Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Solving the Transportation Needs of the 21st Century With Mid-20th Century Technology.

Ray Bradbury, speculative author of numerous Sci-Fi classics, has an opinion piece in today's Los Angeles Times. Bradbury laments the growing transportation crisis the Southland will be facing in the next decade and offers a solution reminicent of Robert Heinlein's classic "The Roads Must Roll." It is Bradbury's opinion that the Southland abandon its current plans of Subway expansion, subways are for cold climates, and should begin immediately building a fast, efficient, and clean monorail system.

According to Bradbury, "Anyone who has ridden the Disneyland or Seattle monorails knows how quietly they move."

I'm sorry..."anyone who has ridden the Disneyland..." What the?! Are you kidding me? Should we be looking to yesterdays imagined accomplishments to solve today's problems?

To be fair the same could and should be said about that 19th century innovation, the Subway.

I don't think that solutions that would have worked had they been built at a time when they would have been visionary is the solution to today's problems. And I do honestly believe that Bradbury's early advocacy of the Monorail was visionary, but now it would take too long and cost too much. What we need more of is finding ways to remove the necessity of commuting at all. It is time for a number of businesses in Los Angeles to move, or move at least a segment, of the business to where the employees are.

For many jobs in our modern information/communication age, it doesn't matter where the employees are located. It only matters that the employees have the ability to communicate with one another swiftly and efficiently. I say, "tear down the financial skyscraper!" Let the stock advisors advise their middle class clients close to where they live. Why do we need "centralized" management and oversight? Can we not track efficiency that is remote?

Let us think beyond transportation! Let us use communication! If we can sign business deals with Chinese corporations from our living room, can't we sign local contracts from there as well?

Though...thinking about it...a monorail would be cool. I'd use it, at least until I acquired my flying car.

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