Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Gorz on Transportation (was Re: Transportation's larger context)

Expand Messages
  • Guy Berliner
    I m not as concerned about this. Despite one or two fleeting references to the East Bloc and Marxist philosophers in the piece, I don t read it as any kind of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      I'm not as concerned about this. Despite one or two fleeting
      references to the East Bloc and Marxist philosophers in the
      piece, I don't read it as any kind of ringing endorsement of
      Stalinism or the East Bloc. In fact, Gorz's major inspiration
      for his piece, mentioned numerous times therein, is Ivan Illich,
      a philosopher who could not be more antagonistic to any kind of
      sectarian leftist orthodoxy. I don't think there will be a
      problem with the piece except for those whose world view is
      still frozen in the polar, Cold War dichotomy, and for whom the
      only alternative to American-style capitalism is some version
      of state authoritarianism.

      Simon Baddeley <s.j.baddeley@...> wrote:

      >
      > Guy
      >
      > We've been over Gorz's superb article regularly - but I think it always
      > merits a revisit. The problem with it is that it uses collectivist language
      > that distorts the message (unless you are uncompromisingly happy with
      > pre-Berlin wall-fall theory and language) of the tension between public and
      > private and the presence of deeper agendas. I suspect that Gorz's work needs
      > to be rehashed and represented in a way that allows more room for leakage in
      > his rather totalising version of cause and effect. I have regularly plugged
      > this article though. How about having a go at reducing it to 300 words for
      > 2001?
      >
      > Sorry if that sounds insulting.
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > Simon
      >
      > Simon Baddeley
      > 34 Beaudesert Road
      > Handsworth
      > Birmingham B20 3TG
      > United Kingdom
      > England
      > 00 44 121 554 9794
      > mobile 07775 655842
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Guy Berliner <guy@...>
      > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2001 11:52 PM
      > Subject: [carfree_cities] Transportation's larger context (was Re: The NU
      > University)
      >
      >
      > Matt:
      >
      > This criticism is not specifically directed at you, but is a
      > preoccupation of mine that extends to much of what I read on
      > carfree_cities:
      >
      > You really need to read some Andre Gorz, and start to realize
      > that the transportation system does not arise out of a vacuum.
      > The forces that make American cities unlivable are part and parcel
      > of larger phenomena, which cannot be simply disarticulated.
      >
      > Please, I urge you to read the following piece by Gorz, entitled
      > "The Social Ideology of the Motorcar." You can find a copy of it
      > online at http://www.vidaurbana.org/gorz.htm
      >
      > Also, Tom Wetzel has some excellent observations on his webpage
      > on "Transportation and City Design," including a link to the
      > Gorz essay. See http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/transit.htm
      >
      > On Sun, 26 Aug 2001 01:26:13 -0000,
      > "Matt Hohmeister" <mdh6214@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 3
      > Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 11:25:41 +0100
      > From: "Simon Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@...>
      > Subject: Re: urbancyclist-uk: Anti-car moves launched across country
      >
      > Dear Andy
      >
      > I think even the Observer (notwithstanding my chiding them about stories
      > influenced by advertising sources) is stymied by trying to present its
      > readers or even its own staff with the idea of urban life - or indeed any
      > sort of life - that doesn't depend on the car. The car driver has become
      > late 20th century - early 21st Century "everyman" (and woman) so engrained
      > is the car in the social and economic DNA.
      >
      > When you take on traffic issues you take on cars. When you talk about
      > traffic you really mean cars. When you refer to speed you mean the speed of
      > car drivers. When you talk about getting somewhere you refer to driving a
      > car there. Check the sub-texts and you find all other forms of transport and
      > mobility - even walking - is now slightly eccentric, demeaning or done for
      > alternative fun within the "serious" and "functional" setting of the car and
      > the roads designed for its use.
      >
      > Discussing the possibility of even a trial separation from the car is a
      > conversation stopper. There's a blank in the popular mind here - remembering
      > that even the majority of the car-less still desire one. There's another
      > blank in policy making circles - with the exception of artists and
      > intellectuals for whom lead-times involve decades.
      >
      > This is why these pre-occupations - in detail and in vista - are
      > stimulating. The issues may well be about the detail of a puncture or the
      > surface of a road or a preference for a different type of outdoor clothing
      > but these exchanges are also about the future of cities, the nature of work
      > and to go further - about our most intimate feel for time and space.
      >
      > It is only be rethinking these large ideas - artistically, intellectually
      > and in intelligent reflection on personal experience - that we will to move.
      > Enjoy at least another decade of being in the avante garde! Keep thinking
      > and experiencing! This is a fascinating time to be alive and to have the
      > opportunity to imagine. It's also, though you and many others may not agree,
      > a good time to be cycling and walking. Part of me fears a future where this
      > becomes a part of normality, since "normality" was never a condition except
      > perhaps during adolescence, that attracted me.
      >
      > Anyway the future that inspires me is such a long way ahead that I put it
      > out of my mind except as a vision.
      >
      > We need new theories about walking and time and only when these achieve the
      > standing of "common-sense" (that most unreliable version of truth) and are
      > viewed as "second-nature" (an equally unreliable version of the same thing)
      > will the car begin to look as obsolete to the majority as it currently seems
      > to a minority. For the time being the majority of the world's population -
      > especially those without cars - regard cars and roads built for them as
      > utterly desirable. Why shouldn't they. I'm coming up 60. I saw no problem
      > with cars until about 10 years ago. I own one still. It's just that the
      > affair is over. That's the core and most subversive feeling. If that loss of
      > excitement were to be discovered in young men and women in substantial
      > numbers then what horrors would steal upon the motor industry cognoscenti in
      > the waking hour.
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > Simon
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Andy Horton <bmlss@...>
      > To: Urban Cyclist <urbancyclist-uk@...>
      > Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2001 8:26 PM
      > Subject: urbancyclist-uk: Anti-car moves launched across country
      >
      >
      > From the urbancyclist-uk e-mail list
      >
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,542557,00.html
      >
      > War on the car sparks driver rage
      >
      > Anti-car moves launched across country; Motoring groups furious at
      > crackdown
      >
      > Special report: transport in Britain
      >
      > Joanna Walters, transport editor
      > Sunday August 26, 2001
      > The
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 4
      > Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 06:29:24 -0700
      > From: Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...>
      > Subject: Exhausting nature
      >
      > A quote:
      >
      > > At the bighorn camp on Middle Mountain, scientists tracking storms and wind currents have traced
      > > the sources of pollutants that blow in from hundreds of miles away. They come from industrialized
      > > regions of northern Mexico, from coal-fired plants in Arizona and Utah and from tailpipes and
      > > factories in Los Angeles. Sometimes, the jet stream from the Pacific Northwest carries ammonium,
      > > possibly from fertilizer plants in Idaho, according to scientists.
      >
      >
      > And a link:
      >
      > http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-082901bighorn.story
      > --
      > Richard Risemberg
      > http://www.living-room.org
      > http://www.newcolonist.com
      >
      > "Life is complicated and not for the timid."
      > Garrison Keillor
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 5
      > Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 19:39:03 +0000
      > From: "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@...>
      > Subject: [urb-eco] 34% Solar to Electric Energy Conversion
      >
      >
      > From the Urb-Eco list:
      >
      > Spectrolab technology has achieved a world-record conversion efficiency of 34 percent in laboratory tests with their triple-junction terrestrial concentrator solar cell, which means that it is the first to exceed the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) One-Third-of-a-Sun initiative. The system achieved this efficiency by concentrating a 400 sun solar flux on the efficient photovoltaic (PV) cell. A significant economy results from this strategy, because it is cheaper to build concentrating devises and small efficient PV cells than it is to build efficient PV cells that operate in direct (unconcentrated) sunlight. The installed cost of the current collector based PV product is less than $1/watt installed and Spectrolab foresees installed system costs of 50�/watt at higher solar concentrations. At this cost, their PV systems would be competitive with conventional power generation in many conventional applications. Spectrolab has already received an order from Arizona Public Service, Arizona's largest and longest-serving electric utility, for 140 kilowatts of terrestrial concentrator receivers populated with its high efficiency triple-junction solar cells. The complete Solar Daily article can be found at the following URL http://www.solardaily.com/news/solar-tech-01a.html
      > Developers might do well to ensure that new homes and commercial buildings be designed with significant usable south facing roof surfaces. It seems apparent that homes and other buildings with good south-facing roof lines will command a premium over those without in the not-to-distant future.
      >
      > - Bruce
      >
      >
      > --
      > Visit Living Room at http://www.living-room.org
      >
      >
      > -- ### --
      >
      > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      > postmaster@... Carfree.com
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 6
      > Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 22:17:31 +0100
      > From: Roy Preston <preston@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: urbancyclist-uk: Anti-car moves launched across country
      >
      > Excellent email, as usual, Simon!
      > What irked me so much about the Observer article was its, almost, tabloid
      > emotive reporting. Focusing on the 'anti-car' sentiments, and how-dare-they
      > attitude. Rather than fill me with optimism it depressed me no end! Thank
      > God for some common Simence.
      >
      > Roy P
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 7
      > Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 00:47:34 +0100
      > From: "Simon Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: urbancyclist-uk: Anti-car moveslaunched across country
      >
      > Thanks Roy.
      >
      > It's funny but only a fortnight earlier I had actually got out my metaphoric
      > tape measure and calculator and worked my way through an Observer colour
      > supplement and an eyeful of the scale of car advertising it carried. The
      > amount this industry is having to spend on marketing is almost reassuring.
      > If we really needed the things would we need so much persuasion?
      >
      > I'm really enjoying reading Rebecca Solnit's (2001) "Wanderlust: A History
      > of Walking". She writes beautifully and thinks acutely, helping to lay out
      > the infrastructure of ideas basic to the restoration of place and
      > rediscovered access to senses of time and space destroyed by the
      > individualised pace of the car. She only mentions these in passing but the
      > critique is deeply implicit. I must thank Joel for pointing this series of
      > essays my way.
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > Simon
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Roy Preston <preston@...>
      > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 10:17 PM
      > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: urbancyclist-uk: Anti-car moveslaunched
      > across country
      >
      >
      > Excellent email, as usual, Simon!
      > What irked me so much about the Observer article was its, almost, tabloid
      > emotive reporting. Focusing on the 'anti-car' sentiments, and how-dare-they
      > attitude. Rather than fill me with optimism it depressed me no end! Thank
      > God for some common Simence.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 8
      > Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 01:00:31 -0400
      > From: "Louis-Luc" <exqmtl@...>
      > Subject: RE: Re: urbancyclist-uk: Anti-car moveslaunched across country
      >
      >
      > > If we really needed the things would we need so much persuasion?
      > >
      > True. I've never been persuaded to buy something because it's advertised. On
      > the contrary, if it's so much advertised, then I feel too many people will
      > acquire it, then I don't need it. It's the case with cell phones. I have
      > none (and save charges), simply because I can reach everyone around me, who
      > has one, at any time, by dropping a quarter in the public phone. I don't
      > have to worry about weak battery... Instead I like to increase my good'old
      > vinyl record collection, which are never advertised, because no one around
      > me has any, and I can share the output with them when they visit me. I even
      > told someone it's impossible to do better output, even if you buy a $20,000
      > worth CD player: a car, since it's wiser to get the same results with a $50
      > portable unit you can at least carry with you anywhere.
      >
      > > I'm really enjoying reading Rebecca Solnit's (2001) "Wanderlust: A History
      > > of Walking". She writes beautifully and thinks acutely, helping to lay out
      > > the infrastructure of ideas basic to the restoration of place and
      > > rediscovered access to senses of time and space destroyed by the
      > > individualised pace of the car. She only mentions these in passing but the
      > > critique is deeply implicit. I must thank Joel for pointing this series of
      > > essays my way.
      > >
      > Sometimes I do think imagination helps to revive my sour feelings
      > of the present corrupt society. It hurts the soul simply thinking
      > the car is upsetting the planetar ecosystem, ruining the life quality and
      > reducing mobility in many cities. If you go outdoors, you see cars, you hear
      > cars, you smell cars, and they create a hostile and stressful atmosphere
      > when you decide to use the road. I've just lost a night train on the weekday
      > timetable, because it's not used enough, and it's not used enough because
      > too many people have been sucked into the car culture over the years? Yuck!
      > I feel I'm in that train on the right track with some other survivors,
      > watching the rest sinking, unable to help them realise. I feel sour because
      > the society is too blind to see that it's getting into trouble with the car
      > culture.
      >
      > I prefer to let my imagination walk myself for miles under the moonlight on
      > a quiet road chatting with friends, until I have the opportunity to do so
      > for real.
      >
      > Louis-Luc
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 9
      > Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 06:41:48 +0000
      > From: "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@...>
      > Subject: Vacation
      >
      >
      > Hi All,
      >
      > I'm away from my computer for two weeks (yaaaa!) and so
      > leave you in the capable hands of your other moderators.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      >
      > -- ### --
      >
      > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      > postmaster@... Carfree.com
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.