Reality is a heartless bitch

When I wrote the piece below about “One size doesn’t fit all” I didn’t think it was one of my greatest efforts nor one that would get much reaction. I was wrong. Dr. Barbara Chance had the following response which I felt deserved the light of day:

Recent analysis of census and other data (https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/05/22/demographic-and-economic-trends-in-urban-suburban-and-rural-communities/) shows that suburbs are growing more than urban or rural areas. People in the suburbs are less likely to ride transit because the service to employment locations either doesn’t exist or takes much longer than driving. It’s hard to imagine that these individuals, as well as many urban dwellers who work in the suburbs, are going to ride-hail, take a scooter, or ride public transportation. Newspapers and columnists are full of predictions about dense urban living and no use of cars. Reviews of the data definitely don’t take you to those conclusions, particularly right away. I agree with your column, and with rta’s comment.

This underscores the lightweight ‘journalism’ we see today. The authors of the article I quoted found some data that fit their agenda and went with it without as rta said, ‘thinking about it.” Dr. Chance points out that people are in fact living in the ‘burbs’ with greater frequency than moving to the central cities in the US. My guess is that this will continue in other countries as their middle class increases in size.

But our betters don’t want to hear any of this. It doesn’t fit their vision. It decreases their power (remember, huge projects, like airports, fit better on your resume than filling potholes) and doesn’t ensure reelection.

It is much easier to ‘go with the flow’ and grasp a dystopian “blade runner” future than look out your window and see reality. The map below reflects what those of us who look out the window of the plane as we fly across the world. There is much more land dedicated to rural and ‘burbs’ than mega cities.

To paraphrase Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory, reality is a heartless bitch.


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