Does anybody notice anything weird going on here?

Scenario A: Transport in Cities

In 1951 New York city traffic looked like this:

And two generations later in 2011 it looked like this

Scenario B:  Electronic Transport

In 1951 a computer looked like this:

And in 2011 it looked like this:

# # #

What’s the point?

To get a grip on this striking comparison, a first step might usefully be to take note of the fact while Scenario A has steadily declined world-wide over the last two generations, Scenario B has seen an unimaginable increase in efficiency and sheer power on the order of trillions of times.

Now some may conclude that this difference is a result of the fact that we have not applied enough technology to Scenario A.  I would beg to differ. It is because we have not applied enough brains.

# # #

About the editor:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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2 thoughts on “Does anybody notice anything weird going on here?

  1. Maybe there is another more important precondition to both developments to drivers as they have done: people cannot be compressed by any means (they are still 1.8 m tall and weighing some 70-90 kgs each); while information on data carriers has compressed by a factor 10^6 or 10^9. The main innovation to help solve the people transport issue seems to use more appropriate vehicles, thus replace with a bicycle most of the cars in the picture, which is not so much using a huge amount of brains by a few whiz kids, but just a little bit by the billions!

    All the best,


  2. @Paul
    Of course, especially when using private motor vehicles, the majority of space used for transport is not actually for humans. Walking, mass-transit, bicycles, etc, are all vastly more space-efficient…


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