Friday, August 11, 2017

Mass transit

Cities hold people. People move.

Personal motorized transport is broken.  Cities need safe, clean, reliable transport.

Many apps support current transit systems including real-time arrival estimates. One feature which has been lacking is the ability to predict or at least display load factors on vehicles at various times. Load Factor reflects itself in standing time.
On heavily-used transit systems different routes may require a different amounts of standing as well as walking and travel time. In general we tend to ignore the cost of standing however there is a large and growing segment of the population, the elderly for whom standing in public transit is difficult if not dangerous.

Overcrowded Vehicles lead to elderly persons standing in unsafe situations.

Ideally society would solve this problem by producing young who happily gave their seats to the elders. sadly this is not the case. Whether it ever was is a question of some debate.

In any case, the question arises whether Google (or someone else) can compute the load factors using the information gathered from users on the buses.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

How to behave

Can we express a moral system by a set of possessors of rights and judge the morality of an act by the degree to which it interferes with each of these rights.  Rights might  include:
  • Life: i.e. continued physical existence, food, housing, education, health care ...
  • Autonomy: i.e. freedom (to control ones own body, work, vote, assemble, speak, correspond, ...)
A set of possessors is a group of corporeal objects (or collections of objects) whose members may possess rights.  Rights come in two varieties, those that can be assigned and those than cannot.  

  • Exactly how a possessor is defined is extremely important.  The difference between  considering  (1) 'self-aware' beings vs (2) 'potentially self-aware' beings as possessors corresponds to the difference between the most extreme proLife and proChoice positions.

A moral system involves choosing some from column Life and some from column Autonomy and deciding what sets of possessors you recognize.  Different societies and different cultures choose differently.  For example, the EU tends to include more in Life & Autonomy, and less in possessors of right than the US.

In 21st century America, we argue about what group possesses the right to life, i.e. when and in what circumstances is abortion legal, and about what constitutes life and autonomy which God has granted and which the state should therefore respect.

Propioceptive Writing

A- has introduced me to a process which I find/found interesting.  It involves timed stream of consciousness writing.  23 min follows:

Is it looking at a different life.  
To see others and their good choices. 
I learn of possibilities beyond my imagination.   
A true adventure.  

The clock ticks, music plays, and I am very hea-r/e.  Still, I spell.  If only I knew what was reasonable or is that the rule imposed by language on our joy.   
A victim of reduction-ism.  Reducing experience to words on a page - or colors on a canvas, or -.  But then in normal times, we do not experience as they do and so we borrow their vision.
And now, I am here again with the timer - an  unexpectedly important feature - and Tony.
Eight minutes - perfect music, a magical moment.  Posture matters, the view matters, music matters, taste and touch and balance.  Senses matter.  All we have is the memory of awareness if we are not NOW, and here.  Distraction as I light the PAX but soon returning.  It may be that with experience, I will write more.
But, it is hard to continue without A-s support. Perhaps I can develop it.
So now, I will go again and speak from my mind.  Record thoughts as words.  What is the result.  I do not know but it is an adventure.  Perhaps a fixed point attractor with which to connect to an inner self or other person that might remain hidden.
I think the paper matters as well.  Perhaps I deserve more than, better than copier quality?  How will I know.
I try to escape, while the lock ticks.  I catch my self and sit, returning to here: a beautiful place.

A walk in NY

New York is a treasure trove in many ways.

Of Art and art, of rare books, of fashion, of variety in all things. An unending concatenation: urban park leads to fashionable neighborhood strangely pierced by traffic which honks its complaints of overflowing tubes. On this Spring afternoon, sun pierces clouds, shining its light of waves of effervescent youth.  Somehow, a fitting first Memorial Day for Bill De Blasio.  For hope and promise as my medicare approaches.

A new wine shop joins Toys&FuzzyThings where, not so so long ago, a house of questionable repute did business.  "Free Tasting" yells the signboard; I enter and, after sampling their freely proffered goods, find a display devoid of information.  No countries, no varietals, no appelation controllee.   I leave, feeling better (after 5 sips of wine) and a bit confused. Chambers Street Wines is a few blocks away and very well known.

On the porch

It is a city that begs to be memorialized, and loves monuments.  It cherishes la gente and distrusts the corporation.  It's existence marks an all too rare moment in the history of man.  Will it spread, be crushed by a religio-corporate state, or allowed to prosper.  Here we have no answer, only tales of now.

Last night in Gracia.  Can the world be hotter.  It is already hotter than last.  Arriving at the bar, it has changed.  Bar maids now dressed to 9s. I buy a beer and think about conversating.  What is this world like?  Like ours was: driven by sex, ....  Maybe next time so I leave 1euro, and it's off to el intercambio (back & down) where I am the old timer. I ask Sergio about Fatima  and practice with Andrea & a beautiful young woman with a difficult name.

The sun sets and I sit: watching the light play on the clouds.  The full moon shines white on top, above a grey swath, and beneath, yet still above, the fires of the city are as embers in the sky.

 Walking, looking for the perfect place, the spot for J to paint.

Are nations like people?

If USofA props up a brutal dictator for 20+ years, would you expect the nation to be our friend, after the dictator is removed.

The only middle eastern states with whom we have good relations are those ruled by our brutal dictators.  If democracy comes to the middle east, we will not be elected.  

Life Amazing

Read an article in the New Yorker about horseshoe crabs and another, elsewhere about ants.  Thinking about evolution.  One might say that ants have become a creature which transcends our notion of physicality.  An ant colony is not a single creature but something more.  It behaves and reproduces and survives.  Smart money's on the ants.

And what about man.  Man is more than man.  Do we declare that which we do not understand to be magic.  Do we respect others, and ourselves.  Rarely, I say.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

PET SCAN and forward

Arriving early, am ushered into the shrine of science.  Priests or priestesses provide the sacred fluid encased in steel.  The acolyte completes the ritual:  I, the supplicant, am injected, I am clothed in the robes of the oracle and and enter its body.  The priests interpret and my future is told.  I have the confidence of delphi.

And it was hard. Every day to commune with the priests.

But, I am fine, for some meaning of the word.

I live in a quantum world. I am measured: new metastasis, or no new disease. A pathway is chosen.