Saturday, November 19, 2016

EV Sales -- FWIW -- Only For The Archives -- November 19, 2016

A reader sent me the link to this article asking whether plug-in EVs are still relevant?

My reply to the reader:
I really liked this article. About 2/3rds of the way through, I had to check the source of this article. I generally try to read an article before knowing where it was printed -- to try to keep an open mind.

But as I got about 2/3rds of the way through, I knew this was probably not published by Breitbart. LOL.

The one paragraph in that very long article that stood out:
Regardless what the energy picture is in the U.S. therefore, the rest of the global market is pushing ahead on an endeavor that now sees the U.S. in third place globally, though it started as the leader.
The endeavor: electrified car agenda. The leaders, globally: Europe and Asia. In third place: America.

I guess I could write a lot, and I thought about writing a lot at the blog regarding the US EV story, but for me the bottom line is this: before the 2016 election, the plug-in EV story was becoming irrelevant with the glut of gasoline / oil. With the results of the 2016 election, the US plug-in EV story has become irrelevant.

Years ago, at Barnes and Noble, among the computer-oriented periodicals, the breakdown was about 99% PC-related; it was hard to find a magazine devoted to Apple. Almost every one of those PC-related magazines has now disappeared; the PC is pretty much irrelevant as far as "excitement" and "innovation" is concerned. The computer-oriented periodicals at Barnes and Noble are now almost all about Apple, the last time I looked, several months ago, at least here in north Texas.

I assume the same for EVs.
The meme/trope that EVs are environmentally better than conventional gasoline ICE-powered automobiles is simply untrue. 

It will be interesting to see US EV industry in 2018.

The Literature Page

I've long forgotten how I first stumbled across Portrait of a Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Nigel Nicolson, by their son Nigel, c. 1973.

I had forgotten the year it was published. I graduated from college that year. Two or three years earlier I had met the "love of my life." We talked of marriage but our relationship did not survive the geographic separation. I do not recall if she recommended the book to me or whether it was something she said to me that led me to the book some years later.

I've only read the book once, but it had a great influence on my subsequent reading, and perhaps subconsciously on subsequent relationships.

That period of my "literary life" was brought back to me with an essay in this week's edition of London Review of Books: "A Little Talk in Downing Street," by Bee Wilson, after her reading of the new book by Stefan Buczacki, My Darling Mr Asquith: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Venetia Stanley, 464 pages, released in April, 2016.

The essay was a delight to read. One photograph accompanied the essay, a photo of Margo Asquith and Venetia Stanley at the Scott-Sackville trial, 1913.

It took a bit of work to find details of the Scott-Sackville trial.

The essay begins:
How do you sign off an email? How, when writing to someone who is more than an acquaintance and less than an intimate, do you show that you mean well without being intrusively familiar?
There is no common scale to draw on. You can make someone uncomfortable by sending them ‘xox’ in a work email when all they expected was a ‘cheers’.
A late friend of mine always signed off ‘all good wishes’ – I felt that hit the right convivial-but-distant note. I started borrowing it, then ramped it up to ‘all best wishes’, fearing that ‘good’ might be interpreted as lukewarm, but now I am mildly regretting the inflation.
I rattle out yet another round of doubly superlative ‘all best wishes’ and feel like Tchaikovsky giving the direction pppppp in his Symphony No. 6 when ppp would have done just as well. But it’s also possible to dial things down too far until a sign-off becomes an insult. The Twitter account ‘Very British Problems’ cites the problem of ‘receiving an email ending in “regards” and wondering what you’ve done to cause so much anger’.

In the age of letter-writing, deciding how to start and finish was so much simpler. In 1926, Fowler listed the various ways to end a proper letter:
  • Yours faithfully: To unknown person on business.
  • Yours truly: To slight acquaintance.
  • Yours very truly: Ceremonious but cordial.
  • Yours sincerely: In invitations & friendly but not intimate letters.
But that didn’t solve every dilemma. In an age of ritualised courtship and repressed emotions the difficulty was more likely to have to do with intimate letters than those written to business acquaintances.

My Darling Mr Asquith is a deeply sympathetic and scrupulously researched biography of the socialite Venetia Stanley (1887-1948).
One of its main themes is the complex gradation of affection that could be expressed by different salutations at the start of letters between very posh associates ...
When Asquith wrote to his second wife, Margot (his first wife died of typhoid in 1891), she was ‘my own darling’. But when, as a man in his sixties, he wrote to the Hon. Venetia Stanley, the twentysomething woman with whom he was besotted from 1912 to 1915, he employed fifty shades of ‘darlings’ and ‘beloveds’, ranging from ‘my very own darling’ to ‘most loved’ to ‘my darling of darlings’.
These darlings multiplied across nearly six hundred love letters written by Asquith to Venetia, totalling nearly 300,000 words
On another note, from the essay, it took a bit of work, but I also figured out what "combies" are. It will be interesting if any reader from England is able to confirm the definition of "combies."

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