Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

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Arrian
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Arrian » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Eyat wrote:
Arrian wrote:
Yes, because the lowest bidder is ALWAYS the lowest cost solution, no such thing as cost overruns, amiright?



Um... yeah it kinda is the most cost effective, which is why it is almost universally used by local governments to dole out work, and why no-bid contract is a bad word in government circles.


Funny how private sector businesses seldom go for straight lowest bidder contracts, and "built by the lowest bidding government contractor" is pretty universally understood to be a curse.

Lowest bid is only the cheapest priced contract, it says nothing about quality, timeliness of delivery, service down the road, total cost of ownership, etc. The lowest cost bidder might use lower quality inputs, make unreasonable assumptions about time lines (i.e. that nothing will go wrong and everything will happen right on schedule), assume that the absolute minimal short term staffing requirements will suffice for long term operations, cut corners wherever possible and a thousand other tricks to make their bid price low but won't necessarily fly when it comes time to fulfill the contract. In a lot of cases, you get what you pay for, so the lowest cost bidder often costs you more in the long run than a higher cost bidder even though you pay less up front.

So no, it's not safe to assume that the lowest cost bid will actually be the lowest cost solution when all is said and done.

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EsotericWombat
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby EsotericWombat » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:16 pm UTC

Turns out, a "bid" consists of more than just a number. The solicitation of bids isn't about getting the cheapest deal, it's about getting the best deal. That some governments see it as a way to say "oh hey guys look how much money we saved" rather than make actual assessments about quality is a poor argument for eliminating the bidding process altogether (and with it the transparency).

Especially since it's going to wind up going to the Koch brothers anyway
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Eyat
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Eyat » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:
Eyat wrote:
Arrian wrote:
Yes, because the lowest bidder is ALWAYS the lowest cost solution, no such thing as cost overruns, amiright?



Um... yeah it kinda is the most cost effective, which is why it is almost universally used by local governments to dole out work, and why no-bid contract is a bad word in government circles.


Funny how private sector businesses seldom go for straight lowest bidder contracts, and "built by the lowest bidding government contractor" is pretty universally understood to be a curse.

Lowest bid is only the cheapest priced contract, it says nothing about quality, timeliness of delivery, service down the road, total cost of ownership, etc. The lowest cost bidder might use lower quality inputs, make unreasonable assumptions about time lines (i.e. that nothing will go wrong and everything will happen right on schedule), assume that the absolute minimal short term staffing requirements will suffice for long term operations, cut corners wherever possible and a thousand other tricks to make their bid price low but won't necessarily fly when it comes time to fulfill the contract. In a lot of cases, you get what you pay for, so the lowest cost bidder often costs you more in the long run than a higher cost bidder even though you pay less up front.

So no, it's not safe to assume that the lowest cost bid will actually be the lowest cost solution when all is said and done.


Most of the drawbacks you listed can be and are worked around with a properly written contract and specifications, when low bid gets into trouble is when someone gives too broad a contract with too many loopholes and too few specifics. Private sector basically does this but they get to negotiate and address alternatives during the process rather than having to have decided everything before hand, its more informal but pretty much the same process. You are simply regurgitating common complaints and laymen interpretations of the system. If you live in the US and left you house today pretty much everything you traveled on was built by the low bid system and the VAST majority of it is a success.

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Vash
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Vash » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

Eyat wrote:Most of the drawbacks ... is a success.


Is there any reason why the necessity of other conditions should not be written into law? You seem to have stated that they are already important.

TBH, most public engineering around where I live is mediocre (or even awful in a significant portion of cases), and horrible in aesthetics.The roads around where I live are relatively nice, but the public buildings, for example, are almost universally terrible (at least as far as buildings go). I know of one well-built school in the area, and one well-built library. That is out of at least 40. None of the federal buildings are more than adequate, as far as I know. The old city halls are somewhat better. I do not know if that is because of lowest bidder system, but I certainly have heard of cases where lowest bidder leads to worse designs. In any case, the idea that more should be done to create higher quality public construction projects is something we all agree on.

To give an example, my high school had a greenhouse built toward the morning sun with asbestos in the walls. It was being released in the 120+ degree F greenhouse, and had to be removed. It was also too hot for anything to grow. The ventilation system in the same school had a maximum airflow rate of 3-4 CFM that was exaggerated to 6-7 CFM in the official measurements (still below acceptable guidelines of 30CFM, and even below the 15 CFM set especially for the school). It also originally had welding exhaust being pumped into classrooms. I know this because I had a teacher with permanent brain damage and thyroid problems because of it. Further, the roofs leak and many classrooms have mold. It also looks like a prison. It was designed by a prison architect who himself was jailed for fraud. In terms of local public buildings, I would say this is about normal. At best, it is towards the lower end of normal.

Eyat
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Eyat » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

Vash wrote:
Eyat wrote:Most of the drawbacks ... is a success.


Is there any reason why the necessity of other conditions should not be written into law? You seem to have stated that they are already important.


That is actually what gets you in trouble if you use a boilerplate type document in a bid, different projects in different areas require different conditions. Its important that the person putting it together has actually thought about it specifically not just in generalities because it is when there is a surprise (contaminated soil for instance) is when cost over runs happen because once you have a company under contract you can no longer go out and get a competing price to keep them honest. Also at least in my state the courts have shown themselves to be unwilling to completely enforce the giant book of specifications that the state DOT issues as sort of a blanket against bad construction when the project starts to snowball.

TBH, most public engineering around where I live is mediocre (or even awful in a significant portion of cases), and horrible in aesthetics.The roads around where I live are relatively nice, but the public buildings, for example, are almost universally terrible (at least as far as buildings go). I know of one well-built school in the area, and one well-built library. That is out of at least 40. None of the federal buildings are more than adequate, as far as I know. The old city halls are somewhat better. I do not know if that is because of lowest bidder system, but I certainly have heard of cases where lowest bidder leads to worse designs. In any case, the idea that more should be done to create higher quality public construction projects is something we all agree on.

I cannot really speak to aesthetics (not really my department) but I have noticed most government buildings are designed to look edifice-like and lack a certain flair but that is probably the point. by not-well built do you mean falling apart or ugly?

To give an example, my high school had a greenhouse built toward the morning sun with asbestos in the walls. It was being released in the 120+ degree F greenhouse, and had to be removed. It was also too hot for anything to grow. The ventilation system in the same school had a maximum airflow rate of 3-4 CFM that was exaggerated to 6-7 CFM in the official measurements (still below acceptable guidelines of 30CFM, and even below the 15 CFM set especially for the school). It also originally had welding exhaust being pumped into classrooms. I know this because I had a teacher with permanent brain damage and thyroid problems because of it. Further, the roofs leak and many classrooms have mold. It also looks like a prison. It was designed by a prison architect who himself was jailed for fraud. In terms of local public buildings, I would say this is about normal. At best, it is towards the lower end of normal.


Well the asbestos seems like a classic case of seemed like a good idea at the time, assuming it was built at the time everything was made of asbestos, if you were to jail everyone who put asbestos in a building there would be no 60 year-old architects. But beyond that all of these problems you list point towards a lack of construction inspection and/or plan review. Contractors will always try to cut corners whether they are the lowest bidder or no-bidder look at those death traps haliburton built for showers in Iraq. Their electricity wasn't put in up to code and no one called them on it.

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Telchar
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Telchar » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:45 pm UTC

Finally remembered where I had heard the name Koch prior.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-02-0 ... -2010.html
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Vaniver » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Finally remembered where I had heard the name Koch prior.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-02-0 ... -2010.html
While he is one of the Kochs, he is not one of the two Kochs in question (Charles and David). As far as I can tell, his only 'philanthropy' has been blocking the construction of wind turbines.
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Babam
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Re: Anonymous vs. The Koch Bros

Postby Babam » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Babam wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
How was trolling the Epilepsy Foundation and Raiding Hobo and Tumbler "Fighting for the People" ??? While Anonymous didn't exist at the time, I'm 100% certain that "An Hero" is the prototype for Anonymous as well. (MySpace Hacking and massive trolling)

"An Hero" a prototype for Anonymous? Sounds like you need to read some histories on ed and come back when you better understand what Anonymous is and how it came about. As long as there have been image boards, there have been Anonymous.


But people didn't start gathering together and doing high-profile actions in the name of Anonymous till after the "An Hero" incident IIRC. True: people were anonymous before then, but they weren't "The Anonymous". (And btw, the FBI always could subpoena your ISP to figure you out. So you never are technically anonymous online. The concept of being anonymous online is a bit of a misnomer...)

If you disagree, you're welcome to share your thoughts on the matter here.

EDIT: Ah, looked it up. An Hero is close to the time of the Hobo Raid, possibly after the Hobo Raid. Still, as an identity, Anonymous didn't really separate itself from /b/ till later. So I guess technically speaking... it was the /b/tards that caused "An Hero". Nevertheless, you cannot deny that Anonymous was born from /b/tards (or at least, they share a common ancestry). This is why I call "An Hero" to be the prototype of Anonymous. Its was a semi-organized attack on someone's MySpace account for the lulz.

EDIT2: Hmm, didn't realize that LUEsers also participated in "An Hero" in some extent... Interesting. Ahhh... the memories... thats why the CJC did what he did...

Anonymous and /b/ have always been synonymous, the identity and "lore" of Anon has existed for as long as /b/ has. Now Anonymous as a hacktivist counter culture save the people group, they didn't really arise until Operation ChanLOLogy. Anonymous always has and always be a part of /b/tard culture, for the most part they are exactly the same. In the end all credit goes to the collective, so fringe groups within the collective might as well be the same as the whole.
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