Wednesday, May 30, 2018

If We Could Stop Thinking About Transportation As A Commodity

We could start applying a whole new approach to rational utilization that would startle you. And mostly because it would just be a lot of common sense. As opposed to being forced to solve vast arrays of engineering problems because we live in the very irrational, and chaotic environment, we glibly call a specialized producer, mass production, mass consumption, society; where things have been happening in way too much isolation of each other, decision wise, for far too long. Precisely because, in a very important sense, it is everybody for themselves, and the devil take the hindmost.

And certainly transportation is no exception. And of course, at the very start you have to marvel at how much we transport, that we really don't have to, if only because the more processes that touch a thing, the more it makes money along the way. And of course everybody wants to get their beak wet.

Why else would the leader of Canada gush to our de facto ex president, not that long ago, in a discussion of supposed trade deficits, about just how much money is made, by a multiple, subassembly product, crossing back and forth across our shared border, so that it could become the final, value added product, sold to consumers here, and there.

Then, of course there is this insane dichotomy still existent of thinking its OK to live in one place, and then transit significant distances, to work at an isolated task, in another place where people either work, or live (and then they do the opposite someplace else). And then be totally amazed at how it is now so hard for people to come to agreement on much of anything any more.

If we redefined work to be where you live, precisely because your work would be helping where you live exist in the first place, then you wouldn't need to commute so much in the first place, would you. And if your community could get to the point where it made a large portion of the things needed to keep going, as well as to have some fun too, then so much of all of this unneeded motion for motion's sake, could be eliminated.

More to the point, though, concerning efficiency, is the notion that, again, precisely because we're going to be responsible for maintaining what we all agree needs to be maintained, we will automatically have great incentive to do what Capitalism has always had great difficulty doing, and that is to have standardization, along with modularization, become the norm. You couple that with the added fact that, at that point forward, what gets done happens because a majority decided to put the effort in place to make it happen, and not because a lot of abstract counters, taken from one figurative pocket or another, were moved to another set of figurative pockets. At that point what you have is the ability to make roads that have tracking guides built into them as a standard. Modular tracking transponders made standard in all ground based vehicles. Standardized inter vehicle networking so that each in proximity coordinates with the other. And of course the standardized software to make effective, interlinking coms possible at all. Etc. Etc.

And then too, you could demand that only one, all you get back is water, fuel to power them by; either directly, or indirectly, by either electricity made from that fuel via fuel cells, or the batteries to store it with. A fuel that would allow this same sort of rationalization to take over the world of power generation, and transmission; because high voltage transmission lines could well be eliminated too if we could either deliver it via automated cryo trucks, or pipe it via coordinated rights of way via our now truly standardized roads (along with the other pipes, both informational, and more substantive).

We will have that incentive, but it will only work, redefined or not, if we also come to the understanding that this will require engaging with each other on a much more inclusive basis; and that we make negotiating compromise, and finding a way to cooperation, the priority it only seems to get to be when great tragedy strikes, and the selflessness that is in us, comes out. It seems to me that if we can do it then we should be able to do it as a matter of everyday life. That this might also be the only way our species might survive ought not escape us either.

Just some more things to think about as you contemplate some very important decisions. Big decisions you know in your heart dear reader that are coming. And remember. Choosing to do nothing but what you have been doing is a choice all its own.