User:VidTheKid

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Bír'd'in symbol
USThis user uses American English.
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| I | N | T | E | G | R | A | L | S |

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Hi, I'm Vid the Kid, also known as David "Smith" or Bír'd'in. I have not yet officially disclosed my real last name on the Internet. Most of what's on this page is very old and likely outdated.

Sub-pages[edit]

I think I'll use sub-pages on my user page for topics that are somewhere between encyclopedic and personal, and/or potentially lengthy.

Mini Autobiography[edit]

I have lived my entire life in the Columbus area since I was born in 1984. I did well in public school, excelling in math and science, but encountered problems with depression and other things as a student at the Ohio State University and dropped out. Things have been rough since then, but they're slowly getting better, and that's all I'll say.

Areas of Interest[edit]

While I find a great deal of Wikipedia interesting, my contributions will likely be concentrated in matters of roadgeek interest or relating to the Columbus area.

Other Wikipedians Worth Mentioning[edit]

Opinions[edit]

The main purpose for this section is to fill out the volume of this page. And so I can vent ideas that would violate NPOV in the relevant wikipedia articles.

Keep in mind these are just opinions. I try to express them reasonably, but if you disagree, I would appreciate it if you expressed that disagreement in a civil manner, or simply disregard my opinions and move along. Really I don't expect many people to agree with some of these ideas, and I don't feel arguments are necessary.

Taxes[edit]

It seems like the most common slam ads against liberal candidates in this political season (fall '06) have been that they have a track record of raising taxes. I really don't think that's such a bad thing. Consider that a lot of governmental services at the state and federal level are underfunded. Also consider that people who don't earn much really don't pay state or federal taxes. I honestly think that a small income tax on the lowest earners might be reasonable. This is not to say that other budget solutions shouldn't be persued, such as identifying and eliminating wasteful spending. On the other hand, while a flat tax (the logical extreme of the above reasoning) would seem "fair" on the surface, history and a little deeper thinking shows that this leads to the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer. This should probably be avoided in some way or another. Is it the government's place to make everybody's income a little more even? Well, I don't see any other entity stepping in. Maybe Robin Hood or Superman, but nobody's seen them around.

I guess I kinda see all sides of this issue, leaving me mostly indecisive. But the big point is that taxes are a necessary evil. And if that's all the republicans have to keep me from voting for their opponents, I'm not convinced.

Public Transit[edit]

Public transit is necessary for big cities. But planners shouldn't rely solely on transit as a substitute for road improvements, because demands on highway infrastructure are not likely to decrease significantly in most places, even if a successful transit system is implemented. Keep in mind various forms of transit have certain population density thresholds that generally must be reached before that transit system becomes successful and/or profitable.

Suburban Sprawl[edit]

Roads don't cause sprawl. Cities and towns grow, and the rate of growth depends on a variety of factors, which can be considered together as quality of life. Growth will only stop if quality of life becomes terrible. Yes, saying no to road improvements will eventually stop growth, but only after quality of life is severely reduced for existing residents. If you want high quality of life, your transportation infrastructure must keep pace with growth. If you don't want to grow, then limit that growth by other means, such as zoning.

Highway Number Designations[edit]

A numbered route should generally follow the best (by some criteria) route between its endpoints. It should be a logical assumption that if point A and point B are both on route X, then the best way between those points is to follow route X. This is not true of Interstate 75 in southern Michigan. I really don't think the same numbered highway should pass through all three of Toledo, Detroit, and Flint. Maybe I-75 should end in Port Huron, with I-73 running north from Toledo along US-23 to Flint, and then north along what is currently I-75 to Canada. The road from Detroit to Flint could be I-173 or I-375.

Not that I think it would be a great idea to actually make this change and update all the signage and maps. But AASHO probably should have made it this way from the beginning.

Route bends that really bug me[edit]

  • I-75 through Detroit
  • I-94 through Detroit
  • M-22 at Northport
  • OH-37 at Lancaster
  • I-75 at Naples
  • I-65 at Montgomery

Cheese[edit]

Cheese is god. Oops, typo; I meant to say that cheese is God. Seriously, though, cheddar makes a lot of things better.

Windows[edit]

Windows is a damn good operating system -- or it used to be, anyway. I'm a proud Windows 98 user because, quite frankly, the direction the product is heading scares me. Unfortunately, fewer software products are being made that will run on Windows 98 (and sometimes this is an arbitrary decision on the part of the developer) and I'm not sure what OS I'll run on my next computer. Mac and Linux both have their good points, but I doubt I'll ever see Flight Simulator X released for either one.

Day-Shift[edit]

Lots of businesses are open 24 hours a day. Call centers, gas stations, some restaurants, hospitals – that's a lot of people employed at night. So why does the night lack certain important business opportunities like U.S. Mail and auto repair service? People who work "3rd shift" are likely to be asleep when these places are open. And what about recreation? My friends and I have no place to enjoy the outdoors and each others' company at night without being hassled by law enforcement.

I say our society should diversify work and sleep hours to the point where there is little more activity between 9 AM and 5 PM than during the rest of the 24-hour day. By extending some services to 24-hour availability, we have already chosen to cast some of our population out into the night. Should they be in exile? No! We must further populate the night! Bring the entire clock into the economy! I think I'm over-using exclaimation points!

One side-benefit that immediately comes to my mind is that urban highways would be used more efficiently, with traffic spread out into several rush-hours or even a continuous hum in both directions. It's an engineers dream...

Version X[edit]

A lot of products have reached their 10th version recently. Mac OS, Flight Simulator, and I'm sure there are plenty more that I can't think of at the moment. Must they all use the roman numeral X instead of the arabic numeral 10? It makes the proper oral reading of such a product name quite ambiguous.

Computer Directions Are Making People Stupid[edit]

Yes, the computer-generated directions you get from, for example, MS Streets & Trips, MapQuest, or TomTom Go, can be helpful sometimes. But some people depend on this technology regularly. The problem with that is the technology isn't foolproof. Occasionally, computer-generated directions might leave out a step, like which way to go at a minor fork in a freeway ramp, or give directions that are simply wrong, because they are based on outdated data. What's the most disturbing to me is that when these problems with the directions occur, people don't know what to do, even when the answer is staring them in the face. This is why road signs are put up. The road signs are a LOT more dependable than computer-generated directions. They might not tell you exactly how to get to your exact destination, but if you are given directions to take a certain road, or infer which highway to take from a map, the signs will tell you how to get to that road, with clear instructions at each decision point. You don't need step-by-step from an outside source, especially when that outside source can sometimes be wrong.

I don't really know how many people drive along the road without knowing what it's called or where it goes, but drive on it anyway because some directions told them to turn onto it at just the right moment. But I've seen some examples of people who absolutely can't navigate for themselves, except perhaps for roads they drive on everyday, and recognize by landmarks. Surely this limits their opportunities in life. I assert that being familiar with a road is NOT a prerequisite for making use of it without being told which way to go at every step.

Columbus (no comma-O-H)[edit]

I consider myself to be from Columbus. Not Columbus, Ohio, but Columbus. Yes, I'm referring to the Columbus which is in Ohio, but I don't think the Ohio part is necessary. Columbus is significant enough that when someone refers to "Columbus" in any national or global context, people should not have to ask "which one," despite the numerous small cities and towns also named Columbus. Only in local contexts very near a lesser Columbus should this not be true. See my subpage on the subject for facts to support this.

Lessons I've Learned From Wikipedia[edit]

Don't pick lottery numbers from fortune cookies[edit]

The lucky numbers you get from a fortune cookie are not even close to unique. That same set of numbers can be found in thousands of other cookies, and at least a hundred other people probably play the lottery with those same numbers. So if you hit the jackpot, you'll have to split it with about 100 other people. (See Fortune cookie#Fortune cookie payout.)

See Also[edit]