Friday, July 16, 2010

Why We Can't Get Shit Done as a Country: A Metaphor

A metaphor for why healthcare or immigration will never be properly reformed in this country:

From an article off of GOOD about replacing trucks with pneumatic tubes:
“What Would Happen if You Removed All Delivery Trucks From the Streets?

That’s the primary conceit of Urban Mole, a conceptual project by designer Phillip Hermes. He suggests using the existing sewer infrastructure to transport all manner of packages via robotic messenger—a series of tubes, if you will (reminds me of pneu-mail). The sudden lack of street-clogging delivery trucks could have a profound effect on congestion, both in terms of traffic and air quality. You can see a similar project called UNITX, including an actual prototype, here."

Sounds awesome, right? We all hate traffic, especially that caused by trucks in cities with poor transportation and road systems. And why not lower shipping costs and reduce pollution incurred by gas-guzzling trucks. But here is a reply written by a reader:

“I can’t help but wonder how this system would economically affect the millions of workers who drive delivery trucks today. Would truck drivers’ job duties simply change, or would drivers be displaced from their jobs? Furthermore, if displacement results, where would they go, and how would this affect the demand and supply of workers in other industries in the U.S.? Would a system like this stimulate or impair the economy? Creating underground robotic messengers may improve the environmental well-being of our country and of our planet, but establishing procedures to make the transition to this proposed tunnel system as economically smooth as possible (ie. making sure delivery truck driver employment is retained, careful supervision of construction funds, etc.) is essential to maximizing the potential benefits that this innovation may produce.”

Well, the reader technically isn't wrong, but way to kill progress. No matter what system you choose, and no matter what benefit it has to society, there’s ALWAYS people who will find ways in which it won’t work. And they probably have more expensive lawyers than you.