"Reconductoring" the electric power grid

Healthcare? More expensive than defense spending against big bad wolf Russia?

Call out the trust busters to bust the Healthcare Industrial Complex.

Better yet, eat heathy and starve the Healthcare Industrial Complex.

The Captain

The Corrupt History of Medicine | Calley Means

The sad thing is that most doctors are hard working, well meaning people but they are caught up in the Healthcare Industrial Complex Matrix.

At one point my doctor gave me VIOXX…

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It’s an interesting chart. You will notice that all of the countries showing lower health care costs than the US are those with far higher amounts of “regulation”, often to the point of having dismantled the “free market” and “free of regulation” option in toto.

I thank you for brilliantly posting a response which perfectly counters your own argument and illustrates mine so well.

(PS: Not sure what “defense expenditures as a % of GDP” have to do with “regulation”, but … OK.)


I’m always happy when people recognize my brilliance! :clown_face:

Just something to compare against. Lots of people object to defense spending but don’t seem to mind all the money spent on fixing the obesity epidemic created by the food pyramid (regulation) and by the AgroIndustrial Food Complex that is poisoning the population in the search for the almighty Dollar. A good solution might be to tax the offenders to pay for the healthcare spending they create.

The Captain


They do not have enough money to pay that much.

When I go to the grocery store I see lots highly processed foods together with lots of fresh produce. A glance at the internet shows a ton of information about obesity and healthy eating.

Seems to me that your average American has both choice and adequate information to make a good choice. Sounds like a free market. So why blame “the AgroIndustrial Food Complex”?

At what point should people become responsible for their choices?

Two opposing philosophies with different “solutions” for obesity and health care:

Those favoring a “nanny” government: Tax the foods that make people fat.
Those favoring personal accountability: Raise the health care premiums of people who are fat.
The status quo: Those who eat healthy partly subsidize the health care of those who don’t.


It was even over the counter for a while.
And I have to say that it worked wonderfully!

But I guess the long-term damage would have not been good.

You should google “food deserts”!


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You make a lot of very good points! Your suggestions work for motivated and informed people. How many shoppers are motivated, informed, and have the luxury of time and money to eat and live right. Put another way, a friend used to say, “The only thing I cannot resist is temptation.” Then there is the joke about the old man smoking in the subway. A fellow passengers says to him, “Don’t you see the No Smoking sign? Stop smoking!” To which the old man replies, “Don’t you see the Drink Coca Cola sign? You are not drinking Coca Cola!”

Animals in the wild are never overweight. They don’t measure and weigh what they eat. Somehow their body rhythm controls their diet. Lots of domestic animals are overweight. Food animals are overfed for profit. Pets are overfed by love and ignorance.

Back in Caracas I managed to lose 50 pounds, here in Portugal I’m having a hard time keeping the weight off. I wonder if the crappy socialist economy in Venezuela was my dietary friend while the Portuguese abundance is my dietary enemy. I have heard stories about WWII Norway to the effect that scarcity improved their health or at least reduced obesity.

As for Internet information, we have an interesting experiment right here. I’ve posted many relevant videos only to have a Fool say that they are bunk. Is she right? If she is we simply cannot rely on the Internet. One omission I have noticed is the lack of videos about protein. Most are about carbs vs. fats. Recently not so much but early on lots of videos were just Infotainment to sell stuff.

Today I ran across a video about protein, most interesting.

The most important dietary hypothesis you never heard of w/ Simpson & Raubenheimer | Hava Podcast #4

In conclusion, the environment created by the regulators, the AgroIndustrial Food Complex, and the Healthcare Industry is toxic and hard to ignore/avoid/evade.

The Captain

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I thought we all had agreed on this point years ago!!


Can we rely on books?
Can we rely on Harvard?

The painful truth is that one needs to rely on one’s own good sense.

The Captain


You really believe that the American obesity epidemic is because fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t available?

So the argument is that Americans are generally not competent to eat responsibly without government supervision?

If that is the case then the problem with America is far more fundamental than greedy corporations.

There is just as much regulation in those other countries. That is not where much of the additional cost is coming from.

Most of those countries have aging populations. The US culturally spends more more on the aged then most of those countries. We do not necessarily live longer because we spend more on junk food and sitting around.

Yes. They have to contend with the well orchestrated efforts of greedy corporations. This is one reason why right, left, and center are unanimous on one thing, the need for an independent judicial system.

Yes! It’s far more complicated than a game of pool. Society is a Complex System. Greedy corporations are part of it. The antidote used to be Thrust Busters but greedy corporations developed countermeasures in the form of regulatory capture, revolving doors, and well funded lobbies, a.k.a. legalized corruption.

In my first reply I am in favor of government supervision, in my second one I’m against it because it is corrupt. This is one reason why the very smart Founding Fathers enacted the separation of powers. Like it or not Ancel Keys was captured by greedy corporations.

Corruption is inevitable but when it grows too much it kills its host.

Before I forget, another aspect of regulatory capture is treating corporations as natural born citizens! The Theater of the Absurd! It won’t be long before AI Robots will get US Passports.

Theater of the Absurd

The Captain


Except when it is not. Drinking water instead of soda/juices/beer will go a long way to reduce the obesity problem while also saving people a significant amount of money. Many (if not most) will still generally choose soda/juices/beer. That’s a choice, not coercion. People will often choose flavor/convenience over health. That’s understandable. But it is a personal choice and should be recognized as such…

The vast majority of eating decisions are of this type…choices. I think it is ridiculous to blame JCs/corporations/agribusinesses for why so many choose potato chips over apple slices or heavily sugared cereal over granola. One can justifiably blame corrupt corporations/government for food contaminated with pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones, but not I think for overeating stuff that isn’t good for you.

That’s fine, as far as it goes. But “good sense” also means not getting over your skis. It means recognizing what you don’t know. It may be admirable for me to try do-it-yourself electrical work. But if I don’t recognize what I don’t know, I am an electrocution waiting to happen.

Expertise still matters. It’s great that you were able to solve your own health issues, but more often than not when people try to do things they lack the competency to do they end up on a viral Tic Tok video next to the dancing cat.

But I think even you see the cognitive dissonance between advocating the need “rely on one’s own good sense” and arguing for government taxes to keep people from getting fat.

That’s a great example of cherry picking. There is more to nutrition than drinks. :wink:

I got a big shock when I stuck a metal paper cutter into an electric socket. I think I was still pre-teen. I became the house electrician. Years later (well post-teen) I worked the lights for an amateur theater group. The day before opening night the lights went out and I could not figure out why. They had to call in the people who installed the system. They looked it over, asked me lots of questions specially about overloads. There were none. After a few hours the guys took out a wrench and tightened a nut by about a quarter turn or less. They said, “Problem solved, you are good to go!” I wasn’t going to let them leave before they explained the problem and solution to me.

A loose connection! It was just loose enough to cause an invisible spark that slowly deposited some stuff at the connection point that slowly increased the resistance. Over time the connection got hotter and hotter and the breaker tripped by heat, not by overload. They pointed out the discoloration of the problem connection.

Moral of the story? Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

No I don’t. I’m a problem solver. Failure is always an option.

Maybe a tax is not the solution but the problem is big enough to require government action which does not negate personal initiative.

The Captain

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Did I tell you about another show in another theater where the lights switchboard was simply not working? The director was having kittens. I told him not to worry.I’ll tell you all about it some day if you are interested.

Amateur theater was a lot of fun back stage and after hours! :musical_note:

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This weekend I saw a new power line innovation in Vila Nova de Gaia where I live, the replacement of power line marker balls

marker ball

with wire coils of similar size on a brand new power line. I wonder what they look like at night. Some marker balls glow or flash in the dark. I could not find them on Google, maybe they are just too new.

The Captain


Here is a cheaper way to increases the capacity of the electrical grid:

Getting new transmission lines planned, approved, and constructed is a daunting task, often taking a decade or longer to complete. So, how can the world more quickly add transmission capacity to the system without investing enormous time and money in the process? The answer: grid enhancing technologies, or GETs.

“GETs are exciting to us because they are technologies that help us unlock quickly the additional headroom or additional capability of the grid to carry energy across the system,” Alexina Jackson, vice president of Strategic Development with AES Corp., said as a guest on The POWER Podcast . “This is something that is very important, because today, we are not making the fullest use of the electricity system as it’s built.”

The system is operated below its maximum capacity for very good reasons, specifically, to maintain reliability, but by implementing GETs, it can be operated closer to its true limits without risk of failure. “Once we have these technologies, such as dynamic line rating, which helps us visualize the dynamic and full headroom of the electrical grid, and then technologies like storage as transmission, advanced power flow control, topology optimization—they all allow us to operate the grid in its dynamic capability. By doing both these things—visualization and operation dynamically—we’re able to start making fuller use of that carrying capacity for energy, which will allow us to add additional energy more quickly, serve our customer needs more efficiently, and ultimately decarbonize faster,” Jackson said.

AES published a white paper in April titled “Smarter use of the dynamic grid: Accessing transmission headroom through GETs deployment.” The 20-page document goes into much greater detail on the four items Jackson mentioned—dynamic line rating (DLR), storage as transmission (SAT), advanced power flow control (APFC), and topology optimization.

DLR. The paper explains: “Traditionally, TOs [transmission owners] use static or seasonal line ratings based on worst-case assumptions—for example, the hottest time and day of the season under low wind speeds. This often results in conservative ratings that do not accurately reflect the true thermal capacity of a line at a given point in time. In contrast, DLR provides real-time visibility into line capacity and customized rating profiles on lines that are otherwise identical.”

SAT. Again, the white paper explains: “In operations, Storage as Transmission (SAT) can absorb excess generation during periods of low load and store it near load to dispatch during peak periods when transmission lines risk congestion. Using storage in this way reduces system costs from congestion pricing and can reduce harmful pollutants and overall carbon emissions by avoiding use of peaking thermal power plants.”

APFC. Advanced power flow control (APFC) controls the magnitude of power flows along specific transmission paths, and can mitigate thermal and stability issues that arise by changing the flow to alternative paths, the white paper says. Without getting too technical, Jackson explained that APFC alters the impedance on lines to encourage flow via a desired route.

Topology Optimization. The AES white paper explains: “Topology optimization refers to the strategic reconfiguration of the power grid’s structure by switching the status of circuit breakers, switches, or other controllable devices. This process involves switching transmission lines in or out and/or splitting bus sections. For example, if load is growing rapidly and stressing one feeder, grid operators can transfer all or part of the load to adjacent feeders through switching actions at substations and minimize the risk of equipment failure and outages. Studied topology optimization solutions can be applied quickly to mitigate unexpected events like equipment failures or demand changes.”

To hear the full interview with Jackson, which contains more about the benefits of GETs and some of AES’s projects, listen to The POWER Podcast .