Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Postby Ridgefielder » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:40 am

For those who aren't familiar- Nassim Taleb is a trader-turned-intellectual who most famously, in his book The Black Swan, predicted the 2008 financial crisis. Anyway, from his latest book:
Metro North, the railroad between New York City and its northern suburbs, renovated its trains, in a total overhaul. Trains look more modern, neater, have brighter colors, and even have such amenities as power plugs for your computer (that nobody uses). But on the edge, by the wall, there used to be a flat ledge where one can put the morning cup of coffee: it is hard to read a book while holding a coffee cup. The designer (who either doesn't ride trains or rides trains but doesn't drink coffee while reading), thinking it an aesthetic improvement, made the ledge slightly tilted, so it is impossible to put the cup on it.

Obviously he's talking about the flat cover over the radiators on the M1s/2s. Used to be a useful shelf for your beer on the homeward journey as well :wink: . Thought I was the only person who missed those. Clearly has to be a regular rider to have picked up on that.
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Re: Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:56 pm

Figure that was to cut down on the burned out heating elements from spilled coffee and beer! :wink:
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Re: Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Postby Jenny on a M2 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:37 am

Ridgefielder wrote:Obviously he's talking about the flat cover over the radiators on the M1s/2s. Used to be a useful shelf for your beer on the homeward journey as well :wink: . Thought I was the only person who missed those. Clearly has to be a regular rider to have picked up on that.


Funny, I was just thinking about how much I missed those radiator covers a couple weeks ago when I tried to put my foot up on the slanty duct and I just slid off. They made such great footrests!

I never attempted to put my coffee on the duct because I was always scared the cup would fall off in a curve and spill all over my shoes, so I just perfected the art of holding a coffee in one hand and putting my book or magazine in my lap.

I'm sure we could compile a list of commuting life hacks based around the design quirks of the M2. :-D
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Re: Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:26 am

Nobody uses outlets on the M8's? That's hilarious.
"I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose."

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Re: Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:25 pm

Plenty of "forgotten" Coffee cups/Beer cans landed on the floor when entering yard trackage/switches,
leaving the mess for the coach cleaners to deal with! :wink:
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Re: Metro-North and Nassim Taleb

Postby johndmuller » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:30 am

When I used to commute between Baltimore and DC, I found that resting my cup on the windowsill, armrest or whatever, with or without my hand loosely holding it was almost always better than holding it freehand without resting it on anything "solid". It seems that it was more likely to spill if I was trying to compensate for all the up/downs and lurches myself than if I was at least somewhat anchored by the train.
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