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6 obvious questions no one thinks to ask about Rome (or any city)

December 12, 2013

1. Why do public buildings close at night? So many big institutions such as universities, schools, museums, ministries, city offices are empty more than they are full. Why not employ more people in less space by letting work get done around the clock, in shifts? There are far more advantages than disadvantages. Think about it.

2. Vice-versa, why don’t more people work at home, rather than leaving their homes empty all day? Much of the work we do can be done anywhere we have internet. Instead of the daily exodus from home to work and back we should be seeing a constant buzz of decentralized movement in an efficient, constantly peak transit system.

3. Why do municipal police need cars? I mean, I understand why taxi drivers need cars, and UPS guys need trucks, but the police only use their cars to drive a few blocks and then leave them double-parked while they sit in them or stand next to them. They would be much more unencumbered if they just walked around like they do in other cities. If they really need to chase a criminal, a car isn’t going to help them in this city; bike would be faster by far. And if they need to get across town for some reason they can take transit or call a cab.

4. Why do we provide places for people to throw their trash for free? If people are going to  acquire stuff they don’t need and can’t use, they should be willing to deal with it. If I bring home a bunch of junk I have to find a place to put it, or eventually rent more space, but we still act as if there is some “away” where we can throw our waste and forget about it. We should charge people rent on the space their waste takes up, for its full lifetime.

5. Why do people look up to politicians? People that work in public administration are really at the lowest rung in the ladder;  they serve at the pleasure of the most common citizens who can vote them in or out and who pay their salaries, which by the way, are outrageously high. I respect good politicians and enjoy talking to them, as I would the barista or my barber, yet I don’t feel particular reverence for them. We would be in awe of our teachers, our farmers and our artists. But I don’t remember the last time I saw a motorcade cutting through red lights and blocking traffic because a farmer needed to get to her garden or a schoolteacher to his class.

6. Why do we let regular people drive motor vehicles? These things kill thousands of times more people than firearms, use priceless and finite resources, and have a huge negative impact on the quality of life in our cities and yet we just act as if it’s normal that a guy can drive one around to get from place to place. Cars should be used as rarely as chain saws and only for jobs for which they are uniquely suited, like carrying a bunch of people or stuff to remote, out-of-the-way destinations.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2014 11:39

    Why do people look up to politicians? I have also asked this myself. Why do a lot of people still look up to politicians when in fact most, if not all, of them just act and work well in public. I mean, I also respect sincere and genuinely good politicians, but I think these modern days, politicians who are avaricious have already outnumbered those who are truthful… People who are among the sources of the country’s riches received less attention while politicians who are just compensated by these people got much importance. So sad, but true.

    Like

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