42 Replies to “Podcast #95: talking myself into this”

  1. Noticed these two items today. Not sure if they’ve been talked about before.

    SDOT has put out a request for proposals from Engineering firms in regards to the West Seattle Bridge. https://consultants.seattle.gov/2020/06/02/sdot-20-018-west-seattle-high-rise-bridge-replacement-design/

    Also I see someone from West Seattle is pushing for a tunnel replacement. But only for the damaged section. Seems to total disregard that there are two bridges. So either the tunnel would have to be much, much longer than they think. Or there would be a massive grade change. https://www.westsideseattle.com/robinson-papers/2020/04/24/op-ed-bridge-history-its-time-immersed-tube-tunnel

    1. Yeah, the problem with a tunnel across the way isn’t the tunnel itself, it is connecting to everything else. That would likely mean we are replacing a very good chunk of the existing infrastructure. Thus a tunnel probably only makes sense if we have to do that anyway (if there are more problems beyond just the span).

      1. AJ, since tear-gas, pepper spray, and those rubber pellets that ought to get their authorizers hung at Nuremburg are now illegal in Seattle….

        Linear demonstrations from Fauntleroy to Ballard Library should lock the West Side solid ’til every single meeting-presenter is replaced with a Kaiser or Parsons Brinckerhof engineer who remembers how dewatering saved the Mighty Mole crew from drowning.

        “Anymore, Nature always bats last” doesn’t quite “get it.” Starting with structures whose installation machinery was a volcano. Major boost now is media that can literally show voters what the engineers who have to build it have to know out of grade school….

        So that when we “Take It From There”, we’ll not only get someplace, but get there on time if not early.

        Mark Dublin

    2. I want to know if the tunnel would have any transit features. And how this would relate to Link. There’s been discussions of a joint automobile/Link bridge, but the Link tunnel discussion has been it would be just Link and there’s no money for it anyway. If SDOT built this shallow tunnel and Link were to use it, would it be better than the existing bridge and tunnel alternatives in any way? E.g., a shorter travel time or easier to get to transfer/density concentrations than the existing tunnel and bridge and tunnel alternatives? Or would it be the same or worse than them?

      1. The concept they showed on the local news a couple of nights ago there was a two way Link tunnel. I don’t recall if any of the traffic lanes were transit/HOV or not but that’s just signage.

      2. It also depends on the number of lanes. The 99 tunnel reduced the number of lanes from six to four compared to the viaduct. If you converted two of those lanes to transit lanes, that would leave only one car lane each direction, which is too small for a regional highway. So both the number of lanes, the lack of space to build new transit lanes, and the lack of downtown exits make it infeasible as a transit corridor even if the city/state someday want to retrofit it in. So the question is, how limiting would the design of this tunnel be?

  2. 1. Flag bullies? Patriots need to Face Them Down. Pledge was written by a Socialist Christian Minister. Frances Bellamy. Whose Faith told him a Congressman can go to Hell for using His Name to push people around. Look him up, and Second Commandment too.

    And whether its salutes or sports or headed into gunfire, “Take-A-Knee” is never submission. It’s surveying the terrain before you advance.

    2. Bus drivers and fare-evasion? The Book’s oldest contractual past-practice: When your shift’s over, earn a half hour overtime filling out an incident report describing violator and naming time and location. No limit how many shifts.

    3. Enforcers? At this day, date, and time, necessary job description is most like the mental health workers that the Washington State Legislature is also criminally responsible for not funding. Didn’t “Next Generation” give Star Fleet some updated sweaters? If IT ever gets our Route 612 back, Democrat legislators might welcome your sleeping bags in their office.

    4. And while we’re there, demand a State law against forcing employees to sign a pledge they won’t use transit. What CDC doesn’t like, let CDC S-U-E. And shame on you for motive-puzzlement. Now that the balance sheet has sent Texas to wind and solar, somebody’s gotta buy all that oil!

    5. Where Olympia Mall JC Penney just went, good chance Federal Way Costco will follow. Giving Link a good opening to start designing stations with enough “flex” for residence, industrial parks, and campuses for those community colleges whose car-shops include both rubber and rail.

    6. Since cars can use it even though they shouldn’t be allowed to, the grooved-rail trackway serving what’s now called Tacoma Link can easily start to include Pierce Transit’s new Route 1 down Pacific Avenue.

    Where trains curve off at 25th, Route 1, and its lane-reserved preempted signals can head straight for Spanaway. To change services, 25th street car stop is a five minute walk from Freighthouse Square. Two minute streetcar ride, headway now 12 minutes.

    Verdict? Large supply of Ways. But “Will? Will? Will?” Did that animal just chew through ANOTHER leash? Where’d that electric spiked-collar chain get to!

    Mark Dublin

  3. The discussion about the recovery fare and the problems of biohazards on free bus trips doesn’t include how the decision is a harbinger against permanent free-fare transit concepts. We just had a current free-fare “trial” and ST sees evidence of the operational problems with it.

    Simply put, the aggregate public can’t have nice transit for free because some of the public is disrespectful, unsanitary and downright dangerous (from a biohazard perspective) .

    1. I have generally been in favor of a free fare system, but considering what happened with our little “experiment,” I’m now with you on this one.

      1. Another way to rephrase this would be that it is not possible to treat specific societal improvements in isolation, e.g. transit in isolation of the homelessness crisis or (more generally) the cost of housing. They’re all related, and addressing problems with one at the expense of the other just shifts the problems around. Of course, what is ideal (from a technocratic perspective) may not be clear or easily determined, and almost certainly will not be feasible (from a political perspective), but I think it is important to always think about how changes to one aspect (like transit-without-payment) may impact society at large, beyond the immediate changes like reduced budget.

        Not saying that I have a specific idea in mind, mostly just musing to myself, so apologies if this came across the wrong way to anyone. I just wish we had better solutions is all.

      2. In the absence of any assurance of my own continued income, I’m the proud sworn enemy of any revenue collection system whose purpose is to identify who can’t ride the bus. If main target really is me, for God’s sake just say so. I don’t want to catch what you’ve got either.

        But term “free” has got no place in this discussion. Here in Olympia, Intercity Transit’s own balance sheet proved that collecting cash fares aboard buses cost the company more money than it brought in. Remedy was to vote ourselves a tax to cover expenses.

        Seattle’s books, no surprise it’s a different picture. However, neither is it written in anything smelling like brimstone that public order and sanitation can only be financed by the fare-box.

        Same budget that keeps the rest of the municipality safe and clean can also include the part of it that’s aboard our transit vehicles. By law, custom, and maybe Constitution, the rebirth of our mental health care system has to start across a snail-sanctuary of a pond from where I live.

        Since the paper just said Olympia just outlawed poisoning protestors, road , well, Capitol Boulevard, is clear for a massive pro- Western State occupation of Legislative Chambers that the courageously humble State Patrol will be proud to do coat-check for and also bring carryout for the duration.

        Word also has it IT’s providing scheduled service from both Seattle and Spokane so long as you’ve got proof you’re going to the demonstration- same mechanism as with the ball games. Just please be sure you “tap off”, because this COVID thing is really cruel to tapmunks.

        Mark Dublin

      3. AM: I think that resolving our social problems may lower incidents, but unfortunately there is a small percentage of people just don’t respect free public things. In fact, I’ve heard several very impoverished people who strongly support having some barriers to entry of any enclosed spaces because they worry about their own safety from biohazards — even if they must pay a little to ensure that safety for themselves.

      4. @Al S: Thank you for the insightful comment. My (admittedly limited, and from a different type of environment – STEM, rather than social sciences) experience suggests that this becomes a bigger issue the larger (and more diverse, perhaps) the community is. I do not mean “diverse” in a bad way here – more that people from a small, cohesive community appear to have a stronger sense of ownership of the resources that community collectively manages, whereas a diverse community appears to have less of this collective sense of ownership. We see this in my employer’s resource management – each group tends to use its own resources quite effectively, but resources shared company-wide tend to get much more abuse. It is unfortunate, but probably human nature at some level.

        One specific experience I have with fees, though, is with conference organization, where adding a small entrance fee (used only to cover grants for those who cannot afford it) can help ensure people respect the venue a little bit more, and thus leave it less… well, “trashed”, for lack of a better term. This may be a closer type of situation to the transit setup, and aligns with what you are describing quite well, too.

      5. Even a nominal fare of $1 or 50 cents discourages a significant portion of misbehavior-minded people. There are three motivations for free fares: to ensure everybody can afford to travel, to eliminate the inefficiencies of fare payment to decrease travel time and increase capacity, and as an ideological belief that essential public services should not be funded on a per-use basis, the way we fund the fire department and libraries and schools and parks.

        The first, ensuring affordability, doesn’t necessarily require free fares, it just requires a sliding scale so people can pay what they can afford. The second, increasing efficiency, there’s nothing as frictionless as just walking on the trains and buses, as many have experienced on Metro during this period. The thurd, that transit should be free at the point of use, is a values issue that different people have different opinions on.

    2. While I am a bit of a zero-fare skeptic for exactly this reason, proponents will undoubtedly argue that the problem is zero fare plus very low ridership, not zero fares themselves

      1. Thanks, Martin. Though my own “call” is that between Star Fleet, King County Superior Court’s little used “Writ of Leavusalone-ification”, regionwide Student Government especially girls, George Soros’ secret connections with the excellent Budapest street rail system and of course The State Police Advanced Humility Division….We’ve already got this handled.

        Mark Dublin

    3. So basically we can’t have a free public transit system because we can’t create a decent social safety net. Apparently we can’t have a decent police system for much the same reason. Welcome to America — at least we are pretty good at sports.

      1. Any chance we – especially those of us who are Class of 2020 girls- just haven’t yet begun to kick posteriors and record personal identification to be worldwide-humiliated online? “Take Names” just isn’t “woke”.

        Notice it was one of them without whose camera-phone a certain murdering excuse for a police officer would right this minute be taking three more recruits, including at leaset one with a Laotian background, out on another training mission?

        Not her fault she can’t get at anybody who’s to blame for screwing up transit. You know what the Sea-Tac is like right now. Good reason, though to see to it that as many Link stations as possible have SWIFT access to present her with clear a Field of Fire.

        Bet her card’s Loaded for June, as well as Bear. And that Ken Cummins’ troops have her every “tap” already covered.

        Mark Dublin

    4. “the aggregate public can’t have nice transit for free because some of the public is disrespectful, unsanitary and downright dangerous (from a biohazard perspective)”

      “we can’t have a free public transit system because we can’t create a decent social safety net”

      We can’t have nice things because American society has high structural inequality and poverty and unwillingness to fix it. The Nordic countries, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and some other countries are much better at this and we should follow their examples. None of them have free fares as far as I know, but if they did have free fares temporarily they would not have these problems. Because the poor have places to live, and bathrooms, and income subsidies, and mental-health support, etc. And while they have their own levels of racism, it’s not at the core of their identity like it is in the US and permeating all programs like slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, voter suppression, “welfare queen” conspiracy theories, and Trumpism.

      There are two broad ways to fix the problem of lack of access to housing and a floor of basic staples. Increasing the social safety net is just one of them. The other is to ensure people have a higher income relative to living expenses. Focus on jobs for the masses rather than on stock values. Return the income/capital-gains tax rates to the 1970s level. All of the productivity gains since then have been diverted to the 1% through tax cuts and legal loopholes, and stratospheric CEO salaries, and the notion that corporations’ sole duty is to maximize shareholder returns. Well, the shareholders would like that and push that, naturally. But there’s also the obligations to employees, customers, and society. For an easier step than the 1970s levels, just return to the Obama, Clinton, or Reagan levels. We had a budget surplus during Clinton and the debt was going to be paid off, remember? Wall Street was freaked about about losing the only guaranteed-safe bonds and begged the government not to eliminate the debt completely.

      So we could support high-paying private jobs, a green new deal and address the deferred maintenance on our infrastructure, government-backed jobs of last resort, eliminate the tax incentives for companies to offshore manufacturing, etc. There’s also a universal basic income. And refundable pollution taxes and public shares on natural resources. The Alaska Permanent Fund gives all residents a dividend for their ownership of the oil resources. Vancouver’s carbon tax is rebated to residents the same way. We could do the same for air pollution, forest use, water pollution, severe inequality-increasing activities, etc.

      These income-increasing and price-reducing strategies wouldn’t solve 100% of everybody’s basic needs so we’d still need increased social programs, but not as much as we’d need without these other things.

      A UBI has issues both ways. In order to ensure that everyone on Pugetopolis had housing at 1/3 of their income it would have to be $6,000 per month or $72,000 per year. The politicians aren’t nearly ready to consider that. (Or to do things which would substantially reduce the cost of housing or build enough subsidized housing for everybody who can’t afford market rate.) And do you adjust the UBI based on the cost of living in different areas? If you give everybody the same it leaves people in expensive areas financially burdened — which this program was supposed to eliminate. If you give people in expensive areas more, it gives people in inexpensive areas an excessive windfall. And the inexpensive areas are the same areas that are most car-dependent and have the least transit and worst land use, so you’re encouraging those areas to grow like that and shifting the US even further into a 1950s direction of detached houses, cul-de-sacs, and highways.

      1. Regardless of the amount, UBI won’t solve the region’s housing crisis. The reason all comes down to the pigionhole principle. You can’t fit 1,000,00 pigeons into 800,000 pigeonholes – no matter how much money the pigeons have, you just can’t do it.

        In other words, give everybody a UBI of $6000/mo., the result will simply be housing prices going up by $6000/mo. until you’re right back where you started. Either that, or you have some sort of artificial government-imposed scheme to enforce who gets to live in a piece of scarce real estate and won’t doesn’t (e.g. lottery, prioritize existing residents over new residents, or simply rewarding those who know the right people).

        The only way to make rents go down is to either increase supply or reduce demand. And, if you we don’t want our economy to talk, it is much better to do it by increasing the supply. Eliminate parking requirements, SFH zoning, and other red tape, and let the supply increase!

      2. Particularly when the pigeons don’t agree on how many pigeons should live in each pigeonhole. Some pigeons insist on a one-to-one ratio, other are happy to squeeze many pigeons into one hole. Plus, some pigeons smell, other pigeons make lots of noise late a night, and some pigeons just don’t like the way other pigeons look. And let’s not get started about the fact that the polka-dotted pigeons are still bitter than they use to live in one area that is now filled with stripped pigeons, or the pigeons that tell everyone they were there first.

        So if you just give the pigeons more money with no consensus on how to spend it, they’ll spend more money on the same problems because, well, they are pigeons.

        But spare a thought for the new pigeons that can’t seem to make any friends. Midwest pigeons are much friendlier, ya know?

      3. “You can’t fit 1,000,00 pigeons into 800,000 pigeonholes”

        Good point, and one I recognize when I point out that housing prices go both up and down with the vacancy rate or time on market. I just have trouble keeping all factors in my head at once.

        However, there’s still an advantage in a housing allowance subsidy if you want to call it that. It levels the playing field more so that lower-income people can compete more equally for the units that do exist. Without it, lower-income people are categorically shut out or have to go to the suburbs or take units with severe problems.

      4. We’ve tried eliminating red tape, with no significant increase in housing supply. This is especially visible when you look at ADU/DADU units. We relaxed the regulations to encourage supply once. It didn’t work. We did it again, including relaxing parking requirements. It hasn’t worked.

        Red tape is obviously not the issue. I’m all for slowly eliminating SFH zoning between our urban villages, naking a new and larger urban core. But history has shown us in this city relaxing red tape hasn’t helped more units get built.

    5. As to why inequality and poverty causes biohazards when fares are free, it’s because poverty causes a lot of stresses. Not being able to pay bills or get a high-paying job, catastrophic medical expenses, relatives becoming elderly or disabled and needing care, worries about losing your apartment or house, hunger, untreated mental-health issues, no socially-acceptable place to pee, lack of good sleep, etc. That lack of good sleep is a major issue: sleep maintains practically every part of the body, and a substandard sleep environment causes a lot of physiological and mental problems. So people have all these stresses day after day, and some have trouble coping and get desperate, and that leads to inappropriate behaviors.

      The 20th century debate was about whether they should just suck it up and pull themselves by their bootstraps, or whether they weren’t to blame for their actions because it was society’s fault. But there’s a third way in between. We can recognize that people have personal responsibility while also recognizing that if we reduce these structural stresses they face, the inappropriate behaviors will diminish on their own.

      Not everything can be easily reversed: many of them have gone on for so long that people are scarred long-term. It would have been much easier to prevent these stresses in the first place than to try to clean things up now. But reducing these stress factors can have a very substantial payback. Countless studies have shown that if you give people a few hundred dollars either one-time or monthly, or decrease their expenses by the same amount, or give them opportunities, most people will better themselves and do the right thing.

      Sam said the welfare/support programs since the 1960s were a failure because poverty increased rather than decreased. No, the programs just weren’t large enough to solve the problem, or they were withdrawn after a few years even though the need hadn’t ended.

      1. I would say that the underlying problem is much more mental health and drugs than it is poverty. I would expect that 99 percent of those on assistance would not be unsanitary.

        I’ve chatted with many destitute adults over the years who struggled with basic survival. Extreme poverty is unfair and appalling — but it doesn’t create the biohazard situation because these people mostly had enough self-respect and dignity to make self-care important. Most would never do nasty things on trains or buses or in stations.

        I’ve met a few people with serious mental illness and serious drug addictions. These are the ones I’d expect that are usually creating the biohazards in free public places. They can often stink and are belligerent about it. They can collapse on transit property. They usually are too far out-of-touch to hold any job even if one is handed to them.

        While unsanitary people are also often destitutely poor, most people who are destitutely poor are not unsanitary. Unsanitary people usually need a major intervention or institutionalization rather than a mere gift like a free fare. They should be discouraged away from our transit facilities because they can put all others (including very poor people) in biological danger.

        We should lobby for resources to keep these unsanitary people from harming themselves and others — and keep charging fares but offer subsidies for those with dignity who need them.

      2. I’m not talking about just destitute. Earlier I reported on a southbound 101 trip where, at Intl Dist station, a low-income black woman had a stroller. I don’t remember for sure whether there were one or two women or whether they had zero or two young children with them, but the stroller was probably empty. The woman with the stroller sat in front. The driver said she couldn’t have the stroller jutting out in the aisle so she would have to fold it up. She said it was non-collapsable, and all the seats with extra space further back were full. The driver insisted she’d have to get the stroller off the aisle or wait for another bus. She was tired and wanted to get home, so she took the stroller off the bus and abandoned it on the platform. During the ride to Renton she called a relative on her cell phone and told them how exasperated she was at having to leave the stroller behind or wait for another bus [which would take half an hour, and might be just as full]. She said she had gotten the stroller from some charity program. I think the two woman were each holding a small child but I may be conflating that with another occasion.

        This woman was clearly low-income and stressed. She probably had other stresses I couldn’t see. Her behavior was no worse than being somewhat loud and non-genteel. But there are thousands of people in Pugetopolis with a similar level of stresses, and it’s plausable that some of them get frustrated and react more obnoxiously at times. If the stresses weren’t there, they wouldn’t be frustrated, and the obnoxious behaviors wouldn’t occur. Even if they occur sometimes anyway, they wouldn’t be exacerbated by the stresses, which probably cause most of them.

        Mental health issues are another type of problem. But I’ve seen many people who get stress on top of stress every day and get frustrated and snap at people or such, beyond those who have obvious mental-health problems. The exacerbation itself is a kind of mental-health problem, even if it’s not a traditional disease. And as I said, lack of good sleep makes the condition significantly worse, and that is a kind of mental-health problem, even if it’s not a conventional disease per se.

      3. Wow that’s a cruel policy application!

        It doesn’t seem to relate to the unsanitary riders abusing transit property made accessible by having free fares though. Unsanitary riders are a very small minority (say less than one percent) of low income people, as I explained above.

  4. Re ST, no transit measure in this region has ever gone over 60%. so the debt ceiling option doesn’t seem realistic. There is a fourth option, aside form 5 years of delay or cutting projects: re=phasing the segments be accelerating some and delaying others even further than five years.

    1. I agree. Even though no taxes are being raised, you can absolutely believe that everyone who voted no on ST3 will vote no on this as well.

    2. ST is addressing the issue in its usual multi-month process. It just got a financial estimate, and will consider possible strategies later this month. Both an across-the-board delay or reprioritizing projects are possibilites.

      I don’t know how the board feels about raising the debt ceiling but I’m skeptical it would pass. There’s a larger backlash against ST than there was in the early 2010s or during the vote. A lot of it is $200 car-tab bills; some of it is a growing concern that it won’t fix many of Pierce’s or Ballard’s or West Seattle’s or the Eastside’s problems; some of it is a realization that they didn’t need ST3 to get Lynnwood and Kent-Des Moines Link which were already in ST2. While this wouldn’t raise the tax rate, some would have an irrational fear of a tax increase, others would say they’d have paid more to ST at the end of it, others would say it’s burdening their children, and others would vote against ST no matter what it said because anything ST wants must be bad.

  5. Following up on the ST revenue shortfall issue, here’s some more bad news on the money front.

    There are several items on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting of the System Expansion Committee all related to the Tacoma Link Hilltop Extension project. The big item is resolution R2020-12:

    Resolution No. R2020-12: Amending the Adopted 2020 Budget by increasing the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension Baseline Budget by $35,400,000 from $217,346,000 to $252,746,000 to provide funding required to complete the project to meet the planned revenue service date.

    This is to be followed by several motions:

    Motion No. M2020-31: Authorizing the chief executive officer to increase the contract contingency for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension construction contract with Walsh Construction Company II
    LLC in the amount of $27,400,000 for a new total authorized contract amount not to exceed $145,409,750* contingent upon Board approval
    of Resolution No. R2020-12.

    Motion No. M2020-32: Authorizing the chief executive officer to increase the contract contingency with HDR Engineering Inc. for design
    services during construction for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension in the amount of $1,000,000 for a new total authorized contract amount not to exceed $13,297,980 contingent upon Board
    approval of Resolution No. R2020-12.

    Motion No. M2020-33: Authorizing the chief executive officer to increase the contract
    contingency with Jacobs Project Management Company for construction management
    consultant services for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension in the amount of $2,070,000 for a
    new total authorized contract amount not to exceed
    $11,489,490 contingent upon Board approval of Resolution No. R2020-12.

    Motion No. M2020-34: Authorizing the chief executive officer to execute a contract
    modification with LTK Engineering Services, LLC to provide light rail vehicle engineering and
    inspection consultant services for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension in the amount of
    $1,816,194, with a 10 percent contingency of $181,619 totaling $1,997,814, for a new total
    authorized contract amount not to exceed $19,981,033 contingent upon Board approval of Resolution No. R2020-12.

    So here we have yet another ST2 project that is going to bust through it’s original cost estimate by a wide margin and require a “reset” of the baseline budget just established less than three years ago. Of course, while a baseline reset is nothing more than a moving of the goalposts, ST will certainly try to spin the narrative otherwise.

    Oh, and as a reminder, when ST originally got this project in the FTA grant pipeline back in 2014, the project cost was stated as $166M in YOE$ and that included the light rail vehicles.
    We are now at a revised budget of just under $253M.

    Link to FTA 2014 Rating Assignment:

    *This contract was originally awarded with a total contract value of $108.3M.

    1. “We are now at a revised budget of just under $253M.”

      This part got cut off for some reason. It should have been followed with:

      For those doing the math, this represents about a 52% cost increase over the YOE$ estimate given in the 2014 FTA ratings assignment.

    2. Um, what happens in Pierce stays in Pierce? It will have to come out of other Pierce projects.

      1. That’s right. Oh well. I guess they join the club of all the other subareas that have Link projects with significant cost overruns. I think this one completes the set.

        Snohomish County – check
        East King Co – check
        North King Co – check
        South King Co – check
        Pierce County – check

        Yup. Pierce County gets a membership card too!

  6. Seattle’s rents went down in some cases. ($) The biggest drop is in West Seattle, presumably because of the lost bridge. Other drops are in lower-end units. Rents have also fallen 3.1% near the Renton and Everett Boeing plants. It doesn’t mention other suburbs. One West Seattle landlord has been unable to fill five units for three months.

    I thought rents would fall if a lot of people who came to Seattle a few years ago for a job moved away again. But as far as I know there hasn’t been a significant move-away like there was after the 2008 crash when half the buildings in southwest Capitol Hill had “For Rent” signs, at least one per block.

  7. AM, any chance your employer is either too clueless or too lazy to imbue his workforce with an appreciation of his company’s “Big Picture”, so that, whatever their individual differences, they automatically keep in mind the consequences of their actions to everybody else?

    And isn’t it also true, in companies, countries, and nature, the wider the variety of skills, interests, and experiences, the stronger, tougher, and more resourceful the general result? Nature doesn’t like inbreeding. Did you ever see a cruelly inbred cat? One proof being how much of Europe’s hereditary royalty suffered from conditions like hemophilia. And their countries, from lives that caused so many people to flee to precisely because it was so big and varied?

    If I were you, I’d be keeping my eyes open for a workplace run and managed by people with an eye for variety. Especially dealing with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the more different things you’re prepared to face, the fresher the air and the longer your workplace will live to breathe it.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Diversity is definitely a strength, in terms of what we can all learn from each other. However, lack of accountability in large, distributed organizations appears to be a major weakness. That was all I was trying to say.

  8. And that’s “…..flee to the United States precisely because it was so big and varied.”


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