Kevin Kelley on The Technium: The Art of Endless Upgrades
When we first moved into our current house, newly married, I had some caulking to do around the place. I found some silicon caulking that boasted on the tube that it was warranted for 20 years. Cool, I thought. I’ll never have to do this again.
Twenty years later, what’s this? The caulking is staring to fray, disenigrate, fail. I realize now that 20 years is not forever, though it seemed that way before. Now that I am almost 60, I can see very permanent things decay in my own lifetime. Surprising, asphalt doesn’t last forever, nor do iron and even stone. Some of the most permanent things we can think of — the earth beneath us — visibly moves over 60 years. The hill our house rests on is slowly sliding around us. Over a hundred years tree roots can crumble foundations. Try to make something last for 1,000 years and you’ll quickly realize that this is an almost impossible achievement. It requires the constant application of order and energy to combat the everyday entropy unraveling what has been made.
It’s taken me 60 years, but I had an ephipany recently: Everything, without exception, requires additional energy and order to maintain itself. Not just living things, but the most inanimate things we know of: stone gravemarkers, iron columns, copper pipes, gravel roads, a piece of paper. None will last very long without attention and fixing, and the loan of additional order. Life is maintenance.
From The Atlantic: How to Create a Culture of Public Transit: The ‘Marci Option’ : “”
Marci and her team see leaving the car at home as a lifestyle choice rather than a sacrifice—something you’d read about in Real Simple or Oprah.
But is that really true? Last week I went to an exurban office park in San Ramon, California where 33 percent of the park’s 30,000 workers leave their cars at home. Despite the fact that Bishop Ranch is 37 miles from San Francisco, a dozen miles from the nearest BART rail station, and home to Chevron’s corporate offices, its parking lots are surprisingly empty, and it has won many awards for transit. Marci McGuire, the program manager for the Ranch’s Transportation center, describes the attitude at the park as “a culture” where it’s cool to have a bus pass. “When you do it right, it’s like a cult,” she says.
I spent a couple of hours with Marci to find out how she nurtures this cult that gets 10,000 people out of their cars daily. It seemed to me that there were three aspects of the program that operate counter to the current thinking. First, logistically, there are a lot of buses that terminate and originate within a few blocks of all the 30,000 jobs in the park. Secondly, the focus of the transit program is not exclusively environmental, but encompasses health, stress, and financial benefits. Thirdly, though there are 500 businesses at the park, a single office takes pride in its ability to get people on transit, and thus there’s an evangelical zeal to the whole operation. It’s not “just a program”–it’s Marci and her team’s program.
From Silent UK – Urban & Underground Photography write about London’s quite extensive other Underground : The Post Office Railway (Mail Rail) : “For as long as I can remember, explorers have joked, discussed, cried themselves to sleep over possibilities the Post Office Railway could be explored. Those keen to attempt entry desperately clawing at every scrap of information like a starving hobo snacking on bread crumbs. Just the idea of access, let alone the task of traversing the line seemed fraught with impossible obstacles and doubt.”