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Thursday, 27 June 2013


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A fascinating contrarian indeed, Mr. Hirschman. But who are you thinking of for the second contrarian mentioned in your last paragraph?

Er, you, actually, Andra!

Apparently most big infrastructure projects lose their initial shareholders money - the sunk cost problem . Further, a project that gets you into a hole encourages the 'how the f&&k do I get out of this' thought - from whence ingenuity of solution or problem-presentation derives. Explains why there are no old-bold pilots or engineers or administrators.

Good answer, Duff. Ten out of ten.

I'm sure I've used this quote before:

“ is well know that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

I suspect rogers point has more to do with the fact that most big infrastructure projects are decided by bureaucrats and politicians as opposed to someone who may have even a slight idea how to go about such a thing so spending the initial moneys allocated on consultants, junkets to, purely coincidentally, exotic locations to see how other countries messed up their projects, then change the specifications at least twelve times, insist on their personal pork-barrel additions/deviations in its siting (who cares about geography and geology when there's money/votes to be made?) then sacking and replacing the project manager/company in favour of 'their man'/friends (even if he/they have never built anything bigger than a lego house before) ....

I'm just surprised any of them get finished at all.

Thank you. Miss Andra!

Roger & Able, you are both right and as the review stresses, Hirschman was constantly struck by how many 'failures' turned out in the end to be successes. So perhaps Dave's HS2 scheme will in the end make a nice canal!

"because it is too late to turn back, they’re forced to finish the job."

But at whose expense?

In those days, I suspect, their own - which is right and proper.

In these days (I'm thinking of the Olympics, HS2 and other insanities) it will be the poor bloody taxpayer who gets shafted when it turns out to cost ten times the estimate and the EU wants it done anyway.

(Because never forget, HS2 is an EU requirement - nothing to do with our current so-called government)

And the thought occurs, given the news today, whether we will actually have sufficient energy to run HS2!

New Yorkers enjoy spending money on transit venues.

Another project 'The Black River Canal' a 35 mile canal with 109 locks. At an 1837-1855 cost of $3.5 million dollars. More links in the upper left corner.

Thanks, Uppers, and this morning I had a look at the photos of the canal as it is today - absolutely gorgeous! And just like many of the old canals 'over here', it's local people who have saved them and now care for them. I once went on a day trip with a friend who owned a canal boat and it provided a superb view of the countryside from an angle that you never normally see. I would just love a trip up the Blackwater Canal - er, so long as someone else kept jumping about to deal with all those bloody locks!

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