June 16th, 2019


can rideshare reduce driving?

I've seen reports that Uber/Lyft (rideshare) increase congestion. This surprised me, I thought they would reduce driving. Someone pointed out a flaw in my thinking: single passenger rideshare CANNOT reduce driving.

Say Alice would drive from A to B. She calls a Lyft instead. The car takes her for exactly the same trip, PLUS having to drive to pick her up at A, and to pick someone else after B (or to take the driver home.) It's strictly MORE driving than before. It can, however, reduce parking demand.

A group of people who would have carpooled are the same.

A group of people who would have individually driven DOES reduce driving if they take one rideshare vehicle instead.

The biggest potential is probably in arranged shared rides, Lyft Line or UberPool. If Alice would drive from A to C, and Bob would drive from B to D, and the routes overlap or parallel a lot, then driving to pick up Alice at A, driving to B for Bob, driving to D, and then C, might be a reduction. Depends on how much endpoint driving (including backtracking to pick up Bob after already going part way to C) there is compared to the shared component. Picking up two people at the airport who live half a mile apart five miles away is a clear win. Picking up people five blocks apart who are going to places ten blocks away and five blocks apart themselves would not be a win. (10+10 vs. 5+10+5.)

So the shared rides can reduce driving, and we'd need actual data on algorithms and trip patterns to evaluate that. But it's more likely for longer trips than short ones within a squarish area.

And of course all this ignores taking trips from transit, or stimulating new trips that wouldn't have happened.

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scientific posters should headline a result in plain language

A guy says standard poster sessions are terrible, especially for walking around and hoping for serendipity, because the posters are walls of text with some obscure question as a title. But they can be better! Make your interesting *result* prominent and easy to see, with simple details on one side and crunchier details on the other. Video jumping to the good bit (the first 11 minutes set the context).

NPR article.

Some critique and riffing.

Even those of us who will likely never make a poster can still benefit from thoughts on clarity.

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Osaka: June 16

Just stayed in yesterday, ducking the alleged storm, though it wasn't that bad in the end. Some rain and thunder. Re-read a lot of Gunnerkrigg Court, read about hyperpolyglots and curbside management.

Today W and I had ramen, then came back to watch the latest anime version of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. So fun for me but not a lot to tell y'all about. Our table condiments included a jar of garlic paste and a jar of something that looked like green onion kimchee -- green onions and red bits and a fermented look to it all.

One thing about Japan is lots of tiny shrines you'll run across. I wondered if one was Shinto or Buddhist, and W pointed out the swastika -- excuse me, manji -- marking it as Buddhist.

I'm apparently in walking distance of the tallest building in Japan, so that's a thing to check out.

I found Camembert in Japan! I was surprised. If it's an import it was thoroughly re-labled. It's also triple-wrapped: you open the cardboard box, and there's a plastic tub; you open the plastic tub, and the mini-wheel of cheese is wrapped in clingy plastic.

I have a bag of "candy-style cheese". It had looked like a bag of cheese curds. Kind of, but more regular in shape -- a bit like a small Reese's cup -- and *each one* is wrapped in twisty plastic, like hard candy. Japan is a terrible country for pursuing a minimal-packaging lifestyle.

(These cheese itself seems normal, not sweet; some semi-soft white cheese like cheddar.)

I have cooked! Well, I boiled pasta and put sauce and cheese on it. But assembling a meal and putting it on a plate, rather than just eating supermarket packages, is a step toward feeling at home in a kitchen. Oh, and there was a sieve after all. No can opener in either kitchen, though.

I passed a Denny's on the walk home. I did not expect that.

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