Friday, June 22, 2007

I am a philosopher, and it would be improper for me to recant

Here's a weekend smorgasbord of lots of things I've been meaning to mention but never have:

Sci-fi author Orson Scott Card wrote an interesting article in May about one of my favourite topics - Peak Oil.
Card's article is on The Ornery American and covers a lot of interesting points:
That's why I said we have to change our social expectations. We have to make it a mark of shame to be stuck in a neighborhood where the lots are so huge that you can't walk in order to get anywhere.
It's already a huge inconvenience and expense. I daresay most readers of this column spend most of their gas money and transportation time on two things: Shopping and commuting. And how much of that is spent just getting out of your neighborhood?

[We need] Neighborhoods where everybody walks to school on sidewalks, and shops on foot or on bicycles (or has purchases delivered). You know, the neighborhoods in It's a Wonderful Life.
Those neighborhoods have disappeared, at first because everybody wanted to appear rich, and later because local governments legislated to make everything more convenient for drivers.
We need to get government to stop forcing all developers to follow the car-centered pattern of development, and to start requiring that new developments be foot-friendly and connected rather than islanded.

I love this photo, which I found on Move.

Here are some 1 Less Car stickers. Anybody know a place in Toronto that has stuff like this? Does Urbane?

I'm enjoying popping over to Veg*Triathlete's blog and really dig the concept of the Bike Library that she devotes some time to. You can check out a bike for six months by putting down a deposit, and if you end up wanting to keep the bike, the library just keeps your deposit. Pretty cool. Kind of like Toronto's Bike Pirates.

Via One Planet One Gear, I came across the Cycling Tattoo Gallery, and now I'm thinking about getting a tattoo.
No offense, but I don't actually like many of the ones on the tattoo gallery. They're very loud.

That's it - have a great weekend everyone!

"Well, my dear Pangloss," Candide said. "After you were hanged, dissected, beaten black and blue, and had to row in the galleys, did you continue to believe that everything is for the best in the world?"

"I am still of my former opinion," Pangloss replied, "for I am a philosopher after all, and it would be improper for me to recant, as Leibniz cannot be wrong. Preestablished harmony is the most beautiful thing in the world, as are the plenum and subtle matter."*

*Plenum denotes the conception of space as entirely filled with matter. Leibniz wrote in Monadology (1714), entry 61, "As all is a plenum, all matter is connected."


Melissa said...

my feet hurt too much from working two jobs. it was a silly thing to do, but i am sure I will appreciate it when the money rolls in, oh.. the point was i'm too tired to leave a real blog comment, but i did read it. and i like the building/plants/in the photo.

FixedXorBroken said...

I read the novelization of The Abyss by Orson Scott Card. It was pretty good. From what I understand, he has jumped off the deep end into the pool of right wing war mongers now:
excerpt from Empire