Facebook friend’s status:
When you look at the huge crowds for the Women’s Marches everywhere, notice the seas of pink hats. Most are hand knitted or hand crocheted by marchers and their friends and supporters. It takes maybe four hours to knit a hat. Those seas represent tens of thousands of hours of commitment.
For every hour that an American spent knitting a hat or marching with an Asian-fabbed mobile phone in his or her pocket there was a corresponding Chinese, Taiwanese, or Korean citizen who spent the same hour studying semiconductor physics and integrated circuit fabrication.
I wonder where my next SSD will come from… (2014 fab capacity, by country; boring stats: there were more than 5 million engineering students in China in 2013, with the number doubling every 10 years)
Separately, my Facebook feed is full of people gloating that Barack Obama attracted larger crowds for his inauguration than Donald Trump did. But might this simply reflect the fact that Trump supporters have to work on a weekday? (the Federal government and D.C.-area schools shut down on inauguration days, so Democrats with government jobs are free to come down to the Mall without taking a vacation day; roughly 95 percent of federal employees supported Clinton)
Finally, the march here in Boston seems to have proved Donald Trump correct regarding the incompetence of U.S. local, state, and federal government. Despite soaking up 40-50 percent of GDP, the government couldn’t adapt to the forecast demand for transportation today by, e.g., adding extra trains. A guy (of course it was a guy!) from our suburb who had wanted to participate watched the commuter train, completely full, drive through the local station without stopping. He then tried to drive to Alewife and catch the Red Line but turned back when confronted by a multi-mile traffic jam. Was the challenge actually insurmountable? Supposedly there were roughly 100,000 people demonstrating in Boston. If half of them were residents of Boston/Cambridge that means 50,000 came into the city on this Saturday; the number of inbound commuters on a typical weekday in 2012 was 787,000 (Boston Globe).
- this recent New Yorker article on how transit project costs to the U.S. taxpayer are “often five to six times higher here than in other developed countries.”