Point of View: Privacy, Time, and of course, EVs


Point of View: Privacy, Time, and of course, EVs

John Van Horn


Privacy, is it important?


A friend of mine has predicted that the government will shortly outlaw the use of $100 bills. The reason? That will force us to use credit cards. A number of stores are becoming ‘credit card only.’ That is, if you want to shop here, you must use a credit card. Just how does this affect you? Some would say that it’s a good thing, after all, it will reduce theft, and enable you to budget your expenditures more easily.


At this point I would usually add the comment ‘fair enough.’ But is it?


A good definition of privacy from “privacy.com”


Privacy is a fundamental human right that underpins freedom of association, thought and expression, as well as freedom from discrimination. But it’s hard to define. Different countries offer different views, as do individuals. Generally speaking, privacy includes the right to be free from interference and intrusion.


Have you ever gone online after a shopping trip and checked your credit card activity? You can learn some interesting things about your life. Things like when and where you shopped, how much you spent, and in some cases, what you bought.


Have you ever wondered why after you bought your tickets to New Orleans to attend the NPA show, ads for hotels, restaurants, and events in the Big Easy suddenly began popping up on your search pages? The information about what you bought and where you are going is golden to potential advertisers.


The argument you hear is “well, JVH, if you have nothing to hide, why do you care that ‘people’ know where you go, what you buy, where you eat? Are you trying to keep something from ‘us’?


Frankly, yes, I am trying to keep something from you. It is none of your business where I go, what I buy, where I eat, how much I spend. I like to keep my life to myself. Private. Maybe I went to get a massage. Maybe the therapist was located in an area some might consider less than perfect. Suddenly JVH is visiting places that might have a less than stellar reputation. Of course, no one knows that I have a bad back, or am attempting to get my body back in shape after a bout of illness. It’s none of your business.


Although HIPPA rules restrict what information can be given out by doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals, checking my credit cards and how much I spend on prescriptions can be very revealing. Regular trips to the drug store could indicate a serious health problem, but could also indicate that a serious health problem was completely under control. In either case, it’s none of your business.


If I want to protect my privacy by using cash, why shouldn’t I be able to? Granted it isn’t as convenient for merchants and banks if I look askance at a credit card and whip out a roll of 20s, but it does keep information private.


Some may want to keep their information private for no other reason than they prefer that the world not know their business. If making it more difficult for the government to enforce laws or for the financial community to do their business makes our lives more private, I say so be it.


It’s your choice. You should be able to make it. Some may not care that their information is broadcast from the rooftops. Super. Just don’t place your preferences on everyone. Unfortunately, few care about their privacy until it’s violated. Then, it’s too late.


Probably the most critical part of our lives is time, and how we spend it. I wonder from time to time (yep, I said that) just what we can do to make our lives more time sensitive. Spend some time thinking about it.


That’s what we do, spend time. And when its gone, there is no way to get it back. We can’t build it, we can’t bank it, we can’t hide it for later use. Once time is gone, it is gone for good.


Yet we squander time. The internet and social media are places where we waste time. We follow people who we think are leading interesting lives we would love to lead (can you say Kardashian?). 


We seem to think if we see it online, it must be true. We find things interesting that simply aren’t. We watch or listen to podcasts that are simply advertorials for the person on the cast, and then change our lives to fit. What a waste of precious time.


Those of us here at PT have tried to provide tools to help you make better use of that most limited resource. Parknews.biz, our parking news aggregator, can be scanned in a very few minutes and the headlines can give you an idea of something that might help you in your daily parking life. Astrid averages 10 to 15 parking-based stories from around the world on Parknews.biz each day, that’s over 200 a month. 


If you are not inclined to be ‘online,’ you can read a summary of between 30 and 70 articles each month in Parking Today’s industry news section. Proper names are in bold, so it can be quickly scanned. 


If you have a specific item you require, go to our web site, Parkingtoday.com, enter your request in the search field on the home page, and you will automatically and quickly search our entire body of work over the past 25 years.


Anything we can do to help you make better use of your valuable time, please let us know.


Like the late great Jim Croce sang, “If I could Save Time in a Bottle…”


If only




Is Getting More EVs on the Road All About Charging?


An article that Astrid posted over on Parknews says the answer is YES, YES, YES. They posit that the number of chargers, and the speed that batteries can take a charge, is critical to increasing the fleet. Fair enough.


However, I wonder. Remember that I live at ground zero of electric car purchases (California). 


My feeling is that until EVs equal or surpass ICE vehicles in most ways they have an uphill battle. Yes, charging is an issue. As noted in the article above, at very best, fast chargers can charge 200 miles of electrons in 15 minutes.


However, you can fill the tank of an ICE in what, five minutes? And you don’t have to hunt for a charger, wait for someone else to finish, and then hope that the available chargers are in working order.


But let’s set chargers aside. What about the cost? It seems today that EVs cost about $20K more than a like ICE vehicle. 


I don’t know about you, but that’s more than pocket change. There seems to be another issue. 


The major car companies (Ford, GM, and Stellantis – Chrysler) are losing huge amounts of money in their EV divisions and only keeping profits up by ICE sales.


Trucks (pickups) are the big number for auto sales in the U.S. And it seems that electric trucks don’t stand up well against ICE trucks. 


Their range drops substantially when fully loaded or pulling a trailer. That’s not good if you rely on your vehicle for your livelihood.


A friend told me that he loves his Tesla. Loves to drive it around town. However, he wasn’t so sure when he took it skiing 450 miles north. Seems he had to stop for charging at least twice in each direction. 


My 20-year-old ICE machine can make it nonstop. Oh well. My friend was frustrated and owns an ICE vehicle for long trips. 


I noticed that most people who have EVs also have an ICE SUV hidden in the garage. My neighbor has a GMC SUV and a Jeep parked alongside his Tesla.


Variety is the spice of life. People want variety. With literally hundreds of ICE models available it would seem that EVs will be more attractive if there is more variety. Who knows.


I noticed that when EVs were promoted on the Super Bowl, they were promoted as ICE vehicles that ran on electricity. There must be reasons for people to buy EVs beyond government edicts. What’s in it for me is important.


Just sayin’…

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John Van Horn
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