James Howard Kuntslr has an essay that gives one the kind of grounding any sane person needs coping with a system devoted to wrong-headed, shortsighted and greedy choices. It’s called “Too Stpuid to Survive” and speaks of airlines, oil, city planning and our foremost topic of discussion. I think he may be just a bit too pesamistic (although one wonders if there can ever be too much pesamism in public policy).
The sad truth is it’s too late now. But the additional sad truth, at this point, is that Californians (and US public in general) would benefit tremendously from normal rail service on a par with the standards of 1927, when speeds of 100 miles-per-hour were common and the trains ran absolutely on time (and frequently, too) without computers (imagine that !). The tracks are still there, waiting to be fixed. In our current condition of psychotic techno-grandiosity, this is all too hopelessly quaint, not cutting edge enough, pathetically un-“hot.” The fact that it is not even considered by the editors of The New York Times, not to mention the governor of California, the President of the United States, and all the agency heads and departmental chiefs and think tank gurus and university engineering professors, is something that will have historians of the future rolling their eyes. But for the moment all it shows is that we are collectively too stupid to survive as an advanced society.
Cheer up! Folks like TFA, the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and Gil Carmichael are on the job.
And that reminds me. Little Rock hosts a high speed rail conference today and I hope to bring you some real news by this evening.