[LMB] OT: Transportation and others (long)

Eric Oppen technomad at intergate.com
Tue Sep 9 06:19:38 BST 2008

Quoting Azalais Aranxta <tiamat at tsoft.com>:

> On Mon, 8 Sep 2008, Damien Sullivan wrote:
>> On Mon, Sep 08, 2008 at 01:17:24AM -0500, Eric Oppen wrote:
>> > The choo-choo-train fetishists look back on the days when Americans
>> > were without Evil Automobiles through a warm, pink-colored lens of
>> "choo-choo-train", condescending and dismissive much?
>> I don't look back at the past with nostalgia; I look at Japan and Europe
>> with clear glasses, especially of experience.
> Ditto; and Eric, you should know me better than that.  (I got
> everywhere I needed to go in Japan, no problems, even at a
> third-grade reading level in the local language and without
> verbal fluency.  I did once get lost in Ikebukuro-eki, but that
> was because I forgot which department store was on which side of
> the station, and it was my first day in the country.  Now if
> they could just get rid of the perverts, the transit system
> would be perfect; but I didn't encounter a chikan, thank
> goodness.)
> I don't see a culture which grants full access to its riches only
> to those who have the strength, flexibility, powers of
> concentration and freedom from other burdens necessary to safely
> operate and maintain a motor vehicle weighing over a ton,
> requiring frequent maintenance and expensive fuel, to be anything
> even remotely like maximising personal freedom!
> ~malfoy

I have conceded, repeatedly, here and elsewhere, that it works in  
Japan.  Now will y'all _please please PRETTY PLEASE_ concede, for the  
sake of my much-frazzled nerves if nothing else, that it wouldn't work  
here, outside of a few heavily-urbanized areas such as the SF Bay Area  
or the Northeast?

Part of why this irks me is because, at least in my experience, the  
train-lovers never want to do the math...and when people do do the  
math, and show them that their pretty trains wouldn't be able to even  
break even without literally tearing down and rebuilding about 90% of  
the US, they stick their fingers in their ears and chant "La-la-la-la,  
I can't hear you!  It works in Europe!  It works in Europe!"  The fact  
that most of Europe is much more densely populated than the US doesn't  
seem to register.

_If I lived in the Bay Area myself, or in the deep urban Northeast,_ I  
wouldn't have, or want, a car either.  If I needed to go somewhere I  
needed to drive, I'd arrange to rent a car.  However, as with about  
90% of the US, I find an automobile to be a necessity, as much as a  
horse would be if I lived in Mongolia or the Old West, and I find  
proposals to get rid of them irritating at best.

I'm sorry for your health problems, Malfoy, but at least you do live  
in an area where a car is not a necessity.

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