Photo Challenge Day 9: Lull

Took a short break from work today to walk around the neighborhood and fill up my rings.

I’ve switched to iPhone-only photography over the past couple of months—mostly because the computational camera stuff seems like the future to me. Still, though, occasionally I come across a scene like this one where the iPhone can’t really handle what’s going on for whatever reason.

Our carbon cognitive bias

Bags, bottles and cans: Pricing works via City Observatory:

Our cognitive bias stems from the fact that carbon emissions, particularly from cars are invisible, odorless and tasteless; they do no cumulate locally, but rather disperse globally.  If cars deposited a charcoal briquet every hundred meters or so (which is roughly the amount of carbon they emit), the vast piles of carbon the clogged our streets would immediately prompt us to clean them up, and ban internal combustion engines (just as we no longer tolerate horse manure and how people are expected to clean up after their dogs). But because carbon is invisible and dispersed globally, we don’t care.

Beating fare evasion

I’ve recurrently told American cities to tear down the faregates. BART’s belts-and-suspenders fare enforcement is unnecessary, borne of a panic rather than of any calculation of costs and benefits to the system. But what BART should get rid of is not the ambassadors, but the faregates. The most successful transit city the rough size of San Francisco – Berlin – has no faregates and leaves most stations unstaffed to reduce costs. Berlin encourages compliance by making it easier to follow the law, for example by offering cheap monthly passes, rather than by hitting passengers in the face with head-level fare barriers.

For Richmond, this means reloadable fare cards, fare capping, cheaper monthly passes, simpler payment apps, and speeding up the ticket vending machines (or getting rid of the need to print a receipt—the TVM printers are SO slow).