Monday, March 05, 2007

Mass Transit

Lileks quoting Thomas Fisher on mass transit and urban design
“The reality in this new era is that innovation come from opportunities to have face-to-face conversations to stimulate one another with new ideas. But by separating ourselves from that experience so we can live in our suburban house, get in our car, go to the office, then go back again and never encounter anybody, what you prevent is the unexpected experience that might get you to think about something in a new way.”
Forgive me for being thick, but what in the name of Corbu is he talking about? Is he really suggesting that a society’s intellectual vitality is dependant on everyone sitting in the same light-rail train car having face-to-face conversations? What if I want to tune everyone out with, say, an iPod? What if I choose to read a book on the way in?
If your own experience argues that someone is full of poo is it polite to say so?

I've done mass transit in D.C., Dallas and San Francisco. People don't talk and have conversations - they just don't. You get on, you ride along for awhile and get off. iPods, books and magazines are the rule. If there is an unexpected experience it's because one of your fellow riders hasn't bathed in a while or keeps talking to the people residing in his head.

The man must not get out much.
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