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Quora is a Marvelous Time Sink August 21, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words.

“No one wants to clean the chimp enclosure after Coconut Day.”—anonymous person on Quora.

Quora.com is a nifty little site where people will vie for the honor of answering questions…but they have to be GOOD questions.  Like the one which exposed the dirty secret of zookeepers: they work 12-hour days, like animals and generally don’t like humans (might have guessed).  The quote above comes from the responses to “What’s something that is common knowledge at your work place, but will be mind blowing to the rest of us?” as does:

“I have a friend who was a musician during the endless run of Guys and Dolls on Broadway. After a year of playing the same songs 4+ times a week, they had memorized their parts perfectly. So they removed the music stands, and started a pit-wide poker game.”

And :

Batteries are following Moore’s law

The installed price of lithium ion batteries is dropping in half every 18 months and they last twice as long … just like Moore’s law for computer chips…
well not quite Moore’s law but something very similar.

I’ve worked for a handful of lithium ion battery-using companies in electric transportation and grid storage where the price is now down to about $500/kWh to purchase. The price has declined like this in the past few years
(not official company info but mine):

You can decide for yourself how how many data points that you need to see where the  industry is trending and (much more importantly) if the trend is  sustainable. [Edit: got a quote in mid-June of 2013 at $350/kWh. While that’s a little bit above that curve, we haven’t negotiated yet either.] [Edit2  2013-08-19: I understand that Tesla is buying it’s 80kWh packs at  $150/kWh or $12,000, which if true is WAY under that curve…so it might  not yet be sustainable today but continues the trend until they are  sustainable by possibly late next year(?).]

An implication:

An electric sedan gets about 4 miles for each kWh. So 100 kWh of max storage capacity in 2017 would give a 400 mile range with (today’s) capability of a 15 minute charge time for about $10,000 (unlike about $30k or more today).
So, keeping in mind that $0.20 per mile of gas is $0.03 per mile of electricity,
in 7-10 years from now there won’t be a reason to have a gas car.

And most sadly of all,

“This is more a holistic point about political events you see on TV, but nothing happens "by accident". Even for the most minor event or tour, someone’s been in contact with the organizers for two weeks, and has been on-site for three days already briefing anyone and everyone. That spontaneous person coming forward to give the Candidate flowers? Pre-approved and vetted. The safety signs on the wall the Candidate is walking by in a factory? Sanitized for possible negative angles. The everyman-esque ordering of a coffee while the tour bus has an impromptu stop? The store manager knew the bus was coming, and what everyone would be ordering (how do you think there was parking for two buses and a security entourage?). The forklift that just happens to be blocking anyone from getting a photograph from an angle that would show how few people are present in a venue? Not parked there by accident. The four workshops located in a row that the Candidate just toured? They don’t usually work there. The training class that the Candidate just visited? It doesn’t usually happen on this day, and the last one ran two months ago. The local guy in jeans who’s standing at the back and clapping enthusiastically, but maybe not staring at the stage? He’s the professional who put this on, and is already thinking of where his next event is.”


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