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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 12-19-2016   #81
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No, I don't think so. A bigger supermarket usually offers a wider choice of better and fresher groceries at lower prices. Small shops have higher (proportional) overheads, and the specialist shops -- the butchers, dairies, sweet-shops, newsagents, tobacconists -- that I remember from my childhood 60 years ago rely even more than supermarkets on being accessible to a reasonably large number of people: not just a few hundred (or fewer) in a village. The same is even more true of cutlers, saddlers, kitchenware shops, perfumiers, or even accountants.
You're right, the large supermarkets have the lower prices, and the fresher products, but there's something I forgot to mention; additional parts of the dilemma are:

a) the often definitely (too) low wages that the employees of these large groceries usually earn; and

b) the often embarrassing tax privileges for the large chains (particularly in EU if they're multinational companies).
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Future
Old 12-19-2016   #82
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Dear Tom,

That was pretty much my point. But 20 years isn't really all that long: a quarter of a full lifetime, maybe. Certainly if I think back to 1996 it doesn't seem all that long ago.

NOW is the time to start thinking about future solutions, rather than coming up with some sort of panic reaction when when the midden hits the windmill. There WILL come a crisis, and panicky knee-jerks are the common currency of politics.

Cheers,

R.
Agreed on that Roger, as the clichéd phrase calls "the future is now".

Who'd say, just 10 years ago, that a little slab portraying the name of phone is actually a dozen devices from then crammed into one. Granted most of the examples involve telecommunications and electronics, but we routinely use or see things that even a decade ago were future material.

I've been doing a thought excercise about some locations and their past history, we do have many intact towns where not much changed in decades and/or centuries. I live beside a castle. Sometimes we think that antecessors had/were something different but they also walked the very same streets.
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Old 12-19-2016   #83
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Agreed on that Roger, as the clichéd phrase calls "the future is now".

Who'd say, just 10 years ago, that a little slab portraying the name of phone is actually a dozen devices from then crammed into one.
The smartphone was not really all that new when it grew popular. Sure, smartphones got smaller and more powerful, but I've been walking around with the basic concept for something like 21 years now - from a (still DOS operated) HP 200LX and wireless modem in 1995 over a variety of Symbian phones to the (prototype "Internet Tablet") Nokia 770 in 2005.

And transportation is not that much different - the writing on the wall has been visible for many years, whether it is proposals (e.g. in California or Germany) to ban the sale of combustion motors, or all the big money in the internet (Google, Elon Musk and the like) betting their money on novel public transport, electric cars and car sharing.
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Old 12-19-2016   #84
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Dear Drew,

Sure, 2-5 minutes. But how about half an hour or more? There are fewer than 1000 people in the village in which I live, and we're one of the bigger ones around here, with shops, a school, a medical centre: we might have just enough people, and be enough of a hub or magnet, to allow the model of summoning autonomous cars.

But some villages are 300 or fewer, and that's before you get to the hamlets of under 20 people or the maisons isolées (houses on their own in the countryside).

Cheers,

R.
You just gave the exact reason, why a universal 12mph speed limit would not be applicable. It's the same.
And if you only want the 12mph to be enforced in special places (like crowded downtowns), it's the same way applicable to autonomous cars (=only use the shared autonomous cars in crowded downtowns while people wold still drive their normal car if then are in a "maison isolette"
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Old 12-19-2016   #85
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Originally Posted by sevo View Post
The smartphone was not really all that new when it grew popular. Sure, smartphones got smaller and more powerful, but I've been walking around with the basic concept for something like 21 years now - from a (still DOS operated) HP 200LX and wireless modem in 1995 over a variety of Symbian phones to the (prototype "Internet Tablet") Nokia 770 in 2005.

And transportation is not that much different - the writing on the wall has been visible for many years, whether it is proposals (e.g. in California or Germany) to ban the sale of combustion motors, or all the big money in the internet (Google, Elon Musk and the like) betting their money on novel public transport, electric cars and car sharing.
I guess it's the right time to quote Prof. Mazzucato:

«Something like the iPhone would never have existed without the state, because all the technologies used in it derive from publicly financed research
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Old 12-19-2016   #86
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Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
You just gave the exact reason, why a universal 12mph speed limit would not be applicable. It's the same.
And if you only want the 12mph to be enforced in special places (like crowded downtowns), it's the same way applicable to autonomous cars (=only use the shared autonomous cars in crowded downtowns while people wold still drive their normal car if then are in a "maison isolette"
All fair enough, but my point was this:

The 12 mph limit is not a lot more impractical than the current scenario, and indeed is probably more sustainable in the long term. It could (just about) be made to work as a universal limit on a surprisingly short time-scale: 10-20 years.

The best approach is to start with the most extreme example, and then chip away at it. This is however the exact opposite of the approach adopted by most people, which is to make the minimum possible changes, usually too little and too late.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-19-2016   #87
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. . . , we do have many intact towns where not much changed in decades and/or centuries. I live beside a castle. Sometimes we think that antecessors had/were something different but they also walked the very same streets.
Yes, but even so our towns and villages have changed, and often quite a lot, as I note in "Small Livings". My own house was once two small cottages, homes to the servants who worked in the big house next door (now the Mairie or town hall). Probably, the people who lived in them raised many children in each house: no contraception, and good Catholics. The oldest parts of my house, or at least the oldest outbuildings, are probably at least 500 years old.

There are a few new buildings (<50 years) in the centre of the village, and even a few very new ones (<10 years) a few score metres from the main street: the new school buildings (behind the old one) and the medical centre (behind that again). But most are at least 100 years old. They have endlessly been repurposed and, to a greater or lesser degree, rebuilt. The fact that plenty of the old buildings are still there, such as the castle (1000 years) and the church (maybe 800 years) should not blind us to these changes.

You may find this story entertaining: a time-jump of just 300 years to 2015, in the very same house as the time traveller knew in 1715.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-19-2016   #88
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The article contains the typical logic of an eco terrorist. An eco terrorist is a person that tries to terrorize others with his ecological believes.
I'm not sure that's how terrorism works.

In any event, even a lazy cyclist on an old three-speed, like myself, can average over 12mph in city traffic, so I don't think avid cyclists would go for a 12mph limit either. In fact, it would be a rather inefficient speed for a cyclist.

For that matter, 12mph would be an even less efficient speed for cars to operate at. It would be environmentally disadvantageous to operate (independently powered) motor vehicles at such low speeds.

Flip side:
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Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
I must disagree, dear Roger.

Tom's «vernacular» usage of «Terror», «Terrorismus», «terrorisieren» etc. is political, too: it's a very dangerous belittlement of the true meaning.
Words have no intrinsic meaning, only an agreed upon meaning. You can't belittle the "true" meaning of a word, because it has none. This is why different languages use different words as symbols representing the same actual objects. Whatever meaning a given group assigns a particular symbol becomes that symbol's meaning. This changes whenever a given group decides it does.

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Dear Drew,

If private vehicles were eliminated or greatly reduced in favor of ride services it wouldn't take long for the cost of the ride service to exceed the cost of owning a privately owned vehicle.
This of course assumes that there'd be little to no competition between different providers of these services. With private cars out the picture and off the streets, I'd think there'd be plenty of room for competition. There certainly was in the heyday of streetcars, elevated railways, subways, etc. The private car didn't win out because it was cheaper, but because it was more convenient.

Street railways incidentally, set up their own demise, as well as paved the way for the automobile and the mass migration to the suburbs. Many streetcar lines were set up to sell land, a line was was laid down to some vacant lots just outside the city, people bought the land, built houses, and the line was then absorbed by the city's street railway. However, in the event the line wasn't bought out, it was usually run until dilapidated and then abandoned, leaving a suburb without transportation to the inner city. This was an incredibly common occurrence in the U.S. where such lines were under capitalized, and built with the expectation that somebody else would eventually buy the line and run it once the suburb was established. When these schemes fell through, as they often did, people turned to the automobile.

When the automobile caught on, traffic increased, and cities turned to one way streets to control it. If your streetcar company happened to operate on a street that was now one-way, you now had to relocate the rails and wires, which is not cheap (on top of that, many cities required companies to pay for any streets they had rail on, and car owners used those streets for free, so not really fair to begin with). Most just scrapped the system, bought buses and reduced service. Reduced service meant more people bought cars, and public transport spiraled into oblivion in the U.S. (and many other places) after WWII. This is largely why Americans have had such poor systems in living memory, and consequently such poor attitudes about public transport.

I think it's a certainty that public transport systems will grow increasingly important, very quickly, very soon. We don't really have much in the way of an alternative at this point. The automobile as we've known it for the past few decades is practically played out.
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Old 12-19-2016   #89
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Sorry, that's utter nonsense; or «vernacular», to be very polite.

Factual is, the German language adopted the words in question in the 18th century, and already then they meant quite the same as today: It was and is a political term.

cf.: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror
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Words have no intrinsic meaning, only an agreed upon meaning. You can't belittle the "true" meaning of a word, because it has none. This is why different languages use different words as symbols representing the same actual objects. Whatever meaning a given group assigns a particular symbol becomes that symbol's meaning. This changes whenever a given group decides it does.
What a crude theory. Where does this come from? (If from a serious linguist, then you didn't realise that also linguists sometimes are satirical.)

Tuna, did you even bother to look up a German dictionary before you stick out your neck?
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Old 12-19-2016   #90
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Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
What a crude theory. Where does this come from? (If from a serious linguist, then you didn't realise that also linguists sometimes are satirical.)

Tuna, did you even bother to look up a German dictionary before you stick out your neck?
Semiotics.

Look it up, Einstein.
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Old 12-19-2016   #91
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This of course assumes that there'd be little to no competition between different providers of these services. With private cars out the picture and off the streets, I'd think there'd be plenty of room for competition. There certainly was in the heyday of streetcars, elevated railways, subways, etc. The private car didn't win out because it was cheaper, but because it was more convenient.
Good grief!
Are you actually trying to convince us — I mean: are you honestly believing — that there are no price-riggings happening in the U.S.A., day by day?
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Old 12-19-2016   #92
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Good grief!
Are you actually trying to convince us — I mean: are you honestly believing — that there are no price-riggings happening in the U.S.A., day by day?
Is that how you're reading it? Amusing.
I was just making an observation regarding the history of competition between rival mass transit companies.

Ridi(c)ulous_cam, did you even bother to look up a history of Colorado street railways before you stick out your neck?
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Old 12-19-2016   #93
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Is that how you're reading it? Amusing.
I was just making an observation regarding the history of competition between rival mass transit companies.

Ridi(c)ulous_cam*, did you even bother to look up a history of Colorado street railways before you stick out your neck?
You didn't mention «Colorado» previously, did you?

Ah, I forgot, you're Texan. «Don't Mess With Texas», isn't it?

(People won't see who's the Texan, or something like that...)

* reported
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Old 12-19-2016   #94
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Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
You didn't mention «Colorado» previously, did you?

Ah, I forgot, you're Texan. «Don't Mess With Texas», isn't it?

(People won't see who's the Texan, or something like that...)

* reported
You sure are quick to go off topic when you get out of your depth.

Cheers.

PS: I'll kindly refrain from any further participation in these childish non-sequiturs.

Last edited by tunalegs : 12-19-2016 at 07:08. Reason: and he sure gets mad when people throw his red-herrings back.
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Old 12-19-2016   #95
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You sure are quick to go off topic when you get out of your depth.

Cheers.
And welcome back on my ignore list
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Old 12-19-2016   #96
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Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
I could just have well have said bank, dry cleaner, pharmacy, liquor store, office supply store, barber, post office, library, etc.
Of course, but the grocery dilemma is the best example regarding the generation of traffic, because it's the one thing one needs quite certainly always, and hence it forces you to leave the house basically daily.
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Old 12-19-2016   #97
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Sorry, but I only go to grocery once a week or so.
Once a week? I suppose, you don't have children, who demand five freshly prepared meals every day?


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I think the best example regarding generation of traffic is going to work (and back), which a significant number of people do at least five days a week whether they want to or not.
I do know

When I was detailing your «grocery» example, I was aware that many people don't have the privilege to work on their own property.
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Old 12-19-2016   #98
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Once a week? I suppose, you don't have children, who demand five freshly prepared meals every day?
None of my children appear to have any opinion on whether unprepared food should be stored at the grocer or at home. My preference for fresh fruit and vegetables might have me go to the supermarket more often while in town (usually every other day) - but that is my choice, and no necessity, and in the country (where cycling to the supermarket is a 8km round trip, 300m uphill on the way back) I usually make do with once or twice a week.
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Old 12-19-2016   #99
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None of my children appear to have any opinion on whether unprepared food should be stored at the grocer or at home. My preference for fresh fruit and vegetables might have me go to the supermarket more often while in town (usually every other day) - but that is my choice, and no necessity, and in the country (where cycling to the supermarket is a 8km round trip, 300m uphill on the way back) I usually make do with once or twice a week.
Dear sevo, I guess your (or my) example is for many a surprise, since the majority of the US American audience is completely unfamiliar with actually going (walking) to a supermarket.
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Old 12-19-2016   #100
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Dear sevo, I guess your (or my) example is for many a surprise, since the majority of the US American audience is completely unfamiliar with actually going (walking) to a supermarket.
But that is a artefact of the current lifestyle - there is no compelling reason why there should not be grocers in mid distance, nor why delivery services should not take over even more.
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Old 12-19-2016   #101
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If you have a car, you can easily fit a week's worth of groceries in the back seat or trunk. I also have a refrigerator, which keeps produce fresh for a week. Why waste time and gas going back and forth to the grocery every day? Children demand? Really? Five meals a day? Really? When do you have time for photography? (Just to get us back on track.)
Basically always, at least one of my children, but more often two or even three, join me when I do groceries, both when walking, and by car (hence the back seat isn't a good place for groceries); and the very short intervals are to an extent caused by the fact that my children may have a very bad behaviour (at home), but they're particularly strong and beautiful, and admittedly I love to show them off


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But that is a artefact of the current lifestyle - there is no compelling reason why there should not be grocers in mid distance, nor why delivery services should not take over even more.
But what is «mid distance»? A Luxembourgian, a Swiss, an Italian will give you completely different answers than a Florida resident, let alone an Australian!
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Old 12-19-2016   #102
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But what is «mid distance»? A Luxembourgian, a Swiss, an Italian will give you completely different answers than a Florida resident, let alone an Australian!
Well, lets say "walking distance" then...
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Old 12-19-2016   #103
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Well....I think that there is some consensus of a "need" to consider a multiplicity of factors affecting people's lives, hence the focus on transportation. But this long discussion provides evidence of the complexity involved.

Although sometimes appearing as a "crisis", governmental solutions demanded, and often on a large scale. Apparently, there are many folks out there that didn't get the memo about central planning of economies and societal relationships. How about we let the various jurisdictions figure out what might work best and try things out? the rest of us can grumble about the freeway gridlock in Southern California where the average speed may be approaching 12 mph most of the day, despite 14 lanes and diamond lanes. Or where traffic is snarled for decades while undergounds are being built. Perhaps we need a 100 billion dollar (conservative) bullet train from Bakersfield to Fresno?

Uber is already running red lights with driverless cars in San Francisco and defying DMV orders to halt operations. "progress" not easily controlled. I am hoping that when I become to old or incapacitated to drive, that robocars will be one solution to getting around. Also, I will be able to take photographs with the windows rolled down.
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Old 12-19-2016   #104
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Well....I think that there is some consensus of a "need" to consider a multiplicity of factors affecting people's lives, hence the focus on transportation. But this long discussion provides evidence of the complexity involved. . .. Perhaps we need a 100 billion dollar (conservative) bullet train from Bakersfield to Fresno? .. .
Complexity: exactly. Simplistic, short-termist, unimaginative solutions cannot work in the long term(20+ years).

But nah, although I know what you meant, surely we need (socialist) not (conservative) bullet trains...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-19-2016   #105
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Complexity: exactly. Simplistic, short-termist, unimaginative solutions cannot work in the long term(20+ years).

But nah, although I know what you meant, surely we need (socialist) not (conservative) bullet trains...

Cheers,

R.
High Speed Railroad solutions, Spain boasts a really extensive network, yet the planning leaves a lot to desire in many cases. A missed opportunity.

I stumbled upon the following study a while ago, and found interesting. I am living outside of Barcelona's greater area, where rural towns became a kind of suburb and balancing the older tighter knit model of walk+horse distances.

Infographic: http://www.bain.com/infographics/spatial-economics/
Study:
http://www.bain.com/publications/art...-distance.aspx
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