Ed Bilodeau

<< Back to Home

This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A Tale of Standardization I :
Nevertheless, however well it may have answered the needs of the eighteenth century, the system of inland navigation was in several respects inadequate for the nineteeth, largely because it had not been thought out as a whole and in relation to probably future developments. Thus, the various acts enabling parts of the system to be constructed had not imposed uniformity in depth or breadth, with the result that a consigner could not be sure of sending his goods in the same vessel if they had to pass from one canal to another on the way. Indeed, not only was uniformity lacking as between one canal and another, but, with regard to the dimensions of the locks, it might be lacking between different parts of the same canal. Reliance on optimistic private enterprise resulted, in some instances, in very heavy costs being undertaken in cutting canals where there was insufficient prospect of remuneration. It is thus not astonishing that, even before railway competition began, some canals made very small profits or none at all. To this fault--the lack of plan and control--which might have been avoided, another was inevitably added. Since the earlier canals were cut before Watt's engine had ben patented and long before Stephenson's locomotive had been invented, the possibility of steam traction could not be forseen, and the depth and breadth of canals in general were calculated only for horse traction.
G.P. Jones and A.G. Pool (1940) "A Hundred Years of Economic Development in Great Britain," p.38