a very apartment of mine

that moves with me.

Cities have understood that it makes no sense to have people criss-crossing them because they found a place to live at the farthest point they found a place to work.

Cities have erected frames of residential buildings, where apartment modules are trucked there and docked. Frames clustered around and between commercial, transport, and industrial hubs.

People purchase an apartment module, with two rooms in the front side with large wall sized glass panes, a toilet, a shower room and a kitchen in the back side. And they docked it wherever they needed to, for the time they needed to.

When they need to move on, they secure their stuff and let the module be undocked and trucked to a new place.

Two modules can be docked together to embody a larger apartment: four rooms, a larger kitchen, two toilets, two shower rooms. Three modules even.

Cities have seen that the bulk of automobiles have disappeared. The streets, taken mostly by bicycle lines, became again a place for people. The air is clean. Birds can be heard overhead. Now and then an electric powered automobile rolls silently along.

It is flawed, I know, but it is a nice dream.

Added: An afterthought of this idea is that being the value of a living place a combination of land value (speculative value) and building value (material value), we would invest in the long term in material value, but we could rent the speculative value.

the collateral of offer and demand

The underlying mechanism of offer and demand certainly brings to society ever better value for less cost. We tap at the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and engineers to reach ever more efficient ways to produce utility, convenience, and comfort.

By its nature, the offer is usually consolidated in the hands of a few groups, where demand is distributed and not organised. Accordingly, the sole driving force of the demand is to receive more (perceived) value for less cost. In response to this behaviour, the offer has a few ways to produce ever more appealing products and services:

  • first by using ingenuity,
  • secondly by creating a higher perceived value of a not so intrinsically valuable good
  • and thirdly by abusing of surrounding environmental elements.

The first way is basically what I would tag as technological progress. The second, marketing excellence and the third pillage: the surroundings are there for the grabs! And often only protected by the integrity of entrepreneurs and engineers, alas not always.

Once ingenuity reach its limits as per the technological and scientific knowledge base of the present time, and products’ perceived value do not let be inflated any longer, it is only logical that entrepreneurs and engineers will find ways to resource to abusing the surroundings. Surroundings being several possible entities: environment, nature, minority groups, neighbours…

Looking at the newspapers we can see, now and then, portrayed cases of such third way. For instance the recent VW emissions issue or the damaging pesticides for bees.

What it is left for us all to consider is how can we exercise our freedom of choice in a way that keeps the pillagers on check. In our role as demand, yet distributed and uncoordinated, we are responsible of our actions and their consequences; Being able to discern within those products and services that trespass to pillage ought to be our ultimate aim.

the utility attitude axis

In the space of people characterisation, there is an axis I name it the utility attitude axis.

In the region around zero, people are followers. The more you move towards the, say positive direction, people tend to be more creative and not only follow but also feedback or adventure in small endeavors.

Emerging from the followers section you enter the creatives. Those are types of people who create new ways to do things, often inspired by those people in the far end of the axis;  entrepreneurs and visionaries.

Moving back from zero towards the negative direction of the axis, you would have those people who are followers but sometimes lag a bit behind. And even further, those who are not able to follow and will proceed undisturbed all along a direction that, at some point in their lives, was set.

If you allow me an analogy, imagine the entrepreneurs and visionaries as scouts ahead of the way, the creatives making the path, the followers improving it, following it, following it a bit askew on the bushes along the side of the path, and finally the bromides moving outwards in a tangential escape line.

Now, any group or Organisation should see that is made of a balanced number of members with respect to their attitude—I do not mean skills here, but attitudes. You want to have a few visionaries, some more creatives, and the bulk of followers. Ultimately, no deadheads.

SUVs race to the bottom

Driving a SUV increases the energy to be absorbed in a collision—normally in detriment of the lighter vehicle. Also increases the emissions. Noise. And especially in cities, uses up more space  even in the worst case damages the infrastructure. Yet it is in cities where the need to refocus on pedestrians and bicycles, as opposite to automobiles, is the most poignant.

The driver of a SUV is, however, not made accountable for all these negative factors. Only there is a light entry barrier in the purchase price to be overcome—for the solace of the car makers.

And if theory of games tells us one thing, it is that this race to the bottom is predictable and expected, as long as accountability is not added to the rules of the game.