Thursday, October 27, 2016
  What are you paying for?

Still feeling somewhat guilty for using Brüel & Kjær when I could have pushed for GenRad, I decided to make a small votive offering to the Made In USA gods, who are also the analog gods. Found a GenRad sound level meter on Ebay from a vendor in Kansas, bought it for $50.



This one is about 20 years old. It was used by the Kansas Dept of Transportation, probably for highway noise abatement studies. Note the calibration sticker from 2004. Presumably the Ebay vendor bought it at a state gov't surplus auction.

SLMs aren't especially exciting or complicated. I bought a similar-looking Chinese unit from Radio Shack back in the '90s for the same $50. New Chinese SLMs of similar specs are still in the $50 range.

This GenRad unit is higher quality than the Radio Shack SLM. Claims to be made in USA. Satisfyingly hefty and still working perfectly. The pouch is real leather. Based on those differences, I guessed the price of a new unit should be around $300.

What's the actual GenRad price?



THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS? YOW!

What are you paying for?

Simple answer: Legal authority. Chain of evidence. Bully power. When you buy new from GR and maintain calibration through GR, you can use the readings in court. That's why the Kansas DOT buys from GR instead of using cheap Chinese meters. They have to be prepared to defend all of their decisions against a Soros-powered environmental group, or against a JPMorgan-powered corporation. Noise readings are a minor part of those defenses, but even noise readings have to stand up in court.

Direct parallel to medical costs. When a doctor tells you to buy a Mylan EpiPen for $700, the doctor is comparatively safe because Mylan has performed all the FDA nonsense. If the doc told you to buy an equivalent EpiPen through Craigslist for $10, he wouldn't be safe from lawyers.

This is the dominant form of 'economic rent' in USA STRONG. It's a Tribal protection racket, indistinguishable from the older Italian version. Syndicate creates a threat, then charges citizens to avoid the threat.

Well, there is one difference. The Tribal syndicate has an iron grip on all levels of government, while the Italian syndicate was only able to buy some parts of some city governments. So there's no Bunco Squad available to counteract this racket.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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