Can I drive it too?

Since, perhaps, not everyone will get to participate in the actual construction of the trolley system, perhaps everyone can have a chance to drive it. Maybe everyone should be required to take a turn driving it, and not for pay, but as a civic duty.

If every citizen drove a trolley for 4 to 8 hours per year, would there be much conflict with their regular jobs? Think of how many people you would meet driving one. I suppose you'd meet more if you drove it more, right? But when you're driving you have to watch the road, so you can't talk much face-to-face.

What are the odds that you'll meet somebody new, have a face-to-face conversation with that person that leads to a long term friendship, if you each drive cars? You leave point A at time x, and she leaves point B at time y. You are each headed for separate random destinations. If you pull up next to one another in traffic, what can happen? Can you talk? What are the chances you'll be headed for the same destination and then have a chance to talk?

What if there was a comprehensive city wide public transit with residential service rail lines and you each leave your homes headed for random separate destinations. What are the odds that you'll meet at either a stop or on the train? They are probably much higher; think about the stop light in traffic. What if all of you are in the same trolley car instead of in separate automobiles at a traffic light? Now you can talk to one another if you like.

I'm reading a book that says that we live in a life-world composed of independent actors whos actions are influenced by linguistically mediated inter-subjectivity. It follows that increasing everyone's number of opportunities for communication with others in the community will have an effect on what those actors, seen as a whole group, do within the context of that life-world. What actions will people perform to bring about a change they've never even considered? They need to think it over, and to do so, must communicate with those other people about it! Never forget that you are one of those people too.

We've all heard the old adage “Divide and Conquer”. In the social community with shared transportation resources, there are a great number of opportunities for communication with others. The overall structure of that communication is dynamic and perhaps mostly non-hierarchical. But when people are separated from one another so they can't talk, and they listen to mass media more than to each other... It begs the question: if they are playing follow the leader, then who's leadership are they following, and why?


Hay, ewe. What's your sin?


I grew up in a rural area of south western Wisconsin. My Dad was a carpenter, and we rented an extra farmhouse... Years ago when they farmed with horses, farms were smaller. With the advent of mechanized farming, some farmers lost their land, and now what used to be several farms is one, so they have extra houses they rent out to hired hands and other people. If you know someone, you can get a fair rent.

When I was a boy, my odd jobs consisted of lawn mowing, bailing hay, milking cows, feeding hogs, shoveling stalls, painting and construction cleanup. We always grew a large garden, had fresh milk and meat we grew or hunted ourselves. The environment one grows up in has a great effect on how a person thinks about and sees the world. We lived closer to the land than most of you have. Some people think I'm Amish... that's not really true, though I have probably been influenced some by some of their philosophy of life. I can't be Amish unless they say I am and I agree. I'm probably more Wiccan than Amish.

Years later, I was living on the streets in a large city. I had everything I needed on my back in an REI backpack. The air is fouled with automobile exhaust (car cucka) and after you breath it long enough, you can't smell it anymore, especially if it's all you've ever known. I think that song that goes on about "ooh, ooh, that smell; that smell that surrounds you" is about petrol fumes and car exhaust, not drugs as many people sort of like "think". I think that if I tried to point it out to them, they would think I'm nuts. They don't see it. It's out of the picture in their minds; elided by that process of mind which strives to eliminate cognitive dissonance. They're all like "what for my daddy-owe? There's petrol in the car-owe!"

At one house we lived at, there was a sheep pasture across the fence around the yard behind the house. There was too many sheep on too little land, and they grazed it down to nubble shorter than a golf-course green. The rain began creating runnels in the sheep ruts that turned into washouts high enough to hide a ward. I'm told that one of the ancient greek writers told a similar tale. Part of ancient greece washed off into the sea because of over-cutting of forest and overgrazing by sheep herders. It used to be verdant pasture and lush forest, but is now rocky and sparse, from what I gather. It makes me wonder how much of that has gone on in the long forgotten past. We mostly don't notice it now, since what we see now is all we've ever known; there are no before and after photos to speak of.