 2 that I see are the way society is structured (e.g. How can you possibly prepare much when you live in a rathole apartment building?), and people not preparing (in large part because of the structure of society). The reliance on "the state" to take care of people is pretty much delusional.


2. Voluntarism during emergencies may become a thing of the past.


I hope not. But this points out "state worship" and how people expect the state to "take care of them". Of course YOU can't take care of yourself. Only the state can! Cookies? They're not good enough unless they were purchased with money stolen taxed from honest people and came from a factory using the cheapest possible ingredients available...


3. You can't expect rational or responsible behavior from some elected officials when the chips are down.


Sigh... Yep. Unless you count them "not letting a good crisis go to waste" as rational or responsible. :(
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

vrgrrl

  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2012, 10:13:34 PM »
We just went out of state to Michigan for the weekend -- we are still without power as of this morning. Our power company says that we *may* get power back by the 15th...or the 11th...or the 15th...we are in one of those little towns on the Hudson in the NYC suburbs that is likely last on the list of importance. I really don't want to go back to no power but I'm afraid that's what we're looking at...

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2012, 07:48:40 AM »
@Ren - re: above prediction - you nailed it I think.  ;D

http://thetimes-trib...artial-law-1.1396770

:(

Even the thought...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2012, 09:54:14 AM »
@Ren - re: above prediction - you nailed it I think.  ;D
http://thetimes-trib...artial-law-1.1396770
:(
Even the thought...

Good for the mayor having a grip. That's almost a fourth tier in our "let's take away civil rights" theme, "police need all that unlimited power to keep you safe in the storm!" I'll say I never expected that even to be a proto-meme.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2012, 01:34:07 PM »
The reliance on "the state" to take care of people is pretty much delusional.

Misguided perhaps. But hardly delusional. Unless they've successfully lowered the public's expectations to the point of where they are now willing to accept such BS as the norm.

I don't.

I demand better, call out their self-serving nonsense for what it is,  and keep pushing for reform.

Like the man says - "If you can't take the heat..."

Nobody is ever forced to run for public office. Or remain in one for that matter.

So I really don't see why we need, for one single minute, to buy into childish or arrogant excuses.

Demand better. Or expect to get what you didn't ask for. :Thmbsup:

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2012, 01:50:34 PM »
Because it takes too much effort to bust every single flaw the pol's produce. We shouldn't have to audit every line our politicians say. That's already the wrong path.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2012, 02:27:24 PM »
Because it takes too much effort to bust every single flaw the pol's produce. We shouldn't have to audit every line our politicians say. That's already the wrong path.

Gotta start somewhere.

The perfect solution is the enemy of a good solution.

My personal approach is to shoot for a 10-15% improvement with each confrontation. That often confuses the opposition (who has by now grown lazy and timid) because they thought they were holding a sinecure rather than an office. Small battles also prevent too much push-back from occurring since that crowd will usually be willing to let something go rather than have to get up and do something. But only as long as they don't feel like too much is being conceded or given up.

So shoot for 10%. Then lock in the gain. Then wait a bit and repeat the process. You often need to wash and rinse a few times before you'll get something really clean. Politics is no different than any other form of dirty laundry in that respect.

By the time they realize what your ultimate game plan is (and really start fighting back) they've already given up enough to have seriously weakened their position. Think artillery barrage first - then send in the marines.

 ;) 8)

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2012, 04:25:40 PM »
Well, martial law has been declared on the barrier islands of NJ. They are not letting any home owners onto the islands and the National Guard is assisting in a door to door search for survivors and those that were reported missing.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,141
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2012, 08:04:25 PM »
^^
Quote
The solicitation was amended less than four hours later for providers to provide a quote of four million meals, preferably of the self-heating variety.


Meanwhile, goodwill from regular people is rejected at nursing homes...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2012, 08:23:28 PM »
^^
Quote
The solicitation was amended less than four hours later for providers to provide a quote of four million meals, preferably of the self-heating variety.


Meanwhile, goodwill from regular people is rejected at nursing homes...

And senior centers. ;)

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2012, 10:06:47 PM »
And senior centers. ;)

Ooops. That too.  :-[
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,141
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2012, 07:23:15 PM »
...Meanwhile, goodwill from regular people is rejected at nursing homes...
Yes, but that's not the point. The point seems to be that the State (in the shape of FEMA) will provide disaster relief processes, and the relief itself, or whatever is required in such circumstances.
Good will  - e.g., (say) gifts of tea, biscuits and sympathy - would thus be unnecessary and is to be discouraged. It is not a part of the process and will only confuse the heck out of an otherwise orderly management of things in the midst of chaos.
If the disaster relief - e.g., food - arrived too late such that some people starve to death or become ill before it arrives, then that would be unfortunate.
EDIT 2012-11-07: [/sarc]
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 02:23:15 PM by IainB, Reason: Added [/sarc] »

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2012, 08:06:55 PM »
The point seems to be that the State (in the shape of FEMA) will provide disaster relief processes, and the relief itself, or whatever is required in such circumstances.

That's not the point I get at all living here and seeing FEMA in action.

In the case of NY/NJ I think this particular RFQ was very specifically tailored to make it impossible for anybody other than a previously selected vendor to be able to qualify for the contract. This is how our government sometimes gets around those pesky "open for competitive bid' rules.

MREs are not usually consumed by the American public. And you won't find them except in specialty stores that cater to the survivalist and wilderness expedition trade. So there are relatively few companies that make them. And fewer still that could provide them quickly in multi-million unit quantities.

Maybe this is to help clear out inventory for whoever was providing meals for the US military now that the Iraq/Afghanistan fiasco is winding down. (Wouldn't want them to get stuck with "dead inventory" would we?)

That said, it's encouraging that somebody has at least thought about feeding very large numbers of US citizens on short notice following a disaster. Because our track record has been pretty spotty on that score. Imperfect as this current action by FEMA may be, it's still a small step in the right direction.

It is not a part of the process and will only confuse the heck out of an otherwise orderly management of things in the midst of chaos.

FWIW, FEMA has seldom been very effective during the most critical early stages of disaster relief. They're much more effective in arranging loans for rebuilding after the body bags and portatoilets have been removed and electricity has been restored.

Maybe it's different in other parts of the world, but based on the natural disasters I've lived through, there is little "orderly management" in evidence during most US relief efforts. And most of the truly effective relief actions always seem to come more from private and small local government efforts than they do from behemoths like FEMA.

If the disaster relief - e.g., food - arrived too late such that some people starve to death or become ill before it arrives, then that would be unfortunate.

Um...it would be quite a bit more than "unfortunate." Something like that would be utterly unacceptable to the American public. To say nothing of it being political suicide for whoever was in charge were something like that to happen.

It's often been said the George Bush Sr. lost any hope for reelection due the tardy and disorganized mobilization of relief efforts following Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

I tend to agree.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 08:30:02 PM by 40hz »

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2012, 10:04:42 PM »
Not only Andrew, but Katrina as well.
They should have ordered emergency supplies before it hit.
It's not like they didn't see it coming.
Louisiana, for the most part, knew they would not get much real help.

http://earthobservat...6&src=eorss-iotd

idiots are blind by choice

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2012, 07:07:34 AM »
The MRE thing reminds me of MRUs, but also of a serious problem with how society is currently structured...

In the 1980's, we had all kinds of bothersome business intellectuals blathering on about "just in time" manufacturing and warehousing and all kinds of stuff. Great. Now we have a situation where if there is any kind of a hiccup in the system, everything shuts down. No reserves. No stockpiles. Not enough to last more than a few hours/days. Brilliant. Well done. We've thrown out the idea that the little squirrel was probably pretty smart when he stockpiled food for the winter, and decided that the squirrel is wasting valuable storage space that could be rented out for paper money that's worth less than what it is printed on. It's a systemic problem. My description there is of a symptom of the problem - it is not the problem itself - so I'm not interested in debating warehousing and logistics strategies - just a quick note there so that the problem doesn't get derailed because of the symptom. (I've not outlined the problem yet - and won't -- it's too time consuming at the moment.)

Then, we have people crammed into tiny subsections of tall boxes. There's zero chance of any of these people being able to feed themselves - they are reliant on a system that continues to show its cracks - they are reliant on that cracked system to feed and clothe them. Even if they are capable otherwise, they don't have access to the resources to do so, i.e. land/space/water/etc. (I just know someone is going to freak out about this... BTW - that was a fallacy > +1 point if you can identify and name it.)

Then, we have government telling us that if you have enough food in your house to last more than 1 week, you're a terrorist.



http://feralgenius.b...even-days-worth.html

Lots more references out there for that. I picked 2 at random.

Everything is stacked against people.

That is, unless you want to look into "prepping" or "preppers".


So, we have a society that is geared towards ensuring that people cannot be prepared for a natural disaster, and we have the economy geared towards ensuring that business cannot be prepared for a natural disaster...

And now we're left to rely on the "state"?

Am I alone in seeing this as completely insane?

Or have I not been detailed enough? (I'm being pretty lazy there - hoping people can fill in the blanks intelligently (another fallacy there > +1 more if you can identify and name it) on their own.)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,141
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2012, 02:30:10 PM »
@40hz: Sorry. I just edited my last comment with the addition of [/sarc] ("sarc off").

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2012, 04:21:08 PM »
@40hz: Sorry. I just edited my last comment with the addition of [/sarc] ("sarc off").

@IainB: No offense taken previously. No apology needed now.  :)
My responses were more to clarify the way things actually work around here to someone who might not know. None of that was said to take issue with your comment.

I think we all know you better than that.  :Thmbsup:

skwire

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,668
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2012, 07:59:14 PM »
"In contrast to Hazel, however, Sandy was not as strong a hurricane."

Technically, to be proper English, it's missing an "of": "In contrast to Hazel, however, Sandy was not as strong of a hurricane."

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,141
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Hurricane Sandy Discussion Thread
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2012, 09:27:51 PM »
@Renegade: I think your comments point to things that, when looked at impartially, though they may seem to be part of a kind of societal madness, are arguably more likely to have their roots set firmly in what appears to have been socially acceptable practice.
To explain, I have taken the liberty of chopping your comments into what seemed to me like relevant sections, so that I could state my ten penn'orth:
1. Stock in hand: In the 1980's, we had all kinds of bothersome business intellectuals blathering on about "just in time" manufacturing and warehousing and all kinds of stuff. Great. Now we have a situation where if there is any kind of a hiccup in the system, everything shuts down. No reserves. No stockpiles.
2. Urbanisation: Then, we have people crammed into tiny subsections of tall boxes.
3. Silliness: Then, we have government telling us that if you have enough food in your house to last more than 1 week, you're a terrorist.
Everything is stacked against people.
That is, unless you want to look into "prepping" or "preppers".
4. Economic externality: So, we have a society that is geared towards ensuring that people cannot be prepared for a natural disaster, and we have the economy geared towards ensuring that business cannot be prepared for a natural disaster...
And now we're left to rely on the "state"?
My explanation:
1. Stock in hand: In accounting for manufacturing, when you hold a stock of something (e.g., stocks of nuts and bolts to be used in an assembly line), it is accounted for in the books of account as an Asset. Stocks are unproductive assets - locked up financial value - waiting to be put to productive use. Cost-efficiency (and profitability) dictates that you maintain stock levels as efficiently as possible, so you must avoid over-stocking, as this could directly affect financial liquidity and actual interest or notional use-of-money costs. The foreman's experience and queuing theory would generally help to determine what stock levels you need to maintain to be able to meet production deadlines/throughput, without having production delays - e.g., if you run empty of the stock and have to stop production whilst you wait for new stocks to be ordered and delivered. So you must not under-stock either, as this will adversely and directly affect revenue/profitability.
Stock control software thus relies on the sophisticated application of good stochastic method and even LP (linear programming) to solve the complex problem of optimising stocks for dual objectives - cost-effectiveness and production effectiveness. Tricky.

As I recall it, JIT or "Just In Time" manufacturing was somehow going to magically fix this. It came out of a theoretically ideal concept of automated manufacturing "cells", which modular concept I first came across in 1980 whilst working at CDC on CAD/CAM and NC software developments. The idea of these "cells" was that if you decomposed your production processes to the state where you had production/process cells that did just one or two things, each having an input end (manufacturing materials input) and an output end (manufactured materials produced), then by arranging them appropriately you could get a series of them to produce (say) sausages, and then by rearranging them differently you might have them producing (say) aircraft.
The concept relied on inputs arriving just at the appropriate time they were required for inclusion in the manufacturing process in each cell, thereby eliminating the need for stocking the materials (this was a theoretical ideal, remember).

The concept worked fine in practice in the case of the automation of the flow/control of electrons - as in transistorised circuitry components - e.g., a very useful cell was/is the 555 timer that is to be found in practically any electronic circuit that you come across.
However, the concept did not seem to work terribly well in other cases, and no-one quite knew why. Even if they didn't (couldn't) understand what it really meant, the term "JIT" became a shibboleth that management had to use in every 5th sentence they spoke or wrote, just so that their colleagues would recognise that they were on "their" team. If you didn't use the term, you must be on the "others' " side - not one of "the management team", anyway. It became a necessary term for protective colouration and survival in management. It thus became a management cliché (BS, buzzword), similar to "going forward", "whitespace", "synergistic", "level playing field", "go-to", "vision", "mission", "engagement", etc. Use of such terms in management is mandated for self-survival.

It was about this time (early '80s) that the US seemed to be belatedly recognising their own prophet W.E. Deming, having studiously ignored him for some 20 years previously whilst at the same time praising and marvelling at Japanese manufacturing's prodigious productive efficiency and marketing success (which, hilariously the Japanese manufacturers and engineers have always publicly ascribed to Deming's teachings!). The exemplary dogmatism and intellectual deafness of US business management schools and their inability to learn new things was - and still seems to be - egregious, with Harvard Business School arguably being there steadfastly leading the way back into darkness, most of the time.

Deming's process management approach (which was based on W.A. Shewhart's earlier work on statistical control methods) was quite coincidentally topped-off by a timely bit of what initially seemed to be unrelated theory - Humphrey's Capability Maturity Model (CMM) (click link to view .PDF file about this). The CMM was described in the book Managing the Software Process (1989). The CMM was conceived by Watts Humphrey, who based it on the earlier work of Phil Crosby. Active development of the model by the SEI (US Dept. of Defence Software Engineering Institute) began in 1986. What the CMM gave was a general model for process capability maturity, and it dovetails beautifully with Deming's work (e.g., Deming's process control chart, the PDSA cycle, and his 14-point philosophy).

So, where you say:
Quote
In the 1980's, we had all kinds of bothersome business intellectuals blathering on about "just in time" manufacturing and warehousing and all kinds of stuff. Great. Now we have a situation where if there is any kind of a hiccup in the system, everything shuts down. No reserves. No stockpiles.
- you are describing the reality of institutionalised ignorance of the worst kind - self-inflicted ignorance. That is, we have the full knowledge of how to set up and run all and any of our processes for optimum results, but that knowledge has not been passed on (or taught) to members of society. There are apparently some philosophical and not-invented-here reasons for this, but that could be another discussion in itself.
_______________________________________

2. Urbanisation:
Quote
Then, we have people crammed into tiny subsections of tall boxes.
Yes we do, and I gather that censuses show that the urbanised population on the planet numbers larger than the rural population. It used to be the opposite, but that all started to change when the migration from rural areas commenced during the British Industrial Revolution. Now it seems to be largely unavoidable, planetwide. We'll have to adapt to living like this, and I think the evidence is that we have done/are doing quite well in that regard. In the UK and the US they have demonstrated some egregious mistakes/lessons in city planning since the '60s at least, though the UK arguably learned from those lessons and leapfrogged those problems when the plan for the new city of Milton Keynes was drawn up, with council/State housing even embodying the Parker Morris 1961 minimum space standards (per the 1961 government report titled Homes for Today and Tomorrow and more commonly known as the Parker Morris standards).
The message here is that we have long held the knowledge to plan and design for pleasant human habitation. Whether we do so plan is another matter.
_______________________________________

3. Silliness:
Quote
Then, we have government telling us that if you have enough food in your house to last more than 1 week, you're a terrorist.
Everything is stacked against people.
That is, unless you want to look into "prepping" or "preppers".
If we treat it as given (from the foregoing) that commercial processes are generally likely to be relatively efficient because of the necessary commercial focus on cost-efficiency + production efficiency, then this silliness would seem to be the product of variously inefficient or broken processes operated by the State - i.e., including State and commercial processes that are governed/mandated by statutory/regulatory dictates that are subject to the law of unintended consequences. For example, if you have a government policy of "green energy" that subsidises investement in and building of wind-farm power generation, then you are going to kill an awful lot of fauna (birds and insects), reduce the average cost-efficiency of national power generation, and increase the national/local cost/price of electricity (QED). Oops. We might say that we wouldn't want/expect that all to happen, but it is so obvious and predictable an outcome (and environmentalists and others had been telling us these things all along)  that you might think that only an imbecile would go ahead with it. Oh, but wait...

I would suggest that it's not deliberately "stacked against the people" for it's own sake, so much as the people are the natural and only host to society's parasites - people in government and commercial. It's an economic reality. The fast buck has to be made by someone and extracted from someone else, and it is the consumer/taxpayer who ultimately pays for anything and everything - i.e., the good things and the cockups. Who else could pay? Just as human ignorance/stupidity/greed is the norm, State ignorance/stupidity/greed and corruption is rife and exists in a self-perpetuating cycle, and thus is - and has to be - funded by the consumer/taxpayer.
Presumably, the "preppers" are people who want to extricate themselves from dependency/reliance on the cycle of silliness and ripoff, so that they can peacefully survive the corrupt idiots and their idiotic plans, regardless. But prepping behaviour doesn't necessarily help to fund/perpetuate the lucrative cycle and may even put it at risk, so neither the State nor commercial interests would really want that to happen. Best make it illegal, but if you do, then make it look like it could have been a silly administrative error - but incredibly difficult to reverse now - just in case there's any blowback from their sheeple hosts. The latter will go back to sleep eventually and adapt to it as the new status quo.

_______________________________________

4. Economic externalities:
Quote
So, we have a society that is geared towards ensuring that people cannot be prepared for a natural disaster, and we have the economy geared towards ensuring that business cannot be prepared for a natural disaster...
And now we're left to rely on the "state"?
If a disaster is man-made by a commercial organisation - e.g., environmental pollution - then that is usually regarded as an "externality" by the commercial organisation, and very often the costs for clearing the mess up are regarded as society's costs, the commercial operation not accepting responsibility. The taxpayer pays.
The State has no such opportunity to pass on its responsibility for some man-made disaster or aggravation of a disaster that it may have caused. Nevertheless, the outcome is the same -  the costs for clearing the mess up are to society's cost. The taxpayer pays.
 
Regardless, any commercial processes will generally tend to be relatively cost-effective and efficient (as above), but the State-run/managed processes not so much so. If there was profit to be made from being "prepared for a natural disaster", then there would be commercial processes that did that, but civil preparedness - for aggression or defence (war), or for man-made or natural disaster - is traditionally the domain of the State. If the State started to privatise some of these functions/processes, then it might be abrogating the absolute control that it currently wields. So it's not likely to happen.
_______________________________________

On the latter point, I was very impressed with the political astuteness and adroitness demonstrated by the mayor of NY (Bloomberg) when he scored a double-whammy out of the political opportunity presented by Hurricane Sandy. Any responsibility for failure to mitigate the damage or failure to address the humanitarian issues or clear up properly was successfully externalised. You see, the hurricane was an unprecedented event which could thus not have been planned for, and was attributable to CAGW, which Obama had shown he was the Man for sorting out, having promised to push back sea-levels, or something.
This was nothing short of politically brilliant IMHO - albeit cynical and despite crawling with logical fallacy/irrationality:
  • (a) Absolutely no blame could be attributable to NY or other civil defence measures or apparent deficiency thereof.
  • (b) What it necessitated was Guvvermint attention (he passed the buck!), and Obama was the Man - he would address this dreadful and pressing CAGW issue but only if he were voted back into office for another term.
  • (c) Panders to the imagination and/or ideology of the CAGW proponents (all voters).
  • (d) Detracts from the stance of Obama's contenders (whose disappointed supporters could be potential votes for Obama).

I'm a Bloomberg fan now.  I reckon he's even Teflon-coated!   :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 10:02:47 PM by IainB, Reason: Typo corrections. »