The Single Most Boring Things

HSRWe had a European friend over for dinner a couple of nights ago, a visiting scientist and numbers guy who has been here for several months and will soon return to the small Balkan nation where he lives. Beyond our nice dinner and the pessimism about global climate change he shared with aperitifs, there was other food for thought.
He was puzzled, for example, by the complete lack of public transportation options, not just locally, but between our small university town and the international airport one hour away. No way to get there absent private car or a van service, and I shared the feeling of travesty as he shook his head in disbelief.
And the thing is, a great deal of planning is required for us to find ourselves in as such a situation. One has to systematically and persistently downgrade the notion of public commonwealth in every sense to make people feel that public transportation options would be some kind of waste – or, even better worse, an infringement on their liberty. A threat, not just to be discouraged but to be blocked at the earliest sign of gaining even the smallest measure of acceptance. It takes a lot of work, but it CAN pay off: we have no trains.
It occurred to me later that infrastructure has to be one of the most boring things ever. And what that gets us is a terrible transportation infrastructure – not just one in bad shape, but poorly situated to service the most people; fundamentally wasteful of time, energy and resources; and perhaps most importantly, one that absolutely guarantees the most soul-crushing commutes, urban development, and isolation that allows for the development of things like crazy talk radio and xenophobia. Again, Very Boring Stuff.
And there are other boring things, like exercise and diet, which have, when you think about, really just an unfair influence on the state of our health. It’s just not fair. And it’s boring to walk, especially when you could be driving so far!