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August 11, 2006

Seven 9/11s a year in Europe

Apropos the security situation in London: "Loss of life might have surpassed the 2,700 killed in the attack on the twin towers in New York five years ago. "This was our 9/11," a British security source said.

It's a good thing that a lot of people were not blown up yesterday. Sadly, our security services were unable to prevent the deaths of 20,000 people last year on Europe's roads. That's seven 9/11s in a single year. As I wrote here yesterday the death toll from the Madrid bombings represented twelve days of death on Spanish roads.

Yesterday's plotters, say 'unnamed sources', planned to carry liquid explosives onto planes disguised as Coca Cola bottles. This danger, too, is not new. As I reported here a year ago, 67,000 people are injured each year, in the UK alone, trying to open a ring-pull can or peel the cellophane off a packet of sandwiches.

Quoting statistics may sound like a flippant response to a serious situation in which peoples lives are at stake. But what's the alternative? My proposal in Designers and the Age of Fear was that designers can use their communication skills to help people judge risk in a rational way.

I will publish here - and pass on to some newspaper friends - the best visualizations you can come up with to put different kinds of risk in perspective.

Meanwhile, one or two designers are doing well out of the fear business. Googling "design" and "homeland security" yielded 600,000 hits in August 2004. The score last year was 3,220,000. Its score today? 24,900,000.

Posted by John Thackara at August 11, 2006 06:48 AM


Care to consider that advent of ending accidents, congestion, emissions, petroleum and vehicle dependency. all through exponentially extending our human abilities.

My study suggest that humanity has and has had before it a most wondeful opportunity to so enhance our abilities that we can visionally remove the vast bulk of those problems which exist today.

That we can speedily begin accomplishing a unprecedented level of global well-being.

ANd all that is required is to begin implementing a limited network of connected permanent structure whose provision of a rigidly controlled environment will allow the far greater advantages of known technologies to become reliably deployed.

What is a electric motor? Engineers claim that electric propulsion is capable of being 97% more energy efficient than petroleum engines.

Our abilities to control and regulate an electric motor are precise. And when fixed to the rigid pathways will reliably eliminate both accidents and congestion. We will have removed not only human error but the decisions of speed and direction can now be reliably accomplished in an amazing speed.Both the amount of structure required and the distances between them can be largely influenced.

The cost of the guideway is by no means preventative. As these cost are dwarfed by the advantages of increased speeds and the resulting exponentially increased flow rate capacities.

Can we implement a rigid structure along which a electric motor can reliably travel in a controlled environment? We had this ability many decades ago. Its a done deal. Just amatter of choosing which applications are the most advantagous.

Interestingly enouph the annual energy efficiency values "alone" at a modest 80% suggest themselves to be exponentially greater than the cost of an implementation.

The US incurs nearly twice as much cost in accidents and congestion than it spends on highways every year.

The required structure is permanent and has a 100 year lifespan which is good to survive a level 7 earthquake.

Transports cost can be primarily held to the cost of providing and maintaining the permanent structure which can then be divided by a exponentially increased user rate.

The benefits of which are truly enormous in scope and influence.

Its lucratively profitable. Yet the misconception of acchieving such a large change are just that.

It will take a long time to incrementally replace the inplace systems. There is no economic collapse as the lengthy transition period will last decades. Far beyond the investment lifespans of today.

The increased abilities will truly revolutionize the increasingly connected populations. Yielding a very long period of exponentiall increased well-beings.

Realizing this is one thing. Accomplishing it is another.
An acurate feasibility study must be produced which will lend support to the reliability of the beggining investors.

Care to participate in developing and implementing that one effort which far above all efforts promises to bring to humanity its greatest level of continual well-being and in the very shortest period of time. No other effort can even remotely compare.


Posted by: George Schrader at September 4, 2006 04:45 AM

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