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DnD Central / Re: The Future of War
Last post by ersi -
According to Joe Blogs, Russia is doomed for next eight years

According to Peter Zeihan, Germany is doomed imminently for a generation or so

If Germany goes down, it would not go down alone. Its huge trade surplus would bring down others. I always said since day one that eating Snickers instead of home-grown potatoes was not a good idea.

Anyway, if Russia really goes down, which is something to look forward to, Germany's existence will be irrelevant.
DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by ersi -
Ursula and Scholz are not just from different parties, but represent different political cultures.

Die EU-Kommissionspräsidentin erinnerte daran, dass die Ukrainer „diesen Kampf für uns alle“ kämpfen. Nötig sei der Sieg der Demokratie.

For a "geopolitical Europe" (a term from Scholz's grundsatzrede) to be a thing, it is important for the EU members to demonstrate coherence and consistency with regard to Ukraine war. Instead, Scholz is playing a solo Nein-policy.

At the same time, Scholz eulogises Germany as the future main defence pillar of Europe.
„Eine gut ausgerüstete Bundeswehr, die ihren Auftrag zum Schutz unseres Landes erfüllen kann, ist für mich eine Selbstverständlichkeit“, sagte Scholz. „Dafür stehe ich als Bundeskanzler – und darauf können Sie sich verlassen.“ Die Bundeswehr solle zum Grundpfeiler der konventionellen Verteidigung in Europa werden, „zur am besten ausgestatteten Streitkraft“. [...] „Der Kernauftrag der Bundeswehr ist die Verteidigung der Freiheit in Europa!“
No, Scholz. A soloing Germany always meant destruction and devastation to Europe. You are hell-bent on repeating Germany's biggest past mistakes.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
Last post by Frenzie -
Traffic lights for pedestrians over here are still not halfway as bad as in USA though.
Oh yes, in the US they're completely absurd. Here's a video about it, but I've experienced it firsthand. They had a sign saying something like "wait for cars to turn right before crossing." The first time I did that… and never was able to cross. The second time, I stepped in front of the cars as if I was in Italy.[1]

I determined that the made up nonsense of "jaywalking" (what we call "walking") was probably the safest method of crossing the street, because you can simply do it when there are no cars, whereas the traffic light where you're supposed to cross is:

a. horribly far
b. significantly less safe
Meaning ready to jump back but pretending not to.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
Last post by ersi -
I guess you're implying they have the absurd impression that the work is done?
Of course they do not want their work (i.e. income stream) to end. But they see their work as consisting in doing what either promises most lucrative rewards or avoids most painful punishment. Bicycling infrastructure will never be done, because they are doing it only very reluctantly.

That's how we did it in the Netherlands. In the '70s it was as car infested as anywhere else. When you look at the Netherlands in the 2020s what you see is the result of four decades of mostly naturally improving things as they needed renovations anyway. It didn't happen overnight. As soon as you start, within a decade you'll see massive improvements. The Netherlands that I grew up in in the '90s was somewhat similar to Belgium (or at least Flanders) today in 2022.
I can hardly relate to a culture that when planners step in, things get better, even if bit by bit. Instead there have been multiple occasions with recent reworkings where things got significantly worse, such as the train station next to my workplace. The train station (a stop really) used to be severely underdeveloped, outright primitive, and it was possible to walk freely in any random direction after stepping off the train. Now some goddamn city planners rebuilt it so that *two trainfuls of people* (it has rails in each direction and in rush hours it happens that arrivals from both directions stop at the same time or close) are directed to a single three metres wide spot to leave the station and then to a sidewalk which is narrowed by a bus stop to a 40 cm wide (!) walkable space. For safety (??) the possible alternative routes that used to be there have been walled off with high fences.

Not just bad planning, but decidedly anti-human planning. There is no way it is unintentional. This is my experience with planners. Life used to be so much better without planners. There was so much more space for walking and bicycling. I'm not saying that this is a universal experience. Just that it is how it is where I live.

In the Netherlands, the traffic lights will let you go as soon as it makes sense. You rarely feel like you're waiting for nothing.
I also feel that in the West (Finland or Sweden) the traffic lights go faster or at least smoother. In Estonia, my instinct is first to look left and right and calculate if I can make it over the road without getting hit by a car. If I cannot, I'll wait for the lights. Traffic lights for pedestrians over here are still not halfway as bad as in USA though. You cannot speedstep over any American city-highway.

Also see this tweet:
Well, not a picture that applied to Estonia most of the time last century. There may have been isolated exceptions like Olympics 1980 (the sailing events were held in Tallinn).