domingo, agosto 24, 2008
Na Véspera de uma Revolução no Trânsito ?
In this metaphorical light, one consideration will disturb thinking readers: the more technologically efficient a network becomes, the harder it is to tell people the whole truth about it. We are on the eve of a “revolution in traffic”, Mr Vanderbilt writes, thanks to global positioning systems. Once everyone gets the same reliable, real-time information about traffic, everyone mobs the same routes. When Chicago authorities announced the closure of eight lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2006, the recommended detours moved slower than the expressway. Predictions about traffic become “self-destroying”. The scattering of traffic that used to result from imperfect information and personal idiosyncrasy is no longer the norm. It must be artificially recreated. How do you recreate it? Either by coercing drivers (assigning them to routes, in which case the car ceases to be private transport) or by lying to them. “You have to structure the information,” the German physicist and traffic expert, Michael Schreckenberg, says to Mr Vanderbilt. “Telling them the whole truth is not the best way.”
Politics is now on the up
Faith in the self-equilibrating power of the market is undoubtedly at a low ebb. So while New Deal- or Great Society-type policies may be out of the question, there remains the potential for the state to impose political accountability on technocratic policymakers, inflict more regulation on aberrant bankers and extend public ownership in response to the failure of politically sensitive corporations.
In the perennial conflict between politics and markets, there can be no question that politics is now on the up.