Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


How to drive less

Inspired by a posting on Phyl’s Blog, I started thinking about how we can stop driving so much. The thing is that it’s fairly limited how many miles people drive for the fun of it. For most people, it’s all the short trips to work, to school, to the supermarket and so on that really add up to a lot over the years.

And so, in order to really reduce car usage, one has to prevent commuting and shopping. In theory, we could all work from home all the time and use home delivery from Tesco or Asda, but it’s not good enough. To work from home most of the time, we all need good video-conference equipment at the very least. I guess that would help with buying groceries on-line, too, because what is holding me back is not seeing what I’m buying – I want to see the apples (I really want to smell them too, but that might get possible in a few years’ time), and I want to see the expiry dates, so small robots with video cameras moving a trolley around Asda would do the trick for me!

However, even with perfect equipment, I think there’ll be a social problem. We’ll all go mad if we never have to go out any more. So I think the solution might be mixed offices in the neighbourhood. That is, one would go to an office five minutes’ walk away in the morning, log on to the computer and switch on the video conference equipment, and go home in the evening.

It would have some interesting consequences, though. For instance, the coffee breaks wouldn’t be with one’s colleagues, but with one’s office mates. And when one gets a new job, one would keep the old office. 🙂

5 thoughts on “How to drive less

  • Interesting – especially since about 90% of the driving I do is unnecessary and therefore not a pleasure. Who wd pay for these work places if they weren’t all used by a specific employer? In your new world of course you’d have worked from Denmark for HCP and me from Newton Mearns – so we’d never have met, interesting…?

  • I guess your employer would pay for a work place of your choice. And who says I would have worked from Denmark? I might have chosen to see the world anyway and worked from Spain or whatever. In fact, the main reason to cluster around big cities would disappear, I think, so I think many people would move to the countryside. And yes, it’s probably unlikely we would have met in such a world, but you never know. People will still have a need to meet new people, so we might have started chatting in the photo comments of Flickr, for instance. 🙂

  • I must calculate air miles too and see just how much travelling I will do in a lifetime! Another blog topic for the future, maybe I could project Léon’s likely flying based on his first year…hmmm

  • The planet really cannot cope with all this flying. I wonder how many years it’ll take before they add huge fuel taxes on aviation fuel (at the moment, it’s untaxed).

  • Yeah – we better see the world before we can’t afford to! NYC here I come 😉


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