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It’s not clear at all that the vast majority of people in London commute by public transport. The sources linked below, one during the pandemic in 2020, and the other a series of estimates, suggest the figure is more like 25-35% but I wasn’t able to find something more conclusive. [1, 2]

More to your point, I agree that SF or at least the Bay Area has a higher dependence on cars, but it’s also more geographically constrained by the bay and resulting bridges/ferries, so it’s not obvious that there’s much more freedom in where to live in practice. For instance, I would guess a one hour commute in London would encompass a similar or greater number of housing units than in the Bay Area.

Somewhat unrelated, but London seems relatively low in public transport usage compared to virtually every large continental European city [3], which at least anecdotally tend to have much cheaper transport (particularly for monthly/annual subscriptions for commuters) and/or somewhat less car-friendly infrastructure. Riding a bus through Old Street, for instance, makes apparent one cost Londoners pay for not prioritising public transport.

[1] https://www.london.gov.uk/who-we-are/what-london-assembly-do...

[2] https://www.london.gov.uk/who-we-are/what-london-assembly-do...

[3] https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Modal-shares-in-selected...


I was replying regarding why London rent is high in general. SF/The Bay seems to be disproportionately tech-based jobs. London is a more generic mixture, including finance, arts, entertainment, services, insurance, tourism and so on.

Though specifically tech: offices are in central London - Google at King's Cross, Apple at Battersea, Facebook near Oxford St. Old Street and Hoxton for start ups. And of course fin/fintech in the City, Canary Wharf, and the West End. That's 10s of thousands (if not 100s) of developers concentrated in around London.

Microsoft in Reading 20 miles outside London is a bit of an outlier.

No one drives to any of those jobs. And the talent pool for those jobs is centred around London and London transport.

And then if you want to raise VC you need to get into the City or Canary Wharf for meetings - they won't go to you as you need their money. And then they'll be interested in 'where are you set up, and where will you get your talent from and grow?' - I can't recall any significant tech company that's inside the M25 and not in Central London.

The "Microsoft UK in Reading" equivalent towns in any other direction than the M4 would be something like Maidstone (Kent, SE), Bishop's Stortford (NE), Milton Keynes (NW), Crawley (S). None of those have any significant tech companies. Weirdly, Guildford (SW) does have a tech scene partly because some gaming companies set up there in the 1980s and 90s.


For those interested in playing with or doing research using model internals, the TransformerLens [1] project appears to be the leading open-source tooling in this area. It allows for loading dozens of different models, adding hooks, displaying activations in a format compatible with CircuitsVis, and other (mechanistic) interpretability work.

[1] https://github.com/neelnanda-io/TransformerLens

[2] https://github.com/alan-cooney/CircuitsVis


If you mean the one linked below, it seems very much on the iOS App Store (US).

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/exit-strategy-nyc-subway-map/i...


Oh! Thanks. It was gone last time I looked...

I recommend it, it's excellent!


In particular, TfL Go also has a focus on upcoming nearby departures rather than directions which Google Maps and Apple Maps prioritise. For anyone with some public transport familiarity, it’s quite nice being about to see your approximate position on a schematic tube/rail map or easily view nearby bus stops.

However, a friend who was briefly visiting London found this quite confusing as it wasn’t focused on navigation. Separately, I find the UI far too information-sparse for my taste compared to some other official apps (Zurich, Prague, etc.) which makes it somewhat inefficient to use, but perhaps this works for some.


There are a variety of differences between having representatives vote with your interests and voting yourself, such as practicality, time expenditure and access to advising and expertise, etc. That’s perhaps why many direct democracy systems (California, Switzerland, etc.) combine the two with direct democracy used for relatively few decisions.


> something like an US driving license looks easier to forge than Thai biometric passport

I'm not sure this is the right comparison, in general, although I agree with your point (below). I suspect that one benefit of accepting domestic driving licences as ID, but not most foreign non-passport documents, is due to familiarity. That's probably as important a factor in spotting forgeries as the security features embedded in the document, which aren't very useful if the person checking isn't familiar with an authentic version of the document.

In practice, I tend to agree that someone is likely to not be familiar with many driving licences, such as (in the US/Canada) those from distant or low-population US/Canadian states, provinces, or territories, or (in much of Europe) a smaller European country's driving licence or national ID card, so a foreign passport is far from the main concern.


Agreed. And even within a jurisdiction not everyone may be very familiar with domestic IDs. FinCEN just yesterday released a notice to financial institutions regarding the use of forged and legitimate US Passport Cards in connection with fraudulent or suspicious activity. The notice includes a litany of validity tests given that people just don't see these very often.

I have a US Passport Card that I present as my photo ID when asked, because I don't want my address presented to just anyone who might have a valid need to ask for ID. Federal employees look at it and waive me on, but outside that I get a mix of "I've never seen this" (and every time it's still been accepted) and a lot of careful scanning of the card.


I’m not sure this addresses the parent comment specifically mentioning the first amendment. I don’t think anyone was saying that the US is unique in having free speech laws or that those laws are a free-for-all.

However, it seems to at least be a common belief that US free speech laws are often interpreted more broadly than free speech laws in several other countries. Moreover, compelled speech (as noted by the commenter) seems not unrelated here. For instance, see the somewhat recent Colorado web designer case [1].

[1] https://www.cpr.org/2023/06/30/supreme-court-303-creative-ca...


Not the person you replied to, but reading the line below in the GP comment, I assumed the founder was exclusively a patent attorney with no product-relevant background. The GP certainly didn’t argue that, as you said, and perhaps I was alone in my confusion but characterizing someone as a “patent attorney” while leaving out relevant academic qualifications seems unclear, at best.

> SawStop was started by patent attorney Steve Gass


It is at least valid in the meantime, and doesn’t affect travel rights like the immigration examples mentioned in various countries, but I agree that this is mildly annoying.


The bag tax is 10p [1]. California has had a similar one since 2016 with a 10 cent fee [2].

Anecdotally, the fee seems to work well in both places, or at least single-use plastic bag use seems relatively low as most people seem to bring a reusable bag or use a backpack or similar.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrier-bag-charges-retailers-re...

[2] https://calrecycle.ca.gov/plastics/carryoutbags/


in caifornia the bag tax is applied equally to paper and plastic bags.


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