Wednesday Open Thread: March 13 - 10 Principles of Good Design

It's Day 72 of the Year 2019 CE (Gregorian), meaning that it's March 13, 2019


Design is In the Air



I stumbled across Dieter Rams' "10 Principles of Good Design" and after arduously copying them down, discovered that they are neatly listed in the Wikipedia article on him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Rams

OK, so I just pasted them below, but, rather than excerpt the interpretive detail, I have simply highighted the parts that I intended to excerpt. They start with the phrase "Good design ..."

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1. is innovative – The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself.

2. makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it.

3. is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

4. makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user's intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

5. is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user's self-expression.

6. is honest – It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

7. is long-lastingIt avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today's throwaway society.

8. is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

9. is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

10. is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

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This guy is highly regarded, respected and even revered. I figured that these would good to know and analyze and even discuss, because design is everywhere and in everything, design or its equivalents, at any rate. Then I took a look at them, jeez, when was this guy? It says the seventies, so, OK, but, really? Then I hit upon an insidious and sinister idea to be discussed later, if you'll bear with me.
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Good design is innovative, but in tandem with improving technology and never as an end in itself. Really Apple? Hey, let's talk about the US auto industry, heh. That kicks planned obsolescence right in the teeth, does it not? Much of our current physical culture seems to fail this test. Everybody has to produce their own variant, slightly different from all the others, from radios to pain killers and erectile dysfunction medications. Brand differentiation is a thing, a very real thing, and it mostly violates this principle.
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Good design makes a thing useful and skips the unnecessary and non-productive/non-purposive. Uh huh. "Our new safety razor cartridge has 13 blades and 3 teflon pads" (and somehow still works in spite of itself.)
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Good design is aesthetic. Well, I'm not fully qualified to discuss this, but I became increasingly bothered and disturbed since the early sixties with what I called the uglification of things and our surroundings. Aesthetic pollution was one of my terms for it, beating us down and numbing the mind and senses like concrete blocks tied to our feet. Nonetheless, it cannot be defined, this is deep into "I know it when I see it" territory which I find intellectually disturbing, but that's my personal kink. For the record: Only well-executed objects can be beautiful. does not imply that well executed objects necessarily will be beautiful, that is a different argument.
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Good design makes a product understandable? Microsoft? Windows? Guis? The first time I ran into a gui I was baffled, what do all those leetle biddy cartoons stand for, what do they do, where's the system prompt? Today, nothing has a manual, just a piece of paper full of cartoons, even mechanical contrivances; plus one needs a cheat sheet to open the damn box it comes in. Total cultural and societal fail, IMHO.
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Good design is unobtrusive. OK, that's maybe why we so seldom see it. Heh. I turn on my phone and a disembodied voice asks how it can help me, while everything I own throws ads at me 24-7. OK google, STFU. Obtrusive to the nth power, sheesh.
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Good design is honest. This man obviously never heard of packaging engineers, advertising or marketing.
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Good design is long lasting. Fine with me, as long as it is biodegradable, recycleable, or re-usable once it finally does fail. It avoids being fashionable and There It Is, everything today is about being fashionable, not just clothes and not merely enough for brand identification, our material lives revolve around fashion(s) and brands.
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Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Well, the package is, at any rate, but I do like it when they include extra screws and bolts, or waive the assembly fee.
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Good design is environmentally friendly and, dig it, minimizes physical and visual pollution. Wow.
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Good design is as little design as possible, focusing n the essentials and omitting the gloss. Not necessarily minimalist or plain, but skipping the afunctional.
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OK so our material culture is, among other things, too material. We have way too much stuff and turn it over way too often.(fashion) It is burying us and destroying the planetwide ecosystem. A lot of it is somewhat inutile, somewhat pointless, etc. If you look around, inside and out, at any level, any scale, from the cityscape to the neighborhood to your desk there is all that stuff and it is all impacting you. And honestly, how much of it is or was "good design"? They're now rolling out "the internet of things" which is mostly the internet of shit because it's mostly crap that would be lucky to meet three of those tests, ignoring the fact that a lot of it is otiose. I don't need a fridge that tracks my eggs, I can count to twelve. (Idle, digressive thought, could Alexa and the Google voice be tricked into talking to each other? OK, forget that)
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What if we all decided not to buy crap? What if we all started rejecting things which didn't meet all or nearly all of those criteria. They depend upon us to be the market for their stuff, and then spend their money on marketing instead of good design and quality workmanship. What if we just refused to buy any more crap and demanded good stuff, and, of course, eschewed the pressures to stay "up-to-date", "au courant", "in fashion" and/or "with it". We'd all save bread in the long run and I suspect we'd see a significant decline in waste, trash, litter and pollution, especially the aesthetic kind. So, modest suggestion, each time you need or wish to acquire o replace something, ask yourself if the prospective thing qualifies as good design and take a pass on it if it doesn't. I bet we'll be better off it we all do so.

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Image is Alan Levine's "Design is In the Air" public domain

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Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours
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magiamma's picture

et al.

How about good design is good to the Earth. Huh? Form follows function. That’s what I learned. The first, first principle. First things first. Respect the mother you live on. And all the beings that you live amongst. Just do it. Already.

Up early searching the mines of re. The internet of things is also full of Other non stuff. Today. Carbon thoughts. Thoughts of carbon clogginess. Or lack there of. Maybe. Searching.

Just don’t think about the back chain of events that brings to you, all of us, ‘the stuff’. The links of production, each requiring more links until, well, there we are. Digging. Drilling. Cutting. Extracting.

Nice to see the sun again. Thanks for the ot. Back to the mines. Must dig more. (No extracting though). Heh. Have a very good one.

Friday the 15th of March. March with the young ones.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
metaphor for this morning's essay. Whee exactly are the mines in those designs. I guess not wasting resources is implicit in there somewhere. This:

Just don’t think about the back chain of events that brings to you, all of us, ‘the stuff’. The links of production, each requiring more links until, well, there we are. Digging. Drilling. Cutting. Extracting.

set me to thinking about the need, at some age, for a mandatory course on the production and distribution cycle of things, with a later refresher. (And maybe something along the way about who owns the means of production.)
That caused me to revisit this, and it's seriously underplayed and oh so telling intro:

And then I'm off thinking about TV, a vast industry now, that has one primary purpose, to keep us watching it, so that it may perform its basic function, no, not entertainment and education, but selling shit. Largely selling us shit like new and better tasting (more sugary) food substitutes, and selling us bullshit, the latest government and corporate propaganda. A vast expenditure of time, energy and money to market shit, the greatest con of all times.

Arrgh.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris
cons of our times
sheesh

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Listen to your higher mind.

The Aspie Corner's picture

This shouldn't surprise anyone. This sort of thing has been going on since the dawn of civilization. Hell, this novel covers this sort of thing to the tee. There were characters who would pay others to take civil service exams for them.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Aspie Corner
it is no big surprise. To my generation, at any rate, that was so well and widely known that it was a base assumption, completely taken for granted. Merit could only take yo so far, and that wasn't very far, either. Push got you nowhere, pull was what mattered. The iorony is that the feebs found it. Wonder what they were really looking for, who they were trying to set up and frame for what when they stumbled across this.

Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lily O Lady's picture

@enhydra lutris

institutions take money, it’s an endowment. I think this is just keeping the system working for the “right” people. From the little I have seen, it appears that one of the little girls blabbed it all over social media. The Bushes, for instance, know better than that. Just quietly fund a new wing, building, chair, scholarship and voila! Your party animal offspring gets into one or more of the finest institutions of learning in the land.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

I'd vote for a well designed government, how about it? The D brand is so DEAD even my neighbor gets it at this point. We both attended Bernie's rally here in Cloverdale last time, this time we just look at each other and shrug. wtf he is still "having a conversation" about Medicare For All, three years later there is no bill. co-sponsor a unicorn why not

There is no proposed legislation, there is just more talk, now it is about including Long Term Care. Three thirty years later, blah blah blah. career politician congressional millionaire
Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ expands long-term care benefits

Medicare for All is unlikely to advance in the GOP-controlled Senate, but it’s a defining issue in the early days of the Democratic primary and candidates have pointed to their support of Sanders’ legislation as proof of their progressive bona fides.

OMG where, what are they all pointing to? There is no M4A legislation, but I did find this good for a smile: S.22 - Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage
of dental services under the Medicare program.

Haven't read the complete text yet. hard work

Please, somebody anybody, follow the linky and use the fancy filters on the left column over there. That is a pretty well designed User Interface but I still cannot find Bernie's bill. thanks

Here's the companion to H.R. 1346 I linked in yesterday's OT. S.470 - Medicare at 50 Act

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for an
option for any citizen or permanent resident of the United States age
50 to 64 to buy into Medicare.

BOHICA yet another generation flushed down the in$urance drain? Go UniParty

Hard to believe Bernie spent all this time talking, no legislation at all to be running a campaign on, to be debated in public. But Facebook TV! What an accomplishment, way to go man.

Please dawg, someone correct my imperfect searches, I want to be wrong. "fool me twice, shame on me".

PEACE

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@eyo you can sign on at this link
Medicare for all bill will be re-introduced in the Senate soon.
For now you can read the bill S470 introduced in Feb. 2019 by Stabenow. This bill opens Medicare allowing buy in for those 50 to 64.
Here is a link to S470 Medicare at 50

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Centaurea's picture

@eyo

As @jbob said, according to an email that Bernie sent out yesterday, the introduction of his Medicare 4 All bill in the 116th Congress is imminent, sometime in the next few weeks.

If you want to do a search of all the bills introduced or co-sponsored by Sanders, here's the link:

https://www.congress.gov/member/bernard-sanders/S000033

To note, S.R. 470, that Medicare "Buy in" bill you linked to, is the Dem establishment's attempt to pretend that they're doing something. It was introduced by Sherrod Brown and Debbie Stabenow. 'Nuf said.

A quick search found this Hill article:

The new measure would allow people to purchase Medicare plans after turning 50, instead of waiting until 65. Supporters say it’s more politically palatable and easier to implement than “Medicare for all,” which would upend the entire health care system.

“This is something that is not pie in the sky or aspirational,” said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), a co-sponsor of the buy-in bill. “This is a piece of legislation where you could turn the switch on overnight.”

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/429844-democrats-roll-out-medicare...

Heaven forbid we should upend the current system that makes megabucks for Big Insurance and Big Pharma, while people suffer, die, and go bankrupt.

There are already problems with traditional Medicare, in that Congress is trying very hard to hand it over to the insurance companies (HMOs, PPOs, managed care, networks, necessity for prior approval, etc.) So extending that to the over-50/under-65 crowd does not impress me at all.

They're right to be worried about the status quo being upended, though. They ain't seen nuthin' yet.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

smiley7's picture

@Centaurea
used for the ultimate bill. Covers 100 percent with monthly premiums ranging between $175-$245. Plan F patients choose their own doctors and specialists--two and even three opinions for serious health issues are allowed. It is the best plan.

As you say, "Congress is trying very hard to hand it over to the insurance companies (HMOs, PPOs, managed care, networks, necessity for prior approval."

The denial rate in these plans is notorious, offering less expensive monthly premiums with deductibles to attract seniors, they are and have been since inception an insurance boondoggle.

In plan F, when Medicare pays 80%, the supplemental insurance company must pay the 20%. In many cases of care, including expensive annual tests, medicare picks up the whole bill, $100%.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7

second your sentiments.

Will swing back by (later) to expound on some of your points.

I can't begin to describe the difference in our coverage--from when Mr M first fell ill (September 2016, right after 'the B's' gall bladder surgery) when he was covered by corporate group health insurance, versus, the coverage he (we) have under (TM) Traditional or Original Medicare coupled with Medicare Supplement/Medigap Plan 'F.'

Night and Day!

PleasantryBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

travelerxxx's picture

@smiley7

Assuming you mean Medi-Gap Plan F?

My wife and I just went through all the various Medicare choices as I - rather unexpectedly - retired two weeks ago. We had less than a month notice of this retirement as my former employer offered employees a severance package if they would take early retirement. As I am pushing 66 and my wife will be 65 in April, I took the offer. But, I digress .... this was about Plan F.

Our Medicare advisor informed us that Plan F ends forever at the end of this year. If you have it now, you can keep it, but it will no longer be offered starting in 2020. We seriously considered Plan F, but in the end we went with Plan G. Why? Simple math. All things considered - especially knowing our medical history and frequency of doctor and specialist visits - Plan G worked better for us. YMMV, of course.

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smiley7's picture

@travelerxxx
Obama bargain, 2013/14, with repugs.

Correct that if you have it, you will be grandfathered in.

Plan F has been the target of repugs and insurance companies, like forever, because it's a great plan, covers most everything a person would need in healthcare.

Without searching, i recall that 58% of medigap seniors have plan F and are very pleased.

It's a tried and true plan; has all the quirks worked out mostly, all the codes and procedures settled law, rules, and it would be the best platform to expand rather quickly to include the population; giving those algorithm experts solid data from which to price new members into.

Even if single-payer is the choice, Plan F should be the bedrock; just cut out the supplemental insurance companies.

This is going to be a dog fight within the Dem party for sure, much less pushing a MFA plan through congress; of interest to me and politically important is where AARP falls in the future; they use United Health Care and may be swayed by money over what's best for the membership.

Plan G, is very identical to plan F iirc.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@travelerxxx @travelerxxx

who haven't qualified for it. (Sometimes insurance agents leave that part out.)

When I've suggested that the Feds pick up bills for TM and Medigap--I had in mind lawmakers repealing the sunset of Plan 'F.' To my knowledge, there's no reason that they can't.

Here are the eligibility requirements for enrolling in Plan F (today). Of course, none of this would still apply, if lawmakers simply "un-sunset" retiring Plan 'F.'

2020 Medigap Changes: No New Plans C and F

Learn what the Congressional change means for your Medigap plan
by Ray Wilson Jan 04, 2016 | 48 Comments

As of 2020, Medicare Supplement plans (AKA Medigap) will no longer sell new Medigap Plan C or F.

Congress has decided that new Medigap plans will no longer be allowed to cover the Part B deductible after January 1, 2020. This will only affect plans C and F and will only impact certain beneficiaries as explained below.

How is Medicare Changing in 2020?

Congress believes that by requiring all Medicare members to pay their part B deductible this will reduce medical overuse.

(My words: Can you imagine--by requiring an additional annual deductible for Part B service--including ambulance, physicians/surgeons fees, lab tests, etc.--they're hoping "to save money." Whew!)

Since Medigap Plans C and Medigap Plan F* are the only plans that cover the part B deductible, they will be the only plans affected by this change.

Who is Impacted by the 2020 Medigap Change?

New enrollees on or after 1/1/2020 will no longer have the option of Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F.

All other plans currently available should still be available for purchase.

Anyone enrolled in a Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F as of 12/31/2019 will be “grandfathered,” and able to continue with their plan as long as want.

So if you currently have a plan F you will be able to keep it. . . .

Main reason we decided to take 'F' over 'G' (and, 'G' would have been our second choice)--I've read 'horror stories' about individuals being denied service at hospitals, including emergency surgery, unless/until they paid both their Part A and Part B deductibles. And, since I don't usually carry a debit card unless I plan to use it for a purchase, we figured that Plan 'F' would allow us to avoid having to joust with some hospital bureaucrat carrying a clipboard., i.e., the Billing Department, if we were to have to be admitted in an emergency situation. Especially important, if something happened when we weren't accompanying one another.

A good example, Mr M has had to get "non-emergency, but, urgent health care" two times in the 7-10 days--both times, he was out-of-town, and I wasn't accompanying him. Had he been unconscious, for instance, with Medigap Plan 'F,' we know that he would not have been denied care, under any circumstances. Of course, he's met his Medicare deductibles a million times over the past almost 3 years! Wink

You know, it's truly a sad state of affairs, when one feels forced to function in such a defensive posture [when selecting health care coverage].

Bad

Hey, thanks for bringing up that very valid point. THAT must be done, in order to do what Smiley and I are advocating for.

As an aside, what really blows my mind is that the PtB--535 lawmakers plus SCOTUS (justices) enjoy almost free (last figure I could get, their cost is approximately $600 annually) health care through the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP). Heck, they don't even have to carry conventional health insurance, for the most part. And, they have access to the best civilian physicians and medical facilities in the US, plus, the Naval healthcare system.

Have a good one!

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

travelerxxx's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

So if you currently have a plan F you will be able to keep it. . . .

This is exactly how our advisor explained it to us.

We really liked the no-hassle quality of Plan F, but - for us - we were looking at a savings of $300 to $600 yearly with Plan G, depending how things go for us medically. Again, YMMV. Plan G and F are very similar. Best as we could tell, you pay to eliminate the paper shuffle with Plan F. There's something to be said for that! It was quite tempting.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@travelerxxx @travelerxxx

your Agent. Some give a full explanation of the sunset rules, others, not so much. Sounds like you got exactly what suits you, which is good! Smile

But, for others who haven't made a choice, I'd add that any individual who meets Medicare's eligibility requirements before midnight, 12/31/19--can enroll in Plan 'F' at a later date, if the insurer's rules allow it, and, if they meet the health underwriting standards. (State regulations may also come into play, on that, though. We looked at two states since we split time, and their regulations were not identical.)

IOW, if Mr M and I had decided on Plan 'G,' initially, but, in 2025 decided that we wanted to enroll in Plan 'F'--so long as we can meet the requirements/rules above, we would be able to switch plans.

OTOH, if your Medicare 'eligibility date' (for enrollment) falls on 1 January 2020, or later, you're SOL--unless Congress un-sunsets the law.

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Centaurea
that they're trying to privatize it. That's all that they know, their solution for everything. If we don't distribute it before it is privatized, then what we wind u with is pretty much what we started with, so we have to block that while we try to make sure that we all have care.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Centaurea @Centaurea

There are already problems with traditional Medicare, in that Congress is trying very hard to hand it over to the insurance companies (HMOs, PPOs, managed care, networks, necessity for prior approval, etc.) So extending that to the over-50/under-65 crowd does not impress me at all.

Thing is--I blame lawmakers/Congress for that. Inherently, there's nothing in the original TM Bill that calls for turning it into managed care.

Actually, what you've described sounds much more like the privatized version of Medicare--MA, or Medicare Advantage.

The singular most reason that we (Mr M and I) don't want to transition to any of the MFA systems (put forth to date) is because we don't want 'managed care.' We are very happy and comfortable with the 'autonomy' that Traditional/Original Medicare still provides beneficiaries.

For instance, we don't have to jockey with so-called "gatekeepers," in order to see any doctor/specialist that we feel would benefit us. (Required in most, if not all, Medicare Advantage plans.) Even though the ACA opened the door to managed care mechanisms for TM--like pilot programs, etc., for ACOs, etc. And, the bundling of payments for some medical services.

We are careful to ask each provider's office--"Are you a participant in a Medicare ACO?" If the answer is 'yes,' they're blacklisted (by us).

Have a good one!

[Edited: Added 'regarding']

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Centaurea's picture

@Unabashed Liberal Yes, I was referring to Medicare Advantage, the privatized form of Medicare. Now, you might say "but they can't force me to sign up for Medicare Advantage. I'll just go with traditional Medicare."

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. There's a "gotcha", and it's a "gotcha" that Congress is using to steer people away from traditional Medicare and onto Med Advantage.

Here's how it works:

Hospitals are required by federal law to accept traditional Medicare as payment for their services.

Healthcare providers, such as doctors, are NOT required to accept Medicare. They are free to say "I don't take patients who rely on traditional Medicare." More and more providers are doing just that, because getting paid by the federal government under traditional Medicare is a pain in the behind.

Providers are also free to say "I won't take traditional Medicare, but I will accept Medicare Advantage plans."

More and more providers are doing that, because getting paid by the private insurance carriers that offer Med Advantage policies is a lot easier and quicker.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where a lot of providers still accept traditional Medicare, it's not (yet) a problem for you.

But in many areas of the country, there are few providers who accept patients on traditional Medicare. They do, however, accept Medicare Advantage. Those areas have become de facto "Medicare Advantage ONLY" areas.

For those of us (like me) who live in areas like that, it puts us in a bind if we don't want to get involved with the privatized Med Advantage. We can still choose to go with traditional Medicare, but there are obvious risks in doing that.

I foresee this de facto "Medicare Advantage situation increasing, because that's how the health insurance industry wants it. They want to force us onto their Medicare plans.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

smiley7's picture

@Centaurea

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Centaurea's picture

@smiley7 @smiley7 Do you mean proof that this is how Medicare operates by law (providers don't have to accept original Medicare and can instead choose to accept only Medicare Advantage, or can opt out of Medicare entirely)? Or that in some areas of the country, many providers sign on to participate in Medicare, but then accept only Med Advantage and not original Medicare?

Last year, as I approached Medicare age, I began researching it so I could understand my options. Let me tell you, it is a big convoluted mess. They couldn't make it any more complicated and obscure if they tried. (Maybe they are.) I can't say that I fully understand it even now.

The fact that we have to go through all of this arcane rigmarole to be able to get health care is ridiculous. (I feel a rant coming on, so I'll move on ...)

I used the official Medicare.gov website, the Social Security website, my state's Health Insurance Advisory service, various third party websites and social media. I used "health plan finder" apps. I went to a Medicare seminar. I read the laws. I talked with people in various parts of the country about the difficulty they've had in locating decent physicians who accept original Medicare. (Not private Medicare Advantage, but original paid-directly-by-the government Medicare Part B.)

It's hard to know whom and what to believe, because so many of them either have an agenda (want you to buy private insurance) or don't understand it themselves. When in doubt, I figure the official federal website is going to be the most accurate, although digging down to get to the information is a challenge.

To help understand the situation in my particular geographical area, here's an article from our local newspaper:

Medicare beneficiaries reviewing their plan options for next year have to contend with a growing trend in Clark County: providers accepting only Medicare Advantage Plans.

The number of providers accepting original Medicare — even those with additional Tricare or Medigap plans — has been going down in Clark County over the last several years. This year, even fewer providers are accepting patients with any Medicare coverage other than Advantage Plans, said Gayle Mitchell, the program coordinator for Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors in Vancouver.

“It’s getting harder to find providers who accept Medicare,” Mitchell said.

https://www.columbian.com/news/2017/oct/21/medicare-trend-continues-in-c...

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Centaurea

the opposite situation in our neck-of-the-woods (Southeast--TN & AL).

Mr M's run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care bills since late 2016, and, has received costly care/surgery in several states. Yet, thus far, I've only found one provider group that doesn't accept new Medicare patients, year round. (They accept some for several weeks in January of each year.) Also, there's one urgent/convenient care clinic in our TN locale that does not accept any state or federal funded/run medical insurance, except for it's lab tests which are sent to third party--that does accept Medicare. They are so inexpensive (OV $59) that we don't hesitate to use them, in a push--knowing that the cost of the visit is all that we'll have to pay OOP. Oddly, they do accept our Medicare Part D RX insurance at their small dispensary. Go Figure.

Which is not to try and dispute the predicament you're in regarding Medicare. Your article clearly spells out the negative situation that you all have going on in Vancouver.

Still, in many regions of the country, it's MA (Medicare Advantage) that physicians/providers most often want to stay away from. That's because of 'all the hoops' that they have to jump through, to get authorization to do procedures--due to the managed care nature of the plans.

Which makes me wonder--could it be that most of the providers in your area are members of HMOs, etc. If that's the case, it could explain their rejection of TM (Traditional Medicare). TM is a FFS (fee-for-service) plan. It they operate as an HMO or other managed care organization, they work off capitation fees (versus filing claims for specific services rendered, called FFS).

Hey, thanks for bringing up this issue. Hope others will jump in, on both sides of the issue, so that we (at C99) might ascertain if this is a fluke--limited to your locale--or, if this is a more widespread problem.

BTW, IMO, the government Medicare website is both opaque, incomplete, and sometimes, flat-out outdated, therefore, inaccurate. I would definitely be very leery of depending on it as a sole source of information. (We're fortunate to have family members with a couple hundred years experience in the field. Smile Otherwise, I'd be pulling my hair out, too.)

Also, under DT's CMS Secretary, there is definitely a major push to steer seniors into the privatized plans (MA). That's the reason that some services are being included in MA plans, but, being denied to beneficiaries enrolled in TM. (When I can scan a flyer about this, I'll post it at EB.)

Again, thanks for the feedback. Good luck!

PleasantryBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

smiley7's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
stopped by, was going to run this by you as i said in my comment below. Been searching some this morning; yet to find a definitive article, current any ways.

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smiley7's picture

@Centaurea
for heart, for pulmonary hypertension, the only clinic in the Southeast is in Chapel Hill and to Knoxville, Tenn for the nearest proton cancer center. Each are three hours away; however, never had a physician or specialist or hospital not take traditional Medicare.

Sorry your area is difficult and different. I'll dig into this best i can and give Molly a heads-up; already read that Kaiser Family Foundation says that 72% of primary physicians accept traditional/original and Forbes magazine says that number is much higher; however, want to keeping researching to make sure it's apples to apples and see if i can find more regional differences of significance.

Agreed, this is all complicated.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7

by, and, for relating some of your experience with TM, in TN and NC.

Like you, thus far, we've not had a problem with providers accepting our coverage. Heck, if anything, when receptionists and/or staffers see that we have TM and Plan 'F,' they appear to be quite pleased. After all, many of the MA plans require that beneficiaries pay an annual deductible, and, some require fairly extensive co-pays for medical services rendered (OVs, lab tests, etc.).

Hey, I'm definitely very sympathetic to anyone who lives in a Medicare Desert. I was just thinking, there's a lot to dislike about the South, but, we may be 'lucky' in one respect--Traditional/Original Medicare is still welcome!

Biggrin

I'll poke around, and see if I can find any statistics about this problem, too. Starting with the ACA, in particular, lawmakers have been messing with physician reimbursement. What's going on in Vancouver, WA, 'might be' a result of the shenanigans with their fee schedule. (Or, because that area favors managed care.) Dunno.

Hey, have a good one!

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@jbob thanks, that's the same bill I linked to yesterday, where Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a co-sponsor. meh I hope Daenerys doesn't mind me quoting the reply once more:

I don't want health insurance, I want health CARE!

HOPE Bernie has a care bill, and not just another health insurance scam plan. Does his citizen's sign-up form lead to a Donate Now! button perchance? GOTV unity

yadda yadda
broken hearts
good luck

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Deja's picture

@eyo

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enhydra lutris's picture

@eyo @eyo
"I/We will have to look into that" means no or not now, a form of "shut up and go away". I saw somebody brag about how now that the Dems are in charge they've already held umpteen hearings on climate. Haven't done zip shit, of course, nor even come up with firm plans to do zip shit, but oh boy can they hold hearings. Seems like, all the same, they are hard of hearing. We need results, I we aren't seeing any, at least no any good ones.

Health care? Don't you mean health insurance? If you can't monetize, and preferably financialize something, it doesn't exist. The parasites are at the top of the food chain. They just don't suck a little of your blood, they beat you to your food and eat it before you can. Health care should be easier than climate, but "having a conversation" about one possible partial solution is a good start don't ya think? After all, it's better than not having one. Hey doc, there's a tapeworm attached to my healthcare, can we extract it?

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@eyo @eyo

MFA Bill, below. Of course, as you mentioned--and Joe posted last evening--sounds like the Bill will be revised. Jayapal's Bill is clearly modeled closely after Bernie's. The transition period, and additional of LTC are the two main differences. Which I suppose, is why he's adding the LTC provision to bill.

Medicare for All Act of 2017

More to say later, after get a couple errands out of the way.

But, quickly, here's an 'excerpt' from Sanders' Bill from Pages 61-62. (Will post at EB this evening.) This statement, and one regarding the transfer of funding for Title XVIII (Medicare) into the Universal Medicare Trust Fund, are the 'tells' that the current Medicare system--established in July 1965--will cease to exist, in spite of some of the purposefully confusing rhetoric used by Dem pols.

TITLE IX—-ADDITIONAL CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

901. RELATIONSHIP TO EXISTING FEDERAL HEALTH PROGRAMS. 16(a) MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND STATE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM(SCHIP).

18(1) IN GENERAL.

-—Notwithstanding any other 19 provision of law, subject to paragraphs (2) and 20(3)— 21(A) no benefits shall be available under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act for any item or service furnished, beginning on or after the effective date of benefits under section 1106(a);

EDIT: Title XVIII 'is' the Original 1965 Medicare program. So, in spite of the rhetoric, this line proclaims definitively that the EXISTING Original/Traditional Medicare program 'ends' when the "Universal Medicare" program goes into effect.

Therefore, don't let any pol tell you that they're expanding the existing program. They're not.

Hey, thanks for today's OT, EL. Enjoyed your numbers data so much, most years I manage to get a calendar that lists the national holidays. According to my calendar--Every Day's A Holiday--today, March 13th, is "Ear Muffs Day." Absurd, eh? Wink

Have a good one, All!

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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12 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal thanks, it is under the 115th Congress. The text is online too:
S.1804 - Medicare for All Act of 2017
That list of co-sponsors raises more questions, but go on. Updates coming soon.

I'm not really interested in debating anything except a real proposal in front of my face, all else is kabuki for entertainment purposes. Adding Long Term Care is a good excuse for a delay, so I am looking forward to the new proposal when it arrives, going over the details.

Too bad the Ds seem so totally unprepared for 2020, except for the announcements and the supporting proclamations. political vaporware

PEACE

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@eyo

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal the dude that invented them from Farmington, Maine.
Too lazy to remember his name, but they have a parade in his honor iirc.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

travelerxxx's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

Guessing you mean Amar Bose? Probably. Interesting guy.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

having lived many years in Interior Alaska, guess I should be more appreciative of his contribution, eh? Smile

It was on my wall calendar--though, I've never heard of it.

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal I looked for that bill but got tired of trying to do the "leg work" for eyo who must hail from MO.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7 @jbob

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

@smiley7

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3 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Lookout's picture

just a quick drive by comment. On our way to the pocket this AM
https://journal.uswildflowers.com/spring-wildflowers-at-the-pocket-at-pi...
more pis here:
http://www.mysweetthings.com/2012/04/09/the-pocket-of-pigeon-mountaina-p...

I'll report on the trip later. Hope you all have a good one. One week till spring officially begins, but it is already in action here!

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

Good design? You raise good questions? “Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf”
~ Lewis Mumford

In a contemplative mood this morning; arrested by thinking we have to do something and doing something rests upon an ability to understand the human condition of the person next door.

Seconding the call to March with the children on Friday.

Thanks for today's OT and have a good one.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@smiley7

doing something rests upon an ability to understand the human condition of the person next door.

Especially true if part of the something one hopes to do is to elevate all of our human condition. You an't determine the path until you know the start as well as the finish.

Have a good one.

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8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

jobu's picture

you wrote:

could Alexa and the Google voice be tricked into talking to each other?

Maybe after work they head to the Lounge to loosen up a bit and commiserate about all the stupid shit they have deal with in the course of their day:

"If I get asked one more f'n time what the meaning of life is...."
"This teenage kid asks me to call Drew P. Wiener, I wanted to quit right there..."
"Next time I get this question I'm going to tell them there is no God..."

I can see Suri drinking Pinot Grigio while Alexa strikes me as a Single Malt kinda girl.

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9 users have voted.

Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

enhydra lutris's picture

@jobu
for when you really want a white and they don't have sauvignon blanc. Sort of "well, it isn't a damn chard." ymmv.

Have a great one.

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10 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

zoebear's picture

@jobu

I think you've got a little skit right there with that one.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Wally's picture

I'll really appreciate it if somebody here can answer the following two questions:

Let’s say Bernie miraculously gets 40 percent of pledged delegates’ votes for the first ballot and Tulsi also miraculously gets 10%. Can she decline to have her name placed in nomination and request that her pledged delegates vote for Bernie instead?

I also just found another problematic proviso in the rules of which I was previously unaware: "On the first ballot of the presidential roll call, only pledged delegates will be permitted to vote unless a presidential candidate has been certified by the DNC Secretary to have obtained a number of pledged delegates equal to a majority of all pledged and automatic delegates to the Convention, at which point automatic delegates will also be permitted to vote on the first ballot." I’m assuming that "automatic delegates" = superdelegates.

If this is so, does it mean that Biden can combine his pledged delegates and committed votes of superdelegates to secure his nomination on the first ballot? Or even Clinton if she gets the commitment of enough superdelegates?

Here are the links to the rules, etc.:

https://www.demrulz.org/wp-content/files/2020_Call_for_Convention_Final_...

https://www.demrulz.org/wp-content/files/2020_Delegate_Selection_Rules_F...

https://www.demrulz.org/wp-content/files/DNC_Charter_Bylaws_8.25.18_with...

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Wally
such as your example where "outsiders" could drop out and assign their delegates to other "outsiders" so they invented and passed a new rule to the effect that if anybody drops out, their delegates are automatically assigned to the then current front runner. So no, Tulsi's votes must go to whomever was, at that point the front runner, and they'd go to Bernie only if he were actually ahead of everybody else at that point.

I interpret the other rule as saying that if a candidate has such an overwhelming majority of regular delegates that the superdelegates votes are irrelevant, they will be allowed to cast their now purely symbolic votes at that point.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Wally's picture

@enhydra lutris

I always thought that a candidate could opt out and request his/her delegates vote for somebody else, but they weren't required to vote for the nominated candidate the former candidate requested.

Now you're saying that's been changed which might be true (but I'm from Missouri as that saying goes - even though I'm not).

I think you're right re the second query from what some other folks have informed me, too. At least that's not as ominous as I was thinking.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Wally @Wally
don't recall who put it out, and am not going to slog through Dem Party bylaws looking, sorry.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Wally's picture

@enhydra lutris The only rule change in that realm that I'm aware of and can find through an online search is the one about the superdelegates not voting on the first ballot. I spent about and hour trying to find something in the rules etc documents and don't have the patience or determination to spend any more time on it. I also asked a few people I know who are knowledgeable about that sorta thing, and they are unaware of any such change and think that delegates can be released who they choose to vote for without restrictions. If you perchance do come across something verbatim, I'll appreciate you posting it.

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4 users have voted.

all my troubles seemed so far away... yeah whatever. ~shrug~ It was so darned blustery it cleaned the trees and clogged my sinuses. Acacia! gesundheit hello spring
And still we have fun, because look at where I live, sheesh. This is what Stephen Stills called "scenic overkill" that time I saw him in Santa Rosa.

There is a GBH, a great blue heron somewhere in this photo. I can't see it:

I brought two pair of binoculars and a camera this time walking. heh Right after I took that photo my neighbor said "it caught a fish!" and wow what a show. I grabbed the other pair of binos and watched it eat a pan-sized coho for lunch. I had to look away, but that is life eat or be eaten. I woke up contemplating what it means to be at the bottom of the top of the food chain. thanks

We kept going and noticed the path had been machine scrubbed, the silt is off. Here are rapids at the boat ramp, I scared up another GBH exploring along the newly exposed beach They are slow flyers and I am a slower photographer so here are some waves:

On the way back going over the Oat Valley Creek bridge, we spotted a steelhead coming upstream. I was so excited I could barely hold the camera but here is the creek shot standing on the bridge:

and here is the blurry fish, it has skin damage on the top that looked golden in the sun. Its nose is almost in shadow. I could not contain my excitement so only snapped the first half just before it swam under, not going fast at all:

Here it is after a minute resting under the shade of the bridge:

Heading north up Oat Valley Creek:

I was like a little kid jumping up and down cheering "go steelhead go!" as it struggled through the shallows, and finally disappeared in deeper water. right on

Here is the GBH on the way back, full belly after preening:

spring treats
who designed that
go on

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enhydra lutris's picture

@eyo

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris thanks, you probably know those two fishes have been on the endangered list a long time. It was an honor to briefly see them, that's what I thought. There are signs at each end of the path for anglers. Coho and Chinook, "If the Mouth Has Black, Put It Back". Wild Steelhead, "Put It Back!"

endangeredfish.jpg

You just planted a guerilla shopping seed, kinda mashed up with Mark from Queens and his anti-fascist sharpie. Simple mart-mart markdown ftw [Put It Back!] heh. Good day.

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QMS's picture

@eyo
prolly looks better than it is, but hey

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5 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Shahryar's picture

I suppose I'm talking about one's personal preference rather than a sheep-like following of what others like.

But there's something thrilling about discovery and being open to change.

Historically it could be cutting one's hair in a bob or growing it long, going to coffee houses to hear beat poetry, getting the latest copy of Billboard to see what's on the English charts and ordering records you haven't heard. We can assume youngsters of today have their equivalents.

I think anti-fashion is fashion, too. There are many who don't buy into the mainstream looks of 2019 and by avoiding that, find themselves looking similar to each other in a sub-culture way.

It's easy to incorporate an aesthetically pleasing wardrobe into an anti-mass consumer consumption attitude because, in my opinion, most of that mass consumer world is tasteless and ugly, which leaves all the good stuff for us.

If we only care about getting something that's cheap then we might end up unfashionable, even to ourselves. But that's a fashion statement, too.

The short version: I enjoy being true to my own sense of fashion and don't care about anyone else's opinion on that. They might think I look unfashionable but I know better. Or they might think I am fashionable and I don't care.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Shahryar
them out ever since, wearing pretty much nothing else when I could find them except when the occasion truly mandated (funerals, weddings, etc.) Ditto multi - pocket travel shirts, and hiking vests. Right now, my wardrobe is probably about 90% REI as a result. The interesting thing about utilitarian fashion is that it comes and goes in the fashion world, but never fo too long because it is too utilitarian. I used to wear snap brim fedoras, but they're a pita in the wind, so I switched to somethig that has also now become vaguely fashionable among some. what can ya do. Nonetheless, new shoes just because new makes no sense at all to me.

Now music, that's maybe something else, but there will also always be the classics.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@Shahryar
course, good morning.

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Shahryar's picture

@enhydra lutris

this daylight savings time is killing me! I'm a night person. Now I get up at 8:30 and I'm thinking it's really 7:30. I've worked for myself for over 30 years so no one is going to get mad at me if I start work at 9 am or 3 pm or 7 pm but it's a good idea to check in and see what my clients need, as early as possible. Still....I'm so tired! Coffee only does so much and besides, I remember from my Black Beauty days, stimulants are like taking loans from the bank. Sooner or later you have to repay them.

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QMS's picture

@Shahryar
sun won't change with all the fiddling of the directors of punctuality. just ask the birds

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5 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS @Shahryar
have been a night person at times. OTOH, I like to see the night sky, and, being retired, I can make my own days, stay up, sleep in whatever, whenever. The sun controls the diurnal cycle, it should control time too. That gives us crazy, so the mean sun, like the well tempered scale is fine. Noon is when the sun is on the meridian and we work foreward and back from that. My plants know that it is no longer the dead of winter, why the hell don't the oligarchs.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

zoebear's picture

Great topic. So many things to talk about in response to each point.

What if we just refused to buy any more crap and demanded good stuff, and, of course, eschewed the pressures to stay "up-to-date", "au courant", "in fashion" and/or "with it".

I'd like to say that the compulsion to be "au courant" diminishes with age but we know that's not true. I suspect the compulsion to buy things is a sub conscious substitution for happiness. Rather than exploring what would be deeply satisfying in an authentic way, we fill our homes with stuff. I'm guilty of that too at times. Less so when I'm feeding my creative soul and tapping into what matters to me.

Just a thought...

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Shahryar's picture

@zoebear

it's probably more soul satisfying to create something new than to buy something new. It's also a lot harder to do! Thus the compulsion to buy.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@zoebear
instant pot, which I see as an exquisite pressure cooker that came highly reccomended as a utilitarian tool by some home cook acquaintances and friends, I'm largely over a lot of it, I guess because I'm pretty satisfied with what I have. (eg. my principal binos are zeiss, and my lightweight, compact ones for non-birding/nature oriented travel involving airplanes are nikon, not because those brands are cool, but because those two instruments are really excellent.)

Well, I am a tool junkie, but I eventually use them all, and
use the hell out of a lot of them. Spent most of yesterday doing just that and will probably resume any minute now. I especially love it when I run into a snag and then the lightbulb hits "wait I could use that gadget for this part and then that other thingie for that corner there" and off I go and damn, it works.

Have a good one.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

zoebear's picture

@enhydra lutris

Kitchen appliances, when you actually use them, don't really qualify in my assessment of just buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff. Mainly because they are tools to create lovely and edible things (and what could be better than that?). It's a valid distinction. Tools to create things are not only useful in their utilitarian purposes, but they allow the creative part of ourselves to do what we are creatively compelled to do. That's what I call an authentic experience!

P.S. The only reason I don't get an instapot is because I have NO more room in my kitchen for another appliance!! And yes, I use them all. So, until the ole crock pot dies on me and gives up its considerable shelf space, I ain't getting an instapot even though I've been real tempted to.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

QMS's picture

@zoebear
something for almost everything. Important part is to have a bench to spread out the project to have room to work on it. Tools are our connection to making the world work in the realm of things and gadgets. This will prove to be a necessary trade when all shit hits the fan, as our betters are attempting to force much sooner than we are prepared to be.
Fool 'em.

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7 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

zoebear's picture

@QMS

Tools are our connection to making the world work in the realm of things and gadgets.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@zoebear
kitchen that goes with it. The instapot, blender, food processor, special pots and pans and Atlas hand cranked pasta machine all live in the attached garage. There is one spot on the counter that is the designated locale for setting such things up for use, as well as the stand mixer which is tucked off in the bottom of a cabinet. There are a couple of other spots that can also be usurped if we need a lot of tools out, but that leaves minimal counter for all other processes. Because we live in CA, and especially because I grew up in SoCal and SoCal culture, the garage is NOT for housing cars. It is combined pantry, tool storage, mini-shop with a lot of roll out tools (and even one bench) to do most work outside, and laundry room. Kitchen equipment also finds a home there too. Somewhere there is an old bread machine that should go by-by, now that I think of it, since we do all of oour baking manually, freeing up more room for all of our stoneware bakers, canning pot and such.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

zoebear's picture

@enhydra lutris

Because we live in CA, and especially because I grew up in SoCal and SoCal culture, the garage is NOT for housing cars.

I live in SoCal too, and what I can't fit in the kitchen cabinets goes in the outdoor semi-attached laundry room. Like, you know, my turkey platter, rice cooker, and my 30 cup coffee percolator that I use for entertaining.

What part of SoCal are you living? I'm in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@zoebear
San Diego which was waaay too reactionary for my liking, so I moved to Berkeley, partly to go to Cal, once I got out of High School.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

That’s kind of a “less stuff is better” fashion.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=marie+kondo+phenomenon

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard
getting rid of unwanted and unnecessary or useless/pointless stuff is good, within reason, for those for whom it works. Sadly, vacuums, floor/rug sweepers, mops and brroms, for example, bring me no joy, but I find myself decideing time and again that I should keep them, and some game apps that can, if I let them, bring me bursts of joy, are best kept off of my devices all the same.

Have a good one.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

Chrome extension “Tune” against hate
Google makes trolls vanish

Google’s browser Chrome can now automatically hide web-platform hate comments. Behind it: artificial intelligence

https://www.taz.de/Chrome-Erweiterung-Tune-gegen-Hass/!5580525/

Yet another example of the Green-left German daily Taz modelling a feckless attitude as if it were safe to take fascistic Google-esque tech futurism at face value.

Silicon Valley couldn’t possibly be dangerous, it’s in the anti-fascist part of America, California! Just like the progressive American entertainment industry in Hollywood!

“Artificial intelligence” — that thing that everyone’s talking about! I’m so impressed!

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dystopian's picture

But it is about an interesting outside-the-box design.

I actually may have built this object (below). It was manufactured by Design Acoustics in Torrance, CA in the mid to late 1970's. Stereo Review magazine's most exalted audiophile
snob reviewer called it the best sounding speaker ever made in about '76. Which was when I was foreman of the cabinet shop, at 20. This was the D-12. All glue, no nails or screws, it was 12 pentagons, with speakers in all but one panel. 5 were Peerless tweeters solving the problem of high frequency tunneling from standard directional speakers. Even with something like Infinity 2000A's the high frequencies were not even throughout a room, tweeters tunnel. The D-12 solved that by tweeters in all directions. Nowhere in the room had any difference in high frequencies, it was a revolution. They needed a big room and sounded best hung from the cieling. Oh how I wish I had a pair today. They were $400 each in '75! Rosewood or Walnut.

Here are a couple pix I lifted off the web a few years back...
D12-rosewood.jpgD-12walnut.jpg

It was a great design, it worked like nothing else, and damn that is a sexy speaker!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

magiamma's picture

@dystopian interesting...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

Deja's picture

@dystopian
Beautiful, natural wood in the top one too. The bottom one is mostly black, and looks like plywood, where you can see it.

Very cool!

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dystopian's picture

@Deja The top one has the speaker grill covers removed so you see more wood, and it is a Rosewood (actual 1/16 veneer) on particle board. Actually looked much better that way ... us guys makin' 'em thought the grill covers were cheezy. The bottom pair is walnut veneer, with the speaker grills in place. There were a few colors of grills for a year or two, anything but black was awful. LOL If you heard them, you were seduced, they had a 100% kill rate amongst the most hardcore audiosnobs. Wink

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6 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Deja's picture

@dystopian
From the pic, that top one looks like solid wood. Gorgeous. The covers make them ugly to me. Are they necessary?

See? Not an audio anything pretty much. Haven't owned a stereo since I was about 20 or younger.

I love the retro look too. Retro shape + the natural wood look, sold it for me; so I guess it's the aesthetics. Lovely!

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dystopian's picture

@Deja Hey Deja, When I am around, you do not need another audiosnob. Smile I took a test on the intertubes once that alleged to score one's level of audiosnob. I cannot tell a lie, I scored "pretty snobby". What the hell did they expect from a guy that built high-end speakers, plays music, and records bird calls?

The only thing was the panels that pointed up could collect dust. So for those the grill served a purpose, otherwise though generally speaker grills are strictly for looks. For me being a wood guy, I want to see as much as possible, especially Rosewood.

Glad you liked them. They were mind-blowing wild at the time.

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3 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein