BBC’s series called “What a waste!” went to Bogotá last year to address the changes taking place in the public transport sector of Colombia’s capital city. While I agree that congestion isn’t fun and on the whole, rather pointless (as we all know one drives in order to get somewhere faster), I think this program should be addressing a whole other issue.
Congestion is a problem of what? The fact that we all need to either work and/or live in big cities…but why? Who decided that? And if you wish to dig even deeper, it’s necessary to ask why we rely on receipts (dollar bills, for example) rather than on ‘actual worth’ (gold, silver). Why don’t we decide for ourselves what has value and what does not? Why are we allowed to spend what we didn’t earn (fractional reserve banking, credit)? The questions abound.
Getting back to the documentary, one might say “the problem is here, so what do we do about it?”, meaning people already live in big cities, they already have cars, so how do we solve that problem. What is interesting at this stage of conceptualization, is we see an improvement of a current problem as progress but this way of thinking is no different than taking headache medicine for your headache when the cause is your smoking habit. As long as we continue to treat the symptoms of a twisted post-industrialized and globalized society, we will never think to consider the actual cause.
The last point I’ll make here is to bring up an interesting dichotomy that takes place all over the world. By moving away from rural areas and into big cities, less and less skilled people remain in the rural areas, thereby making those areas less able to sustain themselves. Of course, we could argue that the term “skilled” has two meanings, as the rural people have skills that allow them to live in rural areas while ‘city folk’ have skills that help them to live in the big cities. Anyways, without further ado, here’s the half-hour piece from the BBC.