October 27 roundup


  • In regards to the Harrisburg entry. The incinerator was not the only cause for Harrisburg’s problems. The previous mayor spent a small fortune to buy artifacts for a to be developed Wild West Museum without budget approval. Some were way overpriced; some were never delivered. When the museum idea was found out and killed, the artifacts were sold for pennies on the dollar. This and other things point to a general mismanagement of the city.

  • Every time the Saw Stop gets a false positive, it costs you some $150; $50 for a new brake mechanism, and $100 for a new carbide blade.

    I’d better buy my Unisaw without this unwanted technology before it becomes ubiquitous. A good deal for Delta, no so much for my budget.

  • So what happens if the person using the cutting tool at the Deli counter slices off a finger? You can’t put in the saw stop mechanism and still be able to cut meat. Can they still sue?

  • The table saw decision illustrates then important difference in thinking between law analyses and engineering analyses.

    Legal minds believe in never-again laws. They will throw out 100,000 perfectly good cribs to save perhaps a percentage of a child. Engineering minds see life as imperfect and minimize risk subject to reasonableness. At first banning all automobiles would save 30,000 lives a year, but no engineer would see that as reasonable.

    Our long lives as relatively rich people is due more to engineers, including those who design sewer systems and water supplies, than to judges, especially those holding witchcraft trials.

  • The First Circuit did not “theorize” anything as Ted suggest. It just affirmed the jury that heard all of the evidence in the case.