Tuesday 2011-02-08

Fifty years ago, you could buy a new Mercedes-Benz for the same price as a first-class return ticket from New York to Frankfurt. Now, any model from the prestige German marque costs several times as much as the most pampered transatlantic flight.
-- Financial Times

Why do people buy expensive cars with mediocre performance and then drive them themselves? Why not buy a cheap car and pay someone to drive you everywhere?

Singapore's low-cost labor market (due to open immigration) and 100 percent import tax on cars means the latter seems feasible. People here say that chauffeurs remain uncommon because people spend all their money on branded status symbols.

As we earn more, time becomes an increasingly more expensive resource, so it seems like people in SG should start with public transport, then upgrade to taking taxis more often, then upgrade to a car either driven by computer or someone else. Free up your time for more fun things.

Well, unless you happen to like sitting in gridlock....

if you're an angry driver, you're definitely right. at the same time, having suffered many days in gridlock in Seattle, and less so in the bay area, I'll attest to the fact that sitting in a car that's far to big for a single person can be a pleasant environment in which to transit. when traffic flows, with the right music, so my mind flows. when the traffic stops, with the right music, so my mind stops. and i can think. the worst is when it's almost-gridlock but not quite, falling short by two or three grades. So you're going slow enough to lack flow, and fast enough that you can't stop to write notes that's the worst. but I found value in controlling my environment. I only commuted via BART for a few months (10 min walk + 30 min train + 10 min walk, +/-) and did enjoy the time on the train, once I got used to it. Learned to read or write or produce music, and it was quite enjoyable.

Car as womb does rock. That opens the question of what do we need to do in the morning? 1] Get fueled, centered, and aware of what's ahead 2] ???