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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  August 22, 2015

Illogical Methods are Needed to Implement Bad Design

Revelatory stop sign in Üsküdar We will soon forget why we have stop signs, yet will continue to habitually role-play their mandated behavior.

Stop signs are justified as necessary for safety, yet are more like senseless archaic rituals in situations where drivers can plainly survey the area to see there is no one around and should instead continue onward without breaking momentum. Stopping for no purpose to comply with a law defies reason for the sake of fulfilling an illogical legal requirement lacking provisional relevance. Some people find the illogical behavior deplorable and refuse to participate, so cops hide in wait to make citizens pay them extra money for non-compliance.

Extrapolating rote enforcement against reason to achieve the opposite of a sensible result pushes society still farther from reality. Our governments take money from us to employ people to force us to behave in ways that don't make sense using absurd methods to achieve goals we don't want. When we seek relief, we often strive only to paralyze the enemy that we have created and fund, not to correct the misdirection of functions working against our interest in having a healthy civilization. We have done this to ourselves and are the only ones who can stop us from continuing to do it.

Sensibility is often rare and glacial in its periodic expansion and recession. Our laws are mostly sacrosanct, needing massive attention to be changed, and can be established or repealed by a proclamation of feelings much easier than any sound reason, theory, or evidence.

It would be better if establishing a law required a thesis and expiration date so repeals could be facilitated when their foundational theory was found to be false. This would allow laws to be periodically reviewed for soundness, and all new laws would have to be argued for like a doctoral defense rather than trivially created by demagoguery.

The automated car looms close and threatens to largely upend some of this madness by disrupting its revenue stream. Like a zombie that can be killed by a headshot, or vampire by a silver stake through its heart, terrible laws will die when starved of money.

With cars driving themselves, traffic enforcement money will dry up, requiring liquidation of police who perform tax collection, and standard taxes will increase again to offset the income those uniformed collectors used to take from motorists.

Automated cars will also be able to relax many barriers to driving, such as allowing left hand turns that were previously legal but have been increasing taken away by newly installed lights requiring a designated green arrow. They will also likely be able to bypass full stops at stop signs, drive at higher speeds, and in other ways operate more efficiently, returning driving to a more sensible and free state that it enjoyed in previous decades.

Police might not adjust well to these changes and seek other ways to extract revenue from the public that employs them and expects useful behavior. They might work with legislatures to increase civil forfeitures and significantly increase fines on marginal offenses, though this will be scrutinized as nuisance behavior and organize the public to further force police to perform useful functions desired by the community that pays them.

The future model of personal transportation suggests a combination of utopian and dystopian advances. Traffic will become an abstraction reducing travel to time consumed while removing effort and attention. You'll have a comfortable vehicle with a refrigerator, espresso maker, and full communications system, and can sleep through any commute, which will allow governments to argue against a pressing need to provide adequate roads or policies to reduce traffic. Always remember that to large institutions your time is of no value, yet to you it is the most valuable thing you possess.

Automated cars are coming whether you like it or not, clearing away some bad ideas that have become entrenched, though some will try to work into the transition by injecting themselves where they are neither needed nor helpful, and we must wash them away with simplicity.

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